Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Courant's Rick Green - Homeschooling And Tea Partying


Rick Green's article (Taxpayer Group, Town Have Meeting Of Minds, May 5, 2009) is a perfect reason why I don't normally like to talk to the press, especially the Hartford Courant.

Here's the offensive excerpt:
"We are not looking to get something for nothing. Everybody realizes they have to pay taxes," said Judy Aron, the home-schooling-and-tea-party organizing vice chair of the taxpayers association

I could be cynical, because I've always suspected taxpayers associations were for people whose kids are grown and who don't want to fund public schools adequately. But Aron and association President George Kennedy convinced me something else is at work.
I never - not once - organized a tea party. We never even discussed this on our phone interview! Sure I may attend them and even promote them on this blog - but I have never organized one. So much for journalistic fact checking.

Secondly, why do these columnists have to drag the issue of my choice to homeschool into the discussion? It's totally irrelevant. It really is. Homeschooling has nothing whatsoever to do with the point of this article. Besides, I do not currently homeschool - my youngest is finishing up a high school program and just finished a college course and is heading to college in the fall.

Mr. Green used homeschooling and tea parties to somehow define me. While I am proud to attend tea parties and to have homeschooled - did he mention the education choices of anyone else in the article? NO, he didn't. Nor did he similarly label anyone else for that matter. Mr. Kennedy could be labeled a retired golf enthusiast. But, that's not nearly as controversial for the head of a tax payers association.

Good thing that his article showed that narrow minded thinking can be changed. Mr. Green, has "always suspected taxpayers associations were for people whose kids are grown and who don't want to fund public schools adequately" and now sees that he was totally wrong. Good for Mr. Green. Besides that, people reading the article should see that the actions of the West Hartford Taxpayers Association were done by vote. It wasn't my, or Mr. Kennedy's, decision alone not to seek a referendum, although we did vote that way. We aren't unreasonable tax activists after all.

For those who believe that homeschoolers do not wish to fund government schools, that is nonsense. Could that be said of private schooling parents as well? It's a tired and lame old argument, but still popular among people who hold anyone with a different education choice in contempt and especially to arouse suspicion of them.

If anything, the government school supporters in town ought to be thanking all of us for funding the resources we choose not to use. To that end, we'd just like to see our tax dollars being used wisely, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring about some sound education reforms. Quite frankly I get pretty annoyed with those who continually bite the hands that feed them.

Pardon me while I get back to my other subversive activities, besides homeschooling and tea partying, that Mr. Green failed to mention - you know; laundry and shopping.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you took umbrage at that column; it was such a puff piece.

It made you guys seem downright cuddly!

But I did raise an eyebrow over the "home-schooling-and-tea-party organizing" description. You're right about that. If Green was going to type you, he should have have likewise tagged Kennedy with an ungainly string of adjectives.

"If anything, the government school supporters in town ought to be thanking all of us for funding the resources we choose not to use."

Hilarious. It's not like it's optional.

wmrourke said...

If Mr. Green read your blog, he might have come across this, which you posted to your comments on April 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm:

"If anything, Campaign for Liberty and the Ron Paul Revolution had a bigger hand in this. That's who really originated these tea parties.

 *I don't have to be "convinced" as I have been involved in some of the planning..* and the people I have spoken to are not puppets of any of the organizations that you are claiming have ownership of this grassroots movement."

The thesaurus does include "planning" as a synonym for "organization" -- any you yourself wrote that you had were involved in tea party planning.

iBlog said...

I'm curious, Judy.

Has the WHTA decided what position it will take if there IS a referndum?

Thanks!

Judy Aron said...

wmrourke - the extent of my involvement in "planning" was talking to Rick Rothstein, the organizer of the April 15 Hartford Tea Party, when he asked me a question or two to draw upon my experiences. I would hardly call that my organizing a tea party.

It seems you wasted some time, but thanks for doing the research though.

Judy Aron said...

iBlog - You seriously need to get a life. You are so caught up in what I do and say that it borders on stalking. Don't you have anything better to do with your time?

But to answer your question: WHTA has already voted on this issue - They voted not to pursue a referendum. Period end of story. Do you have some sort of problem with that?

Judy Aron said...

To anonymous who began this thread - yes I suppose paying taxes is not optional which is precisely why I am concerned about how my tax dollars are spent.

The fact still remains that I am paying for resources that I do not use. Over 50% of my tax bill in fact just goes towards the education budget. The least they could do is use that money prudently. Just because they can collect it doesn't give them license to waste it.

iBlog said...

Judy,

Thanks for the speedy response.

My question was:

"Has the WHTA decided what position it will take if there IS a referendum?"

Your response was:

"WHTA has already voted on this issue - They voted not to pursue a referendum. Period end of story. Do you have some sort of problem with that?"

As you can see - your response quite obviously does not address the question.

I'm asking about WHTA activities IN THE EVENT of a referendum.

If there IS a referendum.

About what the WHTA will do if someone ELSE pursues a referendum, and succeeds, then we HAVE the referendum.

I am not at all asking about WHTA's "pursuit" of a referendum.

That kind of question would be worded entirely differently than the one I am asking.

SO, one last try:

"Has the WHTA decided what position it will take if there IS a referendum?"

Many many thanks!

Judy Aron said...

iBlog - I don't think I can get any clearer for you, and I am honestly tired of answering your question repeatedly. Do you need some sort of remedial help? Why should our position to support the budget change if Ms. DiNapoli gets signatures or doesn't get signatures? You are obviously distrustful and do not take our vote regarding a budget referendum in good faith. That is a pity and really indicative of the malice that you have towards WHTA and me in particular. Why don't you and your gal pal Minou get back to whatever hate filled hatchet job you are now contemplating regarding WHTA and its leadership? or perhaps there something else you'd like to read into any reply to your query? Honestly, get a life.

wmrourke said...

"wmrourke - the extent of my involvement in "planning" was talking to Rick Rothstein, the organizer of the April 15 Hartford Tea Party, when he asked me a question or two to draw upon my experiences. I would hardly call that my organizing a tea party."

But that isn't what you wrote in your comments back on 4/15, Judy. Perhaps back then you wanted to give the impression you had more to do with planning than you actually did, because it was to your benefit to do so. And now you you want to downplay any role you may have had, because it's to your benefit to do so.

Mr. Green might also have thought your considerable "get out the teabaggers" efforts at promoting the parties on your blog constituted something of an organizational effort. Promotion is certainly a large part of successful organizing.

Actually, I think your complaints about how unfair Mr. Green was in calling you an "organizer" are simply disingenuous. It really was a puff piece, but you needed a way to make sure your readers knew you got some press, and you do like to play the wounded ingenue. Stirs up more attention and rallies the troops when you can claim someone is at war with you, doesn't it?

As for my time researching, no worries. None was required. I simply remembered what you'd said and flipped back to it. I guess some of us pay more attention to what you write than you do.

Judy Aron said...

Hah - Impression of organizing is only one that your mind chooses to make. I never organized a tea party; talking on the phone for 10 minutes with the organizer does not make me an organizer and neither does promoting tea parties on this blog. In fact, Rick Green never even asked me about it on our phone interview.

Glad to see you follow my blog so closely - so do hundreds of others. Perhaps that is what you don't like.

Some folks who emailed me, who read Green's article, also felt that I was unnecessarily labeled; some say it was in order to sensationalize my position as Vice President of WHTA. That I should take umbrage with it seems to bother you very much. Honestly I don't know why you should care. I guess I really do bother you quite a bit. Maybe you should consider taking up something else to consume your time, rather than worrying about what I say and do. And I will tell you "wmrourke", one thing is for sure - I am NEVER the "wounded ingenue". I don't allow people to wound me.

I don't need to rally any troops and certainly do not feel I am "at war" with anyone in my life - too bad you cannot say the same since you seem to enjoy being at war with me. Perhaps you need to make yourself feel better attempting to put others down. I truly feel sorry for the likes of you.

Person Bothered by Judy said...

Ah Judy,

Where would you be without your trusty Personal Attack.

You never disappoint.

Judy Aron said...

Right back at you!
The personal attack - some people in West Hartford just can't live a day without vilifying someone who has a differing opinion. What a sorry lot. Too bad they don't have the spine to use their own names in their drive bys as well.

Judy Aron said...

Gee whiz; I bother you? Tough. Believe me, I won't be crying my eyes out over that one.