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Opening Arguments

Like water for tea

Does anybody else see anything mildly comical about this?

State officials are questioning plans by tax activists to dump a crate of tea bags into the Wabash River in protest of excessive government spending.

A spokeswoman for the state's environmental agency said that throwing tea into the Wabash, or any river, could hurt aquatic life by depleting the water of oxygen.

"It would technically be considered an unpermited discharge," said Amber Finkelstein, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

She said putting tea in the river would also be a fineable offense, and that IDEM would not be able to permit the protest because the river does not meet minimum water quality standards.

Protesters: Government has gotten too big and intrusive. Government: Sorry, you cannot throw a tea bag in the river. This pretty much captures the silliness:

"Tea is going in the river, regardless. The amount of hoops you have to go through for this to happen is part of what we're protesting," said Jared Fagan, one of the Lafayette protest organizers.

Any river, Amber? Is there anybody in Indiana who could say, with a straight face, that throwing tea into one of Fort Wayne's rivers could "hurt aquatic life by deleting the water of oxygen"?


Michael B-P
Thu, 04/16/2009 - 9:36am

No, but it might provide a complementary color to the bobbers following a stormsewer "discharge."

Bob G.
Thu, 04/16/2009 - 11:14am

Actually, it might IMPROVE the color OF the river...I kinda dislike hat "muddy sienna garbage" hue.
Amber's nice.

...Not to mention that the caffeine would have all the aquatic life (yeah,all FIVE of them) swimmin' around like a pond full of KOI at feeding time...LOL!


Thu, 04/16/2009 - 2:26pm

So why not just protest without the dumping then? They don't *need* to dump tea in the river to protest. And I don't think it's big, intrusive government that polices what people dump in rivers. I think that's necessary government.

I like how you're laughing at possibly killing wildlife for no reason other than a symbolic protest.

Leo Morris
Thu, 04/16/2009 - 2:30pm

I agree that dumping tea into the river is pretty useless as a protest. But there is a difference between tea and, say, industrial waste or pig manure, a difference the government seems not to notice. THAT'S what is galling.

Michael B-P
Thu, 04/16/2009 - 7:33pm

Better yet, why tea? Tea is not being taxed. Why not a bonfire into which citizens toss their 1040s and engage in an act of actual civil disobedience rather than a symbolic protest? Have the Sons of Liberty been totally forgotten?

David has a good point. But on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of adverse environmental impact, tea's at 1or 2; combined storm sewer effluent (which our community has been permitted 10 years to remediate) score 7 or 8 and the hog farms score 9 or 10. Apologies to all if I sound like I know what I'm talking about.

MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr.
Tue, 04/21/2009 - 3:54am

"It would technically be considered an unpermited discharge"

What is it with government officials citing erotic innuendos?