Friday, April 20, 2007

Hokie Hope Day...

That is all that needs to be said for today.
Peace and Love to all of you,
Phil Chroniger

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Anger Replacing my Sadness

Those who know me know that I'm a fairly open-minded person. I may not agree with you, but I tend to believe that people have a right to their opinion, and have probably come to their conclusions due to some form of personal research or life experience.

However, as much as I try to be open-minded and even-keeled about how I view the world, and how I view other people's opinions, sometimes I completely fail to see the logic, sense, or in this case sanity, of certain people and what they represent.

I hate this man.

This man represents a lot of what's wrong in the world today. This man wants to make you believe that you're going to die for being human. And now, this man is going to be coming to Virginia.

This man is Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church (aka "The WBC). The single biggest promoter of hate, homophobia, and anti-Americanism there is. This man, and his followers, are famous for doing things that make any average person sick to their stomach.

This is the group that constantly pickets and protests outside of the funerals of fallen soldiers, holding up signs like "Thank God for Dead Soldiers", "Thank God for 9-11", and "God Hates Fags".

They rail against Catholicism, Islam, America, Homosexuals, Jews...pretty much everyone outside of their church. In fact, since members of this "church" (I use the term loosely) cannot marry outside of the church, 80% of the members are related to each other. It's a community of hate and ignorance.

I apologize for the language in that last sign quote, but those are the words of that man and his followers. It's a word he seems to have quite an affinity for. He states that American soliders dying in Iraq is a good thing because America "loves fags" and that this is "God's will". They protested and picketed at the site of the Sago Mine Disaster last year, holding up signs that said "Thank God for Dead Miners".

Even Jerry Falwell has referred to Phelps as a "first-class nut". When Jerry Falwell considers you too extreme of a Christian organization, you know you're seriously screwed in your interpretation of Christian teachings. The KKK even thinks these WBC wackos are too extreme, and have launched propaganda campaigns against the WBC in Virginia...and this was back in December of 2006.

Now, the WBC plans to protest at the funerals of all those slain at the Virginia Tech Massacre. Many people have suggested that larger Christian churches should appear at these funerals. To counter the hate and vile spewed forth by the WBC with peace, prayer, and hymns. Others are calling on the "motorcycle blockades" that have been employed at funerals and other gatherings that have drawn the ire of the WBC.

The actions and viewpoints. taken by these people is sick, disgusting, and revolting on any and all levels of life. They may have the right to these opinions due to the 1st Amendment, but I will never agree, condone, or even vaguely understand their virulent disapproval of anything they don't declare to be "right".

To those who go out to confront these harbingers of hate, I commend you for your efforts. You're helping make this world a better, more peaceful place.

I don't care if you're a liberal, conservative, statist, libertarian, anarchist, communist, facist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, man, woman, straight, gay, transgendered, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native-American, Arabic, multi-racial, or anything else I may have forgotten to mention. If you have the ability for rational thought, and have any compassion for human beings, there is simply no way anyone can stomach the insanity that flows forth from the pulpit of Fred Phelps.

I think that's something that almost all of us can agree on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Debate and Point-Making vs. Outright Slander

Those of us who read and write blogs see it all the time. Vicious personal attacks both within the blogs themselves, or in the comments that others leave. Name-calling, fact-spewing (or fact-spinning, however you like it), and chock-full-of-opinion.

Sometimes, it's fun. Other times, it's downright tiresome to read.

Liberals and conservatives both are blogging at a fairly frantic pace. Either voicing opinions or countering the opinions of others. Everyone has a right to their opinion. However, I've recently put myself into a more "well-known" position in the Virginia blogosphere by commenting and debating on blogs that I previously read, but didn't comment on.

One of the surprising aspects was the fact that I, a very opinionated person, have received several comments about my general candor being "refreshing" and/or "appreciated" on different blog comment sections. People seemed to appreciate the fact that I simply discuss my position vis-a-vis other people's positions.

Every now and then, I will go on a bit of a rant, and I'll probably deride liberals pretty hard (and conservatives, if I feel they've earned it). Usually, though, it's over policies or ideologies that I don't agree with. I'll use some of the typical derogatory slang to poke fun or slam those I disagree with.

But to continually name-call people, to disallow any respectable dissenting opinions, to use overly-vulgar language and never add any substance to what you're saying...that's not doing much for the blogging society and it's great political debate that has raged for several years, now.
It's OK every now and then, but it's not a good gimmick to saddle yourself with, as it leaves you open to attacks of the same nature. Although both conservative and liberal bloggers are both guilty of this gimmick, I must say that I do find it more on the liberal side. It's their right to say such things, but they shouldn't be surprised if nobody takes them seriously. In fact, I take "Virginia Virtucon" a lot less seriously after a strange and slightly-unfounded rant that "Riley" made over there today...less seriously to the point of removing Virtucon from my Blogroll.

And just in case liberals want to challenge me, and state that I'm not being an "equal-opportunity 'basher'", I have already talked about where Bush's faults lie in a previous article.

Anyway, I do enjoy the level of debate that goes on between the bloggers. I look forward to further discussions on various topics, so long as civility and good-spirit remains in the atmosphere of these debates.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Not a Blog, I'm Literally at a Loss for Words... of right now, 31 Virginia Tech students will never see Graduation Day. From what I've read, there will be more added to that number.

If you don't know what I'm referring to, here's a news story on it.,2933,266374,00.html

My heart and my prayers go out to the friends and families of the victims, and to the survivors and their friends and families, as well.

Senseless, cold-blooded murder. It makes me sick. Just like those who, within 3 hours of the story breaking, already attempted to use this story to push a political agenda. No respect for those who are mourning. Allow people to grieve, to pray, and to reflect, first.

Weekly Podium: "100 Days Gone...What Happened?"

Remember the time-period between the November elections and the official Democratic-takeover of Congress in January? If you do remember correctly, there was a lot of bluster from the Democrats. They were going to “make government work” and push through dozens of domestic policy initiatives. It was this bluster that led to much fanfare from columnists and bloggers around the country, including myself.

That being said, what has the Democrat-controlled Congress accomplished during their first 100 days?

For starters, the minimum-wage bill has failed to reach the President’s desk in a timely manner because Democratic leaders in both the House and the Senate used the bill as a tool to fight an internal power dispute within the party, which led to a lack of compromise on some of the language within the bill. This was exacerbated because Republicans, understandably, wanted to provide tax breaks for small businesses, and the Democrats completely balked on that idea, despite their “for the working class“ posturing. This sorely disappointed me, as I was very much in support of the federal minimum-wage increase.

The interest-rate reduction on student loans, the implementation of suggestions by the 9/11 Commission, the funding increase for stem-cell research…all of these policy initiatives were hyped to no end. All of the aforementioned initiatives were part of the “First 100 Hours” the Democrats were hyping as they rode a wave of momentum coming off the November elections. None of the measures introduced in the “First 100 Hours” have made it past the compromise process between the House and the Senate (both controlled by the Democrats). This means that none of these bills have had the opportunity for President Bush to review and/or sign into law.

Part of the problem lies within the Democratic party switching gears and focusing on Iraq, after stating they would focus more on domestic issues. This means that one of the issues that got the Dems into power has been abandoned for the time being. Democrats have focused on going after President Bush and the GOP, instead of pushing policies. This completely contradicts their entire stance from their 2006 campaign.

Nancy Pelosi has now decided that instead of working with President Bush (as she constantly stated she would do from the time she was announced as Speaker of the House), now she’s attempting to subvert the President’s authority by attempting to act as a diplomatic authority in the Middle East. Pelosi attempted a high-profile visit to Syria, which ended up in her sending mixed messages, and even some outright lies about “possible peace talks” between Syria and Israel. Many believe that the intentions of her trip was to simply act defiant in the face of the White House.

So much for “working with the President”, as it didn’t even take her 4 months to attempt to undermine executive policy.

Nonetheless, the lack of real action put forward by the Democrats in regards to their initial intentions has shown up in independent polling. I was reading a public opinion poll by the Pew Research Center, and their results showed that the public actually has a disapproving view of Democratic policies. Democratic policies only held a 37% approval rate, while 42% disapprove and 21% don’t know what to think.

In the same poll, Pelosi herself carries a 48% approval rating, with only 22% disapproving of her job, but a curiously large section of those polled (30%) don’t know whether or not to approve or disapprove of Pelosi’s job. Harry Reid’s numbers are further intriguing (32% approve, 22% disapprove, and a whopping 46% “don’t know”). These poll results can be found at

I personally chalk up the large percentages of “don’t know” due to simple inability of the Democratic party to truly “work with the Republicans”, as they had promised. Until the Democrat’s attention switched from improving domestic policies to “Iraq, Iraq, Iraq”, it seemed like we had a glimmer of bi-partisan hope. Republicans seemed fairly willing to work with the Democrats on domestic issues.

Once Pelosi and company switched up gears, they effectively tossed their bi-partisanship efforts right out the window. Now that things in Congress have slowed to a snail-like pace, people don’t know what to think. Both parties are waging publicity wars against each other (what’s new there), and op-ed columnists and bloggers alike are taking to their keyboards in a war of words.
The question that remains in my mind is…was the bluster and relative bust of the “100 Days“, as well as the abandoning of their initial objectives, signs of things to come from the Democrats?

I guess we shall wait and see…