Friday, July 27, 2007

Ignorance On Display

Imagine you're Boise State University running back Ian Johnson. On January 1st, you took the undefeated, and sorely underrated Boise State Broncos to a 43-42 win over the overwhelmingly-favored Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl. In fact, you scored the winning touchdown on the oldest trick play in the book...the "Statue of Liberty" play. Post-game, on national television, you propose to your girlfriend, who is a cheerleader on the sidelines, and she accepts.

Does the script get any better than that?

It doesn't. However, Johnson is having to hire extra security for his Saturday wedding to his college sweetheart, Chrissy Popadics, because of racial threats made to the two of them...only because Johnson is black and Popadics is white. Apparently, these threats are being made from both whites and blacks who object to such a thing as interracial marriage.

In the 21st Century, you'd think that something like this would still be going on. However, ignorance is still out there...and to be honest, I don't care if you're white, black, hispanic, asian, conservative, liberal, moderate, libertarian, male or female...I think we can all agree that ignorance like this has no racial, political, or gender-based boundaries. I also think that we can all agree that ignorance like this has no place in our society.

Read about this at Yahoo! Sports.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Weekly Podium - "Grudging Acceptance"

(Cross-posted at The New Dominion)

We live in a capitalist democracy. We have had a basic system in place for hundreds of years. It has worked thus far, and should continue to work, as all we have done is tinker with the system...but, generally speaking, we still operate under the same constitution as was drafted in 1787. Our nation has a great standard of living, good life expectancy, and a reasonable amount of other aspects about our society to remain optimistic about our future.

So why do so many people want to change things so drastically?

Simply put, our nation is not perfect. Never has been, never will be. Perfection is impossible for a nation of 300 million people to create. However, I tend to believe that with our flaws, we are still as excellent a nation as ever in today's global society. While different countries may rank higher than us in certain individual areas, the United States as a whole is as good as it gets.

One of those things that makes our nation so strong is the balance of power within our government, and not just through the 3 branches of government, but through the representation of the two major ideological wings of political thought. Modern American liberalism and conservatism are designed, in a sense, to keep each other in balance.

How is this so? Well, let's compare the two sides on social and economical issues. For the sake of simplifying the comparison, I'm leaving out libertarians, populists, communists, fascists. Libertarians may be the rising 3rd party, but right now we're still in a predominantly two-party system. For all intents and purposes, Democrats represent the centrist-left and liberal wing, while the Republicans represent the centrist-right and conservative wing.

Democrats have, traditionally-speaking, done well with voters who are in favor of the proliferation of social issues. Pro-abortion rights, pro-gay marriage, pro-welfare expansion, etc..., these have always been part of the modern liberal agenda. There is a belief by liberals that the government is partially responsible for providing direct benefits and assistance to those below the poverty level and in the working classes in order to give the lower classes a "fair chance".

At the same time, they take a bit of a "hands-off" approach to censorship of the arts, which appeals to the elite classes of Hollywood, the music industry, and the art world. Higher taxes are seen as a necessary evil, and that tax money that goes towards helping promote social programs is seen as "the more fortunate taking care of the less fortunate". Businesses tend to be regulated more in Democrat-controlled governments to promote fair practices and competition.

Republicans, on the other hand, generally believe that the economy prospers when the markets are free and open, and businesses are allowed more "free range" to operate. Lower taxes mean more money in the pocket of the consumers and the businesses, which allows them to spend more, which allows the prospering of businesses. The prospering of business, in turn, leads to growth of these businesses and more jobs. With the proliferation of jobs, the opportunity for the working class to move to better-paying jobs with more benefits is greater.

As for social issues, Republicans have only recently (since the late-80's/early-90's) moved towards taking stronger stances on issues such as abortion and gay marriage, both of which many conservatives oppose on moral grounds.

Now, of course, this is a very generalized, "in a nutshell" comparison, and I could go into much greater detail, but that would require much more time and space. I am inclined to believe that the majority of Americans are moderates that lean one way or another. While the constant debates, dissent, and political bantering that goes on between the parties can be very tiring, it helps keeps things in balance.

Yes, there needs to be assistance for the poor, the unemployed, and those who suffer from events beyond their control. However, you can't simply dole out welfare checks...nor can you ignore the immediate needs of these people while focusing on eventual solutions such as job growth.

Businesses should be allowed to grow and prosper with opportunities provided for smaller businesses to compete on the open market. Regulations on product quality and certain business practices are important, as well.

Even the accusations of media bias somewhat balances itself out. Liberals have a greater influence in the newspapers and on television news. Conservatives have a greater influence through talk radio and Fox News. This is one of the reasons why I'm not in favor of the so-called "fairness doctrine", it's already pretty well divided so that both ideologies have their own outlets within the media.

This is why, when I hear cries of "conservatism is dead" from liberals or declarations of a permanent majority from conservatives, I begin to wonder if anyone has really been paying attention to how our nation works. The mood of the American populous may sway from right to left and back again as time passes, but it never goes so far as to force one of the two major ideologies into extinction.

I make it pretty obvious that I generally support conservative-leaning viewpoints and ideology, and I personally believe that our country functions best when leaning conservative. However, despite my general disagreement with the current liberal agenda, I do know that Democrats do have a place in our political sphere. I cannot, in good faith, declare that modern liberalism should rot and die and is an evil on par with Satan.

There are those on both sides, however, that disagree with me, and believe that those with opposing viewpoints are either ignorant, evil, or just plain un-American. While they are entitled to this opinion, I can't say I share the same viewpoint. Although I think most Democratic viewpoints are not the right solutions to keep America a prosperous nation, that doesn't mean they are evil.

Conservatives and liberals may not like each other, and I don't suspect that they really will at any time soon. However, if we're ever going to tone down the potency of the sheer venom-spitting going on between the pundits on both sides of the aisle, we all need to learn to grudgingly accept the other side's existence.

Hold The Phone...

For over a week or so, now...we've been hearing bipartisan blogger cries for immediate repeal of the Abuser Fees. They've advocated the bombardment of all members of the General Assembly to hold a special session, and to pressure current pro-Abuser Fee delegates and senators into changing their position and opposing the Fees.

So Scott Lingamfelter saw the public's reaction, and changed his position due to this sudden and virulent backlash against the fees. Pretty much, the goal of the blogs to convince the pro-Fee politicians to change their minds was actually met in regards to Lingamfelter.

Immediately, the liberal blogs within the state jump on Lingamfelter and declare him a "flip-flopper", stated that he was simply trying to "save himself from losing" his reelection campaign, and generally derided him for changing his mind...which is what THEY wanted him to do in the first place!!!

If you want politicians to support your cause, don't criticize them when they do. Hypocrites...if anything, the liberal blogs should be blasting Democrats in the General Assembly for NOT recognizing what the people are demanding.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Creigh Deeds at Daily Whackjob

Leave your questions here today, and Deeds will be answering them tomorrow.

So far, the first 3 questions all deal with a possible 2009 run at the Governor's mansion.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

So Cindy Sheehan Got Arrested

Apparently for disorderly conduct after refusing to leave the office of Rep. John Conyers (a Democrat), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Sheehan believes that the "Democrats won't hold this administration responsible, so we have to hold the Democrats responsible" and further announced her challenge of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

This would be one of the few instances in which I would actually like to see Pelosi re-elected.

Read about it here.

Faisal Gill Proposal on Illegal Immigration

The Republican candidate in the 51st HOD District proposes we hold the employers of illegals responsible.

Not a bad idea, really. Impose tough restrictions on businesses that knowingly hire illegals, so Virginia becomes a less-attractive state for illegal immigrants to reside in. The restrictions goes as far as stripping businesses of their license for knowingly hiring illegals. Common sense stuff, and I like it. Take away the attractiveness our state has for illegals, and you reduce the influx of illegal aliens.

Sheehan Rally in C-Ville

The anti-war left is screaming about the success of Cindy Sheehan's "Impeach 'em all" rally. The anti-Sheehan crowd is crowing about the success of their "counter-rally".

My question is successful can you gauge Sheehan's rally when it was a "few hundred people" in a town that has a sizable liberal population? Want to have a successful rally...draw over 1,000 people to see Hugo Chavez's best friend in a more conservative place, then I would call it a "huge success".

Otherwise, I'm inclined to believe it was just the same bunch of people that would've shown up no matter WHO it was that was demonstrating against the war.

Sen. Mark Obenshain on Republitarian

He will be discussing the abusive driver fees, so please keep your questions in reference to that topic. Myron wants to make sure that this Q-and-A session stays on topic and to the point, and I hope we can all respect that.

Submit your questions here.

The Hypocrisy of Dem Challengers in Virginia

Simply put, I'm tired of reading about Democratic challengers attacking their Republican opponent for sponsoring the abusive-driver fees. Why? Well, the God-like-figure-to-Virginia-Dems himself, Tim Kaine, not only supported this bill, he was the one who made it apply to Virginia drivers only!

I have yet to see one Democratic challenger publicly denounce Tim Kaine's support of this legislation, nor have I seen one of them return money raised by Tim Kaine's PAC or raised at any fundraiser that Kaine attended in protest of Kaine's support of these fees that they are supposedly outraged about.

If you want to point fingers, place blame, and act indignant...start looking at the top man in your party, and not just at your political opponent. Unfortunately, you won't see that happen, as Virginia Dems won't risk losing support from their biggest cash cow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Endorsement Time

I wanted to do this earlier, but now I'm going to go ahead and do it.

The Podium endorses Republican incumbent Ken Cuccinelli in the 37th State Senate District.

Despite the fact that over at Daily Whackjob, Greg B. has a "donation station" for Democratic challenger Janet Oleszek, I personally don't endorse her. I believe she is too far left on too many issues to be of any real good for Virginia. In fact, I like how Virginia Oddsmaker points out that Oleszek's website resmelbe like the Soviet flag. Cuccinelli, on the other hand, is a good conservative figure and a rising star in the Virginia GOP (although, I do think that is a pretty good blog, nonetheless).

Check out how Oleszek attempts to pin the "abuser fee" uproar on Cuccinelli, and then Cuccinelli retorts by showing what kind of leader Oleszek is.

Front Royal Not Going to Enforce Abuser Fees?

The Town Council of Front Royal, just 10-15 minutes from where I live, is encouraging county court clerks not to cooperate with the State Police in reference to the Abuser Fees, and is looking to pass a resolution that permits the Front Royal Police Department to NOT enforce the abuser fees.

After the recent bipartisan support over these fees, it looks like the localities are finding their own ways to rebel against these fees.

Read more at The Washington Post.