Archive for November, 2010

During my most recent adventure in retail, when one particular customer came into the store he regularly thanked me for my efforts on behalf of the pro-life community.  Although I’m uncertain how he knew of my work in Tennessee, I did appreciate his support.  Toward that end, he offered to donate to my political campaign should I ever seek office…but that is an issue for another day.  Now I know that while many of you aren’t as politically active as I, you are as intensely as pro-life.  Well, I’m pleased to announce that you can take a stand to help prevent the wholesale slaughter of the next generation.  On Friday, I received word from our friends in Botetourt that you can help in this noble cause.  The message is as follows:

According to our Attorney General, the state of VA could enforce
higher standards on abortion clinics in Virginia.  Planned Parenthood
says if these standards were enforced, 17 of their 21 abortion clinics
in the state could close.  The Governor has not done this yet.

Can you help me encourage the Governor to do the right thing?  We want
Gov. Bob McDonnell to instruct the state Board of Health to enforce
the regulations on abortion clinics that the Attorney General says is
within the Governor’s power to do.

You can read the Attorney General’s opinion at:

So please:

1. Contact your GOP Delegates and state senators ask them to tell the
Governor to take a stand on this by instructing the state Board of
Health to enforce the regulations on abortion clinics.  You can find
and contact your state reps at:

2. Contact the Governor: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/Contact.cfm

3. Write letters to the editor of you local paper & call in to radio talk shows

4. Pray

5. Ask others to do steps 1-4 – forward them this email.

Remember tell them you want Gov. Bob McDonnell to instruct the state
Board of Health to enforce the regulations on abortion clinics.

Thank you for taking the time to speak up for those who can not make
their voices heard.

Even though we’d like to eliminate all abortion facilities in the Old Dominion, this effort is a key step in the right direction.  Regardless if your Delegate or State Senator is a passionate advocate for the unborn or not, we must contact them about this matter.  Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, most politicians will only act when spurred by their constituents.  So here is your chance to join me as we work to shut down many of the so-called “clinics” in our Commonwealth.  Although one person can make a difference, an entire army of motivated citizens is worth far more.  You must call or write Governor McDonnell and your representatives in Richmond and tell your friends and family to do likewise.  We can save the unborn, but only if you’re willing to help.

Update:  I just sent an email to the Governor.  What are you waiting for?

Further Update:  An online petition is now available too.

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Working for the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign back in the late part of 2007 and early days of 2008 was certainly an interesting experience.  During my time, as I traveled the state of South Carolina, I had the good fortune to meet a Charlestonian radio host by the name of Jack Hunter.  Much like myself, he is a conservative political commentator who deplores the neoconservative hijacking of the Republican Party that strongly took root during George W. Bush’s first administration.  As a side note, unlike Mr. Hunter, I have so far been unable to achieve any sort of long or short-term job prospects as a result of my efforts.  But getting back to the subject at hand, many of his fans know Mr. Hunter by the moniker of the “Southern Avenger”.  In his early days, he even went so far as to appear in a mask just like so many of the professional wrestlers he enjoyed in his younger days.  Although such a practice might seem strange, I have discovered that until a person becomes established in political commentary, he or she often adopts a literal (or not so literal) cloak of anonymity.  His recent work includes pieces in the Charleston City Paper, The American Conservative, Taki Mag, and YouTube.  He is certainly one who tells it like he sees it and is driven to spread his ideology rather than making nice with the establishment.  Along with several other individuals, I credit Jack with helping to spark my creative energies that led me to create the political blog you are reading now.

Recently, the internet has been void of new commentary from the Southern Avenger.  Much to the dismay of his fans, his YouTube site has not been updated in several weeks. Given the growing agitation, I contacted him recently via Facebook to discover the cause of his absence.  He informed me that he was on hiatus and was toiling on a special project.  Once it is concluded, he should be returning to his regular activities.  So Southern Avenger fans, you should rejoice.  Jack Hunter will rise again.

In closing, if you have not heard the Southern Avenger’s viewpoints, I encourage you to check out his vast library of videos found on YouTube.  As with any political commentator, I doubt you will agree with him 100%, but I expect you’ll find something that you like.  Just a couple of clicks should be well worth your time.

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For those of you who spend time on Facebook, you may have noticed an ad with this picture

Image found on VoteiQ ad

asking “Where do you align?” Being the political junkie that I am, I immediately clicked on the link and filled out the survey.  The results were very disappointing.  On several issues, mainly foreign policy, the website claimed that I was a liberal.  As a result, I called the folks at Vote IQ to explain my objections to a few of the questions.  They sent me an email explaining their process, but they didn’t fully address my concerns.  Therefore, I replied with an admittedly rather hastily and passionately written return email which reads as follows:

Thank you for your email.  I suppose I should explain my objections to the quiz.

Unfortunately, on a number of questions, (3,5,7,11) a response labeled as conservative is not really conservative but instead it is neo-conservative response.  These two camps have battling for the heart and soul of the Republican Party for a number of years.  Now one may claim that any policy enacted by George W. Bush’s administration is “conservative” given that he is a Republican, however I believe that to be a rather short sighted approach.  For example, many of his actions, such as No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act, and the War in Iraq and against terrorism went against traditional conservative values.  Speaking to question #7, although we favor a strong national defense, very few conservatives support a limitless defense budget.  I’m sure we would support eliminating redundancies and outdated equipment especially given the growing national debt.

Turning to a personal level, for quite I have been fighting elements within the Republican Party who promote a vast increase in the size of government at the expense of the states and personal liberty.  Therefore it is rather disheartening to see you define these big government solutions as conservative.  Prior to Bush, recent history agrees.  With the exceptions of neo-conservatives, one only look to the reaction of conservatives during the Clinton era when we were fairly united against entangling foreign wars and nation building in Kosovo.  Back in the 1996 Presidential campaign, Republican Bob Dole spoke of ending the Department of Education.  Now, we have the Tea Parties.  Now some people think that the Tea Party movement sprang up solely in response to President Obama’s administration.  Such a viewpoint is shortsighted, as it is also partially a rejection of neo-conservatives who have vastly increased the power and scope of the national government without regard to the Constitution.

To state simply, conservatives prefer a smaller federal government who defers to state and local government, refrains from economic intervention, and allows for the enforcement of cultural and religious norms.  Although some conservatives (like neo-cons) support a robust foreign policy which involves the U.S. policing the world, such a viewpoint doesn’t represent historical conservatism, but rather adopts many of the same principles as Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat.  Now many liberals [are] against grand foreign entanglements too, but so are Paleoconservatives.

Lastly, to switch subjects, I wanted to comment on question #9.  As I’m not a doctor nor I have I researched the subject, I do not pretend to know the medical value of embryonic stem cell research.  I just oppose the process for ethical reasons.  Whether or not you think the process is valuable is not the key question, but rather do you support using stem cells for medical treatment.  Therefore, I would recommend changing the wording of this question.

Thank you for your time.  I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Several days ago, I received the following response:

Hi Joshua,

Reading over your thoughtful email this morning was a pleasure.
You have identified limits to the use of labels like liberal and conservative.
William Buckley 50 years ago said in UP FROM LIBERALISM that it is difficult to define conservatism and so it is.
The limitations of the labels and the values people assign to those labels is therefore in constant flux and dispute.
That is as it should be.  Were the labels to become fixed they would quickly become out of date and stale.
We took for our definitions the results of the Pew ideological poll of 2005.
It’s an imperfect approach; I don’t know what a perfect approach would look like.
The goal was to give our visitors something to chew on.  If this leads to a good discussion on Vote iQ, that would be terrific.
We’d welcome it.

You all should check out this website, but take their thoughts and labels with a grain of salt.  I believe that conservatives should always fight against the unconstitutional excesses of government both domestically and abroad.  Even though we must give a small portion of our liberty to the government, we cannot be overrun by fear into sacrificing our supposedly protected rights.  As Ben Franklin reminds us, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

It seems that we must continue to reclaim the mantle of true conservatism.  Neocons have had their day.  Even though we are still in the early stages, I’m hopeful that the age of the Tea Parties and the constitutional conservatives has come to stay.

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A lot of people have been speculating as to who will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives prior to yesterday’s election.  Now that the Republicans have taken control of the House, most eyes have turned to House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio.  Although his positions are quite good on a number of issues such as abortion and gun rights, I believe there are better choices out there.

We need a Speaker who will ardently and consistently stand up against big government and support fiscal conservatism.  Toward that end, might I suggest that we start by examining the following candidates:  Rep. Paul Broun (GA), Rep. Randy Forbes (VA), Rep. Ed Royce (CA), Rep. Michael Burgess (TX), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA), Rep. Ron Paul (TX), Rep John Duncan Jr. (TN), Rep Louie Gohmert (TX), Rep. Ted Poe (TX), Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ), Rep. Jack Kingston (GA), or Rep. Tom Price (GA).  Now you may be asking, what do all these House of Representatives members have in common?  Each of them steadfastly voted against every bailout proposal in 2008 and 2009.  Although there were seventeen folks in all who were originally on this list, several have retired or moved on to other offices.  Even though the House has the option to elect a Speaker outside their ranks, I don’t consider such a move likely, as it has never happened up to this point.

Now, unfortunately some of these choices I don’t really know.  It is quite possible that they hold very objectionable voting records in regard to other issues.  Nevertheless, I believe that the Republican Party should set some sort of principled standard as to who the next Speaker will be.  Standing firm against the bailouts sounds like an excellent way to begin to weed out potential choices.

The American people have once again given the Republicans a chance to at least share in the leadership of our national government.  Electing a proven and principled Speaker to the House of Representatives will help make sure they don’t screw up this opportunity by 2012.   Otherwise prepare yourself for another term of President Obama.

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Well, I’ve just returned from the polls.  Activity was pretty brisk with three of the six city council candidates in attendance and the rest represented by proxy.  Not surprisingly, none of the House of Representative candidates had any staffers or volunteers, although there were a group of younger Republicans handing out sample ballots.  Earlier today, the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee and the JMU Young Democrats were passing out leaflets encouraging passage of all three Constitutional amendments stating, “all three are widely supported, and none of them has any major opposition”.  I guess they don’t read the conservative blogosphere do they?  Anyway, while voting at about noon, I overheard that turnout at this polling place was already about 16%.  16%!  Although you may think such a number is small, to have 16% when less than half of the voting day is gone and in a race where we have no statewide or presidential candidates is a pretty high number.

Update:  Below are a few scenes from the Keister polling location in Harrisonburg, VA.  Enjoy!

Council Candidate Greg Coffman with Republicans

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As I stated in a recent post, tomorrow voters across Virginia will have the chance to vote on three amendments to the Virginia Constitution.  After considerable thought, research, and a bit of debate among the members of The Jeffersoniad, I have decided to vote against all of them.

To refresh your memory, the first proposed amendment reads, “Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently disabled?”  Although I am of the opinion that the more localized government the better, I am leery of creating exemptions from property taxes.  I am concerned that once we start creating these blanket exemptions, they will continue to proliferate.  Property is property, regardless of the age, condition, or status of the person who happens to own it.  Once we set up these age or disability limitations, is it that big of a leap for someone in the General Assembly to move to create additional exemptions based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or something else?  As all citizens should be equal under the law, I cannot support this amendment.

For the same reasoning as the first amendment, I cannot support the second one either.  To remind you, it reads, “Shall the Constitution be amended to require the General Assembly to provide real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability?” Again, I believe this amendment creates a slippery slope.  We should certainly honor and respect our veterans, but is tax exemption the answer?  So what about only partially disabled veterans?  They served our state and our nation.  Shouldn’t they be given some sort of benefits too?  And if we exempt some people from property taxes, will the General Assembly merely forgo the lost tax revenue?  Or will they raise some sort of new tax to cover the shortfall?  Lastly, should we compel widows and widowers to not remarry simply to reap tax incentives?  Again, I say no.

Finally we have, “Shall Section 8 of Article X of the constitution of Virginia be amended to increase the permissible size of the Revenue Stabilization Fund (also known as the “rainy day fund” from 10 percent to 15 percent of the Commonwealth’s average tax revenues derived from income and retail sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years?”  Although, on the surface, this amendment sounds good, I believe it will ultimately lead to higher taxes and an increased size of the government in Richmond.  Rob Schilling addresses this issue when he writes,

Increasing the allowable size of Virginia’s “rainy day fund” by 50% is a colossally bad idea. The state is not a bank, an investment, or a savings account; it should hold as little of the people’s money as is practical.

Funds retained by government are unavailable to the state’s economy and thus stifle economic activity both of businesses and individuals.

In addition, fattening the state’s “slush” fund encourages growth in the size and scope of state government, and it is a disincentive to vital cost cutting and budget reform/reduction measures.

Although I am aware that most of the members of the General Assembly will disagree, I cannot support any of these amendments to the Virginia Constitution.  To borrow another quote from Mr. Schilling, “Don’t be fooled by seemingly sympathetic subjects.  Progressive taxation and government largesse have not benefited America in the preceding century.  The 2010 ballot questions are bad news for liberty loving Virginians, and if passed, they will result in greater state control over our everyday lives.”  Now if you haven’t made up your mind on these issues I encourage you to do so before you go vote tomorrow.  Amending the Virginia Constitution is serious business.  I cannot support these proposed amendments and so I encourage you to act likewise and vote no on each and every amendment.

Update:  As discussed, other members of the Jeffersoniad have weighed in on the amendments.  Rick Sincere, Crystal Clear Conservative, Yankee Phil, Brian Kirwin of Bearing Drift, and Tom White of Virginia Right! recommend Virginia voters reject all three too.  However such thoughts are not uniform among conservative bloggers as the Right-Wing Liberal supports the first and third while opposing the second and JR Hoeft of Bearing Drift will vote for the first and second and is against the third.

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