Archive for April, 2011

A few moments ago, I received an email from the Radtke campaign.  The bulk of it contains a letter from Jamie Radtke to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada (which was also recently posted on RedState).  Although I get a lot of political email, I decided to share the letter here too given that it is well worth the read.  As you will discover, it expresses a shared frustration regarding the seemingly endless spending coming out of D.C. coupled with a profound disappointment over the irrational understanding and demonization of the Tea Party movement by some politicians, pundits, and activists in the establishment.

Hope you enjoy.


An Open Letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from U.S. Senate Candidate Jamie Radtke

Dear Senator Reid:

To quote Ronald Reagan, a man we are really missing this week: “There you go again.”

In the same way that an overwhelming majority of Americans did not want Obamacare, yet it was aggressively forced on them by the single-minded zealotry of the Democrats in Congress, you are again ignoring the will of the American people who, by majorities of 3-to-1, want you to cut spending. And you are so intent on getting your way and ignoring the demands of the electorate that you are forcing a government shutdown to prevent cutting a mere 1.5% of the budget.

And rather than assuming responsibility for falling down on the job, failing to pass a budget last year and doing nothing to solve the fiscal mess you have put us in, you are again (just as with Obamacare) attacking the Tea Party for resisting you.

Honestly, Washington Democrats seem to have changed their motto to: “When all of us fail, blame the Tea Party.”

Well, Senator, the Tea Party was right about Obamacare, and the Tea Party is right about cutting spending with the budget vote, and Americans know it.

After adding $3.64 trillion to the national debt in just over two years, President Barack Obama and the Washington Democrats can claim credit for a $14.2 trillion debt, which equals nearly 100% of U.S. GDP!

You must know that this level of debt-to-GDP is crushing our economy. The degree of cynicism and ideological zealotry required to ignore that threat for political purposes is breathtaking.

So, given the cynical approach you and establishment Washington took on Obamacare and are taking on this budget issue, I can only say thank God for the Tea Party!

The fact is, if there had been no Tea Party, the establishment career politicians (in both parties) would still be talking about whether we should steer a lot to the left or a little to the left as you drive our country off a cliff.

Rest assured that, just as with Obamacare, the Tea Party will not be silenced, and we will not be satisfied until Washington puts an end to the fiscal insanity in Congress, saves the America we’ve always known and restores our liberty.

Mark Twain once said, “Always do right. That will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest.” The Tea Party seems to have astonished you with our resistance to Obamacare and Washington’s fiscal insanity. But you might as well get used to it, because Tea Party Americans will continue to stand with those doing the right thing until this mess is fixed.


Jamie Radtke

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Bad Poetry

Last night, the Shenandoah Writers, along with several other local writing groups, hosted a “bad poetry” night in the lounge of the Clementine cafe in downtown Harrisonburg.  Prior to the event, I had been mulling over the idea of what I should write.  But then I thought, why not politics?  After all, the oft-used expression is that one should write what one knows.

Later that evening, a writing friend asked what would be my next post on this blog.  To tell the truth, not many of my pieces are planned too far in advance.  I’ve got a few articles that I wrote months ago that I’ll post sooner or later, but so much of what I write is just spur of the moment stuff.  So then I got to thinking, why not share my poem from last night?  It highlights how easy it is to become frustrated as a constitutional conservative given how fiscal irresponsibility has become commonplace.

You’ll note that the poem is written in two differing colors.  Unfortunately, WordPress will not allow me to leave an empty line between the breaks, therefore the color change indicates a new stanza.

So is it “good” or “bad”?  I’ll leave that decision to you.

Asking For Money

A letter came in the mail today

Asking for money

Politicians are never satisfied

With their thousand dollar suits

And hundred dollar haircuts

Strutting around like peacocks

Always eager to take our wealth

Doling it out as they see fit

More bridges to nowhere!

Pensions for bureaucrats!

Monuments to the powerful!

Ozymandias would be proud

Why not prop up the despots?

And give foreign aid to both sides?

More military hardware

To bomb the bridges and hospitals

And then rebuild them, of course

The world’s police to the rescue

Today they take riches from you

And give it to me

Tomorrow they take riches from me

And give it to you

Each time taking their cut

A modern day Robin Hood of sorts

Once a year come the campaigns

Each fitted with a fresh mask

With dazzling multimedia

And overflowing mailboxes

But who will pay for all these things?

Give us more!  Give it now!

From ivory towers on the Potomac

We plead for their bread

And are amused by their circuses

They are no longer our subjects

So we kneel before our masters

Vae victus

Please send me no more letters

Enough with the emails

You’ve squandered our wealth

Now my savings is gone

I’ve nothing left to give

Don’t ask me for money

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Starting at noon today, members of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party stood outside Representative Bob Goodlatte’s Staunton office for an hour.  Waving signs and chanting slogans, their purpose was threefold: to draw attention to the problem of massive federal spending, to encourage their elected representatives to vote against the continuing resolution for the budget, and for a return to some sort of fiscal sanity.

Today’s event brings us to an important question; is the Tea Party upset with Representative Goodlatte?  Although one of the members commented that the Representative was right on “99% of the issues”, she firmly stated that he can and should take a leading role to reduce the runaway debt and spending.

After the rally (or protest depending on your definition of the word), the Tea Party presented the Representative’s office a document signed by around fifty of his constituents in support of their cause.   With the deadline for the continuing budget resolution looming at the end of this week, we will soon discover what impact groups like the Tea Party will have on our elected officials.

However, a few questions linger.  Can the government maintain a balanced budget?  Will we ever pay off our staggering federal debt?  Do our Representatives and Senators have the sheer force of will to enact meaningful cuts in our bloated budget or will they continue the status quo?  And, if there is no agreement, will the government suffer a shutdown of nonessential functions due to funding issues like what briefly happened back in 1995?  If so, what impact, if any, will this potential decrease of services have on the lives of the average American?

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One of the most frustrating aspects of being a Virginian, a conservative, and a Southerner is the persistent and mistaken notion that we are nothing more than a bunch of backwards racists who long for a return to the days of slavery and keeping minorities “in their place”.  However, for a great many of us nothing could be farther from the truth.  To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I believe that a person ought to be judged by the content of his or her character, not the color of his or her skin.  Therefore, regardless of whether it would benefit or hinder me, I strongly oppose using race to determine rights, employment, or political representation.

Although I would be nothing short of a boldfaced liar if I were to say that racists and racism did not exist in the South, I have found that it is no more a widespread epidemic in my adventures in the region than it is in either the Northeast or Southwest.

And yet, due in part to the chivalrous and false notion that the Civil War (or more accurately called the War Between the States) was fought entirely over slavery, some of those in the North to this day hold the erroneous viewpoint that they are more civilized and righteous than their barbarous neighbors to the South.  For that reason along with the memory of “southern” Jim Crow laws (which existed decades before I was born and manifest themselves in some facet in most states in the Union), so much of the South, Virginia included, is penalized to this very day.

As you can see, a vast majority of Virginia is under electoral supervision.

The Justice Department requires us to create gerrymandered districts like the 3rd congressional district of Virginia due to supposed racial prejudice.

So is Virginia a heavily segregated state?  Recently, one of my friends shared a Salon article that listed the 10 most segregated urban areas in America.  Guess how many were in the South.  That’s right.  Zero (or one, if you count the state of Missouri).  Counting from ten to one we have:  Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Milwaukee.   But really, what does it matter?  If a government were segregating people, I would clearly object to such a practice.  On the other hand, if a person of his or her own free will chooses to live in communities of primarily one race or another, should the government take an active role to correct this supposed problem?  Absolutely not.

De jure segregation, like “separate but equal”, is a blight upon humanity.  De facto segregation, either done consciously or unconsciously, is just people exercising their rights to live where they choose.  Now to change this issue, should the city, state, or feds forcibly uproot families and individuals from Milwaukee and the surrounding counties and mix them together to create more racially diverse communities?  I would dread to see a government with such a grotesque amount of power.

Of course, maybe my opinions are in the minority here.  After all, according to the above map, I’m from the “racially enlightened” Shenandoah Valley.  That must explain it.  We all know that a majority of Virginians are just plain ignorant and hostile when it comes to race.  But thanks to the Voting Rights Act, these huge pockets of racists are not only separated from the rest of the nation, but also treated unequally under the law.  But it’s OK because we just can’t trust the rest of the Virginians outside the specially designated zones!

Although I firmly believe skin color should not be a defining characteristic, for those who consider Southerners horrible racists, need I remind you that Virginia was the first state to elect a black Governor?  Just for fun let’s compare Virginia to our neighboring state to the west that until his recent death kept electing a Senator who was once a member of the KKK.  As West Virginia isn’t under the same burden as our Commonwealth, that must mean that by comparison Byrd was never a racist nor were any of the people who put him in office!

Anyway, with the 150th anniversary of the war fast approaching, I wanted to share with you a recent video from Jack Hunter addressing this issue.  Enjoy!

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