Moral Contradictions

Friday, April 29, 2005

Dear Alabama... that was a joke, right?

Alabama State Representative Gerald Allen wants to censor books... *ahem*, he wants to protect "the hearts and souls and minds of our children."

He introduced a bill to the state legislature which would ban all books written by gay authors or if the book included a gay character. Previously criticized for its broad scope, he narrowed the bill's focus so that Shakespeare and other classical books would not be banned. Yet, apparently he can't define what a "classic" is and was forced to exempt college and public libraries.

However, under the bill, say goodbye to Tennesse Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and the like. "It's not healthy for America, it doesn't fit what we stand for," says Allen. "And they [homosexuals] will do whatever it takes to reach their goal."

Excuse me? Who is this "we"? Who are you speaking for? For all the people you're speaking for, do they agree with this step? Or is this yet another alarmist and reactionary piece of legislation which just damages us all? Why not work on finding constructive and concrete ways to advance your agenda? Instead of stopping the so-called "homosexual agenda", why don't you figure out a way to produce an alternative that is appealing and truly "healthy for America"?

There's a reason why people think you're backwards, and it's because of such "progressive" and forward-thinking legislation that you and your entire state is ridiculed by the rest of the nation (save for Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi... heck the former Confederacy plus Kansas and Indiana.)

Article here - Note: The bill died. Countdown to when a similar bill is introduced somewhere else... 3... 2...

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Delay DeLay's eviction

This article makes the case to keep Tom DeLay around and to let the 2006 elections be a referendum on the Radical Right's agenda. Their argument: What better way to clearly discern the GOP's true agenda than from the reckless and frank lips of Tom DeLay? An example:

If DeLay goes down, his shamelessness will go with him, which will make it harder to see the GOP's true agenda... [on federal judges] "We set up the courts. We can unseat the courts. We have the power of the purse."

Will DeLay do more damage to the Radical Republicans' agenda if he stays in office versus being kicked out or indicted? Compelling...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Kansas provides some relief...

...from that fact that we have crazy people in Virginia.

Kansas Board Taking Up Evolution Debate

Last year's elections gave conservatives a majority again, 6-4. A subcommittee plans six days of hearings in May, and advocates of intelligent design plan to put nearly two dozen witnesses on the stand to critique evolution.

How many people slept outside last night? How many wives were beaten by their husbands last night? How many children go without health insurance every day?

How many people who seek answers to the pains of their life read articles like these and write off Christianity?

Some more scary quotes

Randall Terry, noted anti-abortion foe and arrested over 40 times, truly exhibits God's grace and mercy. I believe Jesus will personally come down and shake his hand.

(For those of you who lack a sense of humor... that was sarcasm)

"Let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good.... If a Christian voted for Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple.... Our goal is a Christian Nation... we have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want Pluralism. We want theocracy. Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules." (link)

"When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we'll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed." (on doctors who perform abortions - link)

"God established patriarchy when he established the world. God established a patriarchal world, Terry said." "If we're going to have true reformation in America, it is because men once again, if I may use a worn out expression, have righteous testosterone flowing through their veins. They are not afraid of the contempt of their contemporaries. They are not here to get along. They are not even here to take issue. They are here to take over!" (link)

"Intolerance is a beautiful thing...There are people that are politically correct that want to say the cardinal sin of the hour is intolerance and I think that is a bunch of junk." (link)

It's scary that the best resource for his quotes via Google was the website ExChristian... If Jesus wanted an army we would refer to him as Herr General and not Our Savior. Whether or not you believe the things Randall Terry does is one thing.. scaring possible and current Christians away from the true faith with militant proclamations is simply accomplishing the goals of Satan.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Update on the 54th primary

I'm still working on questions for Shaun Kenney to do an interview. I have never been a good interviewer so I'm painstakingly writing questions which cover areas that need to be answered. I want to remove any bias one way or the other and ask fair questions. I'm also trying to do as much research as I can with internet archives and other Google tools so that I prove that I actually did graduate from college and can ask intelligent and relevant questions.

All this while working a 40-hour week job, starting a business, expanding another business, and growing a new marriage. Wow. Plus, I have to occasionally let my aggression out and play GTA3 every now and then. hehehehe... err... :)

Contrary to an earlier statement by Mr. Kenney... "When you suspend your account at FredTalk, your posts are deleted. Simple as that. Not much else to add." (link)

...I learned that "...if you do leave (FredTalk), your posts would remain." That came from Brian Baer, which I'm assuming is the same person who deleted all 8,688 posts. (The assumption is wrong if two Brian's handle forum moderation).

As I've said before, I really did not anticipate to get into all of this. I simply wanted to know why an infamous FredTalk poster had thousands of posts deleted 6 weeks before he announced his candidacy for public office. I made my assumptions, wrong or right, not realizing anybody read this blog and allowed the blog to diverge from its focus. I wouldn't have paid attention if he wasn't from my hometown. With all of that said, I welcome the chance to submit my questions and interview a candidate for delegate. Questions will be posted soon and I won't comment anymore on this until then.

Edit: Read the other posts on this topic:

Remember the 54th! Or something...
The 54th and a chopping block
Update on Shaun Kenney and the 54th
Beating the old (54th) horse

41 years ago...

With a degree in history (plus several classes in political science and theory) I must look at the beginnings and causes of contemporary issues. What happens today is usually the current result of a long path of events and actions taken in the past.

For intance, the fundamentalism that is rife today began in the late 1960s and 1970s. Our country underwent a large upheaval during the 1960s which affects nearly every issue now.

I have a book that I picked up at a library book sale for $1 a couple years ago. The title is "The Great Contemporary Issues - Political Parties". It's a collection of newspaper articles from what I'm assuming to be the New York Times, since they published the book. I'm currently reading through it to find anything which helps put today's problems in a clearer context.

In an article titled "Rockefeller Says Rightists Imperil G.O.P and Nation" the New York Governor lambasted Barry Goldwater and the party's tactics to garner votes in the face of stiff Democratic opposition in the 1964 election.

The New York Governor asserted he was "deeply disturbed" by the "ruthless, rough-shod intimidation" and "tactics of totalitarianism" at the biennial convention of the Young Republican National Federation...

The Republican party, Governor Rockefeller asserted, would "destroy itself" if it adopted what he said was being "seriously proposed" as a 1964 campaign strategy. This, he said, would "write off" Negroes and other minority groups, the great industrial states of the North and the big cities, and appeal primarily to the South and West with "the outlawed and immoral base of segregation" and a "cloak of so-called 'states rights.'"

I give you a map of the 2004 election results and ask if there is any correlation between then and now.

The Virginia CMA awards - this November!

If you search Yahoo!, MSN, or any other search engine within the Yahoo Overture network, for Jerry Kilgore, you can download his latest hits! Apparently he's put out some good country tunes:

Download Free Country Music Download Free Country Music. Register Now and Choose from Thousands of Country Artists and Songs, Such as jerry kilgore. Free and Easy.

The great thing is that they have outbid the real Jerry Kilgore at $0.16 per click versus $0.15. Even Tim Kaine's anti-Kilgore ad draws a paltry 4th place behind "# Find Jerry A Kilgore $9.95 - Get current information on this person instantly."

Ostensibly, $0.15 is too high for Kilgore on his own name, but "virginia governor" is worth $0.18, 7 cents higher than the - you guessed it - vote for Tom Kaine ad.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Want some laughs (and get scared)?

I stay away from Ann Coulter... I stay away like a Texas Baptist to dancing. I'd just like to think that there aren't people like her out there nor people that follow her. However, I saw some mention of her getting fired from MSNBC and the National Review and did a quick google search. Some favorites:

  • "I take the Biblical idea. God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees God says, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"

  • On Muslims... "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." (Included in an article she submitted to the National Review which got her fired).

  • "There are no good Democrats."

    And the best one yet:

  • "A central component of liberal hate speech is to make paranoid accusations based on their own neurotic impulses, such as calling Republicans angry, hate-filled, and mean."

    Wow, I must be really paranoid.

    More here.

  • Unjust "Justice Sunday"

    Seeing pictures of one of the top politicians in the country on a screen inside a church sanctuary has unsettled me a bit. Also given the fact that this was a Baptist church, as I am Baptist. I have to tell myself that not all Baptists are the same, especially when compared to fundy's Al Mohler and Paige Patterson, just to name a few.

    This column sums up how I feel about yesterday's proceedings.

    Given enough publicity, Justice Sunday seems guaranteed to frighten away secular and non-Christian religious voters who think the courts have gone too far or that simple fairness requires a Senate vote on the judges in question. The argument should be based on these grounds not on anti-faith prejudice. Framing political issues in purely religious terms is always a big mistake.

    I would like to point out to all of my Christian friends that if secular and non-Christian voters are frightened away from the movement to end the filibuster... they are definitely going to be scared from Christianity.

    Jesus didn't show a taped message from the Pharisees at the Sermon of the Mount to prove his point (blessed are the meek, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in spirit). In fact, the leaders of the religious and political establishment of that time and place were His earthly enemies. He just showed and demonstrated God's love in his everyday actions and teachings and He changed the world.

    Friday, April 22, 2005

    Something good out of Arkansas????

    Sen. Mark Pryor's comments on the filibuster rule change have not been picked up by main-stream media. Why should they? Because he's an evangelical Christian lashing out against the telecast being taped Sunday against the filibuster.

    From Alternet (imbedded in an article about right-wing Catholics) Sen. Pryor said:

    We have a responsibility as Christians to be the salt and the light and make rhetoric, not be so vitriolic and quite so divisive. These folks are entitled to their political views, but it's presumptuous for them to think they represent all Christians in America, or even all evangelical Christians.

    I cannot find the report the article refers to, but the story continues to say that the conservative Arkansas Family Council refused to sign off on an attacked ad aimed at Pryor and Arkansas's other senator, Democrat Blanche Lincoln because it was "too confrontational".

    At least there are some people who don't resort to simplistic and hot-headed emotional appeals to advance one's agenda no matter the cost (or the moral contradictions).

    Thursday, April 21, 2005

    Judicial Activism and its power-drunk frat party

    As Republicans and the Religious Right sharpen their swords in this Crusade To Take Back America (by 50 years), they are ratcheting up their rhetoric saying that the employment of the filibuster by Senate Democrats is an act against "people of faith".

    The key date is April 24 as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist travels to Kentucky to participate in an anti-filibuster telecast sponsored by the Family Research Council. Notables also taking part are Dr. James Dobson (Spongebob is gay!) and Charles W. Colson (Watergate felon turned prison evangelist).

    Some history on the filibuster: It's been used by both parties to delay different kinds of bills over the past 110 years or so. Naturally, the party out of power uses it to the chagrin of the majority. article about the history of the filibuster and its relevance to today.

    An article written in 2002 (before this mess) to shed some light on its use and history.

    UPDATE: I came across this press release from Pax Christi USA, the "national Catholic peace movement", and they sum up pretty much the stance I have on this particular issue...

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Search Engine Wars - Episode II

    The numbers are in from March for highest number of searches within the Yahoo/Overture network.

    Tim Kaine:
    915 - tim kaine
    245 - tim kaine for governor
    1160 - TOTAL

    Jerry Kilgore:
    1001 - jerry kilgore
    124 - jerry kilgore for governor
    53 - attorney general jerry kilgore
    38 - jerry w kilgore
    27 - virginian for jerry kilgore
    1243 - TOTAL

    Bid amounts are unchanged from last time.

    BTW, Tom Kaine for governor this year!

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    Unfortunately, exaggeration isn't here

    Ganked rom:

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    UMW, FLS, WTF, LOL...ETC...oy

    I'm a little late on commenting on the living-wage campaign going on at the University of Mary Washington in my hometown of Fredericksburg. Here is an article describing the background... basically students are taking cue from their successful counterparts at Georgetown.

    This editorial disagrees with the concept of a "living wage" especially in regards to a state institution. Letters to the editor UMW is irresponsible in what it pays its employees and Editorial reflected disrespect for low-wage UMW employees basically sum up how I feel about the Free-Lance Star's reaction. I shall expand on these letters and try to add a little more insight.

    Stating that the university has an obligation to taxpayers to keep costs down and then arguing that low-paid workers can receive welfare benefits does not make sense. I am definitely not the best debater but I do believe that the second assertion negates the first. Taxpayers still pay one way or the other, yet a higher salary is the better moral option as the worker does not lose dignity when they apply for welfare.

    Additionally, I agree that we should hold state institutions to a different standard than private employers, but not in this. All places have an interest to keep costs down, whether they answer to taxpayers, share-holders, or consumers. Paying your employees enough to survive, especially in Fredericksburg's crazy-expensive housing market, is morally simple.

    The editorial also uses a broad brush to prove the living wage campaign is flawed because not every employee is a "head of the household". It then says this campaign will primarily help the housekeepers and groundskeepers. Newflash to the editor! State employees who have college degrees and who are head of the house (or are the only one) take "higher skilled" jobs and are paid the same wages. Have you seen the starting pay for many library assistant jobs at universities?

    Stereotypically dismissing the living-wage campaign and saying that the housekeepers, etc should be content because they have access to food-stamps is wrong. I agree with personal responsibility and I partly agree with the editor's charge to UMW to provide classes and training. If we're going to use broad stereotypes, then one can say that many of the workers probably have to have second jobs somewhere or families to raise and they don't have time to take the classes. You can always assume things when you want them to fit your argument.

    As one the of letters said, teaching a man to fish is useless if there are no fish in the pond. I say that paying workers more than peanuts gives them a renewed dignity and incentive to work harder: everyone wins.

    Sen. Allen and his paintbrush

    These two articles from the New York Times and the Washington Post explain how Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is in a no-win situation regarding the judicial nominations. If he doesn't exercise the "nuclear option" of "busting up" the Democrat's filibuster, he's going to be fileted over a spit by far-right wing Conservatives. If he does act, he risks a violent backlash from Democrats who have the power to stall everything in the Senate.

    However, Virginia's own Senator George Allen along with Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania are pushing Frist to press the button and change the rules to destroy the filibuster.

    Meanwhile, on April 24th Sen. Frist is heading to a "megachurch" in Kentucky to film a telecast organized by the Family Research Council portraying the filibuster as against people of faith. They're even going so far as saying that the filibuster was used to protect racial bias, justifying their cause.

    I'm sorry, equating racism with blocking 10 far-right wing judge's nominations is far-fetched and shaky at best. All people of faith should be ashamed to bring in this obvious moral issue (racism) against the filibuster. All people of faith don't see the filibuster as bad. (See image ganked from NYT.)

    Additionally, I believe Sen. Frist's attendance at this telecast sets a bad precedent and wholly intermixes church and state in a most improper way. The FRC plans to distribute this telecast for use in other churches to garner support in favor of using the nuclear option. Sen. John McCain seems to be the only level-headed Republican in saying he's against the option because Republicans are not always going to be in power. He also points out that the Judiciary Committee blocked several of President Clinton's nominations. Invoking the name of God for a power-grab and turning it into a "for us or against us" issue only embarrasses all Christians and distorts the true meaning of Christianity.

    I will not submit to a political litmus test to determine whether I really am a Christian or not. All Virginians should be worried about Senator Allen's involvement and ponder what it means as he angles for a presidential run in 2008.

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    judicial activism

    Fundamentalist Christians like to throw this term around referring to "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench". The general claim goes like this: "Obviously, polls show that the majority of Americans do not favor this judgement, and the judge is pushing his agenda while subverting the American people's will".

    Let's go back 51 years to 1954 and Brown vs. Board of Education. With a degree in history, I feel that I can safely say that the majority of Americans disagreed with the decision, especially since de-segregation wasn't fully realized for another 20 years.

    Are "activist" judges a bad thing overall, or is it only when they rule against what you believe?

    I can only come up with overly provocative questions as I write this, so I'm going to leave it right here.

    Update: I saw that the RTD has an article titled "Conservative attack on courts is the worst ever, except FDR's" explaining what's happening. Apparently Anthony Kennedy of the US Supreme Court because he disagreed with *GASP!* executing juveniles!!! How outrageous! Despicable! Of all the nerve to legislate that most important moral issue from the bench! How dare he?!?

    Give me a break. Hey DeLay, it's called "checks and balances" and you're getting checked. Stop whining and continue passing laws givine more money to your rich and corrupt friends at the expense of working families.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2005

    Something is fundamentally wrong

    The ex-CEO and President of AIG, an insurance provider, gave $2 billion worth of shares to his wife just before he was forced out of the company. He's accused of a questionable deal during his tenure at the helm of the company.

    Meanwhile the 99% of us who will never see $2 million much less $2 billion struggle to pay mortgage payments, maintain adequate health care coverage, and save money for retirement.

    But we have to stop the gays from marrying. Oh, I need my guns too. Yessir, those are the issues I vote for. Yep.


    Bad: As a state senator in Florida, accepting contributions from lobbyists to sponsor a trip to South Africa.
    Worse: Acknowledging in your solicitation that the money needed to be funnelled through another organization because of ethics rules.
    Worst: You happen to be on the ethics committee of the Florida State Senate.

    Corruption knows no party and all should go down. DeLay, the dude up in Vermont, and this winner from Florida. All.

    Vote for Tom Kaine!!

    I know this is a bit out of the scope of this blog, but taking a spin on tsuredzuregusa since I have access to both Google and Overture advertising sites for, I'd figure I'd check the bids for the top two gubernatorial candidates.

    In Overture (which covers MSN, Yahoo, etc), Tim Kaine is second in sponsored links under the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee's plea to vote for "Tom Kaine". Wow. Kaine is being outspent by a penny as his bid is at the minimum of $.10 a click. Notably Jerry Kilgore has not taken out an ad under the search result "Tim Kaine".

    Kilgore however is spending $.15 a click on his name to assure that "Find Jerry A Kilgore $9.95" and "Find - Instant Search" won't leap from $.11 each and rank higher. Kaine has his "wiped the floor" ad at $.10.

    Another fun fact... 915 people searched "Tim Kaine" within the Overture network during January while 1001 people searched for "Jerry Kilgore" and all related during the same period.

    Google is a little bit harder to ascertain the exact amount for bids. However, when I entered both candidate's names to try to figure out the "optimal" cost per click (which promises to show up in the top position 85% of the time) $.05 is currently the 1.0 spot for both names. Again note that Jerry Kilgore has taken out an ad on Tim Kaine's name only in Google while Kaine has Kilgore pegged in both Overture and Yahoo.

    I'll try to track any changes and see if any bidding wars ensue...

    Rant on political commonsense in D minor

    This doesn't specifically address Virginia politics, but definitely suits it. These rants are primarily used to help dump what's on mind onto something tangible. If it makes someone think and reconsider their own beliefs, whatever they are, then that's awesome.

    "If life matters, prove it"

    I am disgusted at all the money spent by Christian groups on proving Creation or disproving evolution, all the money to have abortion illegal, and all the money spent to block gay marriage and then to hear a government reject tax breaks for the working poor or whatever because "that's not what government is supposed to do". I'm tired of any issue that helps the disadvantaged being labeled as "left-wing". I'm tired of having a loud and vocal minority of Christian fundamentalists claim to speak for all Christians, including myself, when instead they're discrediting the true nature of Christianity. I hate having to write stuff like this to fellow Christians and citizens and ask "what does it all matter?". If the far right wing faction of the Republicans view that our government's primary function is to lower taxes, protect guns, protect unborn babies, kill murderers, and legislate our bedrooms, then we're in trouble. If the "right to life" movement only covers those just entering or leaving life, I pray that I'm not the only one that can follow the logic and see that we need to protect those who are currently alive.

    The 'Why?' paragraph aka "Asking To Much"

    Why can't we approach each other as human beings, accept each others beliefs as valid (even if we strongly disagree) and come to the table and compromise? Why not say that evolution is a theory but God could have used that as a tool in his Creation? Why criminalize abortion when we can focus efforts on giving choices for adoption, explaining how sex works and how one gets pregnant, and giving tax breaks to young single mothers? Why spend all this time blocking gay marriage as a threat to the "institution of marriage" and start working on the legitimate threats to marriage? Why not start working on our own marriages more? Why not spend all this time and resources and actually solve some concrete and everyday problems?

    Down to a personal note
    I recently married my amazing wife and we're currently starting to think about buying a house. However, low salaries and the high health insurance rates are proving obstacles that we have to overcome. When we start having children I want to work only one job relatively close to my house. I want my wife to stay at home if she wishes. Why? Because I want to spend time with my family. Why? Because that strengthens marriage. The family is the most basic social system of our society... the family begins to break down when both parents work a full-time job combined with long commutes and stresses over paying bills. It's these people who look at their budget and say "by George if I wasn't paying as much in taxes we'd have more money!". If they would step away and instead say "We'd have a better quality of life if we could afford to spend more time at home."

    The witty zinger
    Let's get off the bully pulpit and stop playing God and start continuing Jesus's work on this Earth and work on real family issues.

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    Some simple questions on my mind...

    After a busy, productive, yet relaxing weekend, time to re-focus this blog. I definitely did not expect the bruhaha that occured last week, but nor do I intend to shy away from it. Instead, it's time for undisputable facts to be found instead of dancing in circles talking past one another. Granted, there's generally no winning an argument with a politician, because, well, they're convinced they're always right. Else, they wouldn't be running for office to right the wrongs they perceive. Anyways, I'll be monitoring the election in the 54th as well as following other primaries where the "so-called liberal" incumbent Republican faces a challenger. If I find anything, I'll post it here and ask questions and then let anyone who wishes to take it from there... I want to keep this up on the high road yet took a bit of turn into the fray that is election politics... back up the hill to observe and stimulate thinking among my "choir"... all 3 of you.

    Oh, I bought Jim Wallis's book over the weekend, God's Politics... Thus, many posts in the next few weeks will probably stem from that as I slowly read it at night...


  • Why are abortion and gay-marriage the only "moral issues"? Last time I checked, economics is a moral issue, health is a moral issue, education is a moral issue, poverty is a moral issue. If one can state that the government can protect un-born children and marriage, it can certainly protect the hungry, the un-insured, and the disadvantaged. From a true Christian standpoint based on the fundamental teachings of Jesus, one cannot ignore the social injustices committed around us everyday. (Rephrasing of question: On your way to protest abortion to the state capitol/White House/etc, how many homeless people did you step over and walk by?)

  • How, after splitting with Northern counterparts over slavery 160 years ago, is it that the Southern Baptists are closely aligned with Republicans today, a party started to eradicate slavery? (The answer is not simply "times have changed"... this must be contemplated over the course of history our country has taken since the end of the Civil War).

  • Following that, how is it that the Southern Baptists were the only "mainstream" Christian denomination to come out for the war in Iraq? (As a Baptist myself I cringe at the inner-politics of the Convention... why else do you think I started this blog?)

  • Why are people still trying to make Terri Schiavo's plight a black and white issue when it clearly isn't?

  • Why can't we as human beings engage others as human beings? Terri Schiavo has turned into an object, a political and moral football if you will, and that is simply not respecting her dignity as a person. Heck, I'll assert that it isn't "pro-life".

  • Why must people feel the need to pursue their "pro-life" agenda by killing abortion doctors and threatening Judge Greer? (As one of my ministers at the church I grew up with and a reader of this blog says, "I'll take a crazy guy with a gun any day over a calm 'pro-life' activist contemplating murdering an abortion doctor".

  • And last but not least, why is it so hard for Shaun Kenney to open up his FredTalk posts? :)

  • Friday, April 08, 2005

    Update on Shaun Kenney and the 54th

    What started this teapot tempest? I was glancing through some posts on FredTalk, something I've only just started doing. I grew up in Fredericksburg and try to keep up with what's going on. I noticed some criticism of Shaun Kenney, noted that he was a member, found that all of his posts were deleted, and read his blog at his website. Immediately my "contradiction alarms" went off.

    Quoting a person on FredTalk who assembled some of his favorite Shaun Kenney quotes rightfully invited criticism of context and flow of conversation bias. Hence, my second post I tried to clear any perceived spin and look at words straight from the source. I drew my questions and concerns straight from an original posting and compared it to what others were saying about him and what he is now saying as part of his campaign. Those original posts came from him and him only and were not influenced by the conversation that ensued. Here is a followup along those lines...

    Who exactly is he appealing to in this campaign (I ask again!)? He wrote that SB 1338 is a slap to "people of faith"... what if I consider myself a person of faith and yet this doesn't offend me? How many other people with those views are out there? My original beef with his comment and my beef with many politicians (and a large reason why this blog was started) is painting all Christians as right-wingers willing to vote for anyone criticizing abortion, homosexual issues, etc. (An aside that is all to common in this blog: Who and what did Jesus exert all of his efforts and time with? Oh yeah, the poor, the disabled, the sick... Vote for Jesus!)

    I want to investigate further but I cannot because the posts are gone. Shaun responded and said that it simply stopped being fun and questioned my skeptism of the timing. Why do the posts say "Deleted by Brian"? I have more questions than answers at the point and I simply want to balance out the truth. He also granted me an online interview, but let me state here that I cannot submit questions and post an accurate record of that interview without first looking at his posts. (and no Shaun, I've tried Google and and the result is still the same... the forum is scripted and the posts are still deleted. Please open them up again like you said you would if there was a clamor for it.)

    Remember, he posted an average of 11 times a day for over 2 years. Accordingly, people on that forum are familiar with him. From glancing at some threads he was a part of over the last 2 years and some comments people are making now, I have questions. Some of the stuff he apparently wrote and what people are writing about him now is pretty radical and lively debate seems to always follow. I merely want to see what he wrote and wonder why and how he drew such criticism from people.

    If he posted only a handful of times over the past few years, big deal... I'd more than likely write it off. I might have one or two questions if I saw a difference between then and now, but the sheer bulk of posts he made and the controversy that seemed to ensue is worth investigating. Apparently he won some people over within the forums and he turned other people off. I want to see why and how this happened, and I want to compare it with what he is saying now.

    Ask for him to open up his posts and hold him to what he has said in the past. I cannot say it enough... we can only primarily focus on the threads he initiated, because those posts came straight from his head and hard and were not influenced by "forum trolls" or the discussion thereafter.

    Edit: Read the other posts on this topic:

    Remember the 54th! Or something...
    The 54th and a chopping block
    Update on the 54th primary
    Beating the old (54th) horse
    Kenney and his promises - 5/5/05

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    The 54th and a chopping block

    Just quotes here... take it how you want.

    Candidate Shaun Kenney: "While supporters claim the bill [SB 1338] is a free enterprise initiative that will make Virginia a more competitive business environment, newspapers like the Richmond Times Dispatch saw through the spin, appropriately labeling their story, Health Coverage for Gay Couples Set....our delegate voted wrong on the bill."

    Supporters of Kenney: "I also share Shaun's belief in traditional family values, which he vows to defend against activist judges and revisionist lawmakers." - Letter to the Editor, Free-Lance Star

    Another supporter: "I will not support anyone who refuses to be honest about his record....There is one Shaun that I will trust--Spotsylvania Republican Committee Chairman Shaun Kenney." Letter to the Editor, Free-Lance Star

    Yet another supporter: "I hope this year the voters will look more at the candidates' records and not at the campaign rhetoric." Letter to the Editor, Free-Lance Star

    Poster Kenney, 9/12/03: "This could be placing my proverbial head on the chopping block, but here goes. . .

    It seems as if there is a lack of distinction between a moral act and an ethical condonence of an act. For instance with homosexuality, there is a majority in the United States that believes that morality is unacceptable behaviour, but there is a roughly equal number of people who have no problem with homosexuality as the freely exercised rights of that individual.

    As a Catholic, I do not believe homosexual acts to be moral. But to take the extreme position of stating that they have no right to participate in everyday activities, that their opinions should be ridiculed or sidesteped for convenience, or that they are somehow less-than-valued members of society is an incorrect belief.

    In short, I am not writing to defend a morality of homosexual conduct. What I am saying is that homosexuals are indeed a part of today's American framework, and rather than slinging Bible verses at them we should be engaging in a more respectful tone that doesn't revert to namecalling or ignorance - and that goes for both sides.

    An ethical response in American eyes would be to share one's opinion on the matter and then leave things be. (original emphasis) Excessive moralizing can be just as dangerous as unchecked notions of morality."

    FredTalk Posting (his post is deleted, but disillusionedx2's post quotes him roughly half-way down)

    Is he really the hard-core family protecting 2nd Amendment lover that he's now telling Spotsylvania he'll be in office? Is he "leaving things be" by running for office? Or is he opportunistic? That's all questions that constituents of the 54th deserve to truthfully know.

    The rat stink gets, well, smellier...

    As I have more time to find quotes, and not so-called spin, I'll post them here.

    Edit: Read the other posts on this subject...

    Remember the 54th! Or something...
    Update on Shaun Kenney and the 54th
    Update on the 54th primary
    Beating the old (54th) horse
    Kenney and his promises - 5/5/05

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    Remember the 54th! Or something...

    Spotsylvania Republican Party Chairman Shaun Kenney is challenging Del. Bobby Orrock in the 54th district's Republican primary this spring.

    Apparently he has a lot to hide. FredTalk is a popular forum hosted by the Free-Lance Star, Fredericksburg's local newspaper. His personal profile reveals that he has been a member since December 2002 and posted 8,688 times.

    All are deleted. Let me repeat. ..:: All are deleted ::..

    FredTalk user "mfloyd" culled a statement made by Shaun "the candidate" versus Shaun "the forum poster". The link is under a thread talking about losing one's job and the post is somewhat of a threadjack... scroll down for the post.


    Candidate Kenney rails against Gov. Warner for signing SB 1338 allowing companies to give benefits to domestic partners, heterosexual or homosexual.

    Forum Poster Kenney believes:

  • "...that the state shouldn't be involved awarding marriages, as that is a religious precept."
  • "everyone has the right to do as they please (feel the libertarian streak?) so long as they do not harm anyone else."
  • "...but at the end of the day the choice to do the right thing and live a good moral life is up to you - not to the state."
  • "The state exists to protect the rights of individuals, not to proscribe their behavior."
  • "Insofar as the state has no right to usurp the authority of the Church, the state has no right to define what is or what is not a marriage."

    Wow, how did he move from a libertarian/conservative to social conservative, and why is he covering the tracks of his shift? This pdf from Kenney's website describes his beef with Orrock.

    If elected, apparently Kenney will spend the entire time going against his previous beliefs and focus his energy on the protection of the unborn and gun-owners.

    Edit:Check out other posts on this subject:

    The 54th and a chopping block
    Update on Shaun Kenney and the 54th
    Update on the 54th primary
    Beating the old (54th) horse
    Kenney and his promises - 5/5/05

  • Richmond may not be as backward after-all...

    Last night my wife, father, and I accidently crashed a members-only screening of the movie "Mystery of the Nile" at the Science Museum of Virginia IMAX theater. (We wanted to see Harry Potter and didn't see any information that it was not showing... can't argue with free though!)

    The director of the museum, Walter Witschey, opened the screening with news and tidbits about new exhibits and whatnot. He mentioned the "teapot tempest" regarding IMAX theaters and "controversial" movies, as previously mentioned here. He mentioned the Times-Dispatch article and deemed it fairly accurate.

    However, the article gave the impression that the SMV caved into pressure from the Religious Right not to show the film. That indeed was not the case.

    As the article mentioned, the reason the SMV did not choose to air the film "Volcanoes" was that a year before they screened the film before two test audiences and they received a "lukewarm" response. Witschey went on last night to say that the exact words were "dull, boring, not so great". Thus, the museum will not show the film because there are countless other films to show that are more exciting and that will bring more viewers.

    I'm assuming that what he said last night was the truth because this was in front of people who give a fair amount of money to the SMV. I learned a lesson of reading in-between the lines of newspapers and it further ingrained the lesson that just because the words are in print doesn't make them true.