February 28, 2006

Commonwealth College Republicans

I have always been proud to be a member of the College Republicans here at the University of Virginia. I have been aware of the organization that exists not just at the local level at UVa, but throughout the Commonwealth as a whole. The CRFV leads the organizations from each school, and each organization has worked very well with others and internally.

However, I have heard a number of stories recently that are starting to concern me. First, I was frustrated with the allegations and method of reporting concerning some prank calls. Then, a CR was taken out of context, through a comment that probably should not have been said without a little more thought. And now, the GMU CRs have taken offense to a blog post at Too Conservative and blamed a freshman CR for it. This has got to stop.

I will not say that the UVa CRs are without their problems. With so many motivated individuals, it is understandable that differences will arise and mistakes will be made, but dealing with these issues has become something of a weakness. As I stated earlier, the order within the College Republicans is great, and the potential they have is enormous; few people hear how much many of them do, and they often go underappreciated by campaigns and voters. Still, these little issues add up, and can only serve to drag down the CRs, no matter what they are able to accomplish otherwise.

I am not trying to attack the CRs; if anything, I hate doing this sort of thing to those who I feel so loyal to. But it is very apparent that many of them need a wake-up call. As I commented on neocon22's post:
No more BS. Deal with your issues, take criticism with stride, and put any issues you have had behind you. Infighting will only prove the old proverb "together we stand, divided we fall".
The line must be drawn here, and no further.

February 27, 2006

This week's Virginia Blog Carnival

It is hard to believe that this week marks the 25th week of the Virginia Blog Carnival. I have not contributed much, but I have paid attention to it over the last few months. This week's marks some interesting developments. NoVA Democrat has taken the responsibility this week, but his methods in posting the carnival have been seen as less than appropriate.

Kilo, J. Sarge, I'm Not Emeril, and Doug all have their feelings about it. J. Sarge has this to say:
Although there is no partisan editorializing, there is some nose-rubbing regarding the 2005 elections.
This is what I'm Not Emeril said:
I will continue my permanent link near the top of my left sidebar, and will continue to submit articles from time to time, but I implore my fellow Virginia Bloggers to attempt to get this thing back on track. Let's highlight Virginia, Virginia History, and Virginia's peoples. Not play out partisan politics on a weekly display before our fellow bloggers.
In my prior two submissions, I commented on Cal Ripken as a role model, and the relatively unknown brown dwarf stars, both entirely unpolitical in nature (though the first one was arguably socially motivated). I tried to follow the initial request by Chad concerning the VBC:
Remember, this is a non-partisan Carnival.
Waldo concurred:
Virginia needs a carnival of its own. Though the well-known Virginia bloggers are all political, I'd like to see a round-up of blog entries on all kinds of topics, one that is decided non-partisan. It'd be a great way to get attention for lesser-known blogs, and for politically-minded people to discover the blog world outside of politics.
Apparently, this has skipped past many involved. From my count, I can see that there are more than twenty links that are political in nature in the current carnival, and that is considering that there are not even thirty links, including two each to Raising Kaine (two political links), Republitarian (one political link), and Commonwealth Conservative (it is good to see that Chad has not lost the spirit of non-partisan links). Tack on at least three partisan comments by NoVA Democrat, and it looks like the Carnival may have jumped the shark.

I will continue to peruse the Virginia Blog Carnivals, but I agree that I would like to see a change to these. We have plenty of time and server space to comment on politics, but an escape every once in a while should be relished. Remember the "Save the Rainforest" and "Save the Whales" campaigns? Though it seems like it has come far too soon, it may be time for a "Save the VBC" campaign.

February 23, 2006

Sad News

By now, some of you may have heard about the plane crash in Fredericksburg that happened last night. Sadly, one of my friends lost a loved one in this crash. Though blogging has, admittedly, been light recently, expect it to remain so for the time being because of this accident. Please pray for the families of the victims (as well as for those of the other tragic crash that occurred in Bowie, Maryland).

February 22, 2006

Endorsements for this years student elections

This post may not affect many readers, as it directly involves University of Virginia students, but no one else. With the election only a couple days away (please, vote; it is a sad case that so few students do), I figured I would put in my two cents for a few of the positions.

Student Council President - Sam White
I can confidently stand behind Sam. He is a man of great character who wants things to be done here at the University of Virginia. As I stated earlier, many students are apathetic when it comes to student self-governance, and Sam wants to change this. He is looking to get students involved early, as soon as they start here at the University of Virginia, before they get locked into other organizations around grounds. By making the office a personal one, student self-governance will again stand for something. He has also been a strong proponent for eliminating the use of social security numbers as student IDs (and I can assure you that Sam is well aware of how concerned I am about this issue), and he is nothing but frank and honest. He may not get the key to the office (i.e., the UDems endorsement), but he is extremely qualified for the position.

Executive Vice-President - Ezana Tsehaye Teferra
I am not very aware of either of the candidates in this election, but Ezana appears to be a good choice who cares greatly about the Univesity community.

Vice President for Organizations - Catherine Tobin
To some, this may be a surprising choice (probably most of all Catherine herself?). She is a Democrat, and a self-proclaimed "moderate" (*shiver*), but I know her to be a hard worker who is fully prepared for the position. While I am unsure of how urgent the need is for expansion on Newcomb (one of her main points, but does UVa have money available for such a project?), she is looking to increase appropriations to allow for travel, something that is currently disregarded. I suspect she will be a favorite entering this election, as she has already received an endorsement from the Cavalier Daily and likely will from the University Democrats, but she should do a fine job in the position.

Honor Committee College Representatives -
Brian O'Neill - Supports the Consensus Clause.
Kendall Fox - Looking to increase knowledge of and involvement in the Honor system.
A-J Aronstein - Wants to show that the Honor system is more than just the Single Sanction.

Arts and Science Council President - No endorsement for now.‡

Judiciary Committee Arts & Sciences Representative - No endorsement for now.‡

(‡ - These may be updated later).

- Consensus Clause Amednment - Vote Yes. The Multiple Sanction will not raise trust around grounds. Students will see less reason to avoid cheating, and students will be no more likely to turn others in. The most effective way to cut down on cheating is to make the trial process easier, and to maintain the current tough standards. The fact that so few students can change something that has existed for more than a century and a half and has played such a large role in the University's history is a shame, and this change will be a benefit, not a burden.
- Triviality - Vote No. One might argue that "serious" and "not trivial" are very similar, but "not trivial" may be less effective than "serious", so I see little reason to make such a change.
- Change to UJC Constitution - Vote No. This is essentially a hate-speech clause, which could result on legal action being taken on the University, as it could be judged as unconstitutional. The only way motivation should play a part in a UJC (or any) trial is whether the action was intentional or accidental.
- Social Security Numbers - Vote Yes. This is a no-brainer. With identity theft a real concern, why should we have to throw around our SSNs if we forget our ID card?
- Living Wage - Vote No. While I would very much like it if all University employees could receive all the money they needed, such a move would likely only endanger the jobs of some of the positions that are considered less necessary.
- Renewable Energy - No endorsement. Five dollars is not much, but will it do the job?

February 17, 2006

Greenland should remain as it is supposed to...not green.

Recently, a NASA scientist has accused the Bush administration of gagging him, concerning global warming. His main argument concerns the ice breaking up in Greenland. But it appears that Shaun Kenney has found a rebuttal, showing that hurricanes and glacial melting, much like weather in general, runs cyclically. I guess the scientist from NASA needs to catch up on his research.

February 14, 2006

Democrats shoot themselves in the foot again.

While some are gearing up for the challenge given to Senator Allen, (of which they should not get too cocky, as this will be a tough race for Webb as well), others are making the mistake of allowing one of their stronger candidates get away.
"For me, this is a second betrayal," Mr. Hackett said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."
Democrats get excited with the prospect that Republicans are weak, and are allowing large holes which are giving Democrats an opportunity. The funny thing is, they manage to drop the ball everytime it is handed to them. What's the response? Interestingly, there is a bit of outrage. Lowell is, to be blunt, obviously pissed, and The Stuffed Tiger has this to say:
For a blogger that loves to stand on principle, I find Kos's resigned acceptance of this forced decision disappointing. At a certain point, the Party is lost when it can't run exciting candidates that push the envelope. Perhaps that point is when even Markos and many of this community are resigned to Democrats sniping vets.
I must say that I am surprised that so many of them are that angry over this, but I am also surprised that they did not see something like this coming. The power in the Democratic party is held solely by the most liberal members within the party. They keep the plain-speaking Democrats who more closely resemble your average Democrat away from the real power (Democrats read; "moderate": Republicans read; leaning liberal), believing that their authority will teach us all a lesson. Want Mark Warner as president in '09? Do not bet on it. Though I seriously doubt she will be representing the Democrats, Hillary Clinton has her sights set on the Democratic nomination, and others such as Ted Kennedy and Diane Feinstein will likely aid her in that pursuit, specifically targeting Mark Warner in the primaries. And James Webb might be a favorite now, but how long before he becomes the far-left puts a bullseye on his back?

Democrats could do themselves a favor and vote such politicians out of power, in particular, Kennedy, Clinton, and Feinstein in '06. But there seems to be little reason to believe that any of these three will lose their seats, and while there is no way to tell right now who will be in the White House in '09, the far left wing of that party will continue to drag the rest of the Democratic party down with them.

Not that I am complaining.

Perhaps V should stand for virginity

Massachusetts has required that Wal-mart stock the "morning-after pill".

One thing that I always wonder about; contraception is usually paired with "women's health" when spoken of. Why is that? Last I heard, pregnancy is far from an illness.

But ending a pregnancy could be deadly.

February 13, 2006

A real mess

I missed CPAC this weekend due to sickness, but it sounds like a real mess developed from it. Irresponsible actions occurred, but what may be worse is the response.

Not Larry Sabato is reporting on a crank call that is allegedly the responsibility of some of the William & Mary College Republicans. This call went to a National Guard student the day before his duty, and it occurred Friday night at CPAC, undoubtedly after a little too much celebration that evening. Apparently, one member of the W&M CRs (later found to not be a W&M student, but a VT) in particular conducted the call, posing as an ACLU attorney eager to help with a case concerning voting rights in Williamsburg. It appears that NLS was aware of this infraction as the victim of the call is a technical adviser to him, and it appears that he was targeted due to his liberal leanings. A few others have been allegedly called, including Rev. Jerry Falwell himself, though few details are given concerning those incidents. A disappointing incident indeed, but the response has shown even less class.

As mentioned earlier, NLS started by accusing the caller, posting this member's name, phone number, and even a picture (which has since been removed), allowing the caller to become a target. Some assertions that are made are correct; the caller falsely posed as someone else, and would be subject to criminal charges. As such, this caller should have been reported to the police, not exposed to everyone who read NLS earlier today. "Well, CR UVa, sounds like just desserts, right?" I do not see it that way. The caller was joking; as inappropriate as the actions of this and other students were, they may become targets of something far more harsh. While the majority of those reading Virginia blogs are cordial and polite, there are exceptions. And even though the full name of the caller has been removed, the first name remains at the end of the post with the full names of two others allegedly involved in the situation. This allows for three direct targets, not to mention the William and Mary College Republicans.

What's worse, after the first few paragraphs, this starts to sound like a tirade against the College Republicans, rather than the individuals responsible. This is entirely unfair. College Republicans, by far, are responsible and hard-working. It is rare that any members involve themselves in something so controversial (if you can truly call this controversial). How do prank calls warrant the post's name of "Virginia College Republican/CPAC Scandal?" Titling the post with "Virginia College Republicans" implies a far wider spread than that which exists. And calling this a scandal diminishes the impact of a real scandal, such as embezzlement or bribery.

This is a joke gone quite wrong; it becomes quite obvious that drinking and phones should not mix. But the response has not been any better; real concern over these events should result in calls to the proper authorities, not a five-cent tabloid article and cheers from the peanut gallery.

Too Conservative has been covering it here and here.

UPDATE 2/14 8:50 PM: Kilo puts gives his thoughts as well, and he proves why we are told to listen to our elders.

February 09, 2006


At the current time, I am feeling a little sick, so I am unsure of whether I will make it to CPAC tomorrow. I may be up there tomorrow, pending an improvement in health, but I cannot say for certain right now. For now, you can get coverage of the event over at Too Conservative.

February 06, 2006

A couple announcements

From the prompting of Too Conservative, I have added a title image. I may choose to improve on it soon, but I think it looks pretty good for now. Any suggestions?

Also, like Too Conservative (and Arin of Donor Town Square), I shall be in attendance at CPAC, as I have been the past three years. My hope is to do some blogging during the conference, but if I am unable to, I will post about it on Sunday or Monday. If any other bloggers are heading up there (I will be there Friday and Saturday), I hope I get the chance to meet some of you.

Happy Birthday!

This seems to be getting neglected today (shame on all conservative bloggers!), but if he were still alive, today would be Ronald Reagan's 95th birthday. Seen as the model for many of today's Republican leaders (sadly, few come close to living up to his name), Ronald Reagan led the United States through the Cold War, showed conservative values in the White House, and even was able to free 66 hostages in Iran without lifting a finger (the hostage takers knew exactly how Reagan would have dealt with them, though today's terrorists are a bit bolder, or maybe just more foolish).

President Bush is better than most give him credit, but he is no Reagan. Potential presidential candidate Senator Allen may be better still, but Reagan still has his number. And can anyone say Chad Dotson in '16? He would have large shoes to fill as well. Ronald Wilson Reagan was the best president of the last fifty years, and it will be a long time before we have another like him (perhaps Lighthorse Harry/Old Zach in '40?).

February 02, 2006

My Four Things

Dang, I got double tagged, by Old Zach and Lighthorse Harry. Oh well, I guess I should not complain about a few additional hits from these.

Four jobs I've had
1. Babysitter (eh, had to make money somehow when I was younger).
2. Research assistant
3. Sales associate at a retail store
4. Go-fer

Four movies I can watch over and over
1. 12 Angry Men
2. Office Space
3. The Incredibles
4. Zoolander

Four Places I've lived
1. Virginia Beach, VA
2. Columbia, MD
3. Ashburn, VA
4. Charlottesville, VA

Four TV shows I love
1. Star Trek
2. Blue Collar TV
3. Quantum Leap
4. Gargoyles (yes, it is a cartoon, but it has a very complex storyline, even utilizing many characters from Shakesperean myth)

Four place I have vacationed
1. Ocean City, MD
2. Simi Valley, CA
3. Orlando, FL
4. New York City, NY (sorry, I've never left the United States in my life)

Four of my favorite dishes
1. My mother's fried chicken
2. Five Guy's burger and fries
3. Pizza
4. Lasagna

Four sites I visit daily (other than this one)
1. The Sabre
2. ESPN.com
3. Facebook
4. Mac Bytes

Four places I would rather be right now
(what, is here not good enough?)
1. Scott Stadium
2. University Hall (or JPJ Stadium next year)
3. Camden Yards
4. FedEx Field

Four bloggers I am tagging
No one. It looks like almost everyone in Virginia has been hit with this anyway, so no point in calling on people who have already been tagged seven times now.

February 01, 2006


After last night's rebuttal to the State of the Union speech, this is all I can think of.
What? Photoshop is too expensive, and I'm sure you get the idea.

The State of the Union

Along with Old Zach and Lighthorse Harry of Sic Semper Tyrannis and Thomas More of Icythus (who also happened to liveblog the speech), among others, I watched the State of the Union. It was good, though not his best (I guess President Bush will never be able to top the speech he gave on September 20th, 2001). He covered the essentials; supporting our troops, lowering taxes, and fixing social security (where the Democrats showed some very poor form during the speech), but I was a little unsure of a couple things. First, he still does not seem to be very firm on illegal immigrants. He talked some tough talk, but then returned to his amnesty program. Please Mr. President, lets get tough on illegal immigration. And second, President Bush spoke of lowering taxes and spending, but then introduced some new programs that would need additional spending. Still, he was better than Tim Kaine in his response. I believe Tim Kaine is stuck in one of either of two situations: he has absolutely no control of that eyebrow and his hands, or he used them to hypnotize Virginians into voting for him. Regardless, all Tim Kaine said during his rebuttal was that the United States needed "a better way". Of course, he never really defined what "a better way" is, but who really wants to be bogged down with such details?

Regardless of how this speech turned out, things are going fairly well for Republicans right now. Samuel Alito was confirmed. President Bush is seeing an upswing in his ratings. And Ted Kennedy's head is spinning faster than a top. I hope this trend continues.

UPDATE 1:05 AM: It appears that Chris Muir feels the same way about Tim Kaine's response.