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Showing posts from August, 2006

Anonymity Online And The New KKK

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Virginia and much of the South were once awash with members of the Ku Klux Klan. Membership in the 1920’s was estimated at 4 to 5 million or about 15% of the nation’s eligible population. My grandfather was a member and my cousin still has his white hooded robe. This was an organization that found its justification in Biblical interpretations and an assumption of righteousness.

And in the anonymity of darkness and those hoods, they struck out at those who were different, those for whom they held bias, intolerance, and discrimination.

With today’s new culture and technology, there are still those anonymous haters, who now float around the web, posting hate, ignorance, and wrapping their righteousness in the robes of their own type of Biblical interpretation, and spouting their own bias, intolerance, and discrimination – aloof to rational argument – certainly not open-minded, certainly not available to reason or Socratic debate. They ride popular extremism and are emboldened in their …

The Marriage Amendment -- A Lose, Lose Proposition

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Polls are favoring passage of Virginia’s proposed marriage amendment. The approximate 250,000 strong gay population have been too timid to come out of the closet on this issue or to part with enough of their mocha latte money to effect realistic media campaigns against this spiteful legislation.

On the heels on this throwback to good ole boy politics, and red neck ignorance and prejudice, the state will accrue little if any benefit, and the gay community will exist at least for some more decades in the dark ages of Virginia’s religious right fascism. Expect hate crimes to increase as fringe elements see this as permission.

The conservative community that is pushing this amendment has yet to rationally explain why this amendment is needed. And more importantly, apart from the amendment, they have not been willing to state what specific benefits, normally the rights of a straight couple, would they give or deny to a gay couple?

These people can only cite simplistic clich├ęs such as “God…

Richmond - Worse Than Death

Not long ago I saw the movie “The Hours” on DVD. At one point Nicole Kidman playing Virginia Wolfe says:

“This is my right; it is the right of every human being. I choose not the suffocating anesthetic of the suburbs, but the violent jolt of the Capital, that is my choice. The meanest patient, yes, even the very lowest is allowed some say in the matter of her own prescription. Thereby she defines her humanity. I wish, for your sake, Leonard, I could be happy in this quietness. [pause] But if it is a choice between Richmond and death, I choose death”.

Although she was referring to a city in England, she might as well have been voicing my sentiments for Richmond, Virginia. For with this city’s proud history and heritage, its large population, and its economy, it suffers dreadfully in its offerings of any real semblance of a quality of life.

This is primarily due to two intractable and pernicious and pervasive problems: the failure to integrate black and white communities, and the suffoc…

Is Democracy Dying?

Perhaps Chesterfield County is not a microcosm of America – but I argue it is a microcosm of much of America. And this is my view of the politics of this county of about 300,000 residents, and of what I contend has become a farce of democracy.

I don’t argue that the county is not functioning – it is. I don’t argue that the county is not growing and prosperous – it is. I don’t argue that necessary and essential public services aren’t provided – they are. But I do argue that the concept of a bottom up democracy, inclusive of the population, based on a rational, involved, and balanced representation that percolates the needs and values of the populace is not working. Democracy has failed.

What evidence is there for such a rash allegation? I offer the following, none of which should be a surprise to anyone, but which I suggest shows a pervasive, insidious, even dangerous trend, and a reality that bodes poorly for our future.

There is not a connectedness between people and their gov…