Spiga

The New Virginia Beach Progressives

Virginia Beach Progressives is growing up! It's moved to it's new domain over at www.vbprogressives.com, and has a totally new design! Head over and check it out, and don't forget to update your bookmarks and blogrolls!

The RSS feed hasn't changed, so for those who have subscribed; you'll receive all the new posts on the new site on the same feed.

President-Elect Obama's Thanksgiving Message

Happy Thanksgiving

Repent Turkey



I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. May we all take inventory of what we have been blessed with, and continually seek to bless the lives of others. Let's also take a moment to remember the troops who are away from home, and be thankful for their sacrifice.

Obama's Weekly "Radio" Addresses

In another display of Barack Obama and his team using new media like never seen before, he is using YouTube to broadcast the Democratic weekly radio address. I highly approve of this usage, as his updates will reach a far wider audience throughout the use of YouTube than if only carried on radio waves. Here are the first two, I'll be posting them weekly as available from this point on.



Council candidate's son lost to street violence

Karlton Robert Jackson, son of 2008 Virginia Beach City Council candidate Andrew Jackson, was fatally wounded in a shooting on West 41st Street in Norfolk, near ODU student housing. Jackson's death represents the very worst of the increasing problems plaguing the area around ODU, especially in the student housing area.

The City of Norfolk and Old Dominion University are working together to try to make the area safer, but many are wondering if their efforts are enough.

One student has started a Facebook group named "ODU IS NOT SAFE!!!!!!!", where he describes the scene after Jackson was shot, and claims that the response time by police and emergency crews was poor and not balanced with response times seen in non-emergency situations.

If anyone has any information about this shooting, please call 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Police have yet to make any arrests in this case.

My thoughts go out to Andrew Jackson and his family during this difficult time. A public viewing will be held on Monday, November 24th, from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Beach Funeral Services, 4456 Bonney Road in Virginia Beach. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 25th, at 1:00 PM at First Baptist Church, 418 East Bute Street in Norfolk.

Funding the transition?

David Plouffe, Campaign Manager, Obama for America, sent an e-mail out a few days ago. The e-mail reads as follows: team the same way.

I have a special request for you.

The Obama-Biden Transition Project is a nonpartisan entity whose purpose is to facilitate the transition to a new government and prepare for the next administration.

In the past, efforts like these have often been very secretive and funded by the D.C. lobbying and corporate community.

But, like in the campaign, we've decided to do things differently.

For the first time, transition efforts won't be financed with donations from Washington lobbyists and PACs -- which means we'll need to keep asking for your help. Your generosity during the campaign helped get us here, but building a more transparent and open government means continuing to rely on a broader group of people to do this the right way.

We only have a few weeks to assess the state of the federal agencies, prepare our agenda, and staff key positions in the new administration. Your support right now will be crucial to helping us accomplish these goals.

Will you help support the urgent mission of our transition team with a donation of $25 or more?

https://donate.barackobama.com/transition

You know that we got here by building this campaign from the ground up. We're committed to building the White House team the same way.


I'm really not sure what to think by this continued request for funds. This isn't the first time the Obama team has done this. Another request was made on behalf of the DNC not too long ago, asking that we help pay off the debts incurred by the 50 state program.

Neither of these two requests have much appeal to me, and I wonder just how many are actually giving through the Obama team post-election. It's sort of like being asked to fund the travel expenses, or a set of new fine china, for the first family by way of our small Internet donations. It may have worked to fund a campaign, but I'm sure many eyebrows are being raised by the request for additional donations now.

Obama isn't the only one asking for money. Hillary Clinton, possible Secretary of State, is still trying to raise funds to pay off the debt she incurred during her primary campaign. For the low donation of $50, you can get a DVD "with Hillary's historic speech in Denver, the inspiring video that introduced her and President Clinton's remarks as well. It will also include a special message that Hillary recorded just for you and never before seen photos from the campaign trail."

What do you think? Have or will you contribute to these causes?

Dismay over how votes fell this fall

Sorry about the title. I just couldn't help doing a little word play, and needed to have a little bit of fun with it.

Virginia Beach elected officials aren't happy with local elections coinciding with national and state elections held in November. One can understand why. I mean, the ousting of many officials with decades of service has to make everyone a little more edgy as they recognize just how much more volatile an election can be when you go from 16% turnout to 70%. That understanding aside, the arguments being made for a push to move local elections back to may are more than a bit asinine. Brian Kirwin over at Bearing Drift has an excellent breakdown of these arguments and reasons why they are invalid.

Lauren Roth over at The Virginian-Pilot has an article on why changing the local election back to may will be difficult. The comments left after the article are interesting, as it continues the debate about ethnic turnout and how informed voters are when they go to the polls.

One comment left on the Pilot article specifically mentions that May voting would be best as only those who are really interested in the issues and "provide the time" to vote will show up. If one were predisposed to read between the lines, one would think that the comment referred to those who were educated, more affluent, and able to take time off from work to vote. Interesting.

Why do we hold elections on a weekday, where most voters are expected to be at their places of work? We celebrate so many holidays where many organizations and business are closed, leaving people with a day off with nothing really significant to do. Yet, on the day that we ask every citizen to be involved, they are expected to be at work. It just doesn't make sense.

If Virginia Beach really wants to be progressive, they should cease the debate between May or November elections, and look at the day that elections are held. Why not a Saturday or Sunday to make voting more accessible for more people?

Help the Victims of the Southern California Fires

From the Obama HQ Blog:

Over the past few days, wildfires in Southern California have destroyed more than 700 homes and burned over 35,000 acres of land, forcing many more families to evacuate their communities.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by the fires.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army are coordinating relief for the victims, and volunteers on the ground are being organized to help with long-term recovery efforts in the days and months to come. If you live in or near Southern California you can volunteer now, and no matter where you live you can help by donating to the relief efforts.

Throughout the campaign, we saw time and again that when ordinary people act together, they can make a huge difference.

Visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org for more information on how you can help.

Civil rights activists ought to be angry, determined, but not violent

Proposition 8 Protest



I've been monitoring the backlash that has flooded throughout California, and is evident throughout the nation, caused by the passage of of California's Proposition 8 which infringes on the fundamental right of some individuals to marry due to the gender of their partner.

The anger and the determination to somehow reverse the damage done by the passage of this proposition is warranted, and understandable. Any people treated as though they are below some false standard the majority has set into place, and therefore not privileged to equal protection, privileges, and justice under the law should respond visibly and forcefully. Throughout the nation, rallies and protests are being organized and held; however, while people should not take any limitation upon the freedoms of individuals lying down, violence is not the path best taken on the way to ensuring equality under the law.

Yes, there is anger; but that anger should be bridled and used for constructive purposes. It should fuel the research, the protests, and the legal struggles. Truly, anger is not the best word to describe the outrage that every American should feel when another's rights are threatened. It is indignation that we should all be feeling. Those who fight for civil rights will never stop fighting. Theirs is the just cause. Their victories lead to a more civil society. The victories of those who fight against the rights of the people only fuel the indignation that gives the people the cause, and the will, to continue to fight.

Those who supported the proposition to infringe upon the rights of the minority should be held accountable. The business and coalition of religious organizations that have done so should be made known. Somehow, they should feel the inconvenience of being restricted by the protests of the people against their actions. They should lose money, and members. They should be held responsible for their involvement in the political process and their attempt to influence the outcome of an election. I wonder, what ever happened to separating what is Caesar's and what is God's?

For those fighting discrimination in our government; please continue. Do all that you can to ensure the equality of all in the eyes of the law, but do so without vandalism and violence. We must remember that we are not the aggressors here, and fighting a battle about love cannot be won through attacks of hate.

Election grief

It's now been over a week since the results of the 2008 election either brought you an amazing sense of happiness and accomplishment, or the stabbing agony of losing in a campaign that you had given your all. Most people fall somewhere in between, but many active Republicans now find themselves struggling through the stages of grieving, especially in regards to election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

Denial: While many Democrats and progressives experience disbelief as the results were being broadcasted last Tuesday, the reality of what happened must have caused conservative Republicans to begin stage one of the grieving process, denial. Perhaps to the surprise of many, Obama's victory was such that there was no question about recounts. Once the polls closed on the west coast, his win was definite. Many Republicans still seem to be in the stage of denial, as evidenced by their referral to Sarah Palin as a plausible contender in 2012 or a significant player in national politics. Many also seems to want to blame factors beyond the viability of Obama as a candidate. They want to blame the media for not being more negative about Obama and his campaign, or blame McCain's loss to the increased turnout of African American voters who obviously voted for Obama. I mean, he is one of them, right?

Anger: Denial is quickly overlapped or faded into anger. How in the world could this happen!? How could McCain with all his experience and his service to the nation lose to the "untested and unknown", Obama? I've seen Obama called a terrorist, and was shocked to hear reports of sore people diving down to the very bottom of humanity to pull out racial slurs and statements that are absolutely reprehensible. The anger of Republicans is most evident on their overreaction to Obama's election, and their predictions about the collapse of the nation from his pending administration. Of course, not all Republicans have expressed anger at these extreme levels, and I've actually been impressed by some who have taken the election results in stride and now are waiting to see if the worst fears of their peers will come to be reality, and are willing to continue to work to make this nation the best it can be. I tip my hat to these people.

Bargaining: With Republicans not being able to contest the results of the election, they are looking within their party to see what they can change in order to limit loss in the future. This is the natural thing to do; however, with so many still in the stages of denial and anger, now may not be the best time to be figuring this out. Many are jumping to shine a negative light on every decision and slight misstep Barack Obama has made after the election, as if doing so will have any lasting impact, though the expression may be a cathartic response to their anger at the outcome of the election. The conversation about the future may start right now, but it's not wise to make any decisions until the dust settles from the election, and their party members have completed the stages of the grieving process.

Depression: There may not be a lot of time for active Republicans to spend much time in the stage of depression. There's obviously work to be done, and they should get to it as soon as everyone is thinking clearly. For others, especially Republicans who may not be active in their party, they may sit at home night after night smoldering over the 2008 election.

Resignation: After all the pundits have quieted, after all the polling data is analyzed, and after the pulse of the nation is felt, Republicans are going to need to resign themselves to the fact they lost, how the lost, and make adjustments to their strategy for the next round of elections. Will they focus on governance, or on the issues that fire up the social conservatives? Few have reached this point. It's really during this period that any real strategy can emerge.