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Obama a man of faith? Friday, 3 July 2009

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting, Political, The Left Side, Views On News.
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President Obama draws fire from evangelicals because he does not support ultra-right-wing agendas.  However, recent news articles have identified Obama as more overtly displaying his faith than most presidents in recent memory, including George W. Bush.

“This administration has used faith more overtly than any other in its first hundred days,” says Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “That includes Bush.”

The news stories go on to say that his overt faith-based initiatives could cost him the support of the Democratic base.

Drawing Fire

Of course, the news reports drew immediate fire themselves. Most of it was based on ‘if you do not believe as a I believe, you don’t believe at all.’ People on the right whose faith is central to their public lives are quick to state that Obama’s faith is a sham, designed to ‘deceive the very elect’ and lead the USA into godlessness and the abandonment of Christian principles.

Full disclosure: there are a number of areas where I disagree with the President concerning statements he has made concerning Christianity. But I consider most members of the far right to be hypocrites who ‘deceive’ and garner followers among evangelicals by paying lip service only Christian principles. Can anyone say ‘Sanford?’

Someone close to me has said she prefers the far-right-sided liars. I don’t. I prefer to know when someone disagrees with me from the get-go, rather finding out about their ‘indiscretions’ in news reports.

Principles vs. Beliefs

If i were enumerating Christian principles, I would include those of honor and integrity. I would also include communicating with others, rather than preaching down to them. St. Francis is credited with saying, “preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Matthew 5:16 (KJV) says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

I think Obama’s definition of Christianity is different than mine. But I don’t believe for a minute he is shamming his faith. His is holding true to the vision of his faith despite its unpopularity with both the right and the left.

Does the fact that the President’s faith differs from yours really mean he is faithless? He is being true to his princples, and his beliefs. That’s far more than I credit many of his followers with doing.

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28 Days Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Local, People, Political, Views On News.
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28 Days. $1,500.

That’s the price one pays for being convicted of voter fraud. A Scott County jury returned guilty verdicts in 13 charges brought against Charles “J.R.” Dougherty, Jr. for his role in the overturned election in a small Virginia town of approximately 2,000 residents. The case marked the first time in the Commonwealth’s history that the mayor’s and all town council races were voided by the courts. The jury also returned 2 not guilty verdicts.

Dougherty was previously found guilty on 18 counts 16 counts of voter fraud stemming from the same election. Sentencing for both trials is set for 1 p.m. December 13 has been deferred by Judge Birg Sergent until January 9th at the Scott County courthouse.

Before delivering the sentencing recommendations, jurors submitted written questions to the judge. Two of the questions had to do with how time would be served – concurrently or consecutively. The judge’s response to the jurors in essence was that they should impose the sentence they saw fit for each offense, without considering how the sentence would be carried out.

This jury set the penalty for voter fraud lower than the previous Dougherty jury. The previous convictions earned Dougherty 32 days and $2,000 apiece.

Update: Apparently, the jurors sentenced the way they did because they didn’t want Dougherty to face prison time (as opposed to jail time)

I can comprehend this. Dougherty is not an evil man. I feel for him, and his family.

They also allegedly thought he was shouldering the entire blame for a larger group of people, which they seem to have thought was unfair.

2nd Day: 2 Days Jail, $2,000 … Each. Friday, 21 July 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Local, People, Political, Views On News.
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Former mayor Charles ‘JR’ Dougherty received 2 days in jail and a $2,000 fine for each of the 16 guilty verdicts he received in his second trial for alleged voter fraud. Thats a total of 32,000 in fines and 32 days jail time.

People I’ve spoken with claim that both Dougherty and his attorney, Carl McAfee, appeared devastated by the verdicts. In the first trial, Dougherty received two not guilty verdicts, which may have possibly raised expactations of a similar win in this trial.

Many media reports in the first trial had headlines stating such claims as ‘Former Mayor Found Not Guilty Of Buying Votes’ – in all truth, the not guilty verdicts meant that Dougherty was not found guilty of conspiracy to buy votes, which is not the same thing. He was acquited because there was no proof of conspiracy, not because there was insufficient proof regarding the buying and selling of votes.

This trial was not about conspiracy, but about acts that the one-time mayor allegedly committed, or aided and abetted others in committing. It was not about whether he conspired with anyone else to do these things.

One damaging event occured when Betty Pendleton, former clerk at the Scott County Registrar’s office, and sister to registrar Willie Mae Kilgore, pled the fifth. By asserting her fifth amendment right not to incriminate herself, Pendleton raised the possibility that there was something to be incriminated about to a near certainty. When Pendleton later testified that she and her sister did nothing wrong, that left only one possible person guilty of that something: Charles Doughtery.

Combined with testimony from people who said that Dougherty either filled out their paperwork for them, or instructed others to do so, that was enough to find him guilty of the charges lodged against him.

Although supoenaed yesterday by the court, Willie Mae Kilgore was not on hand and was not called upon to testify by McAfee.

Special Prosecutor Joel Branscombe left room to possibly level other felony charges in this case, against person other than Dougherty.

No Financial Cents Thursday, 6 April 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Bemused, Views On News.
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Reports are that high school seniors are still flunking when it comes to knowledge about finance. Unlike, say, quadratic equations, these are items it really does help to learn before you get a 'real life' edumacation…

Former Secretaries Urge LeBlanc’s Confirmation Sunday, 19 February 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Political, State of Virginia, Views On News.
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Senate and House Republicans have been urged by former secretaries from both sides of the political aisle to allow LeBlanc to serve on Tim Kaine’s cabinet.

I’ve been trying to figure this one out, which is why I’ve not posted anything about it before. Several people seem to feel that it’s because Senate and House Republicans want to do the big hairy ape thing and flex their biceps – maybe to show Kaine, a Democrat, just who it is that is going to be running the Commonwealth. I’ve never really bitten into either of those arguments.

What I think – and I have no real basis for this, other than armchair quarterbacking – is that it’s fear and intimidation. It’s not the Senators and Delegates that are afraid, though – it’s their behind-the-scene bosses. Recent campaign disclosures have shown once again that far more Republicans than Democrats are pocketing funds from Big Business interests, in ways that could be described as being ‘a little sideways.’

Those bosses look at the possibility of the appointment of someone who’s taken a stand for the little guy – the ones they make their bucks on the back of – and got a bit fearful. So, they pick up the phones, call up the people they made those big campaign donations to, and say “Let’s get rid of this guy. Even if he supports the policy, he’ll have a powerful PR position to speak from.”

And all the little boys and girls chorus, “Yessir!”

And we here in the Commonwealth get something that’s been on its way for some time: “Government by the Big Corps, for the Big Corps; which shall not perish from the earth.”

Senator John McCain has stated publicly that although America has done well economically, that the average American, the working class, has not shared in the fruits of that success. It looks like the GOP is determined that workers will continue to be denied a voice as well.