Free Speech Extends to All

Posted: August 14, 2017 by carltate81 in Uncategorized

There’s a legendary  story, emphasis on legendary, circulated among Supreme Court litigators about a first amendment case argued in front of the Court many years ago. The case concerned a state law that limited free speech. And it subsequently aroused the ire of the late Justices Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter, the former taking an absolutist position on the amendment, the latter taking a more practical and nuanced position.

According to legend Black pulled out an old copy of the Constitution and read the First Amendment to a lawyer representing the state in the case. “It says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech,” Black lamented to the attorney. He would repeat that over and over again to the now stunned attorney, each time raising his voice a little louder, pounding the desk in front of him for emphasis. He added, “What don’t you understand about the word ‘no’?”

Justice Frankfurter, tiring of his colleagues theatrics, finally interceded with “”You’re reading the words wrong! It doesn’t say ‘Congress shall make no law.’ It says “Congress shall make no law. This law wasn’t passed by Congress, it was passed by a state legislature.”

Oh to be a fly on the wall to witness the clash between two of the greatest legal minds to have ever sat on the Supreme Court. I bring this story up because this weekend (and I fear many weekends henceforth) will likely test the limits of what freedom of speech means in our country, in our state and in our community. When it comes to the amendment and right in question I side with the late Justice Frankfurter, the state (government) has the authority to set practical limits on speech, that’s the case with every freedom and privilege enjoyed by all.

That being said – free speech, the right to speak out against your government, to speak out against your grievances, the right to complain, the right to challenge those in power, to dissent, to say hell no or hell yes, has always been, and will always be, central to the American form of government and those of the states.

Those words are easy to write and defend in the abstract right? Who isn’t for them while reading them on a Sunday morning? But are you for them while watching news reports about a Klan rally in support of a Confederate monument? Are you in support of them while reading an article about a Women’s Rally in Washington, DC? Would you still feel as passionate about them the same week a Black Lives Matter Rally comes to your town to protest?

If not then are you truly for freedom of speech?

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A Common Path by Lillian Vogl

Posted: June 23, 2017 by carltate81 in Uncategorized

Last year was the year that many conservatives truly couldn’t even any more. Some stepped back from politics entirely, some cast a one-time vote against the GOP and hoped for better days. Others have started seriously organizing through a new third party named the American Solidarity Party.

Until last summer, the American Solidarity Party was not much more than an animated Facebook discussion group that had evolved in the Christian Democratic Party tradition. They did nominate Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates for 2016, however, and with the sudden surge in demand for alternatives to Clinton and Trump, decided to formally incorporate and file with the FEC as an official party committee last August. With little time and extremely small budget, the ASP candidates got on the ballot in Colorado, and were recognized write-in candidates in most states. The ASP ticket garnered approximately 10,000 votes nationwide, and had over 2,000 members by the end of 2016 (and continues to grow about 10-20% a month).

The American Solidarity Party welcomes anyone to join who agrees to its affirmation statement: “recognition of the sanctity of human life, the necessity of social justice, our responsibility for the environment, and the possibility of a more peaceful world.” What ties together a diverse set of former Republicans and former Democrats, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, enthusiasts for Universal Basic Income, enthusiasts for Distributism, and more, is a consistent “whole life” ethic of supporting human dignity for all persons from conception to natural death. This obviously sets the ASP apart from the Democratic Party and its pro-abortion litmus tests. Some areas where the ASP tends to differ from the Republican Party include: a commitment to universal healthcare coverage (though open to diverse means to achieving this goal); loosening immigration policies, including a pathway to citizenship for at least some illegal immigrants; a focus on restorative versus retributive justice; rights for workers; measures to address climate change; and a robust safety net.

In recognition of the party’s rapid growth and change since the nominating convention last summer, the ASP membership is getting the opportunity to vote on a wholly revised platform at its virtual convention, today through Sunday.

The current platform was written and adopted by a small group of members; the new one has been drafted by a committee of 11 members, six of whom were selected by a vote of the membership, and with two rounds of polling data from the membership. Convention participants will have the opportunity to vote yes or no on each plank drafted by the Platform Committee, and only those planks receiving 2/3rds approval will be adopted as part of the final ASP Platform. Convention participants will also have the opportunity to vote on six seats on the National Committee, from among 12 candidates (of which I am one).

We hope you will join us in building up this new force for advancing third-way ideas for constructing a government of, as the ASP motto says, “common good, common ground, and common sense.”

Remembering Terrence

Posted: October 26, 2015 by carltate81 in Uncategorized

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Virginia Black Conservative Forum mourns the loss of Terrence Boulden, our President and founder. Without Terrence there would not be a Virginia Black Conservative Forum, an organization dedicated to outreach for the Republican Party and the conservative movement. We remain committed to the vision advanced by Terrence and are grateful for the opportunity he afforded us with this organization. And we’re dedicated to continuing Terence’s work of building a more inclusive and diverse party and conservative movement.

Terence is sorely missed. He represented the very best of us and will continue to serve as an example for us and anyone else who seeks to serve the public.

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“Their comments on societal norms may have been acceptable 30 years ago, but they’re damaging and denigrating today. We cannot grow the conservative movement by telling children from non-traditional families that they’re liable to be a danger to themselves and others. We need to embrace real solutions to empower parents, not chastise those who are doing everything they can to lift their children up.”

We ask that our supporters join us in boycotting the blog, as it is damaging our party and it’s brand.

-The Virginia Black Conservatives

Virginia’s Favorite Son Takes A Stand

Posted: October 2, 2015 by carltate81 in Uncategorized

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With the exit of two governors, Texan Rick Perry and Badger Scott Walker, the Republican Party presidential nominating contest is down to 15 combatants.

But out of what has been dubbed the “circus” with its reality show ringleader former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore is the sober, substantive choice for voters yearning for a serious alternative. I got acquainted with Governor Gilmore during his 2008 Senate campaign where I seemed to have bumped into him at least a dozen times on the campaign trail. I was thoroughly impressed with the energy and devotion he showed through that fall, crisscrossing the state asking for votes. At the time I was doing outreach work for the state party and the McCain campaign and Gilmore was always ready and willing to lend a hand, recognizing the importance of my efforts to broaden the base of the GOP. He may have come up short back then but earned the admiration and respect of many party leaders, activists and voters.

As a result Gilmore stands as perhaps the only political figure welcomed by both ideological factions with the state GOP. He’s warmly embraced by tea partiers for his refusal to back down on his 1997 campaign promise as Governor to slash the personal property tax, a promise he kept under intense bipartisan pressure once elected. And establishment figures cast their eyes of approval upon him for his deft handling of the state during the early 2000s. He represents a uniting force that has been sorely missed in the party the past few years.
As Governor he was able to steer the aforementioned personal property tax cut, which still stands as one of the largest cuts in Virginia history, through a divided General Assembly. He showed poise in doing so, balancing each of the budgets during his tenure in Richmond through transparency and openness and not through the gimmickry each of his successors employed. That stands in sharp contrast to a President and Congress, eternally locked in partisan gridlock, unable or willing to agree on basic tax and spending legislation.

And Gilmore, in a race of fifteen, stands out for his experience, the sheer number of years he’s devoted to public service.

He’s served folks on the local level as a Commonwealth’s Attorney; eight years at the state level, first serving as Attorney General and then going on to serve as Governor; and then at the federal level as a close advisor to then President George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of 9-11 and chairman of the Republican National Committee. Gilmore is one of the rare breed of Presidential candidates, he’d be ready on day one if elected.

A week ago I spoke with the former Governor who explained his positive vision for America, similar to the vision he had and was able to implement here in the Commonwealth. He promised to bring tax and regulatory relief to small business owners and the middle class, he promised to be ever vigilant in keeping our country safe from further attacks from without and within, but he also promised to help restore the sense of hope and optimism that seems to be missing from the American political process nowadays. Virginia’s favorite has found his place on the national stage and is taking his stand. We should all do so with him.

 

 

Mike May the obvious choice for PWC Commonwealth Attorney

Posted: September 30, 2015 by Terrence J. Boulden in Uncategorized

With his dedication to diversity in Govt and Criminal Justice Reform Mike May is the obvious choice to replace good ol boy Paul Ebert and his 47 year reign in the office.. Times have changed and now we need a change in the Commonwealth attorney’s office

https://www.facebook.com/votemikemay/videos/10153551260961352/

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Image  —  Posted: September 24, 2015 by Terrence J. Boulden in Uncategorized

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Image  —  Posted: September 19, 2015 by Terrence J. Boulden in Uncategorized

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Image  —  Posted: September 19, 2015 by Terrence J. Boulden in Uncategorized

Memo to Mark Jaworowski

Posted: September 16, 2015 by Coby Dillard in Uncategorized

“The time is right for our side to play the race card for a change, by appealing directly to black male voters and making the case that our policies (school choice and vouchers, strongly reduced flow of low-skilled immigrants, and targeted privatization of social security, etc.) are more beneficial to them than anything the Democrats can offer.”

 

By way of introduction, since I’ve been in college for a minute: Coby Dillard. African American man (or “black male,” if you must), graduate of a community college and an HBCU, former vice chair of the Republican Party of Norfolk.

 

Credentials aside, what you’re suggesting is not only dead wrong, but indicative of many of the problems black men-and women, and children-have with our Republican Party.

 

First, it’s extremely hypocritical of any Republican to suggest that “playing the race card” is a viable political strategy for the Republican Party. You’re essentially suggesting that we act like Democrats in strategy-read that carefully-while decrying the for the use of that strategy. Pause for intellectual honesty: when Democrats make use of the race card, what’s the standard Republican/conservative response?

 

Second-and I’m going to project a bit here-before writing this, did you ask any black men what their concerns were? Whether immigration and social security, and school choice were the most important issues on their radar? If you did, you’d probably find a lot more who are interested in, you know, sentencing disparity for drug offenses, restoration of rights for non-violent felons, and the whole (insert name of last black man killed by police here) issue.

 

Why? Because those things are tangible; we feel them. We live them. It’s easy to talk about macro-issues and say “yeah, black voters HAVE to be upset about that!” It makes you look foolish, however, when you make assumptions about things that you have approximately zero knowledge of.

 

And no, growing up in a housing project in Manhattan in the 1960s does not give you credibility to talk about the issues of African Americans in the 2000s. Take that message to Richmond’s Gilpin Court, or Calvert Square in Norfolk, or on campus at Virginia State University in Petersburg, and see how well it resonates. Or take it to Hampton University, where you would at least be heard out and have your misconceptions and assumptions corrected.

 

I’m spitballing here, but I’m willing to bet my meager salary that there are more black men more concerned about their next encounter with the police than whether they’ll live to fully enjoy Social Security.

 

As Republicans/conservatives-because those titles don’t necessarily compliment each other-we have a tendency to attempt to tell black voters what they should be upset about; why they should vote for “us.” When was the last time we made a concerted effort to go to the black communities across Virginia and say, “you know, what ARE your concerns? Tell us, because we don’t know”?

 

My bad, that’s “pandering.” They haven’t voted for us before, so why talk to them now, right?

 

In that question is the crux of our problem. We don’t talk to; we talk AT. Your article is a great example of that. You’ve succeeded in offering zero solutions to problems that plague black men in the immediate; instead choosing to offer for their consideration more reasons why we should be upset.

 

We have minds of our own. We’re capable of our own outrage. What do you think #BlackLivesMatter is about?

 

If there was a commitment that I wish we on the right would make, it would be for a long-term exercise to get to know black voters. To learn what problems we have, hear our ideas for fixing them, and having a genuine discussion about how to (re)build a relationship with them.

 

Because pretending to care about the black community, while not hearing a damn thing we’re saying, is a transparent enterprise relegated to repetitive failure.

 

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