Dignan's blog

Posted at 11:30am on Dec. 21, 2007 Free Eric Volz: A Letter To President Bush

By Dignan

Dear President Bush,

I'm not sure if you are aware of the case of Eric Volz. Eric Volz is an American citizen and political prisoner in Nicaragua. Last year, Eric's ex-girlfriend was brutally murdered while Eric was in Managua, two hours away from the scene of the crime. Ten witnesses testified on behalf of Eric and his innocence.

Unfortunately, the Nicaraguan media decided to make this a political issue by proclaiming Eric's guilt simply because he is an American. The Nicaraguan media has been successful in demonizing Eric to the point of a lynch mob forming to attack Eric and a U.S. Embassy official before his trial last year. The Nicaraguan judge was obviously intimidated to the point of throwing out all of Eric's witness testimonies and finding Eric guilty. Eric was sentenced to 30 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit, a crime he couldn't have committed.

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Posted at 9:35pm on May 9, 2007 How The Mainstream Media Created Ann Coulter

By Dignan

I hate bringing up Ann Coulter. She represents everything that is wrong in our society. Some would say that she represents all that is wrong with conservatives but I would disagree because I don't really think she is conservative.

I just read that Coulter thinks that Newsweek made up their recent poll about presidential candidates in which Barack Obama led leading Republican candidates. As an explanation Coulter said

"I think this is Newsweek doing more push polling for al-Qaida."

Coulter was grilled by Geraldo Rivera on this topic and not surprisingly the company who did the polling for Newsweek rejected Coulter's assertion.

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Posted at 6:11pm on May 2, 2007 Interview with Erick Erickson

By Dignan

Thought you guys might like to check out this podcast interview I conducted with Erick Erickson, managing editor of Redstate, in which Erick weighs in on the 2008 election, Iraq, the U.S. Attorney "non-scandal", and Georgia politics.

I would post the audio here if I knew how, so please excuse the link to another site.

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Posted at 9:41am on Apr. 12, 2007 Beyond Partisanship

By Dignan

Last week I wrote Regretting Bush about my gradual disillusionment with the Bush administration. More than most things I write, I was particularly interested in the response of various readers to this piece.

I cross-posted this article at both RedState and DailyKos ( I regularly cross-post at both) as a way of gaging the response of the more partisan and ideological. Unfortunately for the most part, the response was all too predictable. While my article was certainly not the best thing that could be written on the topic, the comments lead me to believe that I was fairly close to the truth.

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Posted at 4:01pm on Apr. 4, 2007 Regretting Bush

By Dignan

I mentioned in a comment yesterday that I regretted voting for George Bush and someone replied by asking me about that and if I thought John Kerry would have been a better choice.

I did vote for George W. Bush in both 2000 and in 2004. In 2000, Bush seemed like a pretty down to earth guy, pragmatically conservative when compared to other prominent Republicans, and appeared to have good business and management sense. I was of course in the majority in that opinion. (stolen elections, hanging chads, and the Illuminati aside)

So what happened? Why the disallusionment?

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Posted at 1:11pm on Feb. 17, 2007 American Falsely Convicted of Murder in Nicaragua

By Dignan

I have received very disturbing news this evening. Eric Volz has been falsely convicted of murder in Managua, Nicaragua this afternoon. One of my best friends was a key witness at the trial and told me that none of the evidence was even considered by the judge and that this verdict was "political".

Full details of this story can be found here.

Here is the update from Eric's family:

Trial Update

With the heaviest heart we inform everyone that the judge just pronounced Eric “guilty”. We are in a state of total shock and disbelief. It is incomprehensible that we find ourselves dealing with what may come next.

Our understanding from the Embassy is that Eric will be remanded back into the penitentiary system. We are, as we were before, extremely, extremely worried about his safety.

Please contact your Congresspersons immediately!!!

Go to the Friends of Eric web site to “Congressional Contact” to find the link to your Congressman as soon as possible to register your outrage at this judgment.

The prosecution presented no evidence that Eric is any way connected to, or guilt, of this crime. We strongly believe this may be a politically-based decision.

www.friendsofericvolz.com

Thank you for your prayers and hope – the vigil continues.

Eric’s family

Read more for full story details.

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Posted at 9:46am on Jan. 26, 2007 Tom Delay Wants To Be President

By Dignan

Cross-posted from Good Will Hinton

Well, maybe not President of the United States. But Tom Delay certainly has aims to be president of the conservative movement.

Yesterday I was on a blogger's conference call with former House Majority Leader Tom Delay. This conference call was hosted by the Family Research Council. While I am not a big fan of the FRC, there are some good people working there including my friend Joe Carter who organizes their weekly blogger calls and manages the FRC blog.

Delay started the call by talking about his new organization, GAIN (Grassroots Action and Information Network) and his new blog. He said that his two main priorities now that he is out of office are to push the conservative cause and to support Israel. He said that "our enemies" on the Left are better organized and funded and that he is hoping that his organization can can help close the gap between the Left and the Right.

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Posted at 3:04pm on Dec. 15, 2006 American Falsely Accused of Murder and Imprisoned in Nicaragua

By Dignan

The following information has been passed onto me by a very good friend that I trust completely. I have talked at length with people who can corroborate Eric Volz's innocence. I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this account. Please contact your Congressman and ask what the United States is doing to protect a falsely accused citizen. And pray for Eric Volz.

"Hundreds have asked how to help Eric get a fair trial that is based on facts, not irresponsible newspaper sensationalism. Despite being over 2 hours away when the crime happened in the middle of the day, in the company of many others, newspapers are accusing Eric of committing the crime. Those of us who know and love Eric are deeply grateful for your efforts and support, including contacting your Senator or Congressperson to let them know about this horrible injustice to Eric, who was very nearly killed by a lynch mob last week. The Nicaraguan government has charged Eric with murdering a former girlfriend. He is awaiting his trial in prison in Nicaragua.

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Posted at 3:00pm on Nov. 14, 2006 Announcing Good Will Hinton

By Dignan

I wanted to let the Redstate community know about the new group blog that I have started, Good Will Hinton.

There are quite a few large multi-user blogs devoted to politics/news/culture discussions. These would include Redstate of course and those on the left such as DailyKos, and MyDD. However, there tends to be very little overlap and dialogue between the Left and the Right and when there is, it is often filled with vitriol and ad hominem attacks.

We believe that there is a great opportunity for a blog to fill the large gap in between these blogs on the Right and the Left. We seek to be a site for intelligent, reasonable, and charitable discussion and debate between those who disagree politically, philosophically, and culturally. We aim to have an equal balance between those on the Right and the Left and between those of faith and agnostics/atheists.

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Posted at 9:56am on Nov. 2, 2006 John Kerry and the Wisdom of the Crowd

By Dignan

Cross-posted at Good Will Hinton

It is generally said that there is wisdom is crowds. And this is often the case. However in election season those crowds turn into mobs and the wisdom disappears.

This latest Kerry flap is just the latest example of this. The majority of the conservative blogosphere is roiling with righteous indignation about Kerry, hoping that this is their "October surprise". (Fortunately, a few of my favorites including James Lileks, Rod Dreher, and La Shawn Barber are not drinking the Kool-Aid). After hearing many conservatives scream for years about wanting to campaign on the issue, it is disheartening to see so many jumping on the bandwagon of a non-issue.

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Posted at 7:32pm on Oct. 11, 2006 Linker v. Douthat: A Debate Over the "Liberal Bargain" and Theocons

By Dignan

Cross-posted at Good Will Hinton.

Let me direct your attention to an outstanding discussion taking place at The New Republic Online between Damon Linker, author of The Theocons: Secular American Under Siege and former editor of First Things, and Ross Douthat, an associate editor of the Atlantic Monthly and author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class.

In this discussion, Douthat and Linker pretty quickly get down to a large root of their disagreement, the "liberal bargain". Linker describes the "liberal bargain" thusly:

Like every other citizen, you must be willing to accept what I call "the liberal bargain." In my book, I describe this bargain as the act of believers giving up their "ambition to political rule in the name of their faith" in exchange for the freedom to worship God however they wish, without state interference. What does this mean, in practical terms? It means that your belief in what the Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches is irrelevant, politically speaking. It simply shouldn't matter whether or not you think that justice has a divine underpinning, anymore than it should matter whether you prefer Jane Austen to Dostoevsky. In a word, liberal politics presumes that it's possible and desirable for political life to be decoupled from theological questions and disputes.

In his response, Douthat says that this "liberal bargain" is the root of the disagreement.

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Posted at 4:25pm on Aug. 21, 2006 The Politics of Poverty

By Dignan

A friend of mine from church recently sent me an article by Bill McKibben entitled "The Christian Paradox" that was published in Harpers last summer. After reading the article, I realized that I have read many similar articles over the past couple of years.

The gist of the article is that while most Americans claim to be Christians, they don't appear to be following Christ's commands, particularly as it relates to caring for the poor. This premise is central to the Religious Left's critique of our culture, as often expressed by people such as Jim Wallis or Ron Sider.

Of course many on the Religious Right counter that laissez-faire capitalism is the only way to provide for the poor.

Both groups are wrong and I am going to take this opportunity to show why.

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Posted at 3:17pm on Aug. 2, 2006 The Lies of Cynthia McKinney and Billy McKinney

By Dignan

From the diaries . . .

Desperation is setting in for Team McKinney. As most of you know, the most ineffective member of the US Congress, Cynthia McKinney, is in a runoff for the Democratic nomination for the 4th District in Georgia. And she and her Anti-Semitic father are willing to say anything and everything in hopes of her being re-elected.

Lie #1: "I will be pitted against a mostly unknown and unproven opponent, who will nonetheless have the unanimous backing of big national media and national money." - Cynthia McKinney

This is a complete fabrication that Hank Johnson is being funded by national money and the implication that Cynthia McKinney is not. According to PoliticalMoneyLine, 65% of McKinney's contributions have come from out of state. Not mentioned is that many of her contributions from Georgia have not been from her district. Conversely, only 6% of Hank Johnson's contributions have come from out of state. I will add the caveat that these percentages may have changed since the primary two weeks ago but I doubt that they have changed signficantly.

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Posted at 11:34pm on Jul. 23, 2006 Hank Johnson for Congress: Time Is Up for Cynthia McKinney

By Dignan

Many of you know of my flirtation of running against Cynthia McKinney. From the very beginning I stated that my interest was less about me and all about getting real representation for the 4th District of Georgia.

Well friends, the time is upon us to finally get rid of the least effective representative in the US House of Representatives. In last week's primary election, Democrat Hank Johnson garnered enough support to force a runoff election against Cynthia McKinney on August 8th. While I have my differences politically with Hank, he is a good man who will not embarrass the constituents of the 4th District and will work hard for us.

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Posted at 8:52am on Jun. 13, 2006 Opting Out of the Political Base Wars

By Dignan

As anyone who knows me can attest, I am and have always been a very idealistic person. I can remember in high school and college people telling me that I am too idealistic and assuming that it would wear off with age. Well, it hasn't. I'm in my mid-30s, married with two children and as idealistic as ever.

So you can imagine my dismay at many of the cynical reactions that I have received in response to my article last week about Ann Coulter. I guess I expected better from people in the conservative movement. I'm not sure why.

I am saddened by the inconsistency of so many in the conservative movement. For years, I have heard conservatives become outraged over the extreme rhetoric of leftist spokesmen such as Gore Vidal, Ward Churchill, Harry Belafonte, or Cynthia McKinney. Now I question the sincerity of such criticism. If Coulter's "hyperbole" is acceptable, then what is the substance of the criticism of the likes of Belafonte other than the fact that conservatives disagree with him?

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