Why Does RPV Hate Religious Liberty (and Jason Kenney)?



“Check this out!”

“Hey, that’s the guy from TV*! Who helped beat up Commies!”

“Yeah, he’s running for Senate!”


“Here’s why!” *Explains*

“Sign me up!”

And that’s how teenager Jason Kenney decided to help Ollie North for Senate in 1994.

*”guy from TV” because we were glued to the Iran Contra hearings at a young age

Shaun: “Hey, Jason, did you lose your razor?”
Jason: “Hey, Shaun, did you lose YOUR FACE?!?!!”  (Working a precinct for Dole/Kemp in 1996.)

Nearly 25 years later and after working with and bleeding for countless campaigns and causes I’ve been blocked by the Republican Party of Virginia Twitter account.

“What did you do, Jason?” you may be asking and I’m offended. I’m a perfect gentleman at all times. You must be thinking of that other Kenney.

This starts with an asinine tweet by the Republican Party of Virginia:

Whoever is behind RPV’s Twitter account and their bosses (because the buck stops at the top, folks) have decided that the rights granted by God and protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights should not apply to a religious private school.

I guess my attending a Catholic school as a child with the mandated uniform of navy blue pants, light blue shirt, and black loafers while the poor girls were in long wool skirts year ’round offends the pearl clutchers on Grace Street. Because as of this morning:


“But it’s only Twitter,” you may be saying.

Let’s talk about this for a second.

1) RPV has decided Religious Liberty doesn’t apply to Muslims and that makes attacking political candidates who happen to teach at associated schools or foundations persona non grata.

2) By attacking a school in Herndon, Virginia, RPV is attacking the families of the 1200+ children who attend that school. Those are voters in the 11th and 10th Congressional districts where Jeff Dove and Barbara Comstock are fighting for every vote they can get.

3) RPV has decided that pointing this out is grounds for a Twitter ban, thus deciding that I, as a Republican volunteer, voter, supporter, and more, shouldn’t see the rest of their messages, pushing me further away from my Party.

This. Is. Not. O. K.

The role of the Republican Party of Virginia is to uphold the Party Creed and to get Republicans elected in Virginia.

The Virginia Republican Creed is as follows:


That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,

That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,

That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,

That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,

That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense,

That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.

Equal rights. Individual liberty. Faith in God.

Unless it’s a dress code in your Muslim private school.

That doesn’t help get Republicans elected in Virginia. Nor does blocking Republicans who point out how you’re screwing up your job 280 characters at a time.

Now I can already see the counter attacks that’ll come from certain figures still operating out of Grace Street. “You’re a Never Trumper.” “You’re just sore because a family member got booted from MY JOB!” “When’s the last time your guy won!” “Suck it up!” “RINO! Go vote for Tim Kaine!”

And that’s all nonsense. Not because I’ve got a resume that speaks to my work on behalf of a range of Republican candidates and causes across the Commonwealth, but because at the end of the day I am a Republican because I believe in our Creed. I believe in the existence of God-given rights and that power rests best in the hands of the people. And I don’t appreciate people coming into my Party and trashing the place.

Because there’s an additional job requirement to whoever is running things at the Republican Party of Virginia:


RPV will be there long after whoever is now running the show is gone. The Party should represent values far beyond the faces and names in its halls today. And whoever is there should be mindful of that weighty legacy because what they do today will resonate.

These Twitter rants and attacks and blockings and general douchebaggery? This isn’t to elect Republicans. This isn’t to fight for the Creed. This is saying, “If I can’t have it, NO ONE WILL!”

Someone is calling the shots at RPV today. And someone has to be holding them accountable. Whether it’s our current elected officials, State Central, or we the people, someone has to stop RPV from doing more harm for our cause because we can’t wait until a new Chairman comes on board.

Because this? This is not how you win this November. Or next. Or any other in my lifetime.

Writing In The Age Of Silos

It’s no longer a matter of tailoring a message, it’s often a matter of manually having to dive into the site to feed it.

Dave Winer has an interesting take on how Facebook and Twitter are not only contrary to an open web, but building silos that demand unique content and keep people in:

Writing in the age of silos. After their August 1 change, I can’t cross-post to Facebook. So if I want to speak to people I know on Facebook, I have to write on Facebook. Today if I want to even post a link, I have to do it by hand. And Twitter, new forms of writing have developed there to work around the 280-char limit. Again, if I want to write for people I know there, I have to write it there. This is what always happens with corporate platforms, they become silos. Maybe they start with good intentions, on FB, the open graph, with Twitter their API, but over time, they evolve to become their own completely self-contained very unweblike worlds. You can see that evolution in action today, at a super-high pace. For me this is the Nth time around this loop, so I have an idea what to expect next.

On some level the silos have existed as long as the platforms: Twitter’s then-140 but now-280 character limit and how they deliver their feed has always been distinct from Facebook’s multimedia method of delivery backed by an evolving algorithm that changed what you saw based on how folks interacted with content. You’ve had to keep the two different methods in mind when crafting any message because cut and pasting a headline and a link from one to the other was hardly best practice.

But now they’re breaking the tools that allowed you to easily tap into each platform from the outside. It’s no longer a matter of tailoring a message, it’s often a matter of manually having to dive into the site to feed it.

This makes sense from a business perspective. Twitter and Facebook are in the business of making money and that money comes from advertisements and you don’t see those ads if all you do is write a blog post and hit a button to push the new content to other platforms. In fact, that costs them money. But that violates the spirit of the open web.

Facebook in particular has shown a strong interest in keeping you in their environment. The way they prioritize content in the algorithm (Live vs. embedded video vs. picture vs. link vs. text) to how they present external content (downgrading YouTube links from being able to play in FB to having to be external links), it’s all efforts to force content creators to simply embrace Facebook as their home and ignore any other outlet for fear of being left out.*

But Twitter and Facebook breaking themselves off from the rest of the web — the more they pull away the more they isolate their users — that’s good for them and bad for everyone else. And not just other content production platforms like Twitter or medium and the like, but for content producers themselves. Businesses, organizations, non-profits, people who have their own hubs outside of Facebook, they’re the ones ultimately sucked into the silos and anyone with limited resources is going to make some decisions on how much effort they’re able to put into each platform and for what kind of reward.

Or maybe they just walk away.

*This isn’t even considering how the Facebook silo gets worse when you consider how the algorithm works, feeding you more of what you’re already interested in, hiding anything that wouldn’t fit your analyzed tastes, singing to the choir of existing beliefs (See: Facebook Is A Terrible Gatekeeper).

Seventeen Years Of (Not) Blogging

Seventeen years is a long time.

August 7, 2001 J’s Notes was born with a post that set the tone for mindless updates of random links for the first however many months of its existence. Then a lot of on again and off again restarts through the years. But here it stands.

Seventeen years is a long time. 22 is way different than 39. A month before September 11th compared to now is not the same world in so many ways.

By and large the old content is gone, long since removed because twenty-something Jason is someone today’s Jason would be yelling at to get off his lawn. Also most of the cool links are long dead. But I’m going to filter through the old stuff and dig up a few gems to bring back as interesting snapshots of not just my thoughts through time but of what seems to be so important back in the day.

So to celebrate 17 years, here are a few posts from the archives represented in amazing JASON-O-VISION (which is a lot like any other vision:

2002-09-27: Speak Loudly and Watch For That Big Stick – The IMF came to town, I had to get to work, and there were protesters in the way. So I took some pictures.

2005-04-30: Times-Dispatch on Blogging – “The audience just has to realize that a blog is more akin to the op-ed page of their newspaper as opposed to the front page,” I said.

2009-03-02: Newspapers: Adapt or Die – I should take a critical look at posts like this nearly a decade later and see if any of the thoughts hold up…

2010-06-04: Virtually Farming For Public Relations or How Not To Game The System – Remember when “gamification” was all the rage? Remember the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Remember when the two almost met? Yeah…

2014-07-25: Email Fundraising and the Fine Art of Shaming – “Join us” is infinitely more positive than “Don’t abandon us.”

UPDATE: Speaking of how the world’s changed, there’s this tweet from today showing the difference in how we watch things from 2002 to 2018: