Matthew Clark's Latest Posts

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lessons from New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Primary tonight has taught me some very valuable lessons. Everyone was talking about how big the Obama victory would be and he ended up loosing. Mitt Romney was supposed to win the first two states and he finished a strong second to two different candidates. As a student of politics it is easy to think that politics is a science, and it’s not.

If there is one thing that politics should teach us, it is that the people make their decision regardless of the polls. Despite how much the pundits think they know what they are talking about; they don’t . . . unless they do.

There was defiantly a strategy to Clinton’s win in New Hampshire, but when the candidates own advisor is “pleasantly surprised” about a victory, there is no explanation (of course one could say this is political posturing to play the expectation game). There is no mathematical formula to box individuals into particular camps. One may never know what made the 19% of the voters in New Hampshire make up their mind on Primary Day.

What I will say is that I have learned a lot from tonight that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

In all of the hustle and bustle this Christmas season, let’s not forget the reason for the season. God gave us the greatest gift. Remember what actually matters. God bless you and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Abuser Fees Have No Impact on Safety

Now that about six months have gone by since the Abuser Fees took affect, it is time to look at their purposes and effectiveness. There were two purposes of the Abuser Fees: revenue and safety. It is still too early to tell if they will bring in the revenue they were supposed to produce. However, the safety aspect is easily reviewable.

Governor Tim Kaine reported in a press release yesterday that this year may be a record year for vehicular fatalities. He said, “For the first time in 17 years, Virginia may lose 1,000 lives to traffic crashes.” He lists some sobering statistics. Virginia is averaging 17 traffic fatalities each week in 2007. This works out to three each day. While these are statistics for the whole year there is not data to show that it has decreased since July. In fact, the Governor reports that there has been a “sharp rise” in motorcycle fatalities. There were 20 such deaths in October alone.

One can certainly gather than the Abuser Fees have not had a drastic impact in safety. With Virginia headed to a record year in traffic related fatalities, it is fair to say that the Abuser Fees have not accomplished their secondary goal.

What’s So Offensive About Christmas?

Why is it that every day I either receive an email or read a story about someone trying to take the word “Christmas” out of Christmas? Today, it was a rumor about the Attorney General of Oklahoma. Supposedly he issued an opinion that the state’s universities must refrain from using the word “Christmas.” He of course denies that this ever happened. You can read a good attempt at getting to the bottom of what happened here.

Even if it was not the Attorney General who made the decision, which for an Attorney General to issue an opinion such as that the use of the word would have to have been somehow unconstitutional or illegal, someone decided that the word “Christmas” would not be used by university personnel. It would certainly be hard to explain why one has the day off on this particular date without using the word “Christmas.” It’s the name of the day. 5 U.S.C. § 6103 sets forth the national holidays in the United States one of which is “Christmas Day.”

Since when is the name of a national holiday offensive to use? What if people started refusing to use the name of other national holidays: Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Independence Day, or Labor Day. Labor Day is quite offensive, bringing to light all of the sweat and toil of those that labor on a daily basis. No such complain would ever be made; or at least it wouldn’t be taken seriously.

Why single out Christmas? Christmas is a religious holiday, right? Is Hanukkah, Quanza, or even Ramadan offensive? No, only Christmas. I though we were supposed to be tolerant. How tolerant are we as a society if we single out one religion and one holiday to change its name and forbid those who celebrate if from speaking about it at work? Now that, that’s offensive.


Welcome to the blog. I was most recently a contributor to the top conservative blog in Virginia – Bearing Drift. I have decided to branch out and start my own blog. Actually, I do have another blog that I hope to be posting on more frequently. It is called Weblog Law and is devoted to discussing the law as it relates to the new frontier of blogging.

Here on I will be sharing my thoughts on important issues in our community and the nation on a variety of topics. I am currently entering my last semester in law school. I hope that I can bring some new insight and invigorate the discussion on law and policy here in Virginia and beyond.

I don’t claim to know everything or even most things. As this is a product and you, the reader, are the consumer, please let me know any ideas you have or ways that I can improve. Feel free to leave a comment or write me at

Thank you and enjoy the posts.