The Blog is Reborn, Sort Of

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED. The new address is: novatownhall.com. Please update your links and bookmarks.

As has become something of a holiday tradition around here, I seem to have managed to kill the current blog in the process of installing the new blog. Funny how stuff like that happens....

Anyhoo, because of all the problems with the new version of Movable Type since the October re-install I decided last night to switch platforms entirely and move to WordPress.

The problem was not because of MT per se, but because it did not play well with our new host.

The new and, we must hope, LAST version of the NOVA TownHall Blog is located here, at the NEW-NEW NOVA TownHall Blog site.

To repeat: The blog at this address appears to be completely whacked. I think it is because WordPress installed something or made some permissions change to the site's root directory that killed all the Movable Type funcionality. So instead of having two working blogs, we barely have one: and that one is here.. From now on, if you want to comment, you will need to go to the new blog.

Commenting here is dead. Blogging here is dead. I cannot even get into the admin screen to make a single change (I am making these directly to the index.php file).

Sorry for any inconvenience. On a positive note, the new site seems pretty easy to manage.

Fellow bloggers, please give me a few days to create logins at the new site.

UPDATE: As of Sunday morning the new blog seems to be down. Oh well. Please check back periodically because I'm sure we will get it working one of these days.

Looks like Ken Cuccinelli and others were right that we didn't need to fund embryonic stem cell research because researchers have figured out to turn normal stem cells into embryonic stem cells according to the Washington Post.

Days like this make me feel good about being a social conservative.

Equality [fill in the blank] members can eat crow here.

I recently was made aware of a particular story that has me outraged. There are several things that need to be covered here, and I expect this is something of little controversy, other than what people think of bullying.

First, background ... A young almost 14 year old girl is allowed to use an account on myspace, is monitored closely, and appears to have been the victim of an adult who created another myspace account specifically to gain the girl's confidence. The account was then used to dash the girl's esteem, which appears to have been the trigger event in the girl taking her own life. A newspaper article on the story is at:
http://stcharlesjournal.stltoday.com/articles/2007/11/10/news/sj2tn20071110-1111stc_pokin_1.ii1.txt

There are two issues I'd like to address. One, is how some people in society have hideously accused the parents of the girl who did monitor activities on the account of not doing so closely enough, and two, how the adults who perpetrated this are not guilty of any crime (at least not one with which they can be charged).

Good to see Lieutenant Governor Bolling out in front on this issue.

Bolling asks Kaine to reconsider abstinence-only sex-ed program cuts

Story by Chris Graham
newdominion@ntelos.net

Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has a problem with Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine's move to eliminate $275,000 in funding from the state budget that was to go to five nonprofit programs in Virginia that administer abstinence-only sex-ed programs.

"The only sure way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is abstinence outside of a monogamous marital relationship, and it is important that we clearly communicate this fact to parents and their children," Bolling wrote in a letter to Kaine that his office made public today.

Kaine last month submitted plans to eliminate the funding that is a matching grant for a federal program that provides funds to organizations and school systems that offer abstinence-only education programs.

Schools and organizations that do not receive federal funding for their programs will be able to continue offering locally-based abstinence-only sex education.

In an interview with The New Dominion on Wednesday, Kaine said his administration will "continue to focus our energies on abstinence-based programs - really promoting the ethical and moral values of abstinence. But you've got to give kids more information so that they make wise decisions."

"The goal is to all we can to delay youngsters from getting involved in sexual activity and ending unwanted pregnancy. Abstinence-only programs don't really do that," Kaine said.

In his letter, Bolling said that contrary to those assertions, "abstinence-only education programs have been proven to work in Virginia and throughout the nation."

"According to the Virginia Department of Health, from 1995 to 2005, the period during which abstinence education has received significant funding and expansion, Virginia saw an 18.5 percent decrease in teen pregnancies, while nationwide teen sexual activity fell from 54.1 percent to 46.8 percent," Bolling wrote in the letter.

"I encourage you to further review the efficacy of abstinence based education programs before eliminating state funding for these programs," Bolling wrote.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The New Dominion.

Good game, just not quite good enough

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Congrats to the Redskins for rising to the occasion and playing the Cowboys even until the final minutes. With Dallas favored by over 10 and the 'Skins missing a key player on both offense and defense I thought it had all the makings of an upset and we almost saw one. Like they say, forget about stats and records when these two teams play.

On a housekeeping note, we are still in the midst of troubleshooting the technical problems here which have caused the huge issues with comments, made creating new posts dicey (sometimes you create two for the price of one) and have also made it difficult to make any changes to the templates (i.e. adding material to the sidebars). On the whole everything has gotten REAL slow performance wise. The Movable Type people are trying to help us figure out what has gone wrong the past few weeks, and I am confident we will soon be back in business here. Thanks to everyone for your patience. Once we get it all worked out, I expect to be posting regularly again.

alteration for oleszek 3.JPG

I nearly cried when I read this Washington Post story, and I think I still might. Last week broke my faith in my state party, and I think this may have done it for the national one.

Guess I'll start considering who I'm going to support for President in '08 anew. Thoughts? (by thoughts I mean intelligent thought--Equality [fill in the blank] members need not apply)

Ben Dover Beer Bash Reflections

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I just returned home from the fabulous First Annual Ben Dover Beer Bash and I must say it was one of the best quasi-political/social events I have had the privilege of enjoying in many a fortnight.

Sincere thanks to Ben and the entire Too Conservative gang for putting it on. You all did a really good job with this, everything to follow notwithstanding.

That being said, I must emphasize how deeply we all appreciate the Virginia State Police being invited to play such an integral role in the event. I mean, when I am invited to a "beer bash," just knowing the state police have been tipped off and are stationed nearby makes the suds go down a little bit smoother. Thankfully, the vast majority of attendees did have 4-wheel drive and most of us took the "back way" out of the Old Dominion Brew Pub via the power line easements and as far as I know everyone managed to slip the gauntlet.

I know, everyone is wondering: DID WE FIND OUT? As in, did we find out who are the real people behind the notorious Too Conservative pseudonyms?

Well, the answer is, yes and no.

Yes in that we DID find out who every single one of them was. And no, in that I don't remember, dammit. It was a "beer bash" after all. Sorry about that. I suppose it will all come back to me in a dream someday. I vaguely recall shots of vodka and ancient Polish drinking songs, but that is all.

Linda B. and I had a very nice conversation with Lori Waters and her husband, and I must say I'm glad we will have Lori in office for another four years. I truly wish Phyllis Randall had run for another office.

MY major excitement of the night was my Quest for Stevens Miller, and boy was it more than I bargained for!

Y'see, I was told by several people that newly elected Loudoun Supervisor Stevens Miller was a "moderate Democrat" whom I should really talk to about the illegal hiring issue. I was intrigued because it seemed like "moderate Democrats" always turned out to be simply "Democrats" - but something about this fellow rang true. He turned in a very thoughtful candidate survey to Help Save Loudoun, and his public statements were not half bad - better than many Republicans, in fact. So I wanted to meet this fine gentleman.

Well, on account of either the spite toward me being on the losing side of some of these recent elections, or my opponents being cruel swine, some folks decided to have a little fun with old Joe and send me on a good old-fashioned snipe hunt for this Stevens Miller. Jonathan, the heartless bastard, was ringleader, and pointed me towards busboys, sous chefs and other patrons - "THAT'S Stevens Miller" - and after about five of these fruitless interviews I began to catch on to the fact that Jonathan did not have my best interests at heart.

I had a fascinating, 45-minute policy discussion with an exceedingly polite, well-groomed "Stevens Miller" who, when I began to pin down dates for specific Board appearances, revealed "Oh no, I am not a Supervisor, I am Glenn Maravetz!"

"Augghh!" I exclaimed. "MARAVETZ!! Most evil of my many evil nemeses!" This was like learning your long lost "uncle" was in fact the man who had killed your father.

I was about ready to give up when Jonathan informed me that "Stevens Miller" was in fact a soccer ball whom I have since named "Spalding" and who I have been conversing with here in the dining room. So that whole confusing incident worked out just fine in the end.

I did get to talk with a couple of the newly-elected supervisors, which was enlightening. I asked them if there would be any common ground between Help Save Loudoun - which had proposed an "Honest Business Initiative" - and their own commitment to reduce rampant development in the county. On the face of it, one might assume we DO have some common ground, because we are all skeptical about developers' profits and how they make them.

Unfortunately, the answer I received was that Help Save Loudoun PAC's endorsement of Eugene Delgaudio was a bit of a dealbreaker - even though we also endorsed Lori Waters, which presumably was not a dealbreaker. I tried to explain the pragmatic aspect of a single issue group that only looks at VOTES but I got the sense that, on this evening, that narrative was not going to resonate. Story of my life.

I think we have a new crop of supervisors who do not think illegal immigration is a problem they can solve - and possibly a problem that does not even really exist here at the local level. This is going to create a very interesting dynamic in the relationship between the supervisors and their constituents. Specifically, the residents of Sterling are going to find themselves disenfranchised if they don't get a few supervisors from other districts to join Eugene Delgaudio in championing their concerns.

After seeing the unabashed disdain for Eugene, I am quite intrigued about how the new Board will respond to the citizens of eastern Loudoun.

But at least the conversation has been started. I think the new Board members are approachable, and I think they have the citizens' best interests in mind. The ones I spoke with do not seem at all like elitists, and though I think their antagonism toward Eugene is misplaced, I think their animus is meant to benefit the legal residents. This is a very good sign.

BRAVO, LI - bravo.

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