May 2006 Archives
Just thought I'd offer my thoughts on a subject that's a little close to home.
As far as firing into the rioting crowd goes...I'm not sure why we would even have to justify this to anyone. It's a RIOT. Riots are dangerous. People get killed.
For anyone who might be wondering just how dangerous a riot might be...here's a couple pictures I took after the riots that resulted from last year's bogus Newsweek stories on Koran desecration.
Yes, those vehicles and buildings were intact prior to the riot. We never quite understood the mentality of these Pashtun rioters: "I hate America...Let's destroy our own village!"
So now the Afghan legislature wants to put the driver of the vehicle on trial. This is just ridiculous. The roads in Afghanistan, especially big cities like Kabul, are extremely chaotic. People die on them everyday. Here's a typical city street in Kabul.
Imagine losing the brakes on a 6-ton armored HMMWV. Accidents happen.
This story's been floating around on various blogs. What was that Sean Connery line from "The Untouchables"?
The Family Foundation sent out an Information Alert reporting on the possible budget deal. While this certainly isn't anything new, they do give us this little factoid:
...the proposed budget will spend approximately $74 billion over the next 2 years - or about $70,000 per minute. You read that right, $70,000 per minute.
Ugh. Full alert is below the fold, enjoy!
As if we needed further evidence that the radical redefinition of marriage (from a man-woman procreative-in-type union into a union of any two people) by activist judges has a dramatic impact on not only religious liberty but on liberty in generalâ€¦ here is the story of volunteer firefighter Leo â€œSkipâ€ Childs (pictured below with his wife) in the Peopleâ€™s Republic of Massachusetts who lost his position because he signed a petition opposing same-sex marriage.
Maggie Gallagher covers the travesty in her nationally syndicated column:
After five years, Skip thought his reappointment to the Board of Fire Engineers would be routine. Then Selectman Paul Asher-Best spoke up: "Recent action you took, Mr. Childs, indicates to me that you think that gay people are less than fully human, and not entitled to all the civil rights that are afforded to them. The Supreme Judicial Court talks about marriage rights being a basic civil right. ... I need ... assurance from you that you would offer equal protection to everyone in Truro, including households headed by gay or lesbian people, because to me your action speaks otherwise."
Skip is scratching his head at this point. How could signing a marriage petition make you unfit to rescue people? He tried to be conciliatory: "I'm more concerned that a special interest group with a strong lobby would be able to influence a judge in our state. ... I wouldn't have a problem with it if it passed on the referendum."
But with that comment, Paul Asher-Best went ballistic. As Asher-Best later told me, "I consider myself one half of a loving couple who has been together 27 years. I don't consider myself a special interest.
And thus Selectman Asher-Best pushed to deny Skip his reappointment and the opportunity to continue his long record of lifesaving service. As Gallagher points out:
The Childses were humiliated. After nearly a decade of volunteering every spare hour to rescue your neighbors, this is your reward? Dressed down as a bigot in public for signing a marriage petition?
Thankfully this assault on fundamental liberty under the laughable guise of respect for â€œtoleranceâ€ and â€œdiversityâ€ may be beaten back. According to the Provincetown Banner:
The Childs both said they have not decided whether to pursue legal action against the town but if they do, the case would claim discrimination against Childs for remarks made by former Selectman Paul Asher-Best and Selectman Gary Palmer. Asher-Best questioned whether Childs could remain unbiased against gay residents in his fire and rescue squad work after signing a petition attempting to reverse same-sex marriage rights in Massachusetts.
Gallagher concludes her coverage highlighting the dramatic difference between reality and the warped perception of same-sex activists who smear everyone in their path as ignorant bigots:
â€¦two ideas are clearly now on a collision course in America: 1) There's something special about unions of husbands and wives, and 2) there's no difference between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and only hate-filled bigots think otherwise. In Massachusetts, the second idea is now the official view of the law.
Skip Childs is one of the first casualties of this new conflict. But as our senators debate a Marriage Protection Amendment June 5, they should be forewarned: If they leave marriage to the courts, he won't be the last.
Virginians need to stand up and do everything possible to support the Virginia Marriage Amendment this November. We cannot be intimidated into silence and thus refuse to protect marriage.
In this interesting article journalist Terence Jeffrey asks why Republicans are so timid about dealing (legislatively) with abortion and â€œadvancing a cause where they occupy the moral and political high ground.â€ There are some great references to RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman and Congressman Hunterâ€™s Right to Life Act. Here is some of what Jeffrey has to say:
The Republican Party's pro-life platform -- which Mehlman argues is right for the party -- offers a solution to abortion commensurate with the Bush-Frist-Boehner affirmation that life begins at conception. It endorses "legislation to make it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."
In this Congress, Rep. Duncan Hunter, the California Republican, introduced H.R. 552, the Right to Life Act, which follows through on the platform by defining as a "person" for 14th Amendment purposes "all stages of life, including but not limited to the moment of fertilization or cloning." It recognizes in law what Bush, Frist, Boehner and Kerry already recognize in fact.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 42 million babies were aborted in the United States between 1973 and 2002. Each subsequent year adds about 1.3 million more.
Today, we are having a great national debate, driven by a president at odds with the base of his own party, over how many immigrants we should allow into our country and by what means -- so we can fill a shortage in workers. What if we had a great national debate driven by a president, in unison with the base of his own party, over how many babies we can save?
South Dakota had that debate this year, and the pro-lifers won. The state banned all abortions, only exempting normal medical actions taken by a doctor to preserve the life of a pregnant mother.
What South Dakota proved is that truth is persuasive. All you need are politicians who will fight for it.
Obviously this approach (proudly and passionately fighting for the right to life) contradicts the approach of some folks such as Congressman Tom Davis, who often avoid this fundamental human rights issue so as not to provoke the pro-abortion forces in their district and jeopardize their re-election. Sure, some will put forth all of the â€œpragmatistâ€ arguments in favor of the Davis approach, i.e. itâ€™s better to have someone â€œneutralâ€ on the issue (assuming you can be neutral on genocide) instead of a radical such as Leslie Byrne. However I give that position about as much respect as I would a politician who refused to take a stand on the dehumanizing segregation issue in the 50s and 60s in order to maintain their political power, or a politician who refused to stand up for the freedom of black slaves in the political turmoil leading up to the Civil War in order to maintain their political popularity/electability (and there are plenty of examples). Congressman Mike Pence said it best in his October 8, 2003 address on the floor of the House, connecting the tragedy of abortion to the other great moral trials in our nationâ€™s history:
As we look at those Lincoln and Douglas debates, the arguments that candidate Abraham Lincoln made are extraordinary. He makes the case about the fundamental immorality of slavery; and for all the world, and I intend to do it during the course of these conversations about life, Mr. Speaker, we can take entire tracks of Abraham Lincoln's remarks in the Lincoln and Douglas debates and we can pull out the word "slavery" and put in the word "abortion," and the sentence makes perfect sense as he speaks about the denial of the fundamental right to life and liberty to a class of human beings in America. He spoke about it not in the context of established law, but as we know from history, as did the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his letter from the Birmingham jail, he spoke about it in the context of the moral law of God.
There should be no respect for neutrality or â€œmoderationâ€ on this issue.
Talk about someone pandering to his new "allies." After reading this article over at the Times-Dispatch, I am all the more convinced that, if Webb wins the primary, that Senator Allen is going to pound him into the ground. He is all over the place on issues. A grown man who has only been pro-choice for 15 years? He was against affirmative action until like last week. If John Kerry suffered from being a chronic flip-flopper, James Webb makes it a profession. This guy has no sincerely held principles. He's just a wannabe liberal clinging to his fading military career. RIP Webb campaign.
As we all know, the U.S. Senate next week will debate legislation to sell Alaska to Russia, Hawaii to the Japanese and Hartsville, South Carolina to the Al-Rajhi Banking Investment Corporation of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. So it's easy to forget what the world's greatest deliberative body did last week.
As a refresher, we are pleased to reprint this week's Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality.
by Heidi at Euphoric Reality
WHAT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT SENATE BILL S.2611
The new immigration bill (the most "sweeping reform in 50 years") S. 2611 is an amalgam of petty causes, illogical provisions, unstructured "solutions" with zero allowances for implementation, and self-contradictory language. Despite the mess, it was passed by self-righteous politicians who repeated the mantra "it's better than doing nothing." This from the same gaggle of do-nothings who outright rejected the House's law enforcement bill.
The Senate bill has our President's full support - this same bill is a derivative of one structured by Ted Kennedy and John McCain, and supported in full by the majority of Democrats. That alone ought to give one pause - President Bush, a Democrat?
(Click the link below to continue reading)
It is that so many of their highest-profile leaders are such unbelievably transparent lying idiots.
He said he was "carbon neutral" himself and he tried to offset any plane flight or car journey by "purchasing verifiable reductions in CO2 elsewhere".
Goodness gracious, they ARE good for entertainment value, though.
Last week I clubbed 7 baby harp seals to death and roasted a bald eagle for dinner, but I tried to offset that by purchasing verifiable reductions in cruelty to animals elsewhere. Also, I dumped three gallons of used motor oil down the storm drain, but I tried to offset THAT by purchasing verifiable reductions in pollution elsewhere. So, me with my periodic ecological excesses and Al Gore with his private jets and SUVs, we're both doing pretty good for the Earth I'd have to say, on account of purchasing those really great reductions elsewhere.
I'm gonna go purchase about forty reductions elsewhere this morning, in fact, because tomorrow I have a bunch of trash to incinerate out by the Blue Ridge and that usually means burning an entire mountain or two, if the wind gets out of control.
Perhaps for this Memorial Day you did not have the opportunity to tour Washington DC to view firsthand the monuments and historical relics that give this holiday its significance. Well, you didn't have to, because Cathouse Chat did.
Go read and view her travelogue now. Whether or not you've done the DC thing, you will appreciate this excellent annotated tour.
Thanks, CC - great job
Unbelievable story - two great pieces by R.S. McCain at Donkey Cons.
If you haven't done a huge amount of 'Memorial Day'-themed reading this weekend, just read about Desmond Doss and you'll catch the spirit of the holiday.
Activists for Aliens Hail Vote in Senate
Local immigration advocates say the weeks of marching, rallying, lobbying and boycotting paid off Thursday when the Senate passed a bill that would extend citizenship to millions of illegal aliens.
"A lot of the people who marched were undocumented immigrants, but there were a lot of people who weren't, [including] legal citizens of different cultures, not just Latinos," says Prince George's County Council member Will Campos, a Democrat. "I think [the Senate] looked at that and realized that something needs to be done."
Jaime Contreras, president of the National Capital Immigrant Coalition (NCIC), agrees: "Before we had these rallies ... we were just talking about how to stop [the House's enforcement bill]. Now we think we actually have a chance of getting a good bill out of Congress."
No further comment required. Except: When's the next opportunity to vote against any of these nitwit senators.
The NOVA4Marriage site is up. Expect to hear much more about the Virginia Marriage Amendment in the coming weeks and months.
More and more, I am seeing â€œSupport the Troopsâ€ ribbons on vehicles along side of anti-war stickers. Frequently, when someone I've met finds out I am a veteran, I get the response of â€œI donâ€™t agree with what weâ€™re doing over there, but thank you for what youâ€™ve done.â€ This position has me confused. I appreciate that those who oppose what America is doing in the Middle East have not, for the most part, resorted to harassing troops the way many Vietnam protestors did. However, I cannot help but feel this is a sort of back-handed insult. Everyone has a right to their opinions and freedom to express them, but how can someone hold this contradictory position?
To say you donâ€™t support the war is to say you donâ€™t believe in that for which we are fighting. Therefore, Americaâ€™s current military actions are in vain, and those who have sacrificed life and limb also did so in vain. How is this support of the troops?
â€œSupport the troopsâ€¦bring them homeâ€ has me bothered as well. We are an Armed Forces made up of volunteers, doing the job for which we volunteered. Someone who is not willing to make that sacrifice really has no business telling us to stop. Regardless of your opinion on the conflict we are in, we are in it. At this stage, victory should be the only option.
The â€œPeace is Patrioticâ€ slogan might be the one that irks me the most. When brave Americans are giving their time, sweat, blood, and lives for America, protesting their cause is NOT patriotic. End of story.
Al Qaedaâ€™s strategy to defeat us involves outlasting us on the battlefield of public opinion. Whether you like it or not, if you protest the war on terror, you are on the side of terrorism. As another blogger has pointed out, â€œâ€¦I just canâ€™t understand how the phrase â€˜we are losing a soldier a dayâ€™ can be followed by anything other than â€˜so letâ€™s get those #@%ing bastards.â€™â€
It turns out that the House of Delegates did not have the votes to pass a budget without significant new money for transportation. Now the two parties are going back to conference to try and reconcile their differences. The House seems to have gotten the better end of the press from the Times-Dispatch today. However, my sources confirmed to me that the Senate has not caved yet on the drive for new taxes added to this budget. Again, I'll be happy to eat some crow if the Senate has given up.
The Washington Post also has an article on the subject.
NOTE: Below is my original post, however, we have learned that any involvement from McDonnell's office is required by law. Please see the note from his office at the bottom of the post.
Many in the Virginia blogosphere have commented on Senator Cuccinelli's efforts to keep liberal activists out of GOP primaries. What I found interesting is that few are discussing the fact that Attorney General McDonnell's office seems to be actively opposing Cuccinelliâ€™s efforts. See the below from Tyler Whitley's RTD article:
But lawyers for the state said the time was not legally "ripe" for Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax, to bring suit against an open primary that will not be held until June 2007. (Emphasis mine)
Clearly the AG's office has attorneys arguing against Cuccinelli in front of the judge- using an argument that there is not sufficient standing to bring the suit forward (despite all this timing being arranged years ago when the RPV State Central Committee addressed the issue).
Here are the specifics of the suit:
Cuccinelli, a lawyer, represented the 11th Senatorial District Committee of Chesterfield County. The district is represented by state Sen. Stephen H. Martin, a Republican, who already has filed papers to hold a nominating primary in the district in June next year. All members of the General Assembly are up for re-election next year. Cuccinelli argued that Martin could be damaged politically by crossover voters who do not have Martin's best interests at heart.
Assistant Attorney General James Stuchell said the court could not prove injury to Martin because there was no guarantee he would run in 2007, nor that he would have opposition if he were to run. (Emphasis mine)
Will the judges agree with the AG's office that injury could not be proven? Do they also believe Cuccinelli's lawsuit to keep liberal activists out of the GOP should be dropped?
The judges questioned Stuchell's position that a suit could be filed next year, closer to the proposed primary. That might not lead to sufficient time to challenge the statute, they said.
This is extremely interesting subject matter and could have a huge impact on Virginia politics. I am just very surprised a conservative such as Bob McDonnell is having his offices actively oppose the effort. Does a closed primary benefit Bolling more than McDonnell?
UPDATED: Please see Shaun Kenney's comment for further clarification. It appears I misunderstood McDonnell's "obligatory" action as optional.
UPDATED: Below is a response from McDonnell's Director of Communications- it should clear everything up.
Just a quick note to follow up on Shaun Kenneyâ€™s clarification. Shaun is exactly right. The Office of the Attorney General serves as counsel to all state agencies, therefore we have a statutory obligation to represent the State Board of Elections. This is also why you will note that in any articles about this case we will not offer comment, as that would represent a conflict of interest. As the stateâ€™s law firm this office has statutory obligations that it must adhere to. In the future, if you ever have any questions about an action this office has taken please let me know so I can explain the circumstances of the situation and make sure everyone is on the same page. Thanks, and keep up the good work with the blog
J. Tucker Martin
Director of Communications
Office of the Attorney General
Regarding the sorry excuse of a parasitic, oligarchic country to our immediate south (fair warning: you're going hear that quote used here plenty more in the future), here is a valuable collection of data by an author who writes pseudonymously (for obvious reasons) and who travels in Mexico, posted at American Daughter. Excerpt:
If you travel professionally in Mexico and have professional friends from Mexico (as I have and do), you will hear that virtually all the politicians in Mexico are controlled by the Narcos. This includes the current and several former presidents of Mexico.... we should not support a corrupt government that encourages millions of its people to violate our law and invade the US every year; and we should move to protect Americaâ€™s business from being corrupted in Mexico and bringing that corruption back to the United States.
It's important, so read the whole thing.
The author argues for sanctions against Mexico, which of course would be the rational thing for the U.S. government to do - but fat chance of that ever happening.
His data, however, provides the context for the information presented in last week's Judicial Watch immigration forum - and should convince every American why the border must be sealed now.
[UPDATE: To be fair, I must note that Brett M. Kavanaugh won Senate confirmation as an appeals court judge despite the initial Democratic filibuster. So Senator Bill Frist was no 'sucker' on that count as implied below. I apologize for that. I don't apologize, however, for stating that Mr. Frist's vote in favor of S.2611 was the end of his 2008 presidential hopes.]
Anybody else watch CSPAN last night between about 5:30 and 6:45 pm? I wish I would have thought to tape it because I think it marked a turning point in American political history, and a semi-amusing lesson in just how hapless our national Republican leadership continues to be.
If you didn't happen to see it, I'm sure you've already read about last night's near-criminal immigration legislation passed by the Senate with the assistance of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's vote.
The Senate yesterday easily approved an immigration bill that allows 10 million illegal aliens to become citizens, doubles the flow of legal immigration each year and will cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $54 billion over the next 10 years.
I left the following comment on Senator Frist's blog. (Kudos to Senator Frist for having a blog. Technology in itself, however, is obviously not enough to make an individual "savvy.")
(Hmm, I don't know what made me think of this: below, Alfalfa and Elizabeth Taylor in "There's One Born Every Minute")
Anyway, here is my note to
(below the fold)
I will be in Sterling this weekend handing out Buddy Poppies with the VFW.
All donations go to a fund to benefit veterans and their families in need of financial assistance.
Come see us at the following Sterling locations:
Giant (Cascades and Town Center)
Safeway (Sterling Park and Countryside)
As the delegates head back today, the House Republican leadership will be running around counting votes. No one seems to be focusing on the fact that the new budget has very little new money for transportation. As I ranted about in an earlier post, does anyone really think that such a budget can pass? The Republican delegates have showed a unified front to this point, but I would encourage anyone who reads this blog, opposes new taxes, and lives in a district with a past tax supporter in the House to get on their phone/email and contact their delegate immediately. I hope my gut feeling is wrong.
This is interesting... I wonder if this will become commonplace in the tens of thousands of condos in Northern Virginia.
Journalist (and 10th District Delegate) Richard Falknor has this article discussing last week's 10th District Convention. Here is some of what he had to say:
What was unusual was that the final â€œweighted voteâ€ was around 61 percent for Rich to 39 percent for Stirrup. (The weighted vote is derived from a formula based on the combined Republican vote in the prior presidential and gubernatorial election percentages for the locality.) In vote-rich Loudoun County, Stirrup received nearly 45 percent of the weighted vote. This meant that in this very-fast-growing jurisdiction, close to one half of the weighted vote ignored veteran Frank Wolfâ€™s oft-stated choice for District chair - - - substituting their judgment on the matter for his...
...Smart, classy, and appealing, Stirrup would have been a safer choice for Wolf to energize the Tenth District center-right for next November. But the network which assembled around her campaign will hardly disappear - - - and may well be a new beacon for the conservative grass-roots in the Tenth District.
The views from the armchair and the ivory tower are like hypotheses in a round-table discussion. In the debate over the effects of illegal immigration on American society, the views from the ground are the ones we should be paying attention to.
I heard a remark by John Mccain the other day where he stated that 99% of these people (illegals) came here because their families were starving and they had no jobs.
This like many other comments by the lawmakers who want amnesty are incorrect...
Much more of this report, below the fold.
We got some helpful comments on this post about Mike Pence's bill updating H.R. 4437.
Commenter Had Enough noted that Rep. Tom Tancredo denounced the bill as a sell-out.
No Relation noted that Tancredo shoots from the hip sometimes.
No Relation said:
Pence is an underground hit among conservatives. Check out his website here.
This immigration issue may be his ticket to mainstream popularity...
Tancredo is great. I agree with him on just about every issue. However, I sometimes wonder how effective his methods are. Pence's plan compromises method without compromising the issue. I think it can work.
Here is Had Enough's comment and great list of links:
(below the fold)
Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) just announced this proposed fine-tuning of H.R. 4437. It has all of the essential provisions of H.R. 4437, although removes the felony provision for illegal presence and specifies that Good Samaritans will not be prosecuted. It adds an electronic employment verification system and requires all illegal aliens who wish to be guest workers to self-deport and apply for a work permit at a processing facility outside the U.S. I've only read it though once but it seems like a step in the right direction, and the new "W Visa" classification is just too great an idea not to fly.
Mr. President, this is your reprieve. I urge you, please, get behind the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act.
Obviously, I have sent a copy of this to Senator John Warner, as an example of the type of thing I'd like my Senator to vote for.
(E-mail Senator John Warner - or call Senator John Warner at 202-224-2023 - or fax Senator John Warner at 202-224-6295)
I come before you today in the midst of a national debate over immigration reform. While I acknowledge that, as the New York Times stated Sunday, we are near the â€œend gameâ€ on immigration reform in the United States Senate, we are far from reaching the kind of compromise that would make a legislative outcome possible in this session of Congress. I bring these remarks in the hopes of offering a new approach and a real middle ground on immigration reform.
One week ago President Bush set out his views on immigration reform to the American people. He stated: â€œThere is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation.â€
I agree with the President that a rational middle ground can be found between amnesty and mass deportation, but I disagree with the President that amnesty is the middle ground. Amnesty is not the real rational middle ground. In the coming days I will introduce the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act, which as I will discuss today sets forth a real rational middle ground between amnesty and mass deportations...
Read the rest, below the fold.
This story demonstrated why the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is in jeopardy, further strengthening the reality that Virginia (and the Federal government) need a Marriage Protection Amendment:
In a case that could result in the nationwide legalization of "gay marriage," a lawyer representing a homosexual couple asked a federal appeals court panel April 4 to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.
DOMA, signed into law in 1996, prevents the federal government from recognizing "gay marriage" and gives states the option of doing the same. But the two men, who reside in California, argue that the law violates the U.S. Constitution. They lost last year at the district court level, and appealed.
The hearing was before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, generally considered to be the most liberal appeals court in the U.S. Still, two of the three justices who heard the case seemed inclined to rule against the couple -- at least on a technicality.
In this story we learn 2008 Presidential hopeful John McCain is unwilling to stand up and protect Marriage from judicial assault:
By opposing the Marriage Protection Amendment, McCain leaves himself with a position on gay marriage that is virtually indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton's. McCain says that makes him one special guy: "I've found in my life that when I do what I think is right -- for example, on the marriage amendment -- it always turns out in the end OK," he told Fox News. "When I do things for political expediency, which I have from time to time, it's always turned out poorly."...
â€¦Memo to McCain: Decisions in New Jersey and California could come at any time, raising voters' concerns about out-of-control courts bent on declaring their faith-based view of marriage a form of bigotry. Are you sure you want to side with Hillary on this one?
And in this article we learn more about the continuing saga in Georgia where a judge overturned the overwhelmingly popular state constitutional amendment protecting marriage. Apparently even a constitution isnâ€™t safe from judicial activism; thankfully Governor Perdue is on the ball and ready to protect marriage no matter the circumstances:
Without a permanent amendment to the stateâ€™s constitution, the assault on traditional marriage will continue. In turn, Governor Sonny Perdue almost immediately appealed Russellâ€™s decision to the stateâ€™s Supreme Court. He requested an expedited review of the case and announced that, should the court fail to overturn Russellâ€™s ruling by August 7, he would call for the state General Assembly to convene in a special session beginning August 9, so that a new amendment proposal (or proposals, if it is deemed necessary to address both marriage and civil unions) can be passed in time to meet the August 14 deadline for ballot language certification, putting a revised amendment on the ballot this November.
Walter Williams, conservative luminary and distinguished professor of economics at GMU, recently wrote a letter to Governor Kaine's Secretary of Transportation, Pierce Homer (pictured above), regarding his letter announcing the state's annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign May 22 through June 4. You can read more here, below is part of Dr. Williams eloquent letter:
"Mr. Secretary: This is an example of the disgusting abuse of state power. Each of us owns himself, and it follows that we should have the liberty to take risks with our own lives but not that of others. That means it's a legitimate use of state power to mandate that cars have working brakes because if my car has poorly functioning brakes, I risk the lives of others and I have no right to do so. If I don't wear a seatbelt I risk my own life, which is well within my rights. As to your statement 'Lack of safety belt use is a growing public health issue that . . . also costs us all billions of dollars every year,' that's not a problem of liberty. It's a problem of socialism. No human should be coerced by the state to bear the medical expense, or any other expense, for his fellow man. In other words, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another is morally offensive."
This is a very special edition of the Carnival, created solely for the purpose of recognizing two blog posts that are in danger of slipping into the abyss before enough people have a chance to read them.
First is by our own No Relation, who wrote this excellent little analysis of the situation in Afghanistan - an area he knows firsthand. I went and unceremoniously dumped five new posts on top of his right after he wrote it and it would be a major shame if everyone did not have the opportunity to hear what this guy knows.
Second is the outstanding Donkey Cons blog with another thorough and entertaining post, this time on the topic of illegal immigration. Robert Stacy McCain, co-author of the Donkey Cons book (Buy Two!) is a great wit but also a great reporter.
Both links earn our highest rating: Well Worth Clicking (tm).
â€œThese bodies are mute witness to the horrible facelessness and inhumane brutality of this international criminal activity.â€-Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse
(From the May 18 Judicial Watch symposium, New Fronts in the Immigration Battle)
Janice Shaw Crouse Highlights
- Illegal immigration, facilitated by wretched criminal networks, fosters sex trafficking and human smuggling.
- Vulnerable girls, women and men are tricked or lured into casting their lot with con men who promise legitimate jobs and bright prospects that turn out to be nightmares of unbelievable exploitation. The victim ends up in slavery
- The traffickers prey on vulnerable Mexicans and they use Mexico as the transit nation for victims from Asia, Europe, South and Central America into the United States.
- Trafficking is one of the areas where the administration really has done some good.
Read the full transcript, below the fold.
â€œThe way to solve the problem is to go after the employers, who are the only ones who have anything to lose in this equation.â€-T.J. Bonner
(From the May 18 Judicial Watch symposium, New Fronts in the Immigration Battle)
T.J. Bonner Highlights
- Amnesty â€“ whether in 1986 or President Bushâ€™s â€œguest workerâ€ proposal in 2004 â€“ has always resulted in an increase in illegal immigration.
- Almost 10% of the people we catch have some type of criminal record in the United States.
- The National Guard will be rotating out every 15 days â€“ not terribly useful. This is not going to free up the 6,000 border patrol agents. I can assure you we do not have 6,000 border patrol agents currently performing support functions. We only have 11,400 agents total. We have perhaps a couple hundred agents performing support functions.
- The 6,000 border patrol agents that President Bush promised are the same ones he promised in 2004, and in the February of 2005 budget he only asked for 210 agents. His Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, called the promise of 2,000 agents â€œfools gold.â€ This year, he only requested 1,500 agents
- Thereâ€™s nothing new in that proposal. This is just a crass attempt by the Bush administration to try and convince conservatives that theyâ€™re finally getting tough on enforcement, and therefore we need to have a massive guest worker program.
- Theyâ€™re not immigrants: Theyâ€™re migrants. Theyâ€™re fiercely nationalistic and have no allegiance to this country. Thatâ€™s a myth. Theyâ€™re just here for the money.
- Despite what President Bush is saying, that itâ€™s now â€œcatch and returnâ€ - catch and release is now pretty much the norm.
- The people coming across the border have nothing to lose. Incarcerating them would be tremendously expensive, as itâ€™s estimated we spend $50,000 per federal prisoner per year. If you run the numbers on that, for every million people we catch, that would be $50 billion to incarcerate them.
- Initiating enforcement against employers will require an idiot-proof, counterfeit-proof form of identification for workers. The social security card is the logical choice, with an electronic code and a personâ€™s digital photograph on it.
Read the full transcript, below the fold.
â€œIn Cochise County, Arizona, we have over 3,000 illegal aliens coming across the border every night.â€-Erin Anderson
(From the May 18 Judicial Watch symposium, New Fronts in the Immigration Battle)
Erin Anderson Highlights
- The connection to Herndon, Virginia is that all the illegal aliens who are crossing on our lands, through the Tucson sector, are not staying in Tucson sector. Every town in America now is a border town.
- Wherever there is a day labor site, the Mexican government has succeeded in planting her flag, because those are the main foundation for encouraging the illegal alien community to get themselves anchored.
- The president and the senators have at best made themselves irrelevant â€“ and at worse they are now part of the problem.
- There have been numerous tipping points since November, 2004: Proposition 200 in Arizona; the town council tossed out in Herndon, Virginia; Mr. Vasquez in Idaho; San Bernardino, California; Utah; Georgia.
- Herndon has become a template which other communities are now looking to, theyâ€™re being noted by and contacted by other communities throughout America.
- The proposed $2,000 â€œfineâ€ is the equivalent to what most coyotes charge for smuggling illegal aliens into the United States. So instead of paying the coyote $2,000 you can pay Uncle Sam. Itâ€™s like the mordita, the bite, the graft.
- I pay taxes on land I cannot farm, ranch or live on.
- Mexico - this sorry excuse of a parasitic, oligarchic country: Blessed with climate, geography, unlimited resources; ranks tenth in the world economy. This is not a poor country although she operates like a third-world banana republic.
- There is ample evidence of support for terrorist organizations in Mexico and Central America, and evidence of terrorists crossing our border.
Read the full transcript, below the fold.
â€œAn unskilled legal immigrant is much more costly than an unskilled illegal immigrantâ€-Steven Camarota
(From the May 18 Judicial Watch symposium, New Fronts in the Immigration Battle)
Steven Camarota Highlights
- All the research suggests the reason illegal aliens create large fiscal costs for the country is not their legal status but rather their educational attainment.
- People with relatively little education make relatively little money in the modern American economyâ€¦At the same time, they tend to use a larger amount of public services, reflecting their lower income.
- The net drain on the federal government alone from illegal families is about $10 billion.
- If we legalize them, the net fiscal drain would roughly triple to nearly $30 billion.
- Nineteen million native-born Americans with no education beyond high school are not even in the labor marketâ€¦This is a HUGE pool of labor.
- The people most likely to say that there are not enough Americans to do these jobs are the rich, the affluent and the oneâ€™s who donâ€™t compete.
- On security issues at the border: We should always avoid the mirage of Mexican cooperation.
- The Bush Administration is not serious about enforcement. As recently as the early 1990s we were fining 1,500 employers a year for knowingly hiring illegals. In 2004, the last year for which data is available, we fined just three employers.
Read the full transcript, below the fold.
â€œItâ€™s not just a border issue anymore. The extraordinary development of the past five years is how many communities in the interior are now facing this problem.â€
-Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch
The next group of posts are highlights and transcripts from a May 18 panel discussion titled New Fronts in the Immigration Battle and sponsored by Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.
There is a large amount of information in the following posts and my summarization probably needs a bit more work. The highlights are in the main entry and the full transcripts are â€œbelow the fold,â€ and I encourage you to read as much of the full transcripts as you can.
Here are quick links to the addresses:
I hope to extract a fact sheet and to do list out if it all - but for now obviously the Number One To-Do is to call your Senator if you got one, and if you donâ€™t, then just call any Senator and tell them to vote against S. 2611 unless they strip out all the amnesty provisions!
(Or e-mail or fax, or do all three).
If youâ€™re too busy to even read any of what follows, please just hold this thought:
Amnesty (guest worker, path to citizenship) = BAD.
The bottom line is weâ€™ve got a very big problem getting worse daily, and not only has the federal government hardly taken a first step to fix it, but it appears the first major step will be in the wrong direction.
As a matter of general interest, if you want to get a handle on where the Bush administrationâ€™s priorities have been, read the Executive Summary of this enlightening Judicial Watch report on a U.S. government project polling apprehended illegal immigrants.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- President Hamid Karzai ordered an inquiry Tuesday into a U.S. bombing that killed at least 16 civilians, including some at a religious school, and called for a meeting with the commander of American forces in Afghanistan.
Let me emphasize something here before I rant: This same bombing by the Americans destroyed a Taliban stronghold and may have killed up to 80 Taliban.
The equivalent of this, hypothetically speaking, would have been De Gaulle launching an inquiry over French civilian deaths when we kicked the Nazis out of France.
The question being dealt with here is if collateral damage should be permissible in war, and how much. Karzai has taken the position that 16 lives is too much for the tactical gain we achieved in this attack. However, the Geneva Convention as well as traditional Just War Theory agree that civilians being used as human shields can be killed if it is unavoidable. Itâ€™s tragic that non-combatants die in a war, but nonetheless, it IS war, and collateral damage is impossible to avoid altogether. In a just war, victory for the righteous side will protect more lives than it destroys. Karzai should be thanking us that we go to such extreme lengths to avoid civilian casualties.
Karzaiâ€™s action implies blame against America, and surely many in the Muslim world will learn of Karzaiâ€™s probe and harden their attitude toward us. It was the terrorists who chose to hide behind those people like cowards. It was the terrorists who got them killed. The problem is the terroristsâ€¦not America...and until Karzai figures this out, he will get nowhere.
I recently spent some time in Afghanistan as an Infantry Scout in the Army. From my point of view, there are three major things that Karzai needs to do with his country before America can leave them to handle the Taliban on their own:
PRESS RELEASE: May 23, 2006
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING STATEMENT ON SENATE PASSAGE OF BUDGET
RICHMOND â€“ The following is Lieutenant Governor Bill Bollingâ€™s statement regarding todayâ€™s Senate passage of HB 5002.
â€œEarlier today the Senate of Virginia passed a revised budget for the 2006-2008 biennium that will fully fund the core responsibilities of state government and provide a framework from which further discussions can take place regarding the Commonwealthâ€™s long term transportation needs. Importantly, this budget removes the tax increases that had previously been proposed by the Senate.â€
â€œI commend the Senate for taking an important step in resolving the budget impasse that has existed for the past 133 days. The Senateâ€™s action represents a responsible and good faith effort to resolve the budget impasse, and it will enable us to finalize funding for important programs like education, public safety, health care, mental health, etc.
â€œI know that this was not an easy decision for the members of the Senate, but it was the right decision and it is clearly in the best long term interest of the people of Virginia.
â€œThe budget adopted by the Senate will now be communicated to the House of Delegates for their consideration. While the House may choose to fine tune some of the recommendations made by the Senate, I encourage them to give this budget proposal prompt and fair consideration.â€
For additional information please contact Randy Marcus, Chief of Staff, at (804) 786-2078 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stealing Joe's concept of a "Carnival of What I Just Found"... I thought the following two articles were interesting and applicable to some of the issues facing the Commonwealth (the struggle in the GOP and the need for the Marriage Amendment). Enjoy!
Cal Thomas has an article discussing the lack of principle in many of today's politicians (something Virginians witness first hand with folks like Potts and Chichester) He asks:
What happens when ideologies and ideas evaporate is that the public becomes politically disoriented. With too many Republicans acting like Democrats and both parties seeming to want power for its own sake, the public has understandably become not only politically disoriented, but disgusted.
The phenomenal Star Parker (an amazing woman with a great American story) has a column discussing the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect marriage from same-sex advocates and judicial activists.
We can look at Europe as a laboratory for what to expect. George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington reports in the current issue of Commentary Magazine, for instance, that in Spain, where gay marriage and adoption is now legal, the words "Father" and "Mother" are being replaced on birth certificates to "Progenitor A" and "Progenitor B."
In European countries, a public statement critical of homosexual behavior is deemed "hate speech" and "a French parliamentarian was fined for saying that heterosexuality is morally superior to homosexuality."
Starting with the title of this article over at the Times-Dispatch, "No-frills state budget pondered," someone should tell Jeff Shapiro that the budget isn't a prom dress.
Anyone who thinks this is a victory is dead wrong. This is obviously a rouse by Chichester and company in the hopes that enough NoVA and Tidewater republicans will vote against the "compromise" because those delegates will believe that a budget with no additional money for transportation will cost them re-election. Unless Howell and company think they have their ducks majorly in a row, this is never going to get through. Good play by the false-republican leadership in the senate.
This is just a site housekeeping notice that I'm a little delayed in posting the immigration symposium transcript, despite the earlier promise and despite taking the day off. It often amazes me how little I manage to accomplish when I skip work to get things done.
For what it's worth, I attended the Loudoun County Republican Committee meeting tonight and it was one of the smoothest, most copacetic, and all-around harmonious business meetings I've ever been a part of. Our own "velvet hammer," Paul Protik, managed time like a Swiss watch. And how could it be otherwise? Getting confrontational with Paul would be like going up against the Man from U.N.C.L.E.
[Ummm, I was just informed I should specify he looks like Robert Vaughn, that's the joke. I don't actually believe Mr. Protik carries a briefcase that shoots bullets or has a sidekick who's a judo expert .]
I had a chance to talk with some great Americans afterwards: No Relation was there (he will be blogging again soon), along with the fiesty Eve Barner, and many others, and needless to say we concluded with a round of Kumbaya with our beloved Supervisor Delgaudio.
Anyhoo, the transcript is coming and it will knock your socks off. I am not slacking off here - for goodness sakes, I did not even watch the conclusion of 24 yet (don't tell me don't tell me don't tell me what happened!) - I'm just running a little behind.
I submit the vast majority of Americans are living with a false sense of security because they have absolutely no idea how fragile the relative peace and stability we enjoy really is. First item is this report by Jerry Seper about illegal aliens being released into American society because of a lack of funding for incarceration.
Second item: Today's news item about a couple Saudi men - one of whom wore shorts and a black trench coat - who boarded a schoolbus in Florida and rode it to the school. Read all about it Right Wing Howler
(And if the words "Beslan" and "test run" go though your mind, I can assure you you are not alone.)
The third item is today's Guard the Border's Blogburst from Euphoric Reality, with a boatload of reports about terrorist incursions into the U.S. that will leave you wondering why the heck the national news media do such an incredibly lousy job covering information that is actually important. If more Americans were aware of what is happening, the border would be sealed within the next month.
(Continued below the fold)
If God is willing, this is going to be a very intensive day of posting on the immigration issue. Please check back periodically when you have some free time because I have a slew of important information to circulate (and the overwhelming majority is by other people so please do not fear being drowned in my tedius ramblings).
The timing is crucial because the U.S. Senate is about to do something monumentally stupid this week. If you don't fully understand why S.2611 is such a bad idea, first please read this report by Robert Rector detailing the huge number of immigrants the Senate bill would bring.
Then, see the note below for an immediate action item.
Then, please visit back over the next couple hours because we'll have the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst, and then a transcript of last week's Judicial Watch symposium on illegal immigration.
If you are not already of the opinion that illegal immigration is a clear and present danger to the United States - and that the Senate and Bush administration proposals to address it are pure lunacy - you will be after reading these transcripts. I'm taking the day off of work today just to try and get all this material posted, in the hope that some readers might see fit to tell their senators to FOLLOW THE HOUSE'S LEAD ON THIS ISSUE.
This is from American Daughter
The Senate is poised to pass S. 2611 this week, the giant amnesty bill that wold change the demographics of our country and start us on the slide into rampant crime, drug culture, and third world poverty. Every thinking American is needed at this moment to phone, fax, or visit their United States Senators and oppose this legislation.
The Senators will try to convince you that this is not amnesty, just a guest worker program with provisions for a path to citizenship. Donâ€™t be fooled. They are giving away our country to people who have not paid for it. The only legislation that makes sense, if we are to remain an educated and prosperous and freedom-loving people, is the â€œenforcement onlyâ€ bill from the House of Representatives.
The votes on the floor of the Senate are convoluted. What is actually needed today is a NO vote on cloture for S. 2611 to allow continued discussion and prevent it from going to a vote. If you have the time and can make the effort, follow all the tricky amendments on the scorecard at
Otherwise, just find the phone numbers for your Senators here and tell them how deeply opposed you are to S. 2611.
Nancy Matthis, Editor
Only a few hours prior to the 10th District Convention (with no time to validate the claim), Vince published this post titled "Bill Bolling Writes Letter of Support for Jim Rich" over on his blog Too Conservative. In this post Vince said:
In a convention winning move, TC has learned that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has written a letter of support for Jim Richâ€™s Chairmanship which will be read to the Delegates today...
...Anyone who dismisses him, says he doesnâ€™t have a vision..well two Congressmanâ€¦and NOW the Lt. Governor have faith in his vision.
Obviously many were skeptical of this apparent attempt to deceive convention delegates. This skepticism was proven well-founded when a Bolling staffer at the convention confirmed that the Lt. Governor was neutral and that he had sent a letter to be read to ALL the delegates at the convention thanking EVERYONE and endorsing or supporting no-one. Well, we now have a quote, directly from Lt. Governor Bolling's Chief of Staff, Randy Marcus.
"Due to personal commitments, Lt Gov Bolling was unable to attend most of the District conventions. In lieu of his attendance, he sent letters to each of the district chairs to read to the convention attendees thanking them for their help during last year's campaign. Lt Gov Bolling did not endorse any of the candidates in the contested chairman races. We congratulate those who won and look forward to working with them to build a better Virginia and Republican Party. We also thank those who did not win for participating in the process." - Randy Marcus, Chief of Staff for Lt. Governor Bill Bolling
It is unfortunate that Vince continues to cling to the 6am distortion, and we truly hope he was only misled and had no dishonest intentions of his own. Regardless, this quote from Bolling's top aide should clarify the matter once and for all- I see no further need to comment. We here at NOVA TownHall hope both Rich and Stirrup supporters can come together to work openly and honestly to strengthen the 10th District.
UPDATE: Video of a portion of this part of the convention is now available!
This point in the agenda is where things really got interesting.
During the earlier "vote" for Chair and Secretary, Jim Rich had refused to heed requests from members for a division of the question - technically, I understand, you just can't do that if you are acting Chair and purporting to follow Roberts Rules of Order.
A motion was made, and the motion carried, to allow reading of the names of Convention delegates who had donated to Democratic opponents of Republican candidates in the past year. Eve Barner was given the floor to commence reading the names.
What happened next was ... Darn, I keep losing my concentration, sorry. It's just that I've got this song going through my head for some unknown reason and I can't get it to stop:
"Woke up this morning, got yourself a gunâ€¦"
(Continued below the fold)
(click on photos for larger images)
I used to have friends who played rugby; I've spent nights in the ER waiting room that made you literally feel the thin line between life and death; I've watched a man bite the head off a live chicken: But none of that - none of that - prepared me for my first Virginia 10th District Republican Convention.
Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. But the parliamentary procedures dispute was stimulating.
The problem, in a nutshell, was that the Jim Rich contingent was running the show, the Heidi Stirrup contingent tried to force them to follow parliamentary procedures, and the Rich people were trying to just move the meeting forward. So in the voting to establish a temporary Chair for the Convention and a Secretary, the Stirrup stalwarts were unable to get a word in edgewise.
Although they tried, they certainly tried. Two gentlemen, last names Ferrara and McHugh, from other parts of the state, did yeoman's duty: It ain't easy under Roberts Rules of Order when the Chair won't recognize members who want to speak. Basically all you can do then is yell.
Dmitri was one of the key members on our side of the room attempting to make points of order and, really, just get the Chair to recognize him so he could say something. Thank goodness a few people understood, even with Roberts Rules supposedly in use, you sometimes have to play hardball to have a democratic meeting.
(Through it all, the children just playedâ€¦as though they knew something we didn't.)
I think that Eugene fellow was in there, if I recall correctlyâ€¦.maybe it was somebody else.
(Continued below the fold)
(click on photos for larger images)
The Convention finally got started a little after 10:05 am, and as a first-timer I have to tell you it was quite exhilarating to be in a room full of cheerful Republicans on this spectacular, sunny day in the mountains.
With the last notes of the Star Spangled Banner still lingering in our ears, however, a lightning-bolt was about to shatter our world and perhaps none of us will ever be the same.
(Continued below the fold)
(click on photos for larger images)
There wasn't much going on at 8:45 am in the Convention area, so I set back off down the hill to look around.
One of my reasons for supporting Heidi Stirrup was I had met her and spoken with her at some length on a couple occasions. She really did a good job doing the meet-and-greet thing at Republican events over the past couple months and this was no exception.
This got me thinking: Maybe in the interest of fairness I should give Jim Rich the same chance. But I did not even know what he looked like. Thus began my quest.
(Continued below the fold)
(click on photos for larger images)
This will be broken into a few reports, I think, so the large number of images don't have to be loaded into one gigantic molasses-slow extended entry.
Getting there was half the adventure in itself!
No, I don't mean getting to the Wakefield School in The Plains - I mean getting from the parking to the registration area to the Convention.
The parking directional people were apparently tasked with making parking as confusing as possible. When we drove up a stern-faced individual looked me in the eye and gestured with great fervor like he was swatting a fly. As I drove past and looked in the rearview mirror, he was still doing it. The meaning I gathered from it was, "Drive damn you, just drive!"
(Continued below the fold)
I came home from the 10th District Convention (where Chapman was present and supporting Heidi Stirrup) to find the below had been forwarded to me.
For Immediate Release For more information: Faisal Gill ph. (703) 975-0359
CHAPMAN: I WILL NOT BACK DOWN
Steve Chapman, 28 year old Manassas businessman, announced his candidacy for the House of Delegates vacancy created by the death of Harry Parrish, before supporters at the Olde Towne Inn Monday night, May 15.
Chapman secured 45% of the Republican primary vote in his 2005 contest with House Finance Committee Chairman Harry Parrish, carrying Manassas Park and the Prince William County precincts in the 50th district. He was the county GOPâ€™s â€œRepublican of the Yearâ€ in 2005. After his 2005 race, Chapman worked as a lobbyist for a taxpayer group in Richmond.
Pointing to the attacks he faced in that 2005 contest and his 2004 leadership of a successful campaign against off-track betting in Manassas Park, Chapman told his supporters that they should know that he fights hard for his values and never backs down.
Chapman contrasted his unyielding stances on the right-to-life, taxes, overcrowding and funding for transportation in Northern Virginia, with his â€œCity Council opponent,â€ referring to Councilman Jackson Miller. Chapman said that Miller had taken a strong stance against overcrowding, only to â€œbow to pressure from the ACLU and other special interest groups.â€ Chapman said he worked with Delegate Parrish on a study of â€œliveable spaceâ€ revisions to the fire code to reduce the number of persons who could live in the same dwelling.
Chapman also criticized Millerâ€™s vote in late April to raise city property taxes by 9.5%, after campaigning against high taxes. â€œIf you canâ€™t stand the pressure of City Council colleagues, how will you stand up to pressure from the Governor, the State Senate and your House colleagues?â€
Chapman described himself as a small business owner for 12 years who knows the burden of taxes and government regulation on businesses and the families of his employees. He promised that the first bill he would introduce would be one to forbid property tax increases exceeding the rate of inflation unless it was adopted by the voters in a referendum. â€œSome of my employees have had to move further from work because of high taxes on their homes.â€
Chapman was endorsed by recently elected Manassas Park Councilwoman Fran Kassinger, Manassas prolife activist Mary Kelly and county Supervisor Corey Stewart. Kassinger was returned to the Parkâ€™s Governing Body as an independent candidate, but said that Adam Larson and she were Republicans who ran as independents because they were not permitted to compete for their partyâ€™s nomination. She thanked Chapman for his help in the May election, as did representatives of Help Save Herndon, a group that recently swept out the mayor and town council in that community on issues associated with illegal immigration. Kelly told the audience that she had carefully questioned Chapman and that his prolife views were strongly held. Stewart cited Mrs. Kassingerâ€™s endorsement as evidence of Chapmanâ€™s broad electoral appeal and independence from â€œthe establishment.â€
Chapman, a graduate of Woodbridge High School who started his business at age 16, also faces lawyer Carroll Weimer in the contest for the Republican nomination. Chapman said he expected the nomination to be decided in a convention to be held in June.
So far the only announced Democratic candidate is Manassas Park resident Jeanette Rishell, chairwoman of Unity in the Community. Speaker of the House Bill Howell has not yet called a special election, but is expected to do so soon.
What do you think?
Well now, that was interesting.
My report will take a little longer to put together so please check back soon for updates. In the meantime, here are a few fond memories from this lovely morning in May:
8:45- Wakefield Scool is bustling with activity. The Stirrup campaign has a massive registration tent right next to the valet parking. About 100 people around the registration area... looks like lapel sticker war is about even but I haven't been to the gym (where convention will occur) yet.
The BIG NEWS is that the Rich Bolling endorsement does not exist... TC either was trying to mislead delegates (stealing a play from Rich) or he was just misinformed. Bolling sent a thank you letter to be read to the entire convention but NO endorsement and his staffer says he is neutral.
A pro-marriage amendment resolution passed the commitee after surviving a 4-4 vote to kill it.
9:45- Hall is beginning to fill. looks like a satelitte location will not be needed, which hurts Heidi. Steve Chapman is here with a Stirrup sticker...
10:06- Convention has not started yet. Rich supporters just handed out blue and white pom-poms to wave when he speaks. Crowd looks evenly divided but it is hard to tell. Room is filling up fast, I am a poor judge of crowd size but would say at least 200.
10:09- Rich just started the convention.
10:09- Bolling letter thanking and supporting EVERYONE working in the GOP read. 5 min reccess.
10:26- Jim Fisher beat Susan Volpe (Heidi suporter) for Temporary Chair Convention. Rich is ignoring call for divison and Roberts Rule.
10:30- Calls for divison ignored and "overruled". Heidi suporters are being ignored... tension high.
10:45- Debate over rules... all votes are by voice, calls for division continue to be ignored. Rules have been shoved through. 7 resolutions will be considered later. 3 people are certified as candidates but Delguadio has withdrawn, only 2 finally certified.
11:04- Cuccinelli's aide moves to remove people who gave money to Democrats this year. Voice vote supports but still rule against. Mass chaos as Heidi supporters are ignored. Wolf speaks for Rich durring candidate speeches.
11:27- Candidates spoke, Heidi didn't use her time well and was cut off after 8 min. Balloting has begun.
12:20- Allen, Wolf and Kate Griffin spoke. Now the big results...
12:50- The winner and next Chairman of the 10th District is JIM RICH. By a margin of about 600-400.
That is all of our live coverage, we'll have more after action later. Congrats to Jim Rich.
Too Conservative has the early morning news that Jim Rich will supposedly receive a major endorsement from a VA elected official during the Convention today (I won't steal TC's thunder - go on over to his site and read about it).
Pardon me if I don't swoon. I'm still planning to vote for Heidi Stirrup even if Ronald Reagan should come back from the dead for the sole purpose of dictating a letter of support for Jim Rich. Why? Oh, just the trivial reason I have listened to Heidi talk about her vision for the 10th district and why Republicans have been getting their butts kicked lately, and it makes a lot of sense. Not enough grassroots activism, not enough boots on the ground on election day, not enough promotion of conservative principles. That fits with the reality I live in. Plus she's been out there talking to people constantly the past few months so we happen to know what she thinks, and I (long time voter, first time conventioneer) couldn't pick Jim Rich out of a police lineup.
Endorsement letters get written from the comfort of one's desk between answering e-mails and reviewing the month's credit card charges. Not to say they are meaningless: When "two Congressmen and a Lt. Governor" decide to write those letters, it means two Congressmen and a Lt. Governor have decided to stake a bit of their political reputation for the promise of future reward, or have received chits from past elections that now must be paid off.
Two Congressmen and a Lt. Governor might instruct me to jump off a bridge, might promise me the moon, might come around with their palms out, but I'm not turning over ANYTHING just on the basis of their authority. When I'm trying to make a difficult decision or having a crisis of conscience, I don't think to myself, "Hmm. What would two Congressmen and a Lt. Governor do right now?"
The endorsements of two Congressmen and a Lt. Governor means absolutely nothing except that Jim Rich managed to get them. That, I'll grant you, is to Jim Rich's credit, in the same sense that if Jim Rich grabbed the front-row parking spot at Costco before I could get to it I'd have to tip my hat to him for his scrappiness and pluck. But I wouldn't think of him as the better man.
NOVA TownHall is pleased to announce that we have acquired mobile blogging technology that will enable us to cover unfolding political events in real time. Thus weâ€™ll be posting live on the status of the 10th District Convention tomorrow.
We may also post some photos, but only in the event of fisticuffs or other unexpected excitement.
Check back often for live in-the-field coverage of one Northern Virginia's hottest political events.
This is old news, but I didn't have internet access while I was out of town and I still think it is worth a discussion.
The May 12-14 paper issue of USA Today's headline reads "Furor erupts over NSA's secret phone call database" over a picture of President Bush. Interesting, since the word "furor" is a close homonym for the way most Americans pronounce the title for Adolf Hitler.
Is USA Today trying to suggest something, or has the liberal media got me paranoid?
What a nice surprise I found when I got back from being out of town. Mick Staton's blog looks like it will be a great way for him to communicate with and get feedback from his constituents. Let's hope it goes well and more elected officials in this area follow his lead.
I found out about this over on Too Conservative.
Today columnist Kevin McCullough used his weekly article to say the following regarding a Superior Court Judgeâ€™s unfathomably flawed ruling in Georgia
With one stroke of the pen, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance C. Russell defied the will of the overwhelming majority of people in his state, and concluded that their collective voice should not be recognized in the matter of marriage in the state of Georgia. He did so even though seventy-six percent of the voters in that state had spoken in one of the largest turnouts in state history.
But Judge Russell is not the first, nor will he be the last in a series of what could be up to nine state challenges to state constitutional amendments or state statutes that give the voters of those states the right to permanently define marriage for the welfare of their society. There could possibly be up to nine such acts of tyrannical judicial arrogance.
McCullough discusses the fact that Russellâ€™s judicial edict undermines the principle argument against the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004 and should offer incontrovertible proof that America needs to amend the U.S. Constitution. He says:
In the last go around [debating the Marriage Protection Amendment] Democrats argued over and over -- and who could ever forget bumbling Ted's slurred speech -- that "marriage was not in trouble in America." The argument they reiterated about three dozen times was that federal legislation to protect marriage was unnecessary given the power the states have to independently regulate such an institution state to state. "Who were they," they argued, "as the federal government to be sticking their noses into the matter." The voters responded in eleven states in 2004 by going to the polls and resoundingly voting in state constitutional amendments to define marriage strictly as that of a union between a man and woman.
But now the liberal judges strike down those amendments and leave the states with no options. It is important to point out that in every state where such a poll has taken place that those voting in favor of strict marriage definition have ranged in margins of 60-80%. The poor voters in Massachusetts have been polled repeatedly and they register consistently in the 70% range in terms of strict marriage definition - yet they never had the chance to vote at the ballot box on the issue. Instead four rogue judges put on their robes of arrogant tyranny and thwarted the voice of the people.
McCullough then mentions that the Marriage Protection Amendment is coming up for a vote on June 5th and currently 54 of the 60 votes are lined up. He discusses the possibilities for picking up the remaining 6 by leveraging various campaigns to commit on the issue (such as Menendez in NJ).
The Family Foundation also had some thoughts on the Georgia Judgeâ€™s decision to overturn a constitutional amendment passed with unprecedented support. Here is some of what they had to say about the rulings implications in the Commonwealth:
What are the implications for Virginia? First, we do not have such "single subject" rule that same-sex marriage activists can use in court. However, amendment opponents are very much trying to separate civil unions from marriage, as if they are somehow different.
We cannot allow opponents to the marriage amendment to get away with their linguistic gymnastics. Civil unions or domestic partnerships or whatever you want to call them are marriages, plain and simple. The citizens of Georgia understood that when 77 percent of them voted in favor of their Constitutional amendment. Virginians must understand the same thing.
Yet again, we see why we must protect marriage in the Virginia, and ultimately in the United States constitution. We cannot allow a few activist judges to radically redefine the nature of marriage itself (against the will of the people) resulting in harm to our children, families, and religious liberty. Virginia needs the Marriage Amendment on the ballot this fall, despite the confusing rhetoric and semantics coming from same-sex marriage activists.
The full Family Foundation Information Alert is below the fold.
Further adding to Jim Rich's troubled reelection campaign for chairman of the 10th congressional district is the revelation that Mr. Rich took sides in a House of Delegates primary inside the 10th. Mr. Rich served as official campaign manager for Kay Hayes, a party activist who unsuccessfully took on then-Mayor Clay Athey for the newly created 18th district seat. While a congressional district chairman running a primary race would be suspicious on its own, Mr. Rich's support did not stop at strategic advisory or official endorsement, but he also contributed financially.
Not surprisingly, Hayes was viewed as the more liberal of the two candidates, and Mr. Rich and his entourage have a record of opposing conservative candidates and officeholders whenever possible. While he has backed the much-loved Congressman Frank Wolf and the party ticket nominally, he has consistently opposed conservatives like Mr. Athey and the man who preceded Athey in representing that portion of Fauquier former Delegate Jay Katzen. Is anyone really shocked that Mr. Rich has stood idly by when conservative candidates face tough elections but kicks in high gear when he faces a legitimate challenger? For instance, Mr. Rich sent out three-page glossy mailer this week detailing his magnificent incumbency and support from one other congressional district chairman. If only Mr. Rich's competitive streak extended to other campaigns.
While this particular blogger has no real issue with Mr. Rich's ideology, do we really want a chairman who sits by and watches his district fall apart? We need a chair who has some youth and energy and most importantly a vision for how to turn this thing around. Let's hope Heidi Stirrup (who has those things I just mentioned) can pull this thing out on Saturday, but I'm not holding my breath.
Today Senator Cuccinelli sent out his latest Cuccinelli Compass, holding Jim Rich to task for his divisive and outrageous comments. Here is some of what the good Senator had to say:
I do not think that such debate should involve mischaracterizations, particularly of a personal nature, including personal attacks. Unfortunately, the only newspaper article where both candidates for chairman of the 10th District Committee had the chance to express themselves on the race found incumbent-chairman Jim Rich brutally and baselessly leveling a destructive personal attack against me and other 'unnamed' Republicans. All the time, talking about "party unity."
I support real party unity, but "unity" like this we can do without... read on.
I havenâ€™t written much about the race for 10th District Chairman in the Compass. Tonight though, Iâ€™m shocked and disappointed beyond words with Jim Richâ€™s willingness to tear down people who have spent decades building up the Republican Party. Recently, in the Leesburg Today, a local Loudoun paper, in the only local article on this race that I am aware of, Rich compared fellow Republicans to Communist Dictator Chairman Mao Zedong, the tyrant who starved tens of millions of his own people to death. Thanks Jim, but this is too much and it's totally uncalled for.
Well said. The full Cuccinelli Compass is below the fold.
Chuck Colson has a very good article titled Shifting Boundaries that examines the reality of the same-sex marriage debate. The issue is not, as we are often told, one that has no impact beyond affecting those seeking same-sex marriages (i.e. what same-sex marriage advocates imply when they ask how permitting two men to wed will â€œhurtâ€ traditional marriages and families). One only has to look at Massachusetts (where same-sex marriage was established by judicial decree because they did not have a Marriage Protection Amendment in their state constitution protecting marriageâ€¦ something Virginians will have the opportunity to add to our Bill of Rights this November) to see the real impact of same-sex marriage on our religious freedoms. Here are some key points from Colsonâ€™s article:
A few months ago, I told you about the agonizing choice facing Catholic Charities of Boston: Either serve the needy or remain faithful to Catholic teaching. Specifically, the only way it could continue to handle adoptions according to Massachusetts law was to include same-sex couples among its clienteleâ€¦
â€¦In March, Catholic Charities, citing a â€œdilemma we cannot resolve,â€ announced that it would no longer facilitate adoptions in Massachusetts. That â€œdilemma,â€ as writer Maggie Gallagher recently wrote in the Weekly Standard, grew out of the Massachusetts case legalizing same-sex â€œmarriageâ€: that is, the Goodridge decision.
As Colson points out, the Goodridge decision found that â€œonly animus against gay peopleâ€ could explain different treatment for same-sex couples when compared to heterosexual couples. Forget biological facts, basically Goodridge said those opposed to the redefinition of marriage to no longer mean â€œone man and one womanâ€ could only have hate as their reason. Never mind people (such as myself) believe the countless peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that children do best when they are not willfully denied a mother or a father, something same-sex couples can never provide, never mind that people have loving and faith informed beliefs that same-sex behavior is harmful (not only biologically with a marked increase in the probability STDs) but spirituallyâ€¦ no weâ€™re just all a bunch of hate filled bigots, right? Anywaysâ€¦
Thus, after Goodridge, discrimination against same-sex couples in matters of adoption also became illegal. As a state-licensed agency, Catholic Charities was now obliged to serve same-sex couples in a way that it was not before Goodridge.
Whatâ€™s more, it did not matter if Catholic Charities â€œceased receiving tax support and gave up its role as a state contractor.â€ After Goodridge, it still could not refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
So, millennia-old religious beliefs gave way to months-old, newly found â€œrights.â€ Massachusetts refused to consider even the â€œnarrowest religious exemption.â€ One of the oldest adoption agencies was, therefore, forced to stop helping the people it had pledged to serve.
Absolutely ridiculous. As we can see same-sex marriage isnâ€™t just about the No Fault Freedom of individuals- it has tremendous implications for all of society. Colson goes on to discuss how this will shift the debate of faith and government:
Instead of litigating over posting the Ten Commandments in public spaces, churches in the future will be trying to keep the state from encroaching on matters of faith and morals.
This will certainly become the case if sexual orientation comes to be seen as analogous to race, which is already the view among many elites, including some in the judiciary. If that happens, as looks likely, then all the force of law unleashed by racism charges will be brought to bear against the Church.
Schools, health-care providersâ€”even Christian camps and, yes, maybe pastors in the pulpitâ€”will be uncertain if they can do their jobs in a way that is both legal and consistent with their beliefs.
The best way to keep the Massachusetts dilemma from spreading is to keep the logic behind the Goodridge decision from spreading. The Marriage Protection Amendment, now pending before Congress, would not only protect traditional marriage, it would also protect the beliefs that underlie traditional marriageâ€”beliefs that, as Gallagher has shown, may soon be treated as the equivalent of Jim Crowe.
You can find more information on the Massachusetts situation in Maggie Gallagherâ€™s article titled Banned in Boston. And of course this threat to religious freedom isnâ€™t limited to the North East, Ben Shapiro has an article titled The California homosexual activists' assault on schoolchildren discussing California Senate Bill 1437 and its goal of removing parents from the education process in regards to teaching about sexual orientation and rewriting history books with so that they discuss someoneâ€™s sexual tendencies rather than their historical achievements.
Now more than ever Virginians need to support the Marriage Amendment this fall. If youâ€™d like to get more involved in this effort please email Steve Waters at the Family Foundation and volunteer to serve as an advocate in your community.
Will Vehrs has a post up at Commonwealth Conservative discussing the departure of five PHC professors for supposed restrictions on academic inquiry.
Connections to conservatives are available, most locally with Paul Protic, chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee and director of the government apprenticeship program and instructor at Patrick Henry.
Do these recent issues at PHC have any implications on Loudoun's local political dynamics? Thoughts?
CQ Politics just launched an Election Forecast Map, it can be found here. Here are some of the interesting new features:
The map not only displays Congressional Quarterly's trusted ranking of each House, Senate and gubernatorial race â€” a practice that goes back years â€” but also provides easy access to recent CQPolitics.com news stories, demographic information, Census data, and electoral history. If you want to find out the 2004 presidential vote in, for example, Indiana's 9th District, just go to the map, zoom in, click on the district, and the information will pop up immediately.
It's a great resource, everyone should check it out.
This story is interesting:
"I was running on so much adrenaline," the 48-year-old former U.S. Marine aviation technician told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "I just freaked out and shot him _ boom, boom, boom, boom."
The deputy gave Frey a warning citation for hunting without a license.
Given the fact that gators have recently attacked and killed 3 people in Florida (although there is speculation that 1-2 of these attacks weren't "live"... i.e. someone murdered the victims and then fed their body to the gators) I was surprised to see anyone would so much as cite someone for shooting at one that aggressively came into their home. The authorities in Richmond killed the Maymont bears for attacking a child and they were far more contained than a lone gator that had the chutzpah to go into someone's home... I think the lady had the right idea!
I think Ken Mehlman is a good guy, so my heart just breaks for him when I get another e-mail like this:
From obstructing immigration reform to playing politics with our national security to advocating higher taxes and higher gas prices, Democrat hypocrisy knows no bounds.
You won't hear about it in the liberal media, though, so the RNC is turning to grassroots leaders like you to help set the record straight, Joseph.
That's why I need you to make an urgent online contribution of $180, $270, or even $360 to get the word out about the real Democrat record of obstruction and hypocrisy.
Democrats are using every minute parliamentary tactic they can find to obstruct the Bush/Republican agenda for a stronger America. Don't take my word for it, the facts speak for themselves:
- Immigration: Democrats say they want to pass immigration reform. But when the time came for a vote, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats obstructed immigration reform by blocking any amendments to a comprehensive bill. Liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer reportedly told his colleagues he would prefer to have the issue for this fall's elections than real border security....
Chairman, Republican National Committee
P.S. We must set the record straight on Democrat hypocrisy if we are to stop the liberal power grab and elect more Republicans in 2006. Please make a secure online contribution of $180, $270, or even $360 to the RNC today. Thank you.
Talk about a whopper, huh?
I can imagine how this comes about:
Assistant: "Mr. Mehlman, another tactical memo from Mr. Rove, code word 'mendacious.'"
Ken: "NOOOOOO! NOOOO! I HAVE INTEGRITY! I USED TO HAVE INTEGRITY! HOW CAN HE MAKE ME DO THIS!!!"
Assistant: "If you'd like, I can get him on the line and you two can discuss it..."
Ken: "You heartless bastard, you work for him, don't you?"
Assistant: "I have a family to protect, sir. I have no choice."
Or, use his Web contact form.
[Mailing address: Senator John Warner, 225 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON DC 20510]
[Web address: http://warner.senate.gov/]
Background - Today in the Senate:
An amendment by Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson, defeated 40-55, would have required the Homeland Security Department to certify that U.S. borders are secure and new detention facilities are fully operational before the guest worker and legalization programs could take effect.
Eighteen Republicans voted against the Isakson amendment, while seven Democrats voted for it.
Our own Senator John Warner was one of the GOP votes against.
Now, Senator Warner may have had a perfectly defensible reason for voting against an amendment that seems so utterly NECESSARY, which is why I recommend all Virginians call and "ask why" rather than call and "give him a piece of your mind." But in any case, his office phone needs to ring off the hook.
...anything less than a border security first approach would be "a wink and a nod one more time to those who would come here" unlawfully.
Supporters of the Senate bill said Isakson's approach would derail the approach that President Bush supported in Monday night's speech.
"Derailing" the president's plan should not be our biggest concern at this juncture, I would submit. FIXING it might be the place to start.
My main man, Rep. Tom Tancredo, on the Neil Cavuto program, said we should
...build a 12-foot concrete wall from San Diego to Brownsville at a cost of $500,000 a mile for a total cost of about $1 billion."
That's what I wanted to hear from the president, and that's why I'd like to know why Senator Warner voted against the Isakson amendment.
This (better late than never) is a quick survey of what conservative (and semi-conservative) bloggers have to say about yesterday's speech by President Bush. There seems to be a common theme underlying most of the responses, but I will do my best to make this edition of the Carnival seem dramatic.
First, some serious round-ups can be found at:
Now onto the negative reactions (quite a few of these to choose from, actually):
-Bryan of Hot Air says it was a wasted opportunity.
-Heidi of Euphoric Reality is unimpressed.
-Ace says it was probably effective...for a wrongheaded cause.
-Captain Ed calls it a speech to pacify critics
-Mrs. M of the Cigar Intelligence Agency found a LOT wrong with it, and does a very thorough fisking. (Man - that would be too much work for me!)
-Baldilocks fisks a portion very few of us likely picked up on.
-Mike at My Pet Jawa say Bush 'boldly called a spade a spork.'
-Finally, on a different topic but not totally unrelated: E.L. Frederick notes which GOP senators voted against today's 'enforcement first' amendment to the Senate bill.
But all is not lost, Mr. President - here are some more or less positive reactions:
-Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy call it a policy grounded in reality.
-John Cole at Balloon Juice says deportation is impossible, after all.
-Patrick of Clarity and Resolve (no shrinking violet, he) says it's a start.
-And finally, with words of wisdom and moderation we should ALL bear in mind, Frank J. of IMAO envisions a future without borders.
If youâ€™re a registered delegate to the 10th District GOP Convention this Saturdayâ€¦ youâ€™ve probably been getting plenty of mail this past week. As youâ€™ll recall incumbent Jim Rich previously sent out his deceitful â€œsave the dateâ€ card designed to confuse his opponentâ€™s supporters into thinking they registered incorrectly (and thus not show up). Thankfully the recent mailings have not been so blatantly dishonest; however the contrast between the two candidates remains crystal clear.
Jim Rich sent out a typical fluff piece basically stating that last year the office was â€œbustling with activity as we funded thousands of voter ID and GOTV calls on phones paid for by the 10th District Committee.â€ Apparently having a few phone lines that the Kilgore campaign had their recruited volunteers use was Jim Richâ€™s ambitious plan for success in 2005. His letter provided NO concrete vision or plan for successâ€¦ even going so far to simply say â€œIf it ainâ€™t broke donâ€™t fix it.â€ The most amusing (or disturbing) part of Richâ€™s campaign mailer was when he said he intended to continue his â€œinclusive policyâ€ and that he stands for â€œbrining people INTO the partyâ€”NOT throwing people out.â€ Ironically this is coming from the same man who fought (successfully) to hold the convention in a small and secluded venue far from most Committee members, who opposes Heidiâ€™s plan to rotate 10th District Committee meetings around the district to build participation, and who presided over one of the largest decreases in membership in Committee history. His â€œinclusive policyâ€ means resisting transparency at every turn and refusing to issue simple written financial reports to dues paying Committee members at each meeting. It is no surprise the Committee has shrunk (as has GOP voter turnout) under his leadership.
In contrast, Heidi Stirrup sent out a letter including a â€œPlan for Leadershipâ€ that sets forth a concrete action plan to improve the Committee (she apparently doesnâ€™t believe Richâ€™s argument that the committee is doing just fineâ€¦ probably because the Tenth District has the â€œdubious distinctionâ€ of being tenth in voter turnout (second from last in getting voters to the polls). Apparently having a few phone lines available (and staffed not with volunteers organized from the shrinking 10th District Committee but from the campaign itself) isnâ€™t such an effective GOTV operation. Heidi makes it clear that â€œwe cannot hope to win elections if we cannot turn out our voters.â€ She intends to set specific membership and voter registration goals for each unit and work transparently to build the party rather than watch it wither away.
Both candidates also have the support of elected officials, with Jim Rich getting a letter sent out on his behalf from his friend, Congressman Frank Wolf; and Heidi Stirrup including letters of support from Senator Tom Coburn and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.
Unfortunately it appears Jim Rich has a slight edge heading into Saturday and is likely to be reelected, due in large part to his most recent exclusionary maneuversâ€¦ however every 10th District delegate should do everything in their power to support Heidiâ€™s vision and campaign. We wonâ€™t win in NOVA without a solid grassroots organizationâ€¦ despite what Jim Rich says, things arenâ€™t perfect and we need to face reality and do something about it rather than burying our head in the sand.
Weâ€™ll have more later in the week.
David Limbaugh has a new column that highlights the dangerous hypocrisy of those who seek to use intimidation to silence those who oppose the same-sex lifestyle.
I suppose it's a matter of one's perspective, but it sure seems to me that if there is any special interest group aggressively pushing its agenda on society, it's the radical homosexual lobby.
He goes on to examine many recent incidents where force and coercion were used to try and silence those who donâ€™t support same-sex sexual behavior and relationships. This should serve as just another example for why we need the Virginia Marriage Amendment to protect the rights of all Virginians to stand up for traditional marriage. This debate is no longer theoretical when Canadians are banned from speaking out against homosexual behavior and unelected judges in Massachusetts created â€œgay marriageâ€ via judicial decree (and now parents arenâ€™t even allowed the option of removing their children from classes that introduce homosexuality in the second grade!).
We look forward to hosting Steve Baril and hearing his thoughts on the campaign for Marriage. You can leave comments and questions on the post below.
After being the focus of a Not Larry Sabato rant, our interview with Steve Baril this week should be even more interesting. Again, if you have any questions for Steve, just throw them in the comments section. Finally, as a teaser, I got the following quote about how he thought the speech went and the imbroglio over at NLS:
"I thought [the speech] went well. I saw the comment. He misunderstood what I said. Frankly, the argument never occured to me and is inconsistent with my positive message about the campaign."
I can't type fast enough to "live blog" but I will be posting some comments, then some links and, after Jack Bauer kicks a whole bunch of butt, a bunch of updates. Also, probably full audio later on.
"We are a nation of laws and we must enforce our laws."
"Comprehensive immigration reform."
Bush has added "9,000 to 12,000 agents."
Hmm. My skeptical side is emerging.
"Technologically advanced border..."
Hmm. What needs to be so technologically advanced about a friggin' tall fence?
"Guard will assist the Border Patrol..."
...by hauling water, picking up the trash, and directing traffic.
"Mexico is our neighbor and our friend."
Well, one out of two ain't bad.
"This practice called catch and release is unacceptable..."
Yes. Thanks for the insight.
"Temporary workers must return to their country after their stay...a temporary worker program would add to our security..."
"It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people..."
How about just fining the hell out of employers who hire illegal aliens, then?
"We must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot..."
Perhaps, the past is not always the best guide to the future...but he is using the word "assimilate" - that's good.
"Congress can pass a comprehensive bill for me to sign into law...we cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger...every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenship papers say..."
Not the ones I saw protesting the past month and a half, with their flags and t-shirts and claims they already own North America and Americans are interlopers.
Now, the Fox All Stars weigh in:
Kristol: "You have to have comprehensive immigration reform."
From the yahoos, Bill, I send you a big bag of cowpie.
Barnes: "If he just wanted to win over his base, he would have done enforcement only...but that wouldn't have won over the Senate."
The Senate, I discern, is on the "other side" of this issue from me.
And now from the rest of the Fox News team:
O'Reilly: "The president was smart in not trying to be the macho guy...but tonight is a good night for America."
I actually agree with Bill on immigration most of the time - not on some other issues - but I think he's a little too sanguine tonight.
Greta (from the border): "It's amazing how many people are coming across this border."
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT!! Damn, for a Scientologist she does hit the nail on the head once in a while.
UPDATE: Sorry, after watching Jack I was worthless so the further roundup will have to wait for a new post, later in the day, after I get done earning a living.
A very timely Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality: Two conservatives, a Reformer and a Revolutionary, debate whether the Republican Party's apparent failure on immigration is the last straw. Let's hope the president's speech tonight does not have everyone in the GOP asking these same questions.
Tonight, the President will address the nation on his plans for illegal immigration. Unfortunately, he's already given his word to Vicente Fox on Sunday that his plan to put a few National Guard troops on the border is just a temporary formality, of sorts, and not meant to intimidate anyone. Right. Heaven forbid we intimidate anyone to deter them from breaking our laws!
The question then arises, who does Bush feel more compelled to explain himself to - us Americans or the Mexicans? He owes the American people everything , and the Mexican government nothing! So why is he assuring Fox of anything concerning our internal national policies?!
I have no illusions about what we'll hear from President Bush tonight. But before he tries to lull anyone into complacency tonight, let's look at the reality of the Goode Amendment, which Bush will no doubt reference in his speech tonight. Troops on the border to bolster security? It's not what it sounds like:
OK, here are the dirty little secrets.
â€œ(d) Conditions of Use- (1) Whenever a member who is assigned under subsection (a) to assist the Bureau of Border Security or the United States Customs Service is performing duties at a border location pursuant to the assignment, a civilian law enforcement officer from the agency concerned shall accompany the member.â€
So, each military member will simply now be a buddy for a Border Patrol guy.
Now look at this;
â€œ(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed toâ€“
(A) authorize a member assigned under subsection (a) to conduct a search, seizure, or other similar law enforcement activity or to make an arrest;â€
So, the military has nada authority.
BUT it gets better;
â€œ(h) Termination of Authority- No assignment may be made or continued under subsection (a) after September 30, 2007.â€™â€
This is a ONE YEAR DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bush's speech tonight seems to be a weak bid to stem the hemorrhage of voters from the Republican Party. As the party's leader, Bush has a responsibility to lead and direct his party, and he may just be leading it to a crushing defeat in the upcoming elections. People who voted for Bush not once, but twice, are abandoning the Republican Party in droves. On a recent news radio poll, 80% of the callers who had voted for Bush twice, now heartily disapprove of him. Of that 80%, 90% of them said it was due to his mishandling of our border security. But Democrats shouldnâ€™t celebrate any victories yet, because itâ€™s not just Republicans - what it's doing to the two-party system is even worse.
This issue is splitting the American people into a majority who demand border security and immigration enforcement and a small, but vocal minority who demand amnesty. There are now two schools of thought coalescing around the faltering Republican Party and its bumbling missteps. The debate is happening now and we need to be a part of it. So letâ€™s debate!
Kit and I dove into this a little deeper and have each represented a school of thought concerning the future of the Party, and by extension, our two party-system. In the interest of full disclosure, Kit is an increasingly-reluctant Republican and I am a furious Independent (formerly Republican who split from the party over a year ago).
(Read the debate, below the fold)
The Family Foundation sent out an Event Alert regarding their Shenandoah Valley chapter's "Salute to The Family" next Monday. The email is a good example of the back and forth we can expect from Lt. Governor Bolling and AG McDonnell as they both attempt to solidify core conservative support. Bolling is the keynote speaker for the dinner and McDonnell is headlining the sponsors' reception.
I think this kind of healthy competition among solid conservatives will help both GOP leaders "elevate their game" and thus strengthen our Party and our Commonwealth. The full Family Foundation email is below the fold.
Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist was the featured speaker; these are links to audio of his speech:
Here's a snippet from Gilchrist's speech and a clue about why you should care: (below the fold)
With my fellow bloggers all out of town eating funnel cakes, buying funny hats and building sand castles and such, there is the definite risk of someone like me lowering the customary high standards of original reporting and commentary here at the NOVA TownHall Blog, either by my writing bad, or me just being lazy and opportunistic.
Irregardless, let's give the latter a try. I am going to paste an e-mail I just got which tells a worthwhile story and reminds us that, in the end, it's all relevant:
Working in Mexico (The following from a director with S.W. BELL in Mexico City.)
I spent 5 years working in Mexico.
I worked under a tourist visa for 3 months and could legally renew it for 3 more months.
After that, you were working illegally. I was technically illegal for 3 weeks waiting on the FM3 approval.
During that 6 months, our Mexican and US Attorneys were working to secure a permanent work visa called a FM3. It was in addition to my U.S. passport that I had to show each time I entered and left the country.
Barbara's was the same except hers did not permit her to work.
To apply for the FM3, I needed to submit the following notarized originals (not copies) of :
1. Birth certificates for Barbara and me.
2. Our marriage certificate.
3. High school transcripts and proof of graduation.
4. College transcripts for every college I attended and proof of graduation.
5. Two letters of recommendation from supervisors I had worked for at least one year.
6. A letter from The St. Louis Chief of Police indicating I had no arrest record in the U.S. and no outstanding warrants and was "a citizen in good standing."
7. Finally; I had to write a letter about myself that clearly stated why there was no Mexican citizen with my skills and why my skills were important to Mexico. We called it our "I am the greatest person on earth" letter. It was fun to write.
All of the above were in English that had to be translated into Spanish and be certified as legal translations and our signatures notarized. It produced a folder about 1.5 inches thick with English on the left side and Spanish on the right.
(The rest, below the fold)
My rant: Those stinking fascists who run Maryland have sown a bitter harvest indeed:
Immigrants and illegal aliens arrive at the MVA as early as 11 p.m., napping in cars in hopes of seeing an agent when the office opens at 7 a.m. -- an hour and a half before doors open to the general public. When the walk-in process began, some said they returned up to five nights -- skipping school or work -- because agents could not see the hundreds waiting for a limited number of spots.
"It feels like ... discrimination because we are the only people who have to do this," said William Medina, a Salvadoran immigrant on a tourist visa who lives in Oxon Hill...
Last year, CASA sued the MVA, saying among other things its appointment process was discriminatory because it separates foreign-born applicants from the general public.
When you tick off CASA de Maryland, you better know you've gone too far.
A "U.S. drivers license," which as of this writing still includes the Maryland ID, is a ticket to much more than operating a vehicle, including voting, getting credit, establishing residency, and even boarding planes to carry out terrorist attacks if that is one's fancy. Far be it from me to deny such benefits to those who are here illegally. But to make them wait in line is practically un-American.
When I go to DMV, I assume I'll be there long enough to memorize every detail of the ceiling and put a good dent in Crime and Punishment besides. It's a day trip. But I'm a citizen and I have to play by the rules. Imposing similar inconvenience on those who live outside the rules is just plain illogical.
(This is a Carnac the Magnificent bit).
And the card says:
"The Senate, the White House and the Mexican government."
Hey-oh! You are correct, sir!
After months of partisan maneuvering, Senate passage of sweeping immigration legislation is virtually assured by Memorial Day. But that scarcely ends the struggle in Congress, given the vast differences between President Bush and House Republicans over the fate of millions of illegal immigrants...
"We congratulate the Senate on reaching agreement and we look forward to passage of a bill prior to Memorial Day," said Dana Perino, deputy White House press secretary. Reid and Frist exchanged compliments on the Senate floor. Mexico's foreign secretary said in a statement that the deal was a "positive step toward the approval of a migration accord."
The obtuseness of the national GOP leadership is breathtaking. Of course, the highly motivated citizens who take border security very seriously aren't going to be surprised by the political shenanigans in DC, as they have moved on to other concerns entirely:
Mexican "Enemies" Lists Beginning to Surface
Individuals are listed here by name that the Mexican Government is actively tracking, and as a result of translating the other documents in this series, under the full knowledge and assistance of agencies of the United States Government...
In agreement with the program, the main orador was the Representative Tom Tancredo. Also antiimmigrants like Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox participated to leaders of groups, founders of the Minuteman project; Jan and William Herron, leaders of Defend Colorado Now; Glen Spencer, leader of American Border Patrol; Sharrar flash, founder of Arizona Patriots, organization of "watchmen" who operate in Yuma; Andy Ramirez, leader of Friends of the Border Patrol, organization who operates in California; Rick Oltman, representative of FAIR; Barbara Coe, of California for Coalition Immigration Reform and coauthor of proposal 187; Lupe Moreno and Angie Morfin, members of the Republican Hispanic Assembly, among others.
Much more, here.
America's new last line of defense: The House of Representatives.
Next, the Senate Republicans and Bush administration issue a joint press release stating they are "still relevant."
Senator Cuccienlli sent out a very powerful edition of the Cuccinelli Compass last night- addressing the shooting at the Sully police station. Cuccinelli had went on a "ride along" with Officer Mike Garbarino (in critical condition) just last summer and discusses the service of the dedicated men and women who serve as police officers. Here is some of what he had to say:
It's been a rough week for police officers in Virginia. As much as we hear and think about our troops overseas keeping us safe and expanding liberty around the world, let's keep in mind the warriors in our own midst who have taken on the role of our protectors right here at home -- at risk of their own lives. Of course, I'm referring to our police and law enforcement officers.
They deserve our respect and gratitude, and right now they need our prayers. Please take another moment to pray for their protection and comfort.
The full update is below the fold.
This is the latest Guard the Borders blogburst from Euphoric Reality:
The pro-illegal immigration folks now have their own campaign song. Itâ€™s called â€œNuestro Himno,â€ (our anthem), and itâ€™s peddlers say itâ€™s just a re-interpretation of our national anthem, â€œThe Star-spangled Banner.â€ Letâ€™s see if that claim actually holds water.
First, an English translation of â€œNuestro Himno.â€ (Below the fold)
Senator George Allen has won the Young Republican National Federation's 2008 Straw Poll held on April 19â€“21 at the Young Republican Leadership Conference. Click here to see the results online, or check out the press release below. I am not a YR and thus I have no idea what kind of attendance an event like this draws (and consequently how many people voted), but it's always good to see Allen on top. Now let's get out there and volunteer to ensure that Allen crushes whoever emerges alive from the Sociocratâ€™s blood-bath of a primary. You can sign up to help Allen here.
Young Republicans Hold 2008 Presidential Straw Poll
For Immediate Release May 5, 2006
Contact: Lynn Krogh, Communications (917) 922-4194
Young Republicans Hold 2008 Presidential Straw Poll
Allen wins, McCain takes second
This weekend the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF) announced the results of their 2008 Presidential Straw Poll. Senator George Allen (VA) came in first with 18% of the vote, followed closely by Senator John McCain with 16%. With 13%, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took third place, and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee came in fourth with 9% of the vote.
The YRNF Straw Poll was run by Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates (http://www.fabmac.com/), which specializes in Republican campaign polling. Voting took place April 19â€“21 during registration for those that attended the Young Republican Leadership Conference and the results were announced at the Conferenceâ€™s Freedom Gala on April 22, 2006.
Young Republican National Federation Straw Poll Results
Question: Thinking ahead to the 2008 Presidential election, which of the following would you vote for to be the next Republican nominee for President?
George Allen 18%
John McCain 16%
Condoleezza Rice 13%
Mike Huckabee 9%
Rudy Giuliani 8%
Mitt Romney 7%
Bill Frist 7%
Newt Gingrich 4%
Sam Brownback 4%
George Pataki 4%
Tom Tancredo 3%
Haley Barbour 1%
Rick Santorum 1%
Lieutenant Governor Bolling did a fantastic job tonight live blogging over at Too Conservative.
Also, we are pleased to announce that we will be having an exclusive interview with prominent Richmond lawyer and former candidate for Attorney General Steve Baril on the site soon. Mr. Baril has kept a fairly high profile in Virginia Republican politics since the end of the primary and is scheduled to speak at the Teenage Republican convention this weekend on the marriage amendment. Leave questions in the comments if you have any for Mr. Baril.
Finally, I am on a temporary hiatus right now, but I will be back posting on a regular basis soon.
Welcome one and all to this weekâ€™s edition of the notorious Virginia Blog Carnival. This is NOVA TownHallâ€™s first opportunity to host the VBC and weâ€™re honored to do so. For those unfamiliar with the VBC:
â€œEach Monday, a Virginia blogger will host a Virginia Blog Carnival, offering just a sample of the topics Virginia bloggers have been writing about during the week. We hope everyoneâ€™s curiosity will be piqued to read more of the selected posts, thereby giving more exposure to each participating bloggerâ€™s site.â€
I wonâ€™t attempt to be exceptionally eloquent or creative in my presentation; I just hope to introduce you to some great bloggers and their fine work this past weekâ€¦ Iâ€™ll post less verbiage so you have more time to read theirs. Now on to the main event:
- Conservative blogger Shaun Kenney has a post titled Damn Proud to be a Virginian addressing the controversy over the Confederate flag. He also has a fascinating post titled What Happens if Miller Beats Webb discussing the self-created hysteria of the Virginia blogs for Webb, and comparing it to what happened to Howard Deanâ€™s echo-chamber in 2004.
- Spank That Donkey has a post titled Liberal Bias in Political Cartoons. They also have an interesting post discussing a windfall tax refund idea.
- Roci over at Rocinanteâ€™s Burdens has a post mocking the windfall profit tax concept titled Damned Oil Company Owners.
- Bob Gibson over at the Daily Progress Blog has a post titled Miller hasnâ€™t lost; Allen hasnâ€™t won that discusses the unfolding U.S. Senate race. It serves as a good primer for anyone who hasnâ€™t been following the race.
- Adam over at Sophistpundit posts God Bless the South which he describes as â€œjust a little mockery of someone entrenched in older ways.â€
- Knut Karnapp over at World Cup 2006 News submitted his World Cup Trivia post that attempts to interject some healthy non-political dialogue into the Virginia blogosphere (but watch out for all the Google ads!) I have to mention that Iâ€™ve heard it said that Soccer is â€œa sport for bureaucrats, socialists, and overbearing mothers.â€
- One Wise Girl over at Spark it Up discusses an extremely important issue with her post Keeping our Children Safe from Sexual Predators. Meanwhile Kilo is discussing the newfound racism debate with his post Jim Webbs Racial Problems.
- LAST MINUTE ADDITION: Apparently Ferdyâ€™s Carnival Submit form did not forward me RomeoCatâ€™s submission so I am adding it now. She had submitted a very powerful post titled Sunday Thoughts that discusses Godâ€™s purpose in our lives and that because He is in control we should be anxious for nothing and let not our heart be troubled. A healthy reminder as we go about our often hectic lives.
- Vince over at Too Conservative celebrates his blogâ€™s first anniversary and remembers some of the posts that sparked the most interest. Happy blog-anniversary Vince!
- Not Larry Sabato has a post titled VehrsGate that discusses the ridiculous attacks on Will Vehrs and lays out some action items for the Virginia blogosphere.
- Waldo Jaquith has a post on the upcoming 2006 Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth.
- GOPHokie over at Elephant Ears has two great posts that provide a very impressive overview of the redistricting possibilities facing the House of Delegates and the State Senate.
- Charles over at Two Conservatives has a very amusing post that asks Did Rove Leak Critical Data to China?
- James Young over at Skeptical Observer has a post aptly named Priceless that discusses some pictures of an anti-American Syrian protest. Crazy stuff.
- Norm over at One Manâ€™s Trash discusses the Eminent Domain blogger conference call with Joe Waldo in his post The Eminent Domain Game. I am sorry I missed it but grateful for Normâ€™s coverage.
- Virginia Centrist of Virginia Centrist, inspired by criticism on another blog, decided to examine what it actually means to be a â€œcentristâ€ with this post (ultimately providing a Centrist Blogger List). Then Richmond Insider carried the dialogue further with this post comparing the term â€œmoderateâ€ and â€œcentrist.â€
- And the post that got me most excited this week had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with truth, justice, and the American way. Chad over at Commonwealth Conservative posted this entry linking to the trailer of the new Superman movie. I canâ€™t wait.
Donkey Cons is a great source of, among other things, insight on Georgia politics.
If you haven't kept up with the Ralph Reed saga, you have some catching up to do:
Reed has parlayed his God & GOP Inc. operation into a $4.5 million personal fortune. I've known some Republican activists, both before and since I came to Washington, and have seldom met anyone who trusted Ralph Reed farther than they could throw him.
Wow, I never imagined I'd have to post a title like this one. It's hard to imagine that a Chairman of a Republican Congressional District Committee would liken conservative members of his own committee to the murderous Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong. But according to this article originally reported (albeit without commenting on the actual substance) over at TC, 10th District Chairman Jim Rich did just that:
Rich said that there is a group of Republicans that is trying to transform the party into what he compared to the Communist regime of Mao Zedong in China.
What horrible crimes have these conservative party members committed? Well, they committed the apparently unforgivable offense of believing that Republican primaries should be closed to Democratic activists intent on hurting our party; that Republican committees should seriously inform their dues paying members on the organizationâ€™s finances; and that Jim Rich has done a poor job as Chairman and thus they supported his opponent in an upcoming legitimate democratic election. This shocking characterization is not only damaging to party unity (which Rich ironically claims he intends to cultivate) but it belittles the many millions who actually suffered under the most murderous dictator in human history.
Did Heidi Stirrup, Richâ€™s apparently â€œMaoistâ€ opponent, provide equally slanderous and hostile remarks when interviewed for the story? Of course not, instead she provided lucid comments on the actual reasons why she was running for Chairman and why she should have the support of 10th District delegates:
â€¦She said she wanted to bring accountability to the 10th District Republican Committee. She is a former director at the Christian Coalition and has worked as a political advisor for former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-26-TX). She said the committee needs more transparency, more accountability and that she would like to construct the first budget for the committee. She said an audit needs to be conducted because the finances of the committee have never been revealed in public. She said the committeeâ€™s Web page needs to be updated, and that the committeeâ€™s meetings need to be moved around the very large 10th Congressional District, which swings as far south as Page County and as far west as Winchester, into Loudoun and Fairfax counties. Currently, she said all committee meetings are held in The Plains, where Rich lives.
She said the GOP must continue promoting its message and accepting new members who have a variety of interests. â€œWe welcome all people that believe in our creed and our principles,â€ she said.
â€œThe real issues in this campaign are his record of 14 years and the Republican losses we are experiencing at the polls,â€ she said.
â€œUnder his leadership, the party is simply not keeping up with the advances the Democrats are making, and now that the Democrats have experienced these wins. They are emboldened like never before and will only hasten their march to majority status.â€
So, while Rich was whining and tossing out damaging (not to mention ludicrous) comparisons to Red China, Stirrup was providing a positive agenda of reform for the 10th District and holding Rich to task for his piss-poor record as Chairman. We have previously reported on some of Richâ€™s disturbing campaign tactics, but this one takes the cake.
From a simple organizational standpoint, regardless of ideology, it is clear that the Committee needs Heidi at the helm. In the article Rich did not spell out one positive idea he intends to implement if re-elected. Instead, he chose to level his Mao Zedong smear attacks to distract from the factsâ€¦ like Hillary Clinton, he has to shout out that he is under attack by some â€œvast right-wing conspiracyâ€ rather than have a civilized discussion on how to improve the Committee and its grassroots operations.
Senator Cuccinelli's Annual Legislative Breakfast is in about an hour, followed by James Parmelee's Annual Kentucky Derby Day Fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. We know some folks attending both so we'll have coverage if anything interesting happens.
Have a great weekend everyone and please remember to send in your submissions for the Virginia Blog Carnival before 6:00 p.m. tomorrow! You can find more information here.
Here's what this person who called themselves "anon" with e-mail address "email@example.com" wrote at 1:45 pm today:
Now that Herndon's council and mayor have been over-turned, isn't your job finished?
What exactly do you do?
Now, I have no problem with someone who is feeling bruised about the Herndon election results stopping by to leave an angry comment when I am posting praises for those responsible for said results. That's one of the reasons to have a "comments" section, and in the past I have made some good acquaintances from people who were originally sort of hostile.
What I do have a problem with is someone who is clearly a bit hostile trying to take things to a personal level when that someone lamely hides their identity.
Hey "anon," at least my name is signed here. Before I post my Curriculum Vitae: Who exactly the hell are you?
But just to show I'm a good sport, I will tell you I am a frustrated and failed mime, as well as a former hat boxer, and I spent many years repairing brake systems on horse-drawn carriages (long after the trade had ceased to be profitable).
Anyway, the IP address could be spoofed, so the person may not be at the abovementioned [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]
But if it was someone using that IP address legitimately, I imagine it could be....
[THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES. I don't fully agree with Charles on this, as I thought the commenter had attempted to open a door and I think the door should swing open both ways. But I have been known to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat, and I do value harmony, brotherhood and endless sobbing hugs above all else, so I have gone ahead and edited this post down to a sliver of its original significance.]
[This has been a message from the NOVA TownHall Blog, where nothing is written in stone.]
As a former alchemist, judging by the [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]
I'd have to say it seems like a pretty decent organization, and with the mission to [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]
[THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]
It's just a shame some disgruntled individual has spoofed the [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES] IP address or hijacked their bandwidth to come needle me about my stint with the Village People.
We never lip-synched once.
Upholding his fine family's tradition, NPR reported today that US Congressman Patrick Kennedy drove his car into a road barrier in DC on Thursday morning. First responding police described him as "staggering". Then senior police took over the investigation, gave him a ride home, and never gave him a breathalizer or a sobriety test.
A Kennedy spokesman said there was no alcohol involved and blamed his condition on prescription medication.
UPDATE: NPR is now reporting there are witnesses who saw Kennedy drinking that night. Surprise Surprise.
UPDATE II: Kennedy enters rehab. This is the part where all the people who were going to back him even if he turned out to be the Antichrist will say "Oh he's soooo brave and honest and courageous." Bleh.
Everyone in the U.S. who has an interest in sanity in government policy should take a close look at what the Help Save Herndon people have accomplished.
They have launched the ultimate shot across the bow, presaging the essential conflict of modern American politics. If you appreciate the revolution Help Save Herndon has started, click the Make a Donation button on their Web site to support them financially.
Also, please support the Minutemen.
If you are in the habit of sending money to a political party, I suggest you consider adding or diverting part of your planned contribution to one of these two groups.
I am a Republican, for example, and will continue to support local Republican candidates. But I will also be supporting these groups in order to promote better policies for the future of America.
NOVA TownHall has a great pair of meetings set for June 2006. And because they are on different dates next month, you can actually attend both if you want.
On June 6, in Leesburg, the speaker will be J. Michael Waller (mentioned in this blog post by No Relation) on the topic of immigration as viewed from BOTH sides of the border.
On June 20, in Sterling (for the Herndon/Sterling group) our speakers will be Ann Null, former member of the Herndon Town Council and a key voice in advocating sensible immigration policies in this area, and Linda Muller of forethecause.us. The topic will be The Herndon Elections, November 2006 Elections, and Beyond.
More information including locations can be found here.
We'll have more detailed program information as we get closer to the meeting dates.
NOVA TownHall will be hosting the Virginia Blog Carnival next Monday. Please send me your submissions by 6PM this Sunday-- email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can submit them here. Be sure to include the following:
1. Identify one of your (or another person's) posts that youâ€™d like to publicize.
2. Include the following information:
* Name of your Blog
*URL to your blog
*Your name (or the name you blog under, for those who, like me, are anonymous)
*Where in Virginia you live
*The title of your post
*Permalink to your post
*Brief summary of your post (optional/preferred, but if you don't, I will)
3. Publicize the Carnival when it appears on Monday.
4. Make sure your submission is identified as related to the VBC by actually putting "VBC" in the subject line.
Questions? Not sure what the Virginia Blog Carnival is? Check out Chad's explanation here.
The real message was, The people have spoken!.
Herndon's Mayor-elect Steve DeBenedittis said:
It is my hope that the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives will listen to the voice of the people to resolve the critical problem of illegal immigration.
The question is: Was this Shot Heard Round The USA heard within a certain large white edifice on Pennsylvania Avenue?
The Herndon Day Labor Center opened in December 2005 despite intense opposition from a substantial segment of the population - opposition which led to the formation of the citizens group Help Save Herndon.
Although the effort to derail the Day Labor site was unsuccessful, HSH member Susan Powell predicted:
Before May 2006 there will be a huge push to put the right mayor and Town Council members into office...We're in it for the long haul. We knew that when we started we wouldn't stop at the day labor center.
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
More, below the fold...
Incumbent Jim Rich clearly has the edge in the upcoming race for 10th District GOP Chairman, in large part due to his own arrogant maneuvering. It was reported a few weeks back that Rich had been fighting (successfully) to keep the convention at a more exclusive and expensive venue that would restrict attendance and participation in order to better his chances of maintaining his hold on the chairmanship. Then there was the Fairfax GOP convention where Heidi Stirrup appeared well organized compared to Rich, who seemed blame candidates for any past failures while burying his head in the sand and refusing to accept the need for improvement within the 10th District Committee.
Well now Jim Rich has mailed a confusing â€œsave the dateâ€ card to all registered Fairfax delegates (and possibly all delegates throughout the 10th). This card (pictured above) clearly says â€œThank you for filing to be a Delegate to the 10th District Republican Convention for JIM RICHâ€ in big bold letters across the top. Of course many, if not all, of the recipients of this mailer did no such thing since delegates were not registered in support of any specific candidate. This arrogant presumption of support is a deliberate attempt to confuse delegates into believing they have somehow already committed to support Jim Rich, thus boosting his support due to confusion.
When this race began we all head the rumors and allegations that Jim Rich was the reason there was not a transparent and vibrant 10th District Committeeâ€¦ well this campaign has certainly cast aside any doubt that Jim Rich is what Vince would call a â€œGroup Bâ€ Republican- bent on gaining and maintaining personal power whatever the cost. We can only hope he is Chairman-Emeritus come May 20th.
UPDATED: In seeing this post (thanks for the link!) I see that I forgot to mention Jim Rich's interesting "support" of the Marriage Amendment at State Central, despite the fact he wasn't even there. Shaun Kenney has the details.
And who says conservatives can't win elections in NOVA anymore?
More to come...
UPDATE: Those of you who have been following the Herndon elections know that the issue stirring up the most heated debate has been the day labor site. This site has been using government property and funds to employ many workers who are here as illegal aliens.
In addition to Steve DeBenedittis, 5 candidates were elected to the town council yesterday who are committed to reversing the town's policy on the day labor site.
Here is an article describing the controversy this issue has caused.
More to come...
Spank That Donkey has an interesting blog up about Mexico's Constitutional policies against immigrants and naturalized citizens. His source is the research of J. Michael Waller at the Center for Security policy. To summarize, immigrants to Mexico have no constitutional rights and can be expelled for any reason without due process.
Contrast that with Mexican President Vicente Fox's position on Mexicans who are illegally working in the US:
We want to regularize their situation so that they can be here without having to hide away, without having to have their rights violated, and that they would have a status of regularization that will permit them to have all the rights, and keep on working hard, and at the same time go back and forth to Mexico.
Ummm...Mr. Fox, Sir...If you were to worry less about my country's policies, and more about yours, maybe Mexico wouldn't be such a terrible place that your citizens flee en mass.
A humorous rebuttal against being called a â€œChicken Hawkâ€ from one of my favorite blogs.
Chicken Hawk is what the anti-war crowd calls those who support war, but are not actually members of any military service.
We previously discussed the radical same-sex marriage agenda and the growing disregard for families that value natural, organic marriage (and consequently do not support willfully denying a child a mom or a dad).
The Family Foundation (one of the groups spearheading the effort to pass the Marriage Amendment this November) just sent out an information alert discussing the issues in Massachusetts where second graders are being forced, against the wishes of their parents, to listen to a story of two princes celebrating same-sex romance. In doing so the Family Foundation reminds us of the following:
Without a Constitutional amendment protecting the definition of marriage, stories like these will quickly become the norm here in Virginia. While that may sound alarmist, the fact is that these things didn't happen even in Massachusetts before that state legalized same-sex marriage. With marriage redefined, family is redefined, and those who disagree with that new paradigm are soon subjected to abuse and harassment.
The question for Virginians is simple - is this the future we want for our Commonwealth?
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and I have continued a pretty interesting debate, one that I'm sure we can both be proud of in our respective environs: Me, amongst my buddies in a typical afternoon of NASCAR, gunplay and mumbly peg. Him, down at the coffeehouse, amidst the angry poets, fuming clove cigarettes and doe-eyed hippy chicks.
Following is his response to this post on border/national security. It's pretty good, so I'll try to keep my interruptions to a minimum:
Sorry, this point goes right over my head, maybe because I was a religion major, but it strikes me as a faintly Buddhist notion, maya and all that, no?
Well, itâ€™s a good thing you know so much more than I do about issues of security, but you should stop banging your head on things, it might be affecting you.
1 re: economics and the reality of the border: the border is a reality for labor, not capital.
You sort of made it sound like the fact they would be negatively affected was a reason "they" would try to keep it from happening. Are we imagining a monolithic rational force...or is a monolithic rational force imagining us...
2 On immigration: Crime rates in border communities have risen because of gang-led drug trafficking operations. Where I live there are undocumented workers yet not rising crime. I submit to you that itâ€™s not illegal immigrants, but drug traffickers, who lead to rising crime rates. Yet the hr 4437 legislation has far-reaching implications which go well beyond removing drug traffickers and jihadists.
3 Donâ€™t put words in my mouth. I did not imply that there is a â€œmonolithic rational forceâ€ behind the issue, only that the immigrant community would be negatively affected by a terrorist attack. Do you disagree?
...I do appreciate a man who picks up on the oblique cultural references...
4 On terrorism: again, I'm not suggesting that the fact that another attack hasn't happened = it WILL NEVER happen. but it does tell us something about the effectiveness of our enemy. Jihadists have declared war on the US. In a war, enemies have to attack each other. You want illogical, how about saying we're at war when an enemy who, despite our horribly porous borders, has only attacked us once in over 10 years. Youâ€™ll be surprised to know that there is in fact an unambiguous definition of â€œterrorismâ€ You may not want to discuss terrorist tactics, but surely you recognize that terrorism, as a strategy for fighting a war, depends on terrorizing a population by carrying out regular attacks in random places to create a perception in the population that no one is safe until the people lose their will to resist and sort of cave in. This definition fits for what is going on in Israel, and it applied to the situation in Bosnia, etc. But it does not describe the American experience during this, â€œwar on terrorismâ€ and you can't say the PATRIOT ACT saved us, because it's effectiveness in preventing terrorist attacks is negated by the fact that ANYONE can sneak into the country from Mexico, Canada, or Sea. Anyone can walk right in around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track.
And do anything they wantâ€¦
5 â€œBecause something has not happened, therefore it will not (or is unlikely to) happen.â€
What makes you think the sun will come up tomorrow? Is it that itâ€™s never NOT come up, or is it based on some sort of idea about physics and the laws of motion? the fact that no jihadist has yet taken advantage of the border situation indicates that our enemy isnâ€™t as organized or effective as some would like us to believe because if the jihadists had their act together they would have surely exploited the weakness in our borders by now. Can you think of one conceivable reason why a highly organized group with an international presence, and dedicated to the destruction of the US, would pass on the opportunity to sneak in and raise some hell, especially considering the goal of â€œterrorismâ€ is to keep a population in fear. It there is a single jihadist cell in Mexico, or all of South America for that matter, why havenâ€™t they seized the opportunity? You canâ€™t just say, â€œI donâ€™t know why, letâ€™s not get in to terrorist tacticsâ€ thatâ€™s a cop out.
It makes me think there arenâ€™t so many terrorists out there, and that the ones that are out there are ineffective in carrying anything out. But maybe they wait because they want to lure people in the US into thinking like that, yeah? Get us thinking that there arenâ€™t so many of them out there after all. What advantage would that serve them?
Or maybe Bush is a right and theyâ€™re all tied up in Iraq and so they donâ€™t have the ability to carry out an attack on the US. But if thatâ€™s the case, they donâ€™t have an international presence, and are of no real consequence in the immigration debate.
I was not copping out, I just wanted to focus on other aspects of your argument for reasons of brevity in that post. Regarding THIS point, I think you are being a little sanguine in your assumptions about possible terrorist attacks on American soil. Not having suicide bombers hitting the TGI Friday's in Peoria every weekend could be perfectly consistent with a strategy more focused on big events.
My point is: Who knows? As the Buddha said, What is the sound of one hand clapping? (That was actually a pretty straightforward question - the answer is "very soft clapping." Try it by slapping your fingers against your palm and you'll see what I mean).
If we're going to make a guess about terrorist attacks, why not err on the side of caution? If we're blithely optimistic, sitting back trading wives and Cadillacs and diamonds, then if we guess wrong it's "fare thee well, Titanic, fare thee well."
You've stated your case well. We have some different assumptions about things but I respect your opinion and I think it is representative of what a good number of progressives believe.
Your hard earned tax dollars at work here, folks.
I don't even want to think about what's next.
This makes me angry.
As of the late afternoon, the Post is reporting limited local impact of today's May Day "Day without immigrants" protest. What I saw around the Herndon-Sterling area supports this.
There was a bit of excitement from 4:00 - 6:00 pm: Below are photos from Elden Street in Herndon this afternoon (May 1, 2006). I counted about 300 "protesters" - max - and maybe another 40 or 50 gawkers who happened to be Hispanic.
That's a pretty slim turnout for that section of Herndon. I bet over 20,000 Hispanic people live within a mile of the protest site. [Editors note: I've since learned this guess is way off - but the point remains there is a much larger Latino population than might be discerned from the numbers at the protest]. Presumably, most of them were at work, fixing dinner, or otherwise occupied with more sensible activity, such as sitting on the couch watching Oprah.
Click on the photos for larger versions.
The theme "please don't separate our family" with a child's drawing of a "frown face" appeared on a number of the signs in different versions (although each one appeared to have been drawn by the same "child" - poor little thing must have been drawing signs for hours!)
A guy with a bullhorn coordinated chants of "USA! USA!" interspersed with other stuff in Spanish (lo siento, no comprendo nada), and judging by that last photo I'd guess he was with these guys, identified on their Web site as follows:
Tenantsâ€™ and Workersâ€™ Support Committee/ComitÃ© de Apoyo de Inquilinos y Trabajodores (TWSC/ CAIT) is "a democratically-controlled, grassroots organization committed to winning social and economic justice and power for the people of Northern Virginia â€“ Latinos/as, African Americans, tenants, immigrants, workers, women, youth and low-income people."
More about TWSC here.
UPDATE II: The other part of what they were chanting might have been "Si se puede" - that's what they were saying on TV anyway. No puedo oÃr mucho, apparently.
...Or so it seems.
Former University of South Florida Professor Sami el-Arian got the maximum sentence on a conspiracy charge, for his role in supporting Palestinian Islamic Jihad. This terrorist group is not to be confused with the Hezbollah-backed Lebanese group that bombed our Marines in Beirut in 1983, also known as Islamic Jihad.
Read more here.
If this isnâ€™t treason, I donâ€™t know what is. They should have fried him.
The judge gave him credit for time served, and the prosecutors dropped 8 charges in exchange for one guilty plea and an agreement to be deported. While I donâ€™t know the details of the case, I think this was way too much. Even McDonaldâ€™s never gives you â€œbuy 1--get 8 free.â€
This Life News article raises the possibility that Lang Yen Thi Vo will be the next victim of the Culture of Death and be sentenced to murder by starvation against her familyâ€™s wishes because her quality of life isnâ€™t deemed sufficient. I certainly hope and pray that won't be the case.
Doctors in Austin, Texas are looking to make a Vietnamese woman the next Terri Schiavo. They have decided to stop providing the woman with any medical treatment claiming she is in a persistent vegetative state. The family of Lang Yen Thi Vo is protesting the decision and wants to find another facility willing to take her.
In the past few days there have been some national stories on Virginia's unfolding Senate race- below are two that are worth a read.
George Will has this column on a potential Allen-Webb match-up. Here is some of what Will has to say:
Now he [Webb] has picked a fight with a fighter. Allen, a former governor running statewide for the third time, is a terrific political talent. Even if Webb wins the Democratic primary June 13 (his opponent, Harris Miller, is a former lobbyist and longtime Democratic activist), Allen will be heavily favored. But Virginia will have a contest of heavyweights, and Allen will be a better presidential candidate for having gone 12 rounds with Webb.
He also points out that it was good old Chucky Schumer who got Harris Miller to stop attacking Webb for his apparent un-Democratic past:
Although Webb has concentrated his fire on Allen, Miller attacked Webb until Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and hates primaries, told him to desist. Over the years Webb has made impolitic pronouncements opposing women in combat and warning that some affirmative action had become ``state-sponsored racism.''
Meanwhile Kathleen Parker has this article on the Democrats ridiculous attempts to slander Allen as a racist due to a 36 year-old high school picture- pretty pathetic stuff, especially coming from the same whiny radicals who are still crying about Bush supporters efforts to hold John Kerry accountable for aiding and abetting the North Vietnamese communists decades ago (and that was a real event unlike this imaginary BS they are slinging at Allen). Here is some of Parkerâ€™s account of this pitiful attack strategy:
If you mention George Allen outside Washington and Virginia, most people still don't know who he is. Yet the spin machine trying to cast Allen as a racist - as prequel to his presidential candidacy - already is operating at full throttle.
Thus, before millions of Americans are able to match Allen's name with his face, they'll likely be able to link his name to the label - racist.
The fact that the mudslinging has begun so early - while Allen is busy running for re-election to the Senate - confirms how seriously opponents take his presidential candidacy.
Now, let's get out and work hard to support Virginia's favorite son and quite possibly the next President of the United States as he takes on the liberal's well funded national attack machine and Miller/Webb.
April 30, 2006
I am writing to invite you to attend my annual fund raising event, Burgers With Bill. This yearâ€™s event will be held on Sunday afternoon, May 7, 2006. The event will be held on the lake in the Innsbrook Office Park in Glen Allen, Virginia from 5-7 PM.
There are two ways that you can help make this yearâ€™s Burgers With Bill a success:
First, plan now to attend the event. It is always a lot of fun, with good friends, good food and good music. We even throw in a little political discussion from time to time!
Second, consider serving as a sponsor of the event. Details of the various sponsorship opportunities are set forth on the following invitation.
I hope you will seriously considering attending and serving as a sponsor of Burgers With Bill this year. This is our major fund raising event of the year, and your support will help us raise the money we need to carry out the political responsibilities of our office and effectively communicate our conservative vision for the future of Virginia to the people of Virginia.
If you would like to attend Burgers With Bill, or if you would be willing to serve as a sponsor of this event, please call Kristi Way at (804) 225-0750 or respond via email to email@example.com.
Please visit http://www.BillBolling.com/?page=burgers for more information about Burgers With Bill
Please know that Jean Ann and I appreciate your friendship, confidence and support very much. We hope to see you at Burgers With Bill on May 7th.
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling
On the tax-hike battle:
As we move into the coming week or two, it will be interesting to see the developments in the Senate. As gas prices continue to climb and the Senate attempts to repeal the law of supply and demand (by â€œlegislatingâ€ that gas taxes must be paid by gas companies and not consumers), it appears to me that the House is holding strong. Keep your eyes peeled, as it is only when people on both sides get serious about coming to a final negotiating point that the deals start to be made.
The full update is below the fold, enjoy.