July 2006 Archives
This just in via a VCAP email update:
...The top political committee is D.R.I.V.E. Democrat, Republican, Independent, Voter Education â€“ a national committee associated with the International Teamsters.
The second is Kaine Inaugural 2006 â€“ the committee set up by Gov. Kaine.
The others on the list are committees that you would expect: Moving Virginia Forward, Democratic Party of Virginia, Republican Party of Virginia, Leadership for Virginiaâ€™s Future, among others.
But none are in third place for money raised in this election cycle.
That position is held by VCAP.
Yes, VCAP raised more money in this election cycle than any other political organization in Virginia â€“ behind only a national union-related PAC and the Governorâ€™s Inaugural Committee.
VCAP has raised $1,139,360 this election cycle...
Man, how I wish they were members of the Marriage Amendment coalition! 2007 is certainly going to be an interesting year!
Via Life News:
A Florida abortion business in a Miami suburb has closed after it appears a baby was born alive following a botched abortion. Police in Hialeah are investigating the abortion facility after reports surfaced that a dead baby's body was located there.
According to witnesses, an unnamed young woman who was 23 weeks into her pregnancy went to the A Gynecologists Diagnostic Center abortion facility for an abortion.
Police say the 18 year-old woman went for the abortion on Thursday and came back the next day complaining of severe stomach pains. Abortion facility staff told her the abortion practitioner was not available and that she would have to wait.
After being taken to a waiting area, the woman allegedly gave birth to the baby that she thought had been aborted the day before. The teenager was sent home after a brief examination.
''Employees cut the umbilical cord, put the baby in a bag and walked away with it," Hialeah Lt. Ralph Gracia told a local CBS television station.
Officials say an anonymous caller, who they believe is an employee at the abortion business, alerted them to the birth and the infanticide of the child afterwards. However, when police arrived at the abortion facility, the baby's body was missing.
Absolutely sickeningâ€¦ but not altogether shocking given the industry. I imagine it is necessary to become desensitized to innocent human life in order to abort unborn children day in and day out.
UPDATED: Some in the comments section below seem to discredit the source (Life News) due to the fact that they unashamedly value human life from the moment of conception to natural death... So here is another source for the story, WSVN Channel 7 News- Miami. From this story:
Police located the woman who said she was 22 weeks pregnant when she went to the clinic for an abortion. The 18-year-old told officials she ended up giving birth to a live baby boy instead but did not know what happened to him afterwards. [Emphasis mine]
Again, absolutely sickening (and sadly the inevitable result of the "No Fault Freedom" pro-abortion crowd's own twisted logic that devalues innocent human life).
I am not proud (nor surprised) of the fact that Northern Virginia is the only region of the state where the Marriage Amendment did not poll particularly well (with 48% opposed, 44% in favor). Regardless of this poll or any others, those of us in favor of protecting marriage from radical redefinition a la Goodridge need to get out there and work hard to spread the word about the Marriage Amendment. The anti-Marriage Amendment coalition is heavily funded and has paid staff across the stateâ€”there can be no doubt they will spread as much misinformation and confusion as possible in an attempt leave marriage vulnerable to same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ litigation and judicial redefinition. This race will undoubtedly tighten up in the coming 99 days.
This has been some month: a month that, far in the future, bloggers will clink tumblers of scotch over while shuddering in horror at the recollection. While live-posting to their blogs via direct, wireless connections from their brains.
Yes, the month of July, 2006, may rank with October, 1929, in the annals of History with No Sense of Proportion. The month everything changed: the month of innocence lost, of reality biting back, of lawyers gaining a long-sought-for toehold and of chickens coming home to do what they do best.
If you are over 40: Do you remember when you realized that hitchhiking was absolutely insane? Our society has just crossed a similar turning point.
Blogging ain't what it used to be.
Having been at this hobby in various guises for over three years and seeing a lot of good ones come and go and mutate, I know everything in the blogosphere changes. (It would be an interesting project to write an obit-list with "cause of death" for all the departed). But July of '06 may well be the time we look back to and say, "Do you remember how it was before that?"
First, I'll note a passing change, one like many others before - a blogger who has switched media. Regnum Crucis is no longer a blog. This was - in my opinion - the best Web site on terrorism and the War. The writer was a youngster but extremely plugged-in. He has managed to have his blogging history expunged from google's cache as well as the Wayback Machine, which seems no small task, so if you want to learn about him you will need to do some serious digging, including clicking that link and reading Italian.
This one is not a scandal of any type, but it does signal the end of an era. His flow of inside information has moved to a private group. Posting everything one knows for all the world to see may be becoming a thing of the past.
Next, the meatier stuff.
The Greenwald affair in itself is a bit of a chuckler. On one level you want to say: "Sock puppets. What a doofus."
When you read the whole story, though, you realize there's quite a lot to it. You can spend some time digging down through that link. Very enjoyable time, I might add.
The fallout, moreover, has been impressive. More here. Ace is a seriously good blogger, smart dude and wonderful writer. Wizbang is one of the blogfathers at very least. The dirty bomb of this controversy has poisoned the landscape and it will be interesting to see how/if all the affected parties manage to climb back into their chairs.
(You can read some of the lead-up to that mess here.)
Finally, the Frisch-Goldstein imbroglio took the penultimate turn by jumping from the funny papers to the front page. Some background here from Ace - although I will not even attempt to collate this story because I do not have an attorney on retainer. You're going to have to research that one for yourself.
The upshot is, some folks have been forced to lay low in real life because of communications that took place on the Web. There's a lesson in all of this, and while I can't formulate it with total accuracy just yet, I can say it has to do with treating everything you say on the Web just like you'd treat a speech before a town council meeting. That goes for posts as well as comments on blogs.
Here's why this represents a major change: From the 1980s on, computer-based discussion has enjoyed a near-impermeable cloak of radical secrecy. Anonymity is a big part of the deal. Whether on a BBS or Compuserve message board or newsgroup or chat room or IRC channel or forum or blog, an Internet person has always been able to don an incognito. You can say all kinds of crap and get away with it on the Internet: That's one of the coolest things about the Internet. This unique, identity-masked arena of completely coherent communication has no parallel in the real world.
And now, our little boy-in-the-Web-bubble conceit has been unmasked. When we sit at the keyboard and type, we may well need to assume our photo will accompany every message and our every message will be displayed on the 100-foot screen overlooking Times Square. Our cool little secret geek world has been uncovered.
It's no longer just a boy (or girl) and his (or her) keyboard.
Wherefore, then, the incognito? I still believe there is a place for it. I still intend to practice it: though not here, obviously.
I know people who contribute great things to the Internet only because they can do so anonymously.
But a simple rule arises: Watch, very carefully, the personal attacks on people whose lives are otherwise private. If you hit someone, they have a right to hit back. If you, anonymously or incognito, launch a personal attack against a real person by name, said person might get a wild hair and decide to track you down. If you're blogging or commenting on a blog, think of yourself as George Will. You're a commenter, but you must be a responsible commenter. Don't enter into areas that George Will wouldn't enter.
For example: If I call myself Joe Shmoe, and criticize Jonathan or David or the head of the ACLU on their statements about some issue related to gay marriage, we can probably have a civilized debate. But if I start to criticize their personal lives, they may feel impelled to find out who this Shmoe character is.
I may go on other blogs and make up a name and trash politicians or celebrities or terrorists, and that's ok. They're already public figures and getting hammered in the press. But I'd hesitate to hammer the guy who lives down the street or some other blogger on the basis of personal information I might have, unless I was willing to stand behind the statement 100%.
For this reason, I don't think a blog is a great medium for national-enquirer-type exposes unless the blogger is either fully disclosed, willing to be disclosed, or EXTREMELY well-hidden. The latter condition can be met, but those who attempt it need to really cover their tracks.
We would like to welcome Jacob Ash as the newest contributor to the NOVA TownHall Blog. Jacob is one of the most interesting dudes I've met in a while, and I invited him to join us after a brief e-mail exchange confirmed that he was smarter, better informed and a better writer than myself. This is the NVTH standard for admission.
I already have a vague idea of some initial things Jacob wants to blog about, and it will be a relief to everyone to know we finally have a blogger here who is a uniter, not a divider. So to all you visitors who like to stop over here and scrap - with the catcalls and sharp elbows and whatnot - I hope you remember where you left your "kinder, gentler" bonnets. You're gonna need 'em.
I've got to hand it to the anti-Marriage Amendment Commonwealth Coalition for their creativity... Yesterday they sent out an email designed to inspire hope in their cause to defeat the Marriage Amendment and leave the definition of marriage more vulnerable to litigation and judicial activism; the only problem was their inspirational metaphor was based on Floyd Landis' Tour de France victory (for those unaware Landis is suspected of cheating).
Quickly realizing their blunder they successfully converted their mistake into a new metaphor for their red-herring arguments that the Marriage Amendment will result in "no other legal agreements [being] allowed for any unmarried couples" and thus all contract rights will shatter (although they claim these are "unintended consequences" yet some of our visitors here seem to imply they are intended... which is it?). I've posted the text of both emails below the fold for your entertainment... not a bad example of a quick and creative recovery!
As to the actual message of their emails and their polling data (for which there has been pretty much zero disclosure with no cross-tabs being released nor any of the preceding questions to ensure it isn't a push-poll)... that's a whole other story! Regardless, those of us in favor of the Marriage Amendment cannot rest on our laurels and must assume we're running 10 points behind because our citizen-driven grassroots effort will be going head to head with a $3,000,000 special-interest campaign and paid staff in every region of the state. We will have to work to counter their misinformation campaign if we are to be successful.
While I'm catching up with all the recent events in the area, I just wanted to mention that it's about time someone bombed Hezbollah. They've been overshadowed by al Qaeda and Hamas in recent years and this could be the big "break" they need to make it back to the top.
This is just a test post to see if we can add another new author.
I am a test-author, not a real one. However, if I were a real author, I'm sure I'd be too busy to post because all I'd ever do here is read everything Joe Budzinski has written, over and over and over.
As I perused Al Gore's new book while waiting in line to meet him, one thought that kept coming up was the following:
"This guy is so full of sh-t his eyes are brown."
But I said this to myself with a feeling of admiration. I was not planning to see his movie until someone paid me to do so, just on general principles, but now I'm thinking the entertainment value might just make it worth my while. I grew up entranced by overwrought doomsday melodramas, from the extinction/ loss-of-habitat/ disappearing-way-of-life specials from National Geographic and PBS to prime time beauties like The Day After (shortly after which I suddenly grew up). I read The Population Bomb and all the news stories about the imminent global freeze.
After I learned how a large amount of this stuff was all hokum designed to appeal to certain human emotions like pity and fear, I developed a degree of admiration for the genre.
The dramatic themes are almost archtypal and a skilled director with an appropriate score could make you weep like a baby over the plight of garden worms during planting season.
I will bet money that An Inconvenient Truth utilizes many of the same themes and techniques that had me spellbound back when I was
a liberal much younger.
Most inconvenient for Al Gore and those intrepid revolutionaries determined to read his book with a straight face, is this new study undermining the claim of a link between global warming and hurricane ferocity:
The paper, co-written by Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center in West Miami-Dade, challenges earlier findings that hurricanes have grown more powerful in the last 30 years.
It says those studies failed to account for technological improvements that now produce more accurate -- and often higher -- estimates of a storm's power than were available in the past.
'If you say, 'Hey, the number of Category 4 and 5 storms has doubled since 1970,' you have to ask where is that coming from and can we accept that as true,'' said Landsea, one of the nation's leading hurricane researchers, who now serves as science and operations officer at the hurricane center.
His answer: Probably not, because the databases used for historical studies are so skewed.
But this is only one study, and An Inconvenient Truth makes a lot of claims. We're going to need a lot more studies.
My prediction: A comet will hit the Earth before the negative impact of global warming can be proved or disproved.
Wow, this should tell you something about which political party is really bringing the fight to the terrorists... Arab terrorist sympathizer/propaganda network Al-Jazeerah recently weighed in on the Pennsylvania Senate race, telling voters to "Vote Democratic."
Yesterday's stunning decision by Washington's Supreme Court upholding traditional marriage is not the only setback dogging same-sex marriage advocates.
In fact, 20 out of the 20 times it has come before voters, Americans have chosen to protect by constitutional amendment the idea of limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
So this year as it's brought before voters in another six â€“ or eight â€“ states, what do opponents plan to do to get their first single?
This article couldnâ€™t be more accurate, which is unfortunate for the sake of informed democracy.
Lost in the backroom debates and New Hampshire coffee klatches is the question of ideology. Until recently, the conservative objection to such "competence" worship was that it steals an intellectual base; it takes it as a given that the government is the solution to our problems. This is the opposite of the Reaganite view that the government, more often than not, is the problem. As of now, the only GOP candidate vying for the Reagan mantle is Virginia Sen. George Allen.
Itâ€™s a great day for marriage and the family!
The Washington State Supreme Court upheld a state law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The long anticipated 5-4 ruling came 16 months after the case was argued.
Justice James Johnson wrote:
"This is a difficult case only if a court disregards the text and history of the state and federal constitutions and laws in order to write new laws for our State's citizens. Courts are not granted such powers under our constitutional system. Our oath requires us to uphold the constitution and laws, not rewrite them."
I couldnâ€™t have said it better myself!
From the Alliance for Marriage:
WASHINGTON, DC - Following the positive examples of New York, Nebraska, Connecticut, Georgia, and Tennessee, the Washington Supreme Court today upheld marriage as the union between a man and a woman in Washington State. The Alliance for Marriage, who drafted the Marriage Protection Amendment, today celebrated the Washington State Supreme Court decision protecting marriage as between a man and a woman. "Most Americans believe that gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose. But they don't believe they have a right to redefine marriage for our entire society," said Daniels. "Americans want our laws to send a positive message to children about marriage, family and their future."
The Washington State Decision
In a ruling that reflects the language of the amicus brief filed in the State of Washington last year, by the Alliance for Marriage, Supreme Court Justice James Johnson wrote: "This is a difficult case only if a court disregards the text and history of the state and federal constitutions and laws in order to write new laws for our State's citizens. Courts are not granted such powers under our constitutional system. Our oath requires us to uphold the constitution and laws, not rewrite them." The original amicus brief filed by AFM in Washington State argued that the legislature of Washington was fully entitled to protect marriage as an institution that seeks to ensure that more children will be raised in a home with a mother and a father.
The Battle is far from being over!
The New Jersey state Supreme Court, which could issue a ruling at any time, remains poised to strike down marriage. Lawsuits are also pending in California, Iowa, Oklahoma and Maryland. "While we applaud today's court decision in Washington, radical activists will remain undeterred in their attacks on marriage in state and federal courts," said Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage. "It is important to remember that the battle to protect marriage is a marathon not a sprint, and AFM's Marriage Protection Amendment is clearly the only hope for the American people to determine the future of marriage under our laws."
On Tuesday the U.S. Senate passed the Child Custody Protection Act (65-34), which makes it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge. The U.S. House passed the Act 270-157 in April of last year. Despite the strong support and passage of the bill, yesterday pro-abortion Senator Dick Durbin still tried to block the bill from going to a conference committee to resolve the differences that exist between the Senate and House bills.
This is just another example of the obstruction the Democrats have continued to do with this bill over the past year. Itâ€™s no secret that there is strong public support for parental notification laws, yet Democrats continue to hold up this legislation that will help protect the 29 states with such laws already on the books.
I receive National Right to Life's daily e-mail update called Today's News & Views. Today's edition is a reprint of an article from the March 2006 printed NRLC newsletter (written by the President of the NRLC) because the daily editor is out on vacation. I thought it was a blog-worthy overview of the life issue, enjoy!
If you'd like to become a regular subscriber to TN&V (which I highly recommend), click here.
ROE IN CRISIS AND THE BIG LIES: By Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
The pro-abortionists have had decades to make their case scientifically, morally, philosophically, and constitutionally. They have failed on all accounts.
The persistent failure of the pro-abortionists to make convincing arguments has been overshadowed by the fact that since 1973 we have had the most permissive abortion law among Western societies--Court-made law that has been imposed on the nation by unelected justices in the decisions of Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, Planned Parenthood of S.E. Pennsylvania v. Casey, and Stenberg v. Carhart.
Since 1973, science has in ever more detail revealed the humanity of the unborn child: Ultrasound images of unborn babies have become routine, and our genetic uniqueness is clearer than ever.
Morally, our nation is heading down the "slippery slope" invoked by pro-lifers in 1973: Infanticide, child abuse, and the killing of the disabled are becoming more prevalent. Add to that the physical and emotional hurt that abortion has placed on the aborting mothers.
Philosophically, the typical "pro-choicer" is stuck with primitive arguments: The unborn child is an "aggressor," so the mother can kill him. Or he is not a person because he lacks the ability to think rationally, perceive or express conscious emotions, or interact meaningfully, i.e., he supposedly is not a sentient human being--a definition that would make a non-person out of a young child, a sleeping adult, an anesthetized patient, or certain disabled persons. No wonder that, perversely, some think a healthy pig is "worth" more than an ill newborn child.
Constitutionally, the legal underpinnings of supposedly constitutional "abortion rights" are at least as weak now as they were in 1973. The pro-abortion majority on the Supreme Court is, of course, aware of the fatal constitutional flaw underlying Roe and its successors. Bereft of a constitutional basis for their ruling, the pro-abortion majority in Casey was again forced to engage in "an exercise of raw judicial power," just as it originally had done in Roe. Desperately (and pitifully) trying to command respect, the pro-abortion plurality in Casey wrote, "the Court's interpretation of the Constitution calls the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution." Since the pro-abortion pressure groups had already gotten from the Court what they wanted in 1973, this arrogant statement could only mean that the pro-abortion majority on the Court wanted pro-lifers to shut up and go away.
[Article continued below the fold...]
I just found this great resource for gun rights information- I am sure others have seen it already but I wanted to share for those that haven't.
They have a great compilation of news articles (updated daily); many highlighting situations where law abiding citizens were able to exercise their Second Amendment Rights to resolve a crisis and protect the innocent. Definitely a good resource and well worth a read.
Great post at Donkey Cons on a topic I find fascinating:
And here's another question the clueless liberal donor never asks: What's in it for me? In other words, by giving to some "progressive" non-profit, am I actually accomplishing anything toward the triumph of progressivism? Will this help elect Democrats?
Read it all. Getting ripped off is not a liberal thing or a conservative thing. In a better world, we'd all band together to question the effectiveness of the organizations we send our money to.
Maybe "501(c) Busters" could be the first step in healing the American body politic.
Just a few housekeeping notes with plenty of gentle, loving scolding all around:
Jeez, I leave for 36 hours and there's dishes in the sink, candy corn stuck all over the carpet, posts in moderation and open divs. You kids are gonna be the death of me.
Fellow bloggers: Close those divs! The use of the "div" element is as follows (with all this in angle brackets):
div align="center" - followed by - /div
If that div isn't closed, the whole page gets goofy.
Also, once you close the div align="center", the text automatically goes back to left alignment. No div needed.
Also, please try to check "junk comments" in the admin screen periodically - this should make it clear when something happens like Corey Stewart's comments getting held up. If you're not able to unjunk them please let me know.
Jonathan: Sorry your posts keep getting held for moderation - but 99% of these spam filter problems can be avoided by not using the html tags to post links in comments. As explained in this post.
In a comment, instead of making "oops" a hyperlink, you can just put "oops" with the actual link address below like this
In a comment, that will automatically post as a hyperlink.
Also, in the same thread, Jonathan asked "Joe, what was it that you said about Ann Coulter being hot?"
All I can say is, I'm not sure what you meant by the question - but tread very carefully around the issue of Ann Coulter's incredible hotness, good sir.
Also in that thread, David asks with regard to the men who realize the girl they're admiring on the beach is actually 13 years old, "And what does it say about Adams that he doesn't question the entitlement of men to look at women that way?"
David, I think that's just what Adams IS doing. He's not holding the men up as positive examples at all. Anyone reading the column would probably focus on the fact the men felt very embarrassed when they saw the girl up close and realized her age.
And regarding the observation "the 'great Americans' over here at Town Hall seem to be in hiding. If I engaged in that much name calling, artifice, and just plain meanness towards decent and virtuous people, I'd probably hide too."
I apologize, first, to Ann Coulter, that I cannot be here 24 hours a day to defend her. But also to our visitors. Besides work, I have a few other projects that keep me wrapped up for days at a time. Our home Internet access is Verizon "high speed" DSL, which in my neighborhood is slow as molasses in January, so popping in to check on the blog can be a very time consuming ordeal. Sometimes I don't get to it until late at night.
Meanness towards the decent and virtuous would never send me into hiding; as a conservative, it's what I live for. One of my infrequent sunshine-and-daisies posts would more likely have me crawling under a rock for a spell.
NOVA Town Hall is proud to announce that we will be hosting a live-blog Q&A with Occoquan District Supervisor Corey Stewart from 7-8PM TODAY( Monday July 23rd). Supervisor Stewart is the conservative candidate seeking to replace moderate Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sean Connaughton once Connaughton's presidential appointment is finalized. For some background information you can read Craig Vitter's excellent comments here and here.
Please leave your questions for Supervisor Stewart in the comment thread below. Or if you prefer, you can email us your questions here.
Chris Freund, Director of Communications
Monday, July 24, 2006
Information Alert: Effect of Recent Court Decisions on Marriage
Recent court decisions in New York, Georgia, Massachusetts and Nebraska upholding traditional marriage laws have caused opponents to Virginia's marriage amendment to claim that Virginia's proposed amendment is unnecessary. A complete understanding of the issue, however, makes a clear and convincing case in favor of the amendment.
Same-sex marriage advocates fail to mention the sixteen other court cases in seven states that are pending regarding state defense of marriage acts. Those who wish to redefine marriage must be asked: "In light of these recent court decisions, will you stop going to court around the nation to litigate DOMAs?" The fact is that same-sex marriage advocates are not going to stop because a couple of courts throw roadblocks in their way.
Virginians must protect our current laws defining marriage by passing the Constitutional Amendment in November. You can bet that those who oppose this amendment are not going to close their doors because another state's court rejects same-sex marriage.
Currently, homosexual advocacy groups seeking to redefine marriage are challenging defense of marriage acts in seven states. They have gone to court to stop marriage amendments in numerous states, most recently losing their case in Tennessee. New Jersey and Washington are waiting for court decisions that could make them the second and third states to legalize homosexual marriage.
In addition, the Democratic National Committee has recently announced a five-point plan to defeat efforts to defend traditional marriage in states like Virginia. An official with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force recently said, "[O]ur collective goal is to win marriage equality - either through legislative or judicial action - in 10 states in 10 years," Foreman said. "There is no question that if our movement is resourced to scale, this is an achievable goal, and the New York court decision has no impact on that."
The activities of same-sex marriage advocates don't indicate that they are going to give up their fight anytime soon. Virginians must anticipate that same-sex marriage advocates will continue to pursue their goal of redefining marriage regardless of what has happened recently with these court decisions. We must ensure that Virginia's current laws are safe by passing the marriage amendment on November 7.
I donâ€™t know about you but I am not comforted by the â€œassurancesâ€ of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates that, due to two recent court rulings supporting marriage, we need not worry or pursue democratic efforts to protect the definition of marriage (such as the VA Marriage Amendment). Keep in mind that the special interest backers of the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition (those telling Virginians that they need not worry about activist judges and that the Marriage Amendment will shatter all contract rights between unmarried individuals) are just shopping for red-herring excuses to leave us vulnerable so to litigation intended to radically redefine marriage.
Virginians have nothing to lose and everything to gain in protecting marriage with the well-worded Marriage Amendment, which elevates existing principles beyond the reach of activist judges and activist litigation. â€œEquality Virginiaâ€ and other same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ special interest groups realize this and thus their overzealous rush to spew misinformation.
The couple, whose lawsuit resulted in the Massachusetts State Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriage, has separated after 2 years. As you may remember, the couple has a 10 year old daughter. Itâ€™ll be interesting to continue to see how long same sex marriages lastâ€¦
Currently, Virginia is among the 29 states that have parental involvement laws in effect.
I often read Professor Mike Adams' edgy columns posted on Townhall.com. He is a rare breed-- a conservative college professor who is just as outspoken about his conservative views as the Ivory Towerâ€™s radical left are about theirs (and unfortunately they dominate academia).
His latest column (written as a response to hate mail- something he often does) strikes at the heart of one of the arguments often proposed by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates, summarized by Adams here:
â€¦that homosexuality is genetic, not learned. Since these sexual urges are â€œnatural,â€ they are also â€œGod-givenâ€ and, therefore, you say, should be acted upon. And, since I am critical of homosexuality, you assert that I am interfering with Godâ€™s will. Finally, since Jesus never explicitly criticized homosexuality, you conclude that I am â€œun-Christianâ€ to do so.
His response is worth a read. For our loyal liberal readers who may disagree with Adamsâ€¦ I encourage you to send him a response; you just might make it into his next column!
PROVINCETOWN -- Town leaders here are holding a public meeting today to air concerns about slurs and bigoted behavior. And this time, they say, it's gay people who are displaying intolerance. Police say they logged numerous complaints of straight people being called ``breeders" by gays over the July Fourth holiday weekend. Jamaican workers reported being the target of racial slurs. And a woman was verbally accosted after signing a petition that opposed same-sex marriage, they said.
No time to comment but I wanted to share the article. On a loosely related note, click here to see how various House members voted on the Federal Marriage Amendment.
When it comes to anonymous/pseudonymous commenting scandals, our little Northern VA imbroglio a few days ago has NUTHIN' on the Glenn Greenwald expose going on at Ace of Spades HQ.
It's got it all: Sex, lies, international intrigue, handwriting analysis and, of course, good old-fashioned IP gumshoe work. It's a sock puppet mystery worthy of Agatha Christie. Or at least Penn and Teller.
Plus Ace is funny as hell, so it's good reading. Give yourself a solid 20 minutes to get through the whole thing. It's fascinating - really.
From beginning to the current time, as of early am on July 21, here's the saga in order. (I can't think of a less awkward way to post this because in another day it'll be partially off the front page):
That takes us up to 12:05 am on July 21. Go check out Ace's front page to see if it continues.
While this doesnâ€™t necessarily translate into support for the Virginia Marriage Amendment or any other state initiative to protect the definition of marriage by elevating existing law into the constitution and out of the reach of activist judges, I thought this June 22 polling data was interesting (although it is unfortunate that the crosstabs are only available to paid subscribers). First, we again see that an overwhelming majority of voters across the United States embrace the obvious, that marriage is fundamentally the union of the two complementary parts of the full human organism (one-man, one-woman):
Look up the word marriage in The American Heritage Dictionary and the first entry reads â€œthe legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.â€ Read a little further and the following definition is found: â€œa union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage.â€
While the dictionary canâ€™t provide a definitive explanation of marriage, 68% of Likely Voters take the traditional approach and define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that only 29% believe marriage can be the union of any two people. [Emphasis mine]
It is also worth noting that the people overwhelmingly favor direct ballot initiatives such as the Virginia Marriage Amendment when discussing who determines what constitutes marriage (i.e. how marriage is defined):
Despite all the legal and legislative maneuvering, just 12% of Americans believe that judges should determine issues like same-sex marriage. Only 5% think that elected officials should make those decisions. Overwhelmingly, 67% think that voters should make such decisions. [Emphasis mine]
Rasmussen ran a related poll discussing whether or not it is appropriate for individuals in an active same-sex relationship to serve as pastors and bishops in a Christian church. Not surprisingly:
The only demographic group to favor gay and lesbian pastors are those who rarely or never attend church.
More church related data discussed here.
Now get out there and work hard ob behalf of the positive campaign to protect the definition of marriage as one-man, one-woman via the Marriage Amendment! Sign-up to get involved by clicking this link.
...Sorry, that should have read:
AL GORE IN STERLING!!
I wandered down to the local Costco to wile away a few minutes in the air conditioned aisles piled three storeys high with glistening merchandise, as is my wont, and here's what greeted me.
"Al Gore book signing! Vice President Al Gore is signing books in the store right now! Get a signed copy of Al Gore's new book! Al Gore book signing! Get your peanuts and cold drinks heah!"
Ok that last phrase was made up, but that Cosco guy was yelling to drum up interest, and the former VP was there at lunchtime today, all right. The line to get An Inconvenient Truth signed by the author was a couple hundred shoppers long, but as a dutiful citizen journalist I knew what I had to do. So I got in line and spent about 15 minutes thinking of some witty repartee I might have with the Inconvenient One himself.
As it turned out, the line moved real fast, because Al's handlers permitted no first names for personalization and in fact all you got to do was say "hi" before being wisked past. I didn't rock the boat, because the only thing I could think of to say was: "If global warming is eventually proven NOT to be a crisis for the Earth, I still think all the work you're doing is great."
Such a line doesn't work at all unless it gets to set in for a moment or two.
If I got a follow-up I would also have asked: "I heard you mention purchasing verifiable reductions elsewhere to offset your travel via private jets and large vehicles. Where can I get some of those for my SUV?"
Al did a nice job interacting with the line of folks, with a bare minimum of actual interaction but pleasant enough.
Yes, I did get myself a signed copy. So I've learned that if you want to convey a looming crisis, satellite photos of hurricanes in full color make a KILLER visual. Also good are floods, fires, deforestation, hockey-stick graphs, ships grounded in the middle of the desert, atomic bomb blasts - and I think there's even a shot of a kitten stuck in a tree. Stuff o' nightmares, I tells ya.
All of that is juxtaposed with some really nice pictures of Al. And let me tell you, the message works: Given a choice between Hurricane Katrina and the former VP sitting in a field, I'm a Gore man all the way.
And I'll gladly plunk down the $12.49 Costco price to get a prop for a blog post. We should all be prepared to sacrifice a little.
Thank you President Bush. No citizen should be forced to contribute his/her hard earned tax-dollars to pay for the destruction of innocent human life in the name of "science" (despite the fact that there are many more successful ways to use/procure stem cells- all of which do not result in the end in the destruction of a human life.) Via the AP:
President Bush cast the first veto of his 5 1/2-year presidency Wednesday, saying legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research "crosses a moral boundary" and is wrong.
"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said at a White House event where he was surrounded by 18 families who "adopted" frozen embryos not used by other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children.
"Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts," he said. [Emphasis mine}
More information found here.
Some news this week regarding the 27th State Senate District and the developing GOP primary candidates lining up to face liberal Republican Russ Potts in 2007.
First, we learn that Jill Holtzman Vogel has an astounding amount of cash on hand:
JILL HOLTZMAN VOGELFOR SENATE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, JULY 17
HOLTZMAN VOGEL EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE REPORTS STRONG FUNDRAISING TOTALS
27th District GOP Contender Raises Over $330,000 for Senate Bid
WARRENTON â€“ The Exploratory Committee for 27th District Republican State Senate Candidate Jill Holtzman Vogel today announced a fundraising total of over $330,000 for the period ending June 30, 2006.
David Rensin, the Committeeâ€™s Finance Chairman, today reported that $330,655.49 has been raised to support Jill Holtzman Vogelâ€™s efforts to fill the 27th Senate District seat currently held by Sen. Russell Potts. The election will be held in November 2007.
Over the past several months, Holtzman Vogel has been traveling the district, meeting with grassroots activists and citizens, and beginning to set up a campaign organization designed to secure the Republican nomination for State Senate.
â€œIâ€™m very grateful for the strong early support Iâ€™ve received from throughout the district. Already, an army of volunteers have stepped up to encourage me to run and support me financially,â€ said Holtzman Vogel.
â€œThe voters are concerned about the way the community is growing, the transportation problems plaguing the entire region, and ensuring that our Commonwealth has a budget that addresses our needs while holding the line on taxes and excessive spending. From my years of experience in the public and private sectors, I know firsthand what it will take to be an effective representative in Richmond,â€ she continued.
Holtzman Vogel, a Warrenton attorney who was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, has received support from key community leaders throughout the 27th District, including Dick Shickle, Chairman of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, and Jim Brownell, former Chairman of the Loudon County Board of Supervisors.
â€œPeople know and respect Jill. They value her leadership, her record of accomplishments and appreciate her roots in the Valley. People in our community very much want to see her elected and are willing to raise the money to help her win,â€ said Shickle.
â€œJill is a great candidate and no one is surprised that she has received such large early support. Itâ€™s a 2007 Senate election that has drawn a lot of attention and supporters have stepped up early in the process to endorse her and it has obviously made a difference,â€ said Brownell.
Shickle and Brownell are part of a coalition of leaders and activists that have publicly announced their support for Holtzman-Vogel. In the coming weeks, the Exploratory Committee will make formal announcements regarding campaign leadership and additional endorsements from key figures across the district.
Jill Holtzman Vogel is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and earned a law degree from DePaul University. She has held several senior posts in the Republican Party and in the Bush Administration, including serving as Chief Counsel to the Republican National Committee during the 2004 Presidential election and Deputy Counsel at the Department of Energy. In recent years, Jill has built a national law practice specializing in government ethics, election law and non-profit work. She and her husband, Alex Vogel, have four children.
Then we see in the Winchester Star (free registration required to view) that Jill's primary opponent, former (and current) Senate candidate Mark Tate, is having some trouble with campaign finance reports related to his 2003 campaign.
If state Senate candidate Mark Tate does not update his campaign finance reports, he will not be on the ballot in 2007, a state official said on Tuesday.
â€œState law will prohibit him from gaining access to the ballot until such time that these reports are filed ...,â€ said Chris Piper, a campaign finance administrator for the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Tate, a Republican seeking the 27th District Senate seat, has not filed a campaign finance report since July 2003, Piper said.
His committee â€” Friends of Mark Tate â€” is still active. A $500 unpaid penalty has been assessed because he has not filed the semiannual reports required by state law.
We'll see what happens as this race unfolds.
Via the AP:
Fire ants are showing up in greater numbers in coastal Virginia, much to the alarm of gardeners and farmers who dare disturb their nests.
"The way they bite, you would think they were the size of an alligator ... " said Carl Lohafer, a Virginia Beach resident who discovered colonies in his yard two years ago. "It was like a hot poker jabbing you."
Hopefully these nasty little beasts don't advance any further north...
Experts believe the ants will reach a northern point where the winter weather will stop their progress, perhaps Richmond or northern Virginia.
Learn more here.
UPDATED: Due to popular demand (well, at least one comment below, sort of) I am linking to the Top Ten Tips on Fighting Fire Ants (courtesy of AMDRO Fire Ant Baits)- check it out here. Enjoy!
This week the U.S. Senate is debating a bill that would allow government dollars to fund embryonic stem-cell research. However, President Bush will use his first veto, if it passes in the Senate as expected this afternoon.
In a Statement of Administrative Policy from the White House on July 17, 2006:
The Administration strongly opposes Senate passage of H.R. 810, which would use Federal taxpayer dollars to support and encourage the destruction of human life for research. The bill would compel all American taxpayers to pay for research that relies on the intentional destruction of human embryos for the derivation of stem cells, overturning the Presidentâ€™s policy that funds research without promoting such ongoing destruction. If H.R. 810 were presented to the President, he would veto the bill.
This is not going to be a particularly warm and fuzzy post about the Too Conservative stealth-commenting mess, but I'll do my best to be humane, and hopefully no one will end up in a lawsuit or hiding out in a shack in Baja California as a result. The only reason I'm dwelling on it is because I have kids who have gone though this phase (though none so publicly) and I believe taking your medicine and moving on is the best way to get ahead in life.
To summarize: As best as I can understand it, someone had access to the log files at the Too Conservative blog - which is a pretty basic and commonplace administrative privilege - and these logs showed that the owner of the blog, Vince, had been writing comments under different names. Some have said these comments were controversial: I have no opinion on this aspect of the matter. The person then posted the IP log information on the Velvet Elvis blog, strongly incriminating Vince. I picked up the news from Black Velvet Bruce Lee.
It appears that the blogging software, which I believe was WordPress, maintained a log of comments and corresponding IP addresses which could be viewed en masse (Movable Type does not allow this, as far as I can tell). Thus the person who got the information probably opened a report within the WordPress administrative interface and saved a file which included all the data.
Velvet Elvis' goal appeared to be only to show that many of the commenters' comments had come from the same IP address that Vince posted from. Our own Sophrosyne said a few months ago that former bloggers at Too Conservative hinted they had proof that Vince had been commenting under different names.
So far, not so bad. Too Conservative (TC) is a very popular blog, and "TC" himself - aka Vince - is very plugged in to local politics. On the surface, one might just say a popular blogger got nabbed for playing games to increase activity within his comments. I and others have opined this could be justified. Others have opined the harsh nature of some of the pseudonymous comments raised questions about the writer, and still others have suggested the whole enterprise of writing fake comments was disreputable. An underlying accusation was that TC had set himself up for this fall by things he had said and done.
Bottom line: This appeared to be an embarrassing episode for TC but one he would learn from. He appeared to have gotten caught doing something disingenuous. Recognizing TC's youth, many of us said he should simply 'fess up and move on. Even though he had a reputation for being a bit brutal to Republicans who didn't share his political philosophy (he termed NOVA TownHall the "Worst Blog" on the Internet) - particularly those of us on the "hard right" - TC was cut a lot of slack. Several of us said: He's growing up, so let's let him learn from this and no use rubbing his nose in it. Mistakes build character.
I told him humility was a valuable lesson, and issuing a mea culpa, would put this behind him.
UPDATE:TC has a new post...
Anonymous commenting is done by all sides of the spectrum.
This does not make my comments right, and for that I apologize.
I hope we all can move past this issue, and continue on.
...so I have changed this one
Well done, Vince.
UPDATE: Whoops. I am behind the curve as usual. BVBL has the story.
Vince probably owes his audience an apology, which we should readily accept. He understands the value of confession and redemption, and we should as well. In the end, heâ€™s not the only one learning from this experience â€” every other blogger in Virginia is as well.
And I donâ€™t know what is funnier â€” having Vincent posting as â€œChapmanWants[name here]Deadâ€ or the idea of hundreds of viewers busily reloading Shaun Kenneyâ€™s website for hours and trashing it while waiting for this story to get posted. Iâ€™ll bet his server statistics went through the roof tonight. Congrats to Shaun for getting this interview.
Here is an excerpt from Shaun Kenney's interview with Velvet Elvis:
My main problem is when he misrepresents himself in those posts, such as claiming to be a constituent in a particular House district in which he does not actually live. I also have a problem with him posting as elected officials such as Bill Bolling and Marty Nohe. The Bolling post was obviously not him, but the Nohe post even fooled me and I've been friends with Marty for a long time. Someone who doesn't know Marty might not take it in the humorous way it comes across to the people who do know him. And if Marty decides to run for PWC Chairman, some op-researcher might dig that post up and use it out of context. I don't want that to happen...
Go read all of that.
He's such a nice looking young man.
Unfortunately, Ralph Reed has stepped in it a few times during his climb to the top, and what once looked like a slam dunk in Georgia is now an open question.
Christian Coalition pedigree? Nice.
Abramoff scandal? Oohhh, sorreee!
Yeah, I hate to admit it, but the cherub-faced one really dumped the chamber pot on our Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Just when it was going so good. We may never recover.
Tomorrow is the Georgia Lt. Governor primary. I'd recommend checking in with Donkey Cons early and often.
I'm a bit behind on blogging about real issues, thus the recourse to clowns and other bloggers.
In the spirit of catching up, I am going to post the last two Guard the Borders Blogbursts in one fell swoop. This does not require me to write anything original yet still provides interesting reading material for you, our treasured visitor, while getting the reproachful eyes of Heidi off my back and allowing me to live once again without fear. Which is nice.
Herewith, then: the July 10 Guard the Borders Blogburst, featuring Rove, racists and reconquista, followed by the July 17 Blogburst on the differences between legal and illegal immigration.
And yes, I know some of you argue that the ideas represented in the first item are only coming from a tiny 'fringe' element of the pro-illegal alien lobby. You have, however, yet to show any evidence supporting your claim, while there is at least the evidence of thousands of people marching behind signs promoting those types of ideas.
In the discussion of last night's headline news about TC getting caught with his hand in the comments jar, James Young and Charles, among others, raise the basic questions of whether the Velvet Elvis accusation is true and, if so, whether it's all that bad anyway.
Here's my take on it.
Unless Velvet Elvis has put an amazing amount of time into fabricating the access log, and also is extremely confident there is no cached copy of the logs or the original pages available somewhere, I think the smart money says the charges against TC are true.
Conversely, TC could produce logs contradicting Elvis' claim that all the comments came from the same IP address - but then TC would need to be extraordinarily confident no cached copy of any data contradicting him existed somewhere.
For instance, here is the google cache of one of the pages from March 2006, for which Velvet Elvis reveals the IP access details. There are all kinds of caching mechanisms out there, I believe.
[Tech note: If you go to google and type "cache:" and then the exact address of a Web page from within the past year or so, you can see the original post. For the link above, I used "cache:http://tooconservative.com/?p=228".]
Because of the sheer amount of work and risk which would be involved in either of the scenarios above, I strongly believe the story is just as it appears: TC wrote a bunch of comments to his own posts under different names, probably to help drive the discussion and keep people coming back. When this Elvis fellow posted the IP access details, TC realized someone with admin privileges was doing things TC did not want done, and began to lock everything down. (Thus the impression that he'd been hacked...well, actually he HAD been hacked but in a different way.)
As noted in the previous post, this should be a character-building experience for someone. Attempting to mount a defense against the charges if the charges are true would be sad. Character is developed from lessons of experience, especially the experiences when you do something wrong and can't take it back. Maturity in large part consists of scar tissue.
As to the ethics: I don't know enough about local politics to really opine on the content of TC's various alter egos' comments. That would be one aspect of the question. On the basic question of creating pseudonymous comments to one's posts, I'd just say it's goofy - especially the way he seems to have done it. The personalities of the commenters seem similar although they do present different opinions to drive the discussion. To me it does not seem a very interesting use of the incognito. I'll let others analyze the content of the remarks.
Now if he had created drastically different personas, not only representing different shades of the political spectrum, but also having crazy people argue with sane people, THAT would be worth the effort although much harder to pull off.
It would still be goofy and evoke the "too much free time" observation. If you're going to build a blog community just be yourself and see what happens, is my personal approach. But in principle I think the pseudonymous commenter scheme could be interesting and ethically defensible if done with imagination, because it could create interest for visitors. And for many bloggers, visitors (real ones), are what it's all about.
UPDATE: As a result of Charles' hysterical little exercise in the comments, I am inspired to implement a new policy here on the NVTH Blog: We welcome your pseudonymous, schizophrenic comments. Assume any persona, and it will be up to the NVTH admin to suss you out. (Bear in mind, however, that if I can't find an automated way to do this in MT, your secret may remain hidden forever. So if you truly need to be recognized for saying something clever, use your own name or alert me to the masquerade.) I may have some fun with this myself.
...the suddenly homeless former contributors used the original blogger website to demonstrate their displeasure at their authoritarian removal and hinted that if Vince continued to pressure them (to get them to vanish from the blogger site as well) they would (according to our limited understanding of the situation) reveal IP address information demonstrating that Vince has also been posting anonymously under various pseudonyms to further his own agenda.
I guess Soph, wherever he/she is, is enjoying a quiet "I told you so" moment right now.
UPDATE III: From reading all the comments here and on other blogs, I am aware of the niggling question: What about all the people Too Conservative has been slamming? Should there be a schadenfreude side to this story?
Well, obviously we have a stake in this, as TC has provided one of our premier identifiers. We're the "Group B" people. Also, I get pretty ticked off at how TC derogates individuals like Eugene Delgaudio, Heidi Stirrup and Mike McHugh, among many others: the Republican wing of the Republican Party. People like these folks are the reason I am active in the local party. Sometimes I think Vince having a site called "Too Conservative" where he slams conservatives, would be like me starting a blog called "Too Gay." It's something I could only imagine doing if I had a serious animus toward gay people.
I'm pretty new to local politics so the jabs don't sting all that much, and I have two kids who are both older than Vince so I have a lot of tolerance for kids calling me an idiot. I've watched mine grow out of it, and I assume I'll get to see Vince do the same.
There is a small number of blogs that push the envelope demonstrating the unique responsive reporting power of this medium. I don't necessarily count this one among them.
I do, however, count Black Velvet Bruce Lee. If you are not reading that man every day, your priorities are seriously askew. I cannot believe the stuff he comes up with.
Because of things that happened over the past couple months - which I shall not reveal because I do not trade every bit of inside information I receive for personal gain - I must attribute this little imbroglio to divine retribution, with Mitch Cumstein as the instrument of eternal justice.
Getting hacked is a b-tch, but sometimes what goes around comes around.
Vince, I hope someday we will look back on all of this and laugh.
UPDATE: Hoo daddy, BVBL is not the only observer.
Also check here.
Even if you are not from Northern VA, you will likely find those links interesting.
As a wise man once said:
With great power, comes great responsibility.
UPDATE II: Let's be sure to stipulate that Vince is a kid, and a very politics-savvy kid. Vince got nabbed for playing games on his Web site. He'll come out of this a little more humble, and in the long run no one will hold it against him. The experience will build character and toughness. When he graduates, I expect he will be the next Rove or Carville.
UPDATE III: Vince responds.
For Release: July 14, 2006 Contact: J. Tucker Martin or David Clementson Phone: 804-786-2071 Website: www.vaag.com
ALEXANDRIA - Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell hosted the first formal meeting of his Youth Internet Safety Task Force today in Alexandria. Meeting at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Task Force heard from the Attorney General and other national leaders in the effort to protect children online, watched demonstrations on Internet safety by public safety professionals, and broke into working groups to begin the process of formulating new legislation and new proposals to safeguard Virginia children online.
Speaking on the first meeting, McDonnell noted, â€œTodayâ€™s event marked the beginning of a concerted effort to keep Virginia children safe online. When I was growing up, not far from where we met today, in Fairfax County, my parents gave me common-sense advice, the kind of caution most adults received as children: Donâ€™t talk to strangers, donâ€™t get in a strangerâ€™s car. Now, in the 21st century, we have to adapt our advice to children to reflect the high-tech world in which they live.â€
McDonnell continued, â€œToday, the world comes right into your office and living room. Unfortunately, criminals are using the Internet as the new frontier for committing sex offenses and identity theft against minors. With so much of the nationâ€™s Internet traffic moving through Virginia, we must protect children and our citizens in order to keep the Internet a great tool for information exchange, communication and electronic commerce. This Task Force will find real ways to accomplish this goal.â€
State and national leaders in attendance today included, Dr. Billy K. Cannaday, Jr, State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Col. Steve Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police; Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; John Ryan, Vice President and Chief Counsel for American Online/Time Warner; Rick Lane from MySpace.com; Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg); Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover); Del. Robert Hurt (R- Chatham); and Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, among many others.
This past session of the General Assembly, Attorney General McDonnell successfully spearheaded a comprehensive reform of the Virginia laws regarding sexually violent predators. Combating sexually violent predators using the Internet is the next phase of this effort. The Attorney Generalâ€™s Computer Crime Unit, which prosecutes cases across Virginia, has found that sexual predators are using popular social networking sites such as MySpace.com, and Facebook.com, to interact with and threaten younger users of the web.
The mission of the Youth Internet Safety Task Force is to find and recommend methods of further protecting Virginiaâ€™s children and teenagers on the Internet with new laws or regulations, tools for law enforcement, education programs for schools, kids and parents, and business partnerships. For further information on the Youth Internet Safety Task Force please visit this link.
Via the LA Times:
So this is the liberal Christianity that was supposed to be the Christianity of the future: disarray, schism, rapidly falling numbers of adherents, a collapse of Christology and national meetings that rival those of the Modern Language Assn. for their potential for cheap laughs. And they keep telling the Catholic Church that it had better get with the liberal program â€” ordain women, bless gay unions and so forth â€” or die. Sure.
An interesting read. If you'd like more... try The Myth of Religious Tolerance.
Via The Hill:
The newfound optimism is grounded in what Republicans say is a shift in the political winds â€” and their fundraising prowess.
In preparation for midterm elections, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has been tapped to helm the Battleground program, the GOPâ€™s final fundraising push of the 2006 election cycle.
Cantor, the chief deputy to Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), is tasked with raising $17.5 million, the GOPâ€™s target for the program.
-Warm welcome to Aislinn, our newest blogger! I'm going to give you absolutely no information about Aislinn except to say it is a wonderful thing to have another well-read, grassroots-savvy, articulate conservative on board to help balance out my paranoid, late-night jeremiads.
-There will be more discussion of the Virginia Marriage Amendment than you can shake a stick at, whatever that means. Thanks to Soph for the latest contributions in the Carnival.
-I'll be back on board soon. Sometimes the Internet is like pumpkin pie with Cool Whip: After having a bit too much, something deep down inside tells you it's time to walk away for awhile.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention, as usual much of the action here at NVTH Blog is in the comment areas. And I don't just mean comments, I mean essays. So if you don't see a new post at the top there's a good chance it's because one or more of us is down in the arena grappling with the other Luchadors. The latest matches are going on here and here.
Today the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts meets in a Constitutional Convention to consider a citizen driven effort (170,000+ petition signatures) to restore the definition of marriage which was fundamentally redefined by judicial fiat two years ago. In efforts to subvert the constitutional process same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates have been pushing for legislators to skip the Convention and deny a quorum as well as illegally tabling the amendment indefinitely.
Thankfully it looks like MA Senate President Robert E. Travaglini, the head of the Convention, has enough respect for the people of Massachusetts to at least permit a vote (only 50 votes are necessary to move the initiative forward) on the issue. However the Marriage Amendment is item 20 on the agenda so Travaglini may deny a vote today in order to consider other business, setting the stage to reconvene the Constitutional Convention later this year.
55-60 affirmative votes are expected once a vote is permitted and then the Marriage Amendment would have to be reconsidered at another Constitutional Convention and again garner 50 or more votes at which point it would then be sent directly to the people requiring a simple majority to be enacted.
BONUS UPDATE: Check out this post on Virginia Conservative Analysis discussing the true impact of the Virginia Marriage Amendment despite the red-herring claims of same-sex "marriage" advocates.
UPDATE: As anticipated by many, the Massachusetts legislature meeting in a Constitutional Convention, failed to vote on the citizen-driven initiative to restore the definition of marriage. In a 100 to 91 vote, they choose to ignore the will of many of the people of Massachusetts as indicated on the record-setting 170,000+ petitions and put off the mandated up-or-down vote until November 9th, when they will have just been safely re-elected.
I think Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said it best:
"Tens of thousands of citizens have petitioned the government for the right to have their voices heard. They have played by the rules. This issue won't go away until the people are heardâ€
This is just another reason why we shouldnâ€™t leave the definition of marriage unnecessarily vulnerable in Virginia, having to later scramble and fight entrenched special interest groups after some judge legislates from the bench and rips the core out of marriage (the same special interest groups that will already be spending $3 million this November on an extensive red-herring misinformation campaign to confuse Virginia voters).
More information on what happened yesterday in Massachusetts can be found here.
Iâ€™m very excited to join NOVA Townhall Blog! If you would have told me a month ago that I would be a blogger on VA politics, I would have laughed. Not only am I known to dislike reading/ writing (since I do so much of it), but I tend to get entrapped in the national political whirlwind of DC and fail to keep up with Virginia issues. However, the Commonwealth of Virginia is a much more lovable place, and I think itâ€™s important for a Republican Insider to be involved on the state level. For as the saying goes, â€œAll politics is local.â€
Iâ€™m looking forward to discussing with you all!
- Gay activists, Sharpton and the war on words, By Star Parker
Discusses the use of verbiage and terminology in the marriage debate, specifically in light of the recent New York case rejecting the litigation brought forth by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates in an attempt to redefine marriage:
For the gay activist plaintiffs the offense here is that there is something _ in this case marriage _ that might actually have some real, irreducible meaning, not accessible to political activism. Sort of the opposite of Shakespeare's point that "...a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That is, I commit a hate crime if I deny your claim that your dandelion is a rose.
The strategy in the assault on marriage is that if the institution is not providing what you want, change the meaning of the institution. Why it is the way it is, the fact that it has been this way from time immemorial and, indeed, the idea that there might be anything objectively true, becomes irrelevant.
The problem gets transformed from the preservation of the integrity of marriage, which was the original point of the law, to a claim that the law discriminates and "restricts an individual's right to marry the person of his or her choice."
- Spank that Donkey has a post up discussing the stateâ€™s interest in protecting marriage from radical redefinition. There is also a follow up post addressing some of the complaints from same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activists.
In conclusion, I am not even touching the "moral arguments" involved in why we shouldn't have same sex marriage, I am just trying to "flesh out" the human side of why "same sex marriage" is not a good idea for our country, or really even the world in the long run... We need the One Man, One Woman Marriage Amendment to be implemented into our U.S. Constitution period. Let the rest of the world pursue their own social experiments.
- With Pope Benedict XVI in Valencia, By Jennifer Roback Morse
Discusses Spainâ€™s Socialist government in relation to Pope Benedictâ€™s pro-marriage, pro-family message during his visit to Valencia to close the Fifth World Meeting of Families:
So why would the Socialist government care about the Popeâ€™s broadcast? They are afraid that they will become the next in line of governments that have been peacefully up-ended by the power of a pontiffâ€™s message to the ordinary people. John Paul II famously inspired the Velvet Revolution in Poland, which led to the end of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. John Paul was a thorn in the side of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Benedict may prove to be a trial to the Socialist government of Spain.
The Socialist government was not elected to impose same sex marriage on an overwhelmingly Catholic country. When the legislation was proposed, over a million people marched in Madrid to protest. Neither the President nor the Vice-President of Spain attended the Papal Mass, as is customary for heads of state. The Spanish government even financed a pro-homosexual conference that met at approximately the same time as the World Meeting of Families.
The Socialists may have overplayed their hand in Spain. People are sick of the social experiments. Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s inspiring words and gentle demeanor may just be the encouragement people need to push back decisively against the trends of redefining marriage and the family. People are ready to restore the ideal of one man, one woman, for life.
- Constitutional isogesis, By Mark M. Alexander
Compares Biblical isogesis to Constitutional isogesisâ€¦ helping to explain the foundation of judicial activism and where why we end up with such horrendous and legally indefensible decisions such as Roe and Goodridge:
The belief in a Constitution subject to the evolving interpretation of the judiciary has as its origin the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, where Chief Justice John Marshall ruled, "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." All well and good if the courts would continue to interpret the law exegetically, but as history would soon show, constitutional isogesis was lurking just around the corner.
In fact, by the early 20th century the isogetical interpretation of the Constitution had been given a name, courtesy of Howard McBain's 1927 book, The Living Constitution. In the decades that followed, this notion of a "living" Constitution, one subject to all manner of judicial interpretation, took hold in the federal courts. Judicial activists, who legislate from the bench by issuing rulings based on their personal interpretation of the Constitution, or at the behest of like-minded special-interest constituencies, were nominated for the federal bench and confirmed in droves.
This degradation of law was codified by the Warren Court, under the influence of Justice William Brennan, Jr., in Trop v. Dulles (1958). In that ruling, the High Court noted that the Constitution should comport with "evolving standards ... that mark the progress of a maturing society." In other words, it had now become a fully pliable document -- one that Jefferson had warned us would be a "mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please."
- Shaun Kenney: Your Marriage is Outdated and Bigoted , So sayeth Howard Dean:
Some great comments discussing Deanâ€™s absurd (and self-contradictory) commentsâ€¦ as always Shaun proves to be one of the most eloquent defenders of family in the blogosphere, well worth a read.
- High courts rebuke activist judges, By Kevin McCullough
Discusses the two recent court decisions in New York and Georgia as well as some other litigation coming down the pipe in other states:
Of course, both decisions are hated by liberals and therefore received spotty coverage in the media, but make no mistake, these decisions portend large in the upcoming decisions in New Jersey (which can't even seem to stay open), California (which seldom ever makes sense), and Washington. The Washington case being the biggest one of all.
In Washington there is no residency requirement for marriages to be performed. Simply put, if Washington courts go all Massachusetts on their votersâ€”suddenly couples from every state in the union could apply for marriage licenses, be pronounced man and husband, or woman and bride, and return to their state to then test the federal statute called the Defense of Marriage Actâ€¦
â€¦The sides who have lost in each of these cases have pledged to work night and day to get legislative approval to redefine marriage. In New Yorkâ€”if Elliot Spitzer is elected governor, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg does throw in the millions of dollars and manpower to conduct a grassroots effortsâ€”who knows what could happen! But at least such a scenario would still have to drive millions of voters to voting booths to get such a result. A good test of such a drive might be seen this fall in Massachusetts as the voters there will be allowed to weigh in on the issue for the very first time.
As you can easily see, the fight isn't over. It's barely just begun.
But it's always a good day to see activist judges get their lunch handed to them.
- Virginia Conservative Analysis chimes in with his/her support of the Marriage Amendmentâ€¦ he/she rightly sees through the red-herring argument that the Marriage Amendment (similar to the 20 that have already been enacted in other states) will invalidate â€œany and all relationships between unmarried individualsâ€ and thus rejects this misinformation campaign designed to leave Virginiaâ€™s definition of marriage vulnerable to same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ litigation.
- Mocking the rules in Massachusetts, By Jeff Jacoby
Discusses the Constitutional Convention called due to the record-setting 170,000+ signatures collected in favor of restoring the definition of marriage, specifically the efforts of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates to unconstitutionally derail the democratic process:
But for weeks now, same-sex marriage advocates have been telegraphing their intention to kill the marriage amendment through just such an unconstitutional ploy. "Every possible option is on the table," says the head of MassEquality, a powerful coalition opposed to the amendment. Among the tactics being discussed: adjourning the joint session before the amendment is brought up, or arranging for enough legislators to stay away in order to prevent a quorumâ€¦
â€¦Those intoxicated with their own moral superiority often find it easy to believe that it is "perfectly acceptable" to make a mockery of the rules that ensure fairness for those they look down upon. Homosexual marriage is widely supported by Massachusetts elites; few of them are likely to lose much sleep if the proposed amendment is derailed by an illegal parliamentary maneuver. In a newspaper ad appearing this week, 165 Massachusetts business executives and civic leaders endorse same-sex marriage and urge the Legislature to reject any amendment "that would take away rights." But the ad says nothing about the right of 170,000 Massachusets citizens to have their petition put to a vote on Beacon Hill.
"I think we have had enough of this debate," says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick, siding with those who favor procedural tricks to cheat the amendment's supporters out of a vote. "The basic question here is whether people come before their government as equals." His position, in other words, is that scores of thousands of petitioners must be treated as second-class citizens in order to ensure that people aren't treated as second-class citizens.
- CNN Politics: Massachusetts court OKs same-sex marriage referendum
Discusses the defeat of the same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activistsâ€™ final attempt to deny the people of Massachusetts their constitutional rights as the state prepares to convene a Constitutional Convention tomorrow. Also has some quotes exhibiting the raw arrogance of Supreme Judicial Court Justice John Greaney as he sits in his ivory tower and blasts the legitimate efforts of the people (with record setting number of petition signatures) to undo his act of judicial tyranny and restore the definition of marriage.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said the proposed amendment is not a "reversal" of the court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage but a proposed change to the state constitution, which can be legally done through a citizen initiative...
...Justice John M. Greaney, in a concurring opinion, warned that approving an amendment banning same-sex marriage would be discriminatory because it would remove the rights of same-sex couples to the legal, social and financial benefits of marriage.
That's not me in the picture. I'm a giant walking marshmallow man, the form that the Traveler, Gozer the Gozerian took when he returned to destroy the world. During the rectification of the Vuldronaii the Traveler came as a large, moving Torb. Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants they chose a new form for himâ€”that of a giant Sloar. Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day, I can tell you.
You will all agree, I assume, that this heartbreaking narrative levels the ideological playing field:
Today, at least, we are all Marshmallow Men.
This VDH column is not easily excerpted:
First, before 9/11 the Western hard right-wing allowed radical Islam a pass â€” and then afterwards the Left did worse. That fact helps to explain the strange exemption given radical Islam in the West even today...
Multiculturalism (no culture is worse than the Westâ€™s) and its twin of cultural relativism (those with power have no right or ability to judge others) gave a wide pass to radical Islam and its 7th-century primitivism. Apparently most Leftists thought the dearth of women in the clubhouse at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National was far worse than the Arab worldâ€™s honor killings, burqas, and coerced female circumcision.
Indeed, a radical Leftist always faces a dilemma when a fellow anti-American sounds fascistic. The usual course, as we have seen since September 11, is either to keep silent about such embarrassing kindred spirits, or to weasel out by suggesting our own hegemonic tendencies pushed a once reasonable â€œOtherâ€ in lamentable directions.
The result? Killers and terrorists have been able to operate openly in European capitals. Here in North America, in the 58 months after the Twin Towers fell, numerous cadres of terrorists still continue to be rounded up â€” without a peep of condemnation from mainstream Muslim groups, who have instead crafted an ingenious cult of victimization, predicated on sympathy from the Left.
Read it all.
The war we are in began before the Texas Rangers were even a twinkle in George W. Bush's eye, back when W. still kept his fridge stocked with Lone Star. It's been a bipartisan heads-in-the-sand exhibition that continues to this day. The only partisan angle on this issue is that so far only a few right wing extremists have a clue about what is actually happening.
Just a random thought that's been going through my head lately. Why are these agencies allowed to exist in our government?
My beef: They all make regulations and policies that have the effect of law...and they do it without the consent of the people. Furthermore, they enforce these laws on the people without due process.
How does this happen? Am I the only one this bothers? I don't hear much opposition to them. So why aren't they challenged in court when they confiscate property and throw fines around like they grow on trees?
If anyone knows of any court decisions on this subject, I'd like to check them out.
Stay tuned for my rantings on the Supreme Court's abuse of the Constitution.
My civil rights bona fides go back for years and I challenge anyone to go toe to toe with me on empathy for my fellow man. Life is tough, and the curveballs it throws some of us can be quite different from what others among us face.
I've been there for the downtrodden; I give to the poor; I've advocated for the unjustly accused; I've personally sought to liberate those under the heel of discrimination; and I've led the war on clowns.
...because the bastards just keep showing up...
The organisers of a rock festival have abandoned a circus theme for the event after complaints from people suffering from a fear of clowns.
Would-be festival-goers e-mailed to say they would not attend because they suffered from coulrophobia.
Let's be clear about one thing: We all love the circus. It's as wholesome as the day is long.
But whoever started the insidious tradition of inviting these freaky painted evil goons into a celebration of humanity and furry creatures surely intended to undermine western civilization, and I for one will not permit it. Here I draw the line. Here, I take my stand.
Some may argue for inclusion. Not I.
I say, I am a humanitarian. I don't want the people to suffer from the uncertainty and fear. I don't want the children to suffer nightmares. I die a little each day for those who must confront the evil clowns. That's how much I care.
All I want is a circus with little midget guys and trained animals and contortionists and carnies like the Founding Fathers intended - and I want the conspiracy of clowns BUSTED, people.
Sooooo....This week's Loudoun Easterner has this interesting quote from Judy Feder on page two:
...there are no gas pumps in the 10th District that can sell ethanol. I will assure that at least half of those gas station[sic] will handle ethanol.
A million cool points to the first person who can find for me, in the US Constitution, where it gives US Congressmen the power to regulate businesses within their own district.
She's gonna have to do better than that if she wants Wolf's office.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean on the New York decision stating that it is not the role of the courts to create policy/law and radically redefine marriage via litigation brought forward by liberal same-sex "marriage" advocates:
Today's decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families, is deeply disappointing. [Emphasis mine]
The concept that children have a right to a mother and a father and that marriage is the union of a man and a woman is an "outdated and bigoted notion"? This, my friends, is another example of why, despite all the problems within the GOP and tension over Iraq, the Democrats will not sweep the table come November. These folks are WAY out of touch with middle-America.
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Friday, July 7, 2006
Victory Alert: Marriage Upheld by New York and Georgia Courts
Yesterday in New York and Georgia, two significant victories occurred in the nationwide battle to preserve traditional marriage.
New York's Ruling
In a combination of four lawsuits, attorneys representing a total of forty-four same-sex couples argued New York's decades-old domestic relations law violates the guarantees of equal protection and due process in that state's constitution. New York's highest court upheld the law, opining that it is the role of the legislature, not the court to legalize same-sex marriage.
During oral arguments, lawyers for the plaintiffs attempted to make several points:
1) First, they argued that gender is entirely a social construct. At this laughable point, a judge demanded answers for the obvious biological distinctions.
2) Second, attorneys declared that studies show that children fare equally well when raised by a mom and dad as when raised by some other combination of persons. This proclamation prompted one judge to request a study proving this fact. Instead of responding with a scientific study, the lawyer cited a statement released by the American Pediatric Academy. This lack of discernment between a political statement and a legitimate study did not seem to please the judge.
3) Third, it was stated that the court, not the legislature should define marriage. This line of argumentation had several judges asking the plaintiffs if the power of the court is equivalent to the legislature with respect to lawmaking.
New York's final opinion issued by a 4-2 majority is particularly important because the Court specifically addresses the fact that it is "rational" that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting children and that traditional marriage is best suited to do this.
Yesterday's second victory occurred when the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld that state's constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.
In this case, plaintiffs challenged the inclusion of both same-sex marriage and civil unions within the same constitutional amendment, claiming that these were two distinct objects and thus violated the state's "one object" rule. In its unanimous decision, the Court opined that the 77% of Georgia voters who put this amendment into the Constitution knew what they were doing and viewed it as one issue.
For more information, you may review the final opinion.
Impact on Virginia
The citizens of Virginia will also understand what it is they are voting for and that all the deception regarding so-called unintended consequences is just a thinly veiled attempt at avoiding the real issue - how we are going to define marriage for future generations.
While these rulings continue a trend of momentum for traditional marriage supporters, they do not alleviate the need for Virginians to keep working to pass our constitutional amendment this November. Several cases are still pending around the nation in places like Washington and New Jersey, where outcomes are expected to be grim. Without a constitutional amendment here in Virginia, a state judge may overturn our public policy protecting traditional marriage. We must be encouraged when courts do the right thing, but continue in our diligence to protect our law.
I for one really look forward to reading the New York court's majority opinion when I can find some time! It'll be interesting to compare and contrast with Goodridge.
Below is the latest Bolling Report discussing eminent domain and some of the Lt. Governor's recent travels. Definitely check out the comments regarding his trip to Northern Virginia (and how to win up here) at the bottom of the update. There can be no denying Lt. Governor Bolling recognizes our region's growing political influence and its importance in any potential 2009 campaign.
BOLLING FIRST TO SIGN ON TO EFFORTS TO PROTECT PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS IN VIRGINIA
July 06, 2006
On June 28th Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling became the first statewide official to pledge his support to a conservative set of â€œcore principlesâ€ that are designed to protect private property rights in Virginia.
â€œOne of the most fundamental rights that we enjoy as Americans is the right to own private propertyâ€, Bolling said. â€œWe must do everything we can to protect private property rights in Virginia. This will be one of the highest priorities of my office.â€
Bolling made his comments at a capitol press conference to announcement the formation of the Commonwealth Alliance for Property Rights, a bipartisan, public/private group that will work to protect private property right during the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly.
In 2005, the United States Supreme Court, in the Kelo decision, significantly expanded governmental power to condemn private property through the use of eminent domain. The General Assembly attempted to close the loopholes created by the Kelo decision in 2006, but was unable to do so.
For more information on the â€œcore principlesâ€ of the Commonwealth Alliance for Property Rights, please click here.
BOLLING COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL TOUR OF CENTRAL VIRGINA
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling recently conducted a very successful three day tour of Central Virginia, with stops in Lynchburg, Bedford and Smith Mountain Lake.
On June 30th Lieutenant Governor Bolling met with leaders of the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce and conducted a tour to see the impressive progress that has been made in revitalizing downtown Lynchburg. (For more on the Lieutenant Governorâ€™s visit to Lynchburg, please click here.)
Later in the day, Lieutenant Governor Bolling met with Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown and discussed Project Blue Ridge Thunder. Project Blue Ridge Thunder is a nationally acclaimed effort to crack down on Internet child pornography and those who prey on innocent children. (For more on the Lieutenant Governorâ€™s visit to Project Blue Ridge Thunder, please click here.)
On June 31st Lieutenant Governor Bolling hosted a breakfast for Republican leaders and activists in Lynchburg. Later in the day he hosted a similar luncheon at Smith Mountain Lake. While at Smith Mountain Lake, Lieutenant Governor Bolling also attended a local 4th of July celebration.
On July 1st Lieutenant Governor Bolling participated in services to dedicate the new Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg. Later in the day, the Lieutenant Governor joined Senator George Allen, Congressman Bob Goodlatte and Congressman Virgil Goode at Thunder on the Mountain, an annual Patriotic Celebration at Liberty University.
BOLLING SPENDS FOURTH OF JULY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling spent the 4th of July at a series of patriotic events in Northern Virginia.
The Lieutenant Governorâ€™s day began with a breakfast with community leaders in the City of Fairfax, followed by a parade through downtown Fairfax.
The Lieutenant Governor then attended the Leadership Instituteâ€™s Conservative Soiree at Bull Run Park in Manassas, where he encouraged those in attendance to turn out the vote this November and make certain that we re-elect Senator George Allen to the United States Senate and pass the Constitutional Amendment to prohibit same sex marriage.
â€œTo win statewide elections we have to do well in Northern Virginiaâ€, Bolling said. â€œBy remaining committed to our conservative principles, and talking about issues that matter to Northern Virginia voters, I am convinced that we can revitalize our party in this important region of the state.â€
These events marked Bollingâ€™s eleventh visit to Northern Virginia since becoming Lieutenant Governor in January.
Given my growing involvement in the grassroots effort to support the protection of marriage via the Virginia Marriage Amendment, I continue to have too little time to blog (itâ€™s a matter of priorities I suppose). However, I did want to take a few seconds to post the news that the overwhelming will of the people of Georgia has been restored and their Marriage Amendment (which passed by 76%) has been reinstated... as well as the news that New York dodged a bullet with a 4-2 decision rejecting same-sex marriage advocates' litigation urging New York's highest court to legislate from the bench and redefine marriage to no longer mean the union of a man and woman. While it is always refreshing to see a court (particularly in the Northeast) understand its role is not to create new law/policy, there can be no doubt that those in favor of redefining marriage will continue to bring litigation challenging the definition of marriage- we will continue to be unnecessarily vulnerable even here in Virginia.
The only way we can get past the point of having to hold our breath each time a state court addresses this issue is to pass a Marriage Amendment. Thankfully we here in Virginia will have just that opportunity come November.
In New York, the Court of Appeals said in a 4-2 decision that the state's marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
Any change in the law would have to come from the state Legislature, Judge Robert Smith said.
"We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives," Smith wrote.
The New York decision said lawmakers have a legitimate interest in protecting children by limiting marriage to heterosexual couples and that the law does not deny homosexual couples any "fundamental right" since same-sex marriages are not "deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition."
You can read the entire ruling here (rulings 86-89).
This blog has been a significant part of my life for the past few months, and I've loved every minute of it. However, my personal/professional life is demanding more of my attention. In addition, I've dedicated myself to spending a significant portion of my free time to volunteering to support the marriage amendment. I believe this is the most important item on the ballot this fall, and the huge amount of money dedicated to defeating it by the homosexual agenda can only be countered by grassroots activism, not blogging. I hope that I've added something to the blogging world and will miss it, but to quote the good governor of Cali, I'll be back.
Euphoric Reality sends the following report:
Last year, I experienced a Fourth of July that I never want to repeat. I wrote about it, but at the time, I don't think my experience registered on anyone's radar. Here's part of the description as I posted it last year:
The Colbert Report (said without the T) is my favorite show, and this is just one of the reasons.
Not Larry Sabato discusses Senator Ken Cuccinelli's possible opponents.
Via this WaPo article we learn about the staggering amount of money Anti-Marriage Amendment activists intend to raise in their campaign to oppose protecting the very definition of marriage from raw judicial activism.
To help rally amendment opponents, the Commonwealth Coalition, a Richmond-based group, has set an ambitious goal of raising $3 million, organizers said. They want to fund a barrage of radio and television ads in the fall. Meanwhile, the Family Foundation Action, which is organizing amendment supporters, has set a best-case-scenario fundraising goal of $900,000, although activists and volunteers said they expected to raise less than that.
And I thought weddings cost a lot of money! Note that the article also points out the following:
In 2004, supporters of marriage amendments out-raised their opponents.
Virginia has a real fight on its hands if the Anti-Marriage Amendment crowd will truly have a 3-1 financial advantage.
They will have much more money to fuel their misinformation campaign based on the red-herring argument that â€œVirginians shouldnâ€™t be concerned with the FACT that state courts have attacked the very definition of marriage (see Goodridge in Massachusetts)â€¦ no no, we should instead be concerned that by protecting marriage via elevating the same principle that already exists in law (the Affirmation of Marriage Act) and has never been interpreted to â€œinvalidate all contract rights between anyoneâ€ as claimed, we will pave the way for the real danger of judicial activism! Just trust us!... even though what weâ€™re really all about is the redefinition of marriage to create same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ via judicial fiat and weâ€™ve been lobbying to redefine marriage for years!â€
Itâ€™s going to be a long couple of monthsâ€¦ I hope and pray Virginians will see through the thick cloud of deceit and perceive the simple truth behind this issue... rejecting the effort to leave the definition of marriage vulnerable to attack via state courts.
Also, itâ€™s worth pointing out that this article highlights yet another broken promise of Governor Tim Kaineâ€¦ who if we recall repeatedly pledged not to raise taxes on the campaign trail in 2005, only to push for a massive tax-hike 6 days after being sworn into office (which thankfully the House beat back and ultimately rejected).
Well, let us not forget that Kaine also unequivocally declared his support for the Marriage Amendment as written during the 2005 campaign- even doing so in writing on both the Virginia Catholic Conference candidate survey and the Family Foundation survey. As Lieutenant Governor he presided over the Senate as they debated this issue in 2005 and knew exactly what the Marriage Amendment saidâ€¦ any claim otherwise is simply unbelievable. Well, once he was sworn into office his true agenda came to bear and he swiftly broke his promise to support the protection of marriage (his "new" position can be seen in the WaPo article)â€¦ choosing to side with liberal special interest groups such as Equality Virginia rather than Virginiaâ€™s families.
Just goes to show that our Governor is about as trustworthy as those now claiming the Marriage Amendment will somehow obliterate all of our other rights.
UPDATE: Some analysis from Vivian Paige... we may not agree on the Marriage Amendment but I do agree the amount of money thrown at this is pretty unecessary, after all the full text of the Marriage Amendment will be on the ballot for every voter to read.
How have American protestant churches gone so far astray? As we enter the 4th of July holiday, Americans should take a moment to examine their lives, and ask if we are still honoring God, even at the lowest level in lipservice.
Just switch parties already! Like Ann Coulter said recently, Lieberman wouldn't be the best Republican, but at least we wouldn't be trying to defeat him.
While Too Conservative commented on this Washington Post article in his unabashed attempt to pull a â€˜Chapmanâ€™ on conservative Occoquan Supervisor Corey Stewart (without any real justification I might add)â€¦ I was glad he brought it to our attention, even if he did place the actual link deep in the comments, presumably so less people would read the full article.
After reading the WaPo article it seems pretty clear that Stewart is the limited government, fiscal conservative in the raceâ€¦ not one who believes PWC should drift from its core responsibilities of education, transportation, public safety, etc and focus on broad social service endeavors (as Supervisors Caddigan and Nohe apparently do). Stewart wants to do well what only government can do and then empower the people (via reduction of the tax burden) as a much more efficient engine for those in need. Sounds very Reagan-esque to me.
And letâ€™s not forget that Stewart seems to be right on the growth issue:
"We have good tools" to control growth, he said. "The biggest one is the power to rezone. We unfortunately have not been using it effectively, and this board over the past two years has approved virtually every major rezoning that has come before it, including an additional 5,000 new homes along Route 1, which is already congested."
Although Connaughton's supporters point to the hundreds of miles of roads built or widened in recent years, Stewart said that building roads within the county is not enough considering that Prince William's two main arteries -- I-66 and I-95 -- have not been improved.
"The only thing we can do is to slow the residential growth to give the state and the federal government the time to catch up with infrastructure that's needed," he said.
The bottom line is that tax bills are going through the roof and local government needs to be focused on the most important issues if PWC is to have good schools and safe streets and sensible growth based on the reality of I-66 and I-95. To simply dismiss Stewartâ€™s appealing approach to these issues makes no sense.
We here at NOVA Town Hall look forward to learning more about all the candidates as this race unfoldsâ€¦ and we hope, rather than engage in some petty smear attack, there will be a civil dialogue on who is the best candidate.
UPDATE: More good (and fair) information on all of the potential candidates can be found here.
In 2008, religious purists will either rally around long-shot candidates like Sen. George Allen or Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, or they'll sit out the election. More pragmatic conservative Christians may lend their support to a compromised front-runner like McCain or Romney with a lower expectation of what they might receive from him once in office.
Interesting analysis... not sure if I agree that Allen is a "long-shot" candidate but I suppose we'll deal with that after Jim Webb is cut down to size. The bottom line is no Virginia Republicans should take the conservative vote for granted.
As Americans celebrate Independence Day this coming Tuesday... we should all reflect on the war raging around us as we continue the fight for our freedom. We can never forget.