August 2006 Archives
Note to self: Do not try to upgrade Movable Type on your lunch hour, or late at night. Basically, you want to take a day or two off work to upgrade Movable Type.
For our reader's, this may mean some weird looking stuff until it's over.
But it will be worth it, just to get more bloggers on board, because if meeting the sine qua non of daily posting is left up to me pretty soon you'll be getting photos of my yard.
If the NOVA TownHall Blog work ethic was a business, it would be an old country store with a dog asleep in the middle of the floor and nary a customer within miles.
If the NOVA TownHall Blog work ethic was a cruise ship, you would never take off your life preserver while on board.
Q. How many NOVA Town Hall bloggers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A. Six, because each one of them will only use their pinky.
More substance soon, I promise.
UPDATE: Just in case it wasn't clear, I kid because I love.
Yes folks, it's that time of year, as summer draws to a close and we return to work in all its forms. Off with the bathing suits, on with the cowboy boots, and the scent of hustings fills the air. Don't look now but November's right around the corner.
November 2007, that is.
Count me in with all of the above.
Click on the link below to continue. If a picture is worth a thousand words then the pictures below are worth, like, the entirety of all human writing since the Sumerians.
I may try to upgrade Movable Type on my lunch hour today, in order to allow more authors and a few other snazzy features.
If anything goes wrong, that will likely mean the end of the NOVA TownHall Blog forever.
Have a nice day.
UPDATE: The upgrade did not work, and neither did we get Armegeddon....so I'm striking out left and right.
No new authors or fancy new features until I get it figured it out, maybe over the weekend. Sorry, all you prospective NVTH contributors out there.
Go read BVBL. We need to get the following quote, one of blog-fu's best, out far and wide:
Judy Feder is demonstrably unfit to hold any elected office at any level of government, where her ability to engage in political repression, using even children if necessary, will be vastly greater than it is now.
No more dallying, over to blog-fu with you!
It's alive, ALIVE I tell you!! The latest Virginia Blog Carnival is up at CatHouse Chat: All the coolest bloggers in Virginia are represented. Go over there now and read it over and over and over again.
Cat has one of the best blogs in the state but gets less recognition than she deserves because she lives in a part of Virginia which is, technically, still in the jurassic period and thus unknown to modern audiences.
You need to read through all the links to get the whole story. If you don't have time, I'll summarize:
Item #1 is the Daily Post-Eraser.
Item #2 is this reprint of an erased post.
Item #3 is this post about BVBL's daughter called "drown the little F-er."
Item #4 is a pretty, uh, uncool photo on a site owned by Greg Bouchillon (who, one day, we must hope, after he discovers "basic civil decency," will also discover "Domains By Proxy" and simplify his life considerably for the purposes of future personal attacks. Anonymity is your friend, WhackJob. Although, it appears you're not trying to hide anything, eh?)
As you might guess, we are big BVBL fans here. You should be too, so check him out daily. Frank Wolf campaign staff: I'm talkin' to you.
Commenter Zimzo just submitted an excellent comment on my recent post about the marriage debate (you should read that thread first), and instead of jawing back and forth in the comments I'll make this one a new entry and respond point by point. Zimzo's essay is in the quote boxes:
The reason assault and battery is not specifically defined in the Virginia Code is that it was previously defined in English common law from which the code derives, namely the "an intentional harmful or offensive contact" or the "apprehension" thereof. Society has agreed on that definition for centuries and the only comment the Virginia code makes on that definition is to protect teachers and other school personnel from being charged for assault and battery in the reasonable prosecution of their duties. Otherwise, there is a broad consensus on the definition.
But when it comes to marriage under English Common law, the definition has undergone dignificant changes. In fact, the definition usually relied on in Great Britain and British Commonwealth countries is the one Lord Penzance formulated in Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee in 1866, to wit that marriage is "The voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others." Obviously, this definition was formulated long after English common law had any influence on Virginia code and we can see already that even this definition has undergone a significant alteration in that the legalization of divorce makes the phrase "for life" no longer necesarily true.
If you look at Commentaries on the Laws of England, by Sir William Blackstone, probably the most well-known treatise on English common law published in 1765 we also see an institution that looks far different from what marriage looks like today. The definition of marriage under English common law according to Blackstone was a union of husband and wife where "the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended." Again, this definition has undergone extreme alteration. We no longer see marriage as the forfeiting of legal standing under the law by women.
How interesting. Most people, certainly including myself, don't know much about this history. But it sort of proves my point. While all these aspects of marriage have changed, and the majority aren't familiar with them, most people would still contend they know what "marriage" is because the one-man, one-woman part has been the central part of its definition.
A very timely letter, relative to the discussions we've been having here, just came across via e-mail. A couple of commenters have tried to extrapolate facts from the early history of immigration to America to explain the current situation. I have contended that, if you know the history you know it's comparing apples and oranges, but I haven't put it into words like this letter does.
Disclaimer: "Immigrants" is a generalization. I'm sure some of today's immigrants arrive with the same intentions as those of the past 200 years. The point is that many obviously don't.
My wife wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the Orange County Register which, of course, was not printed.
For some reason, visitor Bill Garnett and the NOVA TownHall constable on patrol, Jack, have been debating in the comments section of a month-old post here. Reading their exchange evoked a couple of thoughts I'm going to jot down here, both to invite further discussion and get Bill and Jack back on the front page, in the interests of social order.
To get the context, please read the last 5 or so comments in that post.
Bill seems to mean well but he has fallen for the fallacious argument that the burden of proof is on people who don't think the definition of marriage should be changed. It's very clever, but it's not true.
Same sex marriage did not exist anywhere in the world until about 10 years ago, and during that time the evidence of it's effect on society is incredibly sparse. There's hardly sufficient data to analyze the impact in Europe, and there's pretty much zero data in the U.S.
Proponents of same sex marriage actually have quite a mountain to climb in order to make the case it will not have a negative impact on society because they don't have any evidence to support their claim. They're saying, let's change the institution that's been around for a really long time, in order to try something that's never been done before. Not an easy sell if you look at it rationally.
Oh, this is rich. I can't even give you all the inside details of how extraordinarily rich this story is, but you'll get a real good taste from this post.
First, some background. Let's start with a quote from an attendee at the August 1 NOVA TownHall meeting with Attorney General Bob McDonnell (I haven't done the whole transcript yet, sorry. If you are impatient, pay me.)
The AG had just noted that "Many Virginia and American business people say that they cannot find a sufficient quantity of American citizens to do some of the dirty, hard jobs."
A gentleman stood up and stated the following:
I recently left Sterling Park. It was a very hard decision for me to make. Sterling Park is not the community I grew up in. It's changed for the worse. It's just a situation I couldn't live with anymore. You go to bed with it every night and think about it 24 hours a day...
You made a statement that there are jobs that Americans won't do. But I travel to North Carolina and I see these Americans, like me and everybody sitting in here, doing the dirty jobs down there that supposedly big business up here says that they won't do. Well, they won't do it for slave wages for greedy big businesses. But if you go to North Carolina there's people like me and you and you and you, working at paving the roads, working in the restaurants, doing all the dirty work. You go to Lowes, for god's sake, you can't even speak English to ask for something you want. So it isn't that people won't do those jobs. They won't do them for five cents an hour. And big business is taking advantage of these illegal immigrants...
All of us normal, blue collar folks can't earn a decent wage anymore doing blue collar work around here. It's impossible to do. The construction industry's been taken over by illegal immigrants. You can't make money in it any more. They've undercut the wages. You can go ask anybody who has worked construction and they'll tell you the same thing. They're undercutting everybody. And the way the undercut is, they don't play by the same rules as everybody else. It's like you said, it's an underground economy. And what's the state of Virginia doing to penalize employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants?
This was one of the biggest applause lines of the night.
Now, let's turn to a story that appeared on the front page of the Washington Post on August 7. Here's how it begins:
The next meeting of Help Save Loudoun will be this Wednesday, Aug 30, 7:00 pm at Cascades Library. We will be meeting in the upstairs conference room.
This will be a relatively short organizational/membership meeting to go over a few business items and plans for the coming months. It won't take much of your time but it would be very helpful if you could stop by if you are interested in what is planned and if you want to help determine the future direction. I hope to see you Wednesday.
Frustrated by the federal government's immigration policy, small cities across the nation are taking enforcement into their own hands, passing laws that make it harder for illegals to live and work in their communities.
Dozens of towns have followed the path of Hazelton, Pa., which passed an ordinance July 13 to deter housing owners from renting to illegals. Riverside, N.J., quickly passed a similar measure, which fines landlords $1,000 per day for renting to illegals and removes business licenses from employers who hire illegals...
On the state level, legislatures have considered a record 550 pieces of immigration-related legislation and passed at least 77 new laws in 27 states, Stateline.org said, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures...
Statistics compiled by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement show immigration law enforcement at work sites is limited. Last year, just 1,145 work site arrests were recorded, compared to 2,849 in fiscal 1999.
Read it all.
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and folks down in Richmond: Y'all are listening, right?
The thought just struck me that WorldNetDaily is a great news source, and I've never written a post to give it its props. Sure, they have to shill a little and sometime the news has an angle, but in the post-Dan Rather era, that cow has long left the barn.
In honor of this fabulous Web site, I am instituting a new category here, "Latest from WorldNetDaily," and I hope our other bloggers will take it upon themselves once in a while just to post a link to WND for any reason whatsoever.
To get the ball rolling, I'll link to a thought-piece on The candidate who can win in 2008, by WorldNetDaily commentator Rev. Jerry Falwell:
First, any presidential candidate who wishes to secure the evangelical vote, which is essential to victory for a Republican, must be a social and fiscal conservative. That's a given. While the mushy middle of the Republican Party will want a candidate to be nebulous on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and religious freedom, no Republican candidate can survive the primaries who is afraid of taking a stand on these critical social issues...
The construction of a 2,000-mile fence (which some estimate will cost $10 billion) across our southwest border, from San Diego to the Gulf of Mexico, guarded by enough of America's finest to stop the endless flow of scores of thousands of illegal aliens into this nation, must be the absolute commitment of our next champion. The bleeding must be stopped immediately.
Further, all illegal aliens who are convicted felons must be deported as a beginning. The remaining illegal aliens must be put into a lawful naturalization program with a reasonable time limit to learn English, meet the long-standing standards every legal immigrant has always met, pay taxes on all income (which they should be allowed to continue earning) and finally take the oath.
I have to say I disagree with Falwell here. First, I think immigration is a higher priority than "social issues" in deciding on a candidate for 2008. Second, I'm not sure at all about a "lawful naturalization program" that lets millions of people jump in line ahead of the people who have been trying to get in legally.
Nevertheless, Falwell's article is a valuable addition to the debate, and we at NOVA TownHall - like our brethren at WorldNetDaily - are nothing else if not open to free discussion, unlike so many institutions on the "progressive" side of the fence.
The open border we share with our neighbors to our North and South is a huge security risk. A terrorist, meaning us ill, with a suitcase could and might or already may have walked across the border. What is in the suitcase? This terrorist is probably disguising himself as an immigrant looking for work. How do we pick him out of the crowd?
We already witness the Border Patrolâ€™s inability to stop the flow of drugs over the border given our current arrangement. Why should the border Patrol be expected to fare better stopping terrorists with Nukes?
Yesterday, the FDA gave approval for the morning after pill to be sold over the counter to women over the age of 18. In a highly criticized move by pro-life groups at his press conference earlier this week, President Bush, expressed his support for the early abortion pill, saying he would stand by the decision of his new FDR commissioner, Andrew von Eschenbach.
The decision still makes it necessary for minors to obtain a prescription before obtaining the abortion causing, Plan B, but whatâ€™s to prevent an adult from buying it over the counter and giving it to a minor? This goes back to the whole issue of parental consent for a minor to have an abortion. So, we wonâ€™t allow a minor to have an abortion without her parentâ€™s consent, but in this case we are presented with a huge loophole that will make it easy for a minor to obtain an early abortion pill through the use of someone over the age of 18. President Bush has put himself in a bad position by vetoing the stem cell research bill (which would have caused the destruction of early human life) a few weeks ago, to now being supportive of Plan B (which can cause early abortions in women, not to mention the safety concerns).
The liberal-yet-estimable Not Larry Sabato got hold of an e-mail from the George Allen campaign today and, well within his rights, managed to get a bunch of commenters to descend with talons outstretched. Whether the e-mail is truly an embarrassment to Allen I cannot say, because reading all those comments and delving into the subject matter are a couple inches outside my "life is too short" circle of relevance.
However I will say the means by which NLS might have come by the e-mail is an interesting mystery in itself.
Here's what we know. An Allen campaign worker sent the e-mail to some bloggers friendly to the campaign. NLS would not have been on the recipient list, obviously. Therefore, the e-mail was forwarded to NLS. So, who did the forwarding?
I'm no Agatha Christie, so don't look to me for an answer. But Virginia Virtucon makes a very educated guess and a useful observation:
If this person was hoping for a future in Republican politics, this person might want to take up residence in a different state permanently.
E-mails forwarded to NLS? Tres conservative bloggers under suspicion? If you are feeling vapors of deja vu, you are not going crazy in the head. You simply need to get reacquainted with an old, old story which was discussed oh so very long ago: here, here, and here.
UPDATE: Virginia Virtucon writes: "It is more than an educated guess. It was fairly easy detective work on the part of those of us who were intentionally included in the original e-mail."
That appears to settle it, friends. If there is any other conclusion to be drawn from this, than that Vince of Too Conservative deliberately sent an "insider" e-mail from the George Allen campaign to a blogger unfriendly to the campaign, please let me know. Otherwise, from the "Worst Blog" of them all: Go take a powder, TC, and rename that blog of yours. My suggestion: "Too Young - A Texas Liberal Republican Viewpoint."
UPDATE II: How now, sirrah! Virginia Centrist writes: "I'm pretty sure it wasn't Vince. From what I heard, he didn't even find out about this whole thing until many hours after it blew up."
We're anxiously awaiting further confirmation.
Boy howdy, take a few hours off and things sure can go to H-E double hockeysticks in a handbasket quicker than you can say "webmaster"!
The bottom line is the MT comment spam filter is a fickle thing. For one, it looks for excesses of hyperlinks, as explained in this post.
Minimize the hyperlinks and your comment is more likely to get through.
Also, I suspect whoever wrote that plug-in had a bad experience with someone named "Jonathan" because our local Jonathan seems to invoke the filter just by visiting this site. Sorry, Jonathan, I don't know what's going on there.
Jack seems to have found the workaround: Spread your hyperlinks over several comments and they probably all get through.
Just so everyone knows, this situation is the best of all possible worlds at the moment. Without the filter, our comment threads would be deluged with ringtones and phentermine and forex and stuff that can get you put in jail. The alternative is to require registration, which is a pain, or use Typekey, which is also a pain.
I'm planning to upgrade Movable Type soon, which might fix the problem. In the meantime, thank you for putting up with the inconvenience.
This just came in from a local couple who decided to give up the fight in Sterling and move west (and who apparently had the extraordinary good luck of being able to sell their house). It's pretty raw but it helps fill in the picture of what is really happening in Herndon and Sterling Park as a result of illegal immigration.
This is addressed as a rebuke to our Sheriff and Board of Supervisors, but make no mistake: It is also a slap in the face of our elected officials at the state and federal levels.
Lately Iâ€™ve fallen far short of my previous blogging paceâ€”Iâ€™ve been using most of what free time I have outside of work and family obligations to support the Marriage Amendment (and let's be honestâ€¦ the blogosphere is not the most effective way to do that given most folks here already know where they stand and need little motivation to become politically activeâ€¦ I am trying to reach those who may not be aware of the Marriage Amendment and may only be exposed to the $3 million misinformation campaign planned by the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition). Itâ€™ll be great to get back into the swing of things here at NOVA TH once E-Day has come and gone but I have to say it is refreshing to make phone calls and go door-to-doorâ€”meeting so many enthusiastic supporters of the amendment!
Speaking of the Marriage Amendment, I am surprised nobody has posted on this yet, but on August 17th the Weekly Standard published an article by Ryan Anderson titled â€œBeyond Gay Marriage: The stated goal of these prominent gay activists is no longer merely the freedom to live as they want.â€ This piece is relevant to the debate raging in Virginia because it highlights A) the logical extension of the warm and fuzzy No-Fault Freedom arguments being advanced by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates; and B) it yet again demonstrates what side can be trusted in this debateâ€”whose claims are unsubstantiated misinformation efforts and whose are not (in this case validating some of the long mentioned concerns held by defenders of marriage).
Andersonâ€™s article discusses the once dismissed â€œslippery slopeâ€ argument: if marriage, as it is currently defined (and as it has been for much of human history), is dramatically redefined (in this case via unelected judges) to no longer mean the unique union of the two complementary parts of the human organismâ€¦ there will no longer be a satisfactory reason to deny similar benefits/status to a whole host of relationships beyond monogamous same-sex couples. He says:
â€¦Gay marriage's "conservative" proponents have countered that the model of opposite-sex marriage, with its norms of monogamy, exclusivity, and permanence, could apply just as well to same-sex partners. That everything which makes a marital relationship worthwhile to heterosexual spouses, to their children, and to the state would apply to gay couples as well. Essentially, that same-sex partners want the exact same things as straight couples. And that basic fairness requires recognition of their relationships by the government.
Defenders of marriage saw through this. Scholars like Hadley Arkes and Robert P. George noted that by rejecting the grounding foundation of marriage--the unique psychosomatic unity possible only between one man and one woman in conjugal sex--the state would lose the principled basis for refusing to recognize polygamous (one man to multiple women) or even polyamorous (multiple men to multiple women, i.e. group) marriages. For pointing this out, they were called slippery-slope reasoners, scaremongers, and bigots. After all, it was said, no one seriously argues in favor of state-sanctioned polygamy or polyamory; George and Arkes were just slandering the good name and intentions of same-sex marriage activists.
It turns out that George and Arkes's points were not slanderous, but prophetic.
He goes on to discuss theâ€ Beyond Same-Sex Marriage" statement put forward by a group (Beyond Marriage) composed of 250 â€œscholars, civic leaders, and LGBT activistsâ€ recently published as a full-page ad in the â€œNew York Times.â€ The broad spectrum of relationships endorsed by these same-sex "marriage" activists/leaders is truly shocking:
The statement lists several examples of such relationships, among them "committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner"--that is, polygamy and polyamory. But this is mild compared to what follows: demand for the legal recognition of "queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households." The language is breathtaking. Queer couples (plural) who jointly create a child? And intentionally raise the child in two (queer) households? Of course, no reference is made to the child's interests or welfare under such an arrangement--only to the fulfillment of adult desires by suitable "creations."
If you donâ€™t believe Andersonâ€™s description, go right to the source and read the document itself! Here is a quote directly from the organization Beyond Marriage.org:
Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others. While we honor those for whom marriage is the most meaningful personal--for some, also a deeply spiritual--choice, we believe that many other kinds of kinship relationships, households, and families must also be accorded recognition.
And folks, these signatories arenâ€™t all no-name ultra-fringe people! They include Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, etc. These are (apparently) respected leaders within the same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ movement.
Anderson concludes his discussion of the Beyond Marriage statement by making the point that there truly is no middle way between the demands of those wishing to radically and fundamentally redefine marriage. He says:
The stated goal of these prominent gay activists is no longer merely the freedom to live as they want. Rather, it is to force you, your family, and the state to recognize and respect their myriad choices. The result of meeting these demands will be a culture, a legal system, and a government that considers a monogamous, exclusive, permanent sexual relationship of child-bearing and child-rearing nothing more than one among many lifestyle choices.
Still think this isnâ€™t a legitimate/real concern? Why donâ€™t you check out the Unitarian Universalists website where they already have a â€œPolyamory Awarenessâ€ support group:
Polyamory Awareness: It is possible to love more than one person at a time with honesty and integrity. If your family is polyamorous or if you have questions, you are not alone. UUs for Polyamory Awareness invites you to join us in providing support, promoting education, and encouraging spiritual wholeness. Speakers available. UUPA, 2111 Lido Circle, Stockton, CA 95207, www.uupa.org.
Or check out this Fox News report on pro-polygamist teens who are rallying to â€œdefend their familiesâ€ (sound familiar?) out in Utah. Here is a statement from one activist:
"Because of our beliefs, many of our people have been incarcerated and had their basic human rights stripped of them, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said a 19-year-old identified only as Tyler. "I didn't come here today to ask for your permission to live my beliefs. I shouldn't have to."
Geeâ€¦ sounds like a very familiar emotional appeal. I would love to hear a same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocate explain to me how, if some judge (and that is what is the issue with the Marriage Amendmentâ€”opponents want to leave Virginia vulnerable to judicial redefinition of marriage) rips what Anderson eloquently called â€œthe grounding foundation of marriage--the unique psychosomatic unity possible only between one man and one woman in conjugal sexâ€ from the definition of marriageâ€¦ how do you justify denying these polygamist and polyamorist demands?
Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t mention the other aspect of Andersonâ€™s article. He brings our attention to the Princeton Principles, a scholarly document officially titled â€œMarriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles.â€ This is document is effectively the opposite of the Beyond Marriage document and uses the best academic findings on marriage and family to verify what we already knowâ€”marriage as the union of one-man, one-woman is a unique and valuable relationship worthy of protection. Here at NOVA TH we have some regulars who donâ€™t believe children deserve a mother and a father. They would support alternative relationships designed to deny children exactly that which is so important to their successâ€” a mom and a dad. The Princeton Principles (and Andersonâ€™s concluding comments) strike right at the heart of this fantasy and validate what most of us already know:
Many noted think tanks and sociologists, regardless of political persuasion, have affirmed the findings of the scholars who contributed to the Principles. The Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and the left-of-center Brookings Institution, for example, confirmed the Principles' claims regarding child well-being. In a 2005 issue of their jointly produced journal, The Future of Children, titled, "Marriage and Child Wellbeing," the editors write in their introduction, "The articles in this volume confirm that children benefit from growing up with two married biological parents." Likewise, the left-leaning research organization Child Trends echoed these conclusions in a research brief summing up the scholarly consensus:
â€œResearch clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two-biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.â€
While it seems some are willing to discuss the true benefits of marriage (and the negative impact to be had in allowing some judge to radically redefine marriage) in the Virginia blogosphereâ€¦ the anti-Marriage Amendment campaign has strategically chosen to circumvent the real issue (because they know they would lose) and instead toss out the same tired old red-herring voter confusion tactics we have seen in the 20 other states that have passed similar Marriage Amendments (all unmarried rights will crumble, etc) despite the lack of evidence to support their claims. Want a taste of what weâ€™ll actually see from the well financed anti-Marriage Amendment coalition? Here is one of the unsubstantiated alarmist ads their allies are already running in Wisconsin:
Between this kind of absurd misinformation and the usual â€œbigotâ€ accusations we can expect a real honest and civil discourse as November looms (note sarcasm). Hopefully the grassroots campaign to defend marriage can withstand this high-dollar misinformation onslaught. Please go to VA4Marriage to signup to help ensure we protect marriage.
Knowing Joe is a big fan, I thought I'd share Ann's latest op-ed discussing the Global War on Terror.
Coulter Haters/"Cut and Run" War on Terror Softies-- I look forward to reading and enjoying your stinging criticism...
Stafford County deputies charged two MS-13 gang members with the shooting death of a 21-year-old mother of two who visited the area from Illinois last month.
Move along, folks, nothing to see here. If you are concerned about this you are probably a racist.
Before this gets out of hand we need to address the recent backbiting over spelling indiscretions.
As moderator, chaperone and border guard of this blog, I'd like to note that commenters cannot go back and fix the spelling in their comments. So unless you are either the self-editing type or composing multiple drafts of your comments before hitting "post" there may be some errors.
(Unless, of course, like Zimzo and myself, you are preternaturally disposed to writing perfect first drafts. That's just our quirk. All people are perfect in different ways.)
Besides, the modern way is 2 abbrevi8, anywA, rite? So let's ixnay with the indergarten-kay eacher-tay yndrome-say, hombres. And get on with the booming tirades which is what we are all here for.
This was my bad: The snippet of code that creates the "Recent Comments" list in the left sidebar sometimes cuts off the close ">" for any html element, turning the entire site italics or blockquote when it does so. So we're going back to the old way for quotation and emphasis in the comments, i.e. actual quote marks " " and ALL CAPS or whatever other creative stuff you can come up with. Sorry. Another solution would be to take down the Recent Comments or move it, but I do love it so, and right where it is. If I can find better code I'll turn html back on.
This somewhat ludicrous question has arisen as a result of discussions here and at the Loudoun Democrats blog, so I will suppress the urge to simply say "Pshaw!" and attempt to provide an answer.
This story is a sign of the times. Two Border Patrol agents are in the process of being royally screwed by the U.S. legal system, primarily because they are Hispanics who "turned against their own." Please read and respond to this Guard the Borders Blogburst by Euphoric Reality.
You can read the entire account of the case in this Daily Bulletin article written by Sara Carter, but there are a few things you need to know up front:
In case you hadn't noticed, another of our mothers of all comment threads is slowly developing right under your nose, at this post. If you are interested in the topic of illegal immigration, check it out. Zimzo is the headliner, but Moderate 5-19 is chipping away at the clay feet and any moment now we expect the Z-man to fall.
"I always fail to understand why the conversation about illegal immigrants always must go to the place of name calling and accusations. I think this is a rather simple issue.
ILLEGAL MEANS ILLEGAL, it really does not have to go any further then that.
I also believe the focus of all attempts to â€œsolveâ€ or even deal with the illegal immigration issue should start and stop with the people and business that employ illegals.
I congratulate you Moderate 5-19 for never having broken a law in your entire life. I'm glad you think that obeying all laws, even ineffective or ill-advised laws, is more important than their effects on human beings.
With the number of people who die just trying to reach America, I would think that would be enough for all humane people to discourage illegal immigration, not encourage it.
I doubt your conception of the law is so monochromatic that you equate someone stealing a loaf of bread to feed their family with someone robbing a bank.
Me and my buddy Macaca were discussing Senator George Allen the other day and the topic of "Hallowed Ground" came up. It turns out the National Center for Public Policy Research issued the press release printed below and I have to say, it is problematic for Virginia's only sane Senator.
For more information on this issue, see "The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area: An Example of How Pork-Barrel Politics Can Threaten Local Rule and Property Rights," by Peyton Knight, available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA540HallowedGround.html, or "Assertions vs. Reality: The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act of 2006," by Peyton Knight, available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA548.html.
Anti-Property Rights Initiative Gets Boost from Unlikely Source: Senator George Allen
Washington, D.C. - Nearly one year after the U.S. Supreme Court's shocking Kelo v. New London decision touched off a firestorm of bipartisan support for stronger property rights protections, some anti-property rights groups are receiving support from a surprising source: Senator George Allen (R-VA).
Senator Allen is the chief sponsor of legislation that would create a massive federal "National Heritage Area" that would stretch from Charlottesville, VA, through Frederick County, MD, and end in Gettysburg, PA. Such areas are best described as heavily regulated corridors where property rights may be strictly curtailed.
Allen's bill would deputize special interest groups -- many with clear anti-property rights agendas -- and federal employees to oversee land use policy in the corridor.
"Senator Allen often describes himself as a 'Jeffersonian' conservative, which he defines as someone who doesn't like 'nanny, meddling, restrictive, burdensome government,'" said Peyton Knight, director of environmental and regulatory affairs at the National Center. "However, if you fail to support your rhetoric with substance, you're all hat and no cattle."
Sen. Allen's initiative in some ways resembles a pork-barrel earmark, as it disburses funds to pre-selected preservationist interest groups. Unfortunately, it is even worse than an earmark, as it would threaten property rights by:
This is a new, quite politically-incorrect topic here, the significance of which will be better illuminated by the next post.
The message below was sent by commenter Suburbanite back in May in response to our report on the 10th District Convention.
While I am not educated enough on the subject matter, I can say it does not reflect well on the Virginia Republican establishment.
The JTHG (Journey Through Hallowed Ground) is an adjunct of the Park Service (you know, that agency that can't maintain or manage the land they have, yet needs more and more and more land?), which in this case seeks to designate a 175-mile long and 10-mile wide tristate "corridor" as a "heritage area".
It is being sold as recognition for the "cradle of American history". Well, if something has history in the title, it has to be good, right? As always, the devil is in the details.
Many of the sites used to pump the feel-good are not within 20 miles of the road it is centered on (US 15). One is in a neighboring state (Harper's Ferry). The deliberately vague language sounds fine, until one realizes that an appointed body (NGO) which is not accountable to the electorate will be overseeing all activity within the corridor. Including road improvements, land use, you name it.
The same group that is pumping this also opposes any alternative to offload the traffic that is killing route 15.
This is a top-down land lockdown and nothing more, to keep horse country safe for the wealthy.
This is a huge story which we will be covering in much more detail on this blog. In short, the town of Hazelton, PA has tried to do what numerous municipalities are also intending to do, and now they are being sued for it. The resolution of this suit will likely determine the fate of similar efforts throughout the U.S.
This is from the mayor of Hazelton, Lou Barletta:
I believe the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. People who are in this country have an incredible amount of opportunities and blessings. But some people have taken advantage of Americaâ€™s openness and tolerance. Some come to this country and refuse to learn English, creating a language barrier for city employees. Others enter the country illegally and use government services by not paying taxes or by committing crime on our streets, further draining resources here in Hazleton.
Recent crimes â€“ such as a high-profile murder, the discharge of a gun at a crowded city playground, and drug busts â€“ have involved illegal immigrants. Some of those allegedly involved in those crimes were detained by other law enforcement officials over the years, but were somehow allowed to remain in this country. They eventually migrated into Hazleton, where they helped create a sense of fear in the good, hardworking residents who are here legally.
Illegal aliens in our City create an economic burden that threatens our quality of life.
With a growing problem and a limited budget, I could not sit back any longer and allow this to happen. I needed to act! Thatâ€™s why I drafted the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, a measure designed to say enough is enough...
Click here to sign the online petition in support of Mayor Barletta and the law-abiding residents of Hazelton, and click here to donate to the legal defense fund.
(Guess I need to append a "duh" to that title, but please work with me here.)
The porous U.S. southern border is more than an economic problem and more than a social problem: It is a security problem. Most Americans probably need little convincing about that particular assertion. But it's well worth spelling out the fact that this is not a problem on paper. This is real.
Below is more of Heidi's stellar work on this topic. (Disclaimer: Although I agree with Heidi almost all of the time on this subject, I will say I'm not sure ICE itself is "inept" as an organization. I have some questions about the directives and funding ICE has to work with - but those are questions for another day.)
This is the latest Guard The Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality.
By Heidi at Euphoric Reality
For a long time here at GTB, we have focused on the tsunami of humanity that flows over our southern border from Mexico. Mexicans, by far, are the largest group of illegals inside our borders, and their open agenda of Reconquista has place tax-funded groups like La Raza, MEChA, and LULAC under the microscope. We've also covered the alarming news of the number of Middle Easterners who take full advantage of our unguarded borders to infiltrate our country, paying coyotes tens of thousands of dollars to allow them to blend in with herds of illegals crossing the border. Once inside the country, they disperse and fade away into our society.
Lately, focus has shifted from clandestine border crossings to blatant visa violations as the FBI hunted and captured 11 Egyptian men who entered the country under false pretenses. Such visa violations (including overstaying visa expirations) are not unusual for Middle Easterners, particularly from Pakistan, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, etc., but we Americans are rarely aware of them. Chechens are also making concerted efforts to get into the country illegally, despite the generous visa allowances for their country.
Today, I'd like to examine our broken immigration process in the light of the current war in the Middle East. To that end, I'd like you to reference this column by Investor's Business Daily.
There are a number of ways - to put it mildly - in which illegal immigration is not a "victimless crime." Identity theft is one of the most blatant. If you are on the fence about whether this is an important issue: Take it from me, you probably want to read the rest of this post, especially if you are a parent.
This is a Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality.
Illegal Alien Stole 10 yr old girlâ€™s identity
By Toni at Bear Creek Ledger
How would you like to find out your child's identity had been stolen? You of course probably wouldn't know until the child reached adulthood.
Kern found out quite by accident when Hayley's application for the North Carolina Children's Health Insurance Program was initially rejected because her earned income was too high. Hayley is 10 years old. She doesn't have any earned income. Guess the Social Security Administration doesn't look at earned income for 10 year olds or 5 year olds for that matter. What she learned was that a man, an illegal immigrant in his 20s, had been working under Hayley's Social Security number for the past six years. [...] Rosario does not speak English. Through an interpreter, Knight learned that when Rosario came to the U.S. from Mexico at age 22, he was told he needed "work papers" to get a job. The working papers acquaintances provided was a Social Security card with Rosario's name and a fraudulent number. He believed the number was the "work papers" that allowed him to work in the U.S. Knight said Rosario was at a loss to understand what he had done wrong.
As much as I'd like to empathize with this Mexican man, I can't. I find it difficult to believe this man has been in the US working for 6 years and is unaware of the political fight going on with illegal aliens in this country. The one consistency with this man though; he has been in this country for 6 years, he can't speak any English and yet has a drivers license and vehicle. I'm surprised he hasn't purchased a home yet!
Louisiana Congressman Bobby Jindal is a very impressive Republican and rock-solid pro-family conservative who lost his race to become Governor a few years back by a very narrow margin. I expect he'll be running statewide again sometime soon.
His wife, Supriya, unexpectedly gave birth to their son early Tuesday morning... in their own home. Congressman Jindal had to help deliver the baby himself and used a shoestring to tie off the umbilical cord until the ambulance arrived. Congratulations Congressman!
Williams [Jindal spokesma] said Jindal had dreamed of becoming a doctor: "He kind of got to play that role today."
Full coverage can be found here.
While I've already discussed this incident here, the Godfather of Virginiaâ€™s conservative blogosphere, Chad Dotson, has the best post yet discussing the Webb campaign's pathetic attempt to play the race card and reinvigorate their flailing campaign. While I encourage you to read the entire post, his first four words sum things up quite accurately:
What a complete joke.
Chad continues with a great recap of some of what has been said regarding this incident and then gives us some local perspective:
I suppose Iâ€™m one of the racist Virginia crackers â€” since I attended that event, though (un?)fortunately I arrived after Allenâ€™s remarks â€” who was supposed to get riled up at his presence in the crowd. (I can guarantee that not one single person in the crowd took it as a racial comment.)
Listen, I can buy the sentiment that Allen shouldnâ€™t have singled this kid out like he did. Thatâ€™s what Allen has apologized for, I believe, and I can see that. Heck, I saw the guy twice that very day; once at an event in Norton (where I introduced Allen) and at the Breaks picnic. He was quiet and polite when I saw him, standing silently in the back with his videotape running.
So yeah, maybe Allen shouldnâ€™t have even mentioned the guy. However, anyone who is suggesting this is racially-tinged is so blinded by their hatred of Allen that they are making no sense whatsoever. It defies logic to suggest that Allen, who knew he was being videotaped, by one of his opponentâ€™s flunkies, would make a comment that he intended as racist. Watching the contortions that lefties are going through to try to make this a racial incident would be funny if it werenâ€™t so pathetic.
Well said. Everyone with a shred of intellectual honesty should read Chad's post in its entirety.
This is a reminder that Help Save Loudoun is meeting tonight at 7:00 pm at Cascades Library in Sterling.
Our guest speaker will be a representative from the Loudoun County Gang Response Intervention Team, answering question about gang activity in Northern Virginia and what citizens can do about it.
For the second half of the meeting, we will cover other issues related to illegal immigration, including follow up on a few topics brought up at our August 1 NOVA TownHall meeting. Many of the attendees present were not able to get any comments or questions in because of the limited time available, so this will be an opportunity to continue that discussion.
Realizing that Jim Webb's campaign for U.S. Senate was seriously floundering due to lack of funding (recently being passed over for DSCC funding) and an inexperienced one-issue candidate... the campaign and its cadre of left-wing bloggers decided to play the race-card yesterday and attempt to create some momentum. There has been a great deal of commentary on this issue but I believe Real Clear Politics said it best:
Watch the video for yourself. It is pretty clear, at least to me, that Allen is good naturedly ribbing a guy who is following him around and harassing him. The reason for him being singled out is not because the Webb volunteer, is non-white, but rather because the guy is following Allen around, unwanted, trying to catch him on film in an embarrassing incident.
Do you honestly mean to tell me that if Sidarth was just there all alone, among a hundred people Allen would have singled him out because of his ethnicity? Gimme a break. The guy was singled out because he is there unwanted, filming.
James Webb has a lot of things going for him that many Democrats do not have, but stooping to cheap racial tactics isn't helpful and it is not smart politics in Virginia. He'd be better off sticking to the issues.
Yes, Allen mixed up the Webb staffer's name (and in all fairness it has been pointed out that even that may have been part of this race-baiting tactic and Sidarth may have deliberately given the Allen staffers a different name that sounded like an obscure racial epithet-- I have no idea if this is true and honestly doubt we'll ever fully know) but that is not the same as deliberately using a racial slur as the left would like us to believe. The blog A Shot of Southern Comfort delves into this issue:
He used a word that sounds like a racial slur, yes, but that doesn't mean that he meant it that way. The video plays MUCH kinder to Allen than the transcript reads, and the footage makes the Senator look downright playful. He looks into the camera. Allen is many things, but he is not politically stupid, especially on the stump. If he knew the phrase he was using was an ethnic slur, there is no way he makes the comment when he knows he is on camera. I really believe that the blogs/pundits who are portraying this as a "shuddering" statement are overplaying their hand to the point where they are bordering on "guilty by geography", as Lewis Grizzard famously termed faulty accusations o racism against Southerners.
The bottom line is that this was a comment poking fun at the Webb campaign and welcoming his staffer to America and Virginia as in Red America as opposed to the Blue America crowd to which Webb is pandering... Rural Virginia vs Hollywood (where Webb was off fundraising at the time of the comment). Anyone who views the video cannot possibly believe Allen is deliberately staring into the Webb campaign's camera and firing off a racial epithet... come on! And it seems rather hypocritical to me that these folks are complaining how Allen insulted and hurt Sidarth yet they were so willing to attack former Allen tracker Hunter Pickles' personal life including his significant other.
Kilo also has some solid analysis of the Webb campaign's desperate attempt to play the race card and shore up their African American base (which was solidly behind Miller in the primary).
UPDATE: From on High has some more coverage of this issue, including the ignored definition of the word "macaca":
I looked up the word Macaca in my handy English-Hindi dictionary. It reads:
Noun: Macaca mac kah' kah
1. One who goes around with chip on shoulder and foot in mouth.
No need for further explanation. Now it all makes perfect sense.
UPDATE II: Those playing the race-card tried to discredit Allen's claim that somehow the word he used was a variation of "Mohawk" by posting "photographic proof" of Sidarth without such a hairstyle (after all it would be impossible to simply cut his hair to discredit the argument and help his candidate, right?). Well I found this little picture:
Looks like a mohawk to me! Equally ridiculous is the fact that NLS is now trying to argue that criticizing "inside the beltway" elites is racist. I can't believe how quickly these folks throw intellectual honesty out the window in order to advance (apparently via the race card) their candidate's sagging campaign.
The campaign is now ON. We know what the Webbheads are capable of now. Its a game of race-baiting gotcha politics now, and its clear that the left in Virginia cares little for any issue. Webb is a cnadidate who is still basically a Republican, but is running out of the same emotion that drives his adoptive party--anger. Its time to stop messing around and call it like we see it. Its time for the few GOP bloggers here on the right that are in Virginia to fight back. All gloves are off now, everything is fair game.
Webb's a joke of a candidate, and his can only win with cheap tactics like this. He can't touch Allen on policy, he is ignorant to what is important locally in the state, can barely find Hampton Roads on a map, and can only talk through press release. Its time for James Webb, the politician, to be a man. If he thinks George Allen is a racist, I DARE him to say it Sept. 18th when they debate in Tyson's Corner. I want James Webb to have the stones to back up what his fanatical backers say. I dare him. Lets see how tough old "Born Fighting" really is.
A couple of interesting posts...
- Spank that Donkey discusses his experience manning a VA4Marriage booth at the Augusta County fair. Interesting irrational reaction from the Webb supporters.
- Not Buck Turgidson over at the Richmond War Room discusses the situation in the 27th Senate district.
- James Young delves into the allegedly politically expedient claim of party affiliation in one of the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition's hatchet-job editorials (this one spewing the typical misinformation/red-herring arguments in the Potomac News).
The latest Compass is below the fold. Please consider making a donation to support one of Virginia's finest state Senators.
Via Life News:
Allen defended his stock holdings in an interview with the Post on Tuesday. He said he has no plans to sell the stock and said voters should focus on his voting record.
"Look at the way I vote," he said.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, Allen has a 100 percent pro-life voting record dating back to 2001, his first year in the Senate. He's voted against abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research.
According to the Post, Allen bought the stock in January 2004 and the value of it is somewhere between $1,000 and $15,000.
Previously Allen indicated he supported the company because of its work on the issue of breast cancer. When he was the governor of Virginia, he helped bring a company plant to the state, which now employs 300 people.
"I very much like them," Allen said, according to the Post. I don't use their products, but it's a good company that works hard in the community."
Allen may likely face more questions on the Barr stock as the presidential primaries come closer and candidates vie to appeal to pro-life advocates, who make up the strong majority of Republican primary voters.
Kilo over at Spark it Up shares his perspective:
This is a non issue to me. I look at Sen Allen's voting record not his portfolio. I am sure the Webb campaign wants this to be an issue after Webb was outed for owning over $100,000 in Exxon stock while damning the big oil companies with every breath. While Barr makes a plan B pill, they also make a hundred other useful drugs that save lives or improve the quality of life for many people. Can Exxon say the same? Barr Labs also has a factory in Bedford, Virginia that employs 300 people.
I just finished reading this great article on U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, who is considering a run for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination. The thing that impresses me the most about Senator Brownback is his proven track record and tireless compassionate efforts to reach out to â€œthe poor, the downtrodden, those without a voice, those in difficult circumstances.â€ Heâ€™s sponsored and supported legislation protecting the unborn (Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act), the physically and mentally disabled, poor immigrants, people overseas who are persecuted for their political and religious beliefs (Iran Democracy Act & the North Korea Human Rights Act), those who are discriminated against and killed because of their race or ethnicity, those sold into slavery (Trafficking in Victims Protection Act) and those who are stricken with malaria and AIDS. In addition he is a â€œcommitted tax cutter and free trader, supporter of the war on terrorism, promoter of human rights and democracy abroad and of judicial conservatives.â€
If he runs for President, his message would focus around rebuilding the culture and the family.
â€œRegarding the domestic side of the compassion agenda, Brownback shows the influence of his late colleague Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who famously said: â€œThe central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.â€
Brownback can tend to keep a low pro-file in the Senate by not aggressively attacking his opponents, rather he works exceptionally well with his Democrat colleagues. Perhaps thatâ€™s why he â€œrecognizes that people can have good hearts, but come out a lot of different ways on policy means and ends.â€ He truly is a man who is working to make compassionate conservatism a reality in America. Kudos to Senator Brownback!
Welcome to this weekâ€™s edition of the Virginia Blog Carnivalâ€”NOVA TownHall last hosted the VBC in early May and weâ€™re honored to do so again. Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t thank Kat for taking the helm in regards to managing the Carnival on behalf of all of the Commonwealthâ€™s bloggers!
We had few submissions this week (probably due to the fact that weâ€™re now in the midst of the lazy days of Augustâ€¦ or maybe it was that crazy school-tax holiday?) so there isnâ€™t much to post. For those unfamiliar with the VBC, here is a description:
â€œEach Monday, a Virginia blogger will host a Virginia Blog Carnival, offering just a sample of the topics Virginia bloggers have been writing about during the week. We hope everyoneâ€™s curiosity will be piqued to read more of the selected posts, thereby giving more exposure to each participating bloggerâ€™s site.â€
Now on with the Carnivalâ€¦
- Jason Kenney over at Jâ€™s Notes discusses the use and efficacy of MySpace as a campaign tool.
- David over at Equality Loudoun has a post discussing the civility of the Virginia Marriage Amendment debate in relation to a purported lack of condemnation of a recent act of vandalism in a Loudoun community (which appears to be motivated by the victimsâ€™ sexual lifestyle).
- Roci over at Rocinanteâ€™s Burdens discusses the federal minimum wage and the Democratâ€™s recent effort to block legislation that would have raised it.
- Leslie Carbone has an eloquent post where she discusses a high and ideal vision for America toward which public policy should be directed.
- Spank that Donkey discusses whether or not bloggers are journalists and as such require some form of editorial control. He then goes on to introduce his blogâ€™s illustrious new â€œEditorial Board.â€
- Rick Sincere has some great commentary on the overly-complicated sales-tax holiday this past weekend.
- Waldo Jaquith digs into the stats behind the 17 times the federal government has raised the minimum wage.
- NickFinity over at Jefferson Mammoth discusses whether or not soaring obesity is a government problem.
- Norm over at One Mans Trash discusses the moderately entertaining YouTube spiff of Al Goreâ€™s sensationalist film â€œAn Inconvenient Truth.â€
- Riley over at Virginia Virtucon discusses the addition of Casey Kasem to the XM lineup (the official satellite radio of his blog).
- Virginia Centrist discusses the Washington Redskins, predicting a 12-4 season.
Hypothetically speaking, if John McCain wanted to clear the ground a wee bit in preparation for the 2008 Republican presidential primary season, preemptively knocking out one of his likely opponents wouldn't be such a bad idea. Like - hypothetically again - getting one of his Republican buddies to run against said opponent.
Here are a few links that just came across via the old VRWC pipeline. Individually, they may not mean much. But taken together, a clearer picture emerges. Hypothetically, of course.
- Sen. Allen's foe in Nov. is old friend of McCain.
- Webb, who supported Allen in '00, entered the Senate race in March '06.
- That was months after Allen's name started being bandied about as an '08 rival to McCain by conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh,
- Sean Hannity,
- Ed Gillespie,
- and Rich Lowry of National Review.
So, John McCain is old friends with Jim Webb, a former George Allen supporter. But when Allen emerged as an '08 rival to McCain, suddenly Webb hates Allen and decides to challenge Allen in '06.
Hmmm. So what else do we know about Webb and McCain?
- Webb supported McCain in this '00 NY Times op-ed.
- That was 7 days after Webb slung a 'chickenhawk' attack at Bush.
- Notice how Webb invokes McCain to attack Republicans this year in the NY Times.
- And notice this pro-Webb/pro-McCain slant from a Democrat blogger.
It's no surprise that Sophrosyne hinted at this scenario months ago. Soph's usually way ahead on this type of thing.
Despite his positives on certain issues and his great performance at the 2004 GOP Convention, John McCain is, if anything, a man with huge vulnerability for 2008. Knocking off or at least weakening George Allen would be a big help, hypothetically.
It looks like our own little Giant Sloar is hitting the blogosphere's big time, courtesy of BVBL.
I just hope he doesn't forget where he started...
OK, the posting 'Ugh' From-On-High is linking pedophilia with homosexuality in a ham fisted way; but is that gay bashing? Critical discussion of the possible impact of oneâ€™s life-style choices upon the society about you can venture into negative comparisons without being hateful. Some, however 'Jonathon', David, and marshmallow), resort to killing the messenger in effigy. 'Gay bashing' and 'bigot' are wonderfully unsupported, slanderous statements made in regard to Sophrosyne. I love seeing an electronic lynching carried out before my eyes. Piling on and parroting what your fellow traveler says does not add weight to your arguments. It only shows those who read your words that you are an unthinking lemming running off the cliff. BANZAI!
So stop hyperventilating. I think the point that Sophrosyne was trying to make by using From On Highâ€™s posting is that the traditional sexual mores did provide some measure of sexual protection for those who really needed to be protected. In this case they were autistic boys. Furthermore, in times past in our society, predators such as Phillip Distasio never got the insane idea that what they did was natural or good in any way.
Not too long ago, all sex outside of traditional marriage was labeled as sin; adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexual liaison, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality were all lumped together in the 'sin pile.â€™ There were 'blue' laws that punished such activity; the capriciousness of the enforcement of such laws not withstanding.
Today we no longer punish the first four from the above list (adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexual liaison) but continue to disavow or punish the last three (pedophilia, incest, and bestiality). All this predator is doing is moving the line a little further down the list. Which begs the question: "What determines the proper place to put that line?"
He can try to move the line with impunity because we have chased 'morality' from the sexual arena. The result is that today we permit the breaking of the old mores with respect to much of the practiced sexual deviancy. That is not gay bashing -- it is a fact of life. As a society, we have divorced sex from procreation and love. The rampant growth in pornography available for consumption in our modern society is clear, irrefutable evidence of this divorce. Without children and love of one another as the chief aim, sex has become simply an exercise in self gratification.
Procreation and love are both intimately tied to the process of raising children. In 'nature' or 'under God,â€™ creating and nurturing the next generation is the fundamental outcome of sex. Self-gratification was a happy byproduct of the act. The sexual act creates the children and simultaneously strengthens the bond between the couple. This bond is necessary to maintain the family; the family that is the life support for the children. Whereas sexual self-gratification to the exclusion of all else is utter selfishness masquerading as love.
Please note that in my arguments above I have not singled out any of the nontraditional, extramarital sexual activities in particular. All have the same drawback of not being linked to procreation and child rearing. Children may issue from some of these activities; love of your partner may spring from others. But none of these extramarital sexual encounters starts that way, and some can never fulfill both of the traditional marriage hallmarks.
Several examples: the pedophilic rape of a 5 year old will never yield children or love; the incestuous use of oneâ€™s daughter destroys love, the daughter, and the family; homosexual intercourse is barren of children; an adulterous affair betrays love. All fail to satisfy the original, fundamental purpose of sex. Although children may be conceived in adultery or fornication, those acts still fail to meet the totality of the fundamental purpose, because in these illicit encounters, the proper family environment for raising the child will be absent. However, in all four examples, the act does serve as a conduit for achieving what was originally the byproduct of sex.
Only under the covenant of traditional marriage is the goal de jure love of another and creation. This is in stark contrast to the other forms of sexual union where the de facto goal is self-gratification. Some are more destructive than others; still, all are exercises in self-gratification and as such, all are ultimately futile exercises in selfish behavior. Is this gay bashing?
I will freely acknowledge that this missive is not flattering to the gay life style, for through the lens of the Bible, homosexual acts are sins, as are adultery, fornication, etc. This missive is also not flattering of the free love pop culture either. Would you three care to engage in some discussion, or, is someone else going to turn off his brain and meanly shout 'bigot'?
Mark Tateâ€™s senatorial campaign isnâ€™t getting off to the start for which he had hoped. According to the State Board of Elections, he may have fallen off the face of the planet, because he hasnâ€™t filed his campaign finance disclosure forms since July 2003.
Chris Piper, with the State Board of Elections, said Tate, the co-owner of the Coach Stop Restaurant in Middleburg, has just recently filed some financing paperwork. But if an election were held today, Tate wouldnâ€™t even be allowed to be on the ballot, Piper said.
â€œWe have candidates for whatever reason fall of the face of the earth, but it happens more with political action committees,â€ he said.
Tate was fined $1,150 for the lapse and is possibly facing more fines if his reports donâ€™t mesh with state laws. Piper said Tuesday he had just gotten Tateâ€™s filings and had not reviewed them, but he believes Tate is still missing two financial disclosure reports.
It sounds like this mess will be easy to correct and Tate gives the following explanation as to why he hasn't yet corrected his paperwork:
Tate said he has been late with getting the reports in because he has been concentrating on U.S. Sen. George Allenâ€™s (R-VA) and U.S. Rep. Frank Wolfâ€™s (R-VA-10) races, both of whom have challengers, and the stateâ€™s controversial marriage amendment; Tate is the GOP coordinator of Loudounâ€™s marriage amendment campaign.
As long as Russ Potts is gone I'll be happy. Both Mark Tate and Jill Holtzman Vogel would be a dramatic improvement in the 27th district.
NOVA Town Hall is honored to have the opportunity to host the next edition of the Virginia Blog Carnival. Please email me your submissions by 5PM Sunday evening (I apologize for the late announcement and thus the short notice) and we will post the Carnival Monday morning. There is no official theme for this week but I might try to throw one together depending on what readers submit.
More information on the VBC can be found here.
You're going to want to go read BVBL (which originally stood for Blog-Fu: Vendetta By Law! - probably a sketchy translation of some Chinese phrase).
I had resolved to ignore politics until late September, but something compels me to jump in now:
Could the Democrats have possibly ended up with a worse candidate than Judy Feder to run against Frank Wolf? Which demographic in the 10th District was she supposed to win over, the highly-sought, "tax me now" Drooling Nitwit swing voter?
Gas prices are hurting us all, and, unless we act now, itâ€™s only going to get worse.
Our current congressman had many chances to avert this crisis, but instead he went along with the Bush administration and the oil companies at every turn.
What does "acting now" mean for Judy Feder? Apart from voting for Judy Feder, it's extremely hard to say - but I can tell you what it does NOT mean: A google search of her Web site - which is, if nothing else, focused on the topic of energy - returns the following results:
"drill" - 0 results
"refineries - 0 results
"refinery" - 1 result (not in the context one might expect, though)
"nuclear" - 0 results
"big oil" - 180 results
This is not to imply it's wrong to focus on where she sees the core of the problem: the oil companies. But for someone who positions herself as a "scholar" you might expect at least a barely well-rounded discussion of the issue.
Reading Judy Feder's Web site is an experience of the deja vu variety: I think what it reminds me of are Zap comics circa 1973. But before you jump to any conclusions, such as "this woman is not so bright," remember that she's a....PROFESSOR!! (You say that with the same flourish as the punchline of the joke "the Aristrocrats.")
BVBL has a huge jump on everyone else I know of in covering the Feder spectacle, so be sure to visit him frequently thoughout the campaign - such as it is - season.
Before I get started, I would like to thank Joe Budzinski for giving me space on NOVA Townhall to write (and vent) about issues that interest me and hopefully the denizens of this blog. My expressed opinions and views here are nothing more than a lightning rod for further discussion. I welcome all views, but I will not consider all views to be of equal merit. With that in mind please do engage.
A secure border has always has been of importance to any country throughout all of history. The Chinese and Romans have built walls on their borders to maintain security. Other societies have also built less known walls for the same purpose. These structures were as much symbols of resolve as they were practical force multipliers which enabled the fewer troops to more effectively maintain the border against invasion.
Today two primary factors drive our need to secure our borders; these are nuclear-terrorism and the cultural sovereignty. A nuke in a suitcase making its way to NYC, LA, or DC would do a real job on this country's psyche and economy.
The unwashed illegal millions crossing the border will do the same thing, just differently, and in a manner that is actually more insidious. We wonâ€™t notice it. The reason why America works so well is because we really are just one possible manifestation of ENGLAND.
The Magna Carta could not have occurred anywhere else. There is an â€œexceptionalismâ€ to us which is the result of the precious gift of English common law coupled to the Protestant work ethic, and Puritan ethos. This does set us apart.
Until very recently, all other revolutions have had periods of bloody reprisal against those who opposed said revolution. We have escaped this. Most revolutionary leaders became dictators once they came to power. France had Napoleon, and Cuba still has Castro. On the other hand we had Washington. The difference in outcome was a product of the cultural background which the three leaders came from.
If you look at the former English colonies such as India, Australia, and America you see by and large a respect for law and personal property. (Yes, we are eroding it here, but I pray we as a Nation will step back from that abyss.) If you gaze upon the former French or Spanish Colonies what you see is a real mess. Look at Jamaica and Haiti; both have problems. Haiti's problems are far worse. Both countries are islands both have similar ethnic backgrounds; the result however is two different outcomes. The Jamaican GDP/capita is triple that of Haiti, and the political climate is far more stable.
The United States has ingested large waves of immigrants in the past. However, the official cultural policy was to encourage these migrants to â€œAmericanizeâ€. There was no official celebration of the other culture until those migrants groups were inculcated with local â€œEnglishâ€ culture.
While the US has certainly been changed by its immigrants, the immigrants themselves have been far more radically altered. As a poignant example, most of those 40 million claiming Irish descent are no longer Catholic but Protestant. The same holds true for other migrant groups in this regard. Considering the shared history between Protestant and Catholic back in Europe such religious migration is startling. Other similar examples of such crossovers can be sighted.
Today however our official policies actively discourage such cultural immersion. As an example, Spanish language curricula being offered to (foisted upon) Latino students not only retard their integration but also much that is taught actively alienates them from the English culture. Another example of Balkanization is the printing of election ballots in other languages.
Our current political environment impedes our ability to convert the immigrant community into citizens. Citizenship is not only a legal journey but a cultural transformation. It must be so for a political entity such as the United States to survive.
If we lose our basic 'Englishness' we will lose it for ever. A culture once lost is not easily retrieved. We could lose the country here and the War on Terror (WWIII) all because we will not do something as simple as build a fence.
I just finished reading a great column by Michael Medved on the issue of same-sex "marriage" and the intrinsic differences between men and women. Medved's piece is concise, well reasoned and articulates the principles I think many of us here at NOVA TownHall have been grappling with for a few months nowâ€¦ definitely worth a read. Here is a good seized excerpt:
If, then, society has achieved a new consensus -- near unanimity, in fact-- on the issue of the significance of gender differences, it ought to be possible to reach more widespread agreement on key elements of the same sex marriage debate. If men and women remain irreducibly different, itâ€™s dishonest to suggest that marrying a man is the precise equivalent of marrying a woman. That doesnâ€™t mean that a male-male relationship is evil, or decadent, or doomed, but it does mean that itâ€™s hugely, inarguably different in its very essence from a male-female relationship --- or, for that matter, from a female-female relationship. Man-woman connections involve a fusion of opposites in a primal, elemental way that same sex associations canâ€™t replicate. You may believe that this binding of the two genders is no better â€“ or perhaps even less beneficial â€“ than a connection between two people of the same sex, but no honest observer can maintain that homosexual and heterosexual relationships are indistinguishable or interchangeable. The endlessly repeated argument of gay union advocates that â€œwe donâ€™t want to change the institution of marriage, we want to expand the institution of marriageâ€ is deceitful on its face. Of course the expansion of matrimony to include same sex couples involves a huge alteration in the long-standing definition of marital dynamics. It requires the abandonment of the timeless notion that bringing male-and-female together in intimacy achieves special power not just because of the reproductive potential but because of the combination of two vastly different genders. A love between people of the same gender may be beautiful, sentimental, even noble, but itâ€™s not he same thing as the union of male-and female. The basis of the natural family has always arisen from the idea of a â€œMarriage of Oppositesâ€ â€“ and that phrase serves as the title of the forthcoming book by my own better half, psychologist and author Dr. Diane Medved.
This recognition answers one more of the constantly invoked arguments of the activists who seek to redefine marriage. â€œWhy is it a threat to your marriage,â€ they ask, â€œif the government gives similar recognition to the marriage of two guys or two women in gay relationships?â€
The response ought to be obvious: the problem with gay marriage isnâ€™t that it harms my marriage, or yours, but that it changes the institution of marriage â€“ for my children, my grandchildren, and all future generations. It downplays the essential, irrevocable nature of gender differences â€“ and serves to undermine the crucial importance of gender specific roles in all relationships. A gay couple might claim that they fill distinctive roles in their relationship â€“ with one woman working hard to support the family, for instance, while the other cooks and decorates and nourishes the kids. But choosing complementary roles for the sake of convenience or preference isnâ€™t the same as recognizing that these contrasting approaches arise from your very essence as a man or a woman. Thereâ€™s something arbitrary, synthetic and, indeed, temporary about a same sex couple attempting to imitate a heterosexual marriage by fulfilling distinct responsibilities in the relationship.
If you, like many of us here and across Virginia, agree with Medvedâ€™s above points and believe that marriage is the union of one-man and one-woman and no child should be willfully denied a mother or a fatherâ€¦ then get out there and support the Marriage Amendment! You can sign-up to do so here.
I like our attorney general: Color me a Bob McDonnell fan. Leaving aside the fact there were over 100 people packed into Cascades Library in Sterling and more than half of them were eager to ask questions on two of the most contentious issues facing Virginians, and Attorney General McDonnell had less than two hours to address everything and everyone: When we started it was over 100 degrees outside and over 80 inside and this man in business attire never broke a sweat.
That, my friends, is composure. I can say that with authority because I was business casual and sweating like Riggo during two-a-days.
More than that, Bob McDonnell did an exemplory job answering tough questions on very difficult topics. A good percentage of the audience was there not to praise him, but to challenge him. I think everyone present will agree he rose to the challenge even if his answers were not to everyone's liking.
He stated his positions on the Virginia Marriage Amendment and illegal immigration clearly and honestly - and he acknowledged when questioners pointed out potential problems in local, state and federal policies.
I like it when a public official admits, "That is a really good question," rather than try to give a BS answer. A politician responding with honesty and integrity: What a concept!
I also like it when a public official hangs out to talk with local residents long after an official event has ended. AG McDonnell stayed until the last person in line got to speak his or her peace. Late on a hot summer evening. That's why I'll never run for public office.
Details of the meeting will come later. Many of the AG's statements were worthy of lengthy quotation: I'll post these in the near future. For now, I'll rely on the rule that a picture's worth a thousand words, so here's a bunch of pictures to give you a feel for the night's events without me having to write a thousand words.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (l) explains to John Grigsby that if you can't state your case clearly, you just might be a liberal. And watch the hand signals.
UPDATE: Paul Protic, our outstanding Loudoun County Republican Committee chairman, was also here for the event. Sorry I did not get a photo!
While this full text is already printed on all the VA4Marriage literature used across the state and is available by following either of the two pro-marriage links on the left side of this blog... I am printing the full text here per Alice's request.
The Virginia Marriage Amendment
To Amend Article I of the Virginia Bill of Rights so that it includes:
Section 15-A. Marriage.
That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.
The more folks that learn about the Marriage Amendment the better!
In the spirit of even greater disclosure/information, I encourage everyone to read and post the Virginia State Board of Electionâ€™s explanation of the Marriage Amendment. Note that this official legal explanation of the Marriage Amendment was drafted by the Attorney Generalâ€™s office (the â€œpeopleâ€™s lawyerâ€) and then passed by both the House of Delegate and the State Senate prior to being made available through the State Board of Elections. I encourage everyone posting the full text of the Marriage Amendment to also make this official explanation available, althought I doubt the anti-Marriage Amendment folks will do so given the fact that this cuts right through the red-herring argument they are advancing in order to try and defeat the Marriage Amendment and leave marriage vulnerable to radical redefinition via the litigation. Anyways... here is the SBE explanation, reprinted in its entirety:
Proposed Constitutional Amendment To Be Voted on at the November 7, 2006, Election
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Article I. Bill of Rights. Section 15-A. Marriage.
BALLOT QUESTION NUMBER 1
Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state:
â€œThat only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.
This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.â€?
The Constitution does not define marriage. Under current statutory law in Virginia, persons who marry must have a license and be married by a licensed minister, judge, or other person authorized by law to perform marriages. Present law prohibits marriages between certain individuals. For example, the law prohibits a marriage between a brother and sister, between a couple where one of the parties is married to someone else, and between couples of the same sex.
In 1975, the General Assembly enacted a statute (present Code of Virginia Â§ 20-45.2) that states "A marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited." In 1997, the General Assembly added a sentence to Â§ 20-45.2 that states that:
Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable.
In 2004, the General Assembly passed a law to prohibit certain civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex. That law (Code of Virginia Â§ 20-45.3) states that:
A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.
Thus, civil unions or other arrangements which purport â€œto bestow the privileges or obligations of marriageâ€ are prohibited by statute.
If approved by the voters, this proposed amendment will become part of the Constitution of Virginia. The proposed amendment adds a definition of marriage as the â€œunion between one man and one womanâ€ to the Constitution's Bill of Rights and prohibits Virginia and its counties, cities, and towns from creating or recognizing any legal status by any name which is comparable to marriage.
Marriage in the Commonwealth creates specific legal rights, benefits, and obligations for a man and a woman. There are other legal rights, benefits, and obligations which will continue to be available to unmarried persons, including the naming of an agent to make end-of-life decisions by an Advance Medical Directive (Code of Virginia Â§ 54.1-2981), protections afforded under Domestic Violence laws (Code of Virginia Â§ 18.2-57.2), ownership of real property as joint tenants with or without a right of survivorship (Code of Virginia Â§ 55-20.1), or disposition of property by will (Code of Virginia Â§ 64.1-46).
A "yes" vote on the proposed amendment will result in the addition of the proposed Section 15-A to Article I, the Bill of Rights. A "no" vote will mean that there will be no change made in Article I, the Bill of Rights.
FULL TEXT OF AMENDMENT
[Proposed new language is underlined. Existing language that is deleted is shown as stricken (stricken).]
Amend Article I of the Constitution of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15A as follows:
ARTICLE I BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 15-A. Marriage.
That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.
This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.
Attorney General's Office 5/9/06 Explanation -- 473 words
Approved by House Committee on Privileges and Elections 5/10/06 Approved by Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections 5/12/06
Chris Freund, Director of Communications
Monday, July 31, 2006
Information Alert: What do the polls mean?
Headlines across Virginia today announced a new Mason Dixon poll that shows 56 percent of Virginians support the constitutional amendment protecting marriage that will be on this November's ballot. According to the poll, the amendment is favored by over 60 percent in almost every region except Northern Virginia.
Opponents quickly dismissed the poll and touted their own that shows a much smaller 45 percent supporting and 40 percent opposing. That poll, paid for by the anti-amendment group Commonwealth Coalition and conducted by the "Republican pollster" Fabrizio-McLaughlin, claims that when citizens read the actual language of the amendment, support drops significantly. Amazing how a poll paid for by opponents supports exactly what opponents claim.
So, what do these new polls really mean?
Frankly, very little.
The only thing that matters is what happens on November 7. Polls taken in late July, three months before Election Day, shouldn't be taken very seriously. The fact is, we have a lot of work to do before November. We have to remember that our opponents will stop at nothing to confuse people about what the amendment will do. The focus of their campaign is to scare people into believing that passage of the amendment will have "unintended consequences" for all Virginians. Unfortunately, people who do not have all the facts may be swayed by such deception.
That is why it is so important that you join the effort to pass the amendment. It is vital that you understand what the amendment will and won't do so that you can educate your friends and family about the amendment. You can bet that opponents will spend millions taking their message to the airwaves this fall. We simply do not have the budget to do that. We need you to be our "big media." We need you to tell the truth about the amendment.
For more information on the amendment and on upcoming training opportunities, click www.va4marriage.org.
Click the links below to read various news stories about the amendment. Some may require free registration:
Groups target state's proposed amendment on same-sex marriage - Virginian Pilot
Proposed marriage amendment galvanizes both sides of debate - Roanoke Times
As Vote Nears, Opponents Attack Ban's Wording - Washington Post
Poll: Va. voters back gay marriage ban - Daily Press
Poll: Most in Va. favor ban on same-sex marriages - Virginian Pilot
Same sex marriage ban supported - Richmond Times Dispatch
2006 Values Voter Summit/Washington Briefing
FRC Action, Focus on the Family Action, and other pro-family groups are hosting the 2006 Values Voter Summit/Washington Briefing in Washington, D.C., September 22-24, 2006. Tony Perkins, Dr. James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Don Wildmon will be joined by confirmed speakers: Bill Bennett, Newt Gingrich, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Charlie Cook, Kellyanne Conway, Ann Coulter, Myrna Blyth, Senator Bill Frist, Attorney General Phill Kline, Terry Jeffrey, Hugh Hewitt, comedian Steve Bridges, and more. Other invited speakers include: President George Bush, Senators George Allen and Sam Brownback, House Majority Leader John Boehner, Zell Miller, Pat
Buchanan, Michelle Malkin, Tony Blankley and more!
The event will take place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel with sessions devoted to topics such as: Does Religion Have a Prayer in Public Schools; The Preservation of Marriage - Why Children Need It; Courts Gone Wild - The Rightful Place of Judges in Our Republic; Why Can't Hollywood Get It; and The Role of the Church in Political Issues.
To find out more about the Values Voter Summit, including registration information, click here.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America has been a hot topic the past couple months. I've only followed it closely enough to note it seems a little light in one area, that of the 2,000 mile fence that STILL IS NOT BUILT along our southern border.
This is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality.
The North American Union, SPP, and NASCO: Erasing America's Borders
By Heidi at Euphoric Reality
Our government has undertaken some monumental legislation that fully impacts the American way of life, our freedom, and our sovereignty. The purpose of such legislation is to homogenize Canada, Mexico, and the United States into a North American Union - and we're all going to sleep through it.
Have you heard of a little-known program called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America? This tri-lateral partnership was signed by President Bush last year without Congressional oversight or public approval. Opponents of the SPP have called it NAFTA on steroids - and we all know how disastrous NAFTA has been for everyone except Mexico. It also appears to be modeled on the ineffective and highly unpopular European Union (unpopular with the people, that is).
I went to the website, www.spp.gov, to begin my research.