The Virginia Blog Carnival

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Virginia Blog Carnival—NOVA TownHall last hosted the VBC in early May and we’re honored to do so again. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Kat for taking the helm in regards to managing the Carnival on behalf of all of the Commonwealth’s bloggers!

We had few submissions this week (probably due to the fact that we’re now in the midst of the lazy days of August… or maybe it was that crazy school-tax holiday?) so there isn’t much to post. For those unfamiliar with the VBC, here is a description:

“Each 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 everyone’s curiosity will be piqued to read more of the selected posts, thereby giving more exposure to each participating blogger’s site.”

Now on with the Carnival…

Submitted Entries

  • Jason Kenney over at J’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 victims’ sexual lifestyle).

  • Roci over at Rocinante’s Burdens discusses the federal minimum wage and the Democrat’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 blog’s illustrious new “Editorial Board.”

Editors Picks

  • 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 Gore’s sensationalist film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

  • 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.

Well, that’s all folks!

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Jonathan said:

(which appears to be motivated by the victims’ sexual lifestyle).

For God's sake Sophrosyne, please delete this parenthetical. We know you are seething with anti-gay animus. Pretend to have a smidgen of decency.

Sophrosyne said:

"Seething with anti-gay animus"? Come on.

To my knowledge the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the incident as a possible "hate crime" connected to an ongoing neighborhood feud over ATV usage. Is this incorrect?

I believe my description was fair and neutral-- as it should be, especially when under the banner of the VBC. If you can tell me what is factually incorrect or dishonest about the comment you cite please let me know and I will update it. Otherwise please refrain from petty personal attacks.

David said:

Actually, no. The Sheriff's office has been very clear that this is a hate crime. They are not in the least confused about that.

If you want to deconstruct this, there's also the term "purported," which I suppose is meant to imply that there might be a condemnation of this crime on a blog somewhere that none of us has seen? If you know of one, please post a link. That would certainly be good news.

Finally, I have never been able to figure out what a "sexual lifestyle" is supposed to be. I mean, people may have urban or rural lifestyles, and family-oriented or work-oriented lifestyles. Lifestyle is a descriptor that has to do with where you live and how you spend your time. I suppose that you could characterize "swingers" (are they still called that?) as having a "sexual lifestyle," if it was very central to how they spend their time, so that would sort of make sense.

But what does that have to do with a hate crime perpetrated on two men who obviously just have a suburban lifestyle? That characterization just didn't make any sense. They were targeted because they are gay, not because they live in the surburbs and spend their weekends working on their yard.

Sophrosyne's comment appears to be motivated by his sexual lifestyle.

Sophrosyne said:


Where do you get the information that the Sheriff’s Office has already decided this definitely IS a “hate crime” and that they are no longer interested in making that determination? Here is what I have read on the issue and why I do not/did not believe that was/is the case (and thus used neutral and non-determinative language):

“Gay couple concerned about destruction of property as possible hate crime”

“Sheriff’s Office probes possible hate crime”

“Sheriff's Office Investigates Possible Hate Crime”

Are the journalists who crafted these headlines also guilty of "seething anti-gay animus"

Waldo is correct insofar as his point illustrates that we all live a certain sexual lifestyle (i.e. the way a person chooses to live sexually). Some people choose to be celibate (Catholic Priests, etc), some choose to engage in a heterosexual sexual relationship within a marriage, some choose to engage in a monogamous homosexual sexual relationship, some choose to engage in a heterosexual sexual relationship with many partners, etc… How is this a hard concept to understand? According to the press articles it is suspected that the crime was motivated due to the fact that the victims practiced a homosexual sexual lifestyle… thus my comment that the crime “appears to be motivated by the victims’ sexual lifestyle.”

Again—please tell me what I have said is factually inaccurate and I will change my summary (and if you have some sort of validation to your above claim that the Sheriff’s Office has determined that it is not related to the ATV dispute and was unquestionably a result of the couple’s sexual lifestyle I will immediately remove the word “appears” and insert “is”). To my knowledge I am presenting the same position currently held by the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office and I don’t believe that position lacks “decency” as Jonathan seemed to imply.

If you choose to believe that my use of the word “appears” is due to the fact that I am “seething with anti-gay animus”… there is little I can say in response. But please remember that this post is intended as a relatively non-partisan blog carnival… this is to celebrate a wide range of posts from across the blogosphere and not digress into some debate over sexual lifestyles, preferences, etc. I hope everyone is spending as much time reading all the VBC posts and appreciating the work of the Virginia blogosphere as they are debating the term “lifestyle” and “appears”.

PS: For the record, if the police determine that this was in fact an act of vandalism (which I believe is pretty likely), I strongly condemn such destruction of personal property… as I do any act of vandalism regardless of the motive (and I imagine just about everyone else does as well). Just because everyone didn’t jump to issue press-releases doesn’t mean they tolerate or sanction crime in any form.

Eve Barner said:

I submitted this letter to the editor of the Easterner earlier today

To the Editor:

There is no excuse for the invasion of private property or the destruction that occurred at the home in Aldie last weekend. Reports that derogatory slogans were used to vandalize the property make the crime even more personal and despicable.

Some have been quick to link this crime to supporters of the marriage amendment. We who believe marriage is between one man and one woman join other members of the community in strongly condemning violence, vandalism, hatred and all sorts of property damage. No one should be treated like that.

The person(s) who committed this crime should turn themselves in and face their punishment. Their behavior is appalling and cowardly.

All of us should agree that discussions of public policy should be conducted in the marketplace of ideas – never through criminal behavior. Further, I would ask both sides in the debate over the marriage amendment to treat each other respectfully, to refrain from personal attacks and to remember that we are neighbors here in Loudoun.

I am particularly mindful of Jesus’ call to love our neighbors. Surely our neighbor includes anyone who has been victimized by crime. Surely, our neighbors in Aldie need the support of the entire community at a time like this.


Eve Marie Barner
Ashburn, VA

Roci_burden said:

My rebuttal to Mr Waldo Jaquith.

Saddly, I fail to meet his stringent commenting pre-conditions.


Sophrosyne said:

Interesting Roci... thanks! Not sure how I missed it.

Jonathan said:


I went to Wikipedia and looked up "sexual lifestyle". There was no entry, so I looked up other terms.

homosexual lifestyle - highest match was 13% relevance
gay lifestyle - "Gay rights in Surinam" matched at 16.4%
urban lifestyle - 100% match to urban lifestyles
sex life - 61% match to human sexual behavior
sexual orientation - 100% match

If you wish to continue to use the term "sexual lifestyle", I suggest you go to Wikipedia and submit an entry. Present your thoughts to the marketplace of ideas.

Sophrosyne said:

It boggles my mind that you believe the term "sexual lifestyle" is bogus—it’s a simple term! Lifestyle is defined as "a way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group"... thus a sexual lifestyle is simply a sexual way of life or living. A big part of this is obviously the gender of the sexual partner we choose (or refrain from choosing altogether in the case of anyone who practices a celibate sexual lifestyle such as a Priest)… Thus my comment above (the couple in Loudoun obviously practiced a sexual lifestyle that appears to have played a part in motivating whatever deranged criminal committed the act of vandalism).

I suppose you object to the term “sexual lifestyle” because it rightly implies that we, as human beings, have control over our sexual activity and choices. I guess some find it more suitable for their argument if they can gloss over that obvious facet of reality by implying that practicing a form of sexual activity is as inevitable as breathing. But that’s neither here nor there… I guess I should have anticipated the rejection of a term implying such free will. This springs into a whole other discussion that I think relates to a lot of the problems in our culture today (i.e. lack of self control).

Wikipedia always proves to be an infallible guide of truth in these situations… for a humorous take on this please check this out:

Anyways... how about those Redskins! VC was pretty bold with the 12-4 prediction, huh?

David said:

No, I find it silly because it implies that sex is a central priority around which a person arranges their life - hence my example of people heavily into swinging as the only plausible time it would make sense. It's the only example I could think of. Maybe I am just misunderstanding your use of the word sexual.

Would a person who isn't sexually active because they just don't happen to have a partner have a "sexual lifestyle"? I just can't believe that most people think of their lives that way.

It seems to be a clunky substitute for something else, maybe "sex life"? Of course, you don't have any information about other people's sex life, so you make up this term whereby you are inferring such knowledge.

Wikipedia is what it is - user driven. If you think your terminology has legs, you should take Jonathan's advice; put it out there in the public domain and see how it fares.

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