October 2006 Archives
So I was watching "Hannity and Colmes" last night, and for about the thousandth time Alan Colmes made the argument that the NSA wiretaps were unconstitutional unless they were conducted with a warrant. Never mind that everyone he's debated the issue with has thoroughly explained to him why warrants are impractical for this matter, and why the wiretaps are important for stopping things like the bombing of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Here's my argument: The wiretappings are NOT unconstitutional. Wiretapping is not prohibited by the Constitution of the United States. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Read it if you don't believe me.
"But N.R.," you'll say, "There was no such thing as a wiretap in 1791 so there's no way the writers could have addressed the issue in the Bill of Rights, you idiot!" To which I would say, "Ha ha! There was such a thing as eavesdropping, and all these wiretappings are is eavesdropping with technology!" Then you would hang your head in shame, because eavesdropping is not prohibited in the Constitution either.
But, for the sake of argument, let's say the wiretaps constitute a "search and seizure" like Alan Colmes keeps saying. Well, he thinks that means you need a warrant. He also needs to read the Fouth Amendment. The amendment prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures". It also requires probable cause for warrants. Guess what? It doesn't require a warrant to perform a search or seizure. The Supreme Court, while I don't think much of their opinion, has routinely backed this up and has set many standards of what constitutes a reasonable search and seizure without a warrant. They're pretty much changing their minds on everything, starting with: "What is reasonable depends upon a variety of considerations and circumstances. It is an elastic term which is of uncertain value in definition." (Sussex Land and Livestock Co. v. Midwest Refining Co., 1923)
Great. Thanks Supreme Court. Now everyone's going to want to ask me, "But N.R., does that mean we'll never know whether or not NSA wiretapping is a reasonable search or seizure?" And my only answer will have to be, "I don't know, do you like the Brooklyn Bridge?"
(...or perhaps a slip of the tongue?)
Maybe the real GOP surprise was simply to book stage time for John Kerry.
"...make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't you get stuck in Iraq."
What a moron. You have to wonder why ANYONE voted for this guy.
On another note, what's the connection between not doing well in school and getting "stuck in Iraq?" This is the lying sack of shite, you recall, who warned of George Bush's secret plan to reinstall the "mandatory military draft" in 2005 if Bush was re-elected. We already know where Kerry stands on the draft, of course. (Hint: he's not against it.)
If the Democrats have a plan to try once again to reinstate the draft they should say so.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll toss Juju Beans three rows behind you. Don't look now, friends...AAACKKK!
It's the Halloween edition of the Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality.
This week's Blogburst is a little bit of a Trick or Treat - some chilling, and some funny. Which is apropos, considering that our nation's immigration policy is a monstrous nightmare for mainstream Americans.
The Nightmare on Main Street Edition of the GTB Blogburst
So Bush signed a law to create a border fence. Here is an image of the fence as designed by a joint committee of Mexicans and Liberals, and approved by Bush...
"Report an illegal to the Feds and watch the Feds sit on their hands!"
Minuteman 2.0.: The Minuteman project was a publicity stunt; we now need to take it to the next level and have citizen patrols guarding the border.
"Needed: Border Billboards": As soon as sniper posts are erected along our borders, we'll need some billboards erected that read something like this...
The Carpentersville Saga: Carpentersville Illinois is pursuing a Hazelton style ordinance, but as these two videos show, not if the pro crime Hispanics and their supporters have anything to say about it!
"The US Border Patrol and Border Police are Out Gunned, Out Manned and Facing an Enemy with Technological Superiority Over Them!": You knew illegals were coming into the USA daily, but did you know that down in Mexico they are literally being brought up to the border by the train load? The report has the pictures to prove it!
Trains from Central America and Mexico en route
to the U.S. border
Wild Thing sent some more jarring photos of our uninvited and unwelcome and undocumented "guests"- and no, these are not crazy Halloween costumes:
If you think illegal immigration is nothing more than "good hard-working people, with good intentions" sneaking in here for a little harmless Trick-or-Treat, then these posts from some of the strongest contributors to Guard the Borders will convince you of the ghoulish truth.
This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to admin at guardtheborders dot com.
If the upcoming election is, as the Democrats wish, about Iraq, then let's be sure we all are clear on what the battle in Iraq is about.
The host, Paul Orgel, had asked me what I thought of President Bush and I replied that, whatever my differences with him on this or that, I thought he was one of the most farsighted politicians in Washington. That is to say, he is looking down the line to a world in which a radicalized Islam has exported its pathologies to every corner on Earth...
...if it really is, as Democrats say, "all about the future of our children," then our children will want to know why our generation saw what was happening and didn't do anything about it. They will despise us as we despise the political class of the 1930s....
...But suppose the "ANYONE BUT BUSH" bumper-sticker set got their way; suppose he and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and all the minor supporting warmongers down to yours truly were suddenly vaporized in 20 seconds' time. What then?
Nothing, that's what. The jihad's still there. Kim Jong-il's still there. The Iranian nukes are still there. The slyer Islamist subversion from Southeast Asia to the Balkans to northern England goes on, day after day after day. And one morning we'll switch on the TV and the smoke and flames will be on this side of the Atlantic, much to President Rodham's surprise. Bush hatred is silly and parochial and reductive: History is on the march, and the anti-Bush crowd is holding the telescope the wrong way round...
He dismissed the idea that going into Iraq had only served to "recruit" more terrorists to the cause. (Gen. Peter Pace told me last week that, if anything, the evidence is that Iraq has tied up a big chunk of senior jihadists who'd otherwise be blowing up Afghanistan and elsewhere.) The president's view is that before it was Iraq it was Israel; with these guys, it's always something...
The invaluable Brussels Journal recently translated an interview with the writer Oscar van den Boogaard from the Belgian paper De Standaard. A Dutch gay "humanist" (which is pretty much the trifecta of Eurocool), Mr. van den Boogaard was reflecting on the accelerating Islamification of the Continent and concluding the jig was up for the Europe he loved. "I am not a warrior, but who is?" he shrugged. "I have never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."
Too many of us are only good at enjoying freedom. That war-is-never-the-answer 25 percent are in essence saying there's nothing about America worth fighting for, and that, ultimately, the continuation of their society is a bet on the kindness of strangers -- on the goodnaturedness of Kim Jong-il and the mullahs and al Qaeda and what the president called "al Qaeda lookalikes and al Qaeda wannabes" and whatever nuclear combination thereof comes down the pike.
And lest anyone forget, the fight in Iraq is a direct result of the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. There's is a global war going on between the United States and the jihadists, and Iraq is the central front. That's why our troops are there.
Reasonable people can disagree about whether it's winnable. This is why I don't consider Jim Webb (and so many others) fools. You can make a reasoned calculation that an unwinnable battle should not be entered into. But you can also argue some battles must be fought even if the progress is not 100 percent predictable (and if the leadership has not foreseen every eventuality). In Iraq, we must find a way to win. In contrast to the Bushites and neocons, I personally think "democracy for the Iraqi people" may not be the answer nor was it the ultimate goal. The goals were to take out Saddam (done) and ensure the country does not become a launching pad for distribution of weapons of mass destruction or attacks against the U.S. and other countries in the West (in progress).
In the 1990s, every statesman in America (Democrats at the top of the list) shouted from the rooftops that the government of Iraq was a mortal threat to the security of the world. Not too many folks are making that claim now, are they?
Jim Webb is not exactly a paleoconservative but neither is he much like anyone else willing to don the Democratic Party mantle in recent years. Were he still a Republican his fiction writing alone would have gotten him pilloried if he was running for U.S. Senator. (We don't even need to get into other instances of rather extreme political incorrectness).
To understand the irony of Webb's running as a Democrat, read Andrew Ferguson's excellent article reporting on a recent Arlington house party. Then come back and read the rest of this.
My take: The Democrats will run ANYONE who a) is willing to be called a "Democrat" and b) has a chance of winning an election. If Jim Webb can be a Democrat, anyone can.
This observation is not just about snorting derisively at a political party forced to such depths of blatant expediency, however. The Republicans have been less than knights in shining armor on a number of issues despite controlling the federal government for the past four years. Perhaps the Democrats could grow a "Jim Webb" wing to eventually squelch the, um, entire party and thereby provide a viable alternative to the Republicans?
I support George Allen because, as noted in earlier posts, he is simply better on some issues I think are important, and I think a Republican-led Senate holds significant advantages over one controlled by the Democrats. If George Allen loses his Senate seat, though, I'm not going to stick my head in the oven. It's an electric oven, and the implications are simply to horrible to contemplate. And further, if the Republicans don't provide the opportunity to move our country in the right direction that isn't going to leave a whole lot of choices. Following November 7 we will be surveying some of those choices. You have to consider the Democratic Party a part of the mix, provided they grow a lot more Jim Webb and a lot less everything they are at this moment.
Ok everyone, I'm with the Marshmallow Man and I say let's put this sordid topic to bed.
Except for one last notation below the fold, I think we've blogged quite enough on Jim Webb's "wienergate" episode and I'm moving on to new campaign topics which I hope will bring us all back together again.
I hate to see the NovaTownHall Blog family in such a state of enmity over what is likely just a silly misunderstanding.
Moving right along, then. Jim Webb said:
...the Herndon day-labor center is an acceptable way to locally manage the effects of a failed federal immigration system.
Whereas George Allen's position is:
To address the question of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, Allen wants stepped-up punishment of their employers, Wadhams said. Strict enforcement, Allen reasons, will dry up the source of jobs over time.
If you live in Herndon or Sterling Park, you want to vote for George Allen. That day labor center has been a disaster for us by marking this area as a destination for illegal aliens.
And we say 'adios' to Wienergate, below the fold. Click the link for a fond farewell.
When Webb became the Democratic nominee in this race, I really thought we might have a chance for open, honest debate on the great issues of the day between two honorable men of goodwill. Was I ever wrong! I even thought, for a fleeting moment, that whoever won the race, Virginia would be well-served in the U.S. Senate. Now I'm thinking that we the people will be the losers no matter what.
Kool-Aid drinking Republicans will be pointing out that there is a double standard at work â€“ that if Allen had a history of writing sexually explicit novels he would be pilloried for it. That's true. It's undeniable.
But I suspect this little "October Surprise" by Allen's camp will come back to haunt them. It's so impotent! Challenge Webb on the issues! Take the high road! If you lose, lose with honor and integrity!
Strange bedfellows and all that.
Compare and contrast.
She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in
one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
Our esteemed yet oftimes perplexing commenter Zimzo has snagged me again, pointing out the harm my puritanical instincts might have wrought on one of the brightest lights in modern literature. But is he overreaching?
Does Jim Webb's Lost Soldiers merit the same obeisance we give Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita?
There are a couple tests we can apply.
One, would you mind if your 8-year old heard it read over the radio?
Lolita: No, because the writing is exquisite and the risque bits would go right over their heads.
Lost Soldiers: Well, NOT THAT ONE PASSAGE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY!
Two, would a literate reader admire the wordsmithing to the point of repeating passages over and over in the mind?
Lost Soldiers: Hard to say, but certainly NOT THAT ONE PASSAGE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY!
I know, I know: One is literature and the other is cultural anthropology. Cultural anthropology excuses a LOT. If Jim Webb had been more artful in conveying that scene ("....turned him upside down, and said 'hello, Sonny' in the only way he knew how...") the narrative might have lost some of its impact and strayed too far from the hard-as-nails tone of the rest of the book. But Webb could have given it a try.
I bet any 15 of today's AP English students could take a good stab at rewriting that passage in a more allusionary manner - if not for the fact we could be thrown in jail for showing it to them in most U.S. jurisdictions.
I mean, I imagine you can find illustrated books on how to roast a cat in various foreign countries, but if you tried to sell such books here you'd find the process a little prickly. Same principle.
But, hey, that's culture. Jim Webb's seen things none of us want to see and HE probably didn't want to see, and he's come back to tell us what it's like.
The question for Virginians is: Since he ain't Nabokov, should he at least have been more sensitive to the good-taste-o-meter?
MSNBC interview with party strategists.
Line of the day is delivered by the Democrat Sascha Burns: "Well that excerpt DOES sound sort of disgusting..."
The Tuesday post on the incident in Sterling has been taken down for the time being after my back and forth with Kevin in the comments and a note received from someone with an interest in the matter. The comments from Kevin and Had Enough point to one of the reasons a revision is needed and I have preserved these here below the fold.
Most blogs have a double nature of part news reporter or aggregator, and part personal journal. That post rested firmly in both areas, relating an event that just took place from the perspective of someone who was involved. As a slice of life in Sterling, it is perfectly valid. But the way I presented it also gave the impression of a news report, augmented by my editorial comments regarding the local crime rate. Often this site is found by people doing Google searches on news-related items. With that in mind, I think it would be more responsible to do some additional research and fact-checking in order that the "news" aspect be up to snuff. We don't need to be spreading misinformation.
The section of comment thread copied below is worth reading.
If you want an eyebrow-raising experience, go visit Drudge right now.
No links to anything yet, so all I can say is if the story is a fabrication it will go down as one of the dirtiest tricks of all time. If it's true, plenty of people will scratch their heads and say "I thought October suprises were supposed to happen to Republicans."
"Rove you magnificent bastard" indeed.
UPDATE: Now Drudge has a report. My appraisal: Webb wrote the novels to convey reality rather than invent it, so this news would not change my voting decision either way. But that's easy for me to say because I skew libertarian, and I'm voting for George Allen anyway on the basis of trusting him more than Webb to do the right thing on 2nd Amendment and immigration enforcement decisions.
I think a good argument could be made that some aspects of reality, as represented in a couple of Webb's passages, don't need to be conveyed. On that basis one could question Webb's judgment. But I say this without having read the context, ie the rest of the books in question.
UPDATE II: It's still not on the Allen Web site, though. I wonder if they are having second thoughts or just can't figure out how to frame NC-17 prose on a Web site accessible by children.
UPDATE III: Y'know, after reading through the bombshell press release again, I have to wonder if anyone in the Republican party even knows how to pull off a proper October surprise. A couple of Webb's passages are a bit weird to say the least, but some of them don't seem strange at all. I mean, "AMERICAN ASS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT"?
A few others fall in the same category (not to be reprinted on this wholesome blog, however). Except for bad language, there's nothing particularly scandalous. So what in the heck are they doing here? If you dig up some questionable writings by a political opponent, you make a bigger impact of you don't dilute the message with a bunch of stuff that most people will simply shrug off. Oh well, they're the political geniuses and I'm the one sitting in my pajamas typing.
UPDATE IV: Ok, I read the stuff a third time and never mind the "libertarian" remark above. That one passage from Lost Soldiers is just weird. Why would anyone need to write that?
Jim Webb, what were you thinking?
The Allen team could have simply printed this paragraph in their press release with the question: Does the person who wrote this belong in the U.S. Senate representing the state of Virginia?
A commenter here immediately took the obvious route of claiming it "sleazy" of the Allen campaign to publicize this, and I suspect shortly if not already this charge will resound through the liberal side of the blogosphere. THAT'S going to backfire. They don't want to be putting the word "sleaze" in people's minds while Webb's very questionable little vignette is also fresh in their minds. That is one nasty bit of writing, probably sleazier than many Virginians have seen, and trying to redirect the charge at Allen will not work. The people know sleaze when they see it.
UPDATE V: Heh. That's why they call it "politics," as opposed to "baking cookies."
I've been MIA at NOVA TH for months now due to my decision to commit what free time I have to supporting the Virginia Marriage Amendment and thus work to ensure that marriage is not left unnecessarily vulnerable to judicial activism and that the Commonwealth does not sanction (via judicial edict) a relationship designed to willfully deny children a mother or a father.
Itâ€™s been quite exhilarating to see the enthusiastic response to our efforts to protect marriage in Virginia as well as to witness the rejection of the anti-Marriage Amendment crowdâ€™s increasingly desperate and absurd declarations and obfuscations. Less than 2 weeks to go! Everyone should get out there and work hard because our opponents and their paid staff are certainly doing soâ€¦ we can take nothing for granted!
Anywaysâ€¦ just wanted to quickly post Senator Allenâ€™s response to the decision of four unelected New Jersey judges to force same-sex unions on that stateâ€™s residents (precisely what the Marriage Amendment is designed to protect against). Here it is, in full:
For Immediate Release: October 25, 2006 Contact: Press Office 703.845.3689
Senator Allenâ€™s Statement on New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling
ARLINGTON, VA â€“ Senator Allen issued the following statement in response to todayâ€™s ruling by the Supreme Court of New Jersey that legalizes same-sex marriage:
â€œTodayâ€™s decision by the NJ Supreme Court is another example of activist judges inventing the law and subverting the will of the people. This is why I support the marriage amendment, because it will protect the values and views of the people of Virginia from judges who would want to impose their elitist views on us. This is a clear difference between my opponent and me â€“ I support protecting marriage from judges who do not understand their role: to interpret the law, not invent the law. My opponent does not.
â€œMy opponent says that this amendment would infringe upon the rights of ordinary Virginians, and he opposes it. But I and many members of the Virginia Assembly joined in asking the Attorney General of Virginia to render an opinion. His response: â€˜I can find no legal basis for the proposition that passage of the marriage amendment will limit or infringe upon the ordinary civil and legal rights of unmarried Virginiansâ€™.
â€œThis amendment does exactly what it says it does; it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and Iâ€™m for marriage between a man and a woman while my opponent is against it.â€
â€” # # # â€”
Now get off your computer and start making calls and knocking on doors! Sign up here.
This article is a good summation of how the Democrats have been consistently and dangerously wrong on foreign policy.
A woman called in to CSPAN this morning on the Democrats line: "I don't see why the Republicans are so upset about Michael J. Fox' campaigning for Cardin. Those Hollywood actors are Americans, too, and they have the right to speak out, too."
A great quote in the course of another important article by Steven Malanga:
In nearly 20 years of engaging in public policy debates, Iâ€™ve always felt great satisfaction when my opponents resort to implying that my arguments help underpin racism or nativism or some other despicable â€œism.â€ Itâ€™s generally a sign that they find their own arguments weak.
Read all of that one. (How Unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy is the piece that started the controversy.)
As reported here the other day, members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Steve Simpson have agreed on contacting ICE to discuss obtaining immigration enforcement authority for Sheriff's Office personnel. Sheriff Simpson will be reporting on his meeting with ICE representatives in the next few weeks.
I just watched the archived video of the meeting with Sheriff Simpson and want to note how impressed I am with the apparent roundly positive appraisal of the ICE 287(g) progam.
You can watch the video here.
(Click the "View Video" link on the right side of the "Committee of the Whole Meeting" entry for October 17, 2006. It's truncated at the beginning but you can get the gist from the roughly five minutes shown.)
I'm as guilty as any blogger of spending more time tearing things down than building anything up, so I want to repeat my thank you to the Loudoun Board. Particularly on the issue of illegal immigration, many citizens have gotten the idea their elected officials are living in another galaxy from their own. Our representatives in Leesburg have shown they do care about what is happening in local communities.
Supervisors Lori Waters, Sally Kurtz, Jim Clem and Bruce Tulloch all made sensible observations at the meeting.
Thanks especially to Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio for initiating the meeting with Sheriff Simpson. Eugene has been on the cutting edge of dealing with this local problem and the residents of Sterling Park (and Herndon) are grateful for his efforts.
It takes a big man to take the lead on a controversial topic. It takes an even bigger man to pose with a giant taco.
[In the photo (left to right): Eugene Delgaudio, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors â€“ Sterling District; Chip, California Tortilla mascot; Mark Dunn, owner, Ashburn/Brambleton California Tortilla, are all smiles after cutting the ceremonial â€œfirst burritoâ€ and welcoming hundreds of hungry Loudoun County residents and workers into California Tortilla.]
As if WorldNetDaily actually needed to get any better. Well, now it has.
In deference to my good buddy Zimzo, I will avoid all hyperbole and simply say: Welcome aboard, Chuck!
Alleged Chuck Norris Fact: "There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live." It's funny. It's cute. But here's what I really think about the theory of evolution: It's not real. It is not the way we got here. In fact, the life you see on this planet is really just a list of creatures God has allowed to live. We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents. There is a God, a Creator, who made you and me. We were made in His image, which separates us from all other creatures.
I can tell already Chuck Norris's column is going to be one of my regular stops on the Web.
Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, said his group believes there are 60,000 registered Muslim voters in the state and he is working to mobilize voters to get out and vote Democratic...
One issue especially important to the group was local enforcement of federal immigration laws. The Herndon Town Council's decision to train local police to enforce these laws was especially troubling, Hossain said.
"That's the sort of mechanism we believe would be extremely dangerous for the Muslim community," he told the Washington Examiner. "You are handing over a degree of power that is not necessarily warranted and can be abused, especially given the skimpy training [Herndon police] are going to receive."
The links from the group's Web site indicate any Republican candidates would have an uphill climb getting support from this particular organization.
But wait, there's more.
Mr. Hossain is not a new face on the local scene, nor is the Muslim angle on our local controvery over illegal aliens:
The hiring center -- called the Herndon Official Workers Center -- is a charitable front for da'awa, or Islamic outreach to non-Muslims. Local law enforcement officials say the Saudis see new Hispanic arrivals to America as particularly ripe for conversion to Islam, and have even added an annex to their madrassa in another Washington suburb to help indoctrinate the beholden immigrants...
Stepping in last year to run the government-sanctioned site was an obscure group by the name, Project Hope and Harmony, which landed (in partnership with nonprofit Reston Interfaith) the $200,000 contract. The man behind the project is Muslim activist Mukit Hossain.
But he's not just any activist. Born in Bangladesh, Hossain also runs a shadowy Muslim charity in Herndon which recently had its accounts closed by Wachovia bank due to suspicious activity related to possible money-laundering. The Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help, or FAITH, received a $150,000 donation last year from a front group run by Saudi bagman M. Yacub Mirza, whose home and offices were raided by federal agents after 9/11. FAITH helped establish the Project Hope and Harmony.
If you are in Northern Virginia and just now getting up to speed on this issue, you ought to go read all of that article.
Knowing that Mr. Hossain's group actively opposes local measures to improve immigration enforcement should serve as confirmation HelpSaveHerndon and HelpSaveLoudoun are on the right track. We must redouble our efforts to implement immigration enforcement locally.
The activities of Mr. Hossain's various organizations also highlight why the problem of illegal immigration has reached a unique level of urgency in western Fairfax and eastern Loudoun Counties. Our communities are not simply the recipients of illegal aliens randomly deciding to settle here but are the targets of advocacy groups seeking proactively to establish safe zones for illegal workers. These activists are seeking to grow their constituency and have little concern for the declining wages of legal blue-collar workers.
Lieberman now holds a 52 percent to 35 percent lead over Lamont among likely voters, a 17-point advantage.Question: Who will he caucus with?
I mean, I'm sure there are no hard feelings between Joe and his erstwhile Democratic supporters, right?
It's a gentleman's game, undoubtedly. So based on grassroots sentiment there would be no objective reason for Joe Lieberman to hold a grudge or feel like his natural national constituency might not be on the Left.
BVBL reports the foot soldiers of the party of tolerance are tearing it up in Prince William.
When liberal activists move on an area, they tend to have an advantage because they are willing to do the underhanded jobs that red-state folks just won't do. My experience is from the past few election cycles spent in the People's Republic of Reston, a sparkling sapphire in the blue bastion of Fairfax County in Northern Virginia.
The weeks before the 2004 election provide a good snapshot. I was working with a guy doing signs and flyers. Campaign signs would be put out in the afternoon and evening, and by the next afternoon nearly all would have disappeared. We occasionally would spot the opposition running reconnaissance behind us: A guy in a car would make a call via cell phone about the areas we were hitting, and sometime later all our signs would be snatched up. The day before election day, there were hardly any Bush-Cheney signs in Reston - at least, only a fraction of the ones that had been posted.
The exact same thing is playing out in Manassas Park this week. More here.
I don't know Prince William politics well enough to hazard a guess as to why the Republicans have come under guerilla attack. In Reston we learned to expect it because being a conservative there was like being a coal miner at a polo tournament. We were kind of thankful just to be allowed to breath the same air.
Let's hope the story grows some legs in the next week and the local press picks it up.
Charles is doing a great job covering the Virginia Senate campaign (among other topics). Pay him a visit, and scroll down.
The bluebird that used to sit on the window ledge is also gone - nothing but crows out there now. Watching. Looming. Crowing.
My office is a block down from Joe Gandelman's and I'm thanking my lucky stars and praying prayers I just invented that I am Not. One. Storefront. Closer. Because it's sheer, medieval-vision-of-Hell down that street. When they came for Joe Gandelman, they didn't exactly wipe their feet before entering. They rode in astride Godzilla with Mothra providing cover, if you get my drift. I mean, they bombed everything to holy hell and then they bounced the rubble a few times for good measure.
The Moderate Voice? Not any more, friends. Now it's That Stain On The Pavement Where The Moderate Voice Was Once Headquartered.
It doesn't lend itself to a pithy URL, but Joe Gendelman won't be needing a domain name where he is. Unless he's going to be ghost-blogging.
(Laugh at that joke tonight when you get home; I'm not done painting horror in your mind.)
We've all been searched, screened and put under a geiger counter. I'm on my third iodine tablet and my fifth shot of Dayquil. My wireless is slower than molasses in January but at least I'm still online. Heck, at least I still have a living, breathing mind to actually KNOW I'm sitting here trying to blog.
Better than poor old Joe. Poor, dead, plagiarized bastard. He gave us all a lot of laughs, but forever more he'll be a synonym for self-inflicted tragedy. "Hey Bob, you're about to spill wine on your tie" we'll say. "Don't be a freakin' Gandelman!"
Or "He tried to hit the brakes but...Gandelman."
It all started so innocently. Some dame out in the boondocks started up a blog with zero fanfare and even less traffic. But it wasn't the blog that set the first domino to falling. It was the domain name.
A Moderate Voice. A Moderate Voice? Why the indefinite article, you ask? Because, obviously "THE" Moderate Voice, the biggest, baddest, most even-tempered middle of the road blog of all was already USING that name. And using it quite successfully, thank you very much.
I have to say, the picture forming before my eyes was not a pretty one. Two blogs, one very old and completely established, and one very new with less readers than you could fit in a phone booth, and the newer one has a similar name to the old one? I'm thinking, I don't know what it was like to be hiding under a desk when the Khmer Rouge first marched into Phnom Penn, but I bet it felt exactly like this.
I tried, like I always do, to defuse the situation with a light-hearted remark. Cast Armegeddon in a positive enough light and you might convince a few it's a lacrosse match they're marching into:
Penny, I've been a blogger for years and never heard of Joe Gandalman's site, so my first point is I find it HIGHLY credible that Phyllis never did either.
Secondly, Joe's site has a HUGELY generic name, so approximations are inevitable and if he really cared he should have taken the wee bit of effort to buy the few likely "near misses."
Thirdly - and this is why I have questions about the sanity of Joe's supporters - THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME ON THE WEB. There are like 10 possible permutations of every name and services like Godaddy are set up precisely to help people cover all the likely variations on their trade name. OFTEN, IT DOES NOT WORK. Consequently there are beaucoup companies on the Web who have easily mistaken web addresses.
I think any 4-year old knows this, by the way.
Finally, has Joe even bothered to cover the variations on "themoderatevoice"? I can answer for you. No.
So somebody is eventually going to come along with a cough syrup or a dog training class OR POSSIBLY ANOTHER BLOG tied to some product, and they are going to name it themoderatevoice.info. Or maybe themoderatevoice.biz. Or maybe even themoderatevoice.net.
The list could go on and on, obviously.
So this entire "how dare you" attitude is risible in my opinion.
If Joe is really as self-important as you all are making him out to be, then please pass along my personal entreaty that in order to vouchsafe the integrity of his blog's holy name, he must IMMEDIATELY visit Godaddy and procure ownership of about 10 or 20 additional domains. He must not dither and he'd best not tarry: His perimeter is not, I repeat NOT, secured.
But I knew better. Godaddy couldn't put this genie back in the bottle. Joe Gandelman was already toast.
Lemme' tell you how it all goes down when someone puts up a Web site with a name similar to your site's. First, all the people who have gotten used to visiting your site either by clicking a link or - more likely - typing the first few letters and letting the browser autocomplete, suddenly must be extraordinarily careful to continue visiting your site using those same methods.
This is not a simple as it seems, because chaos theory shows that systems which work must eventually stop working. I.e., your regular visitors one by one become complete morons who forget how to get to your site and are forced to retype the name. If they happen to retype it wrong, they end up at the other site and WHAMMO, the new blog has now stolen your visitor permanently.
Play this out over a really long period of time, say four hours, and I think you can guess what happened to poor old Joe Gandelman. His visitors all lost their minds, and poof! went all his traffic right over to the interloper, A Moderate Voice, which as we all know is now the most visited politically moderate Web site on the entire Internet.
Joe himself, I firmly believe, never saw it coming. If he had, he undoubtedly would have done what so many others do, which is to buy an assortment of names similar to his site's. This would have prepared him for that day when all his visitors forgot how to get to his blog and all the many links to his blog on other blogrolls became to his readers like hieroglyphics before the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. Meaningless jibberish.
And once the blood is in the water, well Lord have mercy on the mariner: Soon everyone from corporate raiders to backwoods bumpkins descend like vampire bats to snap up every possible similar domain. .net, .biz, .info, .us, even the friggin' .org (how low they can go!) Oh, mercy, it was apocalypse now. By 2:00 pm the blogosphere abounded with "moderates" in every possible permutation, from "yemoderatevoice.com" to "moderatesvoice.com" to "moderatevoices.com" to "themoderatevoices.com" all the way to "themoderatevoicethatWASjoes.com".
By 4:00 pm Joe's traffic was stolen, his good name ruined, his livlihood gone, his future kaput, and as I glanced up at the clock I noticed the first shadow pass over my building as the helicopter gunships maneuvered into position.
"JOE GANDELMAN!" From a block away I clearly heard the metallic, computerized voice over the loudspeakers. "JOE GANDELMAN, YOU HAVE ALLOWED OTHERS TO HORN IN ON THE NAME OF YOUR BLOG. YOUR VISITORS CAN NO LONGER FIND YOU. GOOGLING YOUR BLOG'S NAME WILL NOW PRESENT THE READER WITH OTHER CHOICES. YOU ARE DOOMED. YOU MUST BE DESTROYED."
And then the explosions started, the concussion knocking me out of my chair smack into the corner of the coffee table.
When I came to, I staggered to the window and gazed in pure shock at the smoldering hulk that was once Joe Gandelman's building. "Poor, poor damn Joe!" I said under my breath. "Cruel world. Conniving woman...Poor old Joe." It was a friggin' merciless bloodbath, is what it was.
But hey, that's blogging.
At the October 17 meeting of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, your humble narrator represented HelpSaveLoudoun by delivering a brief presentation to accompany HSL's Proposal to the Board regarding ICE training for Sheriff's Office personnel.
This followed Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio's initiative last month requesting Sheriff Steve Simpson seek training for local officers under the ICE 287(g) program which provides training and authorization for local law enforcement personnel to serve as force multipliers for ICE.
In layman's language, the 287(g) authorization allows local law enforcement personnel to do what most citizens think their public safety officers already do. For instance, if an illegal alien is involved in an auto accident or stopped by police, the current practice apparently is to not issue a citation if at all possible because illegal immigration is a "federal" matter. The local cops don't have authority to deal with it. With the ICE authorization, illegal aliens are more likely to be detained and - by virtue of access to the ICE biometric database - the cops can quickly check their status and detain them if they are found to be in the US illegally.
Leesburg Today initially reported Sheriff Simpson was looking into the matter:
Seeking to bring the Loudoun County government into the debate over illegal immigration enforcement, Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) asked the sheriff Tuesday night to participate in a national program that provides training required for local deputies to perform certain duties of federal immigration enforcement officers.
Loudoun Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson told supervisors that he needed to review the program, called Section 287(g)-an amendment to the 1996 Immigration and Nationality Act-before he could make a decision on whether he wanted his deputies to take the training...
"It's kind of a toss up right now about what it's going to do for us," Simpson said about the program. "At minimum, we get some good training out of it."
Hearing the sheriff's concerns, Delgaudio asked Simpson to return to the Nov. 20 Public Safety Committee meeting with a report on his findings and statistics of the number of illegal immigrants detained in the Adult Detention Center. Simpson said he was aware of at least nine federal deportation detainers for locally held inmates.
Today's Washington Post reports the Sheriff is now moving forward on getting some of his deputies trained:
Loudoun County Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson (R) told several members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors this week that he would like some officers in his gang unit to receive the federal training. Last month, Herndon Police Chief Toussaint E. Summers Jr. also expressed interest.
Simpson's proposal received a warm reception Wednesday from several county supervisors. The full board may vote on the issue before year's end.
"Several" supervisors is encouraging, because at the October 17 public hearing only Supervisor Delgaudio commented on our presentation.
Kudos and thanks to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Simpson for pushing ahead on getting ICE training for some of Loudoun's finest. If any county in the nation deserves to have this authority, Loudoun's officers should be the top of the list.
You can read the entire HSL proposal here.
There is quite a telling article in today's Loudoun Times about the various "faces" of illegal immigration in our county. I'm not sure what it was intended to convey, but if you read to the end one message comes through loud and clear:
The children of Brigitta and Guillermo Toruno personify the modern-day melting pot. Her father was from Argentina, her mother from Ecuador. Guillermo is from Nicaragua.
Brigitta is a native-born U.S. citizen but identifies herself as Hispanic. "I'll never say just 'I'm American.' It would feel like cutting off roots."
The children were born in Virginia. But ask them where they are from, and they don't say Sterling, or Lansdowne.
Our burgeoning population of illegal immigrants is rubbing many of the legal citizens of Loudoun County the wrong way, which the latest CIS poll indicates parallels opinion throughout the U.S. The problem is not ethnicity: It is the unmeltable ethnicity of the new arrivals. (A reference to Novac's The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics - which seemed so astringent in the 70s but today appears rather quaint).
The reason Loudoun's citizens are saying 'enough' is because so many of their new neighbors seem to have no interest in becoming fellow citizens. They seem to have little interest in appropriating the language, history, culture and mores the longtime residents share. This is evident in so many ways. Signage inside a local elementary school with messages in Spanish first and English beneath. Single family homes converted into boarding houses, and front lawns turned into storage areas for commercial equipment and vehicle repair enterprises. Probably the greatest impact is on the business environment.
As T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, noted earlier this year:
Drywall hangers, for example: used to make $18.00 - $20.00 and hour; now the going rate is $8.00 - $10.00 an hour. These are jobs that Americans can't AFFORD to work in because they can't afford to live in substandard living conditions.
On the other hand, people who have no interest in this country can live 15 adult males, unrelated, in a one-bedroom apartment, and send most of their money back home. They're more than willing to take those jobsâ€¦because they're not immigrants: They're migrants. They're only here for the money. They're fiercely nationalistic. They believe that they're still Mexicans, El Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and really have no allegiance to this country. That's a myth. People think that everyone wants to come to the United States to be a citizen. They're just here for the money.
British professor Brian Hamnett - sympathetic to the reconquista of American territory - affirms this interpretation:
Although many such immigrants may aspire to US citizenship and the benefits of US material life, Latin American culture is strong enough to resist absorbtion into prevailing English-language culture and most such immigrants would not wish to forfeit their distinct identities. Accordingly, the late twentieth-century reinforcement of the already existing Latin American historical presence within US-controlled territory has raised the question of cultural and linguistic integration. Along with the Mexican 'border question' is the issue of the status of the Spanish language within the United States in relation to the (at present) unique official status of the English language. This latter issue goes well beyond the question of the Mexican border, since it involves at least Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Central American presence in the United States as well. Mexicans, in view of their own cultural inheritance and the contiguity of the Mexican Republic, have proved to be the strongest group of 'unmeltables' within the United States.
[Brian R. Hamnett, A Concise History of Mexico, Cambridge University Press, 2006, pp 10-11.]
We got a firsthand taste of this at the recent Herndon Town Council meeting where Ana Rochac - wife of local pro-illegal advocate Jorge Rochac - had a Freudian slip of the tongue.
If foreign nationals intend to remain just that, and continue to stream in to the U.S. at a rate of thousands per day, we are in the process of becoming a bicultural society. Mark Steyn observed this is not a fortuitous development:
Bicultural societies are among the least stable in the world, especially once it's no longer quite clear who is the majority and who is the minority...
Dick Lamm, former Democratic governor of Colorado, incorporated this idea into his Eight-point plan to destroy America
First to destroy America, "Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures..."
More from Steyn:
This is not an "immigration" issue. "Immigration" is when you go into a U.S. government office and there's 100 people filling in paperwork to live in America, and there are a couple of Slovaks, couple of Bangladeshis, couple of New Zealanders, couple of Botswanans, couple of this, couple of that. Assimilation is not in doubt because, if you're a lonely Slovak in Des Moines, it's extremely difficult to stay unassimilated...
But a "worker class" drawn overwhelmingly from a neighboring jurisdiction with another language and ancient claims on your territory and whose people now send so much money back home in the form of "remittances" that it's Mexico's largest source of foreign income (bigger than oil or tourism) is not "immigration" at all, but a vast experiment in societal transformation.
The new arrivals may be intent on transplanting their flag onto our soil and blotting out our cultural heritage and neighborhood customs bit by bit. We who have roots here, conversely, may not wish to see that particular experiment succeed. This country is America, and its citizens call themselves "Americans." The American citizens who want to keep it that way had best begin getting a clear concept of just what constitutes America - so they can explain it to the new arrivals and shout it from the rooftops - if they want to preserve it.
The next NOVA TownHall meeting is:
Guest speaker: Peyton Knight
Date: Tuesday, October 24th, 2006
Location: Town of Leesburg Offices, 25 West Market St., Leesburg, VA
Support the National Right to Life - Christmas is just around the corner!
A new blogger in town!
The wonderful commenter "Moderate 5-19" has finally revealed herself in the course of unveiling her own blog, A Moderate Voice. She is none other than fellow Loudouner Phyllis Randall, as intelligent a woman as ever sported a "Jim Webb for Senate" button.
All who have read her contributions here know "Mod" has been one of the least easy to pigeonhole. From my own experience, she's as likely to agree with you as jump all over your case - which keeps me in a state of fearful tentativeness, which I think is exactly her goal. She agrees with me on immigration and gay marriage - most of the time - but tears me up three ways from Friday when I say the Republicans are more likely to secure our borders (or quite a lot of other things which make perfect sense to me).
There is a method to her madness, however. Although a conservative Democrat, she's not a party animal. Most of her heroes rode in on a donkey but she is a true independent unlikely to kowtow to the blind followers in either camp.
I was honored to be privy to her secret identity somewhat early on, which has made reading and parrying with her in the comments section here that much more enjoyable. She's been sly enough to mask her gender for most of us, I am guessing, and certainly to mask her ideology enough to keep us all guessing.
Phyllis is one of the few people I know who have made me feel like I could actually "do" bipartisanship. If she runs for office, I'm voting Democratic.
Ten years ago, you could have sunk my foot in boiling oil or burned a photo of Tom Landry and you could not have forced me to utter the previous sentence.
Ok, now that the lovefest is over, I am going to recommend you all put A Moderate Voice on your regular list of blogs to visit. I am also going to note, for Phyllis' sake, that it ain't so easy being a blogger. It carries with it certain responsibilities and stresses, which I intend to exacerbate now.
One of the primary virtues of a blog such as A Moderate Voice would be the experience of getting to comment on said blog...but comments do not seem to be turned on! What gives, Mod? Hast thou not mastered thou blogging platform? Or does one need to be a mensa to find the link?
Yo deseo comentar: Â¿DÃ³nde estÃ¡n los comentarios, muchacha?
UPDATE: It turns out, if you look for the "No comments" link at the bottom of the list of categories at the bottom of her posts, you can click that to comment. I'm not one to criticize another's housekeeping practices, but I'm just sayin'....
UPDATE II: We're all going to end up LOVING Phyllis, I just know it. Smart lady, and a sweetheart. But for those rare moments when we feel the need to deliver a sharp rap on the knuckles, I'm betting the phrase "party hack" will get the job done. Just a crazy thought I had...
The comment spam bots have apparently found a way through the built-in Movable Type spam filter so this is what I have had to do.
Every comment using the words "nice site", "cool site" and "good site" is now going directly into the junk folder. More draconian measures may be required in the future but for now please just avoid using those phrases. Thanks.
Many people - parents of high-school-age kids being at the top of the list - would jump out of their seats to support a message promoting abstinence to teenagers. The reasons for this need not even be expounded. So pro-abstinence, "Christian" comedian Keith Deltano's appearance at Loudoun County High School Thursday would seem to be one of those rare instances where the government has managed to do something incredibly right.
An attendee wrote to me describing the event:
The kids were skeptical at first but they really got into it â€“ shouting, clapping, and cheering as Keith told them that "virginity rocks." He presented waiting for sex as a positive life choice that makes it possible for them to pursue their dreams without worrying about STD's and pregnancy.
Who in the world could argue with that? (And who in the Loudoun County Public School system can we send thank you notes and gift baskets to for having the good sense to allow Mr. Deltano to speak?) I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that more influences like Keith Deltano would result in less screwed-up lives for young American adults.
But leave it to the ACLU to discern the dark cloud: the dark cloud of CHRISTIANITY!!!
There is nothing wrong with abstinence as the topic of the program, and there is nothing wrong with the fact that it is being performed by a self-described Christian comedian or paid for by a faith-based organization...But this is a public school, and we are naturally concerned that the religious views of the speaker and the sponsoring organization, both of whom make faith-based arguments for abstinence, will seep into the presentation.
God help us all if religious viewpoints should "seep" into a seminar promoting abstinence among teenagers - especially if the seminar was effective!
Lest you surmise simply from the foregoing that the ACLU doesn't deserve the respect of a rat's patoutie, please allow me to point out that our esteemed former paper of record saw fit to frame the event as an insidious intrusion:
"Having so-called secular performances or speeches in public schools by Christian evangelists" is a growing trend, said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Schools need to be extremely careful when they tread into these waters."
Americans United, which evolved from an organization formed in the 1940s to advocate for Protestant freedom in the face of a supposed Vatican power-play on American society, is now a strangely full-blown secularist advocacy group referenced whenever the mainstream media needs an anti-Christian source to supplement quotes from the ACLU.
We can be certain America's parents are extremely grateful that AU and ACLU are monitoring the devious machinations of anyone who might attempt to foist Christian values on today's teenagers. Shudder the thought.
Equality Loudoun representatives attended the Thursday assembly and report as follows:
If the behavioral objective is "abstinence until marriage," where does that leave those who are told they may not marry their partner? The message to GLBT kids is "You don't exist. You have no future to look forward to." Unfortunately, this is identical to the message of the entire Family Life Education curriculum, as written. The damage this does to our kids is inexpressible and inexcusable, and this assembly was yet another mandatory dose of it.
The foundational assumption upon which this program is based is that sex is only for procreation. This is unequivocally a religious view ("God's plan for sex"), unsupported by the facts, but it was presented here as if it were self-evident. The simplistic logical arc was explicitly spelled out at one point like this: Being a parent is hard. Are you ready to be a parent? (No.) So are you ready to have sex? (No.) It was as if contraception doesn't exist. It was as if two people never get married and decide to delay childbearing, or forego it altogether. Sex is for making babies, period. Clearly, this idea is central to the world view that Deltano is representing - only he has edited out the part where he articulates it because this is his "secular" show. The result is that this fallacy is even more insidious than would be the case if it were stated outright.
I recommend reading all of David's essay because he states his case well and if you want the "other side" of the argument, that's it.
At the same time, David makes a pretty clear case for why parents of teenagers - whose sexual identities are fluid - might not want the ACLU or David Weintraub guiding their kids' education on sexual matters.
What should stand out about this episode is the blatant protest from the left - the Post, AU, ACLU and Equality Loudoun - that the Keith Deltano presentation at Loudoun County High School was somehow problematic...because it might be Christian. Oh Lord help us if Christianity should be propogated among our children! Bear in mind that Christianity was not being taught - only "Christian" values.
Citizens of Virginia, and parents in particular, need to decide if they fear Christianity more than secularism for the next generation of Virginians.
End of short vacation. Here's about the coolest thing I saw (mildly cooler things to follow):
Sign in The Range Cafe:
...over at Kevin's blog. I consider myself a man of high culture, which truth be told might best be described as HIGHEST culture in the Dismantling Leviathan context..
Mark Foley makes me sick to my stomach. In my opinion, there are only a few crimes I see as worse than sexual crimes against a minor, so good riddance, and I hope criminal charges are filed against him. If anyone knew what was going on, and failed to protect the victims in this situation, they should also be held responsible.
There have been many calls for Dennis Hastert's resignation, and at this point I don't support them. I have yet to see any evidence that Hastert actively participated in protecting Foley, nor do I believe that his prior ignorance of the matter equals negligence.
Foley is gone now, as it should be. Here are some things, off the top of my head, that should not be:
Senator Ted Kennedy killed a girl and is still in office.
Representative Gerry Studs had sex with a page and kept his office.
President Clinton perjured himself in his sexual harrasment trial, and kept his office.
Representative Patrick Kennedy wrecked his car while intoxicated, and is still in office.
Representative Cynthia McKinney assaulted a police officer, and is still in office.
Ethics aside, I have only listed things for which you or I would have gone to jail. I have my issues with the Republican party, but at least they know how to resign in disgrace.
The following letter by John Grigsby appeared in Leesburg Today last week:
Why are so many people volunteering their time with coalitions like va4marriage.org and virginiaisformarriage.com, in support of the Virginia Marriage Amendment? In my case, it comes down to a few pictures.
If you visit galluccio.com, you will see displayed with pride a "family portrait" of two New Jersey men, Jon and Michael Galluccio, bare-chested in tuxedos, alongside their four adopted children, one of them a similarly-dressed adopted boy. All the chatter on this issue is meaningless against the backdrop of this picture; a Rohrschach Test for the marriage amendment if there ever was one.
You may, like the ACLU of Virginia, Loudoun's Democrat Committee, the Democrat leadership nationally, the Unitarian-Universalist Association, various "gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender (GLBT)" organizations, and Governor Kaine, all very active opponents of the Marriage Amendment, view this grouping of people with a gentle smile. To you, two dads are just as good as a mom and a dad, and at least better than just one mom or just one dad. "What's all the fuss?" you ask.
If you are like virtually all Republicans in Loudoun County and statewide, as well as many if not most traditional Democrats, who support the amendment, your reaction is like mine. You feel broken-hearted. You feel an aching sadness.
As a father, I look back with gratitude for what my dad contributed, as a man, and for what my mother contributed, as a woman, to my upbringing. As a dad, I see everyday how my wife and I both contribute to the development of our girls and boys in ways that are complementary. While either parent may change diapers, arrange field trips, buy groceries, and etc., parenting doesn't simply reduce to a task list. Boys need a father, and girls do, too. Likewise for a mother. Apparently it's not "modern" or politically correct to say this, but I unashamedly believe this is how things were meant to be, and that men and women aren't interchangeable, as far as parenting goes.
Yes, there are reasons, seldom intended, why some children will never have the benefit of a mom and a dad under the same roof. However, a marriage of two men removes the possibility of a mom-it says that "mom" is a superfluous category, and unnecessary. Creating an institution that in its very nature denies a boy or girl even the remotest possibility of a mom on one hand, or a dad on the other, is wrong. Like others, I am working to pass this important amendment to make it tougher for a Democrat-appointed judge to do to Virginia what was done to Massachusetts.
Given the steady strides judges have made to usurp the role of the legislature, and the importance of this institution to society at large, marriage as "one man, one woman" gets my support and my vote on Nov. 7.
Despite the attempts to cloud the issue with diversions about the impact of the proposed amendment on heterosexual couples (who can get married and avoid that alledged impact), this amendment is about homosexual marriage.
They smack but we smack back.
Well, well, well.
WELL WELL WELL.
WELL-EE, WELL-EE, WELL-EE, WELL-EE, WELL-EE!!!
The plan is completed, the worm has turned, and the wheel of Karma has come full-circle.
Our 'Amnesty Week' ploy has apparently snared its chickadee and caged its minnow. We've now got the cukes in the bushel basket, if you will. Our treasured visitor and beloved commenter Kevin, as dainty a morsel as I ever grew fat on, has invited me, myself, moi to contribute to his maniacal blog, which is, I must say, ripe for the plucking.
If you are not already visiting Dismantling Leviathon you should slap yourself three times. If you're not visiting by the time I get done with it, you should look once in the mirror to say goodbye and throw your sorry self off a cliff.
All hyperbole aside, I am pleased to announce I have been invited to guest blog at Kevin's place with an invitation for "anything free association, post-modern, political, or otherwise."
I plan to hit pretty heavily on the "otherwise" theme over there. Do stop on by.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta finally had a clear-sky launch this morning. Around 9:30 am, we were headed south from our luxury digs in the cozy little hamlet of Bernalillo (pop: 6,011; broken down cars on cinder blocks: 6,113) to just look around when we saw the dots in the sky. I floored it down I-25 (speed limit: 70) for about 8 miles until traffic slowed to a crawl. This looked like the tail end of the day's run but it was something to see.
We pulled off the interstate and found parking was prohibited everywhere except at the authorized festival grounds, which was the last place we wanted to subject ourselves to, so we had to do some commando-tourist duty to get these shots.
With a few days to kill before returning to the ol' Beltway mosh pit, we decided to drive around New Mexico. Missing out on the mother of all abortion discussions is a burden I must bear, but nature made up for it by allowing us to experience the wettest this state has been in a generation or two. Prior to our arrival there was a month of massive precipitation, and the past few days have seen over three inches.
Looking out the window during the flight in I thought Alburquerque looked depressingly brown, but a resident I mentioned this to (a transplant from Shenandoah, VA) said this is as verdant as she'd ever seen it.
That's probably the most incisive, factual observation you're going to get in this travelogue, being as how I've been working the whole week and am not very observant anyways. But I promise some cool pictures. If you've never been to northern New Mexico, you should find it mildly interesting.
(Note: The Balloon Festival has been grounded since Saturday - tough luck for those who came in specifically for that - but today they appear to be all systems go. The morning news just showed the Intel balloon is up and away.)
To the uninformed eye (i.e., me), the biggest natural difference between New Mexico and Arizona is the grass. Where Arizona, like Las Vegas and Palm Springs, has zero outside of the landscaping, New Mexico's undeveloped areas are pretty thick with it, reminiscent more of the Midwest than the desert Southwest.
Our excursion was up to Santa Fe: one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and, like so much of this part of America, a place imbued with Indian culture.
(Click below for the rest and give the page a second to load as it has a few photos, eh?)
Quite the extravaganza.
It almost didn't happen, though. More below the fold.
(These two reports will be in reverse blog chronological order - which is the equivalent of correct real-life order - so you can scroll down when you are ready to read the next one).
(Click the link below for more from the 2006 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico.)
The entry formerly in this place seemed a tad incomplete and instead of completing it, after much deliberation totalling approximately 2 seconds, I decided it may have been misconceived in the first place, following an absolutely splendid "networking" reception here last evening.
As Kevin can tell you, these things happen.
For restitution and penance, I offer our readers a contest.
Anyone who can tell me what the photo below the fold, taken by me at about 7:00 am this morning, depicts, can write anything they want about me and I will place it a new post right here and leave it on this blog in perpetuity.
Now we will look at the flip side of the Democrats policy paper:
THE WRONG DIRECTION
The policies of the Bush Administration and the Congressional majority have taken the country in the wrong direction, making us less secure and putting the privileged few ahead of the common good.
Let us take each point in turn....
Well, the Democats have issued a document, A New Direction for America, that outlines their plan for the future. Let's look at each point in detail....
The following letter was printed in the Washington Times this morning (4-OCT-2006).
The report, "More deaths tied to preterm birth" (Nation, Monday), tells us that preterm birth is responsible for at least 70 percent more infant deaths than previously thought. This increase in preterm deaths is a reason for researchers, including the March of Dimes, to request more federal funding to determine the cause of such births. But a major cause of preterm births, which many choose to ignore, is surgical abortion.
There are now 60 studies from 23 countries dating to the 1960s showing that surgical abortion increases premature births in subsequent pregnancies. There are many illustrious researchers and health-care professionals such as Judith Lumley of Australia; Barbara Luke, 2005 March of Dimes award winner; and McAllister Distinguished Professor John M. Thorpe who have verified that the risk increases with the number of surgical abortions.
Recently the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science recognized first trimester abortion as an "immutable medical risk factor associated with preterm birth." The report noted a 30 percent increase in preterm births since 1981, which tracks with the legalization of abortion in the United States, at an annual cost of $26.2 billion to our health-care system.
Preterm babies have more disabilities, including cerebral palsy, than full-term babies. A study published of 120,000 children showed that premature babies are abused at twice the rate of full-term babies.
Abortion not only kills children, it reduces the mother's ability to carry subsequent children to term and increases their rates of mortality, morbidity and abuse. Preterm birth is another of many reasons why abortion is a devastation for women and children.
DR. WILLIAM F. COLLITON JR.
Clinical professor of obstetrics
and gynecology (retired)
George Washington University
Every year, we have about one million abortions in the United States. That's about how many legal immigrants we accept every year. Every single weekday, more people are murdered in their mothers' wombs than were murdered by terrorists on 9/11. The immigrants aren't killing our culture, we are.
This is what the Democratic Party fights so hard to protect -- a woman's right to murder her child.
Most Americans have no idea of the actual number of immigrants entering the country or the significance of the current immigration rate. This Blogburst from Euphoric Reality will clear that up.
I strongly encourage everyone to take 17 minutes out of your day and watch the video, and tell others about it. (Just watch the first few minutes, you will see why I say this). It is stunning.
As Heidi notes, when you add in illegal immigrants to the figures denoted in the presentation, the only possible conclusion a reasonable person could draw is that the U.S. will be gone in two generations if something is not done now to close the gates and reverse the influx.
By Heidi at Euphoric Reality
This is a MUST SEE video for anyone interested in the immigration debate, whether you are a citizen, a legal immigrant, an illegal alien or a Congressman. This clip is from the longer video, Immigration by the Numbers, and features Roy Beck of NumbersUSA demonstrating the catastrophe of unrestricted immigration by Third World people into our nation. He uses standard statistics and simple gumballs to show this disaster in the making.
This video is very short - only 17 minutes total - don't miss it! Even if you think you know what our future looks like, this video will shock you!
H/T for the video: Third World County
Here are some additional resources concerning the population disaster that is pending for our nation.
Everything's fine with Stay Puft. His outstanding work here simply caught the eye of a government agency dealing with cultural exchange and the arts, and they've invited him for an interview.
They sent along this snapshot as evidence he went to them willingly, as practically everyone does.
The reason for all the "borrowed" material this morning is I'm now very busy with work and can only pop in once in a while the next few days, and this is the best I can offer. But it's all interesting material so I encourage everyone to scroll down and read it. Thanks to our guest authors!
More from Loudoun County resident Had Enough:
I know a couple in Loudoun County, he has been in construction for over 20 years, every job he goes to is over-run by illegal aliens and he is told they have the work covered.
They have been late with the rent a number of times this year and the landlord gave them notice to leave.
They do not have the money for a deposit, rent, movers, etc. If they did, they would have paid the rent on time! They also can not find a house anywhere for under $1,600. a month. But if you look around the illegals have managed to grab up all the housing that is affordable in anyway.
What are the people who are being driven to homelessness because the illegals are preferred supposed to do.
Is the man supposed to beg for a job at these jobsites and settle for $10.00 an hour when he made $22.00 fourteen years ago.
Also, more construction companies are requiring their employees to speak Spanish, the supervisors and office help.
This man and a number of men he has worked with over the years are in the same situation and have tried to work on their own only to be constantly undercut.
What are people like this supposed to do? Do they just wait to be put on the curb? There are more than you know right around you in Loudoun County.
This is the side of the story the jackasses on both the right and the left refuse to recognize, as exemplified by today's Washington Post editorial.
You can get an early sense of how this increasingly will play out in Northern Virginia's town of Herndon, which is back in the news with more ideas on how to clamp down on illegal immigrants. The proposals are small-minded and, if enacted, are likely to be futile in resolving any problems.
To the contrary, if all the illegal aliens left this area it would precisely resolve the problem because businesses would have to pay fair wages to keep their employees.
Commenter Had Enough responds regarding the proposal to give local police officers authority to enforce immigration laws:
I think the main point is that once the local police begin to enforce immigration laws and start deporting the illegal drunk driver with no license, the illegal who is using a citizens social security number and identity, the illegal who is manufacturing and selling documents to other illegals, the illegal rapist, the illegal child molestor, the illegal drug dealer, the illegal gang member,the illegal caught shoplifting, etc. in no time at all the word will spread that they will no longer be tolerated and the illegals will all move on or leave the country in order to avoid official deportation and the local police can then go back to serving the citizens.
It is totally irresponsible to allow the illegals to continue their crime spree because someone says that they will stop reporting crimes if the police can inquire as to their legal status. If the majority of them were not here most of our crime rates would drop drastically.
To ignore illegals because they may report crimes committed against them by other illegals (in the majority of cases) is disgusting. Deport them or send them packing and we don't have to worry about it in either case.
If they can't get a job, rent a house, get a business license, etc. and they know the first time they break the law they will be deported they will self deport.
The police are dealing with the illegals everyday all day. It won't take as long to process them out of the country as it does to arrest them 2, 3, or 4 times for offenses they continue to commit (some under numerous or fake identities).
Reader Flip says it's time to send a message to George Allen:
Tell George Allen How the Hallowed Ground Act Betrays Property Rights
George Allen has either forsaken property rights for the smart growth vote or doesn't really understand what his staff is doing. In either case, he risks losing his base in this close election.
Having another hearing in November on Heritage Areas won't whitewash the dangers of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground to ordinary people's property within its boundaries. Some Heritage Areas are benign like the entire State of Tennessee where the management entity can't pressure local governments all over the state. Others may be small and abusive, like the Yuma Crossing Heritage Area in Arizona, where the Farm Bureau led a 5-year fight to have farmland excluded from management restrictions.
Neither will tweaking the contents of the bill protect people's property. That is open to judicial interpretation and small potatoes compared to the control the act will give to the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership (the Partnership) as the management entity. The Partnership is not an elected body and will never be subject to voter recall because it is limited by the bill to its original members.
The Partnership's lawyers wrote the bill. Its directors are senior officers of Scenic America, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Piedmont Environmental Council and other preservationist groups. Its web site is registered to an officer of Scenic America and administered by an employee of the Piedmont Environmental Council.
The exclusionary goals of these groups are plastered all over their web sites, as is their unconstitutional subordination of private property to their perceived sense of the common good. The latest caper of the Piedmont Environmental Council, for example, is to hire lawyers to fight Dominion and Allegheny Power's request for a power line to Washington and Baltimore because of violating "private land, publicly held open space, prime agricultural soils, historic sites, historic districts, magnificent viewsheds and a high concentration of conservation easements."
If the Partnership's managers would deny energy to meet the future needs of families in Washington in the name of historic preservation, imagine the control of low income housing, traffic re-routing, home improvement, business permits, timber harvesting and farming innovation in their management plan.
Giving this Partnership management authority and federal money to entice local governments to down-zone is the end of property rights for all but the privileged few.
Senator Allen can correct this impending disaster by turning his bill into a grant program for historic tourism. Delete the management plan Local governments can do all the necessary managing. Let the Partnership manage the grant process. Do not let it control the money.
This is from commenter Moderate 5-19:
Supposedly (and I admit this is still media reports) the leadership of the GOP learned of IMs last June that Foley sent to Congressional a Page. The were said to be "overly friendly". It has now come to light that he sent other e-mails and IMs to other pages that were flat out sexual in nature. Asking questions like "do I make you a little horney?"
My issues is that the GOP leadership left Foley in place as Chairperson of the Committee of Missing and Exploited Children, they did not ask for a ethical probe, (even one that would have been internal), and in fact did nothing but simply tell Foley to cease contact with the young man.
If they believed anything was the least bit inappropriate they should have done some kind of internal investigation or something. To do nothing and allow Foley to resign on the last say of the session is flat out wrong.
If the GOP leadership remains in place, the Republican Party can NEVER AGAIN claim the high moral ground on any issue.
These are our children, we must protect them!
I can't give an informed comment because I am totally wrapped up in other things and have had to be extremely selective with my news reading all weekend. High moral ground is a tenuous concept when we speak of politicians, and the notion of "never again" claiming it because of an instance of poor judgment is interesting in two senses.
One, both parties would have been excluded long ago if that maxim applied, and two, we should all be skeptical anyway when we hear anyone actually claiming that ground.
If it weren't for the fact that the GOP losing the House would mean opening our southern border permanently and losing the battle against illegal immigration, there are probably a few Republicans I'd already have been saying need to go.
If it's as bad as Mod says it is, I'm sure I'll be doing so in this case.