November 2006 Archives
Anyone fortunate enough to attend the 10th District Convention this year likely still bears a lingering scent of gunpowder and pitch. If you weren't there or just want to relive the insanity, you can go here to read one of our reports straight from the colosseum floor.
Better yet, check out the new video clip featuring the Athena of the Loudoun County GOP herself, Eve Barner, being treated in a fairly unparliamentary manner.
Right click on one of these links and choose either "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" to download to your computer.
May 20, Virginia 10th District Convention (For Not So High Speed Connections)
Here is a summary of the video by the very quick-on-his-feet gentleman who filmed it:
My first GOP convention was twenty years ago. I've been to county, state, and even one national-level GOP convention, and I've never seen something remotely like this.
It was an incredible display of thuggery or incompetence, take your pick, something I'd expect in a country whose name ended in 'stan', or perhaps Chicago, but certainly not in Virginia.
I had some hint of Jim Rich's capability for this, from his meddling in the affairs of our Loudoun GOP unit, back when Randy Minchew was chair, and my wife was on the Executive Committee. Still, I was dumbfounded by what I saw, especially since his hand-picked chair is an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for Loudoun County.
The video is a six minute segment that starts after I believe most parliamentary procedure violations had taken place. I took it with an analog camera, though I'll certainly purchase a digital model before the next convention. As camera work goes, clearly I should keep the day job. I chose this segment based on my limited ability to work with the video editing software this incident inspired me to purchase. There was a lot more of this sort of material to work with, had I better video editing skills. Oh well, it looks like there will be a next time.
-- John Grigsby, Loudoun County
Ohio Jobs and Justice maintains a list of "sanctuary cities" in the U.S., which
instruct city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens living in their communities. The policies also end the distinction between legal and illegal immigration -- so illegal aliens often benefit from city services too.
Fairfax County is on the list, albeit with a question mark.
From what I have heard anecdotally from people in Herndon who have to deal with the county, I'd say it's likely true but I'll try to find out more.
(Found via Free Republic).
Blogging is a man's game, and all the best bloggers are men: On these notions there is little disagreement. What interests me is, why is this so?
After all the contentiousness we've had at this site, I believe it is high time to seek some common ground, which I think this post will achieve in the minds of all good men. Brothers, if there be any disagreement among us, let us remember that we share a bond. Though our politics may differ at times, we will always share the noble vision of a male-dominated blogosphere.
We who have an eye for quality know that some jobs can only be filled by the right man. Women are great, but they can only take you so far.
In the midst of this fine new world, however, I think we are all committed to the principle of respect for our sisters in blogging.
Some of the latter, such as Melanie Phillips, American Daughter, and A Moderate Voice, admittedly might challenge us and rise above us at times. These are conundrums. But we must always remember that three pears accidentally dropped in the apple-barrel do not transform it into a barrel of pears.
Others, such as Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter, might on the face of it present a similar conundrum, but in reality they are to NOVA TownHall as Venus is to Plymouth Rock: in another dimension on which we are not qualified to comment. So our worship can continue unabated, with no objections of conscience.
But these are clearly the exceptions.
The best thing about men, which I think we've demonstrated here, is how they can take a bloody bruising, pick themselves up off the ground, throw a gratuitous roundhouse kick to the groin, and then sit down with their erstwhile opponent to share a twelve-pack or three and hash over the great questions of the day.
Women bloggers more often seem to hold a grudge. To their shame, I might add.
Finally, despite the hundreds of reasons I love women, I think they come up just a little bit short in the agressiveness department. While men are smacking each other in the head with two by fours, women never seem to rise above the level of catcalls. It's a death-match. ladies: Did you not get the memo?
Well, anyway, I imagine some will take issue with this post. More so, I expect the men among us will need to decide with whom we each stand. That's all fine.
But make no mistake: Complacency is death, especially for a blog. We need to build alliances, and we need to energize the masses. If we can't do those things, we might as well be just sitting at home typing the occasionally snarky comment.
I, for one, want to bring all men of good bearing into our fold. If that means alienating half the population, then I will sleep soundly knowing that THIS half is on the right track.
I look forward to opinions from both sides and I think this post pretty much innoculates me against ever holding public office. Which is nice.
Amid protests, Pope Benedict XVI is visiting Turkey, and has refused wearing protective body armor, as well as other security measures.
...There's no doubt that Pope Bendict is putting himself in some danger, nevertheless, he looks at it like this: We need examples of bravery in our world today, and he's convinced that the vast majority of Muslims here in Turkey are peace-loving.
-Father Jonathan Morris
I pray he is correct, and I pray his method of peace-making is more effective than mine. God Bless the Pope.
Ok...so there was a part of me that wanted the Democrats to be so terrible for the next two years that they would kill their own party once and for all.
But...I'm an American first. John Murtha and Alcee Hastings were terrible choices, and America will be better with more qualified and ethical Democrats running the house. So, good deal.
This thread is getting too involved so it's time to bring it up to the front page. Our esteemed commenter Zimzo has managed to pin just about everything wrong with the world on my efforts to advocate against illegal immigration; although he has not yet blamed me for Iraq, although I think that is coming. World hunger, teen pregnancy, and steroids might show up on my debit sheet as well.
I extend an olive branch:
Zim, you're a freak, but I love ya. Wherever the hell that WND story fits in to the "discussion" we are having - and lord knows I sure didn't bring it in - I am truly flattered you see fit to grab outrages from all around the globe and hang them onto my tottering frame.
Psst! 4 Klansmen are setting up a roadblock outside Beckley, WV: There's got to be a Budzinski angle to that - go get'em, boy!
I don't know whether it's your tendency to grab half-quotes from what I've written, or lump me in with people who share my page in the telephone book, or simply make shit up out of thin air and then demand I rebut it, but there is something in your spirit I admire.
With a few men like you, I could bring down the whole corrupt apparatus of modern business and politics. I'd push out the press releases, and you could keep their spokespeople tied up in knots. You'd be my Rove, son, you'd be my Carville, you'd be my friggin' Che Guevara.
Meet me on the porch for a Captain and Coke sometime, if you have it in you. We might actually be able to get something done in this world.
I await your thoughtful reply.
Joe: thanks for keeping track of all these
now, we cannot leave US agriculture out of a discussion about Mexican immigrants and the American economy.
US agriculture has never operated according to the free market. It was quick to become addicted to slave labor, and if that was it's heroine, than Latin America's cheap labor is it's methadone. This has been the case for at least 100 years, and regardless of the on-again-off-again nature of US policy, generations of people have come here and spend time here working the land.
On the other hand (and maybe I wasn't clear before) in most cases, farmers work on very tight profit margins. They CAN't pay more. If they paid higher rates, the cost of producing a crop would exceed its market value.
The only way to increase wages in these sorts of jobs would be to increase government subsidies even more (make tax payers pay for the wage increases), or let food prices shoot up (make consumers pay)
both of these options seem untenable. In the later case, the negative economic consequences could be more severe than anything brought on by the recent influx of immigrants. What happens to US agriculture when imported food is cheaper than the domestic stuff? (hint: it's happening to Mexico right now)
now, with regards to American Daughter, all of the above is implicit in the statement, "Immigrants take jobs that Americans will not do." What AD calls a myth is in reality an uncomfortable economic fact. She mentions developing new technology to perform the same tasks, but that wouldn't open up jobs for Americans, it'd just replace immigrants with robots! Unfortunately, most of the rest of her post consists of a tirade about perceived liberal bias in the media:
the reporter uses a passive verb form, saying that they have been loaded onto the buses. This conjures the impression, not proven, that they were treated like cargo rather than humans.
Still more replies to this morning's immigration post.
Stay Puft weighs in with the following:
It isn't true that Mexicans are paid less for harvesting crops. Jobs like picking berries tend to be paid by the amount you pick, not what country you're a citizen of.
Any one of us can pick up our bushel basket and head over to the local berry patch. We don't because the compensation isn't worth the trouble. What's your "right price" for picking berries? Could a farmer pay everyone involved in a harvest that price and still keep the price of the berries low enough that people would buy them?
I always get a kick out of people saying "this country was founded on the rule of law" For one thing, people only say this when they're talking about immigration, and the fact is that this country began with a revolution fought by what we would today call an insurgency of illegal enemy combatants (the original minutemen)
I forgot the obligatory CIS-is-a-lousy-source-which-exists-to -distribute- Chris-Simcox's-essays-and-present- awards-to-Lou-Dobbs-under-a-guise-of- intellectual-honesty clause. so there it is.
Maybe agricultural products are not the clearest example of what I'm talking about ... but the simple fact remains: if producers paid more for each bushel or whatever, citizens could be attracted to do the work.
Thanks for the disclaimer, also. Everyone, be sure to read Gozer's more extensive reply here.
Loudoun Conservative has a further reply below the fold.
NVTH visitor Rudi says:
I believe that if the minimum wage were to be raised, there would be more people applying for the jobs at the lower end of the scale. Americans can't afford to work for such low pay. Immigrants make it work by supporting each other in the way of many people living in the same household. Stop the corporations and small businesses alike from paying these ridiculously low wages and we will see an upward trend. I myself am on unemployment right now and I have been looking for a job which will support my family of 5. It's not that I won't do the jobs the Mexicans won't do, it's that there is no way I can support my family on what they get paid. Make the pay equal to cost of living and the rest will follow.
You could be right; I've heard different opinions on what effect raising the minimum wage would have. It certainly could not hurt. The larger problem which needs to be solved in any case, however, is with employers who are able to hire illegal aliens without regard for any legislation or regulations.
Loudoun Conservative says:
This country was founded on the rule of law. When law does not rule, humans will be petty tyrants. The labor situation exemplifies this. When corporations ignore the law without consequence, everyone suffers. When corporations are forced to abide by the law, wages go up.
Rudi misses the point. If you remove VA's right to work laws and raise the minimum wage to "the cost of living." (whatever that is), more companies will take the risk of hiring illegals because there is an artificial wage "floor" and many people are willing to work for a price below that floor. If, instead, you enforce the current immigration laws, you reduce the number of people willing to work for next to nothing, while living 20 to an apartment and sending half their earnings south of the border. With those folks gone, as the Crider example demonstrates, companies have an incentive to raise their wages.
Forced unionization is bad for the economy. Artificial price floors and ceilings are bad for the economy. Republicans know that. But its time Republicans realized what Joe is pointing out. Feeding big business at the public trough is bad for the economy too. It's way past time to STOP looking the other way when big business breaks the law. Instead of a complicated tax structure with special breaks for favored industries, it's time to lower taxes for everyone. Let's remember what our economic engine is: the force of human creativity and potential. Let's unleash that force by lowering taxes on millions of potential entrepreuners and their future employees WHILE we enforce current immigration laws.
Remember that old supply / demand curve. A little graph actually does demonstrate how life works. We ignore it at our peril.
Well stated, LC.
Unlike what the Wall Street Journal would have us believe, there are no jobs that "Americans refuse to do." At the right price, we would all gladly pick strawberries. But employers who pay under-market wages to illegal Mexicans have no reason to raise wages to lure us. Stop illegal immigration and watch wages (and prices) rise.
Exactly - although the labor component is a fraction of the retail price of produce. You could double the cost of labor and the price of a pint of strawberries would go up less than 10%.
NVTH visitor Suburbanite says:
Joe, the reaction you received to papers about "workers" may not have been a cigar-chomping moneybags one at all.
There have been beaucoup union dollars in Loudoun since they set up a Loudoun PAC for the Kaine and Poisson campaigns.
There are now entrenched union dollars in NoVA politics, and I get something in my mailbox every week on the Fairfax border from Working America, the AFL/CIO PAC who "cares about working families".
Stay tuned for a challenge to VA's right to work status. The union dollars are going to flow hot and fast here in the interest of the continued "bluing" of VA.
Could be, but I don't think we were being perceived as union reps. Interesting point, though.
Ok, first Iâ€™d like to applaud and welcome this new-found concern among conservatives for the working poor. This is as interesting a twist as â€œliberals siding with big business.â€ At the macro level, the impact of immigration is less discernible, and itâ€™s likely that 6 years of a waffling economy has had a larger impact on low job growth and wage increases. However, immigrants from Latin America are largely unskilled laborers, so itâ€™s reasonable to assume that unskilled workers with US citizenship rights would be the first to feel the effects of these undocumented workers.
Having said that, we ought to keep in mind that adding people to an economy will also create jobs. Yes, we have millions more laborers in our economy because of immigration; we also have millions more consumers. For this reason, any suggestion that each job filled by an undocumented worker is one job less for domestic unskilled labor is based on an overly-simplistic application of â€œsupply-and-demand.â€
While studies of the economy have failed to establish a strong link between immigration and low wages to unskilled workers, anecdotal evidence that immigration is damaging our economy does exists. Yet all this seems to miss the point. I think â€˜liberalsâ€™ and â€˜conservativesâ€™ can agree that there is a problem. The trouble is that solutions proposed by conservative groups donâ€™t address the root of the problem. They seek a solution to the problem as it exists in their home town, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. â€œBuild a wallâ€ they say, â€œcrack down on businesses who hire them and landlords who rent to them!â€ What will these things accomplish? What benefits to our society will come from further marginalizing the 13 million people living and working among us who donâ€™t have citizenship rights?
The solution must involve the governments of Mexico and Latin America. NAFTA is a failed experiment. The Mexican economy was not ready for such strict free trade with the biggest economy in the world. While we prosper under NAFTA, we are literally driving people in Mexico out of work. NAFTA was originally meant to bring the cooperative model of the EU to North America, but it has instead become a model of regional hegemony.
So I think we all care about the working poor. The question is WHAT working poor? The working poor in our own community? Of course. But does that include undocumented working poor? What about the working poor in Mexico? Surely, being poor in the US is a life of luxury compared to the experience of poverty in Mexico. True, we are a sovereign nation with laws and etc., and so we are in no way obligated to concern ourselves with the destitution which exists beyond our borders (even if our policies contribute to its proliferation). But, since when is America a country of people who are only concerned with the well-being of others only to the degree that we are obligated to be? What in our Judeo-Christian heritage (which is so often touted here) allows us to rationalize this lack of concern? It seems odd that the same people who were so idealistic and optimistic about our ability to transform the Middle East into a modern, democratic and capitalist region are so quick to write off our own neighbors as a lost cause, and advocate walling ourselves off from them.
So yes, we should address this problem, by reevaluating our trade arrangements with Mexico, by investing in the Mexican economy, working with businesses as well as the Mexican government to address the disparities that exist between our two countries. On the home front, we need to accept that because of these disparities millions of people are now living their lives in this country who donâ€™t have the same rights as we do. Do we want them to be as marginalized as possible? To what end? The more we drive members of this community from working in legitimate jobs, the more we force them to live on the fringes of society, the more pressure they will feel to turn to lives of crime. This is true of any community, regardless of citizenship status.
At the same time, I believe we SHOULD crack down on employers. Any employer who is paying their employees less than the minimum wage should be subject to penalties. The minimum wage is just that, the MINIMUM. When multiple US citizens apply to a minimum wage job, they donâ€™t engage in a race-to-the-bottom bidding war. What employer would hire someone who said, â€œThey expects to be paid minimum wage, but Iâ€™ll work for a dollar less!â€ That would make the minimum wage meaningless. Regardless of who theyâ€™re hiring, employers should be made to observe the minimum wage!
So are â€˜liberalsâ€™ concerned with the working poor? Yes, albeit in a broader context. Do we want to see a solution to the problems which force people to choose between abject poverty and life in the margins, alienated and without rights? Yes, we want a REAL solution, not a wall, and not a set of policies which allow us to pretend that 13 million people donâ€™t deserve access to the American Dream! We also want cooperation with our neighbors, economic prosperity throughout the region, and recognition of the core American value that ALL people, not just US citizens, are equals!
Thatâ€™s all Iâ€™ve got.
The biggest myth in the entire debate over illegal immigration is that there is a labor shortage in the U.S. which illegal aliens, who will work for lower wages and less benefits then U.S. citizens, must fill. There is no labor shortage at the lowest end of the job market. Wages for the less educated and unskilled have fallen, in real terms, over the past three decades. Basic economics teaches us that prices fall when supply rises. There has been a surplus of less-educated workers in the U.S. for many years.
Here's the irony: In nearly every case, liberals and the mainstream media feign concern for the poorest among us - U.S. citizens who are left behind by the job market ...
... except in the cases where big business argues there is a labor shortage: In those cases, the liberals inexplicably line up to support business owners against the workers.
There was a news item a couple months ago about a Georgia town impacted by a crackdown on illegal workers in that state:
The poultry plant has limped along with half its normal workforce. Crider increased its starting wages by $1 an hour to help recruit new workers.
Stacie Bell, 23, started work canning chicken at Crider a week ago. She said the pay, $7.75 an hour, led her to leave her $5.60-an-hour job as a Wal-Mart cashier in nearby Statesboro. Still, Bell said she felt bad about the raids.
Interesting, right? When the illegals left, the company had to give citizens a better deal in order to get them to work there.
Well, here is the update. To our liberal commenters, I have just one question: WTF?
Felons on probation and homeless men have filled some of the poultry jobs left by illegal Mexican laborers deported in raids two months ago.
About 40 convicted felons from the Macon Diversion Center are bused in each day to work at the Crider Poultry plant in Stillmore â€” the focus of the raids.
Additionally, 16 men from the Garden City Rescue Mission in Augusta have come to work in the plant. Several from the mission have become shift leaders, said Lavond Reynolds, director of men's housing for the mission.
"Compared to the attrition rate [at the plant] in general, these guys have really stuck so far," Reynolds said. The mission might send another 15 soon ...
The Mexican population in Stillmore has plummeted since immigration officials first visited the Crider plant in May, town residents said. Immigration agents estimated that 700 workers were using fraudulent IDs. The company began checking documents and confronting employees. Many were fired and hundreds of illegal immigrants left town on their own throughout the summer.
Then, over Labor Day, federal agents rounded up and deported more than 125 illegal immigrants working at the Crider plant or living in Emanuel and surrounding counties.
That left Crider with a big labor gap, and finding workers to fill the jobs has been a challenge. Among the efforts and changes at the plant since the raids:
-The company outsourced 250 jobs in its raw deboning operation to Alabama.
-Some processing has slowed because of the downturn in the work force.
-Crider has turned to an outside company to hire about 100 workers to clean the plant each night.
-The company raised starting wages by about 40 cents and now offers attendance bonuses to new hires. Before, it took a year to be eligible for the extra pay. (Starting base pay is $6 an hour; most workers earn more through bonuses and overtime.)
-The company is spending more on hiring and training as turnover is high among new employees.
For instance, Crider advanced money to house the homeless men from the mission in trailers and to turn on their utilities. The company also pays to bus state probationers from Macon each day and is busing workers from surrounding communities ...
Pastor Ariel Rodriguez drives around Stillmore, explaining what happened to each of the Mexican families that used to live in trailers and apartments.
"The majority of people have gone to Kentucky," he said. They knew a priest who used to live in the area and followed him up there, Rodriguez said. Other residents have gone back to Mexico.
At least one local businessman said his business has gone up since the raids. The churn of new folks applying and working at Crider has brought new customers to Mighty Mike's Hot Stop gas station and convenience store in town.
"They come in here and shop," said manager Willie Gordon. "Our inside sales have gone up $3,000 per week since the raids."
It's been a mixture of new clientele. But Gordon, who is African-American, attributes a good part of the increase to more black workers coming into town. Gordon notes: "You gotta be legal now."
To my liberal friends, I say: Read that report again. Note how it reads like the reporter was sourcing a press release from the Crider corporation.
Then, tell me why it is even remotely logical for you to support the Crider corporation against the interests of poor and disadvantaged American citizens. (Many of these are African-American men).
Look at what is happening there. Illegal aliens were chased out of town, and the corporation is now forced to raises wages and benefits to attract legal workers. In order to fix their labor shortage, it sure looks like the company may need to increase wages and benefits a lot more. Disadvantaged Americans now have opportunities to become self-sufficient.
Again, WTF? What got me involved in this issue was learning that illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. I met people who could state how their lives and livelihoods had suffered. Wages fell, jobs disappeared, neighborhoods were sold out. Most of this occurred as a direct result of companies finding a way to pad their profits by ratcheting down their salary budgets. This all took place amid cheers by business owners, chambers of commerce, and traditional Republican supporters.
While giving out flyers for HelpSaveLoudoun at a Republican event recently - flyers noting that illegal immigration was bad for "American workers" - I watched a number of attendees crumple it up in disgust. The pro-business contingent has little sympathy for any advocacy for "workers," and I am accustomed to this response from that part of the GOP coalition.
But I wonder, where the hell are the Democrats?!
Frankly, I think many of them are grossly misinformed. They buy the line there is a shortage of workers hook, line and sinker, without stopping to ask why business owners are the only ones selling that particular line.
I'm willing to admit I've been wrong on things. I hope some of our liberal friends will be willing to admit they've been wrong on the effects of illegal immigration.
UPDATE: This is, I think, an important enough topic to be discussed on the main page, so I am going to elevate comments to new posts. To our amnesty guys and resident bloggers: Go ahead and start new posts if you want and just link back to this one. I think there is a realignment in the air. I'm willing to bend. Are you?
The Virginia Blog Carnival was up last week and I never linked to it! Please go ye there now! Tarry not! It's a fine little Carnival, quite dandy.
And I know what you're thinking: "Hey, I've got to try that." Yes, you do have to try that.
PDTIG, but that Tony Romo sure is something, ain't he?
With this kid at quarterback, the Cowboys are looking like veritable Giant-killers. I mean, shudder the thought, but they're looking almost like Bear-killers.
I'm almost exactly 24 hours late with this, but here is a fantastic post from American Daughter.
Cross-posted from American Daughter
Have we forgotten the words?
On this Thanksgiving holiday, please take time to enjoy the verses of two traditional American songs, the Thanksgiving Hymn and the Thanksgiving Prayer. They affirm the gratitude of a people for their God.
The copies we are sharing here did not come from a church hymnal. They were transcribed from a songbook distributed in our public school systems in the year 1945. This book was in every literate home in the United States at that time, and was called I Hear America Singing, or more formally Twice 55 Community Songbook.
The assertion that our nation ever intended to separate our devotion to God from our public spaces and our public life is a blatant lie. Our philosophy of reliance on divine guidance motivated the founding fathers, permeates the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, and is inscribed on our original monuments and government buildings.
The worthy gentlemen who drafted the Constitution only intended that membership in a particular religious denomination must never be made a prerequisite for holding public office, and that citizens should never be forced to subscribe to a specific denomination. They were still mindful of the bitter religious strife between Catholics and Protestants in England, and wanted to ensure that the new republic got started on a more ecumenical footing.
The insidious erosion of our patriotic traditions and our national identity must not be permitted to continue. Every thinking American must stand against the revision of our historical records and the activism of judges who would destroy the ideological foundations of our liberty.
But at this time of joyful harvest and quiet prayer, just savor the words of these two beloved hymns of gratitude.
You can find all of the United States' Thanksgiving Proclamations here.
My personal favorite is President Abraham Lincolnâ€™s Thanksgiving Day proclamation in 1863:
1863 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
President Abraham Lincoln
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. â€¦ We are prone to forget (that) they are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people â€¦. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, â€¦ fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purpose, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.
We are all truly blessed; let us never forget by whom.
A solid summary of the Marriage Amendmentâ€™s recent victory and the rejection of the hollow and deceptive rhetoric spread by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activists. I find the data that the majority of Virginia's youngest voters supported the Marriage Amendment the most heartening.
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Information Alert: Defining Victory
How does Virginia define marriage? For months The Family Foundation asked that question of those who openly lobbied to change the meaning of marriage and topple it from its unique place of public support and approval.
On November 7th, well over one million citizens of our Commonwealth provided the clear, definitive answer. Yes, Virginia, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. These voters saw that marriage was being threatened, undermined and redefined in places like Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Maryland, and most recently New Jersey - and they knew that they had to act.
As the final votes were counted, the marriage amendment won handily with nearly 60 percent of the vote. In fact, over 1.3 million Virginians voted for marriage between one man and one woman in an election where turnout was over 50 percent. Even in Northern Virginia, where "experts" in the media predicted a significant loss, the marriage amendment won two key counties - Loudoun and Prince William - easily. The amendment earned more votes than any Democrat or Republican candidate for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General in the last two statewide elections. In fact, the marriage amendment garnered nearly 150,000 more votes than the winning U.S. Senate candidate!
Ninety-two of ninety-five counties favored the amendment. In nine counties the marriage amendment earned over 80 percent of the vote! The amendment won handily in key counties and cities like Henrico, Chesterfield, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, places where the "experts" again said that people don't support "conservative" issues.
In addition, according to CNN exit polls, the marriage amendment gained support from 56 percent of African American voters, a key constituency in any campaign. It also won the majority of youngest voters, ages 18-29. This defies the conventional wisdom that the next generation is more accepting of same-sex marriage.
George Washington once observed, "Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected." Virginians are going to experience greater long term happiness because they responded to their moral duty to protect marriage, not only from the radical redefinition pushed by a militant pro-homosexual lobby and others who promote sexual relationships outside of marriage, but also from death by a thousand cuts--the slow incremental chipping away and undermining of marriage's place as the best place for a loving long-term relationship and the rearing of the next generation.
Virginians knew that marriage is associated with more positive outcomes for men, women and children. Marriage matters for the well being of Virginia citizens. No other relationship is so associated with a long, fulfilling life. None other promotes greater physical and mental health and psychological soundness. No other relationship correlates with reducing infant mortality so much. No other one generates more benefits for children.
The people of the Old Dominion perceived that it was not the unintended consequences that opponents feared, but the intended ones. For even if they would not admit it, amendment opponents knew that protecting marriage through this amendment would doom any plans to change, undermine or diminish marriage in Virginia, both for now and the foreseeable future.
Virginia rejected the false and deliberate machinations of those who wish to redefine our most fundamental institution. The opponent's desperate and strategically flawed efforts remind one of the old Beatles song, "Can't Buy Me Love." Opponents of the uniqueness of marriage found, much to their disappointment, that even a million dollars couldn't buy removing marriage from its unique place of honor and legal recognition.
Opponents found that their allegations of divisiveness were empty rhetoric - for few things so unite men and women, blacks and whites and Democrats and Republicans as marriage between a man and woman being good and right.
Virginians also rejected the extremism of amendment opponents. Unfortunately, opponents to the amendment stooped to incredible lows during the campaign. They lied, they stole, they vandalized, they verbally assaulted supporters, and on Election Day they even spit on volunteers passing out vote "YES" materials. Some of these incidents are being investigated by various law enforcement agencies in Virginia.
All these things Virginians wisely overcame.
So I commend Virginians for their wisdom, courage and insight in standing up for marriage in our Commonwealth. I know that vigilant Virginians will not allow this just, fair, good and true amendment to be undone. They know that they have done the right thing. They know that history will smile on their actions. They know their judgment will stand.
Let me take a break from the usual topics and share my glee over Da Bears. And let me say, we owe it to Coach Smith.
Now, "coolest guy ever" is not a title I give out lightly. I would easily give it to Jesus Christ, but since he is both man and God, I still haven't made up my mind if that qualifies him for "guyness". If it does, Lovie Smith will have to be #2. But that's still really good.
If I can ever find the strength to forgive Ditka for the New Orleans thing, he would get my "coolest guy ever" award. But I'm human. Forgiveness is divine, or however that stupid saying goes.
If anyone cares to vote on this issue, I will take your vote into consideration. However, on the "Coolest Guy Ever" award, I hold strict veto power, and I've already made up my mind. So your vote is worthless. But please, entertain me with it anyway. Also, while I'm harmless, I can be very scary towards those who dare cross Da Bears.
For all the fiery exchanges that go on here I think I can probably still accurately say that many individuals likely are giving of their time and hearts to help those in need. And while giving to Project Angeltree or tossing some coins in the Salvation Army tin are both grand ideas, few experiences work on creating a change in you so much as actually meeting the people you are hoping to help, talking with them about what is important to them, and understanding their needs enough to meet them adequately. It's one thing to dump an extra 10% into the offering plate and never have to leave your comfort zone. It's another thing to sign up to work, regularly throughout the year, alongside of the people you hope to serve. Get enlisted. Ability to speak Spanish is a plus!
Everyone better be rooting for the right side today! (that's Michigan)
The condemning excerpt:
Ayatollah Khamenei moreover said the failure of the American President party in the latest Congress elections proved that America's war waging policies are not approved within the country, adding the event was not just an American internal affair rather it was the defeat of Bush's war mongering policies.
The IR Leader pointed to American President's late admission to the defeat, adding since Washington had shown hostility and war waging always towards the Iranian nation, the defeat of the policies actually translated into the convincing victory of the Iranian nation in this political phase. [That emphasis is mine.]
Wow. Has everyone read Jack's fisking of the Jim Webb WSJ column?
I fully expect to support and hope to influence Jim Webb over the next six years but also must acknowledge the faults. Our own Jack has gotten the latter task off to a great start. I hope this gets forwarded to the Senator.
The morons are at it again. It sure is going to be amusing to watch Americans suddenly remember why they have been voting Republican all these years.
Anyway, I highly recommend signing the petition with all the dignity and seriousness it merits. (For a laugh, take a moment to read some of the entries).
In an earlier comment, Zimzo posted a link to a Jim Webb opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, and said he would be interested to know what Joe thought of it. Sorry, Zimmy, you get me instead.
Webb has not strayed from his campaign rhetoric in this piece -- it's all problems and no solutions. I'll look at each paragraph individually and respond.
I'm a huge fan of the Christmas holiday - I can listen to the music all year long. (The good stuff, though: just the good stuff). The problem is, the press of "business" can make it near impossible to appreciate. The deadly assiduousness of the personal calendar is the killer. I am now, for instance, mentally done with Thanksgiving shopping preparations and quite past the logistical complications with our next two bi-weekly payrolls at the day job, dead in the midst of work on grassroots stuff for the next two months, along with plenty of holiday engagements plotted out and, to be honest, travel plans and agendas for mid-January and March being the key events on my current temporal horizon. I've already decided not to bother changing out my winter/summer wardrobes because I'll be packing for the desert Southwest in no time and then it's practically polos-and-khaki's season again.
Who needs the moment of death: My life is flashing before my eyes while I live it!
But Christmas is sweet; it's cool. It represents the Big Break in the annual cycle. You can't go through it and hear all the messages about what it means and not have a tinge of hope that things CAN be new again. The year comes to a close, everyone and everything decks out in celebratory overtones for weeks on end, and in at least a meager way the entire public consciousness acknowledges that reality extends beyond our current sordid historical humdrum.
In our best moments, Christmas serves as a national team-building retreat. I, for one, am one of those who likes to start early and finish late. Put that tree up right after Thanksgiving and take it down on Valentine's Day, dammit. That's doing Christmas right.
In that spirit, then, let's position the NovaTownHall Blog for the next couple months:
- The Queen is dead, long live the Queen! We're in a political limbo! How nice this is! And it will certainly continue until well into January. Who knows how all the Democrat scrapping will end up. Who knows what the Repuds will end up standing for. While the carols play, who gives a rat's you-know-what?! Frankly, it will be two months of pure political theater. For those who don't follow politics it will be a mildly interesting interregnum; for those who do, it will be sheer entertainment. Cheeks will be scratched bloody and toes will be bruised. This is why they get paid the big bucks. Enjoy! It's a blogger's paradise.
- There is a lot of sweetness and light during the Christmas season. Good stories abound, and they help define the world. Let's all be sure to highlight that when we can. Busy-ness is death. I hope we can all find time to post nice stories about good people doing good things. America is not so bad when you come to think about it.
- Speaking of which: What exactly is so great about this country? The entire world sometimes seems to be a friggin' mess. Is the U.S. doing anything right? I hope during the Christmas holiday some of us will have some spare time to reflect on what, if anything, America and Americans are doing a good job at.
- Also speaking of which: Do we all agree on anything? Godalmighty, that seems like a silly question to have to ask but ask it we must. I was out working at the polls last Tuesday and my "opponents" were wonderful, decent people. We were out in the rain together and went out of our way not to disparage each other. We literally made room for the others to hand out their "sample ballots." I was talking with our main Democrat counterpart and found we agreed 100% on the issue of illegal immigration and what needed to be done about it. So what that he was promoting Jim Webb and Judy Feder: We were a couple people who likely could have sat down and watched a football game together and found we agreed on 80% of the major issues of the day. Let's remember, always, that our "opponents" are likely much more like us than the public rhetoric would have us believe. Therein lies the basis of future political realignment in America, and isn't that what this whole unholy mess is about?
- As bloggers, we must remember to write about non-political topics. Something, anything, even if it's about raking the leaves or shoveling snow. Our blog posts will persist whether we like it or not; in a way they will serve as part of our respective epitaphs. Inevitably, through all the debate and garble, we will each say something that encapsulates our take, our "say," our unique personal writing which expresses who we are. A lot of mine, frankly, suck, and I hope I do enough better ones to cancel all of the bad ones out.
- Amnesty Week is a go, and it will be a looong week, befitting the holiday that should never end, just because I love these guys. You know who you are. The log-ins should still work. Remember the ground rules: 72 dpi graphics; Close those div's; Observe the Blog-Breathalyzer Credo ("Blow over 3, no typing for thee!"); Say something nice about St. Ann and you get a gift basket; While I'm always fair game, please be kind to our other NVTH bloggers because they truly are gentle, kindly folk in whom there is no guile; Recipes, Christmas tree photos, seasonal lawn care tips, and puppy snapshots are always welcome; And, finally, no 24 spoilers. Some of us are taping it, dammit. Post as frequently or infrequently as you like because I'll leave it open. Why extend this Amnesty to our ideological "opponents?" Simply because too many of Kevin's and the General's comments deserve to be posts and they, like my Democratic counterpart on election day, are more like me than unlike me. (Kevin I'll return the favor whenever you wish).
On with Christmas, then. It's almost summer, folks, so let's get to it.
Below is a general announcement from Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. Truly a forward-looking breath of fresh air following a rough Election Day for the VAGOP. I for one really look forward to learning more about his 100 Ideas For The Future Of Virginia. Good to see that despite the state party's failure to adequately address NOVA, the Lt. Governor is rolling up his sleeves and working hard to reverse the recent Democrat trend up here (without selling out his commonsense conservative principles in the process).
THOUGHTS ON ELECTION DAY 2006
Where does the GOP go from here? A call to arms.
November 15, 2006
While we all knew that this yearâ€™s campaign for the US Senate would be close and hard fought, we were very disappointed on Election Day when the votes did not go our way. This was the most disappointing election outcome I can remember in a very long time.
George Allen is the patriarch of the modern Republican Party in Virginia. I believe he was the greatest Governor in the contemporary political history of Virginia. And for the past six years he has provided us with effective, conservative leadership in the US Senate.
There is no one in Virginia politics that I admire and respect more than George Allen. He has been my mentor and he is my friend. He was clearly the best choice to represent Virginia in the US Senate. However, the voters have spoken and their wishes must be respected.
I have no doubt that George Allen will continue to play an active and important role in the future of our Commonwealth and our Party. I look forward to the day when we can fight beside him once again. In the meantime, we must do what he has always asked us to do â€“ â€œStand strong for freedom!â€
Even though we were disappointed in the outcome of the US Senate campaign, there was some good news for Republicans on Election Day that we should not lose sight of.
On the national level we re-elected our eight Republican congressmen and women to the US House of Representatives, including Congresswoman Thelma Drake of Norfolk, who withstood a bitter and mean spirited attack from national Democrats.
On the state level we helped pass the Marriage Protection Amendment. Even though the pundits tried to convince us that the Marriage Amendment was in danger, an overwhelming majority of Virginians stood with us in affirming that marriage will remain between one man and one woman.
And on the local level we elected Jackson Miller to the Virginia House of Delegates in the City of Manassas, Corey Stewart as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County, and Don Sowder to the Board of Supervisors in Chesterfield County.
I learned long ago that elections are unpredictable things. You always do your best and work as hard as you can, but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
When you lose a hard fought campaign like the race for the US Senate, and when that loss involves a great leader like George Allen, it is understandable that people start asking â€œwhere do we go from here?â€ Iâ€™ve heard that question a lot this week.
I am convinced that most Virginians still share our common sense, conservative values, and I believe they will continue to give us the privilege of leading Virginia if we remain committed to those values and develop a positive vision for the future that focuses on the issues Virginiaâ€™s families care about.
When we study our Partyâ€™s historic success in Virginia and the nation one thing is clear â€“ when the debate is on issues and ideas we win! We are the Party of issues and idea.
We became the majority party in Congress in 1994 by offering a clear vision for the future of our country. It was called the Contract With America. Somewhere along the road we seemed to lose sight of that vision.
And we became the majority party in Virginia by discussing important issues like the abolition of parole, welfare reform, higher academic standards in the public schools, elimination of the car tax and more.
The people of Virginia want leaders who will offer a positive vision for the future, and that is what we must do if we want to remain the majority party in Virginia. Now is the time to begin the effort.
With your help, I am prepared to lead the effort to make certain that our Republican Party remains the party of issues and ideas. In the weeks to come I will form two important groups to help craft our partyâ€™s vision for the future.
The Lieutenant Governorâ€™s Advisory Council will be composed of Republican Party leaders and key activists. More than 135 Party leaders have already agreed to join this Council. If you would like to become a member of this Council please let me know. I would value your participation and input.
The Commonwealth Leadership Forum will be composed of key business and civic leaders who are concerned about the future of our state. These business and civic leaders have much to offer Virginia, and we need to include them in our efforts to prepare for the future.
The primary purpose of these groups will be to help us craft 100 Ideas For The Future Of Virginia. With your help we will develop a positive agenda for addressing important issues like education, public safety, transportation, health care, protection of our natural resources and more.
In addition, we must make a concentrated effort to improve our electoral results in Northern Virginia. To win statewide elections we must reconnect with voters in the Northern Virginia suburbs.
Voters in western Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties used to consistently vote for our candidates, but that has not been the case in the three most recent statewide elections.
By crafting a positive agenda for the future â€“ an agenda that recognizes the unique challenges that families in Northern Virginia face â€“ we can show them that we understand and care about their quality of life.
If we do this, I believe that we can recapture the ground we have lost in this important region of our state. Hereâ€™s an interesting statistic, if we had received just one more percent of the vote in Northern Virginia this year George Allen would have won election by more than 55,000 votes!
So my dear friends, please do not let the losses of the recent campaign discourage you. Instead, let them be a call to arms that challenge us to recommit ourselves to our conservative values and do more to develop a positive vision for the future of our state.
As you know, I come from Hanover County. Hanover Countyâ€™s favorite son was the great revolutionary patriot, Patrick Henry, the first Governor of Virginia. In March of 1775, as he was encouraging his comrades to fight for the things they cherished, Patrick Henry spoke these words:
â€œI have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.â€ (Second Virginia Convention, Richmond, March 23, 1775)
Mr. Henry was right, and his words should be our battle cry. We worked hard to become the majority Party in Virginia, and now we must work hard to stay there. When I look at what we have accomplished in the past, I am confident of one thing â€“ our best days are yet to come.
It looks like Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) will be the new chair at the RNC, after Ken Mehlman steps down in January.
Itâ€™s interesting to see that Michael Steele, who knows how to run one heck of a campaign, was passed over, for Sen. Martinez, a first term U.S. Senator from Florida. Of course, this can be viewed as a move to support President Bushâ€™s immigration policy. But I think more importantly, it could be a move to help continue to bring minorities into the party, since the Hispanic vote in key states like Florida is growing. It seems that Martinez came out of nowhere for this one, but perhaps it was a smart move for the RNC.
Contrary to popular myth, the Constitution does not enshrine a two-party system. We have, in the past, seen the rise and fall of vairous parties. The fall of the Federalist party in our early history, the rise of the Republican Party thereafter, and, of course, the Know-Nothing Party and the Dixiecrats. However, I think politics has grown beyond the ability of a third party to challenge the dominance of the Democrats and Republicans. The reason for this mainly our winner-take-all elections.
The Constitution does not mandate winner-take-all elections for conrgesscritters. Congressional districts are not mentioned at all in the Constitution. As things stand now, a citizen who does not vote for the winner in his district has little representation in Congress. Letters to one's congresscritter contrary to the critter's Party Line are likely to be ignored. And letters to congresscritters of ones own party, but not in one's district, are also likely to be ignored. (And has anyone ever looked into academy appointments and political contributions?)
A better way would be at-large elections. Virginia, for instance, has 11 seats in Congress. Give each voter 11 votes, to cast any way he wishes. We may spread our votes amoung 11 candidates, or cast all 11 for one candidate, or 3 for one, 2 for another, and 6 for a third. Then some third-party candidates will get elected, and all of us will have the ear of a few congresscritters. (It also avoids all that nasty redistricting.)
But what of the one-seat states? Congress has been locked into 435 seats for a long time. Long ago, there were about 50,000 citizens per congresscritter. Now that is 500,000. Congress needs to expand my a factor of ten. We should have about 4-5 thousand of them. With modern technology, Congress does not have to meet live very often anymore. When they do, they can go to the MCI Center. Meanwhile, the leadership of the enlarged Congress can stay in Washington, and the rank-and-file can stay home with their voters.
The holidays approach and the blogosphere retracts. Traffic dwindles, people have lives. IT IS NOT GOOD, PEOPLE!
We need to counteract the terrible effect of human society. Therefore I call on all of our NovaTownHall Blog Crew to step up to the plate during the holiday season.
I'm here. No Relation is here when he is not busting heads. Jack is here when he is not whacking moles. I'm talking to the rest of you:
Jacob: Your James Bond stuff is wonderful but can you spare us a moment between martinis and Star Wars?
Soph: The big V is under your belt. You've had some time off. Do you have it in yourself to dive in and flail some elbows?
Aislinn: AISLINN - you want to lower the boom, I know you do. You're full of oats. Please kick the butt you were placed on this Earth to kick.
Singleton: You were one of the best. If not the best. Will this happen? It won't be the same without you.
Amnesty Guys - YES - I say Amnesty Guys you know who you are. Do you want to influence the debate, say your say, sprinkle pigeon droppings on our high-falutin' notions? If you want in let me know because we are talking a very interesting interlude between now and January. AND I STILL TRUST YOU. I'd let this one fly for the next two months. You are just that good.
The less of you, the more of me. I think everyone can work that equation.
Respond in the comments, por favor.
The whole immigration issue is complicated, granted. Problems exist in neighborhoods and supposedly they can only be solved by our fearless leaders in the federal government.
But we can stipulate a few basic requirements.
Americanization must occur. Immigrants must learn English and decide to become Americans. Otherwise, they are visitors, and guests are under a completely different category. If you don't consider yourselves Americans, or at least budding Americans, don't expect to be taken under America's wing.
You can't come to America and go on welfare. It makes no sense. We, who pay taxes, are trying to get people OFF welfare. Importing new welfare recipients is economic and cultural suicide. With millions of people coming across the US southern border every year we can be looking at one mother of a problem if the majority of the new arrivals are going on the dole.
You must be citizens. Otherwise, you will be paid under the table and current citizens will be at a huge disadvantage, whether the jobs be in retail, agriculture or whatever.
Employers who game the system by hiring illegal workers need to be punished. The punishment should be draconian because the impact on lower-skilled American citizens is severe.
Employment laws need to be upheld. How hard is this to understand?
Importing poverty is going to be an unmitigated disaster for those who are least able to deal with it.
Immigrants and their families now comprise one out of four poor Americans. Poor immigrants pay little in taxes and consume large levels of government services including medical care, welfare, and public education. The increase in poverty due to immigration can impose costs well beyond the immediate cost of current welfare beneÂfits for immigrants. By magnifying the public perception of poverty, immigration can create political leverage for new anti-poverty programs. Immigration-induced poverty can easily have spillover effects resulting in new governÂment entitlements for all poor Americans...
The U.S. offers enormous economic opportunities and societal benefits. Hundreds of millions more people would immigrate to the U.S. if they had the opportunity. Given this context, the U.S. must be selective in its immigration policy. Policymakers must ensure that the interaction of welfare and immigration does not expand the welfare-dependent population, thereby hindering rather than helping immigrants and imposing large costs on American society.
U.S. immigration policy should encourage high-skill immigration and strictly limit low-skill immigration. In genÂeral, government policy should limit immigration to those who will be net fiscal contributors, avoiding those who will increase poverty and impose new costs on overburdened U.S. taxpayers.
This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a simple question of human rights. How much are we going to punish the American blue collar worker and the American taxpayer?
Paul Belien's "Brussels Journal" blog is a must-read. It should be required for everyone in the U.S., Europeans purportedly too far gone to save.
It isn't nice reading, but necessary.
The number of emigrants leaving the Netherlands and Germany has already surpassed the number of immigrants moving in. One does not have to be prophetic to predict, like Henryk Broder, that Europe is becoming Islamic. Just consider the demographics. The number of Muslims in contemporary Europe is estimated to be 50 million. It is expected to double in twenty years. By 2025, one third of all European children will be born to Muslim families. Today Mohammed is already the most popular name for new-born boys in Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and other major European cities.
Broder is convinced that the Europeans are not willing to oppose islamization. "The dominant ethos," he told De Volkskrant, "is perfectly voiced by the stupid blonde woman author with whom I recently debated. She said that it is sometimes better to let yourself be raped than to risk serious injuries while resisting. She said it is sometimes better to avoid fighting than run the risk of death."
I'm going to go a step further and recommend a book that ties in with Belien's theme.
...you might want to read this.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's the man who refers to "cut and run" as "redeployment". So much for bipartisanship. You asked for it, America.
From the "that's going to leave a mark" department:
The excitment you see among our enemies and among the Left are identical.
Based on everything Jim Webb has told us, he should be a fairly reasonable public official. He has essentially described himself as a semi-paleo-conservative. We want to support this man. Let's not lose sight of that fact.
Homosexual activists, behaving badly, provide a rich heritage of inappropriate behavior which I submit is one of the main reasons their various causes garner such poor support from the public at large. Sometimes they are flat out idiots, and other times just unpleasant. (So what is the deal with going after children? Do you have to be gay to understand that angle? I don't get it at all. You are ripping on the kid for supporting marriage. Your effort almost perfectly obliterates your goal, geniuses. MOST PARENTS WANT THEIR KIDS TO MARRY SOMEONE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. Ridiculing this girl certainly helps stamp you as an organization opposed to what most people believe.)
It will come as no great surprise that some local families had a bad experience this past Tuesday.
Here is a first-hand report from a Loudoun County mother, detailing what she and her kids had to deal with on election day:
November 11, 2006
Children and the Democratic Way
Every Election Day, I and my four daughters (ages 7, 9, 12, and 14) go to vote. They of course can't vote, because the oldest is only fourteen years old. But they do get an exercise in one of our greatest freedoms as Americans. This year was a little different. I received a call one day before Election Day and was invited to handout fliers supporting the Marriage Amendment for the State of Virginia, at the Lovettsville precinct, located in Loudoun County, Virginia. I am neither a member of the Democrat Party or the Republican Party. But I am a new Christian, and I would consider myself conservative. I jumped at the chance to engage my daughters in the political process. I, like many people, have high hopes and aspirations for my children. I received a bundle of fliers and distributed the bundle among myself, my four daughters, and one young child who is a good friend of my daughters. They faithfully lined up, beaming faces, ready to greet all and provide a flier to anyone who wanted one. My daughters exhibited enthusiasm at the simple task of saying, "sample ballot, sir/madam" and "Vote yes for marriage!" to voters passing by.
About fifteen minutes later, we began to receive piercing, angry stares from one of the Democrat volunteers, who had been handing out sample ballots and fliers opposing the Marriage Amendment. She made impolite remarks regarding my children's enthusiasm and their presence at the polling location. She threatened me and my children with removal. Her husband walked over to where I and my daughters were standing and began to confront my 14 year old daughter. He said, "This is tyranny you know, tyranny". I'm not sure what he thought could be gained by intimidating a young girl. A third volunteer with an irritated tone stated that "...children are not allowed and should not be allowed at polling locations". A fourth volunteer took me aside and informed me that "...fifty years ago in America, it was unlawful for a black to marry a white". She demanded to know why I supported the marriage amendment. I felt very uncomfortable with a fifth male volunteer who was attempting to speak about the marriage amendment to my daughters. When I motioned him to leave my daughters alone, he shouted, "I wanted to confuse the kids, but the mother won't let me!" A sixth volunteer (male) provided an unsolicited comment meant to support his misguided beliefs concerning traditional marriage. He asked, "Isn't the dowry system a traditional way of marriage!?" I retorted by saying, "Sir, this is America, not India!" I wondered if he was lost. By the way, I immigrated to the United States from India in 1977. I am a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. I have been a resident of Virginia for the past thirty years. I have been married to my American husband for the past seventeen years.
For the last year, prior to the election, we've heard the media disparage Christians, Conservatives, the Military, Republicans, and anyone else who didn't agree with their point of view. I guess the media and the liberals belong to the same family. They seem to believe the ends justify the means. Win at any cost. Threaten, lie, attack, accuse others of what you yourself are the most guilty of. Foment hate using false accusations of racism, twisted truths of the past, and if history doesn't support you, then invent your own version of the facts. My daughters received a lesson in politics and freedom, but not the one I intended for them to learn. Freedom isn't free. Standup when they try to push you down.
Liberals cry Freedom! They want the freedom to attack and pervert my children. They want the freedom to silence the opposition. They want the freedom to erase God, accountability, honor, and innocence. What they call freedom is slavery.
A Vietnam vet friend of mine sent me this one. It's a good one to end today with.
Happy Veteran's day, and Thank You to any veterans reading this.
Today is a good day to call up every veteran you know and thank them. If you don't know any veterans, go out and meet some. I promise it will be a good experience.
We have a president who is clueless about why migrant workers are a detriment to American workers, and a political party controlling both houses of Congress sympathetic to demands for unlimited illegal migration.
President Bush gave Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon an assurance in the Oval Office yesterday that he will push for a broad immigration bill that includes a new guest-worker program and citizenship rights for many illegal aliens...
The two men met face to face for the first time, ahead of Mr. Calderon's Dec. 1 inauguration. The meeting comes two weeks after Mr. Bush signed a bill authorizing nearly 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Although he didn't criticize the fence in his remarks to reporters in the Oval Office, Mr. Calderon said at a later press conference attended by Mexican and Spanish-language press that he told Mr. Bush the fence is a mistake.
"I told him our opinion that [the wall] is a mistaken remedy because it doesn't resolve the problem," the president-elect said, speaking in Spanish. "But he explained that this remedy was in response to the concerns of the United States to have a secure border."
He and other Mexican officials have compared the fence -- which will be built in major smuggling corridors -- to the Berlin Wall...
Mexicans living in the United States -- legally and illegally -- will send home $24 billion in remittances this year, making it one of the nation's largest sources of income, along with oil sales.
Mr. Bush and outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox had pledged in 2001 to try to secure an immigration accord that would legalize Mexican illegal aliens, but those efforts stalled after the September 11 terrorist attacks boosted concerns over immigration and border security.
Congressional Republicans, in particular, have balked, arguing that allowing illegal aliens a path to citizenship amounts to an amnesty for bad behavior, and would encourage more illegal entry.
Um, isn't this the type of scenario that results in street marches? I think that's a hint of the next action item.
As we all know, the good people of Virginia resoundingly embraced the Marriage Amendment by a 17 point margin, and as such rejected the hollow and deceptive rhetoric coming from same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates.
Of course the opponents of the Marriage Amendment did their best to hide their true agenda (redefining marriage to permit same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ or at least leave the Commonwealth as vulnerable as possible to litigation designed to redefine marriage a la judicial decree)â€¦ their million dollar campaign was very slick and time and time again we heard them lament that if the Marriage Amendment passed all these horrendous â€œunintended consequencesâ€ would descend upon unmarried Virginians. They never once mentioned same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ (what they call marriage â€œequalityâ€) in their TV and radio ads and it rarely appeared in their coordinated letters to the editor, etc. Basically their effort was nothing but a bait-and-switch Trojan horse campaign.
For those who contest this fact (and maybe even bought into their â€œunintended consequencesâ€ BSâ€¦ the same stuff they were pushing a few years back when HB 751 passed) I suggest you read the post-defeat message coming from the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition. Iâ€™ve placed the entire email below the fold, but here are some juicy tidbits. Please note that their message does not mourn the terrible â€œunintended consequencesâ€ that will result now that the Marriage Amendment has passedâ€¦ in fact they barely even mention them, if at all. Instead they talk about leaving the â€œGLBT community stronger politically and financiallyâ€ and that the fight for â€œjustice and equalityâ€ (read: same-sex â€œmarriageâ€) will continue. Their parting message is an invitation to activist forums being held by Virginiaâ€™s leading proponents of the redefinition of marriage-- â€œEquality Virginia.â€ Witness their true agenda laid bare (emphasis mine):
â€œFrom the outset of this campaign, we had two goals: to win the campaign at the ballot box and to leave Equality Virginia and the GLBT community in Virginia stronger politically and financially.â€
â€œThere are real, tangible positive results from this campaign that will benefit Equality Virginia and the gay and lesbian community for years to come.â€
â€œ[We] identified tens of thousands of gay-friendly voters to help build our political clout for future legislative battles and elections in 2007 and beyond.â€
â€œI am ready to "reinvest" in the effort to move Virginia forward toward a day when all Virginians achieve full equality and my friends in the GLBT community are accorded the full measure of dignity and respect that is their inalienable right.â€
Itâ€™s good to see the true agenda exposed for all to see. I suppose it made political sense to cloak their message in deceptive terms that could successfully be used to mislead commonsense voters who reject same-sex â€œmarriage" under any name, but that doesnâ€™t make it right.
Anywaysâ€¦ 1,327,783 Virginians obviously saw through the Commonwealth Coalitionâ€™s charadeâ€¦ despite being outspent 4-1 and having the MSM relentlessly push the oppositionâ€™s talking points day in and day out. Virginiaâ€™s Bill of Rights now protects the definition of marriage and will ensure that an unelected Virginia judge does not radically redefine this Natural Law institutionâ€¦ and thus help to ensure that no child is willfully denied a mom or a dad.
In addition to Virginia, six other states embraced constitutional amendments designed to protect marriage:
Colorado: 56% Yes, 44% No
Idaho: 63% Yes, 37% No
South Carolina: 78% Yes, 22% No
South Dakota: 52% Yes, 48% No
Tennessee: 80% Yes, 20% No
Wisconsin: 59% Yes, 41% No
There are now 27 states with such amendments. The first loss occurred in Arizona by a narrow margin of 49% Yes and 51% No. Truly desperate for any kind of victory, same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ proponents are spinning this one hardâ€¦ claiming it is a sign of â€œtime being on their sideâ€ and portraying the tens of millions who have embraced marriage as the union of one-man and one-woman as reactionary bigots on the verge of defeat. Obviously this couldnâ€™t be further from the truth.
The reason why the Marriage Amendment (Proposition 107) failed in Arizona by ~30,000 votes should be quite clear. It was certainly not an indication of support (in any shape or form) of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ rather it was the product of confusing ballot language and a $2.1 million campaign even more deceptive than the one we witnessed here in Virginia.
Here is what, in part, the ballot language said in Arizona:
"A no vote shall have the effect of retaining the current laws regarding marriage, including a statutory ban on same-sex marriage."
With just a quick reading of this description and little background information, a voter could believe a â€œnoâ€ vote was a vote against same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Given that the far more liberal state of Wisconsin (lacking such a messy explanation) passed a similar amendment by a healthy margin, this was the obvious deal-breaker and resulted in a tight race.
Additionally, the anti-Marriage Amendment crowd spent $2.1 million (more than twice what their allies spent hereâ€¦ and with a much less costly media environment) on a Trojan Horse campaign against â€œtaking away domestic partner benefits.â€ Their ads claimed (without any legal credibility) that the Marriage Amendment would:
â€œâ€¦limit Social Security incomes, and children of domestic partners will lose medical insurance.... Why take away domestic benefits, legal protection and healthcare? Vote no on Prop 107."
For more information on their straw-man campaign, please see their website. As in Virginia, Marriage was never mentioned by the opposition and thus the outcome cannot be interpreted as support for same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Thankfully, Arizona has solid courts (for now) and they have recently upheld the statutory protections for marriage. This should give the citizens more time to regroup and submit a slightly modified amendment to the people (hopefully without such an awful ballot explanation).
Now that the Commonwealthâ€™s definition of marriage is enshrined in the Constitution the struggle to protect and honor the institutions of marriage and family is far from over.
Many opponents of the Marriage Amendment rightfully pointed out that there are severe threats to marriage in addition to radical redefinition under law (although they illogically tried to argue that because there were other threats we should ignore the one posed by the redefinition of civil marriage). Some examples of these threats are the rampant and growing divorce rate leading to broken homes (just look at the wonderful example being set by Britney Spears), infidelity, and a general lack of respect for life and the amazing blessing of children. Many of these issues are outside of the realm of civil law and are issues of the culture around us. I believe the first and most important thing we can do to reaffirm and restore the honor and dignity of marriage and family is to fulfill our lifelong vows to our spouse and place them first in our lives (above careers, money, or possessions)â€¦ and we must be open to the life-giving love that flows within the marital relationship and instill the value of family in any children with which we may be blessed. We are surrounded by a corrosive culture focused on the immediate gratification of our personal desires above the greater goodâ€¦ everyone is constantly claiming a â€œrightâ€ to have what they want regardless of the consequences on others and society (abortion on demand is a tragic example as is the action of same-sex couples using in-vitro fertilization to create a child they want with the intention of denying he/she his/her father or mother). However, I believe the influence of the family is more powerful than the influence of our self-centered culture and with dedication, prayer, and focus we can overcome all obstacles.
Lincoln Chafee has just announced he may leave the Republican Party. I'm, personally, still trying to pick up the pieces.
The pieces, I must cry to tell you, don't come together all that easily.
Like David Lee Roth and David Caruso before him, Lincoln Chafee taps the rich vein of clueless personal narcissism. You get on with your bad self, Linc.
...in my opinion, that is.
It doesnâ€™t matter who the Secretary of Defense is, who the Majority Leader, or the Speaker of the House isâ€¦American soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen, and Marines can kill them [terrorists] just as dead, no matter whoâ€™s running things here in Washington.
-Colonel Oliver North
I will be in Sterling this weekend handing out buddy poppies with the VFW. Come visit with us and wear your poppy proudly. Donations will be accepted and go to support needy veterans.
If this Washington Post story is even remotely accurate, I will send the following letter to our new House Speaker.
Dear Hon. Nancy Pelosi:
Please impeach President Bush. Our country deserves better. American blue-collar workers and our less-educated citizens are the primary victims of lawless immigration and opportunistic employers who profit by hiring under the table. I think you will agree that notions of "human rights" should stem, first, from respect for the citizens of this country.
Am I glad THAT'S over with...
Seriously, if I need to do time in Purgatory, I think working on a 20,000-year political or grassroots advocacy campaign would be adequate to help me "work through" all the evil I might manage to cause in this life. Even if I end up initiating thermonuclear war or converting the Gulf of Mexico into a golf resort with trillions and trillions of kittens and puppies as the landfill, I think 20,000 years of concerted politics should leave me clean as a whistle, soul-wise.
And henceforth, if I'm going to abandon my family for weeks at a time, I pledge to be fishing or watching football from a barstool or sitting in the back corner of the library researching millenarian movements. Doing some good, in other words.
I have been extremely neglectful in recent months of all the wonderful stuff out there on the Web, and I'll try to begin making amends this week with some Carnivals. When I'm not watching football or mowing the quite overgrown lawn.
-First off, the excellent James Na and associates are running the equally excellent NoVaPolitics.com blog. I saw James speak earlier in the year and I love this guy. I still have his speech saved in a digital file somewhere which will eventually be found and turned into a post. In the meantime, put that blog on your list for regular visits.
-Next, if you've now gotten all the political silliness out of your system, maybe it's about time you had a touch-dirt date with reality and your infinitely forebearing Uncle Bob Dobbs. He's got the links for what ails ye.
-Next, if you're not reading MonkeyWatch, you're missing the big picture. My advice for aspiring bloggers yearning to stand out is always "find one thing you care about and write about that thing." MonkeyWatch sets the standard.
-Next, General Gozer sends this. Additional time in Purgatory, unfortunately, will accrue.
-And finally, I recommend Melanie Phillips, who thank goodness is still gracing us with her writing. It's the most valuable one-person-show blog in the world.
Virginia Catholic Bishops Applaud Votersâ€™ Decision on Marriage Amendment
On behalf of Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) Executive Director Jeff Caruso issued the following statement regarding yesterdayâ€™s outcome on Ballot Question Number One, which succeeded by a 14-point margin:
â€œYesterday, large numbers of citizens across our Commonwealth voted to affirm, protect, and preserve the institution of marriage as designed by God and as passed on from one generation to the next throughout human history.
â€œVirginiaâ€™s Catholic bishops have been pleased to offer their perspective on the importance of safeguarding this bedrock institution over the course of the debate on the marriage amendment, and to join their voices to those of many others whose roles were instrumental to this significant outcome. In the end, though, the decisive statement on the issue came from Virginiaâ€™s voters. Given the decisions that courts in some other states have imposed on their citizens with no public input, Virginians clearly appreciated the opportunity to decide this matter for themselves.
â€œThe bishops also wish to commend Delegate Robert Marshall and Senator Stephen Newman for sponsoring the amendment, the Family Foundation and va4marriage.org for their persistent and effective leadership in organizing grassroots support among individuals representing a diversity of faith traditions, nearly 200 Catholic parishes across Virginia for distributing diocesan-approved educational materials on the ballot question to their parishioners, and the Virginia Knights of Columbus for assisting parishes in the dissemination of those materials.â€
The VCC is the public-policy agency of the Virginia Catholic bishops and their two dioceses. The VCC delivered over 100,000 copies (available in English and Spanish) of the bishopsâ€™ pastoral letter on the marriage amendment and an accompanying â€œquestion and answerâ€ piece to 194 parishes and two Catholic campus-ministry organizations. These materials were also printed in the official newspapers of both dioceses and sent to their 133,000 subscribing households. Further information is available online at www.vacatholic.org.
No, not the end of the Republican Revolution. If the party had stayed true to that, they'd still be in power. No, the end of the "Levi" era. Not the jeans. The Man. The Icon.
Where are you C.W. "Levi" Levy!? We miss you!
Call it "spin" if you like, but historically, Dems should have done much better. In an average 6th-year midterm, the President's party loses 6 Senate seats and 34 House seats. While the Dems may get the Senate seats, they won only 27 House seats, with 8 still undetermined. With a supposedly unpopular war and president to run against, one would have expected better. It was not exactly a revolution a la Newt Gingrich.
Of particular interest is that the Democrats who did take Republican-held seats were generally NOT running as liberals. Just look at Webb. Where does he stand on immigration and abortion? Where does he stand on gun control? He only switched parties for this election. Is he even a real Democrat, or just a DINO?
There is one silver lining to the losses, besides their not being as bad as the average -- no more Lincoln Chafee.
If you are a conservative, the Republicans, as a party, are pretty disappointing, don't you agree? If you don't agree, please go back to bed and pull the covers over your head. It's nice under there.
The Republicans have had control of the U.S. government to a large degree since 1994 and the end result has been a very non-conservative state of affairs. The deficit has gone through the stratosphere and our southern border has become an international cause celebre. By way of definition, a 'cause celebre' tends to involve few U.S. border guards guarding the border.
So let's learn about an alternative.
A Brief History of the Constitution Party
In 1992, a coalition of independent state parties formed the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The U.S. Taxpayer's Party's goal was to limit the Federal Government to its constitutional boundaries and to restore civil government to the principles our country was founded upon. Some of the state affiliate parties have adopted the national party name, while others have adopted or retained a different name.
In 1992, the party's presidential candidate, Howard Phillips, was on the ballot in 21 states. In 1995, the party became the fifth political party to be formally recognized by the Federal Election Commission as a national political party. In 1996 the party achieved ballot access in 39 states, with Howard Phillips again as its presidential candidate.
Rumor has it the Democrats will win the U.S. House of Representatives.
And I for one WELCOME our new Democrat overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted blogging personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil at their psytrance sessions and reeducation camps.
My bona fides are pretty indisputable.
I love you guys, always have. Man, this entire experience is such a throwback. Doobies, anyone?
All erupted in the midst of Democrat Party dominance.
What will be the next eruption? I'm guessing it will amount to more than heated radio discussion.
On that topic of George W. Bush possibly working with a Democratic Congress to pass an amnesty for illegal aliens:
Hellstorm. Mark my words.
The Virginia Senate race will come down to the electoral wire, with one important qualification: The absentee ballots have not been tallied. Although every news outlet is making noise about the George Allen-Jim Webb race coming down to recounts, there are many absentee ballot sitting out there, and historically these have broken Republican. Many, for instance, are from military personnel.
The MSM would have you believe that the result will depend on lawyers (for liberals, what else is new), but in reality the final result will depend on the absentee ballots. Let's wait until tomorrow night for that tally, because the Democrats' many lawyers may not, in fact, be needed at all.
From the other room where the TV is on I just heard a comment on FoxNews to the effect that George W. Bush will have some enhanced hopes with a Democrat-controlled House, and one of those bright spots would be on the issue of immigration.
Specifically, George W. Bush might be able to demonstrate his ability to get things done by getting the "stalled" immigration reform legislation finally passed by a more cooperative Congress.
Well isn't that special. We'll have much more on this topic in the future. Makes you wonder about the Republicans.
Judy Feder outside Sully Elementary School in Sterling, Virginia, about 5:00 pm this evening.
She had many more direct mail pieces arrive at our house than did Frank Wolf, by a margin of about 10 to one.
And she had many more push-poll telephone calls (about 5 to zero).
But her undoing was a) Frank Wolf is a great guy, who has been strong on anti-gang initiatives and funding, and also one of the most prominent American politicians on the issue of the horrific situation in Sudan; and b) her chief issue was forged about five months ago and it fizzled.
To wit, she wanted to blame sky-high gasoline prices on Frank Wolf. When the price of gasoline plummeted, so did her election chances. Good news for citizens was bad news for Judy Feder.
(Again, sorry for no links but this is the best we can offer tonight because of the fatigue factor. Treat it as news... or the first draft of history. The first draft of history requires no footnotes, don't you know.)
Judy is a bit of a nutcase (full disclosure: so am I), but I watched her at close range for about a half hour tonight at the polls and she has a nice way about her. She's not hard to like. She just had an uphill climb because Frank Wolf is a wonderful human being and far from a right wing extremist. The better candidate and likely better public servant won this race.
Two out of three, so far, for conservatives in Loudoun County. Frank Wolf won, and the Virginia Marriage Amendment has passed - and it appears it passed by a landslide vote. This issue is likely off the table in Virginia for 10 or 15 years.
I'm going to leapfrog the analysis a bit, but it appears the public sentiment in favor of traditional marriage cut across every sociological boundary. Lots of money was spent to oppose this Amendment; lots of intelligent people argued against it. Although I personally had no idea how the vote would turn out, looking at what has happened I now don't think it was ever even close.
The real suspense now is what George Allen has managed to do. Stay tuned.
First installment: Maybe the only since I've been up since 4:00 am but we'll try...
Paul Protic and Bruce Tulloch at Frank Wolf victory party.
Frank Wolf gives his victory speech.
I was early-early and also late (put the signs up and then took them down) AS WELL AS "official Republican monitor" of the count in the 701st precinct. My appraisal:
Frank Wolf won (this is actually a fact, Judy Feder just conceded).
The Virginia Marriage Amendment crushed - won by a larger margin than Wolf.
Allen...eh, George is going to need some luck.
Jim Webb: 478
George Allen: 397
One write in: "Macaca"
Frank Wolf: 448
Judy Feder: 419
One write in: "Jack Bauer"
In the next precinct over - Forest Hills - Wolf won by about the same margin, the Marriage Amendment by the same margin, and Allen actually won by a whisker (sorry I couldn't write down the figures).
If the Marriage Amendment did this well here, winning by a larger margin than Jim Webb, I think it is a foregone conclusion: The Virginia Marriage Amendment has passed. (I know it's early, but this was impressive).
INTERESTING: The Washington Times reported the other day (sorry I don't have time to find the link) that a high turnout for the Marriage Amendment might work against George Allen, because African Americans were motivated to vote both for the Amendment and against George Allen.
As of right now George Allen is supposed to be running about 10% behind the Amendment, which if it keeps up means he will likely win. But there are 5000 absentee ballots to count just in Loudoun County and they don't start counting until tomorrow, so we may not know until Thursday who won this race.
As it stands, it looks like Sophrosyne and crew were very effective in their grassroots work for the Amendment.
CNN reports that the good people of the Commonwealth have embraced the Marriage Amendment and rejected the hollow rhetoric of the anti-Marriage Amendment/pro same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ crowd. Congratulations Virginia!!!
A valid question: Which candidate and which party should one vote for in order to best support U.S. military personnel?
To answer this question in the negative (not the point of this post but let's get it out of the way): There is a hard-core faction on the left who believe America has too much power and ambition and needs to be cut down to size. They want the U.S. to lose. Therefore they will always advocate to bring the troops home if the troops are in any danger of causing a U.S. victory anywhere, they will describe any U.S. military endeavor as an unmitigated failure, and they will advocate retreat in the face of any enemy. These people will vote for a Democrat if the only other choice is a Republican.
If you think the U.S. has it coming, or if you generally advocate military retreat, or if you happen to BE a terrorist, stop reading right now and go vote for your local Democrat candidate. This is democracy in action. The Democrats certainly won't all represent your wishes, but as a whole they're the only party with the possibility of accomplishing what you'd like to see accomplished.
As one of their biggest supporters wrote yesterday: The Democrats' only plan for Iraq sounds a lot like what most people call 'defeat'. For some in the U.S., that's good enough as long as it brings the troops home.
To answer the question in the positive, the Washington Post just reported on a unique angle: What the troops themselves think we should do in Iraq. In short, the troops believe a U.S. pullout would be 'devastating':
The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration's approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.
Leading Democrats have argued for a timeline to bring U.S. troops home, because obvious progress has been elusive, especially in Baghdad, and even some Republican lawmakers have recently called for a change in strategy. But soldiers criticized the idea of a precipitate withdrawal, largely because they believe their hard work would go for naught.
Capt. Jim Modlin, 26, of Oceanport, N.J., said he thought the situation in Iraq had improved between his deployment in 2003 and his return this year as a liaison officer to Iraqi security forces with the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, based here on FOB Sykes outside Tall Afar. Modlin described himself as more liberal than conservative and said he had already cast his absentee ballot in Texas. He said he believed that U.S. elected officials would lead the military in the right direction, regardless of what happens Tuesday.
"Pulling out now would be as bad or worse than going forward with no changes," Modlin said. "Sectarian violence would be rampant, democracy would cease to exist, and the rule of law would be decimated. It's not 'stay the course,' and it's not 'cut and run' or other political catchphrases. There are people's lives here. There are so many different dynamics that go on here that a simple solution just isn't possible."
(No small wonder, as has happened in the past, some Democrats continue to take a stab at making it difficult for U.S. military personnel to vote.)
The Virginia Senate race serves as a useful barometer of military veterans' position on the question of "supporting the troops." Although running against a decorated Navy veteran, Republican George Allen surprisingly won the endorsement of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition. Although George Allen has staked out the more "conservative" position than Jim Webb on a number of issues, including immigration enforcement and gay marriage, opposition to the Iraq War is Webb's key message and Allen's support of the war has been a chief point of differentiation between the two in the public debate.
After all of the votes from today's elections are analyzed, we should get a clearer picture of what current and former troops view as public 'support.' Leaving aside the recent unfortunate reminder that the Democrats' left wing maintains a low opinion of them, we can see that in the eyes of the troops support for U.S. military personnel cannot be boiled down to pulling out of Iraq.
I just saw a large George Allen sign defaced with spray-paint saying "MIKAKA"
Itâ€™s gut-check time. In a little over 30 hours the polls will close on one of the most important elections in Virginia history. Please click here to send an e-card to your friends, co-workers and family reminding them to vote YES for Marriage tomorrow!
Below is the final message from the Family Foundation/VA4Marriage regarding our historic opportunity to elevate existing principles into the Virginia Constitution in order to protect marriage from judicial assault. The Commonwealth should never be forced, via unelected judges, to support and embrace relationships that willfully create motherless or fatherless homes. Children deserve both a mom and a dad. Iâ€™ve been so encouraged and blessed to meet some amazing volunteers on this campaign and I look forward to celebrating with them tomorrow! Now get out there and spread the word, work the polls, and finish strong!
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Monday, November 6, 2006
Action Alert: VOTE "YES" FOR MARRIAGE
This is my last opportunity to reach out to you, the voters of Virginia, and say "Vote YES" for marriage during tomorrow's crucial election. If polls are any indication, the battle over the amendment is much closer than we'd like. While we are very confident the amendment will pass, we cannot take a single vote for granted. I urge you to go to the polls tomorrow to vote YES on the marriage amendment.
From our perspective, we have been frustrated by two campaign situations that I know have also frustrated our supporters. The first has been the refusal of amendment opponents like the ACLU and the "Commonwealth Coalition" to debate the actual issue, same-sex marriage. They have hidden behind their lie of unintended consequences because they are afraid to talk about same-sex marriage or polygamy or how they actually want to define marriage. We have challenged them in debate after debate, through the media, and through an actual fax request. Unfortunately, they have refused to answer the question.
Perhaps it is because they know Virginians will overwhelmingly reject their fluid definition of marriage. In fact, on the www.beyondmarriage.org web site, opponents of amendments like ours in Virginia say they support "Legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households and families - regardless of kinship or conjugal status." My guess is you won't see that on our opponents campaign signs or in their advertisements. But that is exactly what they want.
The second frustration has been some of the media in Virginia. Too many of our friends in the "mainstream media" have refused to question opponent's claims. If we ever tired to repeat a lie like the "unintended consequences" line our opponents have used, reporters would have investigated and dismissed it. The media can look to all 20 states that have already passed marriage amendments and they will find no unintended consequences. They can look to the passage of the Virginia same-sex unions ban, and the defense of marriage act, and find no unintended consequences. They can look at Attorney General Bob McDonnell's official opinion of the Marriage Amendment, and the Virginia State Board of Election's authorized explanation, and again they refuse. To date, only two newspaper editorial pages that we are aware of in Virginia have supported the amendment. This disconnect of the media from the electorate has caused many of you to call our office. We share your frustration. The only way to let them know how you feel is to vote "YES" on November 7th.
I would also like to take the time to thank the thousands of volunteers, and donors who have become a part of this campaign. Our grassroots efforts have been incredible and have far outshone our opponent's attempts to organize. You have been steadfast in the face of opposition at fair booths, rallies, and other events all across Virginia. They can steal our yard signs, peel off our bumper stickers, throw our literature back at us, and fire our supporters from their jobs, but they cannot steal what is in your heart - the simple truth that marriage is God's design, created by Him for one man and one woman.
So now, it is time to finish the job at hand. All of us, you and I, our neighbors, church members and friends, need to work the polls and Vote YES tomorrow. Together, we can take this necessary step to ensure a pro-family Virginia for years to come!
Send a Last Minute eCard
If you have not already done so, please go to www.va4marriage.org/ecard and send a get-out-the-vote eCard to friends and family, urging them to vote in favor of the marriage amendment tomorrow. This is a quick and simple way to get the message out!
Vote YES Signs to the Polls
Because so many of our "Vote YES" yard signs have been stolen or defaced by our opponents we are running low and do not have enough signs to cover all the voting precincts in Virginia tomorrow. If you have a yard sign, please take it with you to your voting precinct tomorrow when you go to vote and place it among the other political signs you will see. We want to make sure that voters see "Vote YES" signs as they approach their voting precinct.
Don't forget to plan to join us for our "Victory Party" tomorrow evening at the Richmond Convention Center from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The Convention Center is the same location where we have held our December Gala the last several years.
Tomorrow evening evening, all of the hard work we have put since those initial votes on the marriage amendment in January of 2005 will come to fruition! Please plan to join us for a fun celebration of victory!
Parking will be limited around the Convention Center so be sure to get there early!
To all those who believe that homosexuality is not a choice, but is genetic, please explain why there are so many homosexuals in prison. And why there are not more homosexual Greeks?
Is bestiality also genetic?
If you are concerned about illegal immigration, be aware the U.S. Supreme Court is on the verge of the tipping point in favor of enforcement. Critical cases will be percolating up to that level, and the resolution thereof will determine the future of this nation. The Supreme Court is, ultimately, where the ACLU's effectiveness - now challenging Hazleton, PA - will be tested.
Federal Judge James Munley issued a temporary restraining order blocking Hazleton from enforcing both the Illegal Immigration Relief Act and the Landlords Tenant Registration Act Tuesday evening...
The action means neither tenants nor landlords have to register with the city, for now.
The injunction followed by one day a lawsuit that claims the immigration act is unconstitutional.
Private attorneys, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on Monday.
Despite his many faults, President Bush has come through for conservatives big time with his two appointments to the Court. Rumors are swirling that one more seat - that of Justice John Paul Stevens - may be vacated in the next two years.
Normally, this news might be too ghoulish to repeat publicly. Nevertheless, with the election just days away, it is news that should be considered. It points out what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the 20-year movement to recast the court with a constitutionalist majority. It would be a cruel twist indeed for conservatives to â€œteach Republicans a lessonâ€ next Tuesday, only to be taught a lesson themselves within months when new Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) leads a Democratic majority against the most important Supreme Court nominee in decades. Conservatives whose mantra is â€œno more Soutersâ€ should bear in mind Robert Borkâ€™s fate after the Senate changed from Republican to Democratic hands in 1986...
â€œThereâ€™s no worry on judges,â€ said Schumer. â€œAnd judges is the whole ball of wax.â€ Other supposedly centrist Democratic candidates including Harold Ford Jr. (Tenn.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Jim Webb (Va.) have refused to rule out filibusters against judicial nominees.
Even if the rumor turns out to be unfounded, it is worth repeating because it crystallizes the reality that there will soon be another high court vacancy. Senators elected next Tuesday to six year terms will, assuredly, vote on the confirmation of at least one new Supreme Court justice before their term is out.
Regardless of your feelings about the president or the GOP in general, if you are a conservative and/or concerned about the prospect of continued rampant illegal immigration into the U.S., be sure to vote for a Republican Senate candidate on Tuesday if you have the opportunity.
One more Bush appointment to the Supreme Court is in the best interests of this country, and a Republican-led Senate is the only way to ensure that will happen.
"Third in line" means, if the Democrats manage to take both bodies of Congress on Tuesday, and also manage to impeach and convict George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, here's your new President of the United States:
Planning to punish the Republicans? Consider President Pelosi on the issues:
Typical for her 20-year House career, Mrs. Pelosi received a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America last year and a 0 rating from the National Right to Life Committee. A Roman Catholic who has repeatedly voted to uphold partial-birth abortion, who has voted against parental notification when minor children seek abortion and who has shown no concern for the rights of the innocent unborn, Mrs. Pelosi has consistently opposed the death penalty.
Over the years, Mrs. Pelosi has consistently voted against welfare reform, including the 1996 bill signed by President Clinton and its re-authorization. In 1998, she opposed a constitutional amendment to permit school prayer in the classroom. In 1999, she opposed allowing state and local governments to display the Ten Commandments on public property, including schools. She has voted against education IRAs. In 2003, she opposed a $10 million program for school vouchers in the District of Columbia. That same year she voted against the 10-year $400 billion Medicare prescription-drug bill because she preferred one that was twice as expensive. Mrs. Pelosi has repeatedly voted for tax increases and opposed tax cuts, even the 2001 bill that doubled the child tax credit to $1,000, among other cuts.
As the United States has become increasingly dependent on foreign sources for oil, Mrs. Pelosi has always opposed drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge...
A couple more nuggets:
Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.
[Ed. - Whoops.]
The United States does not need a multi-billion-dollar national missile defense against the possibility of a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile.
Check out more of Nancy Pelosi's positions especially on illegal immigration and tax reform.
UPDATE: I realize Pelosi could also be described as "second in line" since there is only Cheney ahead of her and Bush is not "in line." I'm not really a numbers guy.
The kick-butt economy, pro-Webb sliming, John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi: Charles is a one-man content machine this week. Check him out and scroll down.
The deluge of comment spam here has been largely diverted into the junk folder, to the benefit of our readers' tender eyes and unsoiled souls. However, I have to wonder if our draconian policy thereto might be a bit harsh.
I mean, "free insurance quotes" seems a victimless spam if ever there was one. And the spammers always seem so cheery, and they never talk back.
Delay, Foley, and now Ney. Does anyone remember a Democrats ever resigning over such things? And they call Republicans the party of corruption.
I canâ€™t help it. Itâ€™s so fun when it's John Kerry.
Have you heard this one?â€¦ John Kerry walks into a bar. The bartender says, â€œSo why the long face?â€
But really, should we be so hard on Kerry? I mean, he accused his fellow Vietnam vets of war crimes, but that was 35 years ago. And I think he was just misunderstood when he said American troops were â€œterrorizingâ€ women and children in the dark of night while fighting the war on terror. And câ€™monâ€¦he was making fun of President Bush just the other dayâ€¦not the troops. What reason do we have to believe John Kerry loathes the military so much he would call them all stupid?
I know how to find out what John Kerry really thinks of the military. Letâ€™s look at his voting record in the Senate! Thatâ€™ll show everyone how much John Kerry really loves the military!
I am convinced a volunteer army would be an army of the poor and the black and the brown... We must not repeat the travesty of the inequities present during Vietnam. I also fear having a professional army that view the perpetuation of war crimes as simply "doing it's job".
John Kerry, 1972 (from a Fox News clip)
Well, we've had a volunteer army for quite some time now. Maybe Kerry's changed his mind since he made those comments 34 years ago. Maybe it really was a botched joke about President Bush. In my opinion, it was a Freudian slip.
But let's assume, for the sake of discussion, Kerry just fumbled his words and they came out to mean something he had no intention of saying. Why the "I apologize to no one" speech? How hard is it to say "I'm sorry, I misspoke and that's not what I meant."? Why the half-hearted internet apology? That thing read more like "I'm sorry you're not intelligent enough to understand what I meant."
And hasn't anyone ever told Kerry not to tell jokes? It's just not possible for him to be funny. It reminds me of Billy Bob Thornton telling the bridge joke in Sling Blade. "I believe one of them fellers was from Arkansas...Get it?"
And for a defeated presidential candidate to start calling the man who beat him stupid, well...that's just sore-loserish.
BAM - What a pre-election surprise!
Iraq was close to developing an atom bomb. If not for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the world would be a MUCH more dangerous place about now.
This intelligence put Saddam far ahead of Iran in the nuclear pursuit, and made it much more urgent to take some definitive action against Saddam before he could build and deploy it. And bear in mind that this intelligence came from the UN, and not from the United States.
UPDATE: Read Michelle's take.
UPDATE II: Also, Ace's.
UPDATE III: Great detail from Charles (what would you expect?)
They have found evidence of Saddam trying to contribute pilots to a "plot" which was supposed to attack the U.S. sometime in 2001, which could well have been 9/11 or the suspected follow-up attack.
They have found documents detailing cheating on weapons inspections, on hiding weapons and weapons components, of transfering weapons around the country and burying them in deserts, and a lot of other things that puts the lie to the democrat spin that Saddam was no danger to us...
Well, after years of listening to Democrats ridiculing the administration about "mushroom clouds" and "false claims of WMD programs", the New York Times, the liberal's paper of record, now says Saddam might have been within a YEAR of having a bomb in 2002.
Thank GOD for President Bush. Maybe I will have to thank God that I was not President, because I opposed the war.
UPDATE IV: Big media has picked up the story.
I'm sorry, did the New York Times just put on the front page that IRAQ HAD A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM AND WAS PLOTTING TO BUILD AN ATOMIC BOMB?
What? Wait a minute. The entire mantra of the war critics has been "no WMDs, no WMDs, no threat, no threat", for the past three years solid. Now we're being told that the Bush administration erred by making public information that could help any nation build an atomic bomb.
Let's go back and clarify: IRAQ HAD NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANS SO ADVANCED AND DETAILED THAT ANY COUNTRY COULD HAVE USED THEM.
I think the Times editors are counting on this being spun as a "Boy, did Bush screw up" meme; the problem is, to do it, they have to knock down the "there was no threat in Iraq" meme, once and for all. Because obviously, Saddam could have sold this information to anybody, any other state, or any well-funded terrorist group that had publicly pledged to kill millions of Americans and had expressed interest in nuclear arms. You know, like, oh... al-Qaeda.
The New York Times just tore the heart out of the antiwar argument, and they are apparently completely oblivous to it.
Finally, the Kerry supporters begin to crawl out into the light of day:
The sad fact is, young men and women without a college degree usually earn less, as much as $23,000 a year less, according to a recent U.S. Census report. And many of those have-nots, lured into the military by enlistment bonuses, find themselves in Iraq. Then, in many cases, their tours of duty have been extended, because the U.S. military is currently overextended with troops needed on numerous fronts.
"Stuck in Iraq" says it pretty well.
It isn't designed to do much for the self image of any American who happens to be in Iraq right now, but that's apparently a bitter pill some of our countrymen are willing to swallow.
"Kerry's words were pretty straightforward, and if you listen to the tone of voice in which he said them, it's hard to construe them as a joke. He didn't sound like he was trying to make funnies."
"Do the following words malign the troops? 'You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make the effort to be smart, you can do well, and if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq,'" Snow added.
"Those are the words. That's not the intention. We're sitting here trying to do mind-reading. We're not playing the 'what if' game. Do those words insult the troops? Apparently, troops believe so," he said.
This won't surprise anyone (and it confirms what a commenter here noted - that John Kerry attends soldiers' funerals!)
"A woman - who had also lost her son in the war and who represented the local Kerry campaign - approached the Johnsons at their son's wake," Moy said. "Justin was laid out in his Army uniform as the woman began her speech about hating Bush and helping Kerry.
"She asked the Johnsons to speak out against President Bush," the author said. The family turned down the request.
Morgan said that while doing research for their book, she and Moy discovered that Kerry and liberal activist Michael Moore personally recruited family members within days of their son's deaths - and sometimes even at the funerals - to come and work for the campaign in order to undermine Bush.
Talk about low. How many Americans realize this is the crew they will be voting for if they indeed plan to vote out the GOP?
It was another rough and tumble, death-match, public discussion in Sterling Park, with over 70 citizens and public officials facing off over the predictably controversial proposal to place a new Sheriff's Office substation on the general location of a local elementary school's grounds.
Sheriff Steve Simpson explained the location held many benefits for the local community.
Seven of the roughly 25 residents who testified touched on issues related to illegal immigration in Loudoun County, mostly having to do with residential overcrowding and gang activity.
Having the cops in town, as one local yahoo indicated, would likely be seen as a GOOD THING by the young 'uns.
I grew up near a police station, and I can tell you the perception that little kids have of a police station is not a den of criminals but a castle of soldiers. It will make the kids feel safer.
Some local residents lined up to argue that a police station would undoubtedly generate fear in the neighborhood and scar the little ones for life.
Since the Sterling Park area has the highest density population in Loudoun County and the nearest Sheriff's Office is 15 miles away, one might think the proposal to put a Sheriff's Office here would be a no brainer. On the other hand there is the NIMBY factor, and some residents made a sincere argument that The Man might be a downer for the little ones and their parents. To be fair, it must be noted that residents might worry a substation could increase traffic and those detainees who are set free from short term detention would be wandering in a residential area.
(l to r) Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, School Board Member Warren Geurin and Supervisor (Chairman) Scott York addressed residents' concerns.
My take is this: The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and School Board have done a prodigious amount of research to find a location for a substation in Sterling Park. There are no easy answers because privately owned land is godawful expensive. The land donated from this elementary school is probably the only workable site for a project that has been in the works for nearly ten years. If the primary fear of residents is "criminals" will now be concentrated in their neighborhood, the residents probably want to get a realistic sense of what is happening in their neighborhood anyway.
Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson did an excellent job explaining the rationale for placing a substation in Sterling Park. Sheriff Simpson also explained that the normal course of "business" through the station would be a net-plus for local residents when it comes to the safety of their kids. Alleged criminals would not be set loose and corraled in the front yard, but would in fact be driven into a secure area prior to detention. Those guilty of serious crimes will be transferred to the Adult Detention Center.
The local elected officials who chose to show up deserve our congratulations because they each represented the County well.
For anyone in Sterling or elsewhere in Loudoun who is concerned about illegal immigration and the impact on local quality of life, I urge you to keep apprised at the Web site of HelpSaveLoudoun.