February 2007 Archives
As a ham-handed conservative power broker whose local reputation can best be described as "radioactive," I am pleased to announce and strongly recommend a late addition to the Conservative Political Action Conference agenda:
See you there!
I've posted an article from the Loudoun Times-Mirror with a retrospective from the embarrasment...I mean...state seantor from Winchester Russ Potts. He gives an interesting assessment of the two good people looking to replace him this November.
"She's obsessed with abortion and social issues," Potts said of Vogel. "[Tate's]ruthless, unscrupulous. They're going to have an OK Corral-shootout to see who can out-Tom Delay each other."
Anyone that Russ Potts doesn't like is a superstar in my book.
I still have a nagging feeling that he's going to run again because, like any good horror villain, he's never dead when you're sure he is.
This started as a comment in singleton's smoking entry. You are in part responsible, for I started off writing a reply to YOU. There, now that I have shirked responsibility in a manner that would make any Democrat Senator proud, I shall continue...
We need to go back to the slide rule. We went to the moon with the slide rule. We cannot even determine a spacecrafts altitude correctly with these confounded 'confusers' (a.k.a computers). Have you noticed that people today cannot do addition and subtraction WITH computers? In case you are wondering what am talking about, does the name Ken Lay ring any bells?
This is an ongoing trend. Have computers have made us lame? Maybe. Have spell-checkers made us lame? Probably. Does 'not' smoking stop us from being lame as a nation. Nooooo.
Have you noticed the playgrounds got real lame? What happened to the teeter totters, swings and monkey bars. We now have crap that causes kids to stay inside and play x-box, eat twinkies and get fat.
I see the general level of lameness is growing with each generation. Allow me to explain, we went from:
A. Possibly the greatest generation. They lived through the great depression. They fought and won WWII. They built the Hoover Dam. They created the foundation for all the wealth we have today. They took us to the Moon. They flubbed raising their children, which is why they only get the "possibly" appellation. In case you are wondering what I am talking about here, see sections B&C below.
B. The 'me' generation. These are losers who brought us hippies, Bill Clinton, and the leisure suit. They claim responsibility for the computer boom and the internet, a la' Al Gore, when all that came of the Apollo program (see part A above). This is the original bed-wetter generation. They are the bozos who started the cattle drive into the psychiatrist's office and made it a status symbol (Along with screwing your neighbors spouse). With the greatest generation dying off like flies, we are running out of adults in a hurry. The 60 something's from the 'me' generation don't qualify. Considering they invented 'Depends' it all becomes clear. Soon they all will be back in diapers, a fitting end for them.
C. Then there are the Gen-X-ers. Possibly an improvement over the hippie-yahoo generation, but, after you hit bottom where else can you go? Face it, these clowns wished they had been old enough to have gone to Woodstock, (so they could have done 'what' when they got there?). They have by and large lived by sucking off the tit of the land. No innovation with possible exception of "junk-bonds". They did not experience sacrifice with the possible exception of having been children under the reign of President James Earl Carter. In the old days any chief, of a tribe with any self respect, would have lost these guys in a dense fog (preferably near a deep crevasse).
D. The Y generation. They are also known as the 'Y-me' generation. Whiney little snot nosed buggers. These are the spawn of the hippies. Amazing how much damage weed and LSD will do to an embryo. This bunch is good for getting body piercings, tattoos and high on either ecstasy or crystal-meth. The Y-me generation actually believes the propaganda from Green Peace, and, PETA. Many pine for the 60's. When a generation of people is reduced to wishing they were the 'me' generation, it's time to drive the bus over a steep cliff and leave nothing to chance.
Can we start climbing back out of the primordial ooze now?
To understand the problem of illegal immigration at the local level - the only level that seems to have any real relevance currently - please scroll down in this post and take a moment to review the transcripts of the recent HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum meeting in Sterling, Virginia.
Click here for Part 1 of the February 19 meeting, for the candidates' statements. Scroll down for the latest.
[The next Candidates' Forum will take place at 7:00 pm, March 26, at the Loudoun County Senior Center at Cascades.]
Following is Part 2 of the February 19 Forum, in which we get a sense of local citizens' sentiment about this issue.
- "I happened to have a bunch of seventh and eighth graders in my car yesterday on my way to a ski trip and they were from a few different middle schools in the area, and the big joke was that Sterling Middle School is "SMS", and it's right in the name - "MS" central."
- "The unfortunate part is with gangs, they recruit younger and younger and the older gang members recruit the younger kids - and having kids in school myself I'm very concerned about the future of our schools."
- "As a parent or mentor, you should get involved and tell the school administration - they may not know."
- "They do not come here to become acculturated. They do not come here to become citizens. The main income for Mexico is the income that comes back from people who are working here illegally, and they send that money back home. They don't want to be acculturated. So what we have to do is cut off the funding."
- "I had deputies that I called to my house for noise, public urination: They told me two things. One, 'it's a cultural thing so you just have to understand.' Or, two, 'why don't you move out of the barrio?'"
- "Why don't you just drive through Sterling Park and start ticketing the vehicles that are parked on the streets? Why do we as citizens have to constantly call the Sheriff's department? Why don't they just drive through the Park and ticket them and tow them out?"
- "I know that if we take some of these people in who have not committed some type of major criminal offense, ICE isn't going to take them. What are we to do with them? I have absolutely nothing I can do with them."
- "For the most part, the Democrats want the cheap votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor."
- "We've got a community policing program that is just for show."
- "When fathers come over here they abandon their wives and children - they send back a check but it's causing huge problems in Latin America."
- "We try to make a difference here, then maybe we can make a difference with the chicken farmers in Mexico."
Complete transcript below the fold.
*Props to Drudge for this link*
Now, I don't pretend to speak for this site or any of my colleagues' position on smoking, but if you want to see how limiting the rights of smokers is a slippery slope to communist ideology, here you go. I was reading an AP article about a 107 year old man who attributed his long life to forsaking sex. While that's a different barrel of worms altogether, the man made a statement that really struck me when questioned about his persitent penchant for the occasional cig.
But the centenarian, who's had no difficulty living a monastic existence for nearly 80 years, admits the pleasures of tobacco have been harder to resist.
"Now I want to quit," he was quoted as saying of his decades-long cigarette addiction. "Maybe the government should ban cigarette sales so I can give it up," he added.
This is the mentality of a man who's lived under communism for more than half his adult life, and he thinks it's the duty of the state to save him from himself. My point is this: when you catch yourself thinking that the state should take away your freedom to help you, you need to take a hard look at why you want an authoritarian state.
The former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU was arrested last week and charged with possession of child pornography. According to the Friday ABC News report, it does not sound like the charges involved quasi-porn nor does it appear that Rust-Tierney was set up:
Rust-Tierney admitted to investigators that he had downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites onto CD-ROMs, according to the complaint.
There is a cushion of plausibility that Mr. Rust-Tierney is innocent, so one would not want to insist the story deserves any coverage at all. In reality, however, normal journalistic practice seems to be to ferret out relevant details regarding the potential importance of the case if such details are available.
Understandably, with the Academy Awards, a snowstorm and spring training hard upon us, a major newspaper certainly faces the quintessential "perfect storm" of de rigeur news, so it's a small wonder the Post managed to cover anything else at all this weekend.
But one can surmise if the alleged offender had been a former official with the Family Foundation or Concerned Women for America, a story the local NBC affiliate had managed to break Friday evening would have been a 2-page spread in the A section of Sunday's Post.
Instead, here is the total WAPO coverage, tucked into a news roundup inside Saturday's Metro section (B-5):
An Arlington County youth sports coach and former ACLU chapter president was arrested on child pornography charges by federal agents who accused him of viewing Web sites filled with explicit images of pre-pubescent girls.
Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, of Arlington was charged with receipt and possession of child pornography. He was ordered detained pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday. Prosecutors said Rust-Tierney coaches various youth sports teams in and around Arlington. A 2002 Virginia ACLU newsletter identified him as the group's president.
The Saturday edition of the local paper of record - which, granted, is a media leviathan with 10 reporters for every 1 at the lowly Post - managed to dig a bit further into the story, and highlight a relevant local angle the Post's Lexis-Nexis search filter may have blocked:
Speaking for the ACLU, Mr. Rust-Tierney was a leading proponent in the late 1990s for unrestricted access to the Internet, arguing before the Loudoun County Library Board that people would "continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library" and that "maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet" should be allowed...
Mr. Rust-Tierney also argued that parents should have the primary responsibility for setting rules for their children regarding Internet access, and that "older minors should have access to resources appropriate for their age group, even if such materials may be considered by some parents to be unsuitable for younger minors."
A search for "Charles Rust-Tierney" on Google News about 11:00 pm Sunday brought up roughly 7 different stories, none different that the 4 listed above and none, alas, from Sunday's Post.
Bloggers, as expected, are gamely doing the job the mainstream press just won't do:
The General Assembly today passed a resolution expressing "profound regret" for Virginia's role in slavery. (The Washington Times article is here.)
I don't get it. One regrets one's own actions, not the actions of others. Did these assemblymen own slaves? Did they pass slavery laws? If they regret being assemblymen of Virginia, then they should resign.
Although I'd rather have seen Russ Potts dismembered by the constituents he's cheated of a principled leader, I'll take him being gone one way or the other. I have pasted Jill Holtzman Vogel's reaction below the fold. Now, let's elect a good leader to take Russ's place.
Today's news the Joe man may be looking to play ball reminded me of this oldie (for us) but goodie.
Joining our gang now would certainly be a lot more dramatic than if he had simply done it in January when the session started. And who knows, there may be matters of principle involved. But going from Al Gore's running mate to a Republican seems like quite a leap. It may not even be possible, based on certain elements of quantum theory.
An interesting take by Virginia's junior senator:
George McGovern, more forthcoming than most, bluntly stated as much to this writer during a break in taping a 1995 edition of cnn's "Crossfire." After I had argued that the war was clearly winnable even toward the end if we had changed our strategy, the 1972 presidential candidate who had offered to go to Hanoi on his knees commented, "What you don't understand is that I didn't want us to win that war." Mr. McGovern was not alone. He was part of a small but extremely influential minority who eventually had their way.
Via Freep ...
We had an informative and entertaining kick-off to the 2007 HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum series of townhall meetings on Monday, February 19 here in Sterling.
Our speakers were the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Supervisor, Catoctin District, and the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Sheriff.
February 19 HelpSaveLoudoun - HelpSaveHerndon Candidates' Forum
l to r: Candidates for Sheriff: Sheriff Steve Simpson and Greg Ahlemann; Local Yahoo; Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor: Geary Higgins, Robert Bruton
The supervisor candidates were very well informed, well spoken and exceedingly genteel. I'm certain we will be covering both of them a good bit more before the June 9 LCRC Convention.
The candidates for sheriff were likewise gentlemen, albeit with a bit more of the fireworks factor. This is not entirely surprising as the theme was "illegal immigration in Northern Virginia" and from the typical citizens' standpoint the law enforcement angle is the most problematic.
This will be the first in a two-part blog posting. We'll cover the candidates' remarks here first, and then later the interaction with local residents.
I think everyone in our area should take an interest in what the two candidates for Catoctin Supervisor, Robert Bruton and Geary Higgins, have to say. The GOP is offering up a couple of incredibly capable, decent men for this post.
I think EVERYONE - and I don't just mean Virginia residents - should pay close attention to what our two candidates for the GOP nomination for sheriff, Greg Ahlemann and current Sheriff Steve Simpson, have to say. They are debating the finer points of the ICE 287(g) program and, really, the whole approach to illegal aliens on the local level since the mid 1990s. Sterling Park is the cutting edge of this unfortunate situation, and these gentlemen are stating different perspectives from smack dab in the middle of it.
If you are anywhere in the U.S. and concerned about having your local law enforcement officers involved in 287(g), you ought to read the testimonies below. This is an issue I've done some reading on, and the discussion here is extraordinarily valuable for filling in the real-life blanks.
And - oh, yeah - if you want to get a sense of the differences between the candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff in 2007, the interchange that follows probably paints a pretty good picture.
UPDATE: The Forum was covered by the Easterner and I actually got to spend some time talking with one of the majordomos of Loudoun news, Editor Martin Casey - "just a reporter" he calls himself. Pretty cool.
Those of us lucky enough to be on the e-mail list of the Hardest Working Supervisor in Loudoun, Eugene Delgaudio, have been treated to a succession of uniquely entertaining dispatches from the storm.
Since the ice-and-snow hit last Tuesday, Delgaudio has kept the residents of Sterling apprised of school closings, road conditions, safety tips and his personal advice on removing ice from vehicles ("The sun has been out for hours, use an ice pick or chemicals to pick at whatever ice you can get to today where ever it is. On Saturday it will be warmer and use that opportunity to do more ice removal.")
He spent the week calling plows and heavy machinery into remaining problem areas and, when necessary, tackling the tougher patches himself to help ensure the majority of his constituents could get out and about.
Here is his letter from yesterday:
Monday Feb. 19, 2007
Happy Presidents Day
Dear Sterling American,
There is no school today due to the Holiday. This is day six of the Valentines Day Ice Storm.
Many of you have written reporting unplowed streets and VDOT trucks have been out there plowing the reported streets.
(SEE POSTSCRIPT BELOW)
This is the continuation of the ongoing "Iraq: Now What" conversation. Here's the history:
Something that concerns me about all this is that I often hear things like, "We have to remove Saddam" or "Leaving Iraq is not an option" or "If Iran is supplying weapons, we have no choice but to expand the war..."
It sometimes sounds like our enemy has completely boxes us in, and is leading us deeper down a tunnel, and we have no choice but to follow.
Has anyone here ever play the board game called Go? In it, two players try to control as much territory on the board as they can while attacking and attempting to gain control of their opponent's territory. It's an ancient game, that's been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years as a tool for teaching Chinese and Japanese generals about warfare.
Anyway, in Go there's a term called Sente, which means, "having the initiative." A player who is controlling the game is said to have sente. The longer a player is able to keep sente, the longer he will be able to force his opponent's hand, and in doing so will prevent his opponent from developing his own strategy. In the end, the player who is able to control the game will win the game.
The war in Iraq isn't a board game, but every time I hear something like, "We have no choice to..." or "Our only option is..." or "If we want to protect our way of life, we have to..." it makes me wonder which side is really in control of this war.
Data collected by our neighboring town of Herndon appears to confirm that the growing population of illegal aliens in this area is resulting in an increase in certain crimes.
Anecdotally, longtime local residents have been saying that the increasing number of illegal aliens beginning about five years ago has resulted in a corresponding increase in crime and neighborhood blight. Loudoun County public safety officials have told me personally that there has been a direct relationship between the increase in illegal immigration and an increase in gang activity and violent crime.
Now, there seems to be hard data confirming the trend, according to this story in the local Compass newspaper.
The table shows that "Group A" crimes among Hispanics more than doubled over the 3-year period - from 102 arrests in 2002 to 236 arrests in 2004. Arrests among Hispanics in 2004 were more than double the number for non-Hispanics - 236 versus 98.
Left out of the Compass story is any discusson of whether the data allows for distinguishing between crimes committed by the legal vs illegal Hispanic populations. I suspect the assumption is, as reflected by both sides of the 2005 debate over the Herndon day labor center, that the largest share of Hispanic population increase in the town are illegal aliens. But this does need to be based in fact and it's something I will look into.
The story also notes that the Virginia State Police require that all jurisdictions collect this data so we will be asking our Loudoun County officials about this.
While I've heard he's taking somewhat of a beating this year from the mainstream media and supposed allies in the state senate, Ken Cuccinelli is still, in this humble blogger's opinion, the best state senator in our Commonwealth, and the back of my pickup truck agrees. I've attached his latest report from Richmond below the fold.
As we noted last night, the Virginia Senate is in the process of derailing proposed legislation intended to address the negative effects of illegal immigration in the state. A host of good bills were passed by the House of Delegates but the (also Republican-controlled) Senate is effectively depositing them one by one into the circular filing cabinet.
Not to fear, however. The current session in Richmond is merely a trial run for November 6, 2007, when Virginians will have the opportunity to throw the folks who vote for illegal immigration out on their collective ears if need be - and this includes the entire state legislature and many local offices.
HelpSaveLoudoun, among many others, is watching their list and checking it twice, to see who goes in the "naughty" column come November. Some elected officials are cementing their status as we speak by their votes in Richmond; others will make their case for yea or nay recommendations during public meetings such as the ones being held Feb 19, March 26 and April 16 in Sterling.
A piece of legislation still on the table will create a commission to investigate the fiscal impact of illegal aliens in the Commonwealth. Learn about it here and tell your Senator to support it if you think this information would be useful.
Burn the mofo down? Maybe we must ...
Senator Mark Herring at HelpSaveLoudoun meeting, August 15, 2006
This report from Blog Fu is surprising.
Delegate Jackson Miller's HB2937 which sought to ensure that taxpayer funds would not be used by organizations to provide services for illegal aliens was killed by the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee today in an 11-4 vote ...
What's really surprising to me is that Senator Herring from Loudoun County would have voted this way. His district is definitely under pressure from illegal aliens, and citizens groups such as Help Save Loudoun are forming and gaining strength. Herring just threw gasoline at the smouldering fire developing in Loudoun County on this issue, and has armed whoever his opponent will be with some tremendous political ammunition.
Here are a few points of interest about Senator Herring, a Virginia Democrat whom I, for one, was not quite willing to give up on:
Attached below the fold is a press release from Jill Holtzman Vogel condemning our heinous senator from the 27th district.
I think the following sums up her position pretty well:
"Russ Potts has betrayed the trust of 27th District voters yet again. When he ran for reelection in 2003, he called himself the 'first pro-life chair' of the Education and Health Committee. He has reneged on that promise. Instead of keeping his word, he sided with the extreme pro-abortion lobby and against innocent human life that deserves protection," Holtzman Vogel said.
Before 10th District Republican complains, I'd be glad to post Tate releases if I knew how to get on his email distribution list.
At this point, I still don't have horse in this race and just want to make sure that both candidates are still in a position to win whenever the nominee is decided.
UPDATE: My apologies to the Vogel campaign as I'm not sure how to center the banner image. It didn't look like that on the press release. Maybe Joe will have some idea.
Three cheers for the LG for telling Gov. Timmy Kaine how it is. Although I'm not completely sold on the 'compromise' transportation plan, it may be the boost that NoVA Republicans need going into the fall election.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, said Mr. Kaine has been "missing in action" and thinks he and fellow Democrats would rather see talks fail so they can rip Republicans this fall when all 140 seats of the General Assembly are up for election. "I'm not sure what role he has played," Mr. Bolling said. "When you look at it, the only thing he has done has been counterproductive." Mr. Bolling said Mr. Kaine offered a transportation proposal last month that was almost identical to a plan rejected last year.
A good story in yesterday's Times by NVTH's favorite Times editor, Stacy McCain:
"The Republican Party was founded specifically to abolish slavery," says Mrs. May, a writer who lives in McLean. "The first nine planks for the Republican Party dealt with civil rights for blacks. Republicans fought for the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments ... [against] total opposition from the Democrats."
Her quest to bring that history to life has resulted in a documentary, "Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution," which will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at McLean Bible Church and is available on digital video disc in time for Black History Month.
In a big sense this falls out from No Relation's articles Sober Follow-Up: Winning the War on Terror and Rantings of a Drunken Vet: Winning the War on Terror I credit comments from SPMM a.k.a. Marshmallow a.k.a. Puffy who asks some telling questions was the final goad, and I give him credit for giving these positions a local voice.
SPMM: I feel like you're beginning to misunderstand my main point: that winning at any cost could potentially be more costly than "losing."
In the last World War we lost over 350,000 all told. We currently are not at 1% of this number. We spent over 2.0 Trillion current dollars for WWII, we have not yet hit 400B in Iraq. We put over 16 million men into uniform, mostly through a draft. Our current armed forces consist of 1.4 million volunteers. We fought WWII with 130 million people. We now have 300 million. We are now far richer on a per capita basis. Our economy has not even geared up for war yet, and it is doing better than any other in the West. Now, you are asking if we are even close to a Pyrrhic Victory? With all respect, have you really this through to the end? We are ridiculously far from such a loss. When our losses surpass those of WWII, which we won, then such a question begins to look like something other than overwrought hysteria. The really crazy part is you are not alone; it is a mass hysteria running rampant in the nation. 3000 dead on the battle field was a single day of hard fighting in several of our wars. Did not the founders write that the tree of liberty requires the blood of sacrifice?
The Effects of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION In Northern Virginia Communities:What our local and state officials should be doing to address these issues Four candidates: Meet them, learn where they stand, and tell them what you think. If you want to have an impact on public policy in our area, face to face contact with the people who intend to hold office is the best place to make a difference.
Candidates for Loudoun County Sheriff
Gregory J. Ahlemann
Stephen O. Simpson (current Sheriff)
Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor
Geary M. Higgins
Monday, February 19, 7:00 pm Loudoun County Senior Center - Cascades 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, VA 20165
Future Candidates' Forum events will be held on March 26 and April 16.
9 times out of 10, I support the more conservative candidate in a primary/convention and the winner afterwards, but many good conservatives refuse to support the lesser of two evils in the general election. This has got to change, and if you needed a good reason why, here it is (my one exception is Chichester, and he just has to go no matter what as we might as well not control the Senate with him in charge).
I read Raising Kaine to see what the real crazies in this world are up to. Today, they had a live-blog with Del. Ebbin, and if you can't see why we need Republicans in charge of our General Assembly, imagine a world with this guy in the House leadership and Brian Moron at the helm.
Liberty goes bye-bye in a real way.
The New York Times reports that we may have an accord with North Korea to dismantle its nuclear facilities. This, if it pans out, is certainly a triumph for the Bush Administration, which refused to negotiate with North Korea one-on-one.
but this is the kind of politician that I respect. RIP Mr. Norwood
A contact inside the 27th district state senate race passed on the following newsletter from Republican candidate Mark Tate (former Middleburg Vice Mayor) that I've copied and pasted below the fold. I've read comments on a couple of other blogs indicating that supporters of Mr. Tate were engaged in a whispering campaign against his his conservative opponent Jill Holtzman Vogel, a campaign finance attorney from Fauquier, with the message that Jill is not as pro-life as she claims to be.
It would seem that Mr. Tate himself has actually been involved in the whispering and is now shouting his accusations. This sort of mudslinging in a vital primary is completely out of line, and Mr. Tate should focus on explaining to the voters of the 27th district why he is qualified to be their state senator rather than casting aspersions on another true believer in our conservative social values. While I reserve my judgement as to who should be elected in this race, the Tate campaign seems to be off on the wrong foot.
Update: With Potts out of the race, this race is likely to heat up. Maybe we can get Mrs. Vogel and/or Mr. Tate into this site to live-blog.
In case you needed any further evidence of the futility of "Republican" governance, please read the following update on the case of the U.S. Border Patrol agents currently imprisoned for shooting a drug smuggler.
Long story short: Our government has a soft spot for criminals from south of the border. Scroll to the end for the money paragraph.
"Why" exactly? I don't know. I will bet it has something to do with cheap labor.
Are there any voices of reason in the U.S.? Well, yes there are - namely Tom Tancredo. Can he win the nomination for President? Who knows, but now is the time to be thinking about it and working for it.
If Tancredo cannot be the nominee: How's about a third party, folks? If not now, when?
Here is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality:
By Heidi Thiess
We are still closely watching the Border Patrol case, especially after last week's explosive news that the DHS had lied to Congressmen who were looking into the case. Close on the heels of that shocking revelation, we noted that US Attorney Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor in this case, has lied openly and repeatedly about this case to the media. In an effort to counter Sutton's lies, here is one of his favorite public statements about Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean deconstructed:
Since no one commented on the suggested topic of my open thread, you can learn about what's going on from the LG...
On February 6th the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly reached "crossover." This is the ceremonial mid-point of the annual legislative session -- the date by which the Senate and House of Delegates must complete work on bills introduced by their own members.
Crossover is usually one of the longest days of the legislative session, with hundreds of bills considered during final committee meetings and very long floor sessions. This year was no exception. The Senate spent six hours in its longest floor session this year. The House of Delegates did not adjourn until much later, well into the evening hours.
In last week's edition of The Bolling Report I reported that the Senate's Committee on Finance had rejected the so-called Republican compromise transportation plan and had adopted an alternative transportation proposal that included massive statewide tax increases. This alternative proposal was sponsored by Senator John Chichester and Senator Russ Potts
Thanks to all who commented on my last post. Good points being brought up.
Our friendly dissenter, Stay Puff Marshmellow Man, asked me how I would use the strategy of attrition in the current situation with the War on Terror.
I replied: "I wouldn't use attrition, I would use annihilation." I then promised to continue that conversation.
You see, the enemy we fight is fanatical and at the current pace they can replace their terrorists and supplies as fast as we can kill them. We are spending too much effort trying to win over public support and too little effort trying to kill bad people.
The ironic thing is, the longer we stay, the more support we lose. A long, foreign occupation would go unsupported in any country.
Some will say the "hearts and minds" game is the only way, but it's not. We've fought an enemy worse than this in the past, and left 100% successful.
I'm speaking of the Japanese, and I can't help but compare the war on terror to fighting them in WWII.
Good Stuff from the New Yorker, passed along by a friend of mine:
Virgin No. 16: Even I know that's tiny.
Virgin No. 17: "Do it"? Meaning what?
Virgin No. 18: I'm saving myself for Jesus.
Virgin No. 19: Somewhere on my body I have hidden a buffalo nickel.
Virgin No. 20: Don't touch my hair!
Virgin No. 21: I hope you're not going to sleep with me and then go sleep with seventy-one others.
Virgin No. 22: Do you mind if we listen to Mannheim Steamroller?
No time to blog substantively because I'm off to meet Blog Fu guy. But I do need to put a chuck roast on to cook so we'll blog that, perhaps initiating a new category here in the process.
(And I must say this notion of blogging one's household chores could yield a veritable font of material from yours truly. This could be a new era.)
Title of Project: Joe's Very Easy To Prepare Chuck Roast
Purpose of Project: Get finished and out of the house ASAP
Hypothesis: From start to finish, I can get everything into the crock pot in less than five minutes
1). Take all of the following ingredients out of the refrigerator, shopping bags, kitchen cabinet, or wherever else they happen to be:
1 pkg Wegman's stew vegetables (onion, potato, carrot, celery)
1 pkg Wegman's sliced onion and pepper
(If you don't have a Wegmans, you could buy a vegetable "party tray" at any supermarket and use it. Do not use the dip)
1 pkg Sliced shitaake mushrooms
3-5 lb chuck roast
2) Put them all in the crock pot
Total elapsed time between first and second photographs: 3 minutes 35 seconds, including putting dish in sink, spices back in closet and trash in the trash can.
3) Turn crock pot on for 8 hours, low heat.
Stay tuned for updates in about 7 hours.
UPDATE: Not too shabby.
To be a little more precise, and without any risk of hyperbole: It may be one of the best dishes I've ever experienced on the face of this Earth, with a tastiness quotient approaching a Jacob- and -Esau - birthright- sacrifices level of savoriness, a total Biblical three-star cuisine scenario.
A good dish.
Since I'll be gone for the weekend and with limited internet capacity, I figured I'd do what other blogs do when they're gone: OPEN THREAD!!!
I'll even start Stay Puft and you other commenters with a topic: Transportation and the 2007 VA General Assembly. Do you think there will be a compromise? Who are the big winners and losers from a non-political-junkie viewpoint?
[UPDATE - SEE THE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST. IT DOES WORK AND I RECOMMEND EVERYONE BEGIN DOING IT]
A point I have tried to make once or twice here is I have some occasional disagreements with the Republican National Committee, among others in the GOP.
I've been a pretty loyal Republican since 1986 when I was 25 - I certainly have not voted for a Democrat since that time - and I have been a financial contributor to the Party since I reached the point of bare financial solvency. About 11 years ago.
But these days ... weellllll ... perhaps I'm not the IDEAL Republican.
Case in point: I received the following fundraiser mailing today, and dang it all if I did not feel compelled to respond in a pointed manner (click to see the full story below the fold): There are four steps in all.
Step 1: Mailing received from the RNC:
Say what you will about the lack of connection between Iraq and 9/11, let me start by saying that if you think Iraq has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, you are a RETARD. Iraq is no doubt a battle front in the War on Terror.
That being said, I want to comment on the troop surge President Bush had proposed. I support it, because my opinion is that it is a huge step in the right direction. There's a war going on there, and the more troops we have in country, the better. It doesn't take a math major to figure out a simple concept like strength in numbers.
However, I don't think that will be enough. We need a change in strategy. Well, for that matter, we need a strategy to start with.
Years ago, in a military history class, I was taught that there are three strategies in war: annihilation, attrition, and exhaustion. Look them up...I lack the intelligence to properly articulate the concepts. I recommend the writings of John Keegan and Colonel Harry Summers.
SO...Which one have we been pursuing in Iraq and Afghanistan?
See, Texas protects life from fertilization on, and they don't have women being arrested for natural miscarriages or no in vitro fertilization.
These are the same sort of arguments that were being put forward against the marriage amendment. The far left is once again trying to divide cultural conservatives, but it seems that they're winning this war so far.
Update: Changed my terminology a little
The Virginia General Assembly "crossover" is today: The House gets the Senate's bills and vice versa.
Most significantly, a host of good bills addressing the negative effects the illegal alien population is having in the state have been passed by the House and now will be considered by the more problematic Senate. A few are going in the other direction.
If you believe the state should be doing more to solve the problems caused by illegal immigration here, the key thing to be done right now is CONTACT YOUR SENATOR. Find your Senator in the right hand side of this page. Send an e-mail, make a phone call, drop on in and talk to the folks in the office. Do all three if possible, but at least do one.
Tell your Senator you want him or her to support the following bills. They each attempt to improve the Commonwealth of Virginia's ability to control the problems imposed on citizens and legal residents by the growing illegal alien population in our communities.
If you are the cutting-and-pasting type, cut and paste whichever part of the list below you want to use. When you are done, go ahead and contact some other Senator. Maybe one from a nearby jurisdiction you moved from or might move into. Maybe just pick one 'cause you like their name. Then contact your Senator again in a day or two to see how everything's going.
But sound off and sound off repeatedly. There is a remaining window of literally days in which to make a difference on the legislative process and the laws that will be governing you and everyone else. Because Virginia is a "Dillon State" there are restrictions on what local governments can do in any given area until the state does something. And now is when the state might do something.
There's no guarantee Governor Kaine will sign every piece of legislation that comes to his desk - but he can't sign or veto the bills he does not receive. Also, every single Senator is up for election in less than 10 months. Here is a perfect opportunity to determine whether yours is worth voting for. Tell him or her what you think, and then watch how they vote.
Here is a quick list of relevant legislation to contact your Senator about. Below the fold is a status report and detail on each bill prepared by the excellent Bob Rudine of HelpSaveHerndon.
HB1618 Governor to enter into an agreement with ICE
HB1673 Immigration, Commission on; created, report
HB1921 Extortion; withholding immigration document
HB1970 Federal illegal alien status unlawful in Virginia; penalty
HB2336 Fraudulent use of birth certificates, etc.; penalty
HB2435 Immigrants; status in order to obtain domicile
HB2448 Every public body shall register with and participate in the Basic Pilot Program
HB2605 Illegal immigrants; document verification for employment of, penalty.
HB2622 Harboring illegal alien; penalty
HB2623 Tuition, in-state; illegal aliens not eligible therefore
HB2687 Unfair employment practices; discharging employees
HB2688 Workers' compensation; benefits paid to unauthorized aliens
HB2926 Immigration; powers of law-enforcement
HB2931 Cooperation with federal officials regarding immigration status
HB2937 Eligibility of certain aliens for state and local public benefits
HB3130 BPOL tax; refusal to grant and revocation of business licenses.
SB815 Human Anti-Trafficking Act
SB1045 Immigration; powers of law-enforcement officers
Take a moment to read through the bills - you can click through to the full text and amended versions if applicable. There are a handful of days in which to make a difference. Let's make the effort.
UPDATE: Bob just reported that ALL of the major bills we have been tracking have passed the House with sufficient votes for the House to withstand a veto.
Take a look below at the very impressive majorities most of these passed by. That says something about the general tenor of public opinion in the state - and I think also should give us hope a Democratic governor will not be deaf to the concerns.
Raising Kaine and the increasingly irrelevant Not Larry Sabato think that Rerras is in trouble because of this. I think it's evidence that Nick has a sound head on his shoulders.
Yet another reminder why the Dems are still a million times worse than our sometimes disappointing Republican Party.
Do I have to say how ridiculous the whole concept of a "non-binding" resolution against the President's war plans is? What a gutless excuse for action.
Why not just phrase it "I'm opposed to Iraq, but I'm afraid to do anything real about it, so I'll vote for the `non-binding' version of what I really think."
If you oppose the war, have the intestinal fortitude to back your opposition, or have the dignity to back down.
I'm embarrassed this thing got so many votes.
In light of stories like this one:
Debate heats up over Social Security for illegal immigrants,
... this one:
Funding for 700-mile border fence falls short,
... and especially this one:
Border Patrol agent beaten up in prison,
... I thought it might be helpful to summarize popular sentiment toward the leadership of the Party of Mel Martinez.
Here is the short version, which some of you might find handy:
Nothing like this vote to depress the conservative base ahead of Assembly elections...Times like this almost make me wonder why we need Republicans in charge anyway.
If you want to see someone who's obsessed with his own self-importance, NLS is throwing around election predictions like it's raining interns. This would be a totally depressing defeat except for the reminder that we still need to work to defeat NLS, 'Bubbles' Moran, and their bunch of goons.
I have returned. Anybody miss me?
I guess the better question would be: Anybody remember me?
...you know who you are.
Ok, I borrowed that title from an article at slate.com about the science of gay sheep.
An experiment to test which sex rams chose to mate with found out that about 10% of all rams are gay:
A bare majority of rams turn out to be heterosexual. One in five swings both ways. About 15 percent are asexual, and 7 percent to 10 percent are gay.
Why so many gay rams? Is it too much socializing with ewes? Same-sex play with other lambs? Domestication? Nope. Those theories have been debunked. Gay rams don't act girly. They're just as gay in the wild. And a crucial part of their brainsâ€”the "sexually dimorphic nucleus"â€”looks more like a ewe's than like a straight ram's. Gay men have a similar brain resemblance to women. Charles Roselli, the project's lead scientist, says such research "strongly suggests that sexual preference is biologically determined in animals, and possibly in humans."
Now, you'd think this sort of evidence would put conservative-types between a rock and a hard place, having to reconcile claims that being gay is opposed to nature with the fact that God's own creation includes gays. Not so! The article goes on...
Identifying gay rams wasn't enough. In 2000, Stormshak described an attempt to "alter" them. The idea was to "enhance their sexual behavior or performance" by making them act like straight rams. Three years later, Roselli told an OHSU committee that "information gained about the hormonal, neural, genetic, and environmental determinants of sexual partner preferences should allow better selection of rams for breeding and as a consequence may be economically important to the sheep industry." OSU president Ed Ray says the research "may define biological tests that can be used to identify" gay or asexual rams, "thus eliminating their use for general breeding purposes."
With new advances we may one day be able to influence the development of the brain during pregnancy to eliminate homosexuality. This kind of stuff makes me uneasy. What do you think? clearly this would be going against the natural course of things (ie 'God's design'), but is tampering with nature and engineering the brain development of a fetus justifiable in the name of creating "a more moral society" ? We already have amniocentesis to test for downs, and many women who consider themselves to be "pro-lifers" say they'd consider having an abortion if they knew their kid would have downs syndrome.
The Slate article concludes:
But killing is the horror scenario. The more likely path is gentler. Science will gradually convince us that sexual orientation is innate, more like the color of your skin than like the content of your character. Condemnation of homosexuality as a sin will subside. Freed from the culture wars, we'll turn to the biological differences between race and sexual orientation: Homosexuality defies the aspiration to procreate with your mate, and it's easier to isolate and alter in embryonic development. Resentment will give way to pity. We'll come to view homosexuality as a kind of infertilityâ€”a disability, like deafness. The rhetoric of "acceptance" will shift from liberals to conservatives. We'll inoculate our offspring against homosexuality out of love, not hate.
The sheep researchers intend nothing like this. But they didn't foresee the initial uproar over their work, either. It has come from the left, not the right. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has tried to quash their research, falsely depicting them as bigots. PETA, like President Bush, thinks that bad ideas come from bad people, and you have to stamp out the whole lot.
But bad ideasâ€”communism, eugenics, wars of liberationâ€”don't happen because they're bad. They happen because, in the beginning, they're good. What we do with the biological truth about homosexuality, for good or ill, isn't written in our hormones or our genes. It's up to us.
I have to admit it kind of makes me glad to see Jane Fonda exercising her free speech on the war issue again, only because I believe it will hurt the anti-war cause. If that treasonous waste of oxygen wants to go out there and tell everyone how bad war is...more power to those of us who disagree with her.
The recent protest circuses have me laughing because no one there can really explain why they oppose the war. We're just hearing the same old "no war for oil, Bush lied, kids died" rhetoric. It makes me think these protestors are just opposed to wars in general and have no sense of why they are opposed to this one...
Just to be clear, let me explain why I support this one...
Doing some light reading the other night, I came across this in the concluding paragraph Chapter 4, "Of the Limits to the Authority of Society over the Individual" in John Stewart Mill's "On Liberty":
If civilization has got the better of barbarism when barbarism had the world to itself, it is too much to profess to be afraid lest barbarism, after having been fairly got under, should revive and conquer civilization. A civilization that can thus succumb to its vanquished enemy, must first have become so degenerate, that neither its appointed priests and teachers, nor anybody else, has the capacity, or will take the trouble, to stand up for it. If this be so, the sooner such a civilization receives notice to quit, the better. It can only go on from bad to worse, until destroyed and regenerated (like the Western Empire) by energetic barbarians.
Where are our priests and teachers who stand up to preach and teach against the barbarism is radical Islam? Where are the defenders of Western Civilization? Where are the leaders proclaiming that our way of life is the best, because it allows every individual to fulfill his potential?
(Oh, yeah, we need to cut Al some slack, because he had to be like - what, 45 - in this picture?)
Al Franken, he of the meteoric career (meteors don't necessarily go "up" you realize), is running for Senate in two years.
Undoubtedly he will be identified as "comedian" Al Franken in the press, but he's not very funny anymore. For a good year or so we had the rare treat of the video of his Air America show on the Sundance Channel every night, and I could not get enough of it to be perfectly honest. Apart from the pre-recorded bits, it was the proverbial car crash in slow motion, night after night.
And the operative word here is ... slow. As in, dragging.
Al's thing is he is not particularly comfortable in his own skin, and he telegraphs that like a beacon. You want to talk about dead air? Al creates dead air every time he exhales. If you had a drinking game to do shots whenever Al left an uncomfortable silence on his show, you'd be blitzed and puking within 15 minutes.
If you added bonus shots on top of that for every time he whined, the drinking game would be outlawed on the basis of mass alcohol poisoning.
He may be a clever man at the keyboard or delivering the prepared speech, but quick on his feet he is not. I think Norm Coleman would want to demand debates on a pretty much daily basis. After a week of sheer frustration Al would be goaded into attempting a half-nelson and that would be the end of that.
As we all know, we have a two-party system in the United States, and in Virginia. Those parties are the Evil Party and the Stupid Party. So when a bill passes the Virginia Senate 40-0, we can be sure it is both evil and stupid.
The bill, if approved by the House of Delegate, which has wisely already killed every minimum wage bill introduced there, would increase the minimum wage in Virginia to $6.50 per hour as of July 1st, 2007.
Virginia has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country, and won Forbes Best States for Business running away last year. In such a good labor market, if a worker, who is free to go to another employer, and an employer, who is free to hire another worker, agree on a price for that worker's services, why should the government say that their agreement is unacceptable?
son brother of Congressman Jim Moran and Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has said, "If you work 40 hours a week at the minimum wage, you make less than the federal poverty level.... The minimum wage should not be a ticket to poverty. We should value the work of people who get up every morning and work 40 hours a week by paying them a wage that they can sustain themselves on." My grandfather worked three jobs to support his family, during the Depression. My father also took on extra work when I was growing up, and he worked overtime, too. I frequently work 50+ hours per week, and worked 60+ hours per week moving furniture for $4/hr. There are enough jobs in this economy that anyone who wants more work can find it.
Senator Tata, apparently a RINO, said, "There is a certain group of people who will never make more than minimum wage, and they should be allowed a living wage." I doubt seriously you will find anyone who has made no more than the minimum wage for the last forty years, but let's look at the numbers. Minimum wage is now $6.15/hr. Working only 40 hours per week for 50 weeks, that's $10,300 per year. Saving only 10% of that in a Roth IRA, the worker will have over a million dollars saved at age 65, assuming the long-term average of 10.5% return on stocks. That's a retirement income of $40,000 per year, plus Social Security. Not bad. But of course, if one had the will to save 10% of his income, he would not be stuck in minimum-wage jobs for 45 years.
And where oh where is the media coverage?! On the surface the story of business owner Dave Ruttenberg's treatment by the City of Manassas Park appears to be a tale of an astounding degree of corruption in the government of a small town just waiting to be uncovered. I thought investigative reporters loved this kind of stuff, the prospect of a Pulitzer literally dangling before their eyes?
To get the full picture, click on this link and read from the bottom up.
As BVBL now reports, the city's latest move is to offer a settlement that seems to have the basic components of blackmail.
One might surmise the city or certain parties within it are attempting to make this story go away real quick like, before any major news outlets start sniffing around and get the Virginia Attorney General's office or the even the feds involved.
Someone familiar with the story passed along this bit of information:
Police co-opted David Ruttenberg's head of security Tom Kifer and instructed him to allow known drug dealers to enter the business despite his job to keep them out. Later on at the ABC hearing, the police blamed Dave Ruttenberg for drug activity in the business that the police themsemselves were responsible for instigating. Police told drug dealers from Woodbridge and Dale City to Manassas Park to come to Rack & Roll Billiards and deal who otherwise would have never known the place existed.
It has gotten some limited local coverage but that's about it. Why it's not on the front page of the Times or Post I have no idea. They are missing a huge opportunity.