April 2007 Archives
Soon to be nothing even remotely resembling household news is this story about the Al Qaida guy who was formerly a high ranking officer in the Iraq military.
Begging the question the MSM doesn't dare ask: how "formerly," exactly?
Thomas Joscelyn wants to know how much, if any, contact he had with his old patron while waging terrorist war for bin Ladin in Afghanistan.
Don't we all.
Or should I say, "Don't we most."
I can imagine quite a few people who are right now beginning to shriek that this man, this poor abused misunderstood idealist, must not be asked a single question more.
Don't miss this further post on Bush's shenanigans in this matter.
Also, Captain Ed weighs in regarding media coverage of the capture. Which sheds some light on the story as a whole.
This just came in. On Thursday, May 3, at 8:00 pm, there will be a televised Republican presidential candidates debate and the Duncan Hunter campaign is encouraging "house parties" throughout the country to a) watch the debate, b) build support for Duncan Hunter, and c) participate in a conference call with Congressman Hunter afterwards.
I have materials you can use to help spread the word and contact information for the Hunter campaign people so you can sign on as a host. Contact me via a comment here and I can forward you that information. And if you want to attend a local (Northern VA) get together next Thursday, I can give you directions.
The rest of this post is lifted directly from an e-mail I received from someone in contact with the Hunter campaign.
As most of you know, if we cannot elect a rule-of-law-enforcement candidate in 2008, we will have lost the battle against illegal immigration and, in all likelihood, our country as we have known it. As most of you also know, there are only two 2008 presidential candidates among all candidates from both parties we can trust on the illegal immigration issue -- Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo. For the time being, or until the dust settles a bit, we should do as much as we can to boost both of their candidacies.
We have been asked by Duncan Hunter's campaign staff to put together "Debate Watching Parties" (DWPs) for the May 3rd Republican Primary Debate. As I understand it, the objectives of the DWPs are to generate additional momentum for candidate Hunter's campaign and campaign contributions, as well as to identify potential workers for his campaign.
Hosting or attending a DWP provides a good initial opportunity to support the Duncan Hunter campaign for President. We don't need to look at this as an elaborate work exercise. Rather, this can, and should be a fun exercise. Personally, I plan to invite a few friends and family members over for drinks and snacks and to discuss the debate. The schedule for the evening is as follows:
--8:00 PM (EST)to 9:30 Republican Primary Candidates Debate.
--10:00 PM to approximately 10:30 Q & A Conference Calls from attendees of DWPs to Duncan Hunter.
--10:00 to 10:08 Duncan Hunter comments on the debate results.
--10:08 to 10:30 Duncan Hunter takes call-in questions from attendees of Debate Parties across the Country.
Duncan Hunter has been a strong supporter of immigration reform for many years--since long before most of us realized illegal immigration was a serious problem. He played a pivotal role in the funding and construction of the 12-mile-long border fence in the San Diego area well before September 11. With his strong support nearly 50 more miles have been constructed. More recently, he put together one of the most sweeping (one must avoid the word "comprehensive") immigration reform bills ever -- HR 4313: the True Enforcement and Border Security Act of 2005.
With so much riding on the 2008 presidential election, we must do all we can to help build momentum for Duncan Hunter's campaign.
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets site has photos from Wednesday's funeral of Cadet Matthew La Porte, one of the students murdered last week.
Wow. Eileen at VB Dems just hosted a fantastic live blog with our Delegate Tom Rust, who provided interesting, thorough responses to tough questions. He also taught me a few things about some of the legislative initiatives we followed here during the last session.
It will only take 5-10 minutes to read the whole thing; go check it out.
More Tom Rust info available here.
No one jet pooled, no one took commercial flights to save money, fuel or emissions.
Here's what you do next time someone starts talking to you about how we need to make massive changes in our lifestyles and economy in order to ward off the warming of the Earth: Punch them in the nose. After enough punches in the nose, they will all shut up.
If you're not the punchin' type, just laugh in their face and take the keys to their car, saying "I get the car, you go get a bicycle. You don't deserve a car."
Don't think about it, just click, damn you.
On a related note, the more traffic we receive on this blog, the less time I will have to drive around town in my truck sightseeing. So put us on your blogroll, visit each day, send out links to our articles via e-mail and you'll be helping to save the Earth. Thank you.
After a short discussion which was by all accounts not nearly short enough, but was, on the plus side, largely inaudible, the Loudoun County Republican Committee voted to approve a new Call for a June 9 convention, banishing from memory and the history books the old, outdated, slightly risque and, frankly, evil original Call for a June 9 convention.
According to the new Call, there will now be a ... June 9 convention.
But seriously, some major modifications required by the crack legal team of the Republican Party of Virginia were enforced and implemented in the new Call, resulting in a Call so far superior in every way that I will personally celebrate by leaving my front door unlocked and my wallet sitting open on the porch overnight just like we could do in the old days. Because I think the RPV may have just saved us from ourselves and ushered in a new era for the community.
The new Call is modeled strictly according to RPV guidelines. To wit:
- The word "Call" shall heretofore be capitalized.
- The date "June 9, 2007" shall be expressed in the traditional format as "June 9, 2007," rather than according to Julian numeration as 2454261 despite the obvious difficulties this poses for programmers.
- The pledge required of voters and delegates shall not require they renounce any previous affiliation with the Democratic Party, but simply require them to "act surprised" if at any time in the future it is brought to light that they are, in fact, Democrats.
So I left the meeting, I'm sure like everyone else, grateful for the paternal oversight of the RPV and confident that organization is worth every penny I am sending them.
The key question of the night was whether to approve the new Call and have the previously agreed-upon June 9 convention, or consider some totally different method of selecting candidates such as a "fire house primary," in which the candidates don raincoats and boots and the voters get to take turns at the firehose: last candidate standing wins.
The ensuing debate - which I will now recount for those who were there because as far as I could tell everyone who was sitting more than ten feet from the 1920's era sound system were all doing crosswords or playing gin rummy - was the typical "the fire house thing is better because it is funner and brings in more voters" vs "the convention is better because we all love each other more when it's over." Yadda yadda yadda.
This discussion was interrupted by a new motion to allow the vote on the above to be conducted by paper ballot so no one would feel intimidated by the Delgaudio mafia, but with the RPV rep watching everything like a hawk it was generally agreed that introducing a new document into the process might easily result in an infraction getting the entire assembly sent off to some gulag in the boondocks section of the state for re-education, which would result in Loudoun Insider having to reveal his true identity, which would mean the end of the current age.
Even though Republicans, we're in no huge hurry for Armageddon, so we decided to stick with a voice vote on this deal.
Back to the original motion to stick with the original idea of a June 9 convention: It passed by a vote of approximately 200-35.
I hate to say this folks, but the hijacking of the Loudoun County Republican Party continues apace. If somebody with a brain doesn't do something about this and soon, those "Group B" wingnuts might start to get the upper hand.
For Wednesday - the bridge between the beginning and end of the week - here is an attempt to build bridges.
At least it's a starting point. Tomorrow we shall discuss some even more effective ideas for healing our nation's fractured soul.
That is precisely the question raised by the controversy surrounding the new documentary, Islam vs. Islamists. The one-hour investigative journalism piece was originally included in a project launched by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Like the other installments of the $20 million "America at a Crossroads" series, Islam vs. Islamists was produced with a large grant (in this case over $600,000 in taxpayer funds). Now, however, it has been buried by the CPB and its production outlet, PBS.
Why? Because the topic of the film is the question that so many of us have been asking since September 11, 2001: "Where are the moderate Muslims?" - and some don't like the answer one little bit.
Powerful interest groups, it turns out - some of whom govern a massive, oil-laden Arabian kingdom, some of whom simply do the kingdom's bidding, and some of whom blindly follow wherever the nose-ring of multiculturalism leads them - don't like the fact that the documentary reveals the extensive Saudi/Wahabbi money trail in the development of Islamic institutions in the U.S., and exposes the widespread conspiracy against Islamic reformers. Thus there has been pressure on PBS and the CPB to spike the film. At the moment, PBS refuses to broadcast Islam vs. Islamists, and the only way most Americans will ever see it is if CPB releases the rights so the film can be distributed through other channels. (See below on how to make that happen).
Today in DC, the film's producers and two of its key subjects held a private screening and panel discussion. There will be a follow up here shortly, but first the basic message.
Bottom line: Moderate Muslims in Europe and North America are under unbelievable pressure to shut up. Leaders promoting the compatibility of Islam and democracy who speak out do so at the risk of their livlihoods and lives, and consequently the vast, silent majority of Muslims who are perfectly content in Western society have no choice but to "look at politics through an Islamist lens." Islamism - or political Islam - is the dominant ideology spread via the mosques and (maybe unwittingly) by the media. Those seeking a reformation in Islam are having a devil of a time getting their voices heard.
The stakes are high: The Islamist leaders interviewed in the film - all prominent, "mainstream" Muslim leaders in Europe and the U.S. - state unapologetically that their aim is to impose shariah law on western societies.
It is an amazing irony that modern "liberals" have been so slow to support the reformation within Islam. A key irony is that the media have allowed Islamists to import an immensely uncivil agenda under the auspices of supposed "civil rights." As one of the subjects in the documentary states, "the entire struggle is about the rights of women." Does anyone in the West actually need a slap in the face to appreciate this?
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Arizona cardiologist and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, and one of the true heroes of our age, issued a plea this afternoon
...from the majority in the West that understand what it is to separate religion and politics, that understand that somebody can be even more pious and more religious by not having government coerce what we believe, that understand our religion can be a source of law but not the source of law, all of these aspects that are part of the Christian Enlightenment or Western Enlightenment: I've been taught by my grandfather that it can happen in Islam.
There will be another screening of the film tonight, Wednesday, April 25, for our congressmen and senators. Please take a moment to send a note to your representatives encouraging them to go watch this documentary tonight at the Rayburn office building (they have received invitations with details). ASK THEM TO TELL THE CPB TO PUT IT ON THE AIR VIA PBS OR RELEASE IT FOR FURTHER DISTRIBUTION.
Contrary to the Post's report, this is not just "an organization in Georgia" but one led by D.A. King who has been in front of the immigration issue for years. Also, there were at least 800 people present during the first hour, not the 400 reported. The crowd had thinned to about half by the time it was over, though.
They brought together an amazing assortment of speakers - very much a unique experience to be able to listen to so many in such a short time period.
We'll have plenty of audio highlights up in the next 24 hours so stop back by.
...here comes the little guy:
Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, received a big financial boost for his presidential campaign from his home state, but also took in tens of thousands of dollars from Texas and California, according to federal election records...
Seventy-five percent of Tancredo's contributions were under $200, indicating a strong grassroots effort. The campaign is not legally required to itemize those donors but said the average contribution was $61...
Tancredo's fundraising pales in comparison with the top-tier candidates, many of whom have amassed more than $20 million. But he did outraise seven other contenders from both parties, including fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. Tancredo is also financially running neck and neck with Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.
By the way, speaking of Huckabee, here is Jeremy Lott's excellent article from a couple weeks ago about the real office Huckabee is running for. Check it out.
Interesting linked article and opinion by the Times' Stacy McCain:
Social criticism cannot explain Cho's violence for the simple reason that such violence is so extremely rare. There are millions of American college students, and only one of them has ever committed such a horrific massacre..
Read it all.
According to the Virginia Citizens' Defense League (a very conservative 2nd amendment group), John Markell, the owner of the gun store who legally sold the firearms to the Tech killer, is receiving threats by those who blame him for the tragedy this week.
I've seen the gentleman on tv, and he seems to geniunely regret what happened. However, Mr. Markell did nothing wrong, and these leftwing crazies should back off.
I bet this is one story that the mainstream media will never report.
Not every liberal idiot is the same kind of idiot, and some "liberals" (I'll duck from Jack's and Jacob's crossfire while I say this) are not idiots at all.
The issue arises because in a bunch of our recent discussions here the idea has been floated that "liberalism is a mental disorder." While many Americans might be nodding along with this line of reasoning I am compelled to point out that the reality of the situation is not so simple.
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Kevin are without question "liberals" - in the sense that they seem to support the tried and true liberal positions on abortion, illegal immigration, gay marriage and a few other issues - but they are also open to suggestion on seemingly every issue. We've all been able to discuss these subjects with a fair amount of give and take. I think I've conceded some points and I know they have as well. Stay Puft, aka General Gozer, has steered me toward enlightening data about gay marriage, for instance, and I like to think I might have painted for the General a realistic picture about the local effects of illegal immigration that he would not otherwise have seen up there in the U of M ivory tower.
Having spent a day with Kevin here in Sterling (and looking forward to spending an outing on the Chesapeake next month) I can say with certainty he is a "liberal" who nonetheless has common sense and an open mind. He brews good beer, which covers a LOT of other potential shortcomings. We might butt heads over the top level, general controversies, but when the conversation turns to specifics - such as who is committing actual crimes and what should be done about it - we often find ourselves in agreement.
Zimzo, on the other hand, is more of a rock solid ideologue who does not converse so much as hold forth. As far as I've seen, he gives no quarter in our discussions here. It might be suggested, in fact, that Zimzo has no interest in seeking common ground but simply wishes to screw with the heads of those he disagrees with, launching ad hominem attacks and non sequitors into the conversation with the aim of short circuiting any positive outcome to the discussion.
Yes, they are all "liberals," but they certainly are not the same kind of liberals.
To the question of whether liberalism is a mental disorder, then, the additional question must be asked: What type of "liberalism" do you mean?
I am going to posit the existence of a strand of liberal thought which might be called "paranoid liberalism."
As the historian Richard Hofstadter observed in his masterful essay, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, the "paranoid style" is characterized as "overheated, oversuspicious, overaggressive, grandiose, and apocalyptic in expression," and marked by belief in "the existence of a vast, insidious, preternaturally effective international conspiratorial network designed to perpetrate acts of the most fiendish character." It is a form of liberalism which rates its opposition not on the basis of what the actual opponents have said or done, but on supposed insidious motivations and inclinations discerned by the paranoiac.
Sound familiar? Yes, it does. Mr. Zimzo, come on down!
Paranoid liberalism does not seek common ground in debate, because it views its opponents as purely evil. The object of discussion is therefore NOT to arrive at rational points of agreement or disagreement, but rather to unmask the enemy and quash the opponents' desired goals.
This explains, I believe, why Zimzo is such a pain in the ass.
So, back to the original question of "mental disorders:" I think it should be clearly noted that "liberalism" is too broad a term to be useful when the conversation includes a variety of participants who differ both in doctrine and temperment. "Conservative" is certainly not a useful blanket description, nowadays. Bill Kristol and Lindsay Graham and I are all "conservative" on some issues, but we are far apart on other issues, including those involving the illegal immigrants who rake the sand traps and serve our poolside beverages. I don't golf and I don't have a pool. By the same token, some "liberals" are quite reasonable and may only differ from "conservatives" on any given topic in a matter of degrees. These are normal folks whom we should not condemn as mentally disordered, at least insofar as the kegs not having been tapped on any given evening - alcohol being the great leveler, mental disorder-wise.
But in regard to the paranoids, it is a different story. Paranoid liberalism, we can safely say, IS a mental disorder, on display here in spades.
I missed Virginia's seminal political shindig, the Shad Planking, this year. For those who have never been, I recommend it. The food and free beer along with some grip-and-grinning with politicians make for a great day.
This year LG Bolling was the keynote speaker, but it was a somber event in light of the tragedy this week.
MC has the LG's remarks here.
As Blog Fu and others have since noted, the original VV post was really quite sensible.
Basically, Riley of Virginia Virtucon argued the VA Tech killer seemed to be under the influence of radical leftists and Don Ben said, this is an inappropriate argument at this time. Right Wing Liberal then pointed out that the South Korean leftists are, indeed, freaks, and the VA Tech killer might reasonably be assumed to have been in that camp.
Pointing out the ideological connection is not so crazy, in the overall context of this big old crazy world we live in.
Be all that as it may, the question of who is right and who is a freak is one we will likely argue for months to come. Life, death, guilt, innocence, friend, foe, God, Satan: So much remains to be sorted out.
Of immediate, momentous importance, however is that one lingering question which chills our souls: How will this impact the links to my blog?
(continued below the fold)
As a recent victim of online credit card theft and an overall scam aficionado, I take a special interest in the following note which just came across via e-mail from a friend.
Somehow, there's a way people are getting hold of credit card records minus one or two pieces of info. Maybe some careless Web site database was recently hacked? If so, the proprietors should be taken out and shot because you aren't supposed to store customer credit card info anymore unless you're using security and encryption measures out the wazoo. You're supposed to use a third-party like VeriSign to do the validation. In my case they had almost all of the needed info to place an order, and if not for the fact a flag went up when a large order of motorcycle parts under my name was getting "shipped to" Indonesia, I might not have known until long after my money had purchased some happy Indonesians a bracing ride through the Indonesian countryside. Which I hear is lovely this time of year.
But I digress. Get a load of the following. It would be VERY easy to be taken in by this one.
New Credit Card Scam
This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.
God bless America and the United States Supreme Court.
Partial birth abortion is no more.
The Virginia Senate Ethics Advisory Panel will hold a hearing on Thursday, April 19, on alleged conflicts of interest charges against Senators Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) and Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City).
The Panel has announced the hearing will be closed. Because of the nature of the charges and the public interest in ensuring that legislative proceedings are conducted according to the highest ethical standards, the hearings should be open to the public and media.
In a nutshell, Norment and Stolle are accused of burying eminent domain reform bills because their law firm represents condemnors - local governments and beneficiaries of eminent domain actions - against property owners.
OPEN THE HEARING!
Check below the fold for much more background on this issue.
In dark moments, there are those among us who rise to the occasion and act with particular heroism. Prof. Liviu Librescu exemplifies this principle. His story should be spread far and wide.
JERUSALEM â€” An Israeli lecturer who died in the massacre at a U.S. university saved the lives of several students by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot, his son said Tuesday.
Students of Liviu Librescu, 76, a holocaust survivor who was an engineering science and mathematics lecturer at Virginia Tech for 20 years, sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman's way and saved their lives, said the son, Joe.
I'm too busy to write today, but I have to note that the amazing Digital Camel blog has now gone subscription only. That Kevin is a sheer wild-man genius.
God be with the families of those lost and the wounded. AP story.
Fox News is reporting 32 dead now. Anyone need more proof than this of the existence of evil?
UPDATE: LG Bolling was on Brit Hume's program tonight representing the Commonwealth since the governor is on his way back from Japan. He said that it was about what one could imagine as "our worst day." I have to agree.
UPDATE #2: MC has the elected responses.
Jeanne West, Democratic candidate for Sterling District Supervisor, held her campaign opener on Saturday here in Sterling.
I was fortunate enough to get to speak to her for awhile, and Jeanne seems like a very nice and intelligent woman. She is a longtime resident of Sterling and is keenly aware of the issues that local residents are facing. I asked what she thought about "zoning" problems and she immediately mentioned "overcrowding" as a major issue.
In her speech, she indicated that solving the overcrowding problem in our community should be a priority.
She should, because she and I live within blocks of each other and we are both seeing the same problems.
Her speech was short on details about how to fix the problem, and the expected denunciations of Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio failed to account for the fact that Delgaudio was personally responsible for enacting stricter rules in the County regarding how many people can live in a dwelling.
I think Ms. West is sincerely interested in solving the problem, and she ought to acknowledge that the current Supervisor is the only one so far to do anything about it. I also think Ms. West is going to run into a buzzsaw within her party if she intends to propose implementing stronger enforcement of local zoning laws.
This will be a very interesting race. Ms. West clearly understands there are problems in Sterling Park. She also needs to understand that the other eight members of the Board of Supervisors do not seem to give a rat's patoutie about Sterling Park and are perfectly happy to let Sterling Park go to the dogs. Supervisor Delgaudio has been our advocate so far.
Is Ms. West willing to be such an advocate?
I should also mention I have met Ms. West's husband, Willie. We served at the polls "across" from each other last November at the local elementary school for several hours, and we shot the breeze much of the time.
Willie, as far as I am concerned, is a great guy. We talked about numerous issues, including illegal immigration. In the course of our conversation I kept thinking there was little difference between us except for the "R" and "D" after our names.
From my personal interaction with each of them, I can't say I could ever dislike Jeanne or Willie West. I wonder whether they understand that Eugene Delgaudio is on the same side of the important issues, and that Eugene has been doing what Jeanne says she plans to do.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio held a packed campaign event at Santini's Pizza Deli in Sterling tonight, with at least 70 attendees* and maybe more. [See below for update]
Eugene gave another of his Churchillian addresses: A complete report with many more photos will be posted tomorrow night.
[At the NOVA TownHall Blog - now with over 18% more Protic!!]
UPDATE: Turns out there were at least 110 present because the side of the room we were in had 60 seats, and every one of them was filled and at least 20-30 people were standing in the room and outside the front and side doors at any given time. With the flow of people throughout the night, I'd say 110 is conservative.
Early reports are the event was a financial success, corresponding to the turnout.
Supervisor Delgaudio was his usual inspiring old self.
He pledged to continue to stand up for the interests of Sterling's residents, to oppose higher taxes and ridiculous spending proposals, and, when necessary, to cast the one vote out of nine to demonstrate that regular citizens have at least one voice on the Board opposing governmental overreaching.
Yes, I must say, I did find it uplifting and entertaining. Amusing - to be sure - because our beloved Supervisor is nothing if not droll and ironic; but in a certain sense edifying as well. Just when you might think the government is so crazy that no regular person could make sense of it, here comes Eugene to say - Have no fear, because I have their number.
Some, sadly, missed the inspirational aspect entirely.
Certainly, surely, the little one lacks a finely developed ear for soaring prose, and I can only assume that as the child grows older and wiser she will learn to share in my enthusiasm.
As usual, Supervisor Delgaudio's event brought together a who's who of local good guys and dignitaries.
Proponents of immigration enforcement at the local level and agents of change, Herndon Council member Dave Kirby, Loudoun Sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann, and Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis.
Two very straightforward guys, strong on immigration enforcement and quality of life in Loudoun, Catoctin Supervisor candidate Robert Bruton and Sheriff Steve Simpson:
Needless to say, no Delgaudio event would be complete without the lifeblood of Loudoun conservatism; to wit: LCRC Sterling District Chair Fred Avila, 33rd District Senate candidate Patricia Phillips, LCRC Treasurer Mark Sell and LCRC Chair Paul Protic. All hail, all hail:
Note: A couple fine gentlemen present whom I spoke with but did not get photos of were 33rd District Senate candidate John Andrews and Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue Roger Zurn.
A Northern Virginia conservative asked, "How in the world does Delgaudio manage to get so many different people to show up?" I admit, it is a conundrum. He gets the immigration enforcement crowd because he is the only member of the Board of Supervisors to take the lead on the issue of 287(g) training for Sheriff's Department personnel. He gets the conservatives because he is, if nothing else, a conservative. I think he gets local citizens because they see him all the time and tend to like him. Others, maybe, show up because they know there will be a crowd wherever Eugene is the main attraction.
Even his detractors must admit, Supervisor Delgaudio has a following like no other member of the Board.
UPDATE: Here's the full post.
The day started like any other, assuming one's days begin with Flip Romney waving hello on the street corner. I know a lot of mine sure seem to.
6:45 am on a cold Connecticut Avenue sidewalk: Tenacious is the first word that comes to mind for those anti-Romney folks. Damn if they ain't tryin'.
The early morning crowd for the prayer breakfast was loaded with local luminaries. I'm talkin' Chief Justice Roberts
I'm talkin' Regular Justice Alito
I'm talkin' ... whoa, those two are pretty young and pretty Catholic, are they not? Makes you think if there are people still worried about "Catholic Power" in America this might give some room for ...
WHOA!, er, I mean "pause."
Now them's a lot of Catholics, many of them distressingly young, by the way.
Well be all that as it may, most were clearly here to see the President, who gave a typically enjoyable speech for this type of venue.
Give it a listen. You'll see that President Bush is largely likeable, pretty funny, and only covers about 4 policy points, three of which I agree with wholeheartedly and the fourth of which sends steam pouring out of my ears and makes me want to march on Washington with a mob wielding pitchforks and torches.
In other words, vintage W.
It's a short speech, go ahead and listen. At the very end you can hear the crazy protest lady who started screaming during the closing applause and who got hauled out by secret service right in front of me. I had seen her milling about beforehand, and except for what looked like bruises on her face and some shiny stickers on her blouse which I could not read she looked normal enough and I never thought to give a second glance. Apparently no one else did either.
Former Senator Fred Thompson was present but did not give a speech. He just waved to the crowd and kept an eye on the tot. That's parenthood for you.
Which brings us back to the main event, Rev. Neuhaus, author of The Naked Public Square - one of the most important books about religion and society ever written - theologian, semi-sociologist, policy guy, cultural critic, and someone I have been reading since I was 22 years old (which means, well over 22 years).
Rev. Richard John Neuhaus spoke on "Why I Am Not An American Catholic" at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast this morning.
I got to sit 15 feet from the podium. Personal highlight of the year so far. It's a speech worth listening to more than once.
Karen Schultz, the only democrat running for the Russ Potts seat, started her campaign off yesterday in front of her home crowd in the west end of the 27th. She focused on transportation, education, and health care (aka the liberal trinity).
I'm really shocked that Not Larry Sabato and Raising Kaine have not been pushing Ms. Schultz, and I've yet to see her even mentioned on either page.
What's wrong with this lady that the internet crazies won't get on board?
Although I appreciate all of our readers who comment, even the crazy ones, I've wanted to discuss something for a long time.
I've hesitated to weigh in on the Imus controversy for a lot of reasons. Primarily, I thought there were enough people talking about it, and the best thing for everyone involved aside from an apology from Imus to those injured was to stop talking about it, but that was not to be.
Imus and I go way back. I used to ride to school every day with my dad on his way to work, and I listened to Don Imus spouting off about whatever political saga was going on. Revealing my age somewhat, Imus had already moved away from most of the schock jock tendencies that got the likes of the Grease Man kicked off the air (never listened to him but that controversy happened around that time).
Imus was a tad liberal for my tastes, but he had some of the greatest minds in politics and covering politics in America on his show from John McCain to Tom Brokaw. The show was irreverant, funny, and informative. My favorite part was the show's really good Richard Nixon and hilarious Walter Cronkite impersonations. Hard news was mixed in with humor and, sometimes a little too much, pop culture; but on the whole, the show was 10x more enlightening than most of the other tripe on morning radio.
With this announcement, the ballgame is pretty much over.
I won't start to defend the I-man's comments. They were over the line (period).
However, we have a double standard in this country. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are using this controversy to build power, plain and simple. When they have made equally reprehensible statements and done inappropriate things in the past, they have gotten a free pass. The Duke lacrosse team had an entire season destroyed by Jesse and Al, and no one is calling for their livelihoods to be destroyed. Several players may have been falsely sent to jail if they didn't have rich parents.
Al Sharpton talks about how this is a blow for decency. We haven't made our culture any more decent, but we have taken an entertaining source of real news from the airwaves. In addition, the IMUS ranch for kids with cancer will suffer as well. I hope someone picks up the Imus show, but in this culture, $$$ dictate corporate policy, first and foremost.
UPDATE: Kudos to the Rutgers women's basketball team for taking the high road here. This should have been the response all along.
This has got to be one of the worst ideas ever for a blog.
And the person will likely become a millionaire and end up owning five jets.
Please read this outline of Paul Truong's memoir of the fall of Viet Nam and his escape.
TOPIC: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATIONA Public Townhall Meeting with Patricia Phillips, Candidate For Virginia Senate
Monday, April 16, 7:00 pm
At Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Potomac Falls, VA
In this year's session, the VA Senate killed every important immigration reform bill passed by the VA House of Delegates.
The Candidates' Forum meetings allow you to make your views known to the people who seek to represent you next year.
Meet the candidate, learn where she stands, and tell her what you think about this important local issue!
(Patricia is running for the Republican nomination for the 33rd District Senate Seat. The primary will be held on May 19, 2007, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. More details available here.)
Nancy Pelosi's 'great' adventure is a wonderful example of the lefts naivete toward the thugs of the world. This is an old trend. The first example I can think of was when a reporter for the NYT's back in the 30's wrote glowingly of the Stalin's regime, while wading through the dead bodies of millions of Ukrainians; fake but accurate indeed.
James Earl Carter is poster child for those who rub elbows with despots in order to attack one's own country. He was part of that smashingly successful program started back in the 90's to stop Kim Jung Il from building nukes. We all see how well that turned out; of course you know it's Bush's fault.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson, my boy for president, has lymphoma.
I wonder how the media got ahold of the story?
UPDATE: Thompson's statement.
UPDATE #2: Via MC, redstate has facts about what's going on.
Tonight, Senator Ken Stolle of Virginia Beach held a public meeting in which many questions from the audience focused on issues related to illegal aliens in the state.
The senator is a fantastic public speaker with a seemingly lock-tight constituency in the district. No wonder he is never opposed.
Questioners asked about bills passed by the House of Delegates which were quashed by Stolle's Courts and Justice Committee. The discussion had an element of heightened intensity because of the two girls who were killed in Virginia Beach recently by an illegal alien who had skated on drunk driving and other charges.
You may need to play with the volume because Stolle was amplified and the audience was not.
There will be no editorial commentary for now, although I will say that listening to this back and forth provides an insight into the man whose committee shut the door on six or eight bills addressing illegal immigration passed by the Virginia House of Delegates.
The number of good immigration-related bills passed by the House this year was unprecedented, and the Courts and Justice Committee's dispatching of every single one that came before it was equally unprecedented.
One might expect Senator Stolle to have been a bit defensive.
He articulates the classic argument that no one can do anything about illegal immigration until the federal government does something first.
Grassroots activists on the local level believe the exact opposite, that the federal government will not do anything until local jurisdictions take the lead.
If you want to understand why the state of Virginia has such an increasing problem with illegal aliens despite all of the legislation proposed to fix the problem, spend an hour listening to Ken Stolle talk about it.
Interesting read over at Virginia Virtucon with a candidate for the John Chitaxer's seat (Stafford, Spotsylvania and a couple other localities). I disagree with Jon Myer's view on smoking bans as he does not seem interested in protecting property rights of business owners, but he seems all right otherwise. I don't know much else about this race or his primary opponent John Van Hoy, but it's an important seat so let's hope we get the strongest conservative nominee.
Anybody live over that way and following this race more closely?
I don't know if this fits into the sizing that you said we needed, but I put this together this morning. I suck at banner making, and hopefully, Fred will actually get into this race soon so someone who knows what they're doing will make a banner.
UPDATE: I did steal Mason Conservative's banner. Guilty as charged.
If the Sing-meister can come up with a nice, 150px wide graphic and link for his man, I will be happy to post it on the sidebar as well.
This will be your classic youthful exuberance vs age and treachery fight to the death. Let the chips fall where they may.
UPDATE: I am not giving up on Tom Tancredo, by the way. It's nice to have an abundance of good candidates. Tancredo is just a little behind in the graphics department.
UPDATE II: There are a number of Duncan Hunter images available, but I chose the one where he just finished smacking us in the side of the head. Because that's what America needs right now.
UPDATE III: Geez, by the time Singleton gets back online there may be no room left for any more candidates! There's always room for Tom Tancredo around here, but I'm just not sure if we can squeeze that Thompson fellow in.
Many others, especially those in his home district of Virginia Beach, might reasonably say, too little too late, senator.
Where was the senator a month ago on this issue? Merely killing a boatload of legislation meant to address this very problem.
Here is a report from the 2007 session of Virginia's General Assembly:
"We feel there are so many of these bills and they are so outrageous because they are designed to hurt people," said Nancy Lyall, legal coordinator for Mexicans Without Borders, one of a dozen groups sponsoring the protests.
The protesters may find a sympathetic response from the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.
Late Wednesday, the committee voted to table a key piece of legislation being championed by conservatives, including Attorney General Robert F. McConnell (R), to require state and local police to work with federal authorities in tracking down and detaining illegal immigrants.
Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), the chairman, said the committee decided not to act because several police departments opposed the measure. Col. David M. Rohrer, Fairfax County police chief, testified that he worries that Latinos would be afraid to report crimes or cooperate with police if the bill was approved, Stolle said.
"Law enforcement officers are not equipped to do civil immigration law," Stolle said.
No study has ever shown that immigration enforcement activities by local officers depress the reporting of crime in immigrant communities, whereas we don't even need studies to show that the failure of local and state authorities to remove illegal aliens from the community has resulted in tragedy after tragedy.
(And the above only encompass the drunk-driver-illegal-alien segment of the crime problem. The segment comprised by the illegal alien MS-13 and 18th Street Gang members in this town is a story for another day).
While, certainly, anyone with a heart must celebrate the "sympathetic response" the pro-illegal alien lobby received from Virginia's Senate Courts of Justice Committee this year, maybe we can reserve a token sprinkle of sympathy for the legal residents who are being victimized.
With regard to Ken Stolle and the "Stolle" wing of the Virginia GOP: Does anybody in this state's Republican Party happen to have their brain turned on?
UPDATE: I just heard from someone in the Virginia Beach area who related that Stolle is considered wrong on a decent sized list of issues but is also completely bulletproof, that neither the Republicans nor Democrats will challenge him as long as he wants to keep the seat.
That's too bad. It's almost enough to make one cynical about politics.
Reminder: In the past session of the Virginia General Assembly, the House of Delegates passed over 10 pieces of legislation dealing with immigration enforcement of various types. Nearly all of these proposed laws were passed by the House with veto-proof majorities, meaning even if Governor Tim Kaine continued to oppose any crackdown on illegal aliens, the laws would have passed.
All 10 were killed in committee by the Virginia Senate.
Here is a report on the various House bills sent to the Senate (report as of late Feb - never bothered to do a final update since everything was quashed.)
Giuliani has reaffirmed his position that, "Ultimately, it's a constitutional right, and therefore if it's a constitutional right, ultimately, even if you do it on a state-by-state basis, you have to make sure people are protected."
Of course, he was talking about the right to murder one's unborn child, not the right to protect oneself from a murderer, but if he is a man of principle, then that principle must hold for our Second Amendment rights, too. Naturally, one could also expect free telephone and internet service to protect our First Amendment rights, too.
"Blood-soaked underwear"? What the hell does that mean? Is he associating the menstrual cycle with cowardess?
Shut your damn pie-hole, Spicoli. My close friend had his underwear, as well as the rest of his clothing, soaked in his own blood when a 30mm Russian grenade blew him up. Now he's pissed on account of his permanently paralized leg is getting him a medical discharge, thus preventing him from ever going back. We don't need your input...YOU ARE A COWARD!
On a side note, let me say I'm a Tony Blair fan. However, he's gotta sound a little less like C-3PO if he wants his 15 troops back. To paraphrase: "I hope Iran will release them. Oh My."
Inside this little treat that showed up in the mail today from the Aquaculture Development and Seafood Marketing Program of Maryland are 7 recipes for Striped Bass, 4 recipes for Perch, and 1 recipe for Oyster Dressing. If I can figure out how to edit posts without deleting them, I'll list them all. For now, though, find the Free State Baked Stuffed Rockfish below the fold:
Congrats to Greg and Mike for a successful public meeting of Help Save Manassas tonight. There were a total of about 100 attendees, 40 of whom became members of the organization. Subtracting out of town visitors, a few press people and a few spies, there were at least 80 local residents who showed up because they are concerned about the effects of illegal immigration in Manassas and Prince William County.
Tonight was strictly organizational - a hurdle we in HelpSaveHerndon and HelpSaveLoudoun managed to sidestep by remaining disorganized. Or should I say unorganized. In any case there is no formal relationship between us and this new group but we wish them the best.
Getting 100 people to come out on a Tuesday to your kick off is no small achievement.
UPDATE: Blog Fu notes that a majority of the attendees did in fact sign on for membership:
Actually, all told I think there are over sixty membership applications in my stack. Also, the bylaws adopted tonight officially affiliate Help Save Manassas with the Help Save Virginia network. That formal organizational relationship is coming very soon, as the members have voted to institute one.
Sixty in one meeting is a phenomenal accomplishment, bringing HSM right out of the gate with a huge base for a community organization. If Help Save Manassas can do even an anemic "member-get-a-member" campaign over the next month - growing the membership by a third - they will be a major voice in the immigration debate. The Prince William County Supervisors ought to take notice.
It's about time that Republicans start using blogs as an organizational tool for political success. Virginia Virtucon is compiling a list of conservative candidates to support financially and links to their donation pages.
I would second their recommendation to give all you are able. We're going to need a ton of cash to hold back the dems this year.
As a side note, it would be nice if we did something similar to augment grassroots activism. Raising Kaine and company did this with a fair amount of success during the 2006 campaign, and we know how small the margin was in that race. Imagine if we could have generated a couple more hundred volunteer hours....
With other states beginning to look at banning smoking inside private property, it is no big surprise that our rights are under assault as well. Gov. Timmy Kaine took a good smoking bill, and either fed it a poison pill or destroyed another portion of our rights.
UPDATE: Let freedom reign! One more reason we need our majority in the House of Delegates.
Let the handwringing begin.
I don't know about you, but when our family went about the college search for our young'uns, we always kept a wary eye out for nefarious influences around campus: dope dealing, graffiti, toy dog clubs, and anything at all that reeked of Christianity.
So I had no small amount of sympathy for the College of William and Mary's brave decision to remove the terrible, anachronistic, 18-INCH Wren Cross from the property. Our children did not end up attending the school, but the wife and I occasionally enjoy a visit to the historic town. And heaven help me if I'm going to allow the missus to set foot in a place with actual CROSSES out in public display - and 18-inchers, no less!
And if I did have a kid enrolled in William and Mary, I sure as heck wouldn't want to mosey down there for the weekend expecting a nice ongoing tete-a-tete with the local reenactors, perhaps a spicy sex show or three, these types of things - and suddenly walk around a corner to have a friggin' cross arm poke us in the eyes. GHAA! Can you even imagine?
The College of William and Mary's removal of a cross from a campus chapel has won the Virginia school this year's "Campus Outrage Award" from a conservative student group...
William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol said he asked for the 18-inch cross to be taken from Wren Chapel in October because of concerns about offending non-Christians, and that he had received complaints about it. The removal of the cross -- to make the chapel "equally open and relevant to all," Mr. Nichol said -- made headlines and stirred protests by students, faculty and alumni of William and Mary, the nation's second-oldest college after Harvard.
An online petition to reinstate the cross garnered 18,000 signatures. Threats by an unnamed donor to withdraw $12,000 of funding from the college forced Mr. Nichol to change his decision on March 7. Mr. Nichol has established a committee to study the role of religion at public universities.
Just goes to show: money talks, even though our children's very souls hang in the balance.
May Morgan have mercy on them all.
The American Council for Immigration Reform Web site is now up and running, with a ton of useful information.
The much-publicized tragedy of immigration enforcement is at least equaled by the tragedies of non-enforcement. Addressing the latter, U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey has just introduced H.R. 1355, the Scott Gardner Act, to
close loopholes that allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. after being convicted of drunk driving. The proposal is named in memory of a North Carolina man who was killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driver with five prior DWI charges.
North Carolina has been particularly affected by phenomenon. As the News and Observer reports, immigrants and their advocates note a variety of reasons Hispanic men are responsible for an inordinate number of drunk driving incidents:
When Eliseo Hernandez came to the United States 30 years ago, he thought he drove better after a few beers. Driving drunk had been normal back in Mexico, he said. But Hernandez, 54, learned of its perils firsthand. He quit the practice after falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a tree 18 years ago...
In 2005, there were 37 alcohol-related crashes caused by Hispanic drivers for every 10,000 Hispanics in the state, according to the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. That is more than three times the rate of alcohol-related crashes among non-Hispanics...
Last month, a Johnston County father and son died in a fiery crash authorities say was caused by Luciano Tellez, 31, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Dwane Braswell, 35, and his son Jerry, 9, were riding in a tractor-trailer cab on N.C. 210 in the Cleveland community of Johnston County when Tellez struck the tractor and rolled it into a ditch, where it caught fire.
Empty beer cans were found in Tellez' car, but authorities say it is impossible to know whether he was drunk.
It was the latest in a string of such accidents caused by Hispanic men. In February in Salisbury, a woman who was eight months pregnant and her unborn child were killed. In October, it was two college students and a high school boy. In January 2006, a man from El Salvador killed a Hillsborough woman in a head-on crash and fled, leaving an injured passenger in his own car...
Bobby Dunn, who counsels Spanish-speaking DWI convicts in Johnston and Wilson counties, said his clients are often young men far from home with money in their pockets for the first time. Many were too poor to have cars in Mexico, so they have little experience behind the wheel.
They also see drinking as a way of showing their manhood.
"The magic number is 12," Dunn said, or "un doce" in Spanish. "If you can drink 12 beers, you're a man."
There are a variety of possible solutions. As the article details, education among the Hispanic community is an important starting point. The elephant in the room during the debate, however, is non-enforcement of existing U.S. immigration law by the federal government. H.R. 1355 represents an important step toward forcing the feds and local law enforcement to end the practice of overlooking immigration status when illegal aliens are convicted of crimes.