August 2007 Archives
It appears that Fred Thompson is set to announce on Thursday 9/6 with a historic webcast. Former Senator Thompson has proven once again that he is the most web saavy candidate for President.
At this point, he has a lot of ground to make up, but no one has sown up this nomination yet. I don't believe that Rudy Giuliani is just going to disappear and has the chops to turn this race into a nail biter like McCain did in '00. Let's hope that it stays friendlier than 2000, and the deeply hurt feelings from that race are not reenacted.
The real battle will be between Mitt Romney and Thompson for the conservative base. Mitt has sown up many conservatives who have invested too much to just flip to Thompson and further don't believe that Thompson has the intestinal fortitude to capture the nomination.
I believe that these opinions are unjustified, but I also must admit that I don't have any proof to back up my assertion at this point. However, Fred can prove them wrong, and we're waiting to see him do it.
The recent report on the Virginia Tech shooting as reported by MSNBC has a flaw that few people realize. Those that commit such actions do not think the way normal people do -- while that is obvious, few people realize the only logical conclusions. If someone is determined to kill a large number of people, and themselves (clearly this maniacal murderer's intent) then the only way to stop that outcome is the forceful stopping of the criminal.
As everyone here probably knows, the Census Bureau just released it's annual report on poverty. Well, a philosopher(?) from George Washington University, Charles Karelis, thinks he knows why: "[After] doing lots of reading and giving it extensive thought, Karelis concluded that the reason some people are perpetually poor is that they don't have enough money." (Washington Post, Wednesday, August 29, 2007; Page D01)
The point is not to be self-obvious, but to look at the culture of poverty, in that, when one is poor, he thinks that what little he could save could not lift him out of poverty. So he does not bother to save at all.
Of course, the tales of poor people who have struck it rich in the lottery or in sports . Sure, they're anecdotes. This article has many sources on studies of lottery winners. According to one article listed there, about one-third of lottery winners go bankrupt. (I assume, of course, they're talking about the honkin' big lotteries, not the Pick Three.)
Well, I can't say I think much of Prof. Karelis' theory, but I'm willing to be one of the test subjects!
To tell the truth, the real reason we never get the poverty rate down is that we keep changing the definition! Here's an article from the National Review (thank you for the link, Leader Levin) that discusses the new poverty report. These are a few of the salient points of the article:
1) 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
2) 46 percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
3) The typical poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe.
4) 89 percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.
This is poor?
A former co-worker of mine (a legal immigrant, I might add) was most insistent that we do not have poverty in America. He has a point, too. He's from Sri Lanka. 41.6% of the people there live on less than $2 per day. 25% live below the national poverty line. He knows poverty.
Jesus was right, the poor will always be with us, because no matter how rich they get, we just keep raising the bar and calling them "poor."
As we already noted in the comments to this post, foreign-born inmates account for a disproportionate percentage of our jail population. We did not know at the time, however, what percentage of those were legally in the United States and which were not. Now we have a better idea.
This article in the Washington Times tells us that unlawful aliens make up 6-10% of the inmates. 86% of the unlawful aliens in Virginia jails are Hispanic.
2003 numbers (see the earlier post) showed only that 10% of the inmates were foreign born. Now we see that the majority are also here illegally. This should not be surprising, since those who take the time and trouble to immigrate legally have already demonstrated, by their taking the time and trouble, that they are hard-working and law-abiding people, while those who have come here illegally have shown a willingness to break the law to get what they want.
David E. Poisson was one of 20 out of 100 delegates in the VA house to vote against the Virginia Marriage Amendment that eventually became law and was put to a referendum vote in the past election. This means even most Democrats in the Virginia house voted in the defense of traditional marriage. Poisson is a minority in his own party. The summary of the bill is as follows:
Constitutional amendment (voter referendum); marriage. Provides for a referendum at the November 2006 election on approval of a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage. The proposed amendment provides that "only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions." The proposed amendment also prohibits the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing "a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage." Further, the proposed amendment prohibits the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions from creating or recognizing "another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."
The amendment language was nearly identical to a law which passed the VA house and senate previously. However as a law this language (as a bill) was vulnerable to attack from a single activist judge.
Apropos for a gal from a family of educators, my wife in her spare time educates - in contradistinction to one such as myself, who in his spare time rabble-rouses. (No family influence in that, I would maintain).
This week, she explains the origins of:
Ku Klux Klan
If you have other words you would like to learn the origins of, please feel free to submit them here or in her comments section. I'm personally curious about:
I am told the latter do not fly, but I refuse to believe it.
Appropriately enough for a really slow news day in August, there is fresh heck brewing anew in the "Guess the Loudoun Insider" department.
Apparently our comment section served as unwitting conduit for the proposition LI is actually my countryman and distant relative, Jeff Wolinski. As a bona fide Loudoun outsider, I haven't a clue about the significance of this.
We had great fun back in the cold, dark days of January batting this around (more here). Of course, as always happens with those guys, it devolved into a drinking game faster than you can say "jagermeister" and no one remembers how it all ended.
It's a shame, because Craig Hudgins is one of a very short list of public figures who I think could have proved truly inspirational at a time when so few of our elected officials inspire anything at all. He is a Marine vet, jet pilot, extremely intelligent, honest, and articulate guy, and a person with vision about what needs to change in American politics ... a message that would have resonated.
Ken Stolle is perhaps the one public official most responsible for the abysmal state of immigration enforcement legislation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. And he is a "Republican!" Three cheers for the brand!
Hudgins apparently had money promised that never arrived, and with the summer over he decided the hour was getting late. People can say there are dollars coming, but if you can't print flyers or bumper stickers by Labor Day the situation starts to look bleak. I think it could have worked because Virginians really do want to take back their state ... but the GOP establishment reportedly frowned on the concept. Three cheers for the brand!
No big surprise there but, befitting the spirit of the occasion, I skipped the Loudoun County Republican Committee meeting tonight. And what I missed was guest speaker, Attorney General Bob McDonnell! A big supporter of Ken Stolle! Hey, three cheers for the brand!
Hudgins could have put up a good fight, in my view, just on the basis of citizen outrage over the blatant move toward usurpation evident in the pro-illegal advocacy effort by some American elected officials, with Stolle at the top of that list.
Below is the official Hudgins press release:
It appears one of those individuals you would not want at the top of your party, is now going to be right there at the top of our party.
This, of course, fits a pattern within the GOP.
Reminder: It is telephone book season throughout Northern Virginia - they showed up in recent weeks and they are littering our curbs and office building foyers. I have at least 70 pounds of phone books in my office doorway, for instance.
If you are still getting solicitations with postage-paid reply cards or envelopes from the national Republican Party, the Republican Party of Virginia, the Republican Senatorial Committee, the George W. Bush Cheerleader Society, or whatever, you have a perfect avenue for protest: Send 'em a phone book or three, COD. They will need them.
Support individual candidates, while defunding the party.
The party needs a slap in the face.
UPDATE: Good guy Shaun Kenney, who bears the heavy burden of a paycheck with the word "Republican" on it, seeks to clarify that the Republican Party of Virginia should not be lumped in with the others I mentioned and therefore does not deserve any C.O.D. telephone books as the others most certainly do:
In defense of little ol' RPV, it is a grassroots organization -- meaning that it doesn't take policy positions unless explicitly authorized to do so by the State Central Committee, nor does it automatically endorse incumbents as the RNC does.
In short, RPV operates as the collected voice of the grassroots in Virginia. Please don't send phonebooks.
I'll buy that .... for now.
It's a rare occasion we can match consumerism with civic duty, but now is one of those times.
For the next week, these bozos are attempting to impose a boycott on Prince William County businesses that adhere to the rule of law. The effort is a reaction to the immigration enforcement resolution passed by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.
Here is more information on the boycott and the group responsible, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras.
Here is today's Washington Post story about the "strong, but divisive" frontman of the group, Ricardo Juarez.
Juarez -- who refuses to disclose his residency status -- calls these policies "a new apartheid" and "racist." And in a move Juarez's critics say is typical of his overheated rhetoric, radical politics and strong-arm style, the businesses in the county subject to the boycott will be those lacking green placards provided by Mexicans Without Borders. Hispanic-owned or not, any business without one will be shunned.
And here is a running list of businesses displaying the pro-illegal placards.
So the next six days are an ideal time to spend money in Prince William County - it is worth the short drive. Also, as it turns out, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras is targeting businesses in Manassas and Manassas Park, which have not passed any type of immigration enforcement resolutions. Go figure. The bottom line is this group is attempting to use strong arm tactics to force businesses to profess defiance of U.S. immigration laws. We need to reward businesses that resist the pressure.
For the next six days, go to Prince William and Manassas to shop. Here is a map of the relevant areas.
If you don't want to navigate through all those links, let's make it simple:
Do your major shopping at Potomac Mills. Whether for back-to-school, end-of-summer, or any other milestone you wish to concoct, Potomac Mills is one of the best and largest shopping areas in the country. Just head down I-95, or take 123, or any number of other routes. Patronize the stores without the green placards.
Or, go out a short distance on I-66 and take either 234 business or, a few miles further, the exit for 29 west. They've got supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, used car lots - everything you might need on a daily basis. You can buy all sorts of stuff out there.
Or, drive south on 28 past Centreville into Manassas. It's a pleasant ride ... in some respects ... and in any case there are plenty of places to grab a cold brewski once you finally arrive.
If you are driving south on 95, wait to buy gas until you cross the Occoquan.
The important thing is: internalize the map, and make every effort to adjust your itinerary and come up with excuses to go a little bit out of your way and drop some buckage on businesses that have not caved in to Mexicanos Sin Fronteras.
For my own part, I have a trip south which will afford numerous opportunities to spend money along I-95, and I will also load up on canned goods, blank DVD disks, and cases of certain fermented essentials at one of the supermarkets on 234. Walmart's here and here might also be good places to stock up on cases of sporting goods-related items from Winchester and Remington.
Go shopping, friends, it is your duty as citizens.
Ben Tribbett and the 'Macaca' Machine caught with their proverbial pants down.
It's interesting on more than one level, and I am only dealing here with the meta-level. If you want the background, go read all of that post, related posts, related links, and various corresponding links.
The upshot is GoDaddy has a huge hole in its supposed "private registration" program. If you want to find who owns a particular domain managed under GoDaddy, you can follow the steps outlined in that post to get the root of the e-mail address of whoever owns the domain.
For years, Domains by Proxy has been the major "anonymous" domain ownership service which allowed you to own a domain and not have your identity publicly available through a whois.sc lookup - which unveils all the information about the people behind every Web site.
So if, for example, someone had a Web site about a certain prophet of a certain religion, the ownership of which could expose one to intimidation or possible beheading, Domains by Proxy allowed ownership without the usual public listing.
Now, with the advent of the GoDaddy behemoth domain-and-Web-hosting-majordomo, you can bring all of your domains and private registrations under one, very easy to manage roof.
Downside: there is a hole in that roof.
If anyone in the world wants to know who owns a domain managed under GoDaddy, they can simply type in the domain name at the GoDaddy Account Retrieval page and receive most of the e-mail address of the owner.
GoDaddy's nifty database search program returns the root e-mail address of every domain owner via a public lookup. Everyone who thought they had "private registration" through Domains by Proxy, and is unfortunate enough to have the management thereof under GoDaddy, is no longer private unless they have an anonymous e-mail contact set up with GoDaddy.
Lesson One: GoDaddy has a serious flaw in their database lookup.
Lesson Two: If the above item is not fixed immediately by GoDaddy, then everyone who has a private registration managed by GoDaddy - and wishes to remain anonymous - had better change their GoDaddy account information pronto if it does not have an unidentifiable e-mail address as the primary contact info.
(You can get an anonymous e-mail in various places, including mail.com).
Congrats to the Daily Whackjob crew for ferreting out this massive security breach at GoDaddy.
Go sign it now!
It appears that one of the many problems with Newark, New Jersey law enforcement is there was no clear concept of when ICE should be called for an illegal alien detained for a local infraction.
Statewide participation in 287g would be the first important step toward a unified Virginia policy of immigration enforcement.
An acquaintance spent some time visiting with the Loudoun County Zoning Department yesterday and learned the following:
During inspections of overcrowded housing complaints, if the inhabitants profess to having no identification, and claim to be either A) "extended family" or B) in a Bible study, the Zoning Department inspectors automatically give everyone a pass and cease the investigation. Case closed.
There's some food for thought there, especially regarding how the excuses are being coordinated. These certainly seem to be very common stories, both from anecdotal and press reports. Might there be agencies or NGO's facilitating illegal behavior?
The neighboring town of Herndon, population 24,000, has three times as many inspectors as Loudoun County, population 200,000. In the past, I have stated this is a problem and Loudoun needs to have many more inspectors.
In light of the current revelation, I wonder if Loudoun's Zoning Department might actually deserve to be cut back further. Who needs 'em?
In a related story, someone I know just filed a report to the Sheriff's Office on a house nearby for residents who were switching license plates among cars. A deputy came to the reporting citizen's house during daylight hours and knocked on the door to "discuss" the supposedly anonymous complaint. The citizen said they definitely did not want to publicly discuss the complaint.
The deputy then walked across the street to the allegedly offending residence. The complainant watched through the window as the deputy knocked on the offender's door, and when it was answered the deputy pointed back at the complainant's house.
More on the Sheriff's Office here. It seems like everyone on Sterling Park has stories like these.
Hey, ever wonder why Sterling residents are so reticent about filing zoning or other complaints?
Between Zoning and the Sheriff's Office, the Loudoun County government has done a remarkable job elevating official indifference to an art form - a drive around Sterling Park illustrates this fact quite impressively.
In my view, these and other instances demonstrate why we need a change in mindset among the Loudoun County Supervisors - with Eugene Delgaudio and Mick Staton as good indicators of how the entire Board should be focused - and a change in leadership in the Sheriff's Office, with Greg Ahlemann as the man for the suit.
Thought this was another interesting bit of information about FDT's campaign. The more and more I see of him (especially the pro-abortion lobbying records he has yet to really account for and his less-than-perfect National Right to Life score) the more I realize he isn't all he is cracked up to be. Tragic. Anyways, check this out:
Aside from Ford's obvious problem of the United Auto Workers' driving labor costs above their natural level, the company is also shooting itself in the foot fighting against foreign replacement parts manufacturers (Washington Post, Tuesday, August 21, 2007; Page D01).
Now, at first glance, one would think that protecting one's patents would be a good thing. It is, up to a point. That point is that Ford wants to be the sole supplier of replacement parts. The problem is that other, foreign manufacturers can make identical parts cheaper than Ford can. By attempting to drive such manufacturers out of the market, Ford will only drive up the cost of those parts. The result is that the cost of ownership goes up. When the cost of ownership goes up, fewer people buy Fords.
Ford should consider licensing such manufacturers, with the licensing fee's going directly to pay for quality inspections of the parts. Although this would increase the cost of such replacement parts, the manufacturers could advertise that the parts are licenced and inspected by Ford, and the competition would keep the prices down.
Blog Khan counted 100 participants at tonight's initial meeting of Help Save Fairfax. That's pretty impressive for a meeting arranged with minimal advance notice in a county whose government has given advance notice that little is planned by public officials to address the local effects of illegal immigration.
Numerous elected officials and candidates were in attendance.
Among them was Virginia Senator Ken Cuccinelli (right), currently the strongest advocate citizens have in the state Senate on the issue of illegal immigration.
Representatives of each of the state's "Help Save ... " groups participated in the program. Above are Greg Letiecq (Blog Khan), (left) president of Help Save Manassas, and masters of ceremony Phil Jones and Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Virginia/Help Save Herndon. I spoke on behalf of Help Save Loudoun.
Delegate Tim Hugo
Springfield Supervisor Candidate Pat Herrity
Virginia 33rd District Senate Candidate Patricia Phillips (left) and Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio
(Also present and conversing with the attendees was Fairfax County Supervisor Candidate Gary Baise - picture to follow in a later post).
The presentation and discussions covered many aspects of the illegal alien problem, including the bad things that cause citizens to take notice, the good things citizens have been able to accomplish to help solve the problem locally, Virginia Senator Ken Stolle (without whom no such discussion would be complete), and other items that will be elucidated at a later date.
More than anything, the evening featured extended opportunities for citizens and would-be elected officials to share ideas and concerns. This type of cross-pollination has been a hallmark of Help Save Loudoun's activities and has resulted in some significant political accomplishments. Although in our membership we are non-partisan, so far the only candidates we've gotten the time of day from have been Republicans (and some Republicans have blown us off entirely).
This is somewhat curious and amusing, because our membership composition continues to be pretty bipartisan, but the power-brokers who will talk to us are largely of one party. Don't the Democratic candidates realize they are missing the boat? No, they do not.
We also had a few interlopers, filming, taking notes and photos, seeking intelligence.
Memo: Here's your intelligence, guys: Calling us racists will not slow us down.
And as the venerable Nelson says on the Simpsons, Haaaa Haa!
No time for the usually trenchant level of analytical reporting tonight, because I am a busy, busy man. Tonight all you get are some pictures.
First, from the historic events in neighboring Herndon, Virginia earlier this week:
Citizens gather prior to Tuesday's Herndon Town Council hearings on the future of the Herndon day labor site. The Council voted to require the next operator of the site to verify that all who use it for ad hoc employment are legally permitted to work in the U.S.
Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Herndon speaks with a Fox News reporter.
Senate candidate Patricia Phillips with members of Help Save Loudoun and Help Save Herndon.
Washington Examiner reporter interviews local citizens.
Next, at an event held tonight by La Voz of Loudoun, designed to distinguish facts from fiction in the immigration debate.
There was a GREAT question asked which I do not have time to transcribe right now, but which essentially linked NOVA TownHall, Help Save Loudoun, candidates Greg Ahlemann and Patricial Phillips, and even Tom Tancredo, for goodness sakes, into a nefarious web of conspiracy. It was absolutely friggin' inspiring. Just magnificent. All I need now is to get my picture posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center and I can die content.
(By the way, if you care about immigration enforcement, please go right now to the Web sites of all three of those candidates and give them some money. Right Now!! No dawdling!)
Finally, also at the La Voz event, the man Loudoun Insider has deemed worthy of a man-crush, Potomac Supervisor candidate Ken Mikeman (left) with our good buddy Jonathan of Equality Loudoun. Mikeman is pretty nice looking, I must say, but I have spoken with the man and Zoolander he ain't.
Apparently, Ben Tribbett is claiming that other bloggers are cutting into his monopoly on the baseless attack market and is preparing to fight back.
Hopefully, I can start thinking of some stuff that Ben will want to get indignant about and start sending us his crazy liberal traffic to go along with our Equality NoVA loony tunes.
UPDATE: VA Virtucon responds.
UPDATE #2: I need to get firstname.lastname@example.org added to the email list.
There were a couple radio interviews this week:
This one was on PBS station KCRW. (My part is the second half, about 15 minutes in, but the first part is worth listening to).
In what I'm sure is pure disinformation meant to dampen my overwhelming zeal, the Washington Post blog is spinning that I was not the first choice for the one interview, but was only selected because some public officials supposedly turned it down. In reality, I'm quite certain that the public officials were only considered because of my legendary busy schedule, and everyone was quite delighted that I was, in fact, available after all.
If you listen to either of those, I am certain you will agree that my tactic of never interrupting my counterpart, and allowing them to speak for two or three times as long as I speak, will, in the end, prove to be the most effective approach. It's all about winning the war, baby, winning the war.
Henry Hager, son of new RPV chairman John Hager, is set to marry the Jenna Bush. One has to wonder if Henry has any plans to follow in his father's footsteps, but his choice of bride certainly can't hurt.
NoVA TownHall Blog wishes them well.
H/T: Drudge (my source for most news)
The Herndon Town Council voted last night to require that the next operator of the day labor center established by the previous council check the legal working status of those who seek employment at the site.
This vote represents a sort of closing-the-circle on the events of May, 2006, in which the citizens of Herndon established the town as America's Bunker Hill in the current struggle.
Under the new Council, Herndon has led the way on several additional initiatives designed to end the influx of illegal aliens, including becoming the first municipality to send police officers for immigration enforcement training earlier this year.
By Bob Rudine
The Herndon Town Council decided tonight that the Herndon official day labor site will have to check the legal status of the laborers who use the site. In a 6 to 1 vote after two evenings of citizen comment a resolution was passed which sets the stage for a new operator of the site.
The current operator is Project Hope and Harmony (PH&H) aka Reston Interfaith, with funding provided by Fairfax County and a site provided by the Town of Herndon. Herndon also has an anti-solicitation ordinance which prohibits employers from hiring Day Laborers anywhere else within the town. This ordinance has been upheld in a court challenge based on the existence of the formal day labor site.
The Town Council is seeking a site operator who will validate the legal status of the day laborers' right to work within the United States. Several request for proposals have gone out and they currently have one bidder on the contract. Due to the length of time it is taking to find a qualified operator, the town had to consider an extension for PH&H to operate the site until a new operator who will verify legal status can take over.
The resolution to extend the special exception has two sets of conditions governing the operation of the site. The first (Operator A) is for the continued use by PH&H until a new operator can take over. The second (Operator B) defines the conditions for the new operator. Several changes were requested by PH&H and were incorporated into the special exception including extended hours and an expansion in the number of day laborers the site is allow to have on site.
A third option is available to the council which would eliminate the site altogether if the extension is not approved. This option is not being considered since the anti-solicitation ordinance would be overturned allowing the day laborers to return to the informal day labor sites within the town.
Several amendments were offered during the council deliberations. Two amendments were discussed which would allow charitable donations to be distributed at the site for PH&H. The first would allow all charitable donations to be distributed at the site. The second would allow for food donations only to be distributed. Both amendments failed.
Harlon Reece, the only current councilmen who voted to establish the current day labor site offered an amendment to delete all reference to Operator B from the resolution. This would, in effect, eliminate the immigration status checking altogether and allow the site to operate unchanged in its current configuration. His amendment did not receive a second vote required to proceed and died.
In passing the resolution the Council explained that their oath of office required them to uphold the law and that the law could not be applied selectively. The Mayor said that the town would do anything necessary to ensure the citizens that the day laborers would not return to the streets of Herndon. Reston Interfaith was thanked for their service to the community and the town promised to work with them in their other projects within the community.
During the public testimony, 50 people spoke on the Special Exception which allowed the day labor site to operate. I think it fair to say that everyone there believed that the challenges faced by the Town are caused by the absolute failure of the federal government to enforce immigration law. The issue of what the town can and cannot do is still being debated.
The supporters of the current site claim that the current site operator provides the best solution for the town by removing the day laborers from the streets of Herndon. They are still gathering all around town, and have been since the formal site opened, due to a lack of employers using the formal site. Photos of the 7-11 at Elden and Alabama and other informal sites in Northern Virginia were shown to support their claim. Photos were shown which clearly show day laborers congregating in and around the former informal site. The reality is that street solicitation was curtailed by vigorous enforcement by the Herndon Police of the anti-solicitation law after it was upheld in court.
The supporters of Operator B with legal status checking of day laborers support the notion that current site supports illegal aliens and the town would be better off without the site. The town councilâ€™s approach was supported by most of these speakers, recognizing the importance of the anti-solicitation enforcement program to the town. Clearly they believe that this is the best compromise available at this time. One speaker requested that the Town consider adoption of an alternative version of the anti-solicitation law used by some localities which does not require a formal site in order to withstand legal challenge. The notion that the day labor site is a temporary solution was mentioned by several of the speakers including one recommendation to eliminate the annual renewal provisions in the special exception. Residents, from the adjacent county of Loudoun, expressed their concerns regarding the possibility of day laborers establishing an informal site just inside their county if this plan were adopted.
Several residents requested that the council not renew the extension which would close the site outright.
Law suits against the town were expressed or implied by some of the speakers against the anti-solicitation ordinance and Operator B if the current plans were implemented.
Other issues discussed by the speakers included the use of the site as a location to distribute charitable contributions of food and clothes which is the current practice. Crime statics were presented showing the percentage of crimes committed by Hispanics was increasing when compared with non-Hispanics. Since the police do not collect data regarding legal status of criminals, the extent and impact of illegal aliens on crime is still subject to some conjecture and debate. Overcrowded housing was also mentioned by some speakers even though the extension does not address this issue specifically.
In related news, the pro-illegal national Republican Party has firmly established itself as the entity we cannot defund quickly enough. IF you are still receiving solicitations from the Republican Party, AND you still have any telephone books left in your house, you know what to do.
Bricks will suffice in a pinch.
It appears that Iraqi's and other Middle Easterners are paying big money ($20K a pop) to get across our southern border. One would imagine that this is part of some operation to wreak another 9/11 style terrorist act. In spite of the nay sayers there is little that an open border is an open invitation to nail us again.
This is the security dimension of what we face in light of a border out of control. Smuggling of drugs, weapons and aliens is going to come back and bite us. Al Qaeda won't be sending in an Arab plumber into the US at $30K a head. It will be a bomb maker, a pilot, or something worse.
What if a nuke is brought across the border? This is an idea is one the US government is concerned as are ngo's . What is amazing is how little press these concerns get. We are asleep and the bed really is burning. A reporter recently wrote it would take another 9/11 to wake us up. I hope that is not going to be the case.
The coming North American "framework" that would eliminate hard borders between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Such a plan would also hasten the demise of the United States as we know it, and usher in a North American Union--similar to the European Union!
That is why I am again asking readers of Novatownhall blog to take immediate action by adding your name to a national petition opposing any and all efforts to establish a North American "framework." This is not the same deal as NAFTA, it is far more intrusive. In the EU unelected bureaucrats make social and economic policy without oversight. This is not a democratic way to govern and is something all Americans should reject. The NAU is something that George W. Bush wants to foist upon us. This is not a right v. left issue, it is a freedom and sovereignty issue.
Please click here to add your name to the petition.
UPDATE!! (see below)
Today's Post has a feature story on the situation in Sterling that is pretty good ... for the Post. Which is a significant qualification.
But in truth Sandhya, the reporter, is one of the better ones on the issue of the illegal alien problem and if the media as a whole covered the issue in as balanced a manner as she does Americans would have a much better understanding of what is really happening.
In the story, a few residents were interviewed along with some activists from the pro-illegal side. I recommend everyone read it because it gives a partial picture of the local situation.
The article reflects a bit of naivete, repeating zoning department reports that overcrowding inspections often "found Bible study groups." Conversations with locals familiar with zoning violation reporting could have revealed how extraordinarily common such Bible study sessions are claimed to be taking place in houses full of migrant workers. The conversations would have been punctuated with guffaws.
Also, the identification of one gentleman as "a remodeling contractor" would have been slightly more accurate if he were labeled a "former remodeling contractor who was driven out of the business some years ago by corrupt competitors using illegal workers." I happen to know he next tried to build a livelihood as a landscaping contractor - with a similar final result.
But the point that jumped out at me was the sheriff's office report that "only one in 20 gang members in the county is in the country illegally, and most are U.S. citizens." The sheriff himself made this point at a Help Save Loudoun meeting earlier this year, contradicting a report at another meeting in which deputies in the Loudoun Gang Intelligence Unit told our audience that the gang population is largely composed of illegals, and the growth in gang activity parallels the influx of illegal aliens into the area.
The story also repeats Sheriff Steve Simpson's statement from a debate a few months ago in which he told a questioner asking what he would say to Sterling Park residents who felt their neighborhood was becoming less safe, that "the crime rate is going down." In several public events where Sterling residents asked what he intended to do about the increasing problems in the community, I heard the sheriff tell constituents, we are doing everything we can. In effect, he has promised that things are only going to get worse, despite the fact that citizens had laid out a number of initiatives he could pursue to make Loudoun County less hospitable to criminal aliens - and no one had ruled out demanding the Board of Supervisors allocate more funds to do so.
This is known as the "tin ear" approach to dealing with one's consituents, and explains in large part why the sheriff was demolished by his Republican convention opponent, Greg Ahlemann, in a major upset, by a margin of over 2-1.
Well, I have just received a copy of an open letter to Sheriff Simpson, in reaction to the Post article, sent by one of his Sterling constituents to the Board of Supervisors. The letter helps fill in some of the holes in the article:
Dear Sheriff Simpson,
I can't tell you how relieved I am to read in today's Washington Post front page article about Sterling that "only one in 20 gang members in the county is in the country illegally, and most are U.S. citizens."
So the next time my neighbors are assaulted while strolling on the sidewalk, shot at through the walls of their home while they sleep, dodging bullets in the parking lot of the Sterling Safeway, or reporting another theft from their garages, I'll remind them that statistically, their safety is being threatened by fellow citizens, not illegal aliens.
I'll comfort them by quoting your assurances that increasing crime in Sterling is merely "a widespread perception" unsupported by data, and that we're probably overreacting to "a few high-profile shootings and gang-related incidents."
Maybe that information might have stopped my neighbor from moving out of Sterling this summer if he knew that the gang members who bullied his daughter at the middle school last spring are here legally. Now that the Post has widely publicized this important distinction, maybe my neighbors can put their unsold houses back on the market and try for an expensive second time to sell and move away.
I, for one, will feel a deeper sense of pride when I spend yet another Saturday morning picking up hundreds of empty and shattered beer bottles from the corners of my neighborhood streets, knowing that most of this litter was probably created by good old U.S. citizens.
Thanks for your clearly heartfelt concern for the citizens of eastern Loudoun.
As a side note, we don't tend to see much of Sheriff Simpson, at public events, here in Sterling. My guess is this end of the county has been written off in his campaign strategy, such as it is.
Talk about pandering. Watching Dems try to placate the gay agenda while not alienating the mainstream is always entertaining.
Just wanted to link this as a reminder of how much we could lose next year if social conservatives don't work together.
UPDATE: As Joe would say, this thread has reached doctoral thesis length. I am not able to keep up with the deluge that will probably continue for some time to come. If anyone sees anything inappropriate, feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com.
It appears that the county, state and federal governments are starting to get the picture; the citizens have had enough and we want the power back in our hands. Illegal Immigration is truly becoming a sweeping issue across the land and there are many changes starting to take place and issues discussed. Even the "Old Guard" is turning 180 degrees because of the consequences of elitist pomp raising the ire of the populace. This isn't due to the Republicans, Democrats, Christians or even you godless individuals ( calm down. I was just having fun). It is due to the left, right, middle, moderate; all idealogies coming together as one.
I am sincere in saying thank you to all who get involved. I believe if we stay away from the issues of most controversy (homosexuality, abortion, global warming, etc.) and relate to the real issues at hand; illegal immigration, american sovereignty, North American Union, China's death grip on the economy-that we can really get alot done and turn this political fiasco around. Blogs, phone calls, media editorials and interviews are getting peoples attention. You people are making a difference.
I may sound naive in what I believe but I do believe with a passion. Keep spreading the word to others to take back our governments. Let's make it the "We, the people..." land again. Yes, we will always continue to have those diverse discussions on issues but let's have more of the issues that count. Elections are coming oh so soon.
One of the things as a country we generally approve is that competition breeds excellence. Competition between Firefox and Internet Explorer has made both better (well, okay, it has made IE better as the copy Firefox features and look and feel). Competition made Harley Davidson do better at making motor cycles; Japan finally got quality on the radar of American auto makers; telephone prices have come down, and telephone services have gone up (I remember $4 a minute for phone calls to California from Maryland before competition).
What about education? What choice do most people have for education? If you are rich, you can afford the taxes you already pay, and then the tens of thousands it costs for separate tuition. (Just one non-sectarian school charges upwards of $27,000/year Burke and there are others just as expensive.)
First, I'll start off with a nice wedding picture. Since the radical activists seeking to redefine marriage seem to really appreciate that.
Now, the reason for my post (better late than never, right?):
Victoria Cobb, President
Friday, July 27, 2007
Information Alert: Truth be told
Earlier this week, The Ohio state Supreme Court dismissed arguments that Ohio's marriage amendment undermined that state's domestic violence laws (State v. Carswell). I'm sure you vividly remember that opponents of Virginia's marriage amendment attempted to scare Virginians into voting against the amendment by pointing to the controversy in Ohio last fall.
This week's decision reaffirms what we said all during last fall's bitter campaign - the so-called "unintended consequences" arguments used against the marriage amendment were a figment of the opposition's imagination. As was clearly articulated in Attorney General Bob McDonnell's opinion of Virginia's marriage amendment, no one was going to lose a single existing right when that amendment was implemented.
Virginians can rest assured that domestic violence laws in this state will protect them. I hope that Virginians hold in contempt those who took the serious problem of domestic abuse and used the fears of women in crisis to try to accomplish their political agenda.
Almost two weeks ago I told you about The Family Foundation's efforts to reduce the divorce rate in Virginia. We recently convened the first meeting of our marriage commission to study the issue. Well, it didn't take long for the story to hit the media. We've been fielding calls for several days, and from media outlets as far away as Seattle, Washington!
Much of the coverage, particularly on talk radio has been less than flattering. It seems that there are many people out there who don't think a 50 percent divorce rate is such a bad thing. Or if they admit its too high, they simply throw up their hands and say that nothing can be done.
Regardless of the naysayers and those who simply criticize instead of seeking solutions, we are going to continue to look at this decidedly complicated issue in an attempt to seek real solutions.
Below is a sample of the media stories concerning the commission:
Va. Foundation seeks to reduce divorces - Washington Post, 7/26/2007
New Commission aims to make divorce harder - Virginian Pilot, 7/22/2007
Family Foundation focuses on divorce - WSET TV, Lynchburg
A marriage made in politics - Roanoke Times Editorial Page, 7/24/2007
Not surprising to see the cornerstone of the anti-Marriage Amendment folks' argument disintegrate. Let's not forget their entire million dollar plus effort was focused on distorting the issue and scaring voters about "unintended consequences" when in truth they were/are simply against the intended and real consequence-- constitutionally protecting marriage from radical redefinition via judicial decree.
I look forward to hearing more from the Family Foundation's Marriage Commission on ways our Commonwealth can support and encourage healthy marriages and prevent family dissolution and more children being raised without a loving mother and father under the same roof.
The Washington Post is reporting that Loudoun County Supervisors Steve Snow (R-Dulles) and Scott York (I- At Large) have said that if the neighboring town of Herndon finds a new operator for its controversial day labor center who will ensure that all those served are legal workers, Loudoun County may set up its own day labor center.
This is going to cause a firestorm of a controversy in Loudoun County, but it is important to point out the issue is not clear-cut.
It is widely acknowledged that Herndon's day labor center, operated by an entity called "Project Hope and Harmony" - which is really just a committee of the local non-profit Reston Interfaith - serves primarily illegal aliens. It came into existence largely because for several years a 7-11 store at the intersection of Alabama Avenue and Elden Street had served as an informal, ad hoc hiring site which was very disruptive to the surrounding community.
The Herndon day labor center was opened in December, 2005, by the town government, against the wishes of the majority of the town's citizens.
Several months later, the citizens voted the mayor and most of the town council members out of office, with great fanfare.
After several months in office, the new town council passed an "anti-solicitation" ordinance to restrict freelance hiring on the town's streets. When the ordinance was challenged, a judge ruled the ordinance was lawful - as long as the town had an alternative for those who wished to seek employment and employees.
Ironically, the day labor center became the legal prerequisite for the anti-solicitation law.
Herndon is now seeking bids from organizations to run the day labor center when Project Hope and Harmony's contract (actually a "special exception") runs out in September. It is generally assumed the town would like to find an operator for the center who will take one additional, important step: check the legal status of all prospective workers - something Project Hope and Harmony will not do.
If such an operator is found, one might logically conclude that many of the illegal aliens currently served by the Herndon day labor center will go to the adjoining Loudoun County community of Sterling to seek work.
Within 50 yards of the Herndon day labor center is another 7-11 on Sterling Road (Rt. 606) which is already the site of some hiring solicitation activity. It appears that Loudoun Supervisors Snow and York are considering the necessity of passing an anti-solicitation law similar to Herndon's, on the assumption the illegal hiring will simply move across the street and into other areas of Loudoun County if the Herndon center becomes inhospitable to illegals.
In order for such an ordinance to pass judicial muster in Loudoun County, the supervisors apparently wish to duplicate Herndon's model of having an established day labor center which can serve as the designated, legally approved location for ad hoc hiring.
It seems inconceivable that Supervisors York and Snow would have any intention of establishing a workers' center which did not ensure all those served were legally allowed to work in the U.S. Loudoun's supervisors have, after all, been in close contact with the Herndon government to discuss the issue.
Setting up a day labor center for illegal aliens in Loudoun County would not only be a massive affront to the citizens of Sterling, it would be political suicide for any Loudoun County official who signed on to such a plan.
Assuming the Loudoun supervisors are not complete fools, but instead merely wish to replicate the end result Herndon is seeking - a day labor center that only serves legal workers - it seems appropriate that Loudoun County should pay close attention to the current RFP process in Herndon to find a new operator for the Herndon day labor center.
Longtime local resident Butch Baughan is forming a non-profit organization and is one of the applicants to run the Herndon day labor center, under the concept of a vocational education and job-pairing service for all citizens of the area. Butch can speak very eloquently about the need for job training and mentoring for disadvantaged citizens, having spent much of his career as a high school vocational teacher.
Perhaps the new operator of the Herndon workers' center could be considered to run a Loudoun County center as well?
This post over at VA Virtucon reminded me of something that I've been discussing with some of my insider political friends. Is the United States of America on the verge of falling apart?
Among those that still care about the state of affairs in this country (a dwindling number for the last 50 years), we seem to have become a country split in twain. The American people have ceased to speak with one voice. From illegal immigration to the war on terror, frustration rather than unity reigns. The Supreme Court's approval ratings are down and had been below 50% in the past two years, and the President and Congress are none too popular either.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. and a Republican from the midwest almost came to blows on the House floor, and the video below the fold speaks for itself about the way Republicans and Democrats are getting along in Congress.
Ultimately, I believe that apathy will prevent a true split in this country because Americans are too lazy to secede or create a true political realignment.
As for external threats, the Jihadists are bent on causing another attack on American soil (and experts routinely claim they have the capability), but they have no real standing army at this point, and therefore pose no threat to conquer. The Chinese lack a radical element at this point and have not made any serious moves that show that they want to abruptly disrupt the geopolitical order. The Russians with their claim to the North Pole and the Iranians (just crazy generally) have been acting more irrationally, but I'm not sure World War III is that imminent either.
The Republican members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors took a stand we should all be grateful for when they sponsored the strong immigration enforcement resolution on July 17.
Thanks to Mick Staton, Eugene Delgaudio, Bruce Tulloch, Steve Snow, Jim Clem and Lori Waters for sponsoring the resolution.
The resolution ended up passing 9-0, with the Board's Democrat and two Independents joining the Republican majority.
This action followed the Loudoun County Republican Convention - well over a thousand people - unanimously passing its Resolution In Support Of Legal Immigration on June 9. That resolution has not gotten nearly the publicity it deserves, because with it the largest political convention ever held in Loudoun County delivered an extremely strong statement for immigration enforcement at all levels of government.
In Loudoun County, at least, the GOP is standing up for the citizens.
Now, as the Virginia political season ramps up, those battling for the seats up for election in November are speaking out further on this issue. Here are some statements delivered this week by our pro-enforcement candidates for office:
1) "As supervisor ... I would take action against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants," and "partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement so that our Sheriff's Office is authorized to enforce federal immigration laws ... shut down document mills that illegally produce phony identification, and enforce zoning ordinances to prevent the overcrowding of homes."
2) "The main 'service' an illegal immigrant comes to Loudoun for is a job ... I oppose illegal immigration and want to see effective measures to fight it. That's why I want to see an end to the employment of illegal aliens in Loudoun."
3) "The most important power localities may possess is the ability to penalize employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers. The local response to the problem might just lie in penalizing the Americans who are breaking the law."
4) "Put simply, illegal is illegal. Our first priority must be to deport any illegal immigrant who commits a crime and shut down the document mills ... We must crack down on businesses that lure illegal immigrants to our community ... People come here because there is work and money to be found. This situation is not fair to honest businesses that hire legal employees and must compete with unscrupulous businesses, which hire illegal immigrants for low wages."
(See if you can guess which local conservative made each statement - answers are below the fold)
[Following is a guest editorial by Nan Matthis of American Daughter]
The First Victims of the North American Union?
Inspection reports had raised some concerns about fatigue in the metal components of the span. Such indicators should have triggered retrofit beyond the rather cosmetic efforts being made at the time of the catastrophic failure, particularly for such a critical component of our highway system. So the question arises, Why was this bridge not repaired or replaced in a timely manner?
Since this is a federal highway, garden variety negligence and incompetence by Congress is one obvious answer. The federal transportation budget had enough money, but the funds were squandered on pork barrel projects designed to buy votes for the incumbents (recall that bridge to nowhere in Alaska).
But there is also a more sinister possibility. It is possible that repairs were deferred, in anticipation of complete replacement with a wider bridge when the North America Supercorridor Coalition (NASCO) project reached Minneapolis. The 2001 report to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, prepared by the University of Minnesota, contains the following statement:
Well, the rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated...
Ok, there were no rumors, but like a hobo, I have once again rolled into blog town.
Here's what I've been thinking about lately: LG Bolling recently endorsed Mitt Romney for President (press release below the fold).
While an interesting move (and not one I agree with--see my early endorsement of Fred Thompson, whose campaign is worrying me lately), it made me wonder where AG McDonnell is placing his support.
While he may be waiting for Fred Thompson to get in the race, it would seem unwise to me for a statewide officeholder to place his national political future in the hands of an unannounced candidate whose campaign may or may not actually happen.
I would have expected him to jump on the Mitt bus before the LG could. With Kilgore heading the Giuliani train and LG Bolling going with Mitt, there isn't really anybody left if Fred's campaign stalls before it happens.
Anyone know where McDonnell is leaning or why he hasn't endorsed anyone?
Trying to find out how much money the local public school system spends on English as a Second Language instruction is like pulling teeth - from a mako shark. For whatever reason, they really don't make this data easy to locate.
I've recently gotten the following pages from the Loudoun County Public Schools FY08 Appropriated Budget which detail actual expenditures on ESL from 2004-2006 and budgeted amounts for FY07 and FY08. The first image shows the FY08 increases and the second the budget detail for all years.
The data is interesting to review both for the change in expenditures over that span and also how the amounts compare to other portions of the overall Loudoun County budget.
First, though: The following chart, from details of the Washington Area Boards of Education budgets, shows the change in ESL participation in the area school systems from 1999-2006. (Click the image for the Excel spreadsheet).
The picture looks like a bank of clouds in the distance. It is the smoke plumes from a fire that is about 15 miles away. The plumes rise 12 to 14 thousand feet from the fire, and the fire itself has been growing by thousands of acres a day.
Wildland fire is not something we on the east coast see very often, and it generally isn't as wide-spread, quick-moving, or downright dangerous as what many are out west. Just to give an idea, Washington DC is 68 square miles, a square mile is 640 acres, DC is only 43520 acres. The Meriwether/Ahorn (both managed by the same team) are over 56,000 acres, and they grew by more than 10,000 acres in yesterday's situation report. These kinds of fires would swallow the size of DC every few days.