September 2007 Archives

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I supported him in 2000, and he has my support again.

Alan Keyes 2008!

Something's Rotten at the Loudoun Times-Mirror

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The only question is: Which direction is the Loudoun Times-Mirror rotting from, bottom up or top down?

When I got slimed recently by the area's widest-circulation local newspaper, I took it in stride because in my view "integrity" and "journalism" go together about like "prudent judgement" and "puppy." Editor Paul Smith saw fit to print in prominent position a letter with the headline "Shame On Mr. Budzinski," in which the "shame" derived from a deliberate misreading of a disingenuous quote by a reporter who put the word "political" in my mouth - in a front page story in the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Although he posted my rebuttal on the paper's Web site, Mr. Smith did not publish my 300-word response in the print edition which reaches a much larger audience.

The latest offense by the LTM is an order of magnitude more serious: In a story about this week's Sheriff candidates' debate, the LTM printed a slander transcending bias or ethical lapse and treading awfully close to criminal.

On page A5 in Wednesday's print edition, reporter Jana Renn writes:


While Ahlemann tended to criticize the Latino and Hispanic population of eastern Loudoun, George contended that crime exists in every race and culture.

The sentence was since removed from the online version of the story, but the damage has most certainly been done as the paper gets into the hands of tens of thousand of readers this week.

Why do I characterize this as an offense? Primarily because, of all the candidates, Greg Ahlemann is the only one who said nothing about any culture or ethnic group.

You can listen to the entire debate here, but I have transcribed the relevant portions below.

Here is what Mr. Ahlemann said:

Question 3: During the recent debate on illegal immigration in Loudoun, some elected officials and residents have portrayed parts of eastern Loudoun, especially Sterling Park, as being run down and unsafe. Oftentimes these issues have been attributed to illegal immigrants. Do you think this is a fair portrayal of Sterling Park and, if so, what can the Sheriff's department do to improve the quality of life in this community?

Ahlemann: It's a good question and it is the issue in this race. And I don't know that we can quantify and really put a number on the amount of problems that are caused by illegal immigrants. Clearly, as the federal government themselves has stated, I think 12 million illegal immigrants, some people say 20 million. That's quite a large gap, so I don't expect Loudoun County Sheriff's Office or anybody in Loudoun County to have the intelligence to tell us how many are here. Clearly, we've seen a move and change - I've seen it firsthand from working on the streets of Sterling Park since 1997 in how the demographics have changed. I know that many of the people who I arrested initially who had no identification, couldn't speak any English, I'm just gonna guess that they might have been here illegally because at the time we chose not to participate in ICE. Those people lived in Herndon at the time. Now many of those same people live in Sterling. So I think there is a correlation between the two. Trying to say that crime statistics have gone down, you know, seeing that written on a piece of paper doesn't really make the single mother feel much safer as she goes out to buy groceries late at night and there's a lot of people hanging out at different bars or at Pepe's, where we have continuous problems. A place like that clearly needs attention from the Sheriff's Office and probably needs to be shut down.


Pepe's is an establishment notorious in Sterling for the amount of violence and police activity it manages to host - and the police activity is a fraction of what most residents THINK it should hosting. It is six doors down from the local Safeway. Everyone in Sterling who is not a gang member thinks Pepe's needs to be shut down and the fact it has not been is an anomaly much like the Enron scandal was an anomaly. There are many Latino businesses in the shopping complex: Singling out Pepe's demonstrates not a speck of ethnocentrism and any reporter who thinks it does should be working a different beat.

Here are Steve Simpson's and Mike George's answers to the same question:


Simpson: I do think it's wrong to assume, like some people do, that everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic is first of all illegal and second of all a gang member, because that's just not true. From our gang unit, the people we deal with, only one in about 20 people we deal with that are in gangs are illegal. So we have to be very careful when we start pointing fingers and saying, making those comments that some people are very quick to make in a campaign. I think there are some issues with Sterling Park. I've been with the Sheriff's Office for 20 years. I think a lot of the issues we see as some of these communities deteriorate are things I've brought to the Board's attention and they're already aware of, and we've talked about this and had a dialogue about housing issues, occupancy issues, zoning issues, those kinds of things. When you have 15 or 20 people living in a house, eight or ten cars parked all over the yard, that's not a law enforcement issue, that's not a Sheriff's Office issue. I can't knock on the door and ask for identification to see who's living there and are they here legally or not. That's not something I can do legally. But zoning officials, housing officials, ordinances that deal with those kinds of things, those are the kinds of things that play out in communities. And with our community policing office we deal with quality of life issues in community policing. That's a program I started when I first took office 12 years ago and we have it throughout the county. Those are the kind of things, working with the county resources, working with the Sheriff's Office in community policing to try to address some of these quality of life issues, that's how you solve those kinds of problems. You don't lock everybody up and everybody doesn't need to go to jail. That's not what it's all about. It's looking at it from a multi-pronged approach with all of us working together to deal with that issue.

George: I agree with Sheriff Simpson when he says we can't look at a certain culture and say they're gang members. I've worked Asian crimes, I've worked Nigerian crimes, I've worked Russian mafia crimes. There's crime in every culture and every race, and we need to be specific about what we're looking at. The crime, if it goes up, is one thing. We need to target crime, we don't need to target a culture.


Setting up a straw man and knocking it down is a classic feature of dishonest argument. It is a technique widely employed in the illegal immigration debate. Greg Ahlemann never mentions any ethnic group, but his opponents do so and go on to accuse him in not-so-veiled manner of "targeting" a culture.

The story by Ms. Renn also said about Mr. Ahlemann:


He said that 4,000 students in Sterling schools do not speak English in their homes, and that while he can't say all 4,000 of them are illegal, 100 of them may be...He later tried to clarify that he was using the numbers as examples and they may not be totally accurate.

Here is what was actually said when Purcellville Gazette publisher Ben Weber had this exchange with Mr. Ahlemann:

Question 4: In light of the recent opening of the new jail facility here in Loudoun County, how do you propose working with the Board of Supervisors and with the areas outside the area, such as Frederick County, in dealing with the overcrowding and housing that we most likely will have in light of the increased gang activity that will likely be taking place?

Ahlemann: ...Speaking with Warren Guerin just a couple weeks ago, of the School Board in Sterling, he said at some schools in Sterling, 64% English is not the language spoken in the home. Four thousand students are in English as a Second Language as part of their curriculum. Four thousand: almost 10% of our students. Am I going to sit up here and say that all those people are illegal immigrants? Certainly not. But could 100 of them be illegal immigrants that shouldn't be in this county? One hundred of them would be $1.4 million taxpayers' savings. There's what we spend to house the inmates. There's no vision, either at the Board of Supervisors level or the Sheriff's level, to resolve these kinds of problems. And that's what I bring, is a new perspective on dealing with things like this. You cut out the criminal element, you deter some of these illegal immigrants from coming here, guess what: You don't have to provide school for them and you save $1.4 million just with 100.

Follow up by questioner Ben Weber: You talked about 4,000 students, you talked to Warren Guerin, you made the assumption, it seemed to me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that perhaps this large percentage of people that speak a different language - that's part of the reason why we're having this criminal element. I think that's somewhat of a stretch, and please correct me if I'm wrong.

Ahlemann: I'm sorry you perceived that, but I think the point is there's 4,000 - almost 10% of our students - that speak a language that is not English as the first language, that we're educating. And Warren Guerin basically stated at that meeting I was at ...

Weber interrupts: What did that have to do with the jail issue?

Ahlemann: I think it has a lot to do with it ...

Weber interrupts: If I speak Farsi, from Iran, then I'm a potential problem?

Ahlemann: I'm not saying that. There is a correlation between the two. If you're going to look at solving the problems as isolated, and not connecting some of these things together, then we're doing law enforcement the same way we did 30 years ago and we need to look at things in a new light and a new way of dealing with things.


Mr. Ahlemann makes the logical case that increased ICE participation could result in the departure of illegal aliens from this area, and if they were students, or parents of students, in our public schools the county would save $14,000 a year for every one that left and there would be less people in the jail. This is a simple, obvious point that most citizens of Loudoun would immediately comprehend but is, nevertheless, opaque to Ben Weber. And again, Mr. Weber, not Mr. Ahlemann, is the one who brings up a specific culture.

But as to the "4,000": It might have been a little helpful if the reporter had taken into consideration the fact that Mr. Ahlemann was referring to an event covered and quoted - in the Loudoun Times-Mirror:


"In the school system, we do not verify immigration status," Geurin said. His comments elicited a round of applause from the several hundred people in attendance.

He also urged the parents of the school system's immigrant students to take English as a Second Language, or ESL, classes. Of immigrant students, he said about 4,000 in Loudoun took these classes last school year.


That Mr. Ahlemann "later tried to clarify" the numbers is barely true, in the sense he stated clearly in a later exchange that he pulled the "100" figure out of the air to make a point about the potential cost savings. But the printed article leads one to believe he "tried to clarify" about the 4,000 students, when that figure came from a public official on the school board and was quoted in the same newspaper.

The bottom line is the Loudoun Times-Mirror grossly distorted the facts to paint Mr. Ahlemann as a fool and a bigot, when in fact he was completely forthright about the numbers he was quoting and he was the only candidate not to discuss any ethnic group. Why not call out Steve Simpson for the "everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic" quote? Who ever said that, besides Steve Simpson?

If the Loudoun Times-Mirror was worth the plastic baggie it's delivered in, THAT'S the statement the reporter would have called into question.

Mike George Drops a Bomb at Loudoun Sheriff Debate

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[The complete audio recording of Tuesday night's debate between Loudoun County Sheriff candidates is below the fold. This should put an end to discussion of who did or did not say what.]

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While there were a number of interesting statements throughout the evening, more than anything the debate clearly illustrated substantial differences between the candidates. Loudoun County voters really have a stark choice in November.

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Only Greg Ahlemann conveyed a clear message about why voters should choose him, and not solely based on the illegal immigration issue. Save for the question of whether we should have a county-wide police department, Steve Simpson and Mike George said virtually nothing to distinguish themselves one from the other, and their only coherent criticism of Mr. Ahlemann was his "lack of experience." It comes across clearly in the debate that "experience" may be very overrated - we already knew this about Steve Simpson and we've now learned it with reference to Mike George.

Most stunning was Democrat Mike George's statement of support for day labor centers for illegal workers and criticism of the town of Herndon's decision to shut down its day labor center two weeks ago. This betrays an astounding naivete regarding the illegal alien issue and should effectively eliminate him from consideration by Sterling voters.

The town of Herndon saw an increase in the number of illegal aliens after the day labor center was announced - and why not: it signals a "welcome" to illegal workers. Of course, people who have absolutely no familiarity with the situation on the ground could be excused for assuming the day labor center merely moved a problem from one unruly place to a more manageable place. It's fine that some people still do not understand what is happening here, but we surely do not need one of them as our Sheriff. Or, I should say, another one.

Mike George's partly nonsensical response also should put to bed once and for all the notion that "education" has any relevance in the choice between these three candidates. Mr. George famously came out in favor of ICE 287(g) training for Sheriff's Office personnel earlier this year after Greg Ahlemann had spent several months talking about it - and then two weeks later Mr George amended his support, saying having more than one deputy trained would be "overkill." Presumably, back when Mr. George was last involved in actual law enforcment they had officers who could work 24/7/365. These days, that does not pass muster.

Here, his understanding of the Herndon center seems to vacillate from what it really was to something it definitely was not. Mr. George states "was there illegals there? I don't know" which should give most local residents pause. Like anyone who has read a local newspaper in the past two years, or happens to live within a mile of the facility, or has a smidgen of understanding of the local illegal immigration issue. (For the record, government studies estimated that at least 85% of the workers being served by the center were illegal aliens - a figure arrived at by extrapolating from a Fairfax County study that found over 80% of the county's foreign born residents were here illegally).

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He then goes on to suggest part of the beauty of a workers' center is "you do ID them." Well, actually, Mr. George, you do not. Otherwise, there would never have been a controversy over the Herndon center and it never would have been shut down. (Come to think of it, it never would have been started up).

We'll let Mr. George speak for himself:


George: I actually think it was a mistake to close the day labor site in Herndon. It was a place where everybody came to work. Now was there illegals there? I don't know. Did they check? I know they didn't check. But it gave a central location where people could find work and the only thing they were guilty of was wanting to work. What you have now is people coming out and going to various locations and hanging out, and you're going to have to do enforcement. Enforcement is an option that you have to take sometimes. So what you're looking at is do you have people hanging out at 7-11s looking for work, or do you put them in one central location where people go, where you can monitor. You can actually ID them, and that is something that I'd recommend. These people do come up and you do ID them. You want to know who everybody is, so that makes it an easier way to do it. The best part of that work center was, I worked in Fairfax when they were hanging out at the 7-11 .... try to go in and get a soda when they were hanging out there. So I think it was a benefit.

My first reaction to hearing this was: If Mike George is this clueless on the topic of the day labor center controversy - certainly one of the key issues in eastern Loudoun county in the past year - how long would it take him to get up to speed on what is really happening here as Sheriff?

If he is not aware that even the hint of increased enforcement at the local level has already caused illegal aliens to leave from towns like Hazleton, PA, and the states of Georgia, Arizona and Oklahoma, can we count on him to help move the ball forward on reversing the influx of illegal aliens into Loudoun?

He gives the impression of a genial outsider for whom this is not an issue he needs to play a role in addressing. Let me emphasize Mike George does not seem like a bad guy at all. He seems competent and sincere, but not the person we need in the role of Sheriff.

There is more to report from the debate, forthcoming.

Opening Statement




Question 1: What is your opinion on forming a county-side police force?



Question 2: Looking to the future, what needs to be done in the Sheriff's department as the county continues to grow?



Question 3: During the recent debate on illegal immigration in Loudoun, some elected officials and residents have portrayed parts of eastern Loudoun, especially Sterling Park, as being run down and unsafe. Oftentimes these issues have been attributed to illegal immigrants. Do you think this is a fair portrayal of Sterling Park and, if so, what can the Sheriff's department do to improve the quality of life in this community?



Question 4: In light of the recent opening of the new jail facility here in Loudoun County, how do you propose working with the Board of Supervisors and with the areas outside the area, such as Frederick County, in dealing with the overcrowding and housing that we most likely will have in light of the increased gang activity that will likely be taking place?



Question 5: Every year in negotiations with the Board of Supervisors it seems you don't get the deputies you're after. What can you do differently to make sure you get the deputies? And do we have enough deputies to man the county?



Question 6: If elected Sheriff would you make any wholesale changes in the Sheriff's Office in terms of staff?



Question 7: Regarding the recent closing of the Herndon day labor site, which shared a border with Loudoun County ... we are starting to notice at various locations here in Loudoun the formation of impromptu day labor sites. What is your position on that and if the Board of Supervisors chose to set up a type of day labor site, how would you enforce that and how would you work with the Board of Supervisors in relation to the ICE programs?



Question 8: There's been a lot of talk this campaign season, about this race in particular, with respect to everyone's feelings on religion. Can you describe to me how you separate your personal faith from your job, if these two issues ever cross paths, as Sheriff?



Question 9: In the federal government illegal immigration enforcement program called 287(g), ICE officials generally only deport illegal immigrants detained by local jurisdictions who are convicted of felonies. As Sheriff, so you think 287(g) should also include deportation of those convicted of DUIs and other misdemeanors?



Audience Questions



Closing Statements



Housekeeping note

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There my be some accessibility issues today as we are making technical adjustments here. If you write a comment you consider particularly noteworthy and ageless, you may want to keep a copy on you hard drive or in your shirt pocket.

The blog will be back bigger than ever when this is all completed, I hope by tonight. And then I say to you: Cower like the mewling, helpless, furry animal you are 'cause NOVA TownHall will be in extreme butt kickin' mode.

Just had to link this video montage about Mark Warner (worst governor ever, other than Timmy Kaine). Enjoy.

*WARNING* The linked video contains a movie clip with the F-bomb in it.

UPDATE: Timmy Kaine is at it again. I've never seen a man work so hard to earn title of "Worst Governor Ever."

UPDATE #2: Here's more from Bearing Drift with video.

Queen Hillary?

Sometimes, politics is just downright confusing.

H/T: Drudge

DPVA hates guns?

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It appears that the Democratic Party of Virginia has shown its true colors and contempt for the 2nd Amendment. I wonder what Mark Warner would say?

The proof? Below is an exerpt from a recent update by the Virginia's Citizens' Defense League via email:

******************************************************* 6.Democratic Party of Virginia pays for gun bashing attack ad ***************************************************************

Member [name redacted] of Centreville sent this item.

I was particularly intrigued by the blurb on the Democratic Party's
platform position stating support for the right to keep and bear
arms. [VA-Alert 17 September 2007, "2A makes appearance on VA
Democratic Party platform"]

I live in Sen Cuccinelli's district [Virginia Senate 37 ~ west
Fairfax County] and recently received a campaign flyer from the
Democratic Party of Virginia with a list of Ken's "kookiest ideas."
One of those items was "Cuccinelli supports allowing guns in public
places like airports, college campuses, day care centers and
libraries." The flyer states it was "Paid for by the Democratic
Party of Virginia.
Authorized by Oleszek for State Senate." As I'm
sure you know, Janet Oleszek is Sen. Cuccinelli's Democratic opponent.

Interesting that an organization that claims to support the right to
keep and bear arms would use an opponent's support for the right to
keep and bear arms as the lead item in an attack ad.

I thought you'd be interested in knowing that, at least in this case,
the Democratic Party's actions are in direct opposition to the
position stated in their party platform.

UPDATE: Apparently, the gun-grabber and "The Man" had a debate. I'll let you guess who won.

Straight Talk from Greg Ahlemann

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Loudoun Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann dropped in with another great comment here, in the Loudoun Farce thread:
I had a great interview with Loudoun Force. Clearly, this issue stirs emotions on both sides. Loudoun Force and I have different beliefs on how to deal with the illegal immigration problem, as I probably disagree with them on social issues as well. From a former deputy's perspective who worked 5 years in Sterling Park, the community has gotten significantly worse. My former co-workers and members of the gang unit who have seen it change would agree.

Statistics can be manipulated to show about whatever you want. For example, people might look at the # of traffic tickets given out last year compared to five years ago and say "statistics show there are more violations now". When in fact, we have more traffic deputies writing tickets now than we did five years ago. The focus on the traffic division is to write 100 tickets a month now (per motorcycle officer). In fact, in fiscal year 2006, I wrote @ 1,200 tickets, probably the most in the entire department, but my evaluation from my supervisor said I needed to "write more tickets". Huh? So use these statistics with a grain of salt. The statistics written on a piece of paper don't help the citizens feel safer.

If Mr. Simpson believed that crime and these issues were getting better as his statistics show why did he reverse his stance on the ICE issue after 2 and 1/2 years of saying we don't need it? I have stated my intentions with the ICE program. There are those like National Council of La Raza, La Voz and others who disagree with it. I don't expect their vote, but I will gladly speak with them. This is why we have elections. I am giving the citizens a choice, a new direction, in dealing with this.

On a separate note, I was wondering if Jonathan was going to correct or update the factual information about me on his website? Google my name. As far as I know unless Jonathan or the poster is anti-semitic they could put at least an update to that post. I believe Loudoun Force could verify that if needed also.

I say this because I have seen past statements from David and/or Jonathan criticizing candidates for not "updating information they know is false". I just wondered if that works both ways?

Again, if people disagree with me on my patriotism or religious views and choose not to vote for me because of them, that is your choice. Unlike many politicians (which I have seen enough of already from both sides of the aisle), I embrace who am I am and what I believe. I respect that quality in others, even when I disagree with them.


Truly a stand up guy - just what we need in a Sheriff, in my opinion.

Loudoun Farce

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Another example of pitiable Democrat wrath:

There is a local liberal Web site called Loudoun Force (sorry, losers, you will not get a link from here) whose "admin" just deleted one of my comments with the rationale


Comment from Joe Budzinski from the Help Save Loudoun organization has been unapproved because it violated the Service Discussion Guidelines.

My comment took David Weintraub and Laura Valle to task for their inane comments made in a thread there. I would have saved a copy of the comment if I had any idea the proprietors were high school sophomores, but since I did not I will have to recount from memory.

David and Laura stated that, in essence, the problems citizens of eastern Loudoun attributed to illegal aliens were bogus. I replied that David and Laura should refrain from holding forth on such matters when the two of them live quite nicely distanced from Sterling. I also advised Laura Valle that the more she speaks out in contempt of Sterling's citizens, the more her organization will be front and center in the debate.

I suggested to Laura that this has not been working out well for La Voz because the citizens of Sterling do not appreciate a western Loudoun elitist telling them they do not know what is happening in Sterling. I also advised Laura Valle that it seems every time she pipes up (or her buddy David pipes up for her), she burnishes her credentials as an antagonist to Loudoun's citizens. I opined that, as the single paid employee of a taxpayer-funded non-profit in Loudoun County, Laura is not acting wisely to continue to position herself as an antagonist to those who are paying her salary.

Two lessons: One - Loudoun Force is a farce. If the above opinion is considered beyond the scope of acceptable debate, the Web site is a joke and a waste of time.

Two - It is high time the citizens of Loudoun County speak up about whether an individual who holds them in such contempt should be funded from the public till. Write to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors at bos@loudoun.gov and tell our supervisors how you feel about paying Laura Valle's salary.

What is ironic is the idiots who run the site did not gather that the suggestion in my comment was actually very good, objective advice for Laura Valle. I am guessing they took down my comment before she got to read it. Too bad for Laura.

UPDATE: Well, okay then! Someone from Loudoun Farce just stopped by to leave a copy of my comment that they deleted last night (when they also edited something Dan wrote and kicked him and Greg out of the site.)

I appreciate that, and as a result I am going to give LF exactly one link, right here.

I encourage our NVTH readers to make exactly one visit to LF by clicking on that link. Read Laura Valle's original post there and the remaining comments. Then come back here, shake the dust off your sandals, and scroll down to the LF reprinting of my comment posted Sept 23, 1:31 pm. Read the section titled "Mr. Budzinski's Post".

This is what got us all kicked out of LF. I believe the Loudoun Farce rep left it here to shame us, but I am not sure it accomplishes that goal.

Now that my note has been resurrected, I do hope Laura reads it, because it was written with her best interests in mind.

Bolling Update

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bolling%20banner.jpg

GENERAL ASSEMBLY RACES LOOM LARGE
Lieutenant Governor Bolling working to retain GOP majorities in 2007
September 19, 2007
This fall, all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly will stand for re-election. At stake is the Republican Party’s majority status in the State Senate and the House of Delegates. These elections are very important to the future of Virginia.

Currently, Republicans hold a 23-17 advantage in the State Senate and a 57-40 advantage in the House of Delegates, with three Independents. However, Virginia Democrats are emboldened by their victory in the 2006 U.S. Senate campaign, and they are convinced that this is the year they can retake control of the General Assembly. We cannot allow that to happen.

More Guns = More Crime?

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In an earlier discussion, our friend the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, hereafter known as "puffy" or "puffalump," made the baseless assertion that "fewer guns = less violent crime." Based on that faulty assumption, he proposed that handguns have a hefty tax on them:

First of all, a handgun should cost $1,500. Not only would that reduce the demand for guns (ie, you can have one, if you really want one)

{Yes, puffy really did stop right in the middle of the sentence.}

The extra thousand or so dollars should go to police gun buy-back programs in high crime areas. you give $100, $50 per gun, you could remove 10-20 unregistered guns. think of it, +1 legit gun, -10 illegit guns. People should be free to exercise their constitutional rights, but I'm sure you'll all agree that freedom isn't free...

"So if you or your mother wants a gun, that's great. We don't question that she should pay for the metal in the gun, the craftsmanship, the technology. She should also pay for the risk that her decision puts on the rest of society."

I wonder if the Supremes would say that a $1000 tax on abortions is an unreasonable burden. But I digress...

First, let us examine puffalump's assertion that "fewer guns = less crime."

We will look at 2001, for which we have data on gun ownership from a survey of over 200,000 households. We will compare that to the violent crime rates for 2001, which come from the FBI through here.

When we actually plot one versus the other and draw a trendline on the data, we see that there is a negative correlation between gun ownership rates and violent crime rates.

Violent%20Crime%20Rate%20vs%20Gun%20Ownership.JPG

This follows logically from many studies on the use of firearms to deter crime:


Polls by the Los Angeles Times, Gallup, and Peter Hart Research Associates show that there are at least 760,000, and possibly as many as 3.6 million, defensive uses of guns per year. In 98 percent of the cases, such polls show, people simply brandish the weapon to stop an attack. Professor Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, indicates there are
upward of 2.4 million defensive uses annually. Kleck’s research is considered the largest national study on this topic, to date. In a follow-up survey of those who reported the defensive use of a firearm, one in six respondents said they believed their intervention with a firearm prevented the loss of life. This suggests that upward of 400,000 lives are being saved by the use of a firearm annually.


So let's now concentrate on the murder rate. The gun-banners will surely tell you that, since guns are made to kill, we can expect fewer murders if there are fewer guns. We also get the 2001 murder rates from the FBI through here.

Murder%20Rate%20vs.%20Gun%20Ownership.JPG

Well, that's not much of a correlation, is it? In fact, the R-squared value is 0.0007, meaning that 0.07% of the variation in the states' murder rates can be explained by their rates of gun possession. Even puffalump cannot call that statistically significant.

Go Maryland!!!

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Maryland stands strong for traditional values!!! I wish I could be watching the reaction of all of our homosexual activist readers when they open this link.

By the way, they still need an amendment...

In Praise of Mr. Weintraub!

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Ok, joke's over: This is what I really meant to say.


...I do not blame Mr. Weintraub for his confusion about the illegal migration conundrum, and I truly thank him for making it public, because it is a crazy situation.

But I really had you going for a while there, Jonathan and David, didn't I?

UPDATE: The letter that initiated the discussion has fallen off the Times-Mirror front page, so here is the link again for those who have not read it. There is a fascinating discussion going on in the comments.

Here is another example of where we may lose...

Exposing the Weintraubs' Lies

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UPDATE: Read my accompanying letter at the Loudoun Times-Mirror Web site here. Read David Weintraub's "assuming readers have a very short memory" response here. Compare the facts in the latter column, printed Sept 24, with the article below.


The recent behavior of David and Jonathan Weintraub, prominent Democratic activists from Lovettsville, illustrates how clinging tenaciously to a position you know is wrong can get you a little unhinged. (They are also bloggers.)

The Weintraubs are liberal, pro-illegal alien advocates .... a formulation which, I sincerely believe, most Americans are soon going to recognize as a contradiction in terms. "Construction company owner" pro-illegal alien advocates, or "poultry processing magnate" pro-illegal alien advocates each make perfectly good sense. But "liberals" advocating to redirect funds from disadvantaged Americans and reduce wages for American workers makes absolutely no sense.

Staggering under the burden of this predicament, David Weintraub lashed out in a letter to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, and Jonathan chimed in with a comment, with plucky, yet ultimately feeble, attempts to shift public attention from their plight.

Bizarrely, both Weintraubs denounced certain local people by stating outright lies about things these people allegedly said or did at recent events - without even bothering to check whether there was a reviewable record of what actually occurred. As it turns out, there is. And while it will bring me great pain to lay out all of these facts and corrections, I feel compelled to do so as a service to the Weintraubs, in order to help them take the first difficult steps back toward intellectual coherence.

A Shameful Start

David got the ball rolling with the letter, modestly titled "Shame on Mr. Budzinski".


First of all, shame on Mr. Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, for trying to claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity. Mr. Budzinski knowingly made this misrepresentation.

Now, this is a direct assertion that I said a specific thing, made even more unambiguous by the second sentence, that I did so "knowingly." Presuming to know what I know, David probably should have gone the extra yard and hazard a guess about what I might do, which is to fact-check him.

David is referring to a public statement I made about two weeks earlier about Laura Valle and the organization for which she serves as executive director, La Voz of Loudoun. Ms. Valle had been featured in several recent media reports about opposition to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors' July 17 resolution on immigration enforcement.

Two of the reports linked Ms. Valle with Mukit Hossain, executive director of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, with the Post article stating the two of them would be "rallying" people to attend the Board's next meeting.

My statement was made during an interview with reporter Jason Jacks in a front page story of the August 24 edition of ... the Loudoun-Times Mirror. Since it is the same newspaper, it's not a stretch to think someone might go back and read it. But apparently David's zeal overcame his reason, and he left himself a tad exposed. Because it has an online edition, we can see exactly what was in Mr. Jacks' August 24 report:


What's more, Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, a group that thinks local governments should enforce immigration laws, said he questioned the public money because La Voz's interim executive director, Laura Valle, has been acting like a political "activist" of late rather than the head of a nonprofit.

"It appears to me that some of what La Voz does goes beyond that of a 501(c)3 [nonprofit]," he said. "I think there are some questions to be answered about this. ... It came as a surprise to me to learn how much money they get from Loudoun..."


Note the word "activist" is in quotes, indicating something I said, but the word "political" is not. I have requested the editors of the Times-Mirror ask Mr. Jacks to check his record of our conversation, because I am pretty sure I did not use the word "political." My primary reason for questioning La Voz' funding was because I thought Ms. Valle seemed to be providing services for and advocating for illegal aliens, and against the citizens of Loudoun County - which is fine for her to do, but not with public funding.

But let's assume Mr. Jacks used the word "political" in his question and I responded without a correction, or let's even assume I used the word somewhere in my reply: What I said is that because of how Ms. Valle has been "acting" and what "appears" to be going on, I thought the question needed to be asked whether La Voz should be receiving public funding - asking this question was the action by Board member Eugene Delgaudio that I was being asked to comment on. Affirming there is a "question" is not the same as to "knowingly" "claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity." This is a deliberate misrepresentation.

But wait, there's more. Shortly afterward, Mr. Jacks quotes Ms. Valle:


With respect to political activism, she said La Voz "is pretty light" compared to other immigrant groups ...
.
Ms. Valle here admits that La Voz does engage in political activism. So in the article David Weintraub used as evidence for my "misrepresentation" - the only person who makes a "claim" that La Voz engages in political activity is ... the executive director of La Voz.

David Weintraub apparently lives in a world where people can say all sorts of crazy nonsense and no one ever asks for citations or bothers to check the record. It is my mission to deliver David from that world.

A Note About Laura Valle

In case you are wondering why anyone would give a rat's patoutie about public funding for this nonprofit organization called La Voz, some background:

Though I had met Ms. Valle once, briefly, after television interviews in Leesburg, my first extended introduction to her occurred when I read a provocative July 23 column on the Times-Mirror Web site (which I encourage everyone to read), in which she compared "so called anti-illegal immigrant activists around the country" to Adolph Hitler. The only "ranting and raving" party named by Ms. Valle in the column was Help Save Loudoun, the local citizens' group for which I am a spokesman. Help Save Loudoun is the only such group mentioned by name in Ms. Valle's column.

Ms. Valle wrote that Help Save Loudoun's members


....will preface their outrageous statements by saying that this 'is a nation of immigrants' or that 'my Grandmother came from Italy', etc. They say these things to counter the accusations that they are bigoted, discriminatory, or anti-immigrant.

After labeling Help Save Loudoun as "anti-immigrant" and putting the above phrases into our mouths, Ms. Valle proceeded to launch into a breathtaking display of obfuscation, invoking further caricatures to say that people who are concerned about overcrowded houses are "making an assumption about a person based on the color of their skin or the language they speak."

Then, from her sheltered aerie out in Lucketts (in western Loudoun County), Ms. Valle delivered a tidy slap in the face to the residents of Sterling and those of our neighboring state:


Do these people not realize that if every undocumented person in this county were deported they would still have overcrowded houses with unregistered cars parked in the drives, they would still see people peeing outside (on a side note - I most recently observed that behavior on a private golf course when a golfer had had too much to drink, apparently could not make it to the restroom in time, and instead used a tree). When all the illegals are gone and their neighborhood has still not returned to what it once was, well, what issue will they hide behind then? And if overcrowded, run down houses with cars parked on the lawns are an indication of an 'infestation of illegals' then I am afraid we might have to check the papers of a significant percentage of West Virginia's residents!

The above paragraph perfectly represents the sanctimonious perspective of the elite illegal alien advocates. It is no surprise that the Weintraubs, hailing from Lovettsville, display a natural kinship with Ms. Valle's sneering appraisal of the citizens of eastern Loudoun County who simply want the rules in their neighborhoods enforced. How unsurprising to learn Ms. Valle deems her experience at the golf course in any way proportional to what so many residents of Sterling have to deal with from the house next door.

Memo to the Weintraubs and Ms. Valle: The reason the tide has turned in America is because millions of us who live in regular neighborhoods now have firsthand experience with the negative effects of the influx of illegal aliens into our communities. We do not have the benefit of a ten mile cushion of farmland between our homes and the new suburban reality. Many of us do not even play golf.

After reading her column, a number of people had the distinct impression that Ms. Valle was unfairly targeting Help Save Loudoun, which had prided itself on NEVER ranting and raving nor making broad statements about illegal immigrants. Our primary focus of action, in fact, was on illegal employers. Many of our members took exception to her broadside, which seemed disingenuous, and were surprised to learn she was taxpayer funded.

Shortly after this column appeared and she was featured as spearheading the rallies against the Board, it came to light that Ms. Valle's organization receives over $25,000 in annual funding from Loudoun County taxpayers.

On August 15, La Voz held a public meeting in Leesburg to discuss illegal immigration. Ms. Valle stated the following in response to the question: Does La Voz use taxpayer money to provide services to illegal aliens?


How do you deny somebody the opportunity to learn English, or to help their children that are in the schools - we don't have the capacity, I don't think we have the will, and I don't think it's in anyone's interests to do so.

In other words: Yes.

The final exhibit in our discussion of La Voz is an extremely revealing letter by Ms. Valle printed in the September 4 edition of the Times-Mirror.

Ms. Valle takes a moment to explain how her organization got its name:


The name La Voz (The Voice) was chosen in 2002 by a group of concerned citizens during a community meeting. We have always hoped that it would communicate the message that we are an organization that cares for immigrants.

Why would she bother to spell this out? She had to because she got called on it.

The name La Voz' leaders decided on matches that of another organization which was already prominent in 2002 and, along with the Mexica Movement, is one of the most notorious ideological entities engaged in the illegal migration debate: La Voz de Aztlan.

La Voz de Aztlan exemplifies everything that the most shrill, apocalyptic and paranoid anti-illegal advocates might warn you about, and then some. La Voz (de Aztlan) celebrates anchor babies and unabashedly promotes the reconquista of the southwest U.S., proclaiming Los Angeles the "Capital of Aztlan."

This La Voz also gleefully promotes the agendas of America's enemies. The death of NFL player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman draws snide remarks; the beheading of journalist Nick Berg is portrayed as taking place in Abu Ghraib prison; Osama bin Laden is viewed as the modern Pancho Villa; and, in case there was any doubt about La Voz' sympathies, their Web site even reprints the infamous blood libel against the Jews, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

La Voz (de Aztlan) takes a benign view of Nazi Germany:


This acceptance of the jew history of Germany would be laughable when one studies the true dogma of the Third Reich. Consequences of internalizing jew lies and acting on them, as we Aztecas, like others, have had led to a misinformed and erroneous view of Nazi Germany. If the jewish depiction of Nazi Germany was true, Hitler would not have supported Francisco Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy or have aligned himself with Emporer Hirohito's Dai Nippon (Great Japan). Himmler's Waffen SS was the most perfectly multinational combat organization in the war. Arab civilians prospered more under the Axis than British/jewish occupation. We must be careful not to accept as fact the lies which are published and broadcast about Nazi Germany. We must remember at all times that the jew media censors what gets aired and printed and what most people read, see or hear has been censored to assure it conforms to the zionist agenda.

In sum, La Voz de Aztlan is the type of odious organization that any reasonable American would run away from as fast as our feet could carry us. To the contrary, La Voz of Loudoun adopted their name. This would be akin to the founders of Help Save Loudoun deciding to name our organization the "Ku Klux Kaptains."

Ms. Valle's letter goes on to note


... a bull’s-eye painted squarely on our backs. For what? For helping people. It has been a challenge to navigate through the minefield that is this issue, all the while trying to keep my own opinions and emotions at a healthy distance. It has been a tremendous learning experience, and though I have stumbled along the way, I am proud of my work and the work of the Board of La Voz of Loudoun....

The Board of Directors, volunteer members, and paid staff of La Voz of Loudoun wants it known that we will continue to stay on the high ground. We hope that others will join us there.


Let's all be clear about this: La Voz (of Loudoun) only got a "bulls eye" on their back because they compared Loudoun citizens asking for better law enforcement to Nazis. Claiming "the high ground" in the debate is a pitiful attempt to deflect attention from what Ms. Valle has actually said and done. She admits her "stumble." Good. But this is misdirection, plain and simple, unartfully employed and completely transparent.

The reasons some people might have questions about public funding for La Voz (of Loudoun) have nothing to do with alleged improper "political" activity, but with the organization's aiding and abetting of illegal migration and working against the interests of Loudoun County's citizens.

Crazy Over Greg Ahlemann

The Weintraubs' unstable ground gets even shakier when they discuss Greg Ahlemann, the Republican candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff. Democrats and turncoat Republicans Independents are noticeably freaked out by the Greg Ahlemann candidacy. Ahlemann is such an excellent public speaker and exemplary individual, and has such a compelling vision for the Sheriff's Office that the other two candidates pale in comparison. This has supporters of the trailing candidates very, very scared. Their only resort is to disinformation.

Unfortunately, that pesky public record stands in their way.

David Weintraub's letter continues:


He was present at the Sterling informational forum that Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio refused to attend, and he knows that the only person there who had to be reprimanded for political campaigning of any kind was Greg Ahlemann, candidate for Loudoun sheriff.

And Jonathan said this in the comments:


Joe Budzinski lied about my community on his Nova Town Hall blog and collaborated with the local anti-gay industry.

Now we see the most transparent political stunts, like sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann politicizing a La Voz forum and then testifying to the BoS that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized.


[As to the first sentence, I would say simply: Prove it, Jonathan. My statements about your "community" and my collaboration with said "industry" should be easy enough to cite if such evidence exists. Of course, the way you've framed it, just about any statement could be presented as about a "community" or "industry."]

Let's turn first to the newspaper report:


During questions and answers, Republican Loudoun sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann, a former Loudoun deputy, said police can detain someone for something as simple as "running a red light" if they are not carrying identification.

He also recounted an incident of an illegal immigrant from Sterling who last year hit and killed a Herndon man with his car. The driver, Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, had been cited by police at least a dozen times for traffic violations before the incident.

"I support the 287(g) program," Ahlemann said.

After Ahlemann's comments, Christ the Redeemer's Father C. Donald Howard reminded Ahlemann that the meeting was not a political forum and asked him not to speak again.


This confirms that Mr. Ahlemann was reprimanded, although the evidence of his "campaigning" or "politicizing" is quite absent.

As luck would have it, I have audio recordings of everything Mr. Ahlemann said after he introduced himself.

After one of the panelists had talked about the 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement training program for local law enforcement, during the questions and answer session, Mr. Ahlemann raised his hand and was handed the microphone. He said "My name is Greg Ahlemann and I am running for Loudoun County sheriff" and he proceeded to provide the following information about 287(g). The first recording begins with the interpreter translating Mr. Ahlemann's first words which were before I got out my recorder:

Shortly thereafter, an audience member was called on, and had a question for Mr. Ahlemann, which he answered as follows:




At this point the priest stood up and said Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to talk. They went back to Q & A, and the next question was for Mr. Ahlemann. When the interpreter explained that Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to answer questions, three or four other hands that had been raised went down and there was an audible sigh of disappointment from the audience.

When the event was over, Mr. Ahlemann was surrounded by a crowd of at least 10 audience members, and he spent 15 solid minutes speaking with them.

After listening to the recordings, which are raw audio captures of the event, you will see that Mr. Ahlemann did not do ANY campaigning. The only reason he was "reprimanded" is the priest did not want him speaking - despite the fact that the audience clearly wanted him to talk more. Mr. Ahlemann had direct knowledge of things the people wanted to know. School board member Warren Guerin - who is also a candidate for office - was allowed to speak without reprimand.

But hey, maybe I doctored the audio. Anyone who was at the August 26 event can listen to the recordings and, if truthful, will tell you that is exactly what was said. But maybe it's a conspiracy. Well, we do have another test.

Jonathan Weintraub claims Ahlemann testified about La Voz "that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized" to the Loudoun County Supervisors on September 4.

WHOOPS! Wouldn't you know it, but there also happens to be a very public record, which is totally incontrovertible, of exactly what Mr. Ahlemann said in that forum. It turns out the Loudoun government has this newfangled thing called a "webcast" on the Internet.

Go to the Loudoun County video archive on this page. Scroll down to the "Board of Supervisors' Business Meeting" of Sep 4, 2007, and click on "Watch."

On the right side of the page, scroll down till you can see item #III, "Public Comment" and click on the link This will skip you ahead in the recording. Then grab the little bar under the video window on the left side of the page and move it as close as you can to 54:38. There you will get to hear and watch Greg Ahlemann's speech verbatim.

For your convenience, in case you cannot watch it, I have transcribed Mr. Ahlemann's September 4 speech below:


My name is Greg Ahlemann. I reside in Leesburg. I appreciate the opportunity to come before you today to speak. I will say that some politicians and power players within politics don't care for me very much, because I'm very outspoken about what I believe. I also believe that's what elections are for. That's one of the reasons why I'm here today.

I'm quite concerned with the fact that we can use county tax dollars to provide services for illegal immigrants, who are in this country illegally, and reward contracts and donations to groups like La Voz who provide services for illegal immigrants when we can't afford to pay our deputies and our teachers enough to live in this community.

I look at the deputies at the back of the room, the deputies in the lobby that are here today. I venture to say that many of the new deputies that come to work for the Sheriff's Office don't live in Loudoun County. Some of them don't even live in the state of Virginia. We can't afford to get them shift differential.

But for people that are in this country illegally we can take our tax dollars and provide services for them. While we neglect the people whose very lives our deputies are paid to protect. It seems like a problem to me.

Our deputies are not members of our communities, many of them. Their kids don't go to our schools. Their not part of our neighborhoods because they can't afford to live here, all while we're sending tax dollars to fund illegal immigrants. Is this really what we think is best for our county and for our communities?

I've spoke to you before about contracts. And I've read just briefly what the attorney had to say about the contracts here. I can tell you, car washes and things like that, we're going to have studies and these things are going to go on long past the election. We could have studies on this for years.

I could tell you, personally, if elected sheriff, I'm not gonna need a study to tell me that our deputies can wash their own vehicles until the Board of Supervisors can decide whether or not we will pay for illegal immigrants if they're working there and send our tax dollars there. I will take a stand on that.

Unfortunately, since January of 2004, when the Department of Homeland Security contacted the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to invite them to participate in the ICE program, nothing's been done about it. It took until May 1 of this year when I sat in this room and listened as the Sheriff's Office talked about how they were gonna look into the ICE program. During that time, there have been accidents, there have been people killed, like the gentleman that was in Herndon who was killed by someone that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office had in their custody.

How long do we need to have studies to enforce the law? These things are no brainers. And I also wonder how sincere are our elected officials about really doing something about this. The programs that you guys will decide, and our elected officials will decide on, will only be as effective as the sincerity of those enforcing it.

Thank you


There is, to put it mildly, substantial evidence against the Weintraubs. Without putting too fine a point on it: Their claims are blatant deceits.

Greg Ahlemann did not say a single word about cutting funding for La Voz "because their forum was politicized."

The Weintraubs are lying. The evidence proves it.

Conclusion

Pro-illegal migration "liberals" are in an untenable situation because they have pitted themselves against lower- and middle-class Americans who should be their natural constituency. For a number of years they have employed terms like "compassion" and "civil rights" to justify illegal employment practices without any thought to the other people who might be deserving of compassion, namely their fellow citizens, nor the historical population of citizens who truly have been victims of civil rights abuses, such as African Americans.

The common definition of a progressive activist does not include "facilitator of corporate corruption," but we are living in an unusual time, an ellipsis in American political history. Major social and economic structural changes have occurred during the past two decades, and the political end result is still a long way off. At the moment, we live in an environment of contradictions.

Country club Republicans and self-proclaimed "liberal" elites, who do not live in the communities most affected by illegal migration, are lined up with bad-citizen business owners to encourage the influx of unskilled workers from other countries.

This corrupt elite has a definite constituency among profiteers and illegal migrants, but is solidly opposed to the best interests of most of the legal residents. What is happening in American today is, the citizens have begun to push back.

When illegal migration was only a trickle, the impact was minimal and localized. Today, the effects are broad-based. The local situation serves as an instructive example.

Over the past few years, legal residents of Sterling could be excused for becoming cynical after assuming the county government would take action on businesses hiring under the table, commercial vehicles on their streets, businesses run from homes, single-family houses turned into multi-family residences, drivers without operators licenses or proper insurance, and an assortment of other infractions for which citizens felt they would be held liable but for which illegal migrants seemed to enjoy a lower level of scrutiny and enforcement.

To protect the illegal employment establishment, government agencies seemed to have a policy of looking the other way on infractions by illegal aliens. The general approach has appeared to be: The feds won't take them, and we do not know what to do with them, so we will just let them go.

Now that so many communities have been affected by the influx, legal residents are demanding a different approach. When the problems were largely confined within Sterling Park, the rest of Loudoun County's residents had the luxury of viewing illegal immigration as a theoretical matter. Today, the problem is recognized almost everywhere east of Rt. 15.

For many of us in this county and this country, the problem is right next door. Citizens have seen their livelihoods impacted by corrupt employers who game the system, their local governments' budgets strained by increased demand for social services, and their neighborhoods blighted by unenforced local regulations because authorities are inclined to look the other way.

This is where Help Save Loudoun comes in. We are the advocates for legal immigrants and legal residents. We believe the illegal migration problem is directly rooted in corrupt business practices, and the only way we are going to turn the corner on this problem is by enforcing the law on employers who hire illegal aliens.

We believe that solving this problem must begin at the local level. Just as local police are permitted to catch bank robbers for the federal crime of robbing banks, local governments can take specific steps toward enforcing immigration laws. We also believe that our local and state governments can end the don't ask/don't tell policy toward crimes committed by illegal aliens.

We believe our local government officials have wide discretion to ensure the safety and security of our communities, and they need to exercise it.

If our local, state and federal governments would simply do what they are supposed to do, the majority of illegal aliens would leave - self-deport - and companies would be forced to become good citizens and do what it takes to hire and house legal workers (hey, guys, check out the eastern regions of North Carolina - bet you could find some laborers there), and people like the Weintraubs would have an unambiguous calling to work for the betterment of our least fortunate citizens, remember how to tell the truth, and go back to being classical liberals again.

In most discussions of gun control, the question arises, "Do gun control laws make us safer or not?" The argument usually goes that, where there are fewer firearms, there are few homicide by firearm, and fewer suicides by firearms. The assumption is then made that gun control laws result in fewer guns in the population, ergo, there will be fewer homicides and suicides committed by firearms. (Since the point is to look for negative correlations between gun control laws and homicide and suicide rates, the studies usually neglect to look at the rates of homicides and suicides committed by other means.)

In my research, I came across a paper published in the Journal of Community Health 29.4 (August 2004) by James H. Price, Amy J. Thompson and Joseph A. Dake entitled "Factors associated with state variations in homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm deaths."

This paper indicates that, when all other factors are held constant, the presence of gun control laws actually has a positive correlation with firearms homicide rates.

New Blog By Immigration Expert Bill Buchanan!

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Bill Buchanan, the Legislative Director for ANCIR, has an excellent blog that's been live since June.

Bill knows more about the illegal migration issue than just about anyone you'll ever meet, and he can reel off data, legislative information and history as easily as breathing. He is an eloquent speaker on issues related to illegal immigration and frequently a guest on radio talk shows around the country.

A regular in the halls of Congress, he spent a great deal of time in Richmond during our 2007 session monitoring the action, inaction and downright treachery of our elected representatives. He created this handy report on the Senate fate of important immigration enforcement bills passed by the House.

I strongly recommend making Buck's Blog one of your regular reading stations. Almost no one knows about it yet but there is a wealth of material there and it is well worth your time.

Please pay a visit and let's help get Bill's blogging career going with some comments!

Sheriff's Race About Keeping One's Word

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Republican candidate for Loudoun County sheriff, Greg Ahlemann, left the following note in one of our comment threads. Mr. Ahlemann makes some important points so it belongs on the front page.

(As always, there is an open invitation to the other candidates for sheriff to submit their own posts, and I will also put them on the front page and edit only for punctuation, about which I am frighteningly zealous.)

My Name Is Legion

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There is a story in the new testament of a man who lived in the tombs of the dead, in caves in a cliff side. The man was not in his right mind. It begins thus …


From Mathew, Ch5:1-2
1They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.

The conversation in which Jesus cured the madman was …

From Mathew, Ch5:8-12
8For he [Jesus] was saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many." 10And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12and they begged him, saying, "Send us to the pigs; let us enter them."

Many here get down right huffy when it is implied that liberalism is a mental disorder. However, we apparently have one liberal who is many.

We Are Forgetting

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The Petraeus hearings were a disgrace. The man was called a liar and a puppet before he ever uttered a word. Can this country have a political discourse under such conditions? When the moveOn.org message is indiscernible from the Senators' in the committee hearing room, there is a problem in our government. It means a foreign-born Hungarian socialist has hijacked the Democrat Party, for pennies on the dollar.

Why have the committee meet under such poisonous conditions? Aside from the political theater, was there any point to the exercise? We as a Nation still need to listen to each other. The only alternative is violence. To assume your political adversary is always lying is to end dialog.

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When Reid proclaimed the war lost last April, the Democrat party announced publicly its investment in losing the war in Iraq in order to win the election in 2008 here in the US. It is this investment that set the stage for the Petraeus Report fiasco. With politics at home trumping the war abroad, do we really remember those who were killed on 9/11? Is this honoring their memory?

UPDATE:
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OK boys, girls and Legionaries (Tom, Realist et al). Petraeus actually did provide a report. Instead of rehashing what we have been chewing on for over a year now, lets get a copy of it, I will open a new thread if needed. There is plenty of passion here, but lets put some fresher meat on the table than "should we go to war in Iraq". Your vote in a comment would be appreciated. BTW, using the NIE and other sources is most definitely fair game etc. But the TOPIC is the current situation and Petraeus' veracity.

"This Election Is About Our Survival As A Country"

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The true significance of the upcoming Virginia elections was underlined in grand fashion by filmmaker Ron Maxwell at a tremendously successful fundraiser for Greg Ahlemann. Read Ron's speech below the fold. The Greg Ahlemann for Sheriff campaign held a public meeting in Leesburg last night, the best political event I've personally attended in the current campaign season.

Thanks!!! to Ron Maxwell, Redskins hero Dexter Manley, who hung out and signed autographs, and a multitude of local luminaries who showed up.


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I counted over 120 attendees throughout the evening. Not bad for a Tuesday night when "Back To School" night appearances provided substantial competition for candidates.

Attendees included Treasurer Roger Zurn, Commissioner of Revenue Bob Wertz, Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman, Senate candidate Patricia Phillips, LCRC Chairman Paul Protic, and former Delegate Dick Black.

I was particularly gratified to finally meet my countryman Jeff Wolinski, and perpetual gadfly, the bulletproof one, Dean Settle. We did not have much time together, but I can tell the three of us could be trouble.

Ron Maxwell's speech traversed the illegal alien issue from A to Z, from the symptoms to the cause. He illuminated the problems citizens have experienced and the corporate interests that foster the influx.

Greg Ahlemann is the sheriff candidate who proposed FULL participation in the ICE 287(g) program, as well as putting a full court press on the Board of Supervisors to implement strict enforcement on zoning and businesses. Sheriff Simpson followed by parroting Ahlemann's proposals with a "me too" response, but Ahlemann set the agenda.

At the local level, everything depends on the WILL of our local officials to enforce the law, because there are innumerable escape clauses for those who do not wish to do so. As an example, Loudoun County receives $59.00 per night in compensation for federal prisoners held in our jail. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, receives $109.00 per night. As the Mecklenburg County PR person told us, the only reason for the better payoff is they demanded it.

What else are the citizens of Loudoun County not getting, because our elected officials do not have the will to ask for anything better?

Most importantly, electing Greg Ahlemann will put the guy in office who truly believes in immigration law enforcement. Both current Sheriff Steve Simpson and Democratic candidate Mike George are exemplars of the non-enforcement approach. We can all see where that has gotten us.

Following are portions of Ron Maxwell's speech. If you want to understand what is happening with the illegal immigration problem in America today, I strongly recommend you read all of Mr. Maxwell's remarks.

UPDATE: My bad: Board of Supervisors candidate Geary Higgins was in attendance for most of the evening. (In fact he was the ONLY supervisor candidate in attendance. Too bad for the rest of them, they really missed something). I spoke to him and shook his hand so I really should have included him on the luminaries list above. Hey, the first draft of history often includes major omissions ...

Shame On Me

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Heh.

The interesting thing is all along I thought Jonathan was the instigator in that crew. Maybe that was all a feint.

In any case, this is going to be fun.

September 11th

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Thoughts on September 11th
September 11, 2007
It seems hard to believe, but it was six years ago today that radical Islamic terrorists struck at the heart of our country, killing more Americans in a single day than at any time since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

These terrorist attacks were well planned and targeted.

By attacking The World Trade Center in New York City terrorists struck at the financial centers of our nation. By attacking the Pentagon in Northern Virginia they struck at the military strength of our nation, and by attempting to launch a similar attack against The White House or the U.S. Capital, they sought to strike the political institutions of our country.

In the days following these attacks the true American spirit was awakened. We sought to bring those who were responsible for these attacks to justice, and military operations against the Taliban and other terrorist organizations ensued. We pledged to do everything we could to make certain that an attack of this nature did not occur again.

Today, six years after these horrific attacks, there have been successes and disappointments in the war on terror.

Thompson Bounce

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Despite the nay-saying by the competition, Senator Fred Thompson is enjoying a sizeable bounce from his recent announcment for President. A new Rassmussen poll has Fred at 26% with a 4 point lead over Rudy Giuliani in national polling of likely Republican primary voters.

Former Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney trails at 13%.

UPDATE: New Fred video (does not embed well, but here is the link)

This one is off the wall, but I'm getting tired of it. Almost every time I look at the news, the RIAA or the MPAA is filing a lawsuit that is aimed at keeping a dieing business model alive. The idea of paying $20 dollars for a DVD to which $1 goes to the artists that produced the movie seems crazy. The idea of paying $15 for an album when the artist that performed it makes a few cents from it is crazy. Both of these are especially crazy when you consider the cost of making a duplicate over the internet is pennies for either.

I do not advocate piracy!

What I do advocate is a change in business model.

The Sunday Washington Post was just full of interesting articles. You have the Dems playing the "word" game where there are no more "earmarks" on their bills. They change the name to something else and say that "....it is perfectly legal". Anybody that shows me a work-around and tells me that it is perfectly legal is skirting the rules. Earmark is earmark. The word carries a bad tone associated with "pork", "special interest" and the like. What that means is spending YOUR money wastefully. What the Dems do with proficiency (as well as some out-of-step Republicans). Let's just say that those people associated with the left are at it again!

The GOP is wanting to pander to the Hispanics and can't understand why no Republican candidates other than John McCain are willing to show up with the Democratic candidates for a forum tonight in Miami on Hispanic issues. I wonder if they are talking about foreign policy? Otherwise, why would a candidate single out an ethnic group? Special favors? I thought the object was to tell Americans (U.S.) what their positions were to help all? Does this smack of "special interest" also?

Al Gore is going to support one of the Dem candidates...any except the Clintons. Do you think that Hilly is better off because of this? I certainly have my own opinion.

And Mark (I'm the best Governor of Virginia in your lifetime) Warner is in a quandary as to which position to run for. If he chooses U.S. senator, he will be assessed with the other Democratic candidates (and he doesn't stomach that well). Does this say something? He wants to be governor of Virginia again and thinks that his record will landslide him right in. The governor who took a deficet and turned it into a surplus....with a tax increase! Heck, anybody can do that. The Dems are NOTORIOUS for that mindset. Kaine't wanted to save that surplus for a rainy day and increase taxes (and has) more. What is that surplus of our money for? I sure could use it. I forgot. The government under liberal thinking needs ALL your money so that it can manage your life since you are too inept to be able to do that yourself. Government for all. Viva Lenin!

I need more coffee so I can work the crossword.

An Evening With Ron Maxwell and Dexter Manley

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There will be a FANTASTIC event on the evening of Tuesday, September 11, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, at Bunker Sports Cafe at 510 East Market Street in Leesburg.

Director Ron Maxwell, of "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals" fame, will be the special guest speaker at a fundraiser for Sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann. Also present will be Washington Redskins legend Dexter Manley!

Details here and here.

Mr. Maxwell is one of the most cogent and compelling historical writers in America. His films are masterpieces, classics in the depiction of American history.

This is a rare opportunity to meet an inspirational artist/intellectual while at the same time supporting a Sheriff candidate who will be one of the key pieces in the effort to take back our nation one community at a time.

Be sure and be there! This will be a memorable evening. I have heard Mr. Maxwell speak before and I can assure you it will be well worth your time.

Getting Dexter Manley's autograph is just icing on the cake.

Following are some excellent columns by Mr. Maxwell which you should read to get a sense of what is in store on Tuesday night.

Sowing The Seeds Of Separatism And Strife

Virginians Are Taking Back Their State

What President Bush Fails to See at the Border

Spread the word!

A Time for LCRC Redemption

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[Pardon me if this is old news to some of you, but it's new to me and falls in the "What fresh hell is this?" category so I am going to write about it.]

My introduction to local politics of any type occurred in early 2006, soon after we moved here, when I joined the Loudoun County Republican Committee. A central topic of my first two meetings was a bunch of people trying to gain membership in the LCRC, some of whom were considered personae non grata by some members of the committee because these applicants had worked for or supported an Independent or Democratic candidate running against a Republican candidate in local elections years before.

Having been informed that to work against the party's candidates is a major no-no, and enjoying retribution and lifelong grudges as much as the next guy, I cheerfully voted with the majority to keep these scofflaws out of the LCRC.

Fast forward to June 9 of this year: Greg Ahlemann defeated Steve Simpson for the Republican nomination for Sheriff. Obliterated, actually, because Ahlemann defeated the incumbent Simpson by more than a 2-1 margin at the Loudoun County Republican Convention. Ahlemann was the victor fair and square and undisputed nominee of the party.

All participants in the Convention had been required to sign a "pledge" to support the Republican candidates in the November election. This, I can tell you, was a bit of a pain because in signing up delegates for the Convention many of us encountered citizens who had serious moral qualms about whether they could honestly support all local Republicans on the ballot in November. It was rumored there might be an additional pledge required - and perhaps videotaped - as delegates showed up to register at the Convention. This did not occur but the general sense we first-timers had was: We were on our honor to support the winners from the Convention.

After the votes were tallied, the losers were given the opportunity to make a motion to nominate by acclamation their respective victorious opponents, and Sheriff Simpson came to the podium to call for the nomination of Greg Ahlemann.

Then, in less time than it takes to read The Art of War, Simpson reversed himself, broke the pledge, and announced he was going to run for Sheriff as an Independent. This is pretty serious business because Simpson had appropriated some of Ahlemann's key campaign positions related to illegal immigration, and splitting the Republican vote created a very real possibility of handing the election to the Democratic challenger.

Soon after this, it came to light that a prominent member of the LCRC, Dale Polen Myers, assisted Simpson in gathering signatures for his application to the state election board to be placed on the November ballot.

At one of the next LCRC meetings - which I missed because of the press of Help Save Loudoun business - a petition was apparently circulated to have Ms. Polen Myers removed from the committee. This seems, to me, a perfectly logical step, and it seems strange that a petition would even be required. But as the Connection newspaper reports, the petition failed. (Link found at Too Conservative).

Some observations:

1) A bunch of people come to mind who really ought to consider re-applying for admission to the LCRC, now that the standards have been relaxed.

2) I REALLY wish the true meaning of "pledge" had been explained earlier in the year, because it would have made the delegate sign-up process so much easier. ("Oh, you needn't worry about that, Mrs. Smith. Allow me to cross out the word 'pledge' and write 'joke' in its place.")

3) I have to try not to miss any more meetings, because I would have loved to hear the rationales for not bouncing Ms. Polen Myers out.

As most everyone who reads this blog knows, I am a big Greg Ahlemann supporter, because he is light years ahead of the other two candidates for Sheriff on addressing the illegal alien problem in Loudoun County. He understands the problem, he has a broad plan for fixing the problem which includes telling the Board of Supervisors what they need to do to fix it (which will get massive citizen support), and he is truly a stand-up guy who has been running with a consistent message since the campaign began. Greg Ahlemann is someone the citizens of Loudoun will be able to trust.

Since he is not only a great person and great candidate but also the Republican nominee, I would expect the party leadership to get behind him.

Now comes apparent evidence that, in addition to Ms. Polen Myers, a few other key Loudoun Republicans may be opposing Mr. Ahlemann. I'm not going to name any names just now, but there is an important event Tuesday night - a fundraiser for Greg Ahlemann featuring film director Ron Maxwell - which provides a singular opportunity for the LCRC leadership to show up en masse to support Ahlemann's candidacy.

Those who, in a moment of weakness, might have toyed with the idea of following Ms. Polen Myers, have a great opportunity for redemption, to rethink their positions and make a public showing of support for Greg Ahlemann. Show up Tuesday night, guys, and give us some photo ops and statements of support for the Republican nominee for Sheriff.

And, uh, after our sitting Sheriff and a major Republican power broker abandoned theirs, please try to convince us the pledge is not a total joke.

Ratings Are In: We're A Family Blog Here

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HEY! Some good news, finally.

The Blog Rating site has just returned our application package and we won a "G" rating!

Our review notes "This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words: gun (1x)"

Presumably, if not for that one word, we would have gotten an "A" - the only possible less threatening rating - which means not only "General" but "All" audiences are permitted, including your grandma and your puppy.

I am so relieved to learn that my project here will serve as a counterbalance to the notoriously tawdry little dark corner of the Web my wife presides over, which earns a solid "R" rating.

I am also relieved we've gotten over the whole faggot thing. The push-back on that really did seem like an overreaction.

The Tuesday, September 4 meeting of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors was supposed to be a wild public affair, but the circus never made it to town.

The authorities were well-prepared. Several officers each from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and Leesburg Police Department were posted around the government building - seven or eight more than you'd see at a typical Tuesday morning meeting. The entire area fronting Loudoun Avenue was blocked off with yellow tape, apparently to ensure the crowds filed through a narrow corridor where several law enforcement personnel were on gatekeeper duty. Parking meters all the way down Harrison Street up to Tuscarora Mill were bagged to keep the street clear.

Everything hinted at the expectation of busloads of attendees pouring in.

And the expectation was not without reason.

After the Loudoun Board unanimously passed an immigration enforcement resolution on July 17, leaders of two local advocacy groups opposing the resolution essentially admitted they were caught flat-footed, and they promised a vigorous response at the September 4 meeting.

Both Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee, and Laura Valle, Executive Director of La Voz of Loudoun, told reporters they were going to bring large numbers of people to the hearing:


Two of the groups leading the charge against the board's efforts are La Voz of Loudoun, a Hispanic outreach and advocacy nonprofit organization, and the Cascades-based Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee...

Hossain's group and La Voz are rallying supporters to attend the Loudoun supervisors' Sept. 4 meeting. At that meeting, the board is expected to hear from county staff members about which services can be cut off to people without legal status and what the financial effect on the county might be.


More from the Connection:

VALLE’S LA VOZ and other groups opposed to the possibility of restricted county services said that they are focusing on educating residents and those with questions about the realities of illegal immigration.

"The goal is not to say they are right or wrong to want to do something," Valle said. "But we want the Loudoun citizens to be involved in this."

Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, said he is also concerned with making Loudoun residents civically engaged. Hossain, along with other immigrant groups, recently formed the American Dream Alliance, which will work on voter registration and campaigns that support the immigrant community.

"These sort of issues should be dealt with in the ballot box," Hossain said. "I think if you can create activity leading up to the November election, I think we can alleviate the situation."


As it turned out, there were no crowds opposing the resolution, and the audience for the hearing consisted overwhelmingly of immigration enforcement supporters, including at least 10 people wearing "Ahlemann for Sheriff" T-shirts. (Speaking in support of immigration enforcement were Mr. Ahlemann himself and Senate candidate Patricia Phillips).

Although Ms. Valle attended the hearing she did not speak during the public comment portion, and only two of the 14 or 15 people who testified on the issue spoke in opposition to the proposed immigration enforcement measures - and neither of the two seemed to be part of any coordinated opposition.

So why the no show? Perhaps the abysmal failure of the "boycott" and related pro-illegal public events in Prince William County last week left a bad taste.

Whatever the reason, the reversal is a notable shift in tactics from a month ago.

UPDATE - Laura Valle of La Voz responds:


I told no reporter at no time that we (La Voz) was going to try and get a large show at the Board meeting. Our effort to get people involved was the August 16 Panel presentation and the August 26 community meeting. Over 300 people showed up to those meetings. Those are some good numbers.

I did not speak at the Board meeting in part because I was very confident that there would be no action with out further review.

Also, the media misreported when they stated that La Voz is leading the charge against the Board. I am sure you are aware that the media does not always get it right. We have repeatedly stated that we support the Board's effort to look into the issue.

Also I was contacted by Ricardo Juarez (Mexicans Without Borders) in late July at which time I told him that La Voz would not support protests, boycotts, etc. La Voz actually deserves some credit that Loudoun has not experienced what Prince William has over the past few weeks. We have been very outspoken against extremes. We held a meeting at the Sterliing Community Center to get input from the community about what La Voz could/should do in reaction and though we recieved a lot of suggestions to protest and coordinate with other regional groups, we did not pursue any of them as they contradict the stated purpose of our organization which is to integrate and to unite the community.

And no- La Voz has nothing to do with La Voz de Atzlan. (I still have no idea what that is). That's getting old. There are dozens of organizations that use the name La Voz, most of which are Spanish language newspapers, and we are not affiliated with any of them. Please refer to my op ed in the LTM for more on that.

As for the next Board meeting, I am encouraging people to come and speak, but I do not care what they say. 15 people was a pathetic turnout on an issue of such importance.

I cannot speak for Mukit Hossain as I have only met him once but after following all the links it appears he expects people to act at the polls and not during Board meetings.

So Joe, if you are going to continue to write about La Voz at least take the time to get it right, and don't belive everything you read in the media unless it is a direct quote,a nd even those can be taken out of context. I would think as a conservative you would be more sceptical of the media, in particular the Washington Post.

There is no coordinated opposition in Loudoun County that I am aware of. There need not be. The suggested actions brought forth have raised enough questions and concerns all by themselves, as the County Board acknowleged on Tuesday.

H/T: Cuccinelli Compass below the fold.

Thompson pre-ad ad!

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Via Virtucon Industries

UPDATE: More Fred! Via Drudge

UPDATE #2: Fred's in this race now. His interview on Leno was good, and I hope the momentum continues. Unfortunately, his website is too busy for me to watch his announcement video, but maybe I'll see it tomorrow. Here's some more Fred that I found on YouTube. The musician sucks, but it's funny nonetheless.

UPDATE #3: Finally watched the video. He is an inspiring speaker. I hope he runs a campaign to match his ability. Go, Fred, go!

No further information yet - this was sent from the press conference which is still taking place.

This provides closure of a sort for everyone who has been asking for the past year, since the new town council took office, "Why haven't they shut that thing down yet?"

UPDATE: Regarding the question of how the town will avoid getting back into the same situation it was in before, with an informal day labor site at the corner of Elden St. and Alabama Ave., Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Herndon reports "The Town will be working with businesses to help them enforce no trespassing."

Weekend with Kevin and The Chief

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A few times a year, it is beginning to look like, I get to spend a little time with my good friend Kevin of the inscrutably brilliant Digital Camel blog.

Back in May, it was fishing. This time, on a whole n'other level of danger, it was kickball.

Adult kickball, that is. Try to imagine it. Chances are, what you are imagining is exactly what it is. Unless, of course, you are not imagining the beer part, because the chief difference between kickball now and kickball when I was six is that now everyone gets to have a beer with them at all times. I considered this when I was six, by the way, but was not able to pull it off.

I did not play because there was simply so much to soak in, and Kevin and el Jefe provided enough fireworks.

We had an authentic Baltimore day and evening, traversing the gritty places, the fancy places and the places that defy one-word description.

Late at night, we hit the Ottobar. We don't have anything like the Ottobar in Sterling.

Kevin's wrap up is here.

The signs have begun appearing on the VDOT right-of-ways. Me, personaly, believe it nothing more than an eyesore. If you think that I don't understand your name by the first sign and you must remind me every five feet for a quarter mile, I am assuming that you believe me to be a moron and you don't need my vote if that is the case.
A sign like "Kerry/Edwards-For A Stranger America" has great truth but doesn't really tell you much. Find a sign, write down the name, and when you get back to your computer find out what he/she is all about. The sign won't tell you that. Also, if the sign shows up in SPANISH, time to nix that candidate. If you can't understand English, you can't vote. This sign would be considered pandering.
Be careful with your contributions. When a candidate uses his funds to obliterate the countryside with signage, that is ill spent. The bigger the sign, the bigger the eyesore. If older people need something that big to read then they are probably already reading Braille. Remember, the one with the most signs, LOSES!
I find that VDOT has found a way to tax every utility I get to keep the right-of-ways clean and maintained. Yet there are always signs left over from winners and losers for months to come. Put the signs in your yard. Keep the right-of-ways clean. And do your research BEFORE you vote for a sign!

Sowing The Seeds of Separatism and Strife

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There is an enlightening column by film director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals), at the Loudoun Times:


This isn't the old familiar immigration we grew up with, the relatively small populations from Eastern Europe, from the Mediterranean, from Japan, from Ireland -- those ancestors of ours who couldn't wait to learn English, who within a generation became more American than Americans, who grabbed hold of the Stars and Stripes and never let go. Sure, our ancestors taught us second languages and, indeed, we celebrate our heritage in the privacy of our homes and among our ethnic and cultural and religious sub-groups. It’s great that we do, but we don't march in angry protest with Irish, Italian or Israeli flags.

What we are witnessing today, what our elites are allowing to happen, indeed abetting, is a burgeoning separatist movement, largely though not exclusively confined to the Southwest.


Ron Maxwell brings a historical perspective to the current illegal alien issue which deserves a careful reading - read it here.

The column takes La Voz of Loudoun to task for a blog post by the La Voz Director about the Loudoun supervisors' resolution on immigration enforcement, which is a bit inflammatory:


Adolph Hitler was quoted as saying "I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few." That seems to be the strategy adopted by some so called anti-illegal immigrant activists around the country...

Many of the folks who support this action, and some of those that are members of groups such as Help Save Loudoun, will emphatically state that they are not anti-immigrant...


"State they are not anti-immigrant" is, you should know, not generally meant as a positive formulation. But we deal with it.

In the same issue of the paper, Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio questions whether La Voz should be receiving taxpayer funds. On a personal note, I'm fine with La Voz, to the extent my Hitleresque tendencies don't poison the relationship.

UPDATE: La Voz' Director tells her story at Too Conservative.

UDATE II: Read The Second Mexican War by Lawrence Auster. An excerpt:


Consider Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda’s non-negotiable demands—“It’s the whole enchilada or nothing”—that he issued in a speech in Phoenix, Arizona in 2001. America, said Castañeda (as recounted by Allan Wall), “had to legalize all Mexican illegal aliens, loosen its already lax border enforcement, establish a guest worker program (during an economic downturn) and exempt Mexican immigrants from U.S. visa quotas!” He also demanded that Mexicans living in the U.S. receive health care and in-state college tuition. As Castañeda summed it up in Tijuana a few days later, “We must obtain the greatest number of rights for the greatest number of Mexicans [i.e. in the U.S.] in the shortest time possible.” What this adds up to, comments Wall, is basically “the complete surrender of U.S. sovereignty over immigration policy.” And why not? As Castañeda had written in The Atlantic in 1995: “Some Americans ... dislike immigration, but there is very little they can do about it.”

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