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If you want to help end the illegal immigration crisis in this country, a place to start is with tomorrow's Virginia elections.
Help Save Loudoun PAC's "Immigration Enforcement Ticket" focuses on a number of northern Virginia races in which voters have a clear choice between candidates with very difference conceptions of local and state governments' role in immigration enforcement.
Those who are in favor of a strong local and state role will help put us on the road to fixing the problem. Those not in favor of such a role will help ensure the problem is never solved.
You can download a copy of the "Ticket" here - and please circulate it to everyone you know in Loudoun, Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William Counties who may have the opportunity to vote for one of these candidates.
To read the educational flyer from Help Save Loudoun PAC which has been hand-delivered to many thousands of households in Loudoun County over the past five days, click here.
I don't know whether a single lit drop to a portion of this county's residences can make a difference in such a geographically massive area, but rest assured more voters now understand how to solve this problem than did a week ago.
Please pass along the above links to every voter you know and encourage them to VOTE TOMORROW, NOV. 6.
I'm tired of remodeling and I have pre-election anxiety so I figured I'd waste 10 minutes so as to relieve stress. What better way then to pick on Zippo (my affectionate name whose gender is unknown to me). Zippo is the champion of liberal lunacy. There is not a statement made that Zippo can't misconstrue. S/he's as bad as my ex-wife. Not only do I think that he mis-understands everything, I feel he is also mis-understood. If you were to invite Zippo to a brain-storming session it would end in loss of any cognitive thought and create a vaccum that would rival outerspace.
I believed at the beginning of my dealings with Zippo that s/he cared until I realized what s/he was about. There is no subject that is blogged that can't be tied in one way or the other to two main subjects; race and homosexuality. The guy/girl is amazing! I just can't fathom how s/he does it! And s/he has guts, too! Why s/he even told us that his/her wife was ugly.
Now s/he has been called ridiculous, an idiot, condescending, socialist, liberal, gadfly, lunatic, radical and much more. I think by this resume that s/he has worked up, that s/he was a very important person. Maybe SpinMeister for the Bubba Billy administration. Heck, s/he might be working for the Hilly camp in the same capacity! S/he certainly has the credentials for it.
You realize that this is all in fun to break up the horror of the collapse of Americanism as we use to know it. Yes, Zippo, you are helping to tear down our borders and throw out our sovereignty. Fighter for anything goes and the oppressed illegals. What would we ever blog about without you. You bring such a darkness to every conversation. I could never really say I hate you. May think about it on occasion but I would never really say it.
James Atticus Bowden is running for the Republican nomination for the First District U.S. Congressional seat made vacant by the untimely death of Jo Ann Davis. The nomination will be decided by a convention on November 10.
Jim Bowden is one of those individuals who conservatives WISH would represent them in the halls of government - as opposed to those we usually get who simply march under the ideological banner. This is a truly unique opportunity to get someone in office who really believes, and lives by, the tenets we see exemplified so rarely in public life.
I have corresponded with him a number of times via the blogs and had the honor of spending over an hour talking with him at the bloggers' conference this past summer.
I told Jim that I heartily endorsed his candidacy the second I heard about it.
The catch is, he needs delegates from the First District to show up on November 10 (he also needs money, but the delegates he cannot do without.)
If you know anyone who lives in the First District (extends from Newport News to Fredericksburg - use this link - fill out the form, and see if it says "Congress: Jo Ann Davis" near the bottom) have them e-mail their legal name, address, best telephone and email address to email@example.com.
Ah, all is right with the world.
After weeks of wondering when quarterback Tony Romo will get a new deal, the wondering can cease.
Romo and the Cowboys have agreed in principal on a six-year extension worth $67.5 million, which includes just north of $30 million guaranteed, league sources told FOXSports.com.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled world crisis.
The Centreville Citizens Coalition is a brand new civic group formed to address the illegal alien problem in that area, which has become especially notorious at the library - a de facto day labor center for illegal workers. Please contact the Coalition if you are concerned and want to find like-minded people committed to solving such problems.
Referred by Blog Fu.
What is not to like about this man?
Eugene Delgaudio, Sterling District Supervisor, has stood by the legal residents of Loudoun County and is one of our few advocates for immigration enforcement on the Board of Supervisors. He stood by the residents of Herndon during the 2005 imbroglio over the day labor center and ensuing, mildly resonant 2006 elections.
He is the hardest working supervisor in Loudoun County, overseeing the Sterling District from dawn till dusk till dawn. The many residents on his e-mail list get constant updates on everything from crimes, to emergency situations, to store openings, to volunteer opportunities.
He is, frankly, beloved by the Sterling residents. Countless residents have saved his letters of congratulations and thanks - for making the honor roll, or for displaying the American flag. They know that nobody else, not even as nice a lady as Jeanne West, would cheerfully put in the time and energy that Eugene Delgaudio contributes day after day, year in and year out, advocating for this district. He has a personal connection with so many members of the Sterling community and the residents of Loudoun County.
He personally championed the immigration enforcement resolution the Loudoun Supervisors eventually approved unanimously in July - at a time when the media were excoriating any politician who dared to breathe a word about local immigration enforcement.
Small wonder all of Eugene Delgaudio's public events draw huge audiences.
Some people disapprove of his irreverent style: Oh yes, he appears to enjoy his job too much - that I will grant. But in the effort to bring a common sense approach to local government it sometimes becomes necessary to laugh certain things off. Or rather, to laugh a LOT of things off - and this is a way he particularly connects with his constituents. We all know the way the government uses our tax dollars is often ridiculous. It is refreshing to have a Supervisor such as Eugene Delgaudio who is not afraid to say when that is the case.
Help Save Loudoun is pleased to present Starletta Hairston, former councilwoman of Beaufort County, South Carolina, and Rich Kelsey, a local attorney, author and expert on illegal immigration who has been following the issue since 1994.
October 25, 2007, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Founders Hall, Ashburn Volunteer Fire Rescue Department
20688 Ashburn Road
Ashburn, VA 20147
The overall topic will be "Illegal Hiring and Illegal Migration" - how to address the root cause of illegal immigration into the U.S.
Ms. Hairston will discuss the evolution of Beaufort County's Lawful Employment Ordinance, one of the very few examples of local legislation aimed at immigration enforcement that has a) been passed, and b) avoided successful legal challenge. Help Save Loudoun has encouraged the Loudoun County Board to pass a similar measure (and has urged our lawmakers in Richmond to pass enabling legislation if needed).
Mr. Kelsey will discuss several topics, including the legal and legislative ramifications of local and state level immigration enforcement.
There will be ample time for audience question and answers. Often this is the most valuable portion of the program, where audience members can gain a great deal of information in a short period of time.
For example, some people, such as our good friend Zimzo, argue that the damage caused by illegal hiring is a myth, and that no American worker or American business owner has ever been damaged by companies hiring unauthorized workers. Others disagree with Zimzo. Who is correct? Come to the meeting and find out.
....On second thought, don't come to the meeting to find THAT out because I can tell you right now, Zimzo is dead wrong and everyone who has not been DEAD for the past five years should know it.
The only one who gets to make that absurd statement is Zimzo, and the only reason I would permit him to show up and make it is because I would have a bucket of water ready to pour over his head.
But feel free to show up and ask any other types of questions.
(Just kidding. We allow ANY questions and never even bring a bucket to these meetings.)
[In case you think you've accidentally stumbled onto some sort of frilly women's blog, you have have not; you are in the right place. As a public service to my wife's blog, which is experiencing technical difficulties, I am publishing a recent post of hers here to ensure the cause gets adequate public attention and to allow her to point to the images from her blog until it is fixed. WARNING: This post contains no vitriol, sarcasm, personality destruction or raucus hoo-hawism such as our readers have come to expect here, and therefore I will not be held responsible if you become dizzy and fall off your chair while reading it. If you find you enjoy this sort of thing, please remember there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I encourage you to spend more time at my wife's blog which, at the end of the day, is probably doing the world much more good than this one.]
What a pleasure to "cap off" the first full week of blog posts for the Robert's Snow snowflake benefit auction with this feature of Matthew Cordell's darling contribution, "Snow Caps."
First, the snowflake:
Check out the front:
And the back:
Next, the bio:
Matthew Cordell is an illustrator of children's literature, newspapers, magazines, and many things in between. Though he spent most of his life in small town South Carolina, in 1999 he migrated midwest to set up shop in Chicago. It was there that he met his soon-to-be bride, his passion for children's books and deep-dish pizza.
Matthew's children's books include: Toby and the Snowflakes, Righty and Lefty, and The Moon is La Luna. Currently he is working hard on forthcoming picture books with Candlewick and Feiwel and Friends. Matthew now lives in the burbs of Chicago with his exceptional wife, picture book author and YA novelist Julie Halpern, and their squeezably soft Siamese cat, Tobin.
And, the self-portrait:
Julie Halpern and Matthew Cordell (as illustrated by Matthew):
Now, onto the Q&A:
Help Save Loudoun PAC candidate endorsements for the November 6, 2007 elections have been announced.
Loudoun County Sheriff: Greg Ahlemann
Senate, 37th District: Ken Cuccinelli
Senate, 33rd District: Patricia Phillips
Senate, 27th District: Jill Holtzman-Vogel
Delegate, 86th District: Tom Rust
Delegate, 13th District: Bob Marshall
Delegate, 50th District: Jackson Miller
Delegate, 52nd District: Jeff Frederick
Broad Run Supervisor: Lori Waters
Sterling Supervisor: Eugene Delgaudio
Sugarland Run Supervisor: Mick Staton
Leesburg Supervisor: Jim Clem
Catoctin Supervisor: Geary Higgins
A PAC has been formed to help end illegal hiring and illegal migration into the communities of Northern Virginia. Visit the Help Save Loudoun PAC Web Site for more information on how to assist in this effort:
Help Save Loudoun PAC was formed on behalf of the legal residents of Virginia, with the goal of ending illegal hiring here and illegal migration into our area. We want to elect public officials who will work to address these problems by implementing local and state immigration law enforcement measures and increase restrictions on hiring unauthorized workers.
Over the past seven years, because of corrupt business practices and neglect by our public officials, eastern Loudoun and western Fairfax counties became a landing zone for illegal aliens seeking work. This resulted in a "win-win-lose" situation, in that the employers benefited from cheap labor, the unauthorized workers found work, and American blue-collar workers and subcontractors saw their wages drop and opportunities disappear.
Yes, the federal government is to blame for failing to secure our borders and enforce existing laws against illegal hiring. At Help Save Loudoun PAC, however, we believe the solution to the problem must begin at the local and state levels. When local communities act, those at higher levels of government will eventually follow.
We have seen examples already where just the threat of increased enforcement has resulted in a reversal of illegal migration. Within the past year, several states and local communities - including Herndon, Virginia - have passed measures aimed at discouraging illegal hiring, with the result that illegal aliens have begun to depart.
Some of our public officials and candidates for office seem to grasp this principle but many do not.
Polls indicate that over 80% of legal residents of the United States support an "enforcement-first" approach to immigration reform. Help Save Loudoun PAC provides an avenue for promoting people to public office who are dedicated to implementing enforcement at the ground level rather than waiting for the feds to act.
Your contribution to Help Save Loudoun PAC will help in this effort.
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.
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 bullâ€™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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Spread the word!
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.
It's a rare occasion we can match consumerism with civic duty, but now is one of those times.
For the next week, these bozos are attempting to impose a boycott on Prince William County businesses that adhere to the rule of law. The effort is a reaction to the immigration enforcement resolution passed by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.
Here is more information on the boycott and the group responsible, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras.
Here is today's Washington Post story about the "strong, but divisive" frontman of the group, Ricardo Juarez.
Juarez -- who refuses to disclose his residency status -- calls these policies "a new apartheid" and "racist." And in a move Juarez's critics say is typical of his overheated rhetoric, radical politics and strong-arm style, the businesses in the county subject to the boycott will be those lacking green placards provided by Mexicans Without Borders. Hispanic-owned or not, any business without one will be shunned.
And here is a running list of businesses displaying the pro-illegal placards.
So the next six days are an ideal time to spend money in Prince William County - it is worth the short drive. Also, as it turns out, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras is targeting businesses in Manassas and Manassas Park, which have not passed any type of immigration enforcement resolutions. Go figure. The bottom line is this group is attempting to use strong arm tactics to force businesses to profess defiance of U.S. immigration laws. We need to reward businesses that resist the pressure.
For the next six days, go to Prince William and Manassas to shop. Here is a map of the relevant areas.
If you don't want to navigate through all those links, let's make it simple:
Do your major shopping at Potomac Mills. Whether for back-to-school, end-of-summer, or any other milestone you wish to concoct, Potomac Mills is one of the best and largest shopping areas in the country. Just head down I-95, or take 123, or any number of other routes. Patronize the stores without the green placards.
Or, go out a short distance on I-66 and take either 234 business or, a few miles further, the exit for 29 west. They've got supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, used car lots - everything you might need on a daily basis. You can buy all sorts of stuff out there.
Or, drive south on 28 past Centreville into Manassas. It's a pleasant ride ... in some respects ... and in any case there are plenty of places to grab a cold brewski once you finally arrive.
If you are driving south on 95, wait to buy gas until you cross the Occoquan.
The important thing is: internalize the map, and make every effort to adjust your itinerary and come up with excuses to go a little bit out of your way and drop some buckage on businesses that have not caved in to Mexicanos Sin Fronteras.
For my own part, I have a trip south which will afford numerous opportunities to spend money along I-95, and I will also load up on canned goods, blank DVD disks, and cases of certain fermented essentials at one of the supermarkets on 234. Walmart's here and here might also be good places to stock up on cases of sporting goods-related items from Winchester and Remington.
Go shopping, friends, it is your duty as citizens.
Blog Khan counted 100 participants at tonight's initial meeting of Help Save Fairfax. That's pretty impressive for a meeting arranged with minimal advance notice in a county whose government has given advance notice that little is planned by public officials to address the local effects of illegal immigration.
Numerous elected officials and candidates were in attendance.
Among them was Virginia Senator Ken Cuccinelli (right), currently the strongest advocate citizens have in the state Senate on the issue of illegal immigration.
Representatives of each of the state's "Help Save ... " groups participated in the program. Above are Greg Letiecq (Blog Khan), (left) president of Help Save Manassas, and masters of ceremony Phil Jones and Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Virginia/Help Save Herndon. I spoke on behalf of Help Save Loudoun.
Delegate Tim Hugo
Springfield Supervisor Candidate Pat Herrity
Virginia 33rd District Senate Candidate Patricia Phillips (left) and Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio
(Also present and conversing with the attendees was Fairfax County Supervisor Candidate Gary Baise - picture to follow in a later post).
The presentation and discussions covered many aspects of the illegal alien problem, including the bad things that cause citizens to take notice, the good things citizens have been able to accomplish to help solve the problem locally, Virginia Senator Ken Stolle (without whom no such discussion would be complete), and other items that will be elucidated at a later date.
More than anything, the evening featured extended opportunities for citizens and would-be elected officials to share ideas and concerns. This type of cross-pollination has been a hallmark of Help Save Loudoun's activities and has resulted in some significant political accomplishments. Although in our membership we are non-partisan, so far the only candidates we've gotten the time of day from have been Republicans (and some Republicans have blown us off entirely).
This is somewhat curious and amusing, because our membership composition continues to be pretty bipartisan, but the power-brokers who will talk to us are largely of one party. Don't the Democratic candidates realize they are missing the boat? No, they do not.
We also had a few interlopers, filming, taking notes and photos, seeking intelligence.
Memo: Here's your intelligence, guys: Calling us racists will not slow us down.
And as the venerable Nelson says on the Simpsons, Haaaa Haa!
There were a couple radio interviews this week:
This one was on PBS station KCRW. (My part is the second half, about 15 minutes in, but the first part is worth listening to).
In what I'm sure is pure disinformation meant to dampen my overwhelming zeal, the Washington Post blog is spinning that I was not the first choice for the one interview, but was only selected because some public officials supposedly turned it down. In reality, I'm quite certain that the public officials were only considered because of my legendary busy schedule, and everyone was quite delighted that I was, in fact, available after all.
If you listen to either of those, I am certain you will agree that my tactic of never interrupting my counterpart, and allowing them to speak for two or three times as long as I speak, will, in the end, prove to be the most effective approach. It's all about winning the war, baby, winning the war.
It appears that the county, state and federal governments are starting to get the picture; the citizens have had enough and we want the power back in our hands. Illegal Immigration is truly becoming a sweeping issue across the land and there are many changes starting to take place and issues discussed. Even the "Old Guard" is turning 180 degrees because of the consequences of elitist pomp raising the ire of the populace. This isn't due to the Republicans, Democrats, Christians or even you godless individuals ( calm down. I was just having fun). It is due to the left, right, middle, moderate; all idealogies coming together as one.
I am sincere in saying thank you to all who get involved. I believe if we stay away from the issues of most controversy (homosexuality, abortion, global warming, etc.) and relate to the real issues at hand; illegal immigration, american sovereignty, North American Union, China's death grip on the economy-that we can really get alot done and turn this political fiasco around. Blogs, phone calls, media editorials and interviews are getting peoples attention. You people are making a difference.
I may sound naive in what I believe but I do believe with a passion. Keep spreading the word to others to take back our governments. Let's make it the "We, the people..." land again. Yes, we will always continue to have those diverse discussions on issues but let's have more of the issues that count. Elections are coming oh so soon.
I wanted to get down to the gun show this past weekend, but I've been about as busy as a one armed paper-hanger. My wife is out west helping fight wild fires; I'm here taking care of the little ones.
For those of faith, please pray for the communities she is working with -- they are on alert for evacuation -- and for my wife. The situation out there is getting dangerous ("her" fire grew by 15000 acres in a single day two days ago). While she generally isn't "on the line" (she is a fire information officer, she no longer is a fire fighter).
"When we have legal taxpayers struggling to keep medical insurance, I don't think this is too much to ask."
"I don't feel like there is anything wrong with legal immigration," said Hoke. "But if they want to come here illegally and use our services that are paid for by taxpayers, I have a problem with that."
Hoke would also like to see policies put in place to fine employers hiring illegal immigrants.
Page County has seen an increase in the number of immigrants in the last several years. Over the last two years, Page County Public Schools had to hire staff to educate students that do not speak English.
"We have to allow them medical services and to go to school," said Hoke, "but if we wouldn't allow this to happen maybe they would stay in their own country. When we have legal taxpayers struggling to keep medical insurance, I don't think this is too much to ask."
...extiende su bienvenida a trabajadores undocumentados.
New Haven, Connecticut has set up an extremely generous new program for illegal aliens, providing many of the benefits of citizenship. To assist in this effort, ALIPAC is conducting a major national campaign to encourage all illegal aliens from everywhere in the U.S. to move to New Haven, Connecticut.
It is supposed to be a fine city, so I say we all get on board and dedicate a little time to furthering this effort.
Print off several copies of this flyer, then run, do not walk, to your local grocery store bulletin board, etc.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 9-0 in favor of a resolution which states the Board's opposition to illegal immigration into the county, and directs county staff to investigate the extent to which illegal aliens use county services, and how much this costs the taxpayers.
The resolution goes one step further than that passed in Manassas last week. Supervisor Jim Burton had initially offered a substitute motion to delay consideration of the resolution so it could be examined further, including into how a provision might be added to find ways to punish employers who hire illegal workers. The substitute was defeated, but Supervisors Scott York and Lori Waters drafted an amendment to the resolution instructing the staff and attorney to also investigate means to crack down on employers who game the system.
The resolution also included a provision that "strongly encouraged" the Sheriff's Office to enter into a 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement training agreement with the Department of Homeland Security - however, it was revealed almost as an aside that the Sheriff's Office had already sent the request to ICE in the past several days.
The supervisors were, to a person, statesmanlike in their reasoning for supporting the resolution. (We hope to have transcripts of some of the remarks along with the text of the resolution here later tonight).
The investigations by county staff will involve all of the areas where services are provided to illegal aliens - and I believe the reports regarding the amounts spent on ESOL instruction alone will be of great interest to the citizens of the county.
Because of the valuable information which will now be brought to daylight and especially the clear support for proactive immigration enforcement across the ideological divides usually attributed to this Board, this vote represents a watershed moment in Loudoun County history.
Congratulations to all of the Supervisors - they each deserve thanks and praise from every citizen of the county.
This is the video the pro-illegal alien advocates don't want you to see.
Because of the state's tough immigration enforcement law that just went into effect July 1, illegal aliens in Georgia are leaving in droves - some returning to Mexico, some going to other states.
If we in Virginia can take action at the local and state level to convince the illegals that this may not be the ideal place to come to, more will return to Mexico or other home countries, and thus will begin the process of advocating for reforms there. Which is what should have been happening in the first place and which the corrupt people running those countries are extremely grateful not to have had to deal with.
The following should be required viewing for every current or prospective office holder at every level of government.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors has passed John Stirrup's immigration enforcement resolution unanimously!
Some notes from a friend on the scene:
- There is a massive demonstration going on right now outside the government building, what appears to be a huge crowd of illegal aliens and their advocates. Many are holding signs, written in English, saying things like "America is a migrant country" and "We just want to feed our families." There is a big pile of English-language signs on the ground, apparently brought by the organizers. From the phone conversation I could hear loud chanting and yelling in Spanish.
- During the hearing, the board chair had asked there be no booing, hissing or clapping. A large crowd of illegal aliens had come into the anteroom - packed all the way up the staircases and along the balcony - who did not understand and proceeded to boo, hiss and cheer throughout the hearing, until a Latino reporter went out and explained to them in Spanish they were not supposed to be doing that.
- One person testifying in support of the resolution nodded toward the crowd of illegals outside and said something to the effect: "Look outside at the other room: That is where we are headed, to become a third world country."
- One of the two Democrats on the board said he took exception to reports in the press that the two of them were against the resolution, and said "I have always been against illegal immigration and would support deporting them back to their own countries."
- There were a couple last minute revisions to the resolution, made so it did not make any legislative changes which would have required a longer period before the resolution could have been voted on. One of the changes was to remove the "writ of mandamus" provision which would challenge existing U.S. law.
- A board member indicated the County had considered including a provision to deny free education to the children of illegal aliens - a direct challenge to the 1982 Supreme Court decision in Plyler v Doe, that all children have a constitutional right to a public education. The board member said the time is ripe to challenge this narrowly-decided case and that Prince William County would be inclined to do this in the future.
- A board member also stated this resolution should serve as a wake up call to surrounding jurisdictions to follow suit.
UPDATE: The illegals appeared to have been bused in (I wonder if they were paid). Here's who most likely provided the signs they were carrying:
Teresita Jacinto, of the Woodbridge Workers Committee, which works with day laborers in the county, helped organize the large contingent of Latinos who showed up at the meeting.
Observation: I bet no one had to bus in the people supporting the resolution.
I was lucky enough to attend a very impressive fundraising event in Manassas tonight for Virginia Delegate Jackson Miller, an amazing individual who in his first year in the House emerged as a leader on the immigration reform issue and sponsored legislation that passed the House (before dying in Senate committees).BVBL reports the crowd surpassed 200. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (left) gave a rousing introduction.
I can tell you I was among the many who were blown away by the keynote speech by film director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals).successful defeat of S. 1639 in the U.S. Senate earlier in the day, and the hope this offers that Americans have now risen up to take back their country one community at a time from the "masters of the universe" - business elites who live only for the present, and who are exploiting cheap labor from south of the border and destroying communities on both sides of the Rio Grande.
The American people are a generous people, but they are not dupes and they are not fools. They have moved from skepticism to mistrust to outrage. Where is our national leadership? Who is defending America and our way of life? Not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. Who is defending it here, in our own homes and our own communities?
It is a healthy feeling of self-survival the American people are feeling, in which they are finally turning to political action and imposing on their elected officials - who sometimes forget who elected them and whom they are supposed to serve. Americans intuitively understand that what's at stake here is nothing less than the survival of our country.
We must ask: Who is profiting from the importation of this cheap labor? Who is it that wants to exploit these poor, third world people? Who is encouraging young men and women to leave their children and their parents behind? Who is causing the division of these families, the millions of broken families and separated loved ones. Who is profiting from their exploitation, only then to pontificate - after the fact, after the damage has been done to the fabric of these communities, after the emotional damage to real life people - that all they really want to do is reunify those families, but not, of course, in their native countries, but here in the United States of America.
Why here? Why not in their countries of origin? So that the present-tensers can then legally import millions more of their relatives through chain migration so that they can be exploited as well. So they can put more American citizens out of work, replacing high-priced American workers with those who will do the work that they, the 300 million citizens of the United States are told over and over again by their own president that they really do not want to do.
As if America, all it's great cities and farms and railroads and highways and skyscrapers and navies and air forces and bridges, all its universities, all its industrial might and its space program were built by Mexicans, Hondurans and Guatemalans.
What rhetorical mischief. What political chicanery. What a colossal con game perpetrated on the American people and on our neighbors to the south.
Maxwell's address was a cry for humane efforts to fix the problems in communities north and south of the border.
If we want "comprehesive" immigration reform, that is how it has to happen.
There are a number of extremely important public offices that will be decided in the November, 2007 elections, and Jackson Miller is among the key ones. He needs your support if you are concerned about solving the illegal alien problem in Virginia.
A few of the other good soldiers in this fight were present at tonight's event, including Delegate Bob Marshall, Delegate Jeff Frederick, Senate Candidate Bob Fitzsimmonds, Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann and Senator Ken Cuccinelli.
UPDATE: Here is the full text of Ron Maxwell's speech.
... who voted against cloture on S. 1639.
Here is the tally. Go see whether your senator was a good guy or a bad guy.
Here are the Web forms you can use to send a thank you to your senators who voted against cloture. (Maybe via e-mail would be nice - to give their phones a rest).
Click here to send a thank you to Senator Jim Webb.
Click here to send a thank you to Senator John Warner.
I just got an e-mail notifying that as of 10:20 am this morning the Senate Sargeant at Arms has "closed down the phone lines" because of the volume of calls. I did not know that could happen, but if it did this is the issue that would do it.
UPDATE: There is now confirmation of this on Drudge.
Nice work, everyone.
I just had a private conference with Not Larry Sabato and Black Velvet Bruce Li; and although the meeting was supposed to be completely off the record, I feel morally compelled to share the entire content with all of you right now.
Blogging ethics allow this.
Let's put it this way: The discussion ended with NLS head honcho Ben Tribbett screaming at me "I will bust you down to COPPER, Budzinski, I will bust your sorry little blog down to freakin' zinc!"
"Get out of town, you crazy bald man" I yelled back, "Zinc isn't even a metal!"
Well, it turns out we were BOTH partially right and partially wrong in that exchange, but who's to quibble over minor details. The important thing is that Don Ben is laying the heavy hand of blog dominance on my back, and I don't intend to submit without a fight.
We've had our run-ins with the Don before, as many of you will recall.
In this instance, the sticking point was illegal immigration. Namely, are those of us talking the talk walking the walk?
[UPDATE: I just saw the ad on FNC and it appears the show tonight might be telling the same story as Islam vs Islamists but not play the same film. In any event, the story of this individuals is very compelling so I strongly recommend watching it.]
Free Republic has a notice that the documentary I wrote about in April, Islam vs Islamists, is going to air on Fox News Channel tonight at 9:00 pm. (There is some controversy because it was supposed to air last night, and so far it is not showing up on the Comcast guide.)
I highly recommend everyone watch this short film. It got pulled from PBS under questionable circumstances with the hint of pressure from Islamist advocacy groups.
There is only one possible, practical answer to the biggest problem of our age, and that is reform within Islam. This documentary tells the story of a few very brave individuals who are attempting to accomplish such reform. Don't miss it.
The first send-off for No Relation was such a roaring success we had to do it again, so a few of us gathered at Leesburg's Downtown Saloon again to bid a fond farewell and godspeed to our local hero.
NR joined the military right out of high school - about ten years ago - when he was just 17 years old. He completed his first tour of duty overseas (Afghanistan) in 2005 and goes back on active duty next week. He will be in the Middle East around the end of summer. In total, he will be out of civilian life and living the infantry life until about the end of next summer.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio made a very welcome surprise appearance.
Among other dignitaries present was Republican precinct captain for Sterling, Fred Avila, and artiste-wunderkind Kevin of Digital Camel (also an esteemed NVTH "amnesty" blogger). Kevin drove down from Baltimore for the event.
Funny thing: After we first arrived the topic of conversation turned to Eugene Delgaudio, with several of us trying to explain to Kevin the ineluctable, mysterious charm of our Supervisor, and me finally saying "You just have to meet Eugene sometime. Words hardly do him justice."
When ten minutes later who should walk in but the Supervisor himself! Suffice it to say, before long Kevin had the full experience and I trust he now understands how to know Eugene is to love him.
The old and the new: After returning from Afghanistan NR spent several months working for Eugene. Here he is with current Delgaudio laborers Josh and Ryan. Josh emceed the recent candidate debates hosted by Patrick Henry College and Ryan was campaign manager for Patricia Phillips' successful primary campaign.
Not long after Kevin left, the shadowy Jacob Ash of NVTH Blog arrived. I somewhat regret those two did not get to meet, but since this was merely a biker bar I was also relieved on behalf of the customers the encounter did not occur. I'm thinking "Clash of the Titans" type stuff and I don't know if the other patrons' tender sensibilities could have handled it.
I'll be seeing NR at least once more before he leaves so there will be further posts here in the near future.
Our beloved drunken vet is on his way back to active duty in less than a week, so don't forget to stop by if you can, anytime after 8:30 tonight.
One of our socialist readers from Across the Pond posted an interesting comment yesterday. He concluded:
Three things should be eternally free from commercial interests - religion, education and health. Making money from any of those is morally contemptible.
-- Har Noah Neemus
I would like to address these seriatim.
'"Put simply, the Constitution does not allow the President to order the military to seize civilians residing within the United States and then detain them indefinitely without criminal process, and this is so even if he calls them 'enemy combatants'," the court said.'
Article below the fold
We will be meeting Tuesday night, June 12, 8:30 pm. at the Downtown Saloon in Leesburg, to see our own hero NR off to the Middle East.
If history is any guide, we will be there for awhile.
Anyone from distant provinces is welcome to crash at my house. You know how to reach me.
Scenes from today's NumbersUSA "virtual rally" in Arlington. A few dozen volunteers showed up at the NumberUSA headquarters to join thousands of others who participated via telephone.
We spent a solid hour making calls and sending faxes. And blogging a wee bit.
Real time updated metrics on faxes going out throughout the U.S.
NumbersUSA's Caroline Espinosa and Rosemary Jenks participated on the call, along with their boss, Roy Beck and Congressman Tom Tancredo.
UPDATE: Yes that is Fox News' Major Garrett in the top photo. Also, Roy Beck announced that NumbersUSA's membeship has grown from something like 200,000 to 380,000 in the past few weeks since the Senate began considering the "reform" legislation.
This was such a blast we have to do it again.
Actually, it was so loud because of the karaoke show that the only conversation possible was my conscience asking me what brand of hearing aid I plan to wear in 10 years, and even THAT only received a muffled reply. This did No Relation no good whatsoever, so we are going to reprise the event next week, probably Tuesday the 12th. Let me know if you need details.
...at the Downtown Saloon in Leesburg. We'll be there for awhile, hope to see some of you there.
And when our work is done,
Our course on Earth is run,
May it be said "Well done;
Be thou at peace."
-West Point Alma Mater
Today is a day of remembrance. Let us never forget the sacrifice so many have made so that we can live free.
May God Bless the souls of Bobby Beasley and Craig Cherry. Rest in peace, buddies.
Although we maintain an attitude of objectivity and independence here at the NVTH Blog, usually choosing to endorse candidates individually based on our diverse interests, I am pleased to report that the NVTH bloggers have conferred and agreed to a corporate endorsement of Hamilton 'Ham' Sandwich, Esq., for Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney.
Because of the early date this endorsement is totally unprecedented.
NOVA TownHall's Joe Budzinski said:
While the opponent offers interesting credentials, we strongly believe Ham Sandwich - particularly with a little spicy mustard - presents an overwhelmingly superior alternative.
You can go to the Raising Ham site for more info on this Ham-tastic political movement.
Saturday, May 12
Spent the daytime watching stuntshows and a longhair band playing classic metal covers.
Doesn't look too impressive until you realize that bike is running pretty quick on a treadmill-like device
Rhett Rotten rides the wall of death
Mid-air handlebar handstand
The rest of the crew is all there by the evening. My buddy Randall from the VFW got down there with his Vietnam buddy Paul. Another friend, Mason, was with his wife Phyllis and their extended family that goes down there twice a year. We grab some dinner at a Texas Steakhouse and then split up that night. Mike and Jessie and I hit a few more places before they were ready to crash. My night shift habit had me out on the strip watching the bikes go by long after everyone was asleep.
Sunday, May 13
Went to visit with some family friends who now live in South Carolina. Good dinner, good company. Went back to the beach and met up with Randall, Paul, Mason and his crew at the Iron Gate Saloon. Ended up on the hotel balcony once again, watching the bikes and telling war stories with Randall and Paul.
Veterans: Vietnam, 2 each, Afghanistan, 2 each
Randall, Paul, Mike, and myself
Monday, May 14
I took Jessie to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner theater. Not really my thing, but Jessie enjoyed it and the food was good, so I guess it wasn't a total waste of 80 dollars...
Ended up back with everyone else at the Beachwagon...this time for an actual country band instead of Mike's Karaoke.
Tuesday, May 15
Jessie had to leave so she could work the next day. Mike decides to leave earlier than planned, feeling guilty about leaving his preagnant wife at home. I do some riding and end up back on the strip watching the bikes and shooting the breeze with Mason.
What did Joe say about how early you can start drinking?
Wednesday, May 16
Breakfast with Randall and Paul, and then I start heading back to VA. In honor of the tradition, the rain hits me hard in Richmond. This storm was bad enough I had to pull off for a while, for fear of getting blown off the road. Didn't make it back home till almost midnight, and that was the end of the trip. It was just as well I left before the week was over. The second half gets incredibly crowded, and that crowd begin to get rowdy and stupid. I must have seen several thousand more bikes heading south on my way back north.
Thursday, May 17
Back to work. Remember how it felt when you were a kid and you had to go back to school after summer break? Yeah.
So I figured I'd use up some leave at my day job before Uncle Sam claims me for another year or so. My Army buddy Mike had been wanting to go to the Myrtle Beach Bike Rally, so I told him I would. This would be my fourth and his first. Always a good time.
Tuesday, May 8
One of us is ready to go...
I got on my Softail and Mike got on his Dyna, backpacks and saddle bags loaded, and we started heading south at about 6 PM. NoVa traffic, as always, slowed us down quite a bit. We also got rained on in the Richmond area as has been a Bike Week tradition for me. It was almost 11 PM before we hit the North Carolina border.
I work a midnight shift and was ready to ride all night. Mike on the other hand, has "regular" hours, and when I realized he was dozing off behind the handlebars on I-95, I figured we had better stop for the night. We pulled off at the first place we found. The small motel only had one room left, which happened to be a honeymoon suite. I didn't really know what exactly that meant, but the guy gave it to us for the regular price so I didn't say anything. The jacuzzi in the middle of the bedroom made me laugh when we walked in the door. "Dude...I hope staying in this room together doesn't mean we're gay." I think he was about asleep at that point. I sat in the chair and watched TV for a few hours before I nodded off.
Wednesday, May 9
Bright and early at the crack of noon, we continued our journey. We pulled into Myrtle Beach at about 3 PM, except we didn't actually pull into Myrtle Beach because I made the mistake of turning south onto the 17 bypass instead of 17 business. We were in Murrell's Inlet before I realized it, but no big deal, that's a cool place, too. So I showed Mike around. We finish up the night at some place called the Beachwagon because they advertised live country music. Turns out live country that night was Karaoke. I wasn't happy about that, but it didn't stop Mike from getting on stage and singing Brooks and Dunn...
Mike continues the Karaoke off the stage
Thursday, May 10
We ride around and see as much as we can. Not too eventful, but Bike Week doesn't actually start until tomorrow.
Friday, May 11
Bike Week finally starts for real. Funny how all the spring-break type places suddenly become "biker bars" overnight.
My girlfriend Jessie meets up with me at 4 AM. I had promised her I would wait up, but Mike was crashed already and I figured I'd better find something to do if I was gonna be awake when she got there. So I hung out at a bar called the Dog House all night. When she got there I told her to come in, but she just wanted to sleep so that ended the fun that night. It's funny, I wasn't in trouble until I was out of the Dog House...
Jessie and I
After some rest, we hit the beach for a little while and in the evening, we went down to the SBB Biker Burnout Bar to see the band Rebel Son. SBB is a cool place, you ride your bike right through the bar to get to the parking lot. The burnout pit is right there inside.
SBB's Burnout Pit
"David Beats Goliath!"
"The Giants Win The Pennant!"
"I Don't Believe What I Just Saw!"
Whatever is your best analogy, this is the time to employ it.
As a lifelong Republican active in VA politics, I am writing to you, as the leader of our party in the Senate, to NOT support this bill.
I will leave the party if this passes. Many others will as well. If you think you can imagine you might get by on money from big business alone, think again. It is main street that walks to the polls and votes for you reprobates.
The differences between the Republicans and Democrats are fading. It used to be we were the party of values, fiscal responcibility and strong defence.
Drunken Sailors are less wreckless with THEIR money than you all have been with MINE. I can forgive that to some degree in the time of war.
We are at WAR and you are NOT securing the border, but you are letting 10 to 20M LAWBREAKERS get a free pass. So much for values and strong defence.
So where is the difference now?
You and that joke of a President will get a rude awakening when in 2008. You find we ALL stayed home, because you do not deserve our vote or consideration.
You work for us, and you appear to have forgetten that.
I. M. Republican
Citizen, Tax Payer, Voter
Soon to be Ex-Republican
Hiring illegal aliens forces down wages of entry-level Virginia workers, and gives an unfair competitive advantage to employers who violate our labor laws.
Furthermore, Patricia Phillips is the only candidate who has espoused a sound philosophy of governance: Decisions should be made as close as possible to the level of the citizens affected. The more local the control, the better.
Patricia has been a longtime activist on local issues, including the recent successful effort to pass the Virginia Marriage Amendment.
Finally, Patricia has proven herself in the line of fire: She has been willing to meet with large groups of local citizens and take their questions directly. She is not a professional politician, but rather a concerned citizen like most of the rest of us. We need more people like her in Richmond.
Her opponent seems like a very nice person, but Patricia is better on the issues as far as I can tell.
To vote for Patricia, please plan to go out Saturday, May 19, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, to vote at one of the following locations:
- Loudoun County Residents: Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn, VA
- Fairfax County Residents: Rachel Carson Middle School, 13618 McLearen Road, Herndon, VA
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING RECOGNIZES NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
May 07, 2007
A Unifying Force
Bolling In Harrisonburg To Preach Value Of Prayer
By Kelly Jasper
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray ... "
- 2 Chronicles 7:14
HARRISONBURG - With a humble petition for blessing, in a quiet plea for strength and a desperate cry for healing, the community congregated in prayer.
"We need to pray," Bill Bolling said Thursday night, speaking not as Virginia 's lieutenant governor, but as "a fellow believer" to the crowd that gathered inside Asbury United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg .
Bolling delivered a hopeful message amid more than an hour of prayer as he led a group of about 100 to pray for the nation, its leaders, churches, families and media. People around the United States did the same as they assembled for the 56th National Day of Prayer.
Bolling rushed to Harrisonburg Thursday evening to speak at the gathering, only hours after he met with Queen Elizabeth II in Richmond . Members of his family - wife Jean Ann and youngest son Kevin, a James Madison University student - joined him at the church.
'"I can't speak for white people, but that's crazy," said Adoma Adjei-Brenyah, a Columbia University student with college-educated parents from Ghana.'
The entire article by CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer is reprinted below. It was published 4/30/07:
By melding blue-collar Democrats' horror at what is happening to their lives and livelihoods as a result of illegal immigration with grass roots Republicans' frustration with the country club wing of their party, Lou Dobbs could in one fell stroke accomplish a paradigm-shifting, party-switching, stickin'-it-to-the-man revolution in American politics with much greater chance of succeeding than the third-party option. Lots of erstwhile Republicans are thinking about the latter, while lots of Democrats must be wishing their party had a modicum of sincere concern for working class Americans.
The Lou Dobbs wing of the Democratic party? An actual loyal opposition? A "Help Save The U.S." caucus which would give the enforcement-first Republicans a rubric to run under and a bipartisan rallying point?
Oh, brother: Build it and they will come. People would take second mortgages on their homes to help Lou pull this off. Any Republicans who hitched their wagons to this star would sail into office.
"Lou Dobbs - Help Save The US:" Talk about a stick in the eye to Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Rove, Bush, McCain et. al. Reinvent the Democratic party and give distraught Republicans an alternative.
That is precisely the question raised by the controversy surrounding the new documentary, Islam vs. Islamists. The one-hour investigative journalism piece was originally included in a project launched by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Like the other installments of the $20 million "America at a Crossroads" series, Islam vs. Islamists was produced with a large grant (in this case over $600,000 in taxpayer funds). Now, however, it has been buried by the CPB and its production outlet, PBS.
Why? Because the topic of the film is the question that so many of us have been asking since September 11, 2001: "Where are the moderate Muslims?" - and some don't like the answer one little bit.
Powerful interest groups, it turns out - some of whom govern a massive, oil-laden Arabian kingdom, some of whom simply do the kingdom's bidding, and some of whom blindly follow wherever the nose-ring of multiculturalism leads them - don't like the fact that the documentary reveals the extensive Saudi/Wahabbi money trail in the development of Islamic institutions in the U.S., and exposes the widespread conspiracy against Islamic reformers. Thus there has been pressure on PBS and the CPB to spike the film. At the moment, PBS refuses to broadcast Islam vs. Islamists, and the only way most Americans will ever see it is if CPB releases the rights so the film can be distributed through other channels. (See below on how to make that happen).
Today in DC, the film's producers and two of its key subjects held a private screening and panel discussion. There will be a follow up here shortly, but first the basic message.
Bottom line: Moderate Muslims in Europe and North America are under unbelievable pressure to shut up. Leaders promoting the compatibility of Islam and democracy who speak out do so at the risk of their livlihoods and lives, and consequently the vast, silent majority of Muslims who are perfectly content in Western society have no choice but to "look at politics through an Islamist lens." Islamism - or political Islam - is the dominant ideology spread via the mosques and (maybe unwittingly) by the media. Those seeking a reformation in Islam are having a devil of a time getting their voices heard.
The stakes are high: The Islamist leaders interviewed in the film - all prominent, "mainstream" Muslim leaders in Europe and the U.S. - state unapologetically that their aim is to impose shariah law on western societies.
It is an amazing irony that modern "liberals" have been so slow to support the reformation within Islam. A key irony is that the media have allowed Islamists to import an immensely uncivil agenda under the auspices of supposed "civil rights." As one of the subjects in the documentary states, "the entire struggle is about the rights of women." Does anyone in the West actually need a slap in the face to appreciate this?
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Arizona cardiologist and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, and one of the true heroes of our age, issued a plea this afternoon
...from the majority in the West that understand what it is to separate religion and politics, that understand that somebody can be even more pious and more religious by not having government coerce what we believe, that understand our religion can be a source of law but not the source of law, all of these aspects that are part of the Christian Enlightenment or Western Enlightenment: I've been taught by my grandfather that it can happen in Islam.
There will be another screening of the film tonight, Wednesday, April 25, for our congressmen and senators. Please take a moment to send a note to your representatives encouraging them to go watch this documentary tonight at the Rayburn office building (they have received invitations with details). ASK THEM TO TELL THE CPB TO PUT IT ON THE AIR VIA PBS OR RELEASE IT FOR FURTHER DISTRIBUTION.
Contrary to the Post's report, this is not just "an organization in Georgia" but one led by D.A. King who has been in front of the immigration issue for years. Also, there were at least 800 people present during the first hour, not the 400 reported. The crowd had thinned to about half by the time it was over, though.
They brought together an amazing assortment of speakers - very much a unique experience to be able to listen to so many in such a short time period.
We'll have plenty of audio highlights up in the next 24 hours so stop back by.
...here comes the little guy:
Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, received a big financial boost for his presidential campaign from his home state, but also took in tens of thousands of dollars from Texas and California, according to federal election records...
Seventy-five percent of Tancredo's contributions were under $200, indicating a strong grassroots effort. The campaign is not legally required to itemize those donors but said the average contribution was $61...
Tancredo's fundraising pales in comparison with the top-tier candidates, many of whom have amassed more than $20 million. But he did outraise seven other contenders from both parties, including fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. Tancredo is also financially running neck and neck with Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.
By the way, speaking of Huckabee, here is Jeremy Lott's excellent article from a couple weeks ago about the real office Huckabee is running for. Check it out.
TOPIC: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATIONA Public Townhall Meeting with Patricia Phillips, Candidate For Virginia Senate
Monday, April 16, 7:00 pm
At Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Potomac Falls, VA
In this year's session, the VA Senate killed every important immigration reform bill passed by the VA House of Delegates.
The Candidates' Forum meetings allow you to make your views known to the people who seek to represent you next year.
Meet the candidate, learn where she stands, and tell her what you think about this important local issue!
(Patricia is running for the Republican nomination for the 33rd District Senate Seat. The primary will be held on May 19, 2007, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. More details available here.)
Congrats to Greg and Mike for a successful public meeting of Help Save Manassas tonight. There were a total of about 100 attendees, 40 of whom became members of the organization. Subtracting out of town visitors, a few press people and a few spies, there were at least 80 local residents who showed up because they are concerned about the effects of illegal immigration in Manassas and Prince William County.
Tonight was strictly organizational - a hurdle we in HelpSaveHerndon and HelpSaveLoudoun managed to sidestep by remaining disorganized. Or should I say unorganized. In any case there is no formal relationship between us and this new group but we wish them the best.
Getting 100 people to come out on a Tuesday to your kick off is no small achievement.
UPDATE: Blog Fu notes that a majority of the attendees did in fact sign on for membership:
Actually, all told I think there are over sixty membership applications in my stack. Also, the bylaws adopted tonight officially affiliate Help Save Manassas with the Help Save Virginia network. That formal organizational relationship is coming very soon, as the members have voted to institute one.
Sixty in one meeting is a phenomenal accomplishment, bringing HSM right out of the gate with a huge base for a community organization. If Help Save Manassas can do even an anemic "member-get-a-member" campaign over the next month - growing the membership by a third - they will be a major voice in the immigration debate. The Prince William County Supervisors ought to take notice.
Call the Capitol Switchboard
Background: Word is out the GOP leadership of both the House and Senate are prepared to back the Bush administration's comprehensive immigration reform bill which provides for definite amnesty for the 12 million plus illegal aliens in the U.S. along with some possible enforcement provisions. The reason to be extremely skeptical about the latter is the Bush administration has shown almost zero commitment to any type of enforcement - and besides, without a complete overhaul of USCIS, which cannot even keep track of the comings and goings of current visitors, tracking compliance with any new rules by millions of people is a pipe dream.
They may talk about enforcement, just like they may talk about reforming social security. But amnesty: THAT they can pull off in a heartbeat.
Call your representative or senator today and tell them you oppose amnesty and demand the border be secured and enforcement of existing U.S. immigration law be implemented before there is any discussion of rewarding those who have broken the rules.
Call early and often. 202-224-3121
Here are some additional talking points courtesy of NumbersUSA:
Anything that provides extra greencards to allow illegal aliens now here to remain permanently in the U.S. is an amnesty.
There is no urgency to deal with the 12 million illegal aliens already here.
They are damaging American workers and communities, so it is important to be using enforcement to cause them to go home over time. If it takes awhile that is far better than giving them legal status and qualifying them for extra taxpayer benefits while thrusting them permanently on the American people.
ATTRITION THROUGH ENFORCEMENT works. More and more reports are arising in other countries that the moderate increase in enforcement here is deterring a lot of people from trying to come here illegally.
Here is some background on the current amnesty bill.
Here is the fax center to quickly send a fax opposing the amnesty scheme.
Here is a reminder about what happened to American workers who thought they would gain much-needed employment from the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, but were sent packing after the illegal workers arrived.
CALL AND WRITE TODAY!!
And a fine day it was! Daytime beer and a walk through the neighborhood are such agreeable concepts.
The bleeding edge of the illegal immigration problem in the U.S. is at the local level.
We'll have full coverage of the panel within a week or so; today we'll start with the mayor because Hazleton's date in court begins Monday and we will be tracking the proceedings here daily.
How can a city that is 2000 miles away from the nearest southern border have an illegal immigration problem? That's a question I ask myself often. And if you were the mayor, what would you do about it? Most importantly, what could you do about it?
I think it's important for me to give you a little background about what Hazleton is about so you'll be able to see the motivation I had to pass the Illegal Immigration Relief Act.
Hazleton is a small city of about 30,000 people that sits on top of a mountain in Pennsylvania. Its greatest asset is the quality of life that we enjoy. Many senior citizens enjoy sitting on the porch and children, myself in my own childhood, usually grow up on the playgrounds and traveling about the city without much fear.
It's a city that might average one murder every seven years, so you'll have a background on what Hazleton, Pennsylvania was like. I became mayor in the year 2000 at a time when the city was bankrupt. We had a $1.2 million deficit in only a $6 million budget. And that is important as to what motivated me to get to the point where I'm at.
As she certainly should be.
I could have gotten in line behind like 400 other people to get the book signed and perhaps a perfunctory few words from her, but after seeing her absorb one EXTREMELY rude a-hole's remarks to her during the audience Q and A, and then the unbelievably long line of fans - and poor Ann gamely keeping the smile and soldiering through the ritual - I just wanted her to be able to get out of there and have a scotch on the rocks.
My feelings for her are that pure.
Anyway, here she is. Later in the week I may have video but I think you will enjoy this. Turn the volume up.
We had an informative and entertaining kick-off to the 2007 HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum series of townhall meetings on Monday, February 19 here in Sterling.
Our speakers were the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Supervisor, Catoctin District, and the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Sheriff.
February 19 HelpSaveLoudoun - HelpSaveHerndon Candidates' Forum
l to r: Candidates for Sheriff: Sheriff Steve Simpson and Greg Ahlemann; Local Yahoo; Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor: Geary Higgins, Robert Bruton
The supervisor candidates were very well informed, well spoken and exceedingly genteel. I'm certain we will be covering both of them a good bit more before the June 9 LCRC Convention.
The candidates for sheriff were likewise gentlemen, albeit with a bit more of the fireworks factor. This is not entirely surprising as the theme was "illegal immigration in Northern Virginia" and from the typical citizens' standpoint the law enforcement angle is the most problematic.
This will be the first in a two-part blog posting. We'll cover the candidates' remarks here first, and then later the interaction with local residents.
I think everyone in our area should take an interest in what the two candidates for Catoctin Supervisor, Robert Bruton and Geary Higgins, have to say. The GOP is offering up a couple of incredibly capable, decent men for this post.
I think EVERYONE - and I don't just mean Virginia residents - should pay close attention to what our two candidates for the GOP nomination for sheriff, Greg Ahlemann and current Sheriff Steve Simpson, have to say. They are debating the finer points of the ICE 287(g) program and, really, the whole approach to illegal aliens on the local level since the mid 1990s. Sterling Park is the cutting edge of this unfortunate situation, and these gentlemen are stating different perspectives from smack dab in the middle of it.
If you are anywhere in the U.S. and concerned about having your local law enforcement officers involved in 287(g), you ought to read the testimonies below. This is an issue I've done some reading on, and the discussion here is extraordinarily valuable for filling in the real-life blanks.
And - oh, yeah - if you want to get a sense of the differences between the candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff in 2007, the interchange that follows probably paints a pretty good picture.
UPDATE: The Forum was covered by the Easterner and I actually got to spend some time talking with one of the majordomos of Loudoun news, Editor Martin Casey - "just a reporter" he calls himself. Pretty cool.
Those of us lucky enough to be on the e-mail list of the Hardest Working Supervisor in Loudoun, Eugene Delgaudio, have been treated to a succession of uniquely entertaining dispatches from the storm.
Since the ice-and-snow hit last Tuesday, Delgaudio has kept the residents of Sterling apprised of school closings, road conditions, safety tips and his personal advice on removing ice from vehicles ("The sun has been out for hours, use an ice pick or chemicals to pick at whatever ice you can get to today where ever it is. On Saturday it will be warmer and use that opportunity to do more ice removal.")
He spent the week calling plows and heavy machinery into remaining problem areas and, when necessary, tackling the tougher patches himself to help ensure the majority of his constituents could get out and about.
Here is his letter from yesterday:
Monday Feb. 19, 2007
Happy Presidents Day
Dear Sterling American,
There is no school today due to the Holiday. This is day six of the Valentines Day Ice Storm.
Many of you have written reporting unplowed streets and VDOT trucks have been out there plowing the reported streets.
(SEE POSTSCRIPT BELOW)
but this is the kind of politician that I respect. RIP Mr. Norwood
[UPDATE: I guess it would make sense to post a link to the original Code of Ethics document, so here it is. Thanks to TC for the tip. Initial reaction: "You guys don't have to do all this stuff already?"]
To head off that project, our own Supervisor, the beloved Eugene Delgaudio, has just released his own Code of Ethics for the Board. It's a modest, sensible and much-needed set of rules, in my view. I particularly like number 28, but number 13 is another indication why I can never hold office.
DELGAUDIO'S RULES OF CONDUCT.
My 33 amendments will include but not be limited to:
1. Supervisors should be volunteers. Effective immediately, all compensation is suspended for this and future boards. Surpluses are to go to reducing the tax rate.
2. Only volunteers should work for Supervisors, all staff and budget for staff is eliminated with savings to reducing the budget.
3. No Parking spaces for Supervisors, effective immediately.
4. No reimbursements for fuel, gas, meals or cell phones effective immediately.
5. No private car for any elected Supervisor or with the Supervisor as a passenger shall be allowed into the Town of Leesburg. Walking, biking, running or other public means of transportation will be encouraged by the Supervisors by example.
6. No gifts of any kind from foreign corporations or foreign nationals who do not have U.S. citizenship.
7. No gifts, (including free rides, awards, plaques, cups, gold pens, gas, supplies, discounts, or commissions) of any kind to any Supervisors from anyone including family during their term of office.
Read the rest below the fold.
UPDATE: Eve Barner notes the time to weigh in is now:
They punted it to the Senate Rules committee, where it is scheduled to be heard tomorrow at 9:30. Please contact members of the Rules Committee and let them know that you want a vote on SB1331 AND you want them to vote YES.
Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli wrote the following letter advocating for the Virginia Retirement System to disinvest in Darfur. Seems like the least we can do:
There's one month of the General Assembly session left. These first two weeks have been nonstop action. Transportation system reform is occupying the attention of all of us from Northern Virginia. Three bills that I've read this weekend make up one attempt at a transportation package before the Senate, while the House is considering only one bill containing similar elements. The Senate bills are still before the Senate Finance Committee. So is a different bill that I'm thinking of as I write this letter to you.
Virginia government employees probably do not know that a small portion of their retirement funds are being used to indirectly fund genocide against the people of Darfur in the country of Sudan. Until recently, I didn't know that my retirement funds were being used to support genocide. When Congressman Wolf first brought this to my attention, he told me that six other states have already passed legislation to divest their retirement investments from companies that are helping to finance the Sudanese government...
Some more audio files from the Summit:
The opening reception honored former UN Ambassador John Bolton.
Use the above player to hear John Bolton's speech (4 minutes, 18 seconds)
Or - if that player suddenly stops working, as seems to be the case right now - Click here to download mp3 file.
The late night session Friday featured a bunch of gals yackin' it up.
Actually, some really good opinionating came out of this session. Here's how you can tell who is talking: The totally audible talkers are Kate O'Beirne, Kathleen Lopez and Laura Ingraham. Laura sounds like a talk show host, Kate sounds like a professor, and Kathleen is about in between and she's also the one doing the announcing and mediating stuff.
The low talkers are Mona Charen and Michelle Malkin. The difference here is you will literally need to adjust the volume to hear most of what Michelle says, and for Mona you won't. I think Michelle's lavalier mike was too low or something.
(And sorry for not playing with the audio file myself to adjust the volume but that just ain't going to happen this week).
WELL WORTH LISTENING TO THE WHOLE THING!!
If you are anything like me, you will love Laura Ingraham's take on the GOP. She's a little praise-heavy for Jim Webb, but on the Republicans she nails it.
Use the above player to hear the panel discussion. (1 hour, 33 minutes, 49 seconds)
Here is a portion of the seared-into-our-memory late night panel discussion with Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and Rob Long, from the NRI Summit, January 27, 2007. Enjoy.
Steyn: "I was the Islamophobe of the year ... I believe it's the only journalism award I've ever won."
Long: "Piece of advice: Don't go the award ceremony."
Here is another mini-roundup of the conference. We need to do this in small portions or the enormity of the task might overwhelm us to the point of sniffing glue, and since all we keep around the house is Elmers the entire hypothetical future is too horrible to contemplate.
Kudos to the NR folks. This was a wonderful experience. Whoever's idea it was to hold the meeting deserves a raise, because it was a badly needed jolt to the conservative movement in the U.S., such as it is. From my conversations with attendees, I think everyone went home with some sort of positive vision, or at least a path to run on.
On a blogger level, I got to meet the vivacious and warlike Pamela, as noted earlier. I did not actually get to speak with Pamela for very long because a queue of approximately 12 people quickly formed. By sheer coincidence, all of them were men.
Seriously though, I think her popularity is quite understandable because she taps into the "hot chick battles Islamofascists" archetype within the collective unconscious of western man (and I mean "man" the gender here, not the species).
The other two bloggers I met were of the double-secret variety so you'll get no photos and scant physical descriptions. Sorry, but there is a war on in case you didn't notice:
Ragnar from The Jawa Report probably does not need to keep his identity secret because he is just plain scary, like a character from a Frederick Forsythe or Tom Clancy novel. He would get my vote as "most likely to have a scabbard under his cloak." But appearances are deceiving because it turns out he is a really nice guy and he knitted the cloak himself.
Ace from Ace of Spades also was there. Ace runs the best blog on the planet, as far as I am concerned: It's got just the right mix of intelligent commentary, breaking news, humor, risque and dopey stuff. In short, everything a guy like me needs on a daily basis. I read a lot of blogs but his is the only one I visit several times every day and you should too. The only physical description I'll give is: Think of a cross between Roy Jones Jr. and Keith Moon. A wild man who could nail you to the asphalt with one punch.
Slighly less wild was yesterday's luncheon speaker, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Watch Jeb Bush's speech here.
Here's what I now know about Jeb:
- A better communicator than his more famous brother.
- Probably a little better in the functionality department as well.
- Maybe too smart again by half, though: When the word "actuarial" appears in your speech, you might want to change that sentence. When the word appears in your speech more than once, you might want to get another speech, especially if it is going to be delivered right after the audience has eaten lunch.
- Unapologetically pro-illegal immigration. If you want the borders secured and immigration laws enforced, Jeb is NOT your man.
The cocktail party last night was packed, probably over 400 people there. So it really presented an opportunity for the really tall guys to shine.
Fred Thompson and Bill Sammon stood out like two redwoods in a forest of scrub pines.
A Fred Thompson/Bill Sammon ticket would offer some major advantages. To wit:
- "We're really tall!" is not a half-bad campaign theme. Considering what we've ended up with recently, I'd vote on that basis.
- Families across America would tune in just for the spectacle of Fred and Bill in photo ops with Democrats or foreign dignitaries. You can just imagine in households across America: "Honey, the president and vice president will be meeting with the Chinese today. This oughta be good."
- Think of the children.
Here is Byron York.
Did not get to speak with him, unfortunately.
Richard Miniter and NR staffer Alexis, who served as meeting planner for the event.
The staff did a GREAT job - they kept everything on schedule with Mussolini-like exactitude. I know some things about running meetings and these folks are pros.
One suggestion: If there is going to be audience Q and A in the future, the following tactic might help keep the trains running even smoother. It's called the Foghorn Defense.
1) Bring four aerosal-powered foghorns for every audience mike. The devices can be procured from any boating supply store. If you have trouble, I can come up with them.
2) Give a foghorn to four audience members sitting forward and aft of each mike, directly on the aisle.
3) Instruct the audience as follows: "When you get up to ask your question, you will be expected to do so in 30 seconds or less. Each of the people holding foghorns will be permitted to blast you as soon as your speech becomes tiresome or 30 seconds have elapsed, whichever comes first."here is the panel discussion with Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and Rob Long. This was one golden hour, let me tell you. Tomorrow I will get a portion of it on YouTube with video, but give a listen - you won't regret it.
Sorry for the lack of timeliness with reporting but my cat ate the computer. Or, there was a lot of traffic. Or rather, I was counting my blog revenue and forgot.
Ok, ok, actually I woke up this morning with a keyboard-pattern imprint on my cheek, ran down to the conference, drove home, did a few things, and before you know it it's Sunday night. I still have to unpack my suitcase and will have some more media files posted a little later.
In the meantime, below is a link to Mitt Romney's speech.
Mitt Romney's speech. (Thanks to Pamela for the link).
About halfway through he explains his change of position on abortion - it's worth a listen (although I guess it's a story we're going to hear about 50 million more times during the next year and a half.)
The full round up of the NR Forum will take a couple days to gather; in the meantime here are some more highlights. This was one incredibly entertaining night.
Click on the media links below to hear Mark Steyn's extremely funny address to the members.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: A VERY BADLY WRITTEN PARAGRAPH WAS DELETED SO WE WILL BE TRYING TO THINK OF A BETTER ONE TO REPLACE IT. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS AT 3:00 AM, AND WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER BLOG AFTER THE LIQUOR STORES CLOSE].
Anyway, it will take another day to complete the Conference round up, but for now we will skip to tonight's activities and provide a couple media files.
This is good stuff.
(UPDATE: LINKS ARE FIXED - SORRY ABOUT THAT!!)
Here is Mark Steyn's introduction speech for Mitt Romney:
I only have a few minutes between events so this will be short, yet silly:
It seemed appropriate to get a photo of Rich Lowry up here since he's the emcee and NR head honcho, and it gives an excuse to create a post with a single photo.
Things you learn while trying to get a photo of Rich Lowry:
1) Rich turns out to be a bit of a blinker when talking, so in 9 of 10 his eyes will be closed.
2) Rich looks MUCH younger in real life than he does on TV.
I mean, I think Rich should be coloring his hair ... gray, to add gravitas.
Rich certainly needs to carry an ID ... and not in order to buy alcohol: in order to prove he's allowed to be out after midnight by himself.
When Rich answers the door to find a salesman there, the saleman always asks the same question: "Are either of your parents home?"
When Rich turns 55 I want to bring him down to my local 7-11 and send him in to buy a six pack ... in order to procure for him the Guiness world record for first retiree to be carded.
Hey, I kid because I love. When he turns 45 he'll definitely appreciate the youthful genes.
Part 2 (old man Lowry)
Part 3 (audio of Steyn's already-legendary speech introducing Mitt Romney)
Part 4 (mostly babbling, also the link to Romney's speech)
Part 5 (some nice photos, mostly forgettable commentary)
Part 6 (some really decent photos, though irrelevant)
Part 7 (with video of Jonah Goldberg, Mark Steyn and Rob Long) - not to be missed.
Part 8 (audio of the women's panel discussion and John Bolton)
The fine folks at National Review are hosting this amazing get together in DC this weekend and I am lucky enough to have the chance to tag along. Unfortunately, whoever is in charge of the programming is a few steps out of touch with reality because the early morning sessions feature some of the best content (Newt Gingrich tomorrow and the immigration debate Sunday).
This means I have to go to bed REALLY early, like before 4:00 am, which means no time for editorial comment tonight. So here are some pictures.
First person I met was on the elevator, trying to find the floor for the conference. Turns out it was none other than Pamela of the great blog Atlas Shrugs.
I did not get the chance to ask whether she fully understands the iconic power of that Superman outift, for boys who grew up in the 1960s.
Remember, I do this so you don't have to.
The reception featured one John Bolton, about whom some asked "are there any exploratory committees in the works, sir?"
The evening session was a femme-fest. Consequently, I don't feel guilty sticking with visual reporting.
Left to right: Kate O'Beirne, Mona Charon, Kathleen Lopez (K-Lo of NRO), Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham.
Laura Ingraham lit up the place, in my opinion. No surprise there, as she is the talker-by-trade; but she is awfully good at it. On the question of what is wrong with the Republican Party, the woman sparkled. Transcriptions should be available here next week.
And now some random shots:
Mona Charon and Kathleen Lopez
Here are the audio recordings of the panel discussion and John Bolton.
Patricia Phillips kicked off her campaign for the Virginia 33rd District Senate seat tonight in Ashburn, amidst a huge turnout of over 65 local Republicans and prominent area conservatives.
The Virginia budget has more than doubled in the past 10 years, and yet Virginia's population has only increased by 12%. Clearly, state government is expanding far too much. It should not take more and more money from hard-working people to fund these ever-expanding programs. And because government will always seek to overspend its revenues, I'm signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge tonight...
I promise you that I will work to restrain the growth of state government; I'll work to hold state government responsible for their core responsibilities, and especially when it comes to roads...
Governor Kaine and Senator Herring insist that we need a dedicated revenue source for roads. Using code words like "dedicated revenue sources," when you really mean tax increases, is really hogwash. Taxpayers already pay "dedicated revenue" taxes. It's called the gas tax and the state income tax. In order for the state government to fund over $1 billion in new road construction takes only 3% of the state budget, and so all we really need is for the General Assembly to reprioritize their spending.
The signed pledge certificate was handed to Sandra Fabry, State Government Affairs Manager of Americans for Tax Reform.
Also present were Morton Blackwell and James Na of the Arlington-based Leadership Institute.
Phillips' supporters were thrilled by the "who's who" turnout of local political and policy luminaries, but most encouraging was the sheer number of activists - many of them young - signing up to work for and contribute to the campaign.
Who else was there tonight? Check below the fold.
What I have seen, if properly investigated by the authorities, should reasonably lead to the criminal prosecution of an almost unprecedented number of public officials. David Ruttenberg has tried to use the courts to get this story told, and those courts have, for some reason, at least temporarily failed to allow a hearing of the evidence. Now it's time for that evidence to be presented to the public in a different way...
We'll be reporting on it here, but you need to visit BVBL regularly to stay fully apprised.
Having been on the receiving end of some government-mandated thuggery a couple times, I have a soft spot for those who go up against the Man.
1: "That's what I'm tellin' you man, I'm a contract worker. A day laborer in construction."
1: "So that's what I'm tellin' you. All you need to tell her is what you do. You don't need to be goin' into this and that, tellin' her something that you' not."
2: "I can tell her Ima spot welder making $25 an hour, what difference is that gonna make," he turned to me and flashed a smile of gold teeth. Looking at me, "She gonna see her money, I could be a spot welder makin' $25 an hour, how she gonna know?"
1: "But that's what I'm sayin' man, don't be stupid. Why would you tell her you something that you not? That's what I'm sayin'. Listen, the woman is a creature of God, right?"
A solid summary of the Marriage Amendmentâ€™s recent victory and the rejection of the hollow and deceptive rhetoric spread by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activists. I find the data that the majority of Virginia's youngest voters supported the Marriage Amendment the most heartening.
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Information Alert: Defining Victory
How does Virginia define marriage? For months The Family Foundation asked that question of those who openly lobbied to change the meaning of marriage and topple it from its unique place of public support and approval.
On November 7th, well over one million citizens of our Commonwealth provided the clear, definitive answer. Yes, Virginia, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. These voters saw that marriage was being threatened, undermined and redefined in places like Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Maryland, and most recently New Jersey - and they knew that they had to act.
As the final votes were counted, the marriage amendment won handily with nearly 60 percent of the vote. In fact, over 1.3 million Virginians voted for marriage between one man and one woman in an election where turnout was over 50 percent. Even in Northern Virginia, where "experts" in the media predicted a significant loss, the marriage amendment won two key counties - Loudoun and Prince William - easily. The amendment earned more votes than any Democrat or Republican candidate for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General in the last two statewide elections. In fact, the marriage amendment garnered nearly 150,000 more votes than the winning U.S. Senate candidate!
Ninety-two of ninety-five counties favored the amendment. In nine counties the marriage amendment earned over 80 percent of the vote! The amendment won handily in key counties and cities like Henrico, Chesterfield, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, places where the "experts" again said that people don't support "conservative" issues.
In addition, according to CNN exit polls, the marriage amendment gained support from 56 percent of African American voters, a key constituency in any campaign. It also won the majority of youngest voters, ages 18-29. This defies the conventional wisdom that the next generation is more accepting of same-sex marriage.
George Washington once observed, "Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected." Virginians are going to experience greater long term happiness because they responded to their moral duty to protect marriage, not only from the radical redefinition pushed by a militant pro-homosexual lobby and others who promote sexual relationships outside of marriage, but also from death by a thousand cuts--the slow incremental chipping away and undermining of marriage's place as the best place for a loving long-term relationship and the rearing of the next generation.
Virginians knew that marriage is associated with more positive outcomes for men, women and children. Marriage matters for the well being of Virginia citizens. No other relationship is so associated with a long, fulfilling life. None other promotes greater physical and mental health and psychological soundness. No other relationship correlates with reducing infant mortality so much. No other one generates more benefits for children.
The people of the Old Dominion perceived that it was not the unintended consequences that opponents feared, but the intended ones. For even if they would not admit it, amendment opponents knew that protecting marriage through this amendment would doom any plans to change, undermine or diminish marriage in Virginia, both for now and the foreseeable future.
Virginia rejected the false and deliberate machinations of those who wish to redefine our most fundamental institution. The opponent's desperate and strategically flawed efforts remind one of the old Beatles song, "Can't Buy Me Love." Opponents of the uniqueness of marriage found, much to their disappointment, that even a million dollars couldn't buy removing marriage from its unique place of honor and legal recognition.
Opponents found that their allegations of divisiveness were empty rhetoric - for few things so unite men and women, blacks and whites and Democrats and Republicans as marriage between a man and woman being good and right.
Virginians also rejected the extremism of amendment opponents. Unfortunately, opponents to the amendment stooped to incredible lows during the campaign. They lied, they stole, they vandalized, they verbally assaulted supporters, and on Election Day they even spit on volunteers passing out vote "YES" materials. Some of these incidents are being investigated by various law enforcement agencies in Virginia.
All these things Virginians wisely overcame.
So I commend Virginians for their wisdom, courage and insight in standing up for marriage in our Commonwealth. I know that vigilant Virginians will not allow this just, fair, good and true amendment to be undone. They know that they have done the right thing. They know that history will smile on their actions. They know their judgment will stand.
For all the fiery exchanges that go on here I think I can probably still accurately say that many individuals likely are giving of their time and hearts to help those in need. And while giving to Project Angeltree or tossing some coins in the Salvation Army tin are both grand ideas, few experiences work on creating a change in you so much as actually meeting the people you are hoping to help, talking with them about what is important to them, and understanding their needs enough to meet them adequately. It's one thing to dump an extra 10% into the offering plate and never have to leave your comfort zone. It's another thing to sign up to work, regularly throughout the year, alongside of the people you hope to serve. Get enlisted. Ability to speak Spanish is a plus!
Homosexual activists, behaving badly, provide a rich heritage of inappropriate behavior which I submit is one of the main reasons their various causes garner such poor support from the public at large. Sometimes they are flat out idiots, and other times just unpleasant. (So what is the deal with going after children? Do you have to be gay to understand that angle? I don't get it at all. You are ripping on the kid for supporting marriage. Your effort almost perfectly obliterates your goal, geniuses. MOST PARENTS WANT THEIR KIDS TO MARRY SOMEONE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. Ridiculing this girl certainly helps stamp you as an organization opposed to what most people believe.)
It will come as no great surprise that some local families had a bad experience this past Tuesday.
Here is a first-hand report from a Loudoun County mother, detailing what she and her kids had to deal with on election day:
November 11, 2006
Children and the Democratic Way
Every Election Day, I and my four daughters (ages 7, 9, 12, and 14) go to vote. They of course can't vote, because the oldest is only fourteen years old. But they do get an exercise in one of our greatest freedoms as Americans. This year was a little different. I received a call one day before Election Day and was invited to handout fliers supporting the Marriage Amendment for the State of Virginia, at the Lovettsville precinct, located in Loudoun County, Virginia. I am neither a member of the Democrat Party or the Republican Party. But I am a new Christian, and I would consider myself conservative. I jumped at the chance to engage my daughters in the political process. I, like many people, have high hopes and aspirations for my children. I received a bundle of fliers and distributed the bundle among myself, my four daughters, and one young child who is a good friend of my daughters. They faithfully lined up, beaming faces, ready to greet all and provide a flier to anyone who wanted one. My daughters exhibited enthusiasm at the simple task of saying, "sample ballot, sir/madam" and "Vote yes for marriage!" to voters passing by.
About fifteen minutes later, we began to receive piercing, angry stares from one of the Democrat volunteers, who had been handing out sample ballots and fliers opposing the Marriage Amendment. She made impolite remarks regarding my children's enthusiasm and their presence at the polling location. She threatened me and my children with removal. Her husband walked over to where I and my daughters were standing and began to confront my 14 year old daughter. He said, "This is tyranny you know, tyranny". I'm not sure what he thought could be gained by intimidating a young girl. A third volunteer with an irritated tone stated that "...children are not allowed and should not be allowed at polling locations". A fourth volunteer took me aside and informed me that "...fifty years ago in America, it was unlawful for a black to marry a white". She demanded to know why I supported the marriage amendment. I felt very uncomfortable with a fifth male volunteer who was attempting to speak about the marriage amendment to my daughters. When I motioned him to leave my daughters alone, he shouted, "I wanted to confuse the kids, but the mother won't let me!" A sixth volunteer (male) provided an unsolicited comment meant to support his misguided beliefs concerning traditional marriage. He asked, "Isn't the dowry system a traditional way of marriage!?" I retorted by saying, "Sir, this is America, not India!" I wondered if he was lost. By the way, I immigrated to the United States from India in 1977. I am a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. I have been a resident of Virginia for the past thirty years. I have been married to my American husband for the past seventeen years.
For the last year, prior to the election, we've heard the media disparage Christians, Conservatives, the Military, Republicans, and anyone else who didn't agree with their point of view. I guess the media and the liberals belong to the same family. They seem to believe the ends justify the means. Win at any cost. Threaten, lie, attack, accuse others of what you yourself are the most guilty of. Foment hate using false accusations of racism, twisted truths of the past, and if history doesn't support you, then invent your own version of the facts. My daughters received a lesson in politics and freedom, but not the one I intended for them to learn. Freedom isn't free. Standup when they try to push you down.
Liberals cry Freedom! They want the freedom to attack and pervert my children. They want the freedom to silence the opposition. They want the freedom to erase God, accountability, honor, and innocence. What they call freedom is slavery.
As we all know, the good people of Virginia resoundingly embraced the Marriage Amendment by a 17 point margin, and as such rejected the hollow and deceptive rhetoric coming from same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates.
Of course the opponents of the Marriage Amendment did their best to hide their true agenda (redefining marriage to permit same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ or at least leave the Commonwealth as vulnerable as possible to litigation designed to redefine marriage a la judicial decree)â€¦ their million dollar campaign was very slick and time and time again we heard them lament that if the Marriage Amendment passed all these horrendous â€œunintended consequencesâ€ would descend upon unmarried Virginians. They never once mentioned same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ (what they call marriage â€œequalityâ€) in their TV and radio ads and it rarely appeared in their coordinated letters to the editor, etc. Basically their effort was nothing but a bait-and-switch Trojan horse campaign.
For those who contest this fact (and maybe even bought into their â€œunintended consequencesâ€ BSâ€¦ the same stuff they were pushing a few years back when HB 751 passed) I suggest you read the post-defeat message coming from the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition. Iâ€™ve placed the entire email below the fold, but here are some juicy tidbits. Please note that their message does not mourn the terrible â€œunintended consequencesâ€ that will result now that the Marriage Amendment has passedâ€¦ in fact they barely even mention them, if at all. Instead they talk about leaving the â€œGLBT community stronger politically and financiallyâ€ and that the fight for â€œjustice and equalityâ€ (read: same-sex â€œmarriageâ€) will continue. Their parting message is an invitation to activist forums being held by Virginiaâ€™s leading proponents of the redefinition of marriage-- â€œEquality Virginia.â€ Witness their true agenda laid bare (emphasis mine):
â€œFrom the outset of this campaign, we had two goals: to win the campaign at the ballot box and to leave Equality Virginia and the GLBT community in Virginia stronger politically and financially.â€
â€œThere are real, tangible positive results from this campaign that will benefit Equality Virginia and the gay and lesbian community for years to come.â€
â€œ[We] identified tens of thousands of gay-friendly voters to help build our political clout for future legislative battles and elections in 2007 and beyond.â€
â€œI am ready to "reinvest" in the effort to move Virginia forward toward a day when all Virginians achieve full equality and my friends in the GLBT community are accorded the full measure of dignity and respect that is their inalienable right.â€
Itâ€™s good to see the true agenda exposed for all to see. I suppose it made political sense to cloak their message in deceptive terms that could successfully be used to mislead commonsense voters who reject same-sex â€œmarriage" under any name, but that doesnâ€™t make it right.
Anywaysâ€¦ 1,327,783 Virginians obviously saw through the Commonwealth Coalitionâ€™s charadeâ€¦ despite being outspent 4-1 and having the MSM relentlessly push the oppositionâ€™s talking points day in and day out. Virginiaâ€™s Bill of Rights now protects the definition of marriage and will ensure that an unelected Virginia judge does not radically redefine this Natural Law institutionâ€¦ and thus help to ensure that no child is willfully denied a mom or a dad.
In addition to Virginia, six other states embraced constitutional amendments designed to protect marriage:
Colorado: 56% Yes, 44% No
Idaho: 63% Yes, 37% No
South Carolina: 78% Yes, 22% No
South Dakota: 52% Yes, 48% No
Tennessee: 80% Yes, 20% No
Wisconsin: 59% Yes, 41% No
There are now 27 states with such amendments. The first loss occurred in Arizona by a narrow margin of 49% Yes and 51% No. Truly desperate for any kind of victory, same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ proponents are spinning this one hardâ€¦ claiming it is a sign of â€œtime being on their sideâ€ and portraying the tens of millions who have embraced marriage as the union of one-man and one-woman as reactionary bigots on the verge of defeat. Obviously this couldnâ€™t be further from the truth.
The reason why the Marriage Amendment (Proposition 107) failed in Arizona by ~30,000 votes should be quite clear. It was certainly not an indication of support (in any shape or form) of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ rather it was the product of confusing ballot language and a $2.1 million campaign even more deceptive than the one we witnessed here in Virginia.
Here is what, in part, the ballot language said in Arizona:
"A no vote shall have the effect of retaining the current laws regarding marriage, including a statutory ban on same-sex marriage."
With just a quick reading of this description and little background information, a voter could believe a â€œnoâ€ vote was a vote against same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Given that the far more liberal state of Wisconsin (lacking such a messy explanation) passed a similar amendment by a healthy margin, this was the obvious deal-breaker and resulted in a tight race.
Additionally, the anti-Marriage Amendment crowd spent $2.1 million (more than twice what their allies spent hereâ€¦ and with a much less costly media environment) on a Trojan Horse campaign against â€œtaking away domestic partner benefits.â€ Their ads claimed (without any legal credibility) that the Marriage Amendment would:
â€œâ€¦limit Social Security incomes, and children of domestic partners will lose medical insurance.... Why take away domestic benefits, legal protection and healthcare? Vote no on Prop 107."
For more information on their straw-man campaign, please see their website. As in Virginia, Marriage was never mentioned by the opposition and thus the outcome cannot be interpreted as support for same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Thankfully, Arizona has solid courts (for now) and they have recently upheld the statutory protections for marriage. This should give the citizens more time to regroup and submit a slightly modified amendment to the people (hopefully without such an awful ballot explanation).
Now that the Commonwealthâ€™s definition of marriage is enshrined in the Constitution the struggle to protect and honor the institutions of marriage and family is far from over.
Many opponents of the Marriage Amendment rightfully pointed out that there are severe threats to marriage in addition to radical redefinition under law (although they illogically tried to argue that because there were other threats we should ignore the one posed by the redefinition of civil marriage). Some examples of these threats are the rampant and growing divorce rate leading to broken homes (just look at the wonderful example being set by Britney Spears), infidelity, and a general lack of respect for life and the amazing blessing of children. Many of these issues are outside of the realm of civil law and are issues of the culture around us. I believe the first and most important thing we can do to reaffirm and restore the honor and dignity of marriage and family is to fulfill our lifelong vows to our spouse and place them first in our lives (above careers, money, or possessions)â€¦ and we must be open to the life-giving love that flows within the marital relationship and instill the value of family in any children with which we may be blessed. We are surrounded by a corrosive culture focused on the immediate gratification of our personal desires above the greater goodâ€¦ everyone is constantly claiming a â€œrightâ€ to have what they want regardless of the consequences on others and society (abortion on demand is a tragic example as is the action of same-sex couples using in-vitro fertilization to create a child they want with the intention of denying he/she his/her father or mother). However, I believe the influence of the family is more powerful than the influence of our self-centered culture and with dedication, prayer, and focus we can overcome all obstacles.
I will be in Sterling this weekend handing out buddy poppies with the VFW. Come visit with us and wear your poppy proudly. Donations will be accepted and go to support needy veterans.
Virginia Catholic Bishops Applaud Votersâ€™ Decision on Marriage Amendment
On behalf of Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) Executive Director Jeff Caruso issued the following statement regarding yesterdayâ€™s outcome on Ballot Question Number One, which succeeded by a 14-point margin:
â€œYesterday, large numbers of citizens across our Commonwealth voted to affirm, protect, and preserve the institution of marriage as designed by God and as passed on from one generation to the next throughout human history.
â€œVirginiaâ€™s Catholic bishops have been pleased to offer their perspective on the importance of safeguarding this bedrock institution over the course of the debate on the marriage amendment, and to join their voices to those of many others whose roles were instrumental to this significant outcome. In the end, though, the decisive statement on the issue came from Virginiaâ€™s voters. Given the decisions that courts in some other states have imposed on their citizens with no public input, Virginians clearly appreciated the opportunity to decide this matter for themselves.
â€œThe bishops also wish to commend Delegate Robert Marshall and Senator Stephen Newman for sponsoring the amendment, the Family Foundation and va4marriage.org for their persistent and effective leadership in organizing grassroots support among individuals representing a diversity of faith traditions, nearly 200 Catholic parishes across Virginia for distributing diocesan-approved educational materials on the ballot question to their parishioners, and the Virginia Knights of Columbus for assisting parishes in the dissemination of those materials.â€
The VCC is the public-policy agency of the Virginia Catholic bishops and their two dioceses. The VCC delivered over 100,000 copies (available in English and Spanish) of the bishopsâ€™ pastoral letter on the marriage amendment and an accompanying â€œquestion and answerâ€ piece to 194 parishes and two Catholic campus-ministry organizations. These materials were also printed in the official newspapers of both dioceses and sent to their 133,000 subscribing households. Further information is available online at www.vacatholic.org.
CNN reports that the good people of the Commonwealth have embraced the Marriage Amendment and rejected the hollow rhetoric of the anti-Marriage Amendment/pro same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ crowd. Congratulations Virginia!!!
Itâ€™s gut-check time. In a little over 30 hours the polls will close on one of the most important elections in Virginia history. Please click here to send an e-card to your friends, co-workers and family reminding them to vote YES for Marriage tomorrow!
Below is the final message from the Family Foundation/VA4Marriage regarding our historic opportunity to elevate existing principles into the Virginia Constitution in order to protect marriage from judicial assault. The Commonwealth should never be forced, via unelected judges, to support and embrace relationships that willfully create motherless or fatherless homes. Children deserve both a mom and a dad. Iâ€™ve been so encouraged and blessed to meet some amazing volunteers on this campaign and I look forward to celebrating with them tomorrow! Now get out there and spread the word, work the polls, and finish strong!
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Monday, November 6, 2006
Action Alert: VOTE "YES" FOR MARRIAGE
This is my last opportunity to reach out to you, the voters of Virginia, and say "Vote YES" for marriage during tomorrow's crucial election. If polls are any indication, the battle over the amendment is much closer than we'd like. While we are very confident the amendment will pass, we cannot take a single vote for granted. I urge you to go to the polls tomorrow to vote YES on the marriage amendment.
From our perspective, we have been frustrated by two campaign situations that I know have also frustrated our supporters. The first has been the refusal of amendment opponents like the ACLU and the "Commonwealth Coalition" to debate the actual issue, same-sex marriage. They have hidden behind their lie of unintended consequences because they are afraid to talk about same-sex marriage or polygamy or how they actually want to define marriage. We have challenged them in debate after debate, through the media, and through an actual fax request. Unfortunately, they have refused to answer the question.
Perhaps it is because they know Virginians will overwhelmingly reject their fluid definition of marriage. In fact, on the www.beyondmarriage.org web site, opponents of amendments like ours in Virginia say they support "Legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households and families - regardless of kinship or conjugal status." My guess is you won't see that on our opponents campaign signs or in their advertisements. But that is exactly what they want.
The second frustration has been some of the media in Virginia. Too many of our friends in the "mainstream media" have refused to question opponent's claims. If we ever tired to repeat a lie like the "unintended consequences" line our opponents have used, reporters would have investigated and dismissed it. The media can look to all 20 states that have already passed marriage amendments and they will find no unintended consequences. They can look to the passage of the Virginia same-sex unions ban, and the defense of marriage act, and find no unintended consequences. They can look at Attorney General Bob McDonnell's official opinion of the Marriage Amendment, and the Virginia State Board of Election's authorized explanation, and again they refuse. To date, only two newspaper editorial pages that we are aware of in Virginia have supported the amendment. This disconnect of the media from the electorate has caused many of you to call our office. We share your frustration. The only way to let them know how you feel is to vote "YES" on November 7th.
I would also like to take the time to thank the thousands of volunteers, and donors who have become a part of this campaign. Our grassroots efforts have been incredible and have far outshone our opponent's attempts to organize. You have been steadfast in the face of opposition at fair booths, rallies, and other events all across Virginia. They can steal our yard signs, peel off our bumper stickers, throw our literature back at us, and fire our supporters from their jobs, but they cannot steal what is in your heart - the simple truth that marriage is God's design, created by Him for one man and one woman.
So now, it is time to finish the job at hand. All of us, you and I, our neighbors, church members and friends, need to work the polls and Vote YES tomorrow. Together, we can take this necessary step to ensure a pro-family Virginia for years to come!
Send a Last Minute eCard
If you have not already done so, please go to www.va4marriage.org/ecard and send a get-out-the-vote eCard to friends and family, urging them to vote in favor of the marriage amendment tomorrow. This is a quick and simple way to get the message out!
Vote YES Signs to the Polls
Because so many of our "Vote YES" yard signs have been stolen or defaced by our opponents we are running low and do not have enough signs to cover all the voting precincts in Virginia tomorrow. If you have a yard sign, please take it with you to your voting precinct tomorrow when you go to vote and place it among the other political signs you will see. We want to make sure that voters see "Vote YES" signs as they approach their voting precinct.
Don't forget to plan to join us for our "Victory Party" tomorrow evening at the Richmond Convention Center from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The Convention Center is the same location where we have held our December Gala the last several years.
Tomorrow evening evening, all of the hard work we have put since those initial votes on the marriage amendment in January of 2005 will come to fruition! Please plan to join us for a fun celebration of victory!
Parking will be limited around the Convention Center so be sure to get there early!
As reported here the other day, members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Steve Simpson have agreed on contacting ICE to discuss obtaining immigration enforcement authority for Sheriff's Office personnel. Sheriff Simpson will be reporting on his meeting with ICE representatives in the next few weeks.
I just watched the archived video of the meeting with Sheriff Simpson and want to note how impressed I am with the apparent roundly positive appraisal of the ICE 287(g) progam.
You can watch the video here.
(Click the "View Video" link on the right side of the "Committee of the Whole Meeting" entry for October 17, 2006. It's truncated at the beginning but you can get the gist from the roughly five minutes shown.)
I'm as guilty as any blogger of spending more time tearing things down than building anything up, so I want to repeat my thank you to the Loudoun Board. Particularly on the issue of illegal immigration, many citizens have gotten the idea their elected officials are living in another galaxy from their own. Our representatives in Leesburg have shown they do care about what is happening in local communities.
Supervisors Lori Waters, Sally Kurtz, Jim Clem and Bruce Tulloch all made sensible observations at the meeting.
Thanks especially to Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio for initiating the meeting with Sheriff Simpson. Eugene has been on the cutting edge of dealing with this local problem and the residents of Sterling Park (and Herndon) are grateful for his efforts.
It takes a big man to take the lead on a controversial topic. It takes an even bigger man to pose with a giant taco.
[In the photo (left to right): Eugene Delgaudio, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors â€“ Sterling District; Chip, California Tortilla mascot; Mark Dunn, owner, Ashburn/Brambleton California Tortilla, are all smiles after cutting the ceremonial â€œfirst burritoâ€ and welcoming hundreds of hungry Loudoun County residents and workers into California Tortilla.]
Support the National Right to Life - Christmas is just around the corner!
They smack but we smack back.
Well, well, well.
WELL WELL WELL.
WELL-EE, WELL-EE, WELL-EE, WELL-EE, WELL-EE!!!
The plan is completed, the worm has turned, and the wheel of Karma has come full-circle.
Our 'Amnesty Week' ploy has apparently snared its chickadee and caged its minnow. We've now got the cukes in the bushel basket, if you will. Our treasured visitor and beloved commenter Kevin, as dainty a morsel as I ever grew fat on, has invited me, myself, moi to contribute to his maniacal blog, which is, I must say, ripe for the plucking.
If you are not already visiting Dismantling Leviathon you should slap yourself three times. If you're not visiting by the time I get done with it, you should look once in the mirror to say goodbye and throw your sorry self off a cliff.
All hyperbole aside, I am pleased to announce I have been invited to guest blog at Kevin's place with an invitation for "anything free association, post-modern, political, or otherwise."
I plan to hit pretty heavily on the "otherwise" theme over there. Do stop on by.
Tomorrow I'm off to my favorite city in Virginia and I won't be back until Sunday so in the event that Amnesty Week is over I would like to thank a very gracious Joe and the members of this forum for trusting me with access to post here. I wish I'd taken more advantage of my time and posted more thought out and interesting material but like our fair Executive Branch, hindsight is 20/20. I might squeak one more in tonight but in the event that I don't, thank you.
"NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, on the issue of terrorism, I agree with Dr. Ben-Ami's definition. It's the indiscriminate targeting of civilians to achieve political ends. That's a capsule definition, but I think for our purposes it suffices. What does the record show? Let's limit ourselves to just the Second Intifada, from September 28 to the present. The period for that period, the record shows approximately 3,000 Palestinians have been killed, approximately 900 Israelis have been killed. On the Palestinian side and the Israeli side â€” I'm now using the figures of B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories â€” on the Palestinian and the Israeli side roughly one-half to two-thirds of the total number were civilians or bystanders. And if you look at the findings of the human rights supports â€” B'Tselem, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, and so forth â€” they all say that Israel uses reckless indiscriminate fire against Palestinians, and B'Tselem says when you have so many civilian casualties, you have, you know, 600 Palestinian children who have been killed, which is the total number of Israeli civilians killed. 600 Palestinian children killed.
They said when you have so much, so many civilians killed â€” I don't particularly like the phrase "collateral damage" â€” when you have so many civilians killed, B'Tselem says it hardly makes a difference whether you are purposely targeting them or not, the state has responsibility. So, you could say Israel â€” using numbers, now â€” is responsible for three times as much terrorism in the Occupied Territories as Palestinians against Israel. That's the question of terrorism.
Let's turn to an ancillary issue: the issue of torture. Now, the estimates are, up to 1994-1995, that Israel tortured â€” and I'm using the language of Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem â€” Israel has tortured tens of thousands of Palestinian detainees. Israel was the only country in the world, the only one, which had legalized torture from 1987 to 1999. The record on torture, on house demolitions and on targeted â€”
SHLOMO BEN-AMI: 1999 is when we came to office.
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, I wish that were â€” I wish that were the saving grace, but . . .
The House has passed HR 6061 and now the ball is in the Senate's court.
You can contact your Senator via the NumbersUSA 'action buffet' site.
Yes folks, it's that time of year, as summer draws to a close and we return to work in all its forms. Off with the bathing suits, on with the cowboy boots, and the scent of hustings fills the air. Don't look now but November's right around the corner.
November 2007, that is.
Count me in with all of the above.
Click on the link below to continue. If a picture is worth a thousand words then the pictures below are worth, like, the entirety of all human writing since the Sumerians.
The next meeting of Help Save Loudoun will be this Wednesday, Aug 30, 7:00 pm at Cascades Library. We will be meeting in the upstairs conference room.
This will be a relatively short organizational/membership meeting to go over a few business items and plans for the coming months. It won't take much of your time but it would be very helpful if you could stop by if you are interested in what is planned and if you want to help determine the future direction. I hope to see you Wednesday.
This story is a sign of the times. Two Border Patrol agents are in the process of being royally screwed by the U.S. legal system, primarily because they are Hispanics who "turned against their own." Please read and respond to this Guard the Borders Blogburst by Euphoric Reality.
You can read the entire account of the case in this Daily Bulletin article written by Sara Carter, but there are a few things you need to know up front:
This is a huge story which we will be covering in much more detail on this blog. In short, the town of Hazelton, PA has tried to do what numerous municipalities are also intending to do, and now they are being sued for it. The resolution of this suit will likely determine the fate of similar efforts throughout the U.S.
This is from the mayor of Hazelton, Lou Barletta:
I believe the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. People who are in this country have an incredible amount of opportunities and blessings. But some people have taken advantage of Americaâ€™s openness and tolerance. Some come to this country and refuse to learn English, creating a language barrier for city employees. Others enter the country illegally and use government services by not paying taxes or by committing crime on our streets, further draining resources here in Hazleton.
Recent crimes â€“ such as a high-profile murder, the discharge of a gun at a crowded city playground, and drug busts â€“ have involved illegal immigrants. Some of those allegedly involved in those crimes were detained by other law enforcement officials over the years, but were somehow allowed to remain in this country. They eventually migrated into Hazleton, where they helped create a sense of fear in the good, hardworking residents who are here legally.
Illegal aliens in our City create an economic burden that threatens our quality of life.
With a growing problem and a limited budget, I could not sit back any longer and allow this to happen. I needed to act! Thatâ€™s why I drafted the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, a measure designed to say enough is enough...
Click here to sign the online petition in support of Mayor Barletta and the law-abiding residents of Hazelton, and click here to donate to the legal defense fund.
This is a reminder that Help Save Loudoun is meeting tonight at 7:00 pm at Cascades Library in Sterling.
Our guest speaker will be a representative from the Loudoun County Gang Response Intervention Team, answering question about gang activity in Northern Virginia and what citizens can do about it.
For the second half of the meeting, we will cover other issues related to illegal immigration, including follow up on a few topics brought up at our August 1 NOVA TownHall meeting. Many of the attendees present were not able to get any comments or questions in because of the limited time available, so this will be an opportunity to continue that discussion.
I just finished reading a great column by Michael Medved on the issue of same-sex "marriage" and the intrinsic differences between men and women. Medved's piece is concise, well reasoned and articulates the principles I think many of us here at NOVA TownHall have been grappling with for a few months nowâ€¦ definitely worth a read. Here is a good seized excerpt:
If, then, society has achieved a new consensus -- near unanimity, in fact-- on the issue of the significance of gender differences, it ought to be possible to reach more widespread agreement on key elements of the same sex marriage debate. If men and women remain irreducibly different, itâ€™s dishonest to suggest that marrying a man is the precise equivalent of marrying a woman. That doesnâ€™t mean that a male-male relationship is evil, or decadent, or doomed, but it does mean that itâ€™s hugely, inarguably different in its very essence from a male-female relationship --- or, for that matter, from a female-female relationship. Man-woman connections involve a fusion of opposites in a primal, elemental way that same sex associations canâ€™t replicate. You may believe that this binding of the two genders is no better â€“ or perhaps even less beneficial â€“ than a connection between two people of the same sex, but no honest observer can maintain that homosexual and heterosexual relationships are indistinguishable or interchangeable. The endlessly repeated argument of gay union advocates that â€œwe donâ€™t want to change the institution of marriage, we want to expand the institution of marriageâ€ is deceitful on its face. Of course the expansion of matrimony to include same sex couples involves a huge alteration in the long-standing definition of marital dynamics. It requires the abandonment of the timeless notion that bringing male-and-female together in intimacy achieves special power not just because of the reproductive potential but because of the combination of two vastly different genders. A love between people of the same gender may be beautiful, sentimental, even noble, but itâ€™s not he same thing as the union of male-and female. The basis of the natural family has always arisen from the idea of a â€œMarriage of Oppositesâ€ â€“ and that phrase serves as the title of the forthcoming book by my own better half, psychologist and author Dr. Diane Medved.
This recognition answers one more of the constantly invoked arguments of the activists who seek to redefine marriage. â€œWhy is it a threat to your marriage,â€ they ask, â€œif the government gives similar recognition to the marriage of two guys or two women in gay relationships?â€
The response ought to be obvious: the problem with gay marriage isnâ€™t that it harms my marriage, or yours, but that it changes the institution of marriage â€“ for my children, my grandchildren, and all future generations. It downplays the essential, irrevocable nature of gender differences â€“ and serves to undermine the crucial importance of gender specific roles in all relationships. A gay couple might claim that they fill distinctive roles in their relationship â€“ with one woman working hard to support the family, for instance, while the other cooks and decorates and nourishes the kids. But choosing complementary roles for the sake of convenience or preference isnâ€™t the same as recognizing that these contrasting approaches arise from your very essence as a man or a woman. Thereâ€™s something arbitrary, synthetic and, indeed, temporary about a same sex couple attempting to imitate a heterosexual marriage by fulfilling distinct responsibilities in the relationship.
If you, like many of us here and across Virginia, agree with Medvedâ€™s above points and believe that marriage is the union of one-man and one-woman and no child should be willfully denied a mother or a fatherâ€¦ then get out there and support the Marriage Amendment! You can sign-up to do so here.
For Release: July 14, 2006 Contact: J. Tucker Martin or David Clementson Phone: 804-786-2071 Website: www.vaag.com
ALEXANDRIA - Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell hosted the first formal meeting of his Youth Internet Safety Task Force today in Alexandria. Meeting at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Task Force heard from the Attorney General and other national leaders in the effort to protect children online, watched demonstrations on Internet safety by public safety professionals, and broke into working groups to begin the process of formulating new legislation and new proposals to safeguard Virginia children online.
Speaking on the first meeting, McDonnell noted, â€œTodayâ€™s event marked the beginning of a concerted effort to keep Virginia children safe online. When I was growing up, not far from where we met today, in Fairfax County, my parents gave me common-sense advice, the kind of caution most adults received as children: Donâ€™t talk to strangers, donâ€™t get in a strangerâ€™s car. Now, in the 21st century, we have to adapt our advice to children to reflect the high-tech world in which they live.â€
McDonnell continued, â€œToday, the world comes right into your office and living room. Unfortunately, criminals are using the Internet as the new frontier for committing sex offenses and identity theft against minors. With so much of the nationâ€™s Internet traffic moving through Virginia, we must protect children and our citizens in order to keep the Internet a great tool for information exchange, communication and electronic commerce. This Task Force will find real ways to accomplish this goal.â€
State and national leaders in attendance today included, Dr. Billy K. Cannaday, Jr, State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Col. Steve Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police; Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; John Ryan, Vice President and Chief Counsel for American Online/Time Warner; Rick Lane from MySpace.com; Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg); Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover); Del. Robert Hurt (R- Chatham); and Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, among many others.
This past session of the General Assembly, Attorney General McDonnell successfully spearheaded a comprehensive reform of the Virginia laws regarding sexually violent predators. Combating sexually violent predators using the Internet is the next phase of this effort. The Attorney Generalâ€™s Computer Crime Unit, which prosecutes cases across Virginia, has found that sexual predators are using popular social networking sites such as MySpace.com, and Facebook.com, to interact with and threaten younger users of the web.
The mission of the Youth Internet Safety Task Force is to find and recommend methods of further protecting Virginiaâ€™s children and teenagers on the Internet with new laws or regulations, tools for law enforcement, education programs for schools, kids and parents, and business partnerships. For further information on the Youth Internet Safety Task Force please visit this link.
That's not me in the picture. I'm a giant walking marshmallow man, the form that the Traveler, Gozer the Gozerian took when he returned to destroy the world. During the rectification of the Vuldronaii the Traveler came as a large, moving Torb. Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants they chose a new form for himâ€”that of a giant Sloar. Many Shubs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day, I can tell you.
You will all agree, I assume, that this heartbreaking narrative levels the ideological playing field:
Today, at least, we are all Marshmallow Men.
If trying lots of different kinds of beer, and having to work a little for each 6 ounces, sounds like fun, you should head over to the Old Dominion Brewfest this weekend.
You have to use these little 6 ounce glasses, and then buy round pogs - tokens - for a dollar a piece, and then trade one pog for one fill up at any of about 50 microbrewery exhibits. The basic drill is, go though the line, trade a pog for a fill up, then get in another line and drink and chat until you get to the next keg. The timing works out just about right, I found.
I'm no longer a beer drinker, so I only tried a few, and anyways that is not what I am here to report about.
The focus of my report tonight is, how life is just a little bit cuter when you're a Republican.
Yesterday was the groundbreaking on the 9-11 Pentagon Memorial. As a Northern Virginia resident with many friends who work in the Pentagon (and worked there on that September morning in 2001), this issue hits close to home. Please follow the link and do what you can to support the memorial.
Dear Fellow American,
We all remember where we were on September 11, 2001 when our country was attacked by terrorists. The victims who were murdered that day in the World Trade Center, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and in the Pentagon must never be forgotten.
My younger brother, David Laychak, died that day in the Pentagon attack. He left behind his wife and two young children. His loss is something that will always be a part of their lives and of mine.
Four and a half years ago, friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers were there to provide comfort, solace and friendship during a very difficult time. People still ask what they can do to help. My answer is simple. Help us build the Pentagon Memorial.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Memorial will take place today, June 15, 2006. For the family members who lost loved ones in the Pentagon attack, this is a day we have looked forward to for over four years. Rosemary Dillard lost her husband, Eddie in the Pentagon attack. She shares her thoughts about the memorial, "I live to make sure this memorial is built. I live to see them lift that first shovelful of earth from the ground."
I want to make sure the world does not forget my brother, David and Rosemary's husband, Eddie who are only two of the 184 people who died at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, 59 passengers and crewmembers aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and 125 service members and civilians working in the Pentagon that morning. All the families hope that the completed memorial will be a place where everyone can come to remember, reflect and renew.
Remember the victims who were killed because they were doing nothing other than living their daily lives like you and I do every day.
Reflect on the events that occured that warm September Tuesday morning that have changed our country forever and through this tragedy find solace, peace and healing.
Renew our commitment to build a place where we can honor the family members, friends and colleagues that were lost and come away with a feeling of hope.
My hope is that if your travels bring you to Washington, DC, you will be able to visit this memorial and know that you were a big part of making it possible. Your support today will help us build and sustain the memorial for all to remember, reflect and renew on the events of September 11, 2001.
I wish you and your family well and thank you for your generosity.
James J. Laychak, President
Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc.
Brother of Dave Laychak
P.S. You have a unique opportunity to be part of history by helping us build the Pentagon Memorial to remember the innocent victims who were murdered in the Pentagon attack on 9/11. Please help us ensure future generations never forget what happened on September 11, 2001. And please forward this email to all of your friends. Thank you.
P.P.S. We also welcome you to visit our re-designed website, www.PentagonMemorial.net where you can sign up for email updates, see renderings of the Memorial, share your personal story and sign our guestbook.
Perhaps for this Memorial Day you did not have the opportunity to tour Washington DC to view firsthand the monuments and historical relics that give this holiday its significance. Well, you didn't have to, because Cathouse Chat did.
Go read and view her travelogue now. Whether or not you've done the DC thing, you will appreciate this excellent annotated tour.
Thanks, CC - great job
The NOVA4Marriage site is up. Expect to hear much more about the Virginia Marriage Amendment in the coming weeks and months.
I will be in Sterling this weekend handing out Buddy Poppies with the VFW.
All donations go to a fund to benefit veterans and their families in need of financial assistance.
Come see us at the following Sterling locations:
Giant (Cascades and Town Center)
Safeway (Sterling Park and Countryside)
Everyone in the U.S. who has an interest in sanity in government policy should take a close look at what the Help Save Herndon people have accomplished.
They have launched the ultimate shot across the bow, presaging the essential conflict of modern American politics. If you appreciate the revolution Help Save Herndon has started, click the Make a Donation button on their Web site to support them financially.
Also, please support the Minutemen.
If you are in the habit of sending money to a political party, I suggest you consider adding or diverting part of your planned contribution to one of these two groups.
I am a Republican, for example, and will continue to support local Republican candidates. But I will also be supporting these groups in order to promote better policies for the future of America.
NOVA TownHall has a great pair of meetings set for June 2006. And because they are on different dates next month, you can actually attend both if you want.
On June 6, in Leesburg, the speaker will be J. Michael Waller (mentioned in this blog post by No Relation) on the topic of immigration as viewed from BOTH sides of the border.
On June 20, in Sterling (for the Herndon/Sterling group) our speakers will be Ann Null, former member of the Herndon Town Council and a key voice in advocating sensible immigration policies in this area, and Linda Muller of forethecause.us. The topic will be The Herndon Elections, November 2006 Elections, and Beyond.
More information including locations can be found here.
We'll have more detailed program information as we get closer to the meeting dates.
This article should serve as a reminder that NOVA TownHall is unique in that we are far more than just a blog- we are a group of dedicated conservative activists who organize events and activities with the aim of improving our government and community.
Any conservative activists in Northern Virginia who have yet to attend one of our monthly events (held at multiple locations across the region) should check us out. Congrats to the Leesburg group for holding such a successful event!
The first review of Donkey Cons, a new book co-authored by Washington Times editor Robert Stacy McCain, is up over at that whacked-out 'Alpaca something or other' site.
Apparently the media blitz begins in a week. Despite the puckish title it sounds like Donkey Cons could be a pretty significant book. Undoubtedly it will be a significant media event at least for the requisite 15 minutes.
I've spoken with McCain before and he is a real piece of work: If you get the opportunity to see him on the usual round of cable news shows during the next couple weeks be sure to tune in - you won't be disappointed.
On a lighter bi-partisan note, today Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling is supporting â€œReading Across America Dayâ€ and stressing the importance of reading to children in Virginia with a PSA for Comcast that will play on over 40 cable channels.
Now we all know Bollingâ€™s favorite childrenâ€™s book is The Cat in The Hat. Press release is below the fold.
South Dakota Governor Michael Rounds is showing some real courage in standing up and fighting the holocaust of abortion. Many moderates have been pressuring him to avoid signing (or to outright veto) the recently passed abortion ban (which is obviously designed to bring the full issue of Roe before SCOTUS) because they fear political fallout among suburban women. However it appears Governor Rounds refuses to cast aside this effort to protect innocent pre-born children for partisan political reasons or to advance his own career. CQ Politics has this great quote that sums up the Governor's perspective:
â€œBut, any movement which we can make [toward] that ultimate goal would save lives,â€ he said. â€œAnd thatâ€™s what I use as my ultimate determining factor as to whether or not we are making progress is: Are we saving lives?â€
In Virginia weâ€™re lucky to have folks like McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli who arenâ€™t ashamed or afraid to vocally support the most innocent among us. But we need more folks like these who are pragmatic leaders willing to advance all the concerns of their constituents while remaining true to their fiscal conservative principles and remaining willing to support the matters of life and family which affect us all. It will be a great day when the humanity of the child in-utero is no longer denied but to get there we need more men and women of courage and conviction in public office.
UPDATED: I just saw this great article on the South Dakota situation at Life News. I didn't realize Governor Rounds had vetoed a previous ban to protect other pro-life legislation. He's dedicated and clearly this isn't just some political move, rather it is a serious effort to save lives.
When the state legislature previously sent him the abortion ban, Rounds issued a veto because the measure would have wiped all of South Dakota's pro-life laws off the books while the legislation was tied up in court. Rounds has indicated that staff attorneys are checking to make sure that isn't the case this time and that there aren't any other unintended problems that could occur. Both sides expect Rounds to sign the bill and lawmakers say the problems he cited last time have been corrected.
Below is a message from the Virginia Conservative Action Pac (VCAP), one of the groups organizing citizens to oppose the absurd tax hike being pushed in the GA by Governor Kaine and his liberal Republican allies. All Virginians must rise up and oppose this unnecessary effort to hoist new taxes on our families.
This week is crossover for the 2006 session of the General Assembly, when bills crossover to the opposite chamber. How stands the cause of freedom, of low taxes, and of limited government?
As has been the story since 2004, it is a tale of two houses.
In the House of Delegates, conservatives stood together â€“ joined by even those who voted to increase taxes two years ago â€“ and rejected Gov. Kaineâ€™s tax increase for transportation.
In the Senate, once again a unanimous vote from the Senate Finance Committee reported a $1 billion tax hike. Senator John Chichester called the measure â€œa good start.â€
The House of Delegates passed legislation prohibiting in-state college tuition to those who are illegally in this country.
The Senate passed legislation making it easier for illegal aliens to receive in-state college tuition.
The House of Delegates again passed legislation requiring abortion clinics to meet minimum standards currently in place for ambulatory surgery centers.
The Senate has assigned this measure to its Education & Health Committee â€“ which has killed it for the past three years.
The good news about the first half of the 2006 session is that conservatives are standing firm. And because you supported VCAPâ€™s efforts in last yearâ€™s primaries, House Republicans who might be willing to vote for tax increases want nothing to do with an increase this year.
The bad news is that the Senate continues to be run by liberal Republicans aligned with Democrats and dedicated to taxing and taxing and spending and spending.
The good or bad news â€“ depending on what we do together â€“ is that a house divided against itself cannot stand. The governing majority in the General Assembly â€“ supposedly a conservative one â€“ cannot remain half pro-tax and half pro-tax-cut. It cannot remain half big government and half individual freedom. It will become all of one or all of the other.
That is the message of crossover. What choice will conservatives make?
Senate taxers have made it clear that they want a tax hike. Gov. Kaine has made it clear he wants one. It again falls on House Republicans to take a stand.
What happens over the next 45 days will go a long way in determining which way this divided house will go.
Once again VCAP is taking the fight to the tax- raisers with your help.
We provided grassroots support and financial support in the recent special election in Hanover and elected conservative Chris Peace in a very close race.
We are making sure your voice is heard at the General Assembly in this tax battle.
We are preparing for the primaries and elections of 2007 in which we will decide how the divided house will go.
In all these efforts, we have relied on you in the past and need you again.
Donâ€™t let the tax raisers make the crossover a time for another double cross. Governor Gilmore is hosting a rally on February 22 at the General Assembly. Please plan on joining Governor Gilmore and VCAP on February 22 to fight the $1 billion Senate Republican tax hike.
Rally Schedule on Tuesday, February 22 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sign-in Table Lobby of General Assembly Building, Visit Legislators, and Attend Committee Meetings.
11:00 - Rally outside the General Assembly Building
11:30 - Noon - Greet Legislators as a group when they walk from GA Building to House and Senate Chambers.
If you cannot attend, please continue to write, email or call your delegate, state senator, and Governor Kaine.
Email us back and let us know if you plan on attending (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We had some informative events last week. The recaps are here.
The following material is a summary of information on the Enterprise Development International website. I urge you to go there and see the pictures, read the stories of the great work being done. You will be humbled by the impact of microloans on families living in poverty, and I hope you will also be moved to help continue this wonderful mission.
Iâ€™ve supported Enterprise Development International with gifts of money and time as a Board of Associates member, and in my prayers. Iâ€™ve talked to people who administer the programs, and met and heard the life-changing stories of those who have been helped by the dedication of the Enterprise Development partners. Trips to these countries are offered each year to see the programs and their impact on families and neighborhoods. Microloans through indigeneous partners are the best way to make sure funds are delivered directly to the people who can best use them, and not have them taken by corrupt government officials so the aid never reaches the most needy.
The founding of Enterprise Development in 1985 embodied one missionary's dream: a nonprofit, Christian organization that would enable poor entrepreneurs to start sustainable family businesses and pull themselves and their dependents out of poverty. In the past 20 years, Enterprise Development has enabled more than a hundred thousand hard-working entrepreneurs in some 50 countries to free themselves and their families from grinding poverty. By providing small loans, basic business training, encouragement and access to other financial services, people living in poverty are helped to start or expand their own businesses or microenterprises. They are then able to support their families, emerge from the cycle of poverty and contribute in many positive ways to the long-term development of their communities.
Enterprise Development works with a network of faith-based, locally registered microenterprise development organizations around the world, working as partners to transfer required skills and capital. These local programs understand the culture and have a heart for the communities where they work to give the poor the opportunity to free themselves from poverty through profitable business ownership. This mission is accomplished by:
- offering business training to low-income persons who have the potential and the desire to become self-supporting;
- providing small loans to poor entrepreneurs who have viable business ideas but need capital; and
- mentoring participants through ongoing personal and professional encouragement
Depending on the country, first time loans range in size from $50 to $2,000. Regardless of the size of the loan, the results are significant. With profits from their businesses, parents are able to send their children to school, to provide better nutrition, health care, shelter and clothing, to become engaged in their communities and to break the cycle of poverty. Lives are changed now and for generations to come.
Each year, these programs rely on the expertise and financial resources of Enterprise Development to offer real hope to thousands and thousands of families. Today, the work of Enterprise Development is changing lives on five continents, targeting those who otherwise have no access to conventional credit. One loan at a time, these impoverished, disadvantaged clients - the vast majority of whom are women - launch small, family businesses that provide for their families and create jobs in their neighborhoods.
In 2004, families in the following countries received over 85,000 microloans totaling over $14 million: Bangladesh, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines, Romania, and Uganda.
Loan repayment rates in Enterprise-funded programs typically exceed 95 percent, surpassing the performance of many commercial institutions. Rather than cultivating dependency, this strategy of microenterprise creates self-supporting entrepreneurs and, as a consequence, healthier families and stronger local churches. (Enterprise programs do not discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation or impose any religious requirements on prospective or current clients.)