Recently in Ideology Category
I recently was made aware of a particular story that has me outraged. There are several things that need to be covered here, and I expect this is something of little controversy, other than what people think of bullying.
First, background ... A young almost 14 year old girl is allowed to use an account on myspace, is monitored closely, and appears to have been the victim of an adult who created another myspace account specifically to gain the girl's confidence. The account was then used to dash the girl's esteem, which appears to have been the trigger event in the girl taking her own life. A newspaper article on the story is at:
There are two issues I'd like to address. One, is how some people in society have hideously accused the parents of the girl who did monitor activities on the account of not doing so closely enough, and two, how the adults who perpetrated this are not guilty of any crime (at least not one with which they can be charged).
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.
This story from the FRONT PAGE of yesterday's Post - along with the Loudoun Times-Mirror, certainly among the area's foremost political advocacy organizations - deserves thoughtful comment which I unfortunately am not yet in a position to provide.
(Day jobs are a killer, and this is one of the periodic weeks when I can't break away to do a lot of "free" work such as this blog surely can be.)
But I will try and get to it late tonight.
Just on the facts contained in the article it should have raised eyebrows among careful readers about what exactly the reporter, Brubaker, or his editors were trying to accomplish. It should also raise SERIOUS questions about why anyone would trust either of the old guys running for this office. More later ....
In the meantime, below the fold is a response from the Greg Ahlemann camp.
Mukit Hossain, Gerry Connolly and Mahdi Bray speak about illegal immigration at a Muslim political event in Reston in August, 2007.
Actually, they don't really talk about illegal immigration, but rather they invoke fearful straw men and proceed to condemn them: Opposition to illegal immigration is "intolerance;" anybody who is not "white" will be "profiled" and "targeted"; it's "open season" on EVERYBODY.
Not the most helpful messages, to be sure. But they are worth listening to to get an idea why there is so much confusion about an issue that, at its core, is relatively simple. Luckily, most legal residents of Virginia are now far beyond being susceptible to this sort of rhetoric.
Over 50 politicians from across the political spectrum spoke before the Muslim audience. Most of the speeches were fairly tame and uncontroversial. Senate Candidate Patricia Phillips was one of the few who stated clearly her position on the rule of law with respect to illegal immigration.
Patricia actually may have been the ONLY candidate who spoke in favor of immigration enforcement - I have not had a chance to review my notes. But I do recall an attendee whispered to me "man, this woman has more stones than most of the guy-politicians here."
Here is the link to hear Patricia's address:
It took a ridiculously long time, but we have finally arrived:
In a brief interview, Valle said she left La Voz for personal reasons and to become more "politically active" in light of the county's tougher stance on illegal immigration.
"I'm going to keep tabs on Help Save Loudoun," she said, referring to a group that supports local governments enforcing immigration laws.
In response, Help Save Loudoun spokesman Joseph Budzinski said: "I salute Laura for everything she has done and I can't think of a better person to keep a close eye on Help Save Loudoun."
Notwithstanding the fact we all could have avoided so very much unpleasantness if Ms. Valle had simply made this decision a couple weeks earlier, I am pleased to welcome her to the realm of free and open debate.
All snarkiness aside, I think we got off on the wrong foot with Laura because she took a cursory overview of the playing field and decided Help Save Loudoun was her enemy - without spending one single second finding out what Help Save Loudoun actually was. As happens so often in cultural disputes, the La Voz folks imputed their worst fears onto their presumed opponents, and before you knew it we were all blood-enemies without having learned a thing about those on the other side.
Laura seems particularly mixed up about the relationship between Help Save Loudoun and tbe initiatives that have moved through the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' proceedings since July. There is an evident lack of historical knowledge.
It might surprise her to learn the only formal proposals that Help Save Loudoun has brought to the Board have been 1) support for county government participation in the ICE 287(g) training program and 2) a crackdown on illegal hiring.
Does Laura actually have a problem with either of these proposals? If so, I'd love to hear the rationale.
The only question is: Which direction is the Loudoun Times-Mirror rotting from, bottom up or top down?
When I got slimed recently by the area's widest-circulation local newspaper, I took it in stride because in my view "integrity" and "journalism" go together about like "prudent judgement" and "puppy." Editor Paul Smith saw fit to print in prominent position a letter with the headline "Shame On Mr. Budzinski," in which the "shame" derived from a deliberate misreading of a disingenuous quote by a reporter who put the word "political" in my mouth - in a front page story in the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Although he posted my rebuttal on the paper's Web site, Mr. Smith did not publish my 300-word response in the print edition which reaches a much larger audience.
The latest offense by the LTM is an order of magnitude more serious: In a story about this week's Sheriff candidates' debate, the LTM printed a slander transcending bias or ethical lapse and treading awfully close to criminal.
On page A5 in Wednesday's print edition, reporter Jana Renn writes:
While Ahlemann tended to criticize the Latino and Hispanic population of eastern Loudoun, George contended that crime exists in every race and culture.
The sentence was since removed from the online version of the story, but the damage has most certainly been done as the paper gets into the hands of tens of thousand of readers this week.
Why do I characterize this as an offense? Primarily because, of all the candidates, Greg Ahlemann is the only one who said nothing about any culture or ethnic group.
You can listen to the entire debate here, but I have transcribed the relevant portions below.
Here is what Mr. Ahlemann said:
Question 3: During the recent debate on illegal immigration in Loudoun, some elected officials and residents have portrayed parts of eastern Loudoun, especially Sterling Park, as being run down and unsafe. Oftentimes these issues have been attributed to illegal immigrants. Do you think this is a fair portrayal of Sterling Park and, if so, what can the Sheriff's department do to improve the quality of life in this community?
Ahlemann: It's a good question and it is the issue in this race. And I don't know that we can quantify and really put a number on the amount of problems that are caused by illegal immigrants. Clearly, as the federal government themselves has stated, I think 12 million illegal immigrants, some people say 20 million. That's quite a large gap, so I don't expect Loudoun County Sheriff's Office or anybody in Loudoun County to have the intelligence to tell us how many are here. Clearly, we've seen a move and change - I've seen it firsthand from working on the streets of Sterling Park since 1997 in how the demographics have changed. I know that many of the people who I arrested initially who had no identification, couldn't speak any English, I'm just gonna guess that they might have been here illegally because at the time we chose not to participate in ICE. Those people lived in Herndon at the time. Now many of those same people live in Sterling. So I think there is a correlation between the two. Trying to say that crime statistics have gone down, you know, seeing that written on a piece of paper doesn't really make the single mother feel much safer as she goes out to buy groceries late at night and there's a lot of people hanging out at different bars or at Pepe's, where we have continuous problems. A place like that clearly needs attention from the Sheriff's Office and probably needs to be shut down.
Pepe's is an establishment notorious in Sterling for the amount of violence and police activity it manages to host - and the police activity is a fraction of what most residents THINK it should hosting. It is six doors down from the local Safeway. Everyone in Sterling who is not a gang member thinks Pepe's needs to be shut down and the fact it has not been is an anomaly much like the Enron scandal was an anomaly. There are many Latino businesses in the shopping complex: Singling out Pepe's demonstrates not a speck of ethnocentrism and any reporter who thinks it does should be working a different beat.
Here are Steve Simpson's and Mike George's answers to the same question:
Simpson: I do think it's wrong to assume, like some people do, that everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic is first of all illegal and second of all a gang member, because that's just not true. From our gang unit, the people we deal with, only one in about 20 people we deal with that are in gangs are illegal. So we have to be very careful when we start pointing fingers and saying, making those comments that some people are very quick to make in a campaign. I think there are some issues with Sterling Park. I've been with the Sheriff's Office for 20 years. I think a lot of the issues we see as some of these communities deteriorate are things I've brought to the Board's attention and they're already aware of, and we've talked about this and had a dialogue about housing issues, occupancy issues, zoning issues, those kinds of things. When you have 15 or 20 people living in a house, eight or ten cars parked all over the yard, that's not a law enforcement issue, that's not a Sheriff's Office issue. I can't knock on the door and ask for identification to see who's living there and are they here legally or not. That's not something I can do legally. But zoning officials, housing officials, ordinances that deal with those kinds of things, those are the kinds of things that play out in communities. And with our community policing office we deal with quality of life issues in community policing. That's a program I started when I first took office 12 years ago and we have it throughout the county. Those are the kind of things, working with the county resources, working with the Sheriff's Office in community policing to try to address some of these quality of life issues, that's how you solve those kinds of problems. You don't lock everybody up and everybody doesn't need to go to jail. That's not what it's all about. It's looking at it from a multi-pronged approach with all of us working together to deal with that issue.
George: I agree with Sheriff Simpson when he says we can't look at a certain culture and say they're gang members. I've worked Asian crimes, I've worked Nigerian crimes, I've worked Russian mafia crimes. There's crime in every culture and every race, and we need to be specific about what we're looking at. The crime, if it goes up, is one thing. We need to target crime, we don't need to target a culture.
Setting up a straw man and knocking it down is a classic feature of dishonest argument. It is a technique widely employed in the illegal immigration debate. Greg Ahlemann never mentions any ethnic group, but his opponents do so and go on to accuse him in not-so-veiled manner of "targeting" a culture.
The story by Ms. Renn also said about Mr. Ahlemann:
He said that 4,000 students in Sterling schools do not speak English in their homes, and that while he can't say all 4,000 of them are illegal, 100 of them may be...He later tried to clarify that he was using the numbers as examples and they may not be totally accurate.
Here is what was actually said when Purcellville Gazette publisher Ben Weber had this exchange with Mr. Ahlemann:
Question 4: In light of the recent opening of the new jail facility here in Loudoun County, how do you propose working with the Board of Supervisors and with the areas outside the area, such as Frederick County, in dealing with the overcrowding and housing that we most likely will have in light of the increased gang activity that will likely be taking place?
Ahlemann: ...Speaking with Warren Guerin just a couple weeks ago, of the School Board in Sterling, he said at some schools in Sterling, 64% English is not the language spoken in the home. Four thousand students are in English as a Second Language as part of their curriculum. Four thousand: almost 10% of our students. Am I going to sit up here and say that all those people are illegal immigrants? Certainly not. But could 100 of them be illegal immigrants that shouldn't be in this county? One hundred of them would be $1.4 million taxpayers' savings. There's what we spend to house the inmates. There's no vision, either at the Board of Supervisors level or the Sheriff's level, to resolve these kinds of problems. And that's what I bring, is a new perspective on dealing with things like this. You cut out the criminal element, you deter some of these illegal immigrants from coming here, guess what: You don't have to provide school for them and you save $1.4 million just with 100.
Follow up by questioner Ben Weber: You talked about 4,000 students, you talked to Warren Guerin, you made the assumption, it seemed to me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that perhaps this large percentage of people that speak a different language - that's part of the reason why we're having this criminal element. I think that's somewhat of a stretch, and please correct me if I'm wrong.
Ahlemann: I'm sorry you perceived that, but I think the point is there's 4,000 - almost 10% of our students - that speak a language that is not English as the first language, that we're educating. And Warren Guerin basically stated at that meeting I was at ...
Weber interrupts: What did that have to do with the jail issue?
Ahlemann: I think it has a lot to do with it ...
Weber interrupts: If I speak Farsi, from Iran, then I'm a potential problem?
Ahlemann: I'm not saying that. There is a correlation between the two. If you're going to look at solving the problems as isolated, and not connecting some of these things together, then we're doing law enforcement the same way we did 30 years ago and we need to look at things in a new light and a new way of dealing with things.
Mr. Ahlemann makes the logical case that increased ICE participation could result in the departure of illegal aliens from this area, and if they were students, or parents of students, in our public schools the county would save $14,000 a year for every one that left and there would be less people in the jail. This is a simple, obvious point that most citizens of Loudoun would immediately comprehend but is, nevertheless, opaque to Ben Weber. And again, Mr. Weber, not Mr. Ahlemann, is the one who brings up a specific culture.
But as to the "4,000": It might have been a little helpful if the reporter had taken into consideration the fact that Mr. Ahlemann was referring to an event covered and quoted - in the Loudoun Times-Mirror:
"In the school system, we do not verify immigration status," Geurin said. His comments elicited a round of applause from the several hundred people in attendance.
He also urged the parents of the school system's immigrant students to take English as a Second Language, or ESL, classes. Of immigrant students, he said about 4,000 in Loudoun took these classes last school year.
That Mr. Ahlemann "later tried to clarify" the numbers is barely true, in the sense he stated clearly in a later exchange that he pulled the "100" figure out of the air to make a point about the potential cost savings. But the printed article leads one to believe he "tried to clarify" about the 4,000 students, when that figure came from a public official on the school board and was quoted in the same newspaper.
The bottom line is the Loudoun Times-Mirror grossly distorted the facts to paint Mr. Ahlemann as a fool and a bigot, when in fact he was completely forthright about the numbers he was quoting and he was the only candidate not to discuss any ethnic group. Why not call out Steve Simpson for the "everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic" quote? Who ever said that, besides Steve Simpson?
If the Loudoun Times-Mirror was worth the plastic baggie it's delivered in, THAT'S the statement the reporter would have called into question.
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.
One of the things as a country we generally approve is that competition breeds excellence. Competition between Firefox and Internet Explorer has made both better (well, okay, it has made IE better as the copy Firefox features and look and feel). Competition made Harley Davidson do better at making motor cycles; Japan finally got quality on the radar of American auto makers; telephone prices have come down, and telephone services have gone up (I remember $4 a minute for phone calls to California from Maryland before competition).
What about education? What choice do most people have for education? If you are rich, you can afford the taxes you already pay, and then the tens of thousands it costs for separate tuition. (Just one non-sectarian school charges upwards of $27,000/year Burke and there are others just as expensive.)
Another day, another rant. I'm getting frustrated with the concept that "we are trying to define ourselves". I can understand that whole-heartedly! We are a nation that pledges allegiance to a flag that law says can be desecrated as is our first amendment right. I see. If the flag means nothing to some of our citizens then an oath to it and the republic for which it stands also falls by the wayside. The logic follows that an oath of office holds no consequence as upholding the Constitution of the United States is just that....an oath that is hollow. So where do we focus on acceptability and accountability? Let's look.
This came to mind just before Independence Day and I was really feeling good about it. Then the computer went down for a week. Now I read a blog that elicited much comment and debate about God, liberals, conservatives, democrates, republicans, even the idiosyncrasies of our founding fathers. Although viewpoints are a wonderful thing and that free speech is one of our must cherished laws, I saw much disconnect and no commonality. Then I read a piece today from Ronald Maxwell and I felt good again. I think our commonality is civic duty.
I heard this term frequently growing up in the 50's and 60's but at the end of the 60's it seemed to die out. I would get it from scouting, teachers, parents, policemen, firemen, politicians; you name it. Now I never questioned my civic duty as it was told to me because common sense has always been my motivation (with God's help, of course). But recently I wondered why I don't here it anymore and I think it is because people don't understand what it is or how to perform it. If you don't know what your civic duty is, well, I'm going to tell you.
Congratulations to the current graduates from Loudoun County schools. I hope you continue in your pursuit for knowledge and obtaining a quality life. I am very concerned, though, for what is being taught to our children and whether we are creating a better environment for them to build upon. Let me explain to you why I am worried about this countrys' future.
As one of Jack's commenters noted the other day, it is absolutely sinful for anyone to make money on "health" related work.
It therefore warms the cockles of my heart to learn that leftist auteur-provocateur Michael Moore is finally able to put his money where his mouth is by giving away the fruit of his labors.
Some things are just too important to be sullied by the profit motive.
The ease with which politicians leave behind the pledges they make is mind boggling. Personally, I've known used car salesmen with better scruples. When I posted here for the first time (after the convention) some questioned my values; would I run as an independent? While I truly believe that the post in question was out of lack of knowledge of me (Honlon's razor applies), it does raise the question of what is or is not typical of politicians.
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
Put another feather in the cap of Socialism. Now, patient in the U.K. will have to quit smoking for four weeks before surgery. You see, since smokers' generally take longer to recover from surgery, they cost the system more. With socialized medicine, they cannot simply charge for the extra time. So they refuse care instead. I'm sure this will, as one commenter said, extend to requiring one to go on a diet before surgery.
And four weeks!! When an operation is necessary in the U.S., it might be four days away, but not four weeks. Such is the beauty of the health care system our Socialist, a.k.a. Democrat, Party wants for the United States. The father of one fellow I know in the U.K. waited two years for surgery on his hand. Shortly before his operation, he was told that, because he did not need his hand for his work, he would not be getting the surgery. He is now saving his money to fly to the U.S. for the surgery, which he will pay for himself. The socialists among us would take even that hope away from him.
Our commenter Had Enough sends the following:
As the memories of WWII, Korea and Viet Nam grow further away with time we lose perspective of the meaning even though we are currently at war.
Both of my grandfathers served in the military, one of them helped free the Jews in the concentration camps, he never spoke of his bravery and accomplishments during the war. I never asked him about it because I figured it must have been too painful. He kept a journal about the concentration camps documenting each camp, the people and included photos and information, I never saw it until after his death. He suffered a injury in WWII and as a disabled veteran he received a very small monthly check. After he died the government reduced that check to $19. a month for my grandmother, she didn't say anything she just stared at it.
Before he died he was concerned about his flag, military awards, medals, ribbons and other items that he collected from his time in the service and instructed my grandmother what to do with them upon his death. His concern was that they be given to someone who would cherish and preserve them.
Since our President is 100 percent on board with granting blanket amnesty to illegal aliens, destroying the idea of American citizenship and basically selling our country down the river, where is the liberal pep rally?
Seems like George W. Bush would be a hero of the left. How's about a little intellectual consistency, boys?
Just to recap, from a John Andrews supporter::
... radical anti-immigrant groups, including Help-Save-Loudoun.
Funny, but Mark Herring has never said such a thing. Of course, the Senator has been to several of our meetings.
This is the post you have all been waiting for.
First, some background: John Andrews, for whatever asinine reason, decided to follow up his impressive direct mail blitz from yesterday - which I believe was probably sufficient to give him a huge boost going into Saturday's election - with a "letter" today bemoaning "dirty tricks" from the Patricia Phillips campaign.
Apparently she sent out a piece that referred to Andrews, whose profession is "developer," as a "developer."
I was not going to delve into this one because frankly I don't see the political angle in it. "You actually take undeveloped land and develop it for uses such as habitation and commerce - well god DAMN you man, how do you live with yourself??!" Who gives a crap if John Andrews is a developer. It's not like he's an abortionist or runs a telemarketing firm.
Patricia Phillips also pointed out his contributions to a Democrat years ago, and somewhere on the Internet (I assume) was the suggestion he was "endorsed by a pro-gay group." No citations are provided for the latter, unfortunately.
But apparently whatever Ms. Phillips did struck John Andrews as a "smear campaign" and "shameful act of desperation."
He goes on: "Your vote will also send a message to Ms. Phillips that you're tired of her dirty tricks and the extremist interest groups who are running her campaign."
My first reaction to this was, "dirty tricks?" Patricia is the mom-next-door. Her campaign, as far as I can see, is being run by her and the nice 20-year old kid who is her campaign manager. They are running a political campaign conducted at the emotional pitch height of a church-retreat kickball tournament. You can make some arguments against Patricia Phillips as the next Virginia Senator, but any complaint along the lines of ethics quickly places the accuser in the "protesteth too much" category.
That "extremist interest groups" note DID get my attention, though. One of my e-mails about lit drops and letters, sent to the local Help Save ... people, got forwarded by an apparent mole to the Andrews campaign. Could it be .... ?
Yes, it could. Read below the fold for an absolutely FANTASTIC expression of Weenie Republicanism, the Republican philosophy which killed every anti-illegal-immigration bill that came out of the Virginia House of Delegates this year, and which was on full display today as "Republicans" conspired with Democrats in D.C. to sell out the American people. This e-mail was sent out by a John Andrews supporter, and exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Republican party and might just indicate the death knell of the GOP.
Oh, this is rich.
No, it is beyond rich, nearly in the realm of sinfully excessive. Bloggers should not be allowed hanging curveballs like the ones I received today. I have not lived that great a life so for the life of me I cannot discern why Providence would have deigned to reward me such a feast.
I had not planned to write much more about the Patricia Phillips - John Andrews battle for the Republican nomination for Virginia's 33rd district Senate seat. I think I covered the "debate" pretty even-handedly here. I've written a little about Patricia in the past and posted some photos.
I have been doing stuff like delivering flyers and writing letters for Patricia, as have some of the other locals I know. Patricia attended two HelpSaveLoudoun meetings and one HelpSaveHerndon meeting and a boatload of local political events, so she got a number of us on board with her.
John Andrews would not attend our events because he felt they would be stacked against him since I endorsed Patricia back in January. I tried to point out we do not hold debates in which my role as emcee would make a hair's bit of difference, but merely townhall meetings where the audience gets to ask the candidates any questions they want. Patricia did extremely well in these events. I think John would have done well also as he seems pretty quick on his feet.
Some of our members are Andrews supporters, and good for them. I encouraged them to support their chosen candidate.
Most of all, this appeared to be one of those cases where we had two good GOP candidates, and although I was committed to the one, I certainly would have supported whomever was the Republican choice to face Democrat Mark Herring in November. This was part of a letter to the editor I wrote last week, in fact.
The letter, which neither the Easterner nor Observer published, began:
I am voting for Patricia Phillips on May 19 because she has the most intelligent proposal for solving the illegal immigration problem in Loudoun County - although either of the Republican candidates for the 33rd district Senate seat would be an upgrade over incumbent Senator Mark Herring.
(The entire letter is below the fold)
Yesterday, the Andrews campaign had three separate direct mail pieces hit our boxes. Combined with the extensive newspaper advertising he had purchased, I had the feeling John had a significant advantage over the cash-poor Phillips campaign.
Today, I think "significant" may have been a stretch.
John Andrews has apparently thrown in with the weenie wing of the Republican party, and how symbolic it should occur on this infamous day of days.
More detail in the next post.
The debate is going on right now. Tancredo looks great - "We are the last, best hope of Western civilization." - Duncan Hunter is getting no chance to talk.
Initial observation: This event is so far superior to the one conducted by the idiots at MSNBC last week that I think all Americans should come to the conclusion that MSNBC does not deserve to exist. Fox News is no great shakes, but by comparison MSNBC is cow dung.
We are getting substantive responses to important questions, and truly learning about the candidates.
I submit from this point forward all Americans should feel the same way about MSNBC as they feel about soft porn when channel surfing. Clicking in probably earns you extra time in Hell or Purgatory or whatever.
UPDATE: The geniuses at Fox News set up a wiz-bang text message vote for the debate winner and, lo and behold, Ron Paul is on top.
This would be an instance where whoever the hell is in charge should have KILLED this stupid project real quick like. It's a veritable vote for the worst project transposed to the debate. How clueless not to see this happening. Bad management.
UPDATE II: One of America's best hopes, Tom Tancredo: "If I do well in the Iowa straw poll ... in the top five ... I get catapulted up."
Further evidence of the utter uselessness of the mainstream media - in which I would include Fox News although they pose as "alternative" and MSNBC although nobody ever watches them - is highlighted by La Shawn Barber's post on the Newsom-Christian torture-murders earlier this year:
Even if the stripper's allegations had been true, why was the Duke case burning up the airwaves while the Christian-Newsom case barely emits a spark?
What's up with the lack of blanket media coverage? I'm not talking about a story here or there with case updates. The media should be swarming around this story.
I found it via NewsBusters which has more on the story.
We should be close to the point where "hate crime" can be consigned to the Dustbin of Meaningless Terms.
If you are not apprised of the free speech meltdown taking place at Tufts, click here for the whole story.
After all the requests for citings of hard numbers on crime levels in Britain since the gun ban, you'd think it'd be as easy as typing in "Britain handgun statistics" at your local neighborhood Google.com. Geez. It wasn't that hard, Jack. Chapter 5 is a good one.
The report also seems to make a particular point of indicating that perceived increases in crime could very well be attributed to changes in crime reporting, whatever that's supposed to mean. . .
Interesting report from a Marine over at Not Larry Sabato.
Not what you'd expect on that blog - and followed by an interesting discussion among his (mostly liberal) readers. The gist is, "If it is good news from Iraq, it cannot be true." Well worth checking out.
'"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:
Soon to be nothing even remotely resembling household news is this story about the Al Qaida guy who was formerly a high ranking officer in the Iraq military.
Begging the question the MSM doesn't dare ask: how "formerly," exactly?
Thomas Joscelyn wants to know how much, if any, contact he had with his old patron while waging terrorist war for bin Ladin in Afghanistan.
Don't we all.
Or should I say, "Don't we most."
I can imagine quite a few people who are right now beginning to shriek that this man, this poor abused misunderstood idealist, must not be asked a single question more.
Don't miss this further post on Bush's shenanigans in this matter.
Also, Captain Ed weighs in regarding media coverage of the capture. Which sheds some light on the story as a whole.
Not every liberal idiot is the same kind of idiot, and some "liberals" (I'll duck from Jack's and Jacob's crossfire while I say this) are not idiots at all.
The issue arises because in a bunch of our recent discussions here the idea has been floated that "liberalism is a mental disorder." While many Americans might be nodding along with this line of reasoning I am compelled to point out that the reality of the situation is not so simple.
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Kevin are without question "liberals" - in the sense that they seem to support the tried and true liberal positions on abortion, illegal immigration, gay marriage and a few other issues - but they are also open to suggestion on seemingly every issue. We've all been able to discuss these subjects with a fair amount of give and take. I think I've conceded some points and I know they have as well. Stay Puft, aka General Gozer, has steered me toward enlightening data about gay marriage, for instance, and I like to think I might have painted for the General a realistic picture about the local effects of illegal immigration that he would not otherwise have seen up there in the U of M ivory tower.
Having spent a day with Kevin here in Sterling (and looking forward to spending an outing on the Chesapeake next month) I can say with certainty he is a "liberal" who nonetheless has common sense and an open mind. He brews good beer, which covers a LOT of other potential shortcomings. We might butt heads over the top level, general controversies, but when the conversation turns to specifics - such as who is committing actual crimes and what should be done about it - we often find ourselves in agreement.
Zimzo, on the other hand, is more of a rock solid ideologue who does not converse so much as hold forth. As far as I've seen, he gives no quarter in our discussions here. It might be suggested, in fact, that Zimzo has no interest in seeking common ground but simply wishes to screw with the heads of those he disagrees with, launching ad hominem attacks and non sequitors into the conversation with the aim of short circuiting any positive outcome to the discussion.
Yes, they are all "liberals," but they certainly are not the same kind of liberals.
To the question of whether liberalism is a mental disorder, then, the additional question must be asked: What type of "liberalism" do you mean?
I am going to posit the existence of a strand of liberal thought which might be called "paranoid liberalism."
As the historian Richard Hofstadter observed in his masterful essay, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, the "paranoid style" is characterized as "overheated, oversuspicious, overaggressive, grandiose, and apocalyptic in expression," and marked by belief in "the existence of a vast, insidious, preternaturally effective international conspiratorial network designed to perpetrate acts of the most fiendish character." It is a form of liberalism which rates its opposition not on the basis of what the actual opponents have said or done, but on supposed insidious motivations and inclinations discerned by the paranoiac.
Sound familiar? Yes, it does. Mr. Zimzo, come on down!
Paranoid liberalism does not seek common ground in debate, because it views its opponents as purely evil. The object of discussion is therefore NOT to arrive at rational points of agreement or disagreement, but rather to unmask the enemy and quash the opponents' desired goals.
This explains, I believe, why Zimzo is such a pain in the ass.
So, back to the original question of "mental disorders:" I think it should be clearly noted that "liberalism" is too broad a term to be useful when the conversation includes a variety of participants who differ both in doctrine and temperment. "Conservative" is certainly not a useful blanket description, nowadays. Bill Kristol and Lindsay Graham and I are all "conservative" on some issues, but we are far apart on other issues, including those involving the illegal immigrants who rake the sand traps and serve our poolside beverages. I don't golf and I don't have a pool. By the same token, some "liberals" are quite reasonable and may only differ from "conservatives" on any given topic in a matter of degrees. These are normal folks whom we should not condemn as mentally disordered, at least insofar as the kegs not having been tapped on any given evening - alcohol being the great leveler, mental disorder-wise.
But in regard to the paranoids, it is a different story. Paranoid liberalism, we can safely say, IS a mental disorder, on display here in spades.
I don't know about you, but when our family went about the college search for our young'uns, we always kept a wary eye out for nefarious influences around campus: dope dealing, graffiti, toy dog clubs, and anything at all that reeked of Christianity.
So I had no small amount of sympathy for the College of William and Mary's brave decision to remove the terrible, anachronistic, 18-INCH Wren Cross from the property. Our children did not end up attending the school, but the wife and I occasionally enjoy a visit to the historic town. And heaven help me if I'm going to allow the missus to set foot in a place with actual CROSSES out in public display - and 18-inchers, no less!
And if I did have a kid enrolled in William and Mary, I sure as heck wouldn't want to mosey down there for the weekend expecting a nice ongoing tete-a-tete with the local reenactors, perhaps a spicy sex show or three, these types of things - and suddenly walk around a corner to have a friggin' cross arm poke us in the eyes. GHAA! Can you even imagine?
The College of William and Mary's removal of a cross from a campus chapel has won the Virginia school this year's "Campus Outrage Award" from a conservative student group...
William and Mary President Gene R. Nichol said he asked for the 18-inch cross to be taken from Wren Chapel in October because of concerns about offending non-Christians, and that he had received complaints about it. The removal of the cross -- to make the chapel "equally open and relevant to all," Mr. Nichol said -- made headlines and stirred protests by students, faculty and alumni of William and Mary, the nation's second-oldest college after Harvard.
An online petition to reinstate the cross garnered 18,000 signatures. Threats by an unnamed donor to withdraw $12,000 of funding from the college forced Mr. Nichol to change his decision on March 7. Mr. Nichol has established a committee to study the role of religion at public universities.
Just goes to show: money talks, even though our children's very souls hang in the balance.
May Morgan have mercy on them all.
I drive a Ford truck with a 5.8 liter engine that gets terrible gas mileage. I love it, and I can sleep at night knowing the insane amount I pay for gas doesn't go to support terrorism or communism.
According to the Department of Energy, Shell and Sunoco are the two big companies around here in NOVA that don't get any of their oil from OPEC or Communist Venezuela. So that's where I fill up. And I would encourage my readers to boycott any stations that get there oil from anti-American countries.
I'm sure the marshmallow man is going to say something about how these countries can't make it on their own without their oil industry, so how do we expect them to stabilize if they have no income, blah blah blah.
To tell you the truth, I don't care. Let them stabilize first. Then I'll support them on the free trade market.
Seriously though, these guys were just acting weird, what did they expect? Middle Eastern people on planes are going to feel the way I do when I walk through Camden, New Jersey at night. It's reasonable and natural that the staff and passengers of the plane have suspicion, and reasonable suspicion should dictate further investigation. They had to have known this would happen.
A lawsuit? Because they got their feelings hurt? That's just ridiculous.
Channel Four's devastating documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle has blown an enormous hole in every fundamental claim made to support the climate change obsession - including the claim that the argument is over ....
Moreover, they also testified that the computer models which produced all the forecasts of climate apocalypse were rigged to produce the results that would attract official funds for climate change research, which had increased a thousandfold over the past 20 years; and that any scientists who tried to expose the monumental fraud of global warming theory stood to lose not only funding but also his reputation ...
Read it all.
Call me a cynic, but isn't just about everything, ultimately, about the money?
Recent discussions here reveal that some of our participants have forgotten, likely as a result of advanced age, an important finding from last year. Please allow me to recap the NOVA TownHall Directive Regarding "Bigotry:"
The charge of "bigotry," 99.99 percent of the time, is leveled by individuals who are either A) liars, or B) morons. And according to these individuals, nearly all NOVA TownHall bloggers are bigots.
By reading the sentence above, you hereby assent to the Directive.
Now, can we all please just move on?
The Ann Coulter remarks from Friday have created quite a to-do and resulted in some unfortunate confusion which I herewith intend to clear up.
Here is the exact quote from Ms. Coulter's address at CPAC:
I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot.' So I'm kind of at an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards, so I think I'll just conclude here and take your questions.
First, some initial points that need to be made:
Let me state for the record that I do not recommend anyone use the word "faggot" under any circumstances. It upsets people such as the folks at Equality Loudoun, who became quite agitated and unwittingly added to the confusion by making a number of misinformed claims - such as that this was Ms. Coulter's biggest applause line of the afternoon, when in reality it was about 5th. Furthermore, "faggot" is inarguably a pointed epithet which can evoke strong negative emotions from listeners and, as a general rule, for the sake of one's well-being, it is prudent to avoid doing this in the course of everyday life. It is also goes without saying it is a VERY rude thing to say in reference to gay people, in the same class as the n-word, although as will be noted I think such usage is about as common as the n-word nowadays.
Also, it is important to note that Ms. Coulter did not call John Edwards a faggot. The sentence structure is a combination of the pluperfect and future subjunctive forms and yields a hypothetical statement regarding both Mr. Edwards and the term in question. There is no reason to assume she did not choose her words carefully, because regardless of whatever else one might say about Ann Coulter few accuse her of being a poor writer. Her actual statement concerned what happens if you use a particular word. Considering that the public response to her statement has precisely confirmed what she said, there is a simple factual accuracy to the remark. In addition, as John Hawkins observes in the course of denouncing the remark, she was without doubt referencing an incident several weeks ago in which an actor went into rehab after publicly using the word 'faggot'. Ms. Coulter simply took a joke that was already half-made and plugged herself and Mr. Edwards into it.
Finally, before the false idea that Ms. Coulter's remark was representative of the outlook of "conservatives" in any degree goes any further, it must be noted that the universal "conservative" reaction has been negative. As noted in both the New York Times and Washington Post, the major Republican candidates have denounced it. In addition to Hawkins, every major right-of-center blogger I've found to have commented on the remark has denounced it: See Michelle Malkin, Ace, Captain's Quarters, American Mind, Right Wing Nuthouse, American Spectator, The Corner. I spoke with several bloggers at the conference and to a person they also denounced it.
The contention of this essay is that Ms. Coulter's remark is undeserving of the degree of opprobrium that has been heaped upon it and that conservatives, such as they are, do not need to be sprinting away from Ms. Coulter with such knee-jerk haste. In order to prove this point, we will focus on the word in question, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Coulter, and the context in which the word was used.
Our good friend Zimzo has assiduously hammered on the point that anyone who is remotely conservative is thereby responsible for every sentiment expressed by any 'conservative' anywhere at any time. Many people would say such a line of argument is nonsensical to the point of insanity - but not I. I understand where our man is coming from, because I understand our man.
The graphic below has been brought to my attention as a singular example of the interconnectedness of all things.
Zimzo is a smart man, in his own right, but he also has some things to answer for.
For one: What about the horrific suppression of the Korean people? I understand how one must support one's friends, but where does loyalty end and basic human decency begin? I give the benefit of the doubt, but I wait with bated breath for Zimzo's rationalization of the North Korean regime.
Come clean, Zimzo. We accept you as you are, as a rather attractive man, but you must take responsibility for your friends.
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?"
In my travails across the 'internets' I've come across some interesting links. The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan study group by Wiki standards (and actually by their own self-proclamation) did a report, of which a summary was "Posted to Web: June 30, 2000", entitled "Illegal Aliens in Federal, State, and Local Criminal Justice Systems" Quite interesting, in fact, though a little outdated. But then that makes this an interesting topic for debate:
The increase in prosecutions and convictions of illegal aliens appears to have significantly affected both the number and the estimated costs of incarcerating and supervising of defendants convicted in federal courts. Since a substantial share of the increase in illegal aliens convicted appears to be due to increased border enforcement, this increased burden on the federal criminal justice system can be seen as a secondary cost of such border enforcement. If border interdiction efforts successfully reduce attempted illegal entry, this negative impact on the federal criminal justice system may be short-term.
More below. . .
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!
The morons are at it again. It sure is going to be amusing to watch Americans suddenly remember why they have been voting Republican all these years.
Anyway, I highly recommend signing the petition with all the dignity and seriousness it merits. (For a laugh, take a moment to read some of the entries).
From the "that's going to leave a mark" department:
The excitment you see among our enemies and among the Left are identical.
Today is a good day to call up every veteran you know and thank them. If you don't know any veterans, go out and meet some. I promise it will be a good experience.
A great quote in the course of another important article by Steven Malanga:
In nearly 20 years of engaging in public policy debates, Iâ€™ve always felt great satisfaction when my opponents resort to implying that my arguments help underpin racism or nativism or some other despicable â€œism.â€ Itâ€™s generally a sign that they find their own arguments weak.
Read all of that one. (How Unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy is the piece that started the controversy.)
It appears ABC has folded to the liberal ideologists and Clinton legacy industry and will sanitize the less-than-favorable aspects of its "The Path to 9-11" docudrama.
"The content of this drama is factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate, and ABC has a duty to fully correct all errors or pull the drama entirely," Mr. Lindsey wrote. "It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known."
Also yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and four other Senate Democrats wrote to Mr. Iger urging him to cancel the miniseries, which they said "could be construed as right-wing political propaganda."
Next, I plan to write to the producers of every single other show on ABC, which "could be construed as left-wing political propaganda."
Just kidding. Actually, I plan to watch football or the Food Network those nights because I don't care what the idiots in charge decide to do. Screw ABC. They should have immediately told Albright, Berger et. al. to relieve themselves up a rope.
We all know what the Clinton administration did about al Qaida.
(Hint: It's a Spanish word beginning with 'n' that rhymes with 'dada'.)
If you are a glutton for punishment, or have no access to cable or satellite and have no deck of cards with which to play solitaire and therefore feel compelled to watch the program, you might check in with Accuracy in Media or Hugh Hewitt (start here and here.)
One of them may be posting updates on the changes ABC may implement on behalf of the Boy President.
But I'd recommend just doing something else Sunday and Monday nights. If the "uncut" version is ever released you can buy it via the underground and watch it in your bunker.
The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.
Too Conservative has brought to our attention that US Senate Candidate Webb will not support an amendment against desecration of the US Flag.
For a long time, I was undecided on this issue. Then, some time ago, I had a discussion with my father, a retired Army Major, that removed my indecision. He pointed out to me that the traditional use of flags has been to mark territory. Flags used in battle were a primary method of determining victory and captured territory for either side:
For centuries the nature of warfare centered around capturing the flag of the enemy. It didn't matter how many soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured in a battle. Victory only came when the flag was captured. Likewise, the only way to avoid being defeated was to protect your own flag.
Of course, modern warfare no longer abides by these standards. However, a national flag is still more than just a symbolâ€¦it is an institution in itself. Think of those who gave their life...not just for what the flag stands for...but literally to protect the flag itself. Burning the US flag is not a form of free speech (in fact it is not â€œspeechâ€ at all). In the eyes of this vet, it is an attack on America itself.
James Webb, God Bless him for his sacrifice and service to America, has forgotten what he has sworn to protect.
More and more, I am seeing â€œSupport the Troopsâ€ ribbons on vehicles along side of anti-war stickers. Frequently, when someone I've met finds out I am a veteran, I get the response of â€œI donâ€™t agree with what weâ€™re doing over there, but thank you for what youâ€™ve done.â€ This position has me confused. I appreciate that those who oppose what America is doing in the Middle East have not, for the most part, resorted to harassing troops the way many Vietnam protestors did. However, I cannot help but feel this is a sort of back-handed insult. Everyone has a right to their opinions and freedom to express them, but how can someone hold this contradictory position?
To say you donâ€™t support the war is to say you donâ€™t believe in that for which we are fighting. Therefore, Americaâ€™s current military actions are in vain, and those who have sacrificed life and limb also did so in vain. How is this support of the troops?
â€œSupport the troopsâ€¦bring them homeâ€ has me bothered as well. We are an Armed Forces made up of volunteers, doing the job for which we volunteered. Someone who is not willing to make that sacrifice really has no business telling us to stop. Regardless of your opinion on the conflict we are in, we are in it. At this stage, victory should be the only option.
The â€œPeace is Patrioticâ€ slogan might be the one that irks me the most. When brave Americans are giving their time, sweat, blood, and lives for America, protesting their cause is NOT patriotic. End of story.
Al Qaedaâ€™s strategy to defeat us involves outlasting us on the battlefield of public opinion. Whether you like it or not, if you protest the war on terror, you are on the side of terrorism. As another blogger has pointed out, â€œâ€¦I just canâ€™t understand how the phrase â€˜we are losing a soldier a dayâ€™ can be followed by anything other than â€˜so letâ€™s get those #@%ing bastards.â€™â€
Responding to this post from the other day, Big Puffy Liberal says:
Ok, let's keep an eye on Mexica and the young communists and other fringe groups to make sure they don't blossom into baby al qaeda's. (I see the KKK claims to be a movement of white Christians, so if you know any white Christians, I'd keep an eye on them too).
Anyway... what do you think about the immigration situation?
I think it's all about economics.
But most of the typical reasons you hear for supporting strict regulations of immigration are pretty weak. Claims that immigrants damage the economy or raise crime rates can pretty easily be refuted.
One reason that seems to have some teeth is the security issue. That is, the fact that any crazy person could waltz right into the country with a bomb strapped to their back.
What people who are opposed to legislation like 4437 need to realize is that a terrorist attack would be the immigrant community's worst nightmare. We've already passed the PATRIOT act, so another attack would compel politicians to pass even more extreme legislation. Given the current political climate, a terrorist attack on the US would likely lead to the most ill-conceived, draconian anti-immigration legislation to date. So in that sense, it's in the immigrant community's own interest that the borders are secure.
On the other hand, the security argument is weakened by the fact that, even though anyone can waltz into the country, there hasn't been another attack. I know the line, "al qaeda works slowly, they're biding their time" ok, but attacking a country once every 10 years doesn't sound like a very effective plan for destroying it? The idea of "terrorism" is to terrorize a population. If there really is this highly organized, global terrorist network hell bent on destroying the US, and it's so easy to get into the US, why no attacks (knock on wood)? Based on the common understanding of terrorism, we should expect to see guys sneaking in and shooting up malls on a regular basis, or blowing up a section of train track as the toxic chemical train passes through town. It'd be so easy for one bad guy to raise hell in the US. Remember that DC sniper guy? And what better way to get us out of Iraq than to "fight us over here"? but that's not what's happening. There's no denying that the border is easy to cross, so the fact that we haven't seen regular terrorist attacks (a la Hamas or Hezb'allah) seems to indicate that the anti-American terrorists aren't quite as global and highly organized as we've been told. That's not to say that we ought to pretend that anti-American groups don't exist, but it does seem to take some of the urgency out of the "we need to secure the borders for the sake of national security" argument.
Pardon me a moment because I still need to bang my head on the table a few more times...
Ok, that's better.
I think Stay Puft and I have agreed the economic incentive is the root of illegal immigration from the south. We just don't agree on the particulars - MANY people in areas inhabited by illegal immigrants (like the next town over from me) would also disagree with the argument crime has not increased - and I see other rationales possibly involved. But we've played that argument out for now.
His comments on border security and national security, however, are so wrong I hardly know where to start.
I'll give it a try, below the fold.
Culture warriors can hurt their causes by overreaching. It is one thing to advocate one's beliefs; it is another to seek to quash others'. I think the pro-choice groups overreach by trying to forbid counseling about the biological truth about a fetus, alternatives to abortion, or the possible psychological aftereffects of having an abortion.
Why not allow all the information to be presented to young girls who are pregnant? Seeking to silence opposing points of view seems to me evidence of insecurity - and suggests one's position cannot withstand scrutiny.
Some gay rights advocates also, in my view, do themselves no favors by pushing too hard.
For instance, regardless of one's views on homosexual rights, the war against the Boy Scouts is a prime example of ideology trumping good sense. If the gay/lesbian/transsexual activists are seeking some sort of 'mainstream' status in American culture, they need to understand there are places mainstream Americans don't want them to go.
(If you are not clued in about the mainstreaming effort, read The Marketing of Evil).
This recent example of overreaching was forwarded to us by PFOX.
On March 30, 2006, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) exhibited at the Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) annual conference. We exhibited for approximately three hours before the VSCA and the Holiday Inn Select/Koger South Conference Center in Richmond, Virginia approached our exhibit booth and asked us to leave. The hotel offered us free lodgings if we would leave. We refused, citing breach of contract by the VSCA which had approved our exhibit application. Nonetheless, the senior sales manager and the front office manager of the hotel forcibly removed our exhibit with the approval of the VSCA president and past president.
That day the VSCA was scheduled to present a conference session entitled:
"Sexual Orientation: Meeting the Challenge to Promote the Health and Well Being of All Students. The presentation will be based on the concept of sexuality as a continuum and will provide a brief overview of gay history and culture, followed by a discussion about sexual identity development and the ways in which cultural attitudes and societal institutions have a negative impact on the health of GLBTQ students. Handouts will be provided and implications for school counselors will be discussed. Level: Elementary/Middle School"
When VSCA threw us out, we asked them why they were presenting a gay seminar but not allowing an ex-gay exhibit. They denied it and agreed we could attend the seminar and pick up the handouts. When we arrived for the seminar, a sign on the door said that the seminar had been cancelled because the speaker was unavailable.
This is the first time we have seen a gay seminar presented to school counselors for the elementary school level, at least in Virginia.
Although the VSCA liked two of our PFOX brochures on teens and bullying, they still would not permit us to exhibit only those brochures, although we were listed in the conference brochure and school counselors at the conference accepted our materials. The hotel staff rejected all of our materials. We believe that if PFOX had been allowed to exhibit for the full two-day conference as originally planned, we could have reached many more school counselors.
Following is some background on this issue, from PFOX:
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.
Liberal Democrats and Liberal Republicans like to attack conservative Republicans who are willing to stand up for the unborn as if they are fringe lunatics supporting a ridiculous cause. These same folks often accuse conservative pro-life Republicans of being a liability on Election Day.
Well, Zogby has a comprehensive new poll out that examines Americansâ€™ views on the issue of abortion and it demonstrates that pro-lifers arenâ€™t some fringe extreme, rather they make up a sizable demographic and support for pro-life legislation is extremely broad.
As this Life News article states, there is broad support for the pro-life cause:
The poll fund that Americans take a pro-life position on more than a dozen pro-life legislative proposals.
* Some 69 percent agree with prohibiting federal taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions while only 21 percent disagree.
* When asked differently, 51 percent oppose federal or state funding of abortions for poor women while 37 percent support it.
* Americans support parental notification abortion by a 69-23 percent margin for girls 16 or younger and by a 55-36 percent margin for girls 18 and younger.
* 56 percent of Americans want a 24-hour waiting period on abortion while 37 percent do not.
* Laws that charge criminals with two crimes when they assault a pregnant women and kill or injure her unborn child are favored by 64 percent of Americans and only 23 percent disagree with them.
* President Bush's Mexico City Policy prohibiting federal funding of groups that perform or promote abortions in other nations enjoys the support of 69 percent of Americans while only 21 percent oppose the law.
* 86% of those polled oppose sex-selection abortions and say they should be illegal while just 10 percent say they should be legal.
* Some 56 percent of Americans disagree with requiring health insurance plans to cover abortions other than those necessary to save the life of the mother and only 12 percent want insurance plans to be forced to pay for abortions.
* Requiring women considering an abortion to undergo pregnancy counseling beforehand is favored by 55 percent of those polled while 37 percent oppose such a requirement.
I am one of those lefties you are so disparaging about and, predictably, I would probably view your opinions as just as 'wacko' as you view mine. Here's some of the things I believe: 'pro-lifers' are an embarrassment to civilized nations and creationists are too stupid and mindlessly theistic to bother engaging in serious debate. Only small-dicked idiots drive SUVs in cities and homophobes and racists are beneath derision. I decry the blind madness of US environmental policy and its torpedoing of Kyoto. I regard business as very important, but a slightly ignoble way to spend one's entire life. I think the WTO is a major force for the repression of the poor throughout the world, and that America and the UK are in many ways complicit with these bully-ish crimes against the weak.
However, I love the west, I love our democracy and freedom. I love computers and mobile phones and publishing and dish washers and cars and light bulbs and even angry conservatives, who are as free to be as angry at me as I am at them.
But other then to protect my family, freedom of expression is the only things I would take up arms for. I'm going on the Freedom of Expression march on the 25th March in London where I intend to protest against the political correctness that stymies criticism of Islam as a catalyst of violence.
I think it was Socrates who said that if there is one exception to a rule then you must revise the rule, because it is wrong. This is how truth, which is not absolute, is finessed. Well, I'm standing and fighting and I'm an exception that the navel-gazing generalizations by the so called American â€œThinkerâ€.
As regards the rights of people we disagree with, well there are millions of good Muslims watching the issues unfold at Guantanamo and Abu Grahaib, millions who instinctively appreciate the very real hypocrisy that is so glaring in extraordinary rendition. As much as I desipse the Taliban and Al Quaeda and want take a baseball bat to their knees for what they have done to us, I wouldn't actually do this, because someone has to take the high ground. Intellectual consistency is giving the rights we both revere to everyone. When you strike someone off the list of â€œhumans we consider humansâ€ simply because it's convenient for your government's pro-security policy, when a society breaks down and says â€œrights for us, but not for youâ€ at the first hint of a serious threat, it loses the high-ground and undermines any righteousness it may have had. This is how the world sees America and only a sea-change in the radical opinions of extremists (that's you and THOSE people) will help.
In response to his thoughtful message I would say this to James:
First, I think your supposed love of the West and all it's accoutrements needs to be reconciled with your views on 'business,' 'Kyoto,' and the WTO. In the interest of intellectual honesty, you probably want to think those positions through a bit further. Seriously.
That being said, you my friend are an anomaly. The liberal who takes to the streets - much less cross an ocean - to denounce Islamic fascism is quite rare, a veritable man-bites-dog story. My hat's off to you for that. Thanks for doing it, buddy - I'll forgive all your misguided, negative statements about convervatives on that basis alone.
On the general topic of Islam and the war, I'd strongly encourage you to read the new book by Oriana Fallaci (atheist, hater-of-Christian-fundamentalists, former socialist). Amazon is shipping it even as we speak.
You are an exception, as you say. I wish there were more like you. Knowing the exception, I am going to be more careful in the future making statements with reference to the 'rule.' Thank you for taking the time to write.
If you are, like me, amazed at the rank hypocrisy of most liberals, leftists, feminists, progressives - you know, THOSE people - on certain topics, such as human rights in the Islamic world, this important article will shed light on the ideology which makes the progressive camp seem so wacko.
For instance, I have an acquaintance who gets all frothy when discussing subjects like the Bush administration's insidious schemes to violate the privacy rights of terrorists or the treatment of women in American corporations.
When I follow up with a question such as, "What about, like, the Taliban?" the response is usually a deadpan "duh" sort of gaze as though my question was the ultimate non sequitor.
I can try to press the point that, if one is going to get rabid about civil liberties denied and sexual discrimination and such, the Islamists - the ones George Bush wants to wiretap - are a pretty fat target. But intellectual consistency is not what the Left is all about.
The Left never errs â€“ it always acts against the West. It never stands or fights for anything that may be good for the western world. It canâ€™t, because it is a reaction against it. Opposition to the West is the very reason for its existence; it is its nature. A wolf canâ€™t act like a hare or a lion like an antelope. The Left can never become the Westâ€™s friend, because antipathy towards it actuates its heart and infuses its soul.
The theory proposed here shows why this is so. But it does more than this â€“ it also makes readily comprehensible even the Leftâ€™s most seemingly inexplicable rhetoric and behavior.
Take a few minutes to read it all.
A TMG Coalition update brought this National Review Online article by Peter Ferrara (former VA Club for Growth President) to my attention. Now we all are familiar with Governor Warnerâ€™s famous deceit mentioned in the article:
â€¦â€œWhen Mark Warner ran for governor in 2001, he insisted he would never even consider raising taxes. He famously said, â€œThe old style of politics, of saying anything to get elected, is not what we need. Instead, as a businessman, I will clean up the budget mess in Richmond, restore accountability, and â€” no matter how many times my opponent may say otherwise â€” I will not raise your taxes.â€â€¦
And we all know that then, with the help of left-leaning Republicans Warner pushed through the largest tax increase in Virginia history under the false pretense of a budget shortfall which we know wasnâ€™t true because Virginia ended up with $400 million surplus in FY04 before the tax hike went into effect. As Ferrera reminds us, Warned and these Republicans would have had enough revenue to increase the biennial budget by 11% without a tax hike- but they wanted to spend even more of our money.
What I find so incomprehensible and sickening is not Warnerâ€™s role in this fiasco, after all we should expect as much from Democrats regardless of how conservative they claim to be. No, I am disgusted at the Republicans who pushed for this big-government tax hike after they promised not to support taxe increases. This is why the Republican Party has lost some of its support among Reagan conservatives, not because of â€œfar far far right group B Republicans.â€
We canâ€™t maintain the party that has been built on the shoulders of the Reagan revolutionâ€™s conservative agenda by abandoning that agenda while simultaneously deceiving voters with disingenuous campaign promises we then proceed to break. Ferrara uses the perfect example:
â€¦â€œLetâ€™s review the story of state senate finance committee chairman John Chichester. Chichester had faced a serious primary challenge in 2003, in which he urged voters to â€œJoin his campaign for lower taxes.â€ His literature also alleged that he was a â€œLeader in the fight for lower taxes.â€ In a campaign letter, Chichester said, â€œyou can always count on me to support our shared Republican principles of smaller government [and] lower taxes.â€ He told the Richmond Times Dispatch in May 2003, â€œIâ€™m certainly not going to favor raising taxes.â€â€¦ When Chichesterâ€™s primary opponent Mike Rothfeld charged that Chichester was plotting a massive tax increase with Warner, Chichester said Rothfeld was â€œhallucinatingâ€â€¦
The VA GOP suffered some significant election losses following the 2004 Republican tax hike disaster (some Kilgore staffers have point blank told me that voters were again and again giving them push back on the issue of trusting Republicans after the hike) And that brings us to where we are today: we find ourselves with growing state revenue (at an 11.3% rate for the first half of this fiscal year) and "moderate" Republicans are again clamoring to raise our taxes. I know I am getting more and more confused about what it means to be a Republican, I can understand how the rest of the electorate is equally confused and not motivated to vote for a Party that is seemingly abandoning its core principles.
A semi-retraction may be in order. I was in a bit of a huff when I wrote this post the other day denouncing the Republican Party and pledging henceforth to starve it unmercifully by cutting off the several hundred dollars I usually give each year, burning my "Halliburton Right or Wrong" sweatshirt and removing the "W - Still the President. HA HA HA HA HA!" bumper sticker from my SUV.
Sometimes it just feels good to be ticked off.
After reading the post by Sophrosyne on the news SCOTUS would review a lower-court ruling that has blocked enforcement of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the point did strike home that 'elections matter.'
Then, on the Dubai port issue, I was initially impressed by the fact our President is unapologetic about supporting the deal.
I was impressed in the sense of, "Boy, he's impressive even when he's dead wrong!"
But after reading a bunch of information posted on the excellent Blogs of War, I did experience a nagging doubt. The doubt said to me: "Joe, you don't actually know one single thing about the United Arab Emirates, yet you are ready to burn your Halliburton shirt?"
I strongly urge everyone to take the opportunity to read John Little's post and get educated.
As I've gotten older, I really haven't gotten any smarter, just a lot better at admitting how dumb I am.
Now, I would not mind terribly to be proven wrong in this case by being proven right on that previous post. (And I think I've set myself up for a small victory here no matter what happens, which is nice.) But whether right or wrong on Dubai, I'm pretty confident abandoning the GOP makes no sense at all.
On a related note, with reference to the local scene...[more, below the fold]
The Liberals on the Judicial Committee thought they had Judge Alito for sure when they referred to the alumni organization that Judge Alito joined when he graduated from Princeton. The magazine of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton had a quote that Senator Kennedy (the ever partisan protector of the little lemming voters in Massachusetts) was upset over and screeched his displeasure in the direction of Judge Alito.
The actual quote from one article - which has, since, been revealed to be satire - is:
People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and Hispanic, the physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports, and homosexuals are demanding that government vouchsafe them the right to bear children.
The Liberal tactic is to take these issue positions and damn them by misquoting, and the use of indignant and condescending innuendos. I happen to believe, nonetheless, the quote is right on! My take on this is as follows:
First: I do not believe Blacks, Hispanics or anyone else should be given jobs because of their skin color or nationality. Neither they nor whites should be discriminated against. If these minority groups really want to end discrimination, they should support equal opportunity for all. They should not seek retribution or restitution for wrongs done to their ancestors from those of us whites who have neither owned slaves nor practiced discrimination. The more they insist on doing so, they successfully breed more white bigots. The cycle will continue as long as the blacks let their bigoted black leaders lead them down the current path. Nonetheless the quote is accurate.
Second: The physically handicapped have actual limitations that they and others must accept and deal with in the best manner possible. A paraplegic cannot be on an NFL football team. It is fine to create Special Olympics and other venues to help improve the quality of life for people with handicaps. Nonetheless the quote is accurate.
Third: The government needs to stay out of endorsing the behaviors of Homosexuals. I believe the best family unit is the marriage of a man and a woman wherein they raise children. That should be the only government endorsement of family. It is for the purpose of continuing the population of the planet. I recognize there are all sorts of other circumstances wherein children are conceived and raised. So be it, but do not ask the Government to endorse them. At most it should be a child welfare issue of local government institutions set up the do the best for children, parents and other needy folks.
Being away from the blog for a few weeks has its advantages; namely, returning home to find the entire page blank serves as reassuring evidence of one's indispensability. Yes, it is nice to be needed.
(On the other hand, the blank page is a reminder that, despite everything going on in the world today, there is still no substitute for familiarizing oneself with Movable Type's settings. I think we'll just crank that "number of days to display" up from 7 to about 28 or so, just to allow for future absences.)
Speaking of the world, we here in Northern VA are just a short ferry ride or a LONG bridge crossing from that little slice of enlightened liberal utopia known as "Maryland." It's fun to have Maryland around and to catch the latest news from thereabouts in the local papers, sort of like the crazy uncle who makes Thanksgiving dinner so memorable.
The other day saw this sample of local artistry in the Washington paper of record:
Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.
Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.
Now, I'm not one to kick the leftist lunatics while they are making a public spectacle of themselves. Because I don't have to. The hard work, as usual, has already been done by the inimitable Iowahawk, who delves a little further into this scintillating story:
Steele, a Black Republican Lt. Governor seeking the seat of retiring Senator Paul Sarbanes, has sparked a flurry of condemnation from some mainstream civil rights organizations who have characterized him as an â€œUncle Tom,â€ a â€œSimple Sambo,â€ and â€œa shiftless no account yassuh-boss Steppin Fetchit country ass Unca Remus picanninny.â€ Others faulted what they termed Steeleâ€™s â€œartful evasionsâ€ of opponent criticism and tossed watermelons.
â€œAs the Republicanâ€™s uppity pet house Negro, Steele has no idea what itâ€™s like to face real racial discrimination, what itâ€™s like to suffer because of your skin color,â€ said Maryland State Senator Lisa Gladden.
(By the way, if you are not reading Iowahawk regularly, you are in serious danger of failing to fulfill the destiny planned for you when the Prime Mover first envisioned your existence, and thereby letting down the entire universe. Don't be that guy.)
Needless to say, plenty of fine people live in Maryland. They just tend to be political outsiders most of the time. Here's hoping Mr. Steele strikes a blow for the good guys.
I don't think it up; I just report it.
From today's Democratic Underground:
Pope John Paul II believed Bush was the anti-Christ...with a link to this article (brace yourself)
He reportedly said so numberous times to various cardinals. While I don't know as I believe in an anti-Christ, if there is one I'm sure he's on the same side as Bush.
Bush's philosophy is certainly anti-Christian (as in the opposite of what Christ taught) and we need to counteract the lies told by his anti-Christian ministers (who also teach the opposite of what Christ taught).
Also enlightening are these threads (scroll down in each to get the full flavor of who the other side is):
If you aren't familiar with the thinking of the rank-and-file 'progressives,' you can't understand the cultural struggle in America today.
Liberal means progressive. Progressive means changing the future. Change to a progressive liberal is the successful eradication of all things conservative. I am a conservative in case you had not guessed. I do not feel we should eradicate all things liberal. I too love the birds and the bunnies and the fish and the forests and clean air and clear water. I am against discrimination by race or religion or national origin. I believe we all benefit by helping the poor and infirmed. Etc. etc.
But, I have some questions of progressive liberals:
Why do you insist on killing babies for convenience?
Why do you support deviant sexual behavior and expect me to also support it?
Why do you insist on sex training for grade school children?
Why do you prevent parents from knowing about their own childrenâ€™s pregnancies and abortions?
Why do you want God out of the public square?
Why do you love the animals more than people?
Why do you want more government control in all our lives?
Why do you fear and distain competition?
Why do you despise capitalism?
Why do you support frivolous lawsuits?
Why do you perpetuate the politics of envy between the rich and the poor?
Why do you love other countries cultures over our own?
Why do you fear religion?
Why do you want to make self-defense illegal?
Why do you not want to try everything possible to improve our schools?
I have this feeling that you do not even know the answers to these questions yourself. Oh, you have a few catch phrases wrapped in some sort of idea of utopia and idealism, sprinkled with comments about greed, racism and unfairness. But those do not wash. Please think introspectively and think your positions (listed above) through to their logical conclusion. Please understand the cumulative impact of the unintended consequences. If you do that, I believe you will become a staunch conservative with a foundation of logical liberal philosophy to maintain balance and help our country survive. Survival is optional. We need your help.
God Bless America, please.