Recently in Site Housekeeping Category

Good game, just not quite good enough

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Congrats to the Redskins for rising to the occasion and playing the Cowboys even until the final minutes. With Dallas favored by over 10 and the 'Skins missing a key player on both offense and defense I thought it had all the makings of an upset and we almost saw one. Like they say, forget about stats and records when these two teams play.

On a housekeeping note, we are still in the midst of troubleshooting the technical problems here which have caused the huge issues with comments, made creating new posts dicey (sometimes you create two for the price of one) and have also made it difficult to make any changes to the templates (i.e. adding material to the sidebars). On the whole everything has gotten REAL slow performance wise. The Movable Type people are trying to help us figure out what has gone wrong the past few weeks, and I am confident we will soon be back in business here. Thanks to everyone for your patience. Once we get it all worked out, I expect to be posting regularly again.

The Blog is Back

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I think it is basically working.

Oh, sorry: I THINK IT IS BASICALLY WORKING!!!!

I just left a test comment and it showed up.

There is some weird code that comes up with the old entries when you go to their entry pages, but the new ones seem to be working just fine.

This is a new version of MT and it is supposed to allow much easier changes to the templates, and we are now on a server with much greater capacity and something like 30 times the bandwidth allowance, which is ironic since our traffic has completely tanked with the overhaul and the apparent loss of all our google links.

But what the hey.

Also ironically, I can change styles easily and to test this out I must have clicked on the silliest looking style sheet available. Next I will try switching to a less frilly one, but I have some work to finish first so, in the meantime, I hope this one grows on you a little.

Fellow bloggers, take heart, as soon as I get this figured out I will explain it to you and you will be back in business. In the meantime you should be able to comment.

Housekeeping update

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What has happened here is the rebuild did not go so smoothly and there are still some bugs in the links. Thus permalinks and comment links do not work. Fixing the many problems took up all the spare time I had which left no time to get our other authors back online, and now my regular life is going to keep me away from the computer for awhile, so it could be days before any of them have access to write new posts.

The "more" links don't work, so the only way to make the masterful but very long posts by a certain author here readable was to bring them entirely onto the main page, which strikes that certain author as how the posts deserved to be displayed anyway, he must say.

(And no point in setting up commenting until you can see comments, right?)

Where this leave us is with sort of a perfect storm. I am the only one who can post, and I also am going to be VERY busy with regular life stuff - and in the past, as many of you know, this sort of situation has resulted in me posting about really off the wall stuff like Mexican ladies hanging out with beings from outer space, and what I am about to have for dinner.

So you might want to read the newspaper the next few days if you want to find out what's happening in the world, because you definitely ain't gonna find that out here.

Hope to have all the problems fixed soon.

Still testing

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Not too pretty, is it?

Test

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Still testing .....

Housekeeping note

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

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

Ratings Are In: We're A Family Blog Here

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HEY! Some good news, finally.

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

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

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

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

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

We Don't Ban Liberals Here

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Ok, the question has now come up from outside and inside so, lacking anything else of import to blog about at this hour of the night, I might as well answer it:

We have only banned ONE person here in the two years or whatever we've been in existence, and that person was neither liberal nor conservative but simply a freak.

That's not to say we have not had considerable antagonists. We have MAJOR antagonists. They rip us to shreds five ways from Tuesday all the time day in and day out. We can deal with that.

Some of our favorite, blood-feud liberal visitors have been invited to blog here under our own amnesty program, in fact, and one of them very famously took us up on the offer and now has blanket privileges to post whatever he wants at the NVTH Blog.

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is, I daresay, one of the most interesting, yet completely liberal, people in the blogosphere. He thinks I am a total neanderthal. And he is not only NOT blocked but has admin access to this site.

Kevin is one of our less-than-blood-feud liberal friends who has full access and has also contributed excellent posts here, and is now one of our best friends in the blogosphere and beyond.

Zimzo, if you can believe it, was also offered full access. It was offered to others as well. So I think we have established we are not afraid of open dialogue.

The question is, why are all these guys not always posting here.

The answer is, because they have lives - not because we shut them out.

It takes a LOT of time to engage in a continuing discussion in the comments. It is a big time investment to write all the stuff. It's along the lines of an academic debate, and we do not offer Continuing Education Units.

We are pleased when our liberal commentors weigh in here, but when they don't we fully understand they have other things to do.

That's all there is to it. No conspiracies.

I've got a few hours left. I should be able to periodically check in throughout my deployment. Good luck to everyone. Thanks for reading.

Two New Bloggers Coming On Board Here

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Big news, and I am talking in the Grand Scheme Of Things:

We are going to have two new bloggers joining us!

First is a wonderful individual - "ACTivist", who shall remain pseudonymous until he/she decides to reveal any personal hints. You are going to enjoy this one.

Second is .... drumroll please...

I'm Back

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...At least until I go again. My orders are in and it looks like I'll be activated in less than a month, and back in the sandbox a few months after that. Can't say I'm not looking forward to it. Anyhow, I've got a lot a preparations and I probably won't be posting a whole lot before then, and probably not much at all after that.

In the meantime, I figured I'd use up some leave at my day job, and I took a little vacation. I'll throw some pictures up later if I can remember how to do it.

I'm on a brief leave of absence where blogging will be limited. I should be back at full capacity in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, don't expect a lot out of me.

For those who want to try to figure out 'who is singleton,' I will be at the RPV Gala on June 2nd, the good Lord willing, to see my man Fred Thompson.

Proprietor Going AWOL

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The next two weeks are my really busy time so I expect to be of little help here ... or far less than usual, to be more precise.

As the proprietor of this blog, I hereby announce I expect no horseplay or grab assin' and I want everyone to behave like the gentlemen and ladies you all are. Drinks, as usual, are on the house for those of age. If you have the need to spit, please use a spittoon, but if it is as a result of wine tasting I question your manliness because I've never understood why a body can't swallow a little more wine under any circumstance whatsoever.

I'll make an appearance or two, but most likely under the most ignominious of conditions (watch for reports at Digital Camel), but will not be back in full force until April.

In the meantime, watch these guys.

Carry on.

The Bigotry Rule

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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?

I have returned. Anybody miss me?

I guess the better question would be: Anybody remember me?

Housekeeping Note

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I'm traveling, the cause of which I will spell out soon, and this is why I have not been able to keep up with the comments.

For the record, we LOVE our commenters at NVTH and we treat our visitors as kings. For the moment, however "we" is "me" and me is really busy.

I'm depositing our younger progeny at college, which by the way is ungodly dear. I mean, the annual cost is more than I earned in my first 28 years upon this Earth. I was a spectacularly unsuccessful young adult, but criminy ...

So the days have been busy. Tomorrow we have 'parents orientation' and I have to drive back to VA in the afternoon, then I have a business trip to Vegas for the next four days. I love you all so please do not interpret my lack of immediate response as a lack of concern. I expect to have some stories and some photos (look at Digital Camel for many of these).

Further Commenting Note

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For those who are still having trouble or getting errors commenting here, try emptying your cache and cookies and such. In the latest Mozilla it is under Tool - Clear Private Data. In IE I don't know where it is but it's probably a little harder to find.

Apparently all the anti-spam changes of the past month did things that will choke your browser if it expects the old set up.

I realize this may be a bit presumptuous, assuming anyone would delete all that stuff and have to retype all their Web addresses to get the history built back up just to participate here. But most right-minded people, I humbly submit, would consider it a small price to pay indeed.

Counterculture and Beer

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Check out Digital Camel: I know Kevin does not want the traffic, but he's got a great beer recipe up and I posted some favorite magazine covers. Maybe a preview of this summer's events?

More Comment Notes

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What I think has happened is the commenting function is back to where it was a month ago - wide open for regular commenters. But those of us who became "authenticated" via TypeKey are now forever obligated to be signed in with TypeKey. I'm not sure if this has any advantages, except that we are each listed as "Trusted" within Movable Type - it won't allow anyone who is not authenticated to be "Trusted" - so we've got that going for us, which is nice.

It appears the Solid Wall of Code stuff is therefore working; a couple of spams have gotten through but most are going right into Junk. I'm tentatively optimistic. After we've seen a few more non-authenticated commenters get through I'll be more likely to pronounce this entire wacky, psychedelic month of experimentation a success.

UPDATE: Spam still is getting through, so we're going to give Jay Allen's 'Comment Challenge" plug-in a spin. If anything breaks, this will be the reason.

We Submit To Our Liberal Superiors

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Well the commenting situation has certainly separated the men from the, er, guys.

It seems some of our most beloved participants have not been able to navigate the new TypeKey regimen, and have complained to me vociferously, and therefore I have taken much time from my already-Romanesque daily drill routine to try and find a better solution for Movable Type comment spam.

I first learned that SCode is no longer supported - unfortunately after sending the SCode creator a monetary donation and taking the time to configure SCode here at the NOVATownHall Blog.

Next, I downloaded and installed much of the Solid Wall of Code multi-layered defense system. Unfortunately, again, after installing this fine set of products I found that turning off TypeKey authentication did not in fact remove the requirement for commenters to become authenticated via TypeKey.

As it turns out, turning off TypeKey authentication simply results in NO commenters being able to authenticate, because TypeKey is then unavailable.

Yep, it still requires commenters to "Sign In." Only there is nowhere to Sign In to.

So where we are left is: TypeKey will not go away. Lovely. Thank you, SixApart (owners of Movable Type and TypeKey).

As far as I can tell, this means moi, and a bunch of liberals - Stay Puft, Zimzo, Kevin - and Charles, who I have not been able to pigeonhole ideologically, and a small assortment of others, are the only people now able to comment on this blog.

Sorry, conservatives! Either you will learn to tame the TypeKey beast, or you will be left without a voice in the comments.

(I do have to say, though, shouldn't we all be able to figure this one out? I'm just sayin'... maybe Zimzo will be available for tutoring. Hey, I kid because I love.)

As stated earlier, in several instances: I encourage all who want to speak their peace to do so with new posts - these are unaffected by the dictatorial commenting regimen.

To reiterate: Once tied in for authentication purposes, TypeKey apparently cannot be uninstalled.

Our conservative friends need to get up to speed; or, conversely, I hope our liberal friends will take advantage of the opportunity to pummel me mercilessly until, a la the rope-a-dope, they will find themselves punched out, defenseless, and wide open to my searing conservative ripostes.

Either way, I'm sure it will all work out for the best.

A change of pace: The Story of Elena

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Y'know what, I am getting sick of blogging about politics and current events, and everyone else here is busy, and considering I am probably the worst at it anyway it's sort of silly for me to continue reaching and cutting - and - pasting to create posts when I really don't have many of my own ideas to relate, nor adequate time usually to relate them if I was not sick of it.

Consequently, for the indefinite future I am going to do something else I am REALLY bad at but can at least be original with, which is writing fiction. On top of that, I am going to write the type of fiction I am the very worst at, which is science fiction. And on top of that, I am going to tell the story from the perspective of a type of person I've never even met, which is an elderly Mexican woman. If anyone would prefer more serious subject matter contact me and I will give you a log in. Enjoy.

Chapter One

On the morning of her 75th birthday, Elena Perez walked along a dusty road carrying two plastic sacks of groceries, including cheese, tortillas, soap, hair spray and cat food, when suddenly she saw a flash of light in the sky. "Ay caramba, que es eso!" (Holy mackeral, what is that!) she said out loud, as the ground began to tremble, an eerie roaring sound filled her ears, and nary a bird nor animal of any kind was to be seen in any direction - north, south, east, or west. She knew this because she was spinning around.

Five days later, she was sitting at a card table playing bridge, a game unknown in her hometown in Mexico, but the recreation of choice of our new alien overlords, who had taught it to Elena. Half of the human race had been destroyed immediately by laser-like weapons which caused massive explosions, like the weapons portrayed in the movie War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise, and the other half of humanity had been coralled into slave labor camps. A select few, mostly elderly Mexican women, were allowed to live in relative freedom and comfort as long as they agreed to complete foursomes when needed. Those with no talent for bridge were given a choice between weekend kitchen duties and certain death. Most chose the former.

During Elena's belated birthday celebration, the head alien overlord, Regis, sat down next to her and looked directly into her eyes.

"Elena Perez," he said with a perfect Spanish accent [Editors note: Regis speaks Spanish to Elena but all of the following will be translated into English for the benefit of our English-speaking readers] "you must be wondering why we have come to Earth, destroyed everything, and forced those we have not killed into slavery. It must seem ... how you Mexicans say, 'a tad crass.'"

"Oh, si senor" said Elena [Editor's note: Ditto on Elena's speaking in Spanish and it being translated] "in my country, we have very few large explosions and we never, ever play bridge."

"Ha ha ha ha ha!" Regis laughed appreciatively. "Somehow, that's EXACTLY what I thought you were going to say! But I do want to explain that we aliens need certain raw materials from your planet - raw materials unkown to mankind because they only exist in the most remote places on Earth, deep underground. Your people - and by this I mean humans, not Mexicans - do not have the technology to locate or extract these materials, and even if you did you'd have no idea what to do with them. That's where we come in."

"Oh, I see: So you and all the other overlords are like mining executives. We have some of those in Mexico City, from what I am told. Or we did ..."

"I'm glad you made that little self-correction at the end, Elena," Regis noted, "because it makes your previous two sentences far more accurate. Yes, we are very much like what you call 'mining executives.' And yes, all of your mining executives are now headquartered near Toledo where one of our regional offices is located. It's a good-sized facility, and fairly comfortable, but they are all slave laborers nonetheless, albeit of the 'white collar' variety. It's no picnic."

Elena finished her last bite of cake, set down the little paper plate, and nodded knowingly while she chewed.

Regis continued: "The raw materials will make us fabulously wealthy, ensuring we can afford to heat our home planet, Accutane, for millions of years."

A strange, perplexing thought went through Elena's mind, and it showed on her face by the slight scowl she made.

"But if all you need is a raw material we did not even know existed, why couldn't you just come and take it instead of killing everybody?"

Regis' eyes turned cold and gray, like the shark's eyes so famously described by the Robert Shaw character in Jaws. "Let me explain something to you, Elena," he hissed. "Alien overlords will do whatever they wish, whenever they wish, and it's not yours to ask 'why.' Your role is simply to eat your birthday cake when appropriate, play a little bridge now and then, and go on with your life, now as an upper middle class person. I have problems, let's call them 'opportunities,' that you would never understand. Oh dear, sweet, innocent Elena. How I wish sometimes I was born a simple Mexican woman instead of an alien overlord. I bet you've never killed anyone or caused a single explosion in your life, now have you?"

"Oh, no, senor."

"Do you mean 'no' you never did those things or 'no' as in you are disagreeing with me because you have actually killed people and/or caused explosions?"

"I mean, I may be a simple, latter day Mexican peasant farm worker who is no spring chicken, but I have not lived in a cave my whole life. I killed two men during spring break when I was 22 years old after drinking mucho tequila - I ran them over with my friend's car."

"Two at the same time?" Regis asked with mock horror.

"No about five hours apart, but the same binge."

"How about explosions?"

"No, I never cause any explosions. Nothing in my house is made to explode."

"Well EVERYTHING in my house is made to explode," Regis said. "So, can I get you some more punch?"

"No, I've had enough. Thank you very much for the party and the explanation of why you invaded our planet," Elena said sincerely. "Do you know if anyone needs a fourth today, or what else might be going on?"

Regis gave Elena the day off, patted her shoulder, stood up and turned resolutely toward the door, feeling rather proud of himself. That had gone MUCH easier than he'd expected. He waved at a group of four other matronly Mexican ladies, clasped his seven-fingered hands together, and strode into the hallway, ducking to ensure his metallic skull did not smash through the top of the door frame.

He saw an overlord rounding the corner ahead, and called out to him: "Hey, Barthlomew!"

"Yeah, Rege?"

"How are the slave labor camps going?"

"You mean before or after I breathed napalm fire down on everyone and burned their hair and clothes off?"

Regis laughed. That was an old joke, but it still tickled his three funny bones every time.

Chapter Two

Era of Charles Is Upon Us

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Well jiminy cricket don't that take the cake.

I spill my sweat and blood building this stinkin' blog and while I toil away against the spam-bots and can't even comment on me own blog, in comes this galavantin' Charles with his fancy Typekey ways. Registering in, thank you very much, leaving comments to and fro, here and there, like he doesn't have a CAAARE in the world, submitting his precious comments, watching them post successfully and flittering off on his twinkly little toes - "Ta ta, by the by, Charles was here, so very nice to comment at your blog!"

Well, isn't that just peachy-kins. Old Charlie boy is speaking his peace and showing off his skills. I'm happy. So happy, in fact, that I just might stand atop the roof and shriek like Rodan herself: "AAAUUURRRRGGGHHH - AAAUUURRRR - AAAAUUURRRGGGHHH!!!" blasting the somnorific denizens of Sterling out of their slumber, shaking their foundations and sending their rottweilers scurrying under their beds whining like mewling little newborn bunnies.

Ahem.

Well I just can't say what I think, if this is how the comments are going to be. No spam. No Joe. Charles when he deigns to toss us a comment. Oy feel loyk a prisnah, govnah; a prisnah in me OWN blog. It's a shame, is what it is.

Era of Big Brother Is Upon Us Here Now

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Well that was a bracing onslaught, I must say. We haven't been inundated, we've been SPAM-um-dated!!

It appears our lazy, hazy, crazy days of open commenting at the NVTH Blog are over. There may be filters to deal with this new variety but from what I've seen it would take a Jack or Jacob to implement (I'm a humanities guy, sorry). I don't really like instructions that take longer than a paragraph because after that much technical reading I'm checking e-mail, baking cookies and gazing absently off into the distance.

Plus, I prefer the more definitive, robust, possibly injurious approach to any problem ... so won't you seh hallo to mah little fren ...

TYPEKEY!

From now on if you want to contribute here your papers better be in order, or you will have to move on to the next blog where the undocumented are still welcome. The upside is, this should be the end of spam which will make me happier and free up some time. The downside is, I'm told the Typekey handshake with Movable Type is broken and therefore comments will be broken as well until I tinker it to death.

Hey, it ain't perfect, but it's a blog, dammit, and it's our blog, and there are parts of the world where they'd give a herd of goats just to have a broken blog like this one. So we should all be grateful.

Get ready, I shall now commence activating authentication. Anything might happen.

UPDATE: I can't comment on me own blog! I cannot comment! Ohhh, the humanity!

BUT we've had no spam in almost five minutes! Heaven smiles upon us!

UPDATE II: Not doing so good here, are we? I am googling "registration is required" so have no fear. I always immediately find exactly what I need to know on google. In the meantime, I'm sure many have been banging into the same wall, yet full of thoughts they are bursting at the seams to post here.

In the spirit of the season, let me venture to convey what some of our commenters would be typing if they could be typing:

Gozer: "You lightweight, panty-waist magazine reader and think-tank supplicant. Read some damn actual research and maybe books for a change and then we will talk. Also, Go Florida."

Kevin: "I shall believe your tales of illegal immigrants only when every one of them has personally stepped on my toe and provided DNA evidence of their illegality. Till then, I scoff. I also drink, but even then, I scoff."

Zimzo: "Joe, you magnificent, wonderful bastard! You have been right all along! Merry Christmas, Joe, Merry Christmas, everyone!"

Jack: (Jack isn't saying anything, just standing in the background with his whacking stick, giving us all the Clint Eastwood glare.)

UPDATE III: Not too good. In the process of resetting and rebuilding I had to open up comments for about 9 minutes and during that time 7 spam comments all got through my filter, so I am convinced this present state of affairs is unavoidable.

The Typekey-Movable Type combination pretty much blows, which does not say much for SixApart, which owns them both. You would think all the effort required to keep Movable Type in good form would inspire them to provide a functioning integration with THEIR ONLY OTHER BUILT-IN AUTHENTICATION SOLUTION WHICH THEY ALSO HAPPEN TO OWN.

I will eventually get it figured out, not necessarily tonight.

An Offer To My Friend Zimzo

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This thread is getting too involved so it's time to bring it up to the front page. Our esteemed commenter Zimzo has managed to pin just about everything wrong with the world on my efforts to advocate against illegal immigration; although he has not yet blamed me for Iraq, although I think that is coming. World hunger, teen pregnancy, and steroids might show up on my debit sheet as well.

I extend an olive branch:

Zim, you're a freak, but I love ya. Wherever the hell that WND story fits in to the "discussion" we are having - and lord knows I sure didn't bring it in - I am truly flattered you see fit to grab outrages from all around the globe and hang them onto my tottering frame.

Psst! 4 Klansmen are setting up a roadblock outside Beckley, WV: There's got to be a Budzinski angle to that - go get'em, boy!

I don't know whether it's your tendency to grab half-quotes from what I've written, or lump me in with people who share my page in the telephone book, or simply make shit up out of thin air and then demand I rebut it, but there is something in your spirit I admire.

With a few men like you, I could bring down the whole corrupt apparatus of modern business and politics. I'd push out the press releases, and you could keep their spokespeople tied up in knots. You'd be my Rove, son, you'd be my Carville, you'd be my friggin' Che Guevara.

Meet me on the porch for a Captain and Coke sometime, if you have it in you. We might actually be able to get something done in this world.

I await your thoughtful reply.

Extended Christmas Outlook

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Some random thoughts and observations for the Christmas season, which in case you didn't notice began the day before Halloween. Boy, Tim Burton really did have it together, did he not?

I'm a huge fan of the Christmas holiday - I can listen to the music all year long. (The good stuff, though: just the good stuff). The problem is, the press of "business" can make it near impossible to appreciate. The deadly assiduousness of the personal calendar is the killer. I am now, for instance, mentally done with Thanksgiving shopping preparations and quite past the logistical complications with our next two bi-weekly payrolls at the day job, dead in the midst of work on grassroots stuff for the next two months, along with plenty of holiday engagements plotted out and, to be honest, travel plans and agendas for mid-January and March being the key events on my current temporal horizon. I've already decided not to bother changing out my winter/summer wardrobes because I'll be packing for the desert Southwest in no time and then it's practically polos-and-khaki's season again.

Who needs the moment of death: My life is flashing before my eyes while I live it!

But Christmas is sweet; it's cool. It represents the Big Break in the annual cycle. You can't go through it and hear all the messages about what it means and not have a tinge of hope that things CAN be new again. The year comes to a close, everyone and everything decks out in celebratory overtones for weeks on end, and in at least a meager way the entire public consciousness acknowledges that reality extends beyond our current sordid historical humdrum.

In our best moments, Christmas serves as a national team-building retreat. I, for one, am one of those who likes to start early and finish late. Put that tree up right after Thanksgiving and take it down on Valentine's Day, dammit. That's doing Christmas right.

In that spirit, then, let's position the NovaTownHall Blog for the next couple months:


  • The Queen is dead, long live the Queen! We're in a political limbo! How nice this is! And it will certainly continue until well into January. Who knows how all the Democrat scrapping will end up. Who knows what the Repuds will end up standing for. While the carols play, who gives a rat's you-know-what?! Frankly, it will be two months of pure political theater. For those who don't follow politics it will be a mildly interesting interregnum; for those who do, it will be sheer entertainment. Cheeks will be scratched bloody and toes will be bruised. This is why they get paid the big bucks. Enjoy! It's a blogger's paradise.
  • There is a lot of sweetness and light during the Christmas season. Good stories abound, and they help define the world. Let's all be sure to highlight that when we can. Busy-ness is death. I hope we can all find time to post nice stories about good people doing good things. America is not so bad when you come to think about it.
  • Speaking of which: What exactly is so great about this country? The entire world sometimes seems to be a friggin' mess. Is the U.S. doing anything right? I hope during the Christmas holiday some of us will have some spare time to reflect on what, if anything, America and Americans are doing a good job at.
  • Also speaking of which: Do we all agree on anything? Godalmighty, that seems like a silly question to have to ask but ask it we must. I was out working at the polls last Tuesday and my "opponents" were wonderful, decent people. We were out in the rain together and went out of our way not to disparage each other. We literally made room for the others to hand out their "sample ballots." I was talking with our main Democrat counterpart and found we agreed 100% on the issue of illegal immigration and what needed to be done about it. So what that he was promoting Jim Webb and Judy Feder: We were a couple people who likely could have sat down and watched a football game together and found we agreed on 80% of the major issues of the day. Let's remember, always, that our "opponents" are likely much more like us than the public rhetoric would have us believe. Therein lies the basis of future political realignment in America, and isn't that what this whole unholy mess is about?
  • As bloggers, we must remember to write about non-political topics. Something, anything, even if it's about raking the leaves or shoveling snow. Our blog posts will persist whether we like it or not; in a way they will serve as part of our respective epitaphs. Inevitably, through all the debate and garble, we will each say something that encapsulates our take, our "say," our unique personal writing which expresses who we are. A lot of mine, frankly, suck, and I hope I do enough better ones to cancel all of the bad ones out.
  • Amnesty Week is a go, and it will be a looong week, befitting the holiday that should never end, just because I love these guys. You know who you are. The log-ins should still work. Remember the ground rules: 72 dpi graphics; Close those div's; Observe the Blog-Breathalyzer Credo ("Blow over 3, no typing for thee!"); Say something nice about St. Ann and you get a gift basket; While I'm always fair game, please be kind to our other NVTH bloggers because they truly are gentle, kindly folk in whom there is no guile; Recipes, Christmas tree photos, seasonal lawn care tips, and puppy snapshots are always welcome; And, finally, no 24 spoilers. Some of us are taping it, dammit. Post as frequently or infrequently as you like because I'll leave it open. Why extend this Amnesty to our ideological "opponents?" Simply because too many of Kevin's and the General's comments deserve to be posts and they, like my Democratic counterpart on election day, are more like me than unlike me. (Kevin I'll return the favor whenever you wish).

On with Christmas, then. It's almost summer, folks, so let's get to it.

Call Out To Bloggers!

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The holidays approach and the blogosphere retracts. Traffic dwindles, people have lives. IT IS NOT GOOD, PEOPLE!

We need to counteract the terrible effect of human society. Therefore I call on all of our NovaTownHall Blog Crew to step up to the plate during the holiday season.

I'm here. No Relation is here when he is not busting heads. Jack is here when he is not whacking moles. I'm talking to the rest of you:

Jacob: Your James Bond stuff is wonderful but can you spare us a moment between martinis and Star Wars?

Soph: The big V is under your belt. You've had some time off. Do you have it in yourself to dive in and flail some elbows?

Aislinn: AISLINN - you want to lower the boom, I know you do. You're full of oats. Please kick the butt you were placed on this Earth to kick.

Singleton: You were one of the best. If not the best. Will this happen? It won't be the same without you.

Amnesty Guys - YES - I say Amnesty Guys you know who you are. Do you want to influence the debate, say your say, sprinkle pigeon droppings on our high-falutin' notions? If you want in let me know because we are talking a very interesting interlude between now and January. AND I STILL TRUST YOU. I'd let this one fly for the next two months. You are just that good.

The less of you, the more of me. I think everyone can work that equation.

Respond in the comments, por favor.

Comment Spam Truce Mulled

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The deluge of comment spam here has been largely diverted into the junk folder, to the benefit of our readers' tender eyes and unsoiled souls. However, I have to wonder if our draconian policy thereto might be a bit harsh.

I mean, "free insurance quotes" seems a victimless spam if ever there was one. And the spammers always seem so cheery, and they never talk back.

Sterling Crime and Illegals Update

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The Tuesday post on the incident in Sterling has been taken down for the time being after my back and forth with Kevin in the comments and a note received from someone with an interest in the matter. The comments from Kevin and Had Enough point to one of the reasons a revision is needed and I have preserved these here below the fold.

Most blogs have a double nature of part news reporter or aggregator, and part personal journal. That post rested firmly in both areas, relating an event that just took place from the perspective of someone who was involved. As a slice of life in Sterling, it is perfectly valid. But the way I presented it also gave the impression of a news report, augmented by my editorial comments regarding the local crime rate. Often this site is found by people doing Google searches on news-related items. With that in mind, I think it would be more responsible to do some additional research and fact-checking in order that the "news" aspect be up to snuff. We don't need to be spreading misinformation.

The section of comment thread copied below is worth reading.

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I've been MIA at NOVA TH for months now due to my decision to commit what free time I have to supporting the Virginia Marriage Amendment and thus work to ensure that marriage is not left unnecessarily vulnerable to judicial activism and that the Commonwealth does not sanction (via judicial edict) a relationship designed to willfully deny children a mother or a father.

It’s been quite exhilarating to see the enthusiastic response to our efforts to protect marriage in Virginia as well as to witness the rejection of the anti-Marriage Amendment crowd’s increasingly desperate and absurd declarations and obfuscations. Less than 2 weeks to go! Everyone should get out there and work hard because our opponents and their paid staff are certainly doing so… we can take nothing for granted!

Anyways… just wanted to quickly post Senator Allen’s response to the decision of four unelected New Jersey judges to force same-sex unions on that state’s residents (precisely what the Marriage Amendment is designed to protect against). Here it is, in full:

For Immediate Release: October 25, 2006 Contact: Press Office 703.845.3689

Senator Allen’s Statement on New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling

ARLINGTON, VA – Senator Allen issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of New Jersey that legalizes same-sex marriage:

“Today’s decision by the NJ Supreme Court is another example of activist judges inventing the law and subverting the will of the people. This is why I support the marriage amendment, because it will protect the values and views of the people of Virginia from judges who would want to impose their elitist views on us. This is a clear difference between my opponent and me – I support protecting marriage from judges who do not understand their role: to interpret the law, not invent the law. My opponent does not.

“My opponent says that this amendment would infringe upon the rights of ordinary Virginians, and he opposes it. But I and many members of the Virginia Assembly joined in asking the Attorney General of Virginia to render an opinion. His response: ‘I can find no legal basis for the proposition that passage of the marriage amendment will limit or infringe upon the ordinary civil and legal rights of unmarried Virginians’.

“This amendment does exactly what it says it does; it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and I’m for marriage between a man and a woman while my opponent is against it.”

— # # # —

Now get off your computer and start making calls and knocking on doors! Sign up here.

Comment spam attack verbiage warning

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The comment spam bots have apparently found a way through the built-in Movable Type spam filter so this is what I have had to do.

Every comment using the words "nice site", "cool site" and "good site" is now going directly into the junk folder. More draconian measures may be required in the future but for now please just avoid using those phrases. Thanks.

Revised entry and contest

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The entry formerly in this place seemed a tad incomplete and instead of completing it, after much deliberation totalling approximately 2 seconds, I decided it may have been misconceived in the first place, following an absolutely splendid "networking" reception here last evening.

As Kevin can tell you, these things happen.

For restitution and penance, I offer our readers a contest.

Anyone who can tell me what the photo below the fold, taken by me at about 7:00 am this morning, depicts, can write anything they want about me and I will place it a new post right here and leave it on this blog in perpetuity.

Status report: Stay Puft

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Everything's fine with Stay Puft. His outstanding work here simply caught the eye of a government agency dealing with cultural exchange and the arts, and they've invited him for an interview.

They sent along this snapshot as evidence he went to them willingly, as practically everyone does.


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Gone Workin'

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The reason for all the "borrowed" material this morning is I'm now very busy with work and can only pop in once in a while the next few days, and this is the best I can offer. But it's all interesting material so I encourage everyone to scroll down and read it. Thanks to our guest authors!

Welcome to new blogger

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Like a Phoenix-S'mores rising from the ashes, NOVA TownHall Amnesty Week continues it's remarkable car crash-like march into the annals of blogospheric history. Rumor has it at some point this audacious, tornadic movement will actually result in a new post on this very page.

In the meantime, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome a longtime commenter and one of the top 10 people I'd like to share a taxi with, our good friend and frequent gadfly, the man who has evolved beyond "liberal" to a place in the ideological spectrum that can only be mapped by positing a fourth dimension, he'd sooner roast you than rebut you, the big guy himself...


Stay Puft Marshmallow Man


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All kidding aside, it is a friendly gesture for both Stay Puft and Kevin to even entertain the idea of posting here and I appreciate it immensely. We all have lives away from our computers. Even if they are too busy to do much they are both hereby awarded the Amnesty Week Certificate of Appreciation in honor of their good intentions.

Welcome to new blogger

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Our first new contributor under the provisions of the NOVA TownHall Amnesty Act will be Kevin of Dismantling Leviathon.

Dismantling Leviathon is one of the most wickedly clever blogs I've run across, the logical thread of which is so ingeniously subtle that it truly takes a mensa to follow it. When you figure it out, you will cackle with glee. If you are NOT a mensa, however, you may run into some problems. Just enjoy the pretty pictures, then.

Amnesty Week may shape up like so many of my previous ventures as a complete and total wash out, especially following the events of yesterday morning. Ahem. But Kevin is one of the first I invited and (he does not even know this yet) I may just make him a permanent guest blogger here. His stuff is simply too noggin-scratching good.

Mainly, he brings a new attitude to NOVA TownHall, a certain freshness which we have been lacking. I'm going to post his first post under his name, and I think you'll see why I had to hurry the protocol to get this fellow in play.

Amnesty Week RSVP, por favor

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Those of our esteemed commenters who have not yet responded to their NOVA TownHall Amnesty Week invitations are encouraged to check their e-mails and respond yay or nay. Zero hour is approaching and all the cool people are going to be in.

Amnesty Week is our way of saying 'gracias' for the innumerable hours you all have put in here, while at the same time turning the tables and letting you experience what it is like to craft a brilliant post and have it nibbled to death by ducks.

But mostly it's about the 'saying gracias' part.

You get to post willy nilly at NOVA TownHall! You get to perpetrate the most unbelievable outrages on our stodgy sensibilities! You get to root for the Redskins, for gods sake. Ixnay on the ornpay, however.

If you have not already done so please respond to me at

senorJOEelcaballero@elgrandeNOVATOWNHALL.COMcasa.

(Strip out all Spanish words from the above).

Vengan conmigos, muchachos!

NVTH Blog Seeks Key Ecosystem Nod

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It has just come to my attention that the NOVA TownHall Blog is being considered for membership in the inscrutably selective Hillbilly Ecosystem.


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Nothing is set in stone yet, and normally even broaching the subject prior to a final decision by the Hillbilly Judges Consortium would be a major faux pas, punishable at a level similar to that meted out for using the French language.

We feel we have nothing to fear, however, and even if our application is rejected the ensuing abject humiliation will be, frankly, like waking up in the morning for the NOVA TownHall bloggers.

We expect a final verdict from Lemuel Calhoun in the very near future. If you feel you have a dog in this fight, please drop by Hillbilly White Trash and leave a comment as to why we should, or should not, be admitted to the Hillbilly Ecosystem.

Just leave it on any recent post there, Lemuel will get it.

[The only Ecosystem that's worth a dang, if you ask me. That Truth Laid Bear nonsense has us bouncing from Large Something-or-other to Oily Duck with no rhyme or reason].

Amnesty Day: A Modest Proposal

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Just thinking out loud here. We have some wonderful liberal commenters on this site and I wonder if we could be doing a little more to recognize them, like at the end of the year swim team parties nowadays where every single little waterbug gets a trophy.

You have to get the details below the fold, however, because any more long posts on the front page might seriously jeopardize the chances of any of you reading JACK'S FIRST POST AT NVTH BLOG. It's up now! Go read it!

Click below for the rest of my sudden vision.

New NOVA TownHall Blogger Announcement

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To everyone who's got their shorts in a bind over my supposedly immoderate post from last night, I think you will all be pleased to know we are adding a new voice here at the NVTH Blog, one who will undoubtedly soften some of our rough edges.

I am, personally, very excited about this because it's not too often you get to "push the envelope" in terms of ideology. As a group I think we've shown here that we are, if anything, open to new ideas and perspectives.

With the introduction out of the way, I will go ahead and reveal who our new moderate-in-arms will be. You can wait until the person posts their first post, or you can click the link below to ruin the surprise.

Idiot gay commenter shows the gay hand

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The gay community undoubtedly appreciates you, moron. Thanks for providing the first absolutely perverse and hostile comment at the NVTH Blog in just about one year of existence.

I take it you are in Columbus, OH, and you are what the right-wingers warn about when they talk about a "gay agenda."

Don't worry about your pearls of wisdom being lost, because I have saved them, along with 68.77.187.186.

And you know what, "Rusty?"

I think you might have just spilled a bit more than you intended to.

Congrats. You conveyed a very important aspect of the gay, lesbian, blah blah blah whatever the hell it is bunch of people's - ok I won't say "agenda" I'll just say modus operandi.

The hostility.

Funny how that little element has managed to slip under the radar in the debate, eh?

There is more to come on this topic, believe me. We've been lucky here so far to have the David's and Jonathan's of the world as our ambassadors from the GLBT community (pardon me if I mixed up the letters) because D and J are such gentlemen. But that happenstance misses a bigger reality:

The Gay-Lesbian-etc-etc community has a bit of an edge to it.

And, no, this statement isn't just based on the unfortunate singular comment of an individual here. That individual's comment fit a pattern, a very recognizable pattern. It reminded me, for instance, of things I've heard since the 1980s. Not from my gay friends, mind you, of which I have had many, but from the gay ACTIVISTS - a separate group and an obnoxious group whose, uh, agenda, seems to be to impose on the rest of society a sexual more designed to provoke outrage.

It isn't just me and Jacob talking with David and Jonathan about bedroom politics. It's gay folks who want to demonstrate gay behavior around straight people's children. The ones who walk up to our kids at a public event embracing and kissing solely for show and the outrageousness of it all. Homosexuals and bisexuals don't want merely to be accepted: They want to ram their sexual practices down our throats and our families' throats.

Here's a free piece of advice to the gay- etc-etc community: We heterosexuals think of you as regular people who engage in different sexual practices. Beyond those practices, we're the same.

But when your PR takes the form of indoctrination about your own sexual practices, we tend to say "STOP."

And then we tend to spell out all the reasons we do not want homosexuality advocated in the public sphere.

Let's not any of us forget that the reason the latter argument has had to be made is because the gay community has thrown the grenades. They're the ones who want to blow our minds, expand our horizons, expand our KIDS' horizons, and generally make everyone very uncomfortable with the hope the discomfort can be attributed to heterosexuals' "uptightness."

Nope. Sorry, boys, but we see through it. You are hostile.

You have a massive arena for self expression in society and freedom to carry on whatever private sexual activities you want. But you want more than that. You want everyone who is less enlightened than you about the superiority of alternative sexual practices to have to hear about your sexual practices all the time. You want our kids to hear about it. You want to rock our world.

Memo to the gay activists: You are breaking no new ground. All of us in the heterosexual camp are familiar with the concepts of sexual experimentation and the fluidity of sexual identity. "Homosexuality" is, I submit, a commonplace idea. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy does not leave us freaked out with eyeballs spinning. We know what it is.

The key question is, how RUDE are you going to be in trying to press your agenda. Because there is an agenda - don't try to hide that. Maybe David and Jonathan are the lone civic purists seeking no more than equal standing for gays in Virginia. But some of their compatriots certainly seek what many gays and lesbians seem to seek, which is the overthrow of the social norm of heterosexuality.

Housekeeping note: MT upgrade no big fun

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Note to self: Do not try to upgrade Movable Type on your lunch hour, or late at night. Basically, you want to take a day or two off work to upgrade Movable Type.

For our reader's, this may mean some weird looking stuff until it's over.

But it will be worth it, just to get more bloggers on board, because if meeting the sine qua non of daily posting is left up to me pretty soon you'll be getting photos of my yard.

If the NOVA TownHall Blog work ethic was a business, it would be an old country store with a dog asleep in the middle of the floor and nary a customer within miles.

If the NOVA TownHall Blog work ethic was a cruise ship, you would never take off your life preserver while on board.

Q. How many NOVA Town Hall bloggers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A. Six, because each one of them will only use their pinky.

More substance soon, I promise.

UPDATE: Just in case it wasn't clear, I kid because I love.

I may try to upgrade Movable Type on my lunch hour today, in order to allow more authors and a few other snazzy features.

If anything goes wrong, that will likely mean the end of the NOVA TownHall Blog forever.

Have a nice day.

UPDATE: The upgrade did not work, and neither did we get Armegeddon....so I'm striking out left and right.

No new authors or fancy new features until I get it figured it out, maybe over the weekend. Sorry, all you prospective NVTH contributors out there.

Site Housekeeping: Why comments won't post immediately

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Boy howdy, take a few hours off and things sure can go to H-E double hockeysticks in a handbasket quicker than you can say "webmaster"!

The bottom line is the MT comment spam filter is a fickle thing. For one, it looks for excesses of hyperlinks, as explained in this post.

Minimize the hyperlinks and your comment is more likely to get through.

Also, I suspect whoever wrote that plug-in had a bad experience with someone named "Jonathan" because our local Jonathan seems to invoke the filter just by visiting this site. Sorry, Jonathan, I don't know what's going on there.

Jack seems to have found the workaround: Spread your hyperlinks over several comments and they probably all get through.

Just so everyone knows, this situation is the best of all possible worlds at the moment. Without the filter, our comment threads would be deluged with ringtones and phentermine and forex and stuff that can get you put in jail. The alternative is to require registration, which is a pain, or use Typekey, which is also a pain.

I'm planning to upgrade Movable Type soon, which might fix the problem. In the meantime, thank you for putting up with the inconvenience.

Before this gets out of hand we need to address the recent backbiting over spelling indiscretions.

As moderator, chaperone and border guard of this blog, I'd like to note that commenters cannot go back and fix the spelling in their comments. So unless you are either the self-editing type or composing multiple drafts of your comments before hitting "post" there may be some errors.

(Unless, of course, like Zimzo and myself, you are preternaturally disposed to writing perfect first drafts. That's just our quirk. All people are perfect in different ways.)

Besides, the modern way is 2 abbrevi8, anywA, rite? So let's ixnay with the indergarten-kay eacher-tay yndrome-say, hombres. And get on with the booming tirades which is what we are all here for.

Housekeeping note: No more html in comments

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This was my bad: The snippet of code that creates the "Recent Comments" list in the left sidebar sometimes cuts off the close "" for any html element, turning the entire site italics or blockquote when it does so. So we're going back to the old way for quotation and emphasis in the comments, i.e. actual quote marks " " and ALL CAPS or whatever other creative stuff you can come up with. Sorry. Another solution would be to take down the Recent Comments or move it, but I do love it so, and right where it is. If I can find better code I'll turn html back on.

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NOVA Town Hall is honored to have the opportunity to host the next edition of the Virginia Blog Carnival. Please email me your submissions by 5PM Sunday evening (I apologize for the late announcement and thus the short notice) and we will post the Carnival Monday morning. There is no official theme for this week but I might try to throw one together depending on what readers submit.

More information on the VBC can be found here.

Welcome to new blogger

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We would like to welcome Jacob Ash as the newest contributor to the NOVA TownHall Blog. Jacob is one of the most interesting dudes I've met in a while, and I invited him to join us after a brief e-mail exchange confirmed that he was smarter, better informed and a better writer than myself. This is the NVTH standard for admission.

I already have a vague idea of some initial things Jacob wants to blog about, and it will be a relief to everyone to know we finally have a blogger here who is a uniter, not a divider. So to all you visitors who like to stop over here and scrap - with the catcalls and sharp elbows and whatnot - I hope you remember where you left your "kinder, gentler" bonnets. You're gonna need 'em.

This is just a test post to see if we can add another new author.

I am a test-author, not a real one. However, if I were a real author, I'm sure I'd be too busy to post because all I'd ever do here is read everything Joe Budzinski has written, over and over and over.

Housekeeping notes

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Just a few housekeeping notes with plenty of gentle, loving scolding all around:

Jeez, I leave for 36 hours and there's dishes in the sink, candy corn stuck all over the carpet, posts in moderation and open divs. You kids are gonna be the death of me.

Fellow bloggers: Close those divs! The use of the "div" element is as follows (with all this in angle brackets):

div align="center" - followed by - /div

If that div isn't closed, the whole page gets goofy.

Also, once you close the div align="center", the text automatically goes back to left alignment. No div needed.

Also, please try to check "junk comments" in the admin screen periodically - this should make it clear when something happens like Corey Stewart's comments getting held up. If you're not able to unjunk them please let me know.

Jonathan: Sorry your posts keep getting held for moderation - but 99% of these spam filter problems can be avoided by not using the html tags to post links in comments. As explained in this post.

In a comment, instead of making "oops" a hyperlink, you can just put "oops" with the actual link address below like this

http://www.equalityloudoun.org/?p=334

In a comment, that will automatically post as a hyperlink.

Also, in the same thread, Jonathan asked "Joe, what was it that you said about Ann Coulter being hot?"

All I can say is, I'm not sure what you meant by the question - but tread very carefully around the issue of Ann Coulter's incredible hotness, good sir.

Also in that thread, David asks with regard to the men who realize the girl they're admiring on the beach is actually 13 years old, "And what does it say about Adams that he doesn't question the entitlement of men to look at women that way?"

David, I think that's just what Adams IS doing. He's not holding the men up as positive examples at all. Anyone reading the column would probably focus on the fact the men felt very embarrassed when they saw the girl up close and realized her age.

And regarding the observation "the 'great Americans' over here at Town Hall seem to be in hiding. If I engaged in that much name calling, artifice, and just plain meanness towards decent and virtuous people, I'd probably hide too."

I apologize, first, to Ann Coulter, that I cannot be here 24 hours a day to defend her. But also to our visitors. Besides work, I have a few other projects that keep me wrapped up for days at a time. Our home Internet access is Verizon "high speed" DSL, which in my neighborhood is slow as molasses in January, so popping in to check on the blog can be a very time consuming ordeal. Sometimes I don't get to it until late at night.

Meanness towards the decent and virtuous would never send me into hiding; as a conservative, it's what I live for. One of my infrequent sunshine-and-daisies posts would more likely have me crawling under a rock for a spell.

NOVA TownHall updates

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-Warm welcome to Aislinn, our newest blogger! I'm going to give you absolutely no information about Aislinn except to say it is a wonderful thing to have another well-read, grassroots-savvy, articulate conservative on board to help balance out my paranoid, late-night jeremiads.

-There will be more discussion of the Virginia Marriage Amendment than you can shake a stick at, whatever that means. Thanks to Soph for the latest contributions in the Carnival.

-I'll be back on board soon. Sometimes the Internet is like pumpkin pie with Cool Whip: After having a bit too much, something deep down inside tells you it's time to walk away for awhile.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention, as usual much of the action here at NVTH Blog is in the comment areas. And I don't just mean comments, I mean essays. So if you don't see a new post at the top there's a good chance it's because one or more of us is down in the arena grappling with the other Luchadors. The latest matches are going on here and here.

Hello!

I’m very excited to join NOVA Townhall Blog! If you would have told me a month ago that I would be a blogger on VA politics, I would have laughed. Not only am I known to dislike reading/ writing (since I do so much of it), but I tend to get entrapped in the national political whirlwind of DC and fail to keep up with Virginia issues. However, the Commonwealth of Virginia is a much more lovable place, and I think it’s important for a Republican Insider to be involved on the state level. For as the saying goes, “All politics is local.”

I’m looking forward to discussing with you all!

~Aislinn

This blog has been a significant part of my life for the past few months, and I've loved every minute of it. However, my personal/professional life is demanding more of my attention. In addition, I've dedicated myself to spending a significant portion of my free time to volunteering to support the marriage amendment. I believe this is the most important item on the ballot this fall, and the huge amount of money dedicated to defeating it by the homosexual agenda can only be countered by grassroots activism, not blogging. I hope that I've added something to the blogging world and will miss it, but to quote the good governor of Cali, I'll be back.

Note to commenters: Outwitting the Movable Type spam filter

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Here's the deal. Apparently, the built-in Movable Type comment spam filter kicks in when a comment contains links enclosed in html brackets, using the helpful html instructions at the top of the comment box.

The solution is to just paste in your links. They still end working as hyperlinks in the comment thread.

For example, the following usage may invoke the comment spam filter:

Women who can kick my butt intrigue me.

But the following would not:

Women who can kick my butt intrigue me
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2006/06/23/apop.DTL

It does not show up as a hyperlink above, in this regular post, but in the comments (at least in Mozilla) it does. And even if it didn't work in another browser, everyone knows how to cut and paste a link so no big deal.

I expect this will be helpful for Movable Type users everywhere who have not already figured it out.

A slight delay in posting

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This is just a site housekeeping notice that I'm a little delayed in posting the immigration symposium transcript, despite the earlier promise and despite taking the day off. It often amazes me how little I manage to accomplish when I skip work to get things done.

For what it's worth, I attended the Loudoun County Republican Committee meeting tonight and it was one of the smoothest, most copacetic, and all-around harmonious business meetings I've ever been a part of. Our own "velvet hammer," Paul Protik, managed time like a Swiss watch. And how could it be otherwise? Getting confrontational with Paul would be like going up against the Man from U.N.C.L.E.


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[Ummm, I was just informed I should specify he looks like Robert Vaughn, that's the joke. I don't actually believe Mr. Protik carries a briefcase that shoots bullets or has a sidekick who's a judo expert .]

I had a chance to talk with some great Americans afterwards: No Relation was there (he will be blogging again soon), along with the fiesty Eve Barner, and many others, and needless to say we concluded with a round of Kumbaya with our beloved Supervisor Delgaudio.

Anyhoo, the transcript is coming and it will knock your socks off. I am not slacking off here - for goodness sakes, I did not even watch the conclusion of 24 yet (don't tell me don't tell me don't tell me what happened!) - I'm just running a little behind.

Not so anonymous, I fear

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Someone using the IP address of the [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]
apparently took exception to last night's post about Help Save Herndon.

Here's what this person who called themselves "anon" with e-mail address "the@the.com" wrote at 1:45 pm today:


Now that Herndon's council and mayor have been over-turned, isn't your job finished?

What exactly do you do?


Now, I have no problem with someone who is feeling bruised about the Herndon election results stopping by to leave an angry comment when I am posting praises for those responsible for said results. That's one of the reasons to have a "comments" section, and in the past I have made some good acquaintances from people who were originally sort of hostile.

What I do have a problem with is someone who is clearly a bit hostile trying to take things to a personal level when that someone lamely hides their identity.

Hey "anon," at least my name is signed here. Before I post my Curriculum Vitae: Who exactly the hell are you?

But just to show I'm a good sport, I will tell you I am a frustrated and failed mime, as well as a former hat boxer, and I spent many years repairing brake systems on horse-drawn carriages (long after the trade had ceased to be profitable).

Anyway, the IP address could be spoofed, so the person may not be at the abovementioned [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]

But if it was someone using that IP address legitimately, I imagine it could be....


[THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES. I don't fully agree with Charles on this, as I thought the commenter had attempted to open a door and I think the door should swing open both ways. But I have been known to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat, and I do value harmony, brotherhood and endless sobbing hugs above all else, so I have gone ahead and edited this post down to a sliver of its original significance.]

[This has been a message from the NOVA TownHall Blog, where nothing is written in stone.]


As a former alchemist, judging by the [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]
I'd have to say it seems like a pretty decent organization, and with the mission to [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]


[THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES]

It's just a shame some disgruntled individual has spoofed the [THIS BLOCK OF TEXT REMOVED FOR REASONS OF GOOD TASTE, AS RECOMMENDED BY READER CHARLES] IP address or hijacked their bandwidth to come needle me about my stint with the Village People.

We never lip-synched once.

Welcome to new blogger

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Our newest addition to this little bullpen of near-genius is No Relation, a very interesting chap (or is it chapette? I'm not telling and you'll have to figure it out) with some fascinating stories to tell and a sensible take on the world. Good to have you here, N.R.!

This article should serve as a reminder that NOVA TownHall is unique in that we are far more than just a blog- we are a group of dedicated conservative activists who organize events and activities with the aim of improving our government and community.

Any conservative activists in Northern Virginia who have yet to attend one of our monthly events (held at multiple locations across the region) should check us out. Congrats to the Leesburg group for holding such a successful event!

Congratulations to Jeff Miller who was elected Arlington County Republican Chairman on Saturday. More than 230 Republicans participated in the election. Hopefully Miller and defeated opponent Landey Patton can work together to unit the conservative loyal opposition in the People's Republic.

Also, via Bearing Drift we learn that Mike Gruss of the Virginian-Pilot mentioned our post on Webb's Colbert Report appearance in his weekly Virginia blog round-up.

I'd like to thank Joe Budzinski and Sophrosyne for bringing me aboard. It will be my quest to point out to our readers how insane Virginia's liberals are. However, I won't hesitate to include anyone else who fails to uphold the sound conservative philosophy upon which Virginia was built.

For my first post, our state senate proves once again how out of touch they are by censoring a rabbi, who they invited, for condemning the terrorist organization Hamas. I'll let you read the rest in the Times-Dispatch.

It's good to see that the state senate is concerned about Hamas's feelings and that they won't stop short of editing prayers in the name of political correctness. Thankfully, Senator Wagner (R-Virginia Beach) was able to figure out whom the rabbi was talking about anyway.

And the worst shall be last...

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First off, I want to thank everyone who helped me get to this point. It's one thing to run a blog for months and get virtually zero traffic, then have the zero become a barely discernable trickle, and then out of that trickle to gain the people's ovation and fame forever.

Most of all, I want to thank Sophrosyne, who has ramped up the productivity on this blog to heretofore unknown levels.

Without further ado, then on behalf of Sophrosyne and all the wonderful folks at NOVA TownHall: We gratefully, humbly and not-a-little-quizzically accept:


tc_worst.jpg

Honestly, I don't know if I've ever been involved with a 'worst' of anything before, although I've given it a good shot. One of my first dates in the 1970s consisted of me taking this girl out for a drive in my 1964 Buick around Annandale and Springfield while I sold subscriptions to The Journal newspaper. She was horribly overdressed for the occasion, and therefore had no interest in the Red Hot Bean Burritos and six-pack of tall boys I picked up at 7-11 along the way. I have to think she had worse dates than that one, though.

Being bestowed the award by a blogger who I'm pretty sure knows almost nothing about this Web site is also quite the unexpected bit of luck. If he or she did delve very far into our work product here, I have little doubt we'd be relegated to the unenviable category of "fair-to-middlin'" with all the other blogging schmucks.

Yet here we stand, alone, at the very bottom of the hierarchy - which is, by the way, second only to the very top in terms of easy accessibility: The nadir and the zenith, we two, like peas in a pod.

So whenever you want a quick read you can rely on for consistency of quality if nothing else, take a hint from Too Conservative - the man (or woman) who lives in Virginia (or one of the surrounding counties), who has been blogging for anywhere from one month to seven years, with interests ranging from...well, I'm stuck on that one because Too Conservative happens to be an individual I KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT except he/she thinks this is the worst blog on the Internet.

Whoever it is, I would like to know a little more about how exactly we earned this award...no, scratch that. It's the first blogging award I've been a part of and I'm keepin' it! Please, Mr/Mrs TC, investigate us no further, your work here is done. For a 'Worst' blog we've already got about all the traffic we deserve.

UPDATE: The mystery appears to be solved. Read the comments.

Image hosting by Photobucket

NOVA Townhall is pleased to announce that we’ve joined the Old Dominion Blog Alliance (via Commonwealth Conservative) and the Guard the Borders blog roll. Please check out some of the other members of both of these communities- there is some great stuff there!

I am also pleased to report that we’ve won an award on the Too Conservative blog. I for one take it as a compliment that we’ve been listed as “Worst Blog” for our true Northern Virginia conservative commentary and were referred to as the “mouthpiece for the Group B crew” (TC’s apparent distinction for conservatives who don’t fully embrace his specific argument for GOP success through moderates). We will wear this award as a badge of honor. Although I must point out I think it’s a little childish and petty to provide a link to every other blog given an "award" but refrain from linking to ours because we often disagree… if you’re going to make a judgment about a blog (in my opinion) you should provide a link to let readers check it out for themselves- call it a principle of fairness if you will.

In the coming days NOVA Townhall will be adding some new bloggers who are well connected to the Virginia political scene, so check back soon!

Brief update

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I am in an exotic, secure, work-related location with the WORST Internet access in the world, despite paying over $220 a night for my room.

Consequently, I do not have the means to respond to the thoughtful comment left to this post.

The commenter makes some good points and I intend to address them as soon as I can make it back to the 21st century.

Final test post

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Hmm, we need to test the MT image uploading facility...so let's just grab any random image and toss it up there.

annblack.jpg

Well that worked just fine.

New Test Post

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This one will test the following:


BLOCKQUOTE, because it is always good to be able to set off something quoted.

As well as links, so let's try the obvious link: Massive throngs protest the war in Iraq.

Welcome

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This is the first post at the novatownhall blog. Also our first experimentation with Movable Type, so expect some visual craziness the first couple weeks.

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