Wednesday, August 31, 2005

So Now She Reveals the Real Point

Turns out anti-war bimbo Cindy Sheehan didn't want to meet with the President, after all.

Her real purpose was to "galvanize[] the peace movement."

And she calls the President a "liar"?!?!?!

I wonder if the so-called mainsteam media will give this statement as much attention as her anti-Bush pronouncements?

Well .... not really.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Food for Thought for Connaughtonites

A few months back, I wrote a post discussing some of the supporters of Chairman Sean in his bid for Lieutenant Governor, and suggesting that the sources of some of his support didn't do him credit.

Among the things I observed was that a neighbor of mine has one of the few in the neighborhood with dependably Lefty bumperstickers on it, including "Another Family for Peace," juxtaposed with one reading "Connaughton for Lt. Gov."

'Cept that one has no disappeared. In its place (well, maybe underneath it)?

A Kerry-Edwards sticker.

Now, tell me again how Chairman Sean is such a conservative?

Chicken Little Reemerges

A few years back, I started referring to our estimable Governor as "the Boyish Governor." It was an homage to Mark Warner's youthful appearance, one of which -- I confess -- I'm somewhat jealous.

Sure, it didn't have the cachet of "Slick Willie," the moniker applied to Bill Clinton by Arkansas journalist Paul Greenberg, but it fit. OK, so Will Vehrs thought its use was "annoying," but it worked.

Now, I'm wondering whether "Chicken Little" might not be more appropriate. Today's Potomac News carries a story by Bob Lewis of the AP titled "Warner Paints Bleak Picture for Va. Finances."

Isn't this the same guy who precipitated a budget crises last year by saying tax increases were necessary? Isn't this the same guy whom history is proven wrong, with Virginia enjoying a budget surplus equal to or surpassing the value of his tax increases?

The simple fact is that we were scammed. An old Ronald Reagan quotation comes to mind: "There you go again."

Of course, tax apologist Senator John Chichester (RINO-Northumberland) disagrees, and says that Governor Chicken Little "isn't trying to say the sky is falling."

All evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

Warner Won't Challenge Allen

Governor Warner will apparently announce today that he will not challenge George Allen for his Senate seat, according to the AP and today's Potomac News.

Of course, insightful minds in the Virginia blogosphere knew this months ago.

This is a smart move by Warner. He obviously thinks he's presidential timber, and the last Senator to be elected President was John F. Kennedy, and even he probably really lost, since Nixon's statesmanship --- contrast Algore's --- prevented him from challenging the results in Illinois.

And remember, Jimmy Carter had been out of office for two years when he ran for the Democrat nomination for President, and won.

Monday, August 29, 2005

John Behan Comes Out of the Closet

It may have been the worst kept-secret in the Virginia blogosphere (the Washington Post identified him publicly weeks ago), but "John Behan" has outed his real identity as Chad Dotson, Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney, on his excellent blog, Commonwealth Conservative.

One of my pet peeves has always been anonymity. But obviously, there were reasons why Chad, as an elected public official, might have wanted some. Certainly, Chad had none of the reasons --- vile and vicious criticism; cowardly fear of appropriate retribution from those against whom they carp --- that some have to maintain their anonymity. In the Virginia blogosphere, Chad is the equivalent of Rush Limbaugh, the "Godfather," and a genuinely nice guy.

This weekend's blogging summit in C-ville already has produced one positive result, even if the bon mot of my title above gratuitously invites charges of homophobia.

The Enduring Importance of Virginia's Right to Work Law

In this article by Pamela Stallsmith in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the enduring value of the Commonwealth's Right to Work law is again demonstrated, vis-a-vis the Lt. Governor's race.

A tip of the hat to JB at Commonwealth Conservative, for alerting me to the article.

Fill in the Blanks

See if You Can Guess The Right Answers, and the Context.

_____________, who was aware of the bickering between the senior _________ and __________ ___________ leaders, incorrectly believed that a _________ victory ___________________ would create a serious rift between the respective __________. He also felt that if things played out the way he anticipated, public opinion, especially in the United States, would demand a withdrawal of American forced from ________. This consideration led __________ to decide in ______________ to mount a large offensive operation on _______________ instead of _____________.

Here's One Possible Guess:
[Osama bin Laden], who was aware of the bickering between the senior [Republican] and [Democrat] [Party] leaders, incorrectly believed that a[n insurgent] victory [in Iraq] would create a serious rift between the respective [Western powers]. He also felt that if things played out the way he anticipated, public opinion, especially in the United States, would demand a withdrawal of American forced from [Iraq]. This consideration led [bin Laden] to decide in [early 2005] to mount a large offensive operation on [the ground in Iraq] instead of [Afghanistan].

Here's The Correct Answer:
Hitler, who was aware of the bickering between the senior British and American military leaders, incorrectly believed that a German victory on the western front would create a serious rift between the respective allies. He also felt that if things played out the way he anticipated, public opinion, especially in the United States, would demand a withdrawal of American forced from Europe. This consideration led Hitler to decide in September 1944 to mount a large offensive operation on the western frong instead of the eastern front.
Green, Michael & Gladys, Patton and the Battle of the Bulge, MBI Publishing, 1999, pages 40-43.

Now, tell me again why Cindy Sheehan and the anti-war Left aren't anti-American, and aren't giving aid and comfort to the enemy?

Bringing More New York to PWC?

A friend of mine at church this weekend reported to me about a recent new faculty orientation or fair for new County schoolteachers.

It seems that an independent, non-union teachers group was told at the last minute that it could not have its booth because it does not collect its dues (about $150 annually) through payroll deductions. However, the National Education Association affiliate, the PWEA (dues --- about $500 annually), was permitted to sign up new members at the fair.

This raises more than a few questions. Is our new Superintendent, whose last post was in New York, going to attempt to bring all the charms of New York public sector unionism to Prince William County?

And why is the County collecting dues for a labor union, or for any private organization, through payroll deductions? Virginia bars public employee bargaining, monopoly or otherwise. Why is the County acting as the collection agent for PWEA -- and probably PWFT, the other teachers union, too?

It's nice to discover a problem in our County that I don't have to attribute to Sean Connaughton.

Though it's certainly something that he could do something about, were he so inclined.

Given his attempt to pander to unions in his answer to a question at the Committee of 100 debate for GOP candidates for Lt. Governor, I'm not holding my breath.

Blogging Summit Aftermath

Sure hope it was just a coincidence, but had to delete about six obnoxious spam comments after the Summit.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

At the Blogging "Summit"

Charlottesville, Virginia -- Can anything with this crowd --- including, but not limited to, your intrepid correspondent --- accurately be called a "summit"?

If we do this again, shouldn't it be an overnight, and include a pajama party?

And an observation: Waldo Jaquith is much taller in person than he looks on the Internet.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Smearing Jeff Frederick

The Potomac News was always a rag, but it was less of one when it gave me 800-900 words once a week for more than seven years. At least then, as Rush Limbaugh likes to say, " I was 'equal time.'"

Well, as noted in this e-mail from the Jeff Frederick campaign, it appears that the Pot. News is back to its old "smear the GOP" tricks. Today, Keith Walker wrote a story claiming that "Although Delegate Jeffery M. Frederick, R-Woodbridge, didn't mention Hilda Barg's name on television Wednesday evening, everyone locally knew who he meant when he talked about a local supervisor connected to the day laborers," and that Frederick was misrepresenting the facts. I guess the only kind of Republicans it likes are those who would be more at home in the Democrat Party.

Anyway, here's the takedown from the Frederick campaign, giving chapter and verse on how the paper is attempting to give aid and comfort to Warner ... er, Democrat nominee Hilda Barg. First, there's the letter sent by Frederick campaign manager Ted Prill, and e-mailed to me a few minutes ago:


Your reporter/editors obviously are covering for Hilda Barg and permitting her to back track while seriously neglecting to point out facts that your own paper has reported. This is a serious and inexcusable breach of your journalistic responsibilities to offer fair and balanced stories with all the facts. Keith Walker's story in today's paper accurately states "$150,000 in taxpayer money" but then automatically infers that Delegate Frederick specified county money. He said "taxpayer money", which includes state, federal and/or local money. Keith Walker knowingly and intentionally omited relevant and important facts (not to mention your misleading and false headline that Connaughton is backing Barg's campaign). Knowingly and intentionally because we provided citations of news reports for Walker, and yet he chose to flat out ignore them. She has been on the record in YOUR paper saying:

"A $150,000 preliminary budget for the center includes funding for two full-time employees... Several task force members worried that county officials would balk at paying for the center... Supervisor Hilda M. Barg, D-Woodbridge, who helped form the task force, said some public funding was possible..."
- Potomac News
Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"Supervisor Hilda M. Barg (D-Woodbridge), is proposing that the county help cover the costs of a workforce center where laborers could wait for work."
- Washington Post
Saturday, March 26, 2005; Page B01

"[Barg] was not against having the task force ask supervisors to consider funding a workforce center."
- Potomac News
Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"Barg organized the task force... she is seeking state or federal money for the project."
- Potomac News
Sunday, May 8, 2005

I've never heard of a news organization that disregards and disqualifies their own reporting so willingly. Where is your credibility? Integrity?

Barg is completely entitled to change her mind, but you all need to state that, not present a misleading story leading the reader to believe what is clearly not the factual OR accurate. The facts, as reported by you, are that Barg advocated spending taxpayer money on this and you all have failed miserably to properly report that as she reverses her position. Your story should not have been about what Delegate Frederick said on CNN, but rather the about-face that Barg has made in light of public dissatisfaction with her job as supervisor.

Ted Prill
Campaign Manager
Re-Elect Jeff Frederick Delegate

The Looney Left, Part I

A blog which bills itself as one for the Fairfax County Democrat Committee -- but inconsistently has a disclaimer stating that "The views expressed on the FCDC blog are those of the individual authors and commenters, and not of the FCDC or any other group, organization, club, or entity to which authors may belong unless otherwise specified in individual blog entries. Posts are not authorized by any candidate or committee unless otherwise specified in individual posts" -- aligns itself with Cindy Sheehan.

I suppose that I should "demand an apology [from Tim Kaine and any other Dems] who accept that nutcase's money." After all, "Politicians accepting [their] money have no ounce of morality left in them."

Naaah. Never mind.

Interestingly, if you try to post a comment, it won't let you, unless you're a "team member." I guess the owners don't want any reality intruding. Give some of the Leftie bloggers out there credit (and for my readers, you know who you are): at least you're not afraid of debate.

I wonder if the Fairfax County Democrat Committee will demand that this group stop using its "good" name?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Robertson's Apology

Perhaps you're reading it here first (both of you), but Pat Robertson has apologized for suggesting that the United States should sponsor the assassination of Venezuala's President and Castro buddy, Hugo Chavez. The story on the apology appeared on page A3 of the Washington Post.

One wonders whether the Christian-bashers and/or Christian-bashers of the blogosphere will expend as much time an energy in publicizing the apology as it did in publicizing the faux pas. The story on his original comment appeared on page A2 of the Washington Post.

Naaah! No one doesn't.

Noemie Emery on Cindy Sheehan and the Weapon of Martyrdom

This week's Weekly Standard, as well as its on-line version, has a wonderful piece by Noemie Emery on the whole Cindy Sheehan contretemps.

It's a great take-down of the moral exhibitionism on display in Crawford, Texas, perpetrated by this mother of a soldier who died bravely in Iraq, along with a virtual "usual suspects" list of far Leftie organizations.

Particularly noteworthy is Noemie's discussion of the usual hypocrisy by left-wing media types like the New York Times Maureen Dowd, who waxes demagogic about the "moral authority" of the likes of Sheehan, but ignores the moral authority of those many Gold Star parents and survivors of 9/11 who support the Administration and its policies. As Emery writes:
What she means is the moral authority of those she finds useful. Does she accept the moral authority of Linda Ryan, who finds Sheehan disgraceful? Does she bow to the moral authority of the thousands of parents of the dead and the wounded who support the war and the president, and find her snideness disgusting? Can she begin to guess at what the phrase even means?

There are so many people who have buried children, and so many more who have had children wounded, and so many more who have children in danger, that their political views cannot be uniform. What happens when the opinions behind which they put all of their moral authority collide? When parents and other family members of the dead and wounded disagree about politics, who gets custody of the moral authority? Is the moral authority of Cindy Sheehan compromised by the dissent of her husband, who is also a parent in agony?

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that for Dowd and her ilk, moral authority stems less from service or suffering than from the potential to cause serious trouble for Bush. Thus combat service gave great moral authority to John Kerry, running against Bush for president, but did nothing at all for the 100-plus Swift Boat Veterans who opposed Kerry, most of whom had more medals than Kerry, had more wounds than Kerry, and also served much longer terms. (Dowd and other liberals denounced these combat veterans as assassins and liars, denying the curative powers of service and sacrifice. But then, c'est la guerre.) To them, the grief of Cindy Sheehan is more valid than the grief of her husband and other numerous relatives, and much more valid than the grief of Linda Ryan, which they fail to acknowledge as meaningful. The grief of a Kristen Breitweiser is more meaningful than that of a Debra Burlingame, and much more meaningful than that of Ted Olson, whose wife died on the plane that went into the Pentagon, but who is also a conservative stalwart, whose wife was also a conservative stalwart, and who argued and won the case of Bush v. Gore. What's his moral authority? Do we need to ask?

I won't repeat the usual platitudes about sharing her grief, for there is little doubt that Sheehan's grief as given way as a primary motivating force to her pathological hatred -- shared by her fellows among the far Left -- for George W. Bush. As a parent of two sons, I can imagine that one of their deaths would cast me into a deep, dank hole from which I would never emerge. My grandparents lost a son in service to the nation, in peacetime. And it wasn't until near the end of their lives, in their eighties, forty years after the fact, that they could even speak of him to me. I certainly wouldn't be spending my time trying to get another meeting with the President, demanding that he explain that which has been explained many times before. Of course, Sheehan uses the usual vacuous far Left tactic of denying that an explanation with which she disagrees even exists (much like the far Left tactic of asserting that a conservative agenda does not exist, an old tactic among Democrats).

And it's difficult to imagine sharing anything with someone who has demonstrated that she is little more than a far-Leftie effectively dancing on the grave of her son, Casey, in order to advance her personal, far-Left, political agenda. It's despicable.

Supreme Court/Senate Tidbit

And isn't it interesting that only one Senator voted against the confirmation of both black appointees to the Supreme Court: Democrat Robert C. Byrd, of West Virginia?

A Refreshing Voice

Listened to C-SPAN radio on my way in today, as is my wont, and listened to Frances Rice of Georgia, Chairman of the National Black Republican Association.

What a refreshing voice. My favorite comment was about the Democrat history of the "four S's": "Slavery; Secession; Segregation; and Socialism."

No wonder the Dems are so anxious to re-write history. It causes one to wonder, however, why so many are such enthusiastic supporters of the grievance lobby. To those who understand history, black Americans have legitimate grievances against the Democrats.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Demonizing Those Who Believe in Enforcing the Law

A few years back, I read something about the Unitarian Univeralist "church." Since I was raised in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, the last home of English scientist and discoverer of oxygen Joseph Priestley, himself an Unitarian (I drove past the church just this weekend on a visit), I became curious about the church and its tenets, so I "googled" the term. Came up with a few sites, too.

But when I finally hit the button "What we believe," I couldn't get the page to load. Maybe it was a glitch, but the more I learned about this "church," the more I became convinced that it wouldn't load because this "church" has no standards.

When I got home after the Great Grandparent Tour of Ought-Five, I had a pile of newspapers to read. Opened Sunday's Potomac News, and read this gem:

Unworthy of print

I picked up my paper this morning and found on the editorial page a letter labeled "It's still not right," by Sandi Teets.

In that piece, Ms. Teets writes that "putting all the illegal Hispanics in internment camps" is "not a bad idea."

I am mortified that a responsible newspaper would find it appropriate to print such a hopelessly hateful and irresponsible comment. The editorial page is not designed for hate mongering. It is designed for responsible public discourse, and a call for the internment of human beings, even one meant in some twisted sense of jest, is quite far from a contribution to responsible discourse.

There are boundaries, even on the editorial page, and the printing of that comment crossed them. Throughout modern history, powerful nations have sought to answer the question of the "other" by rounding them up, denying them basic human rights, and forgetting even the most foundational of moral and religious responsibilities, the responsibility to love your neighbor as yourself. How could it possibly be appropriate to make light of that?

Ms. Teets joke, if it was intended as such, is not funny. If it was an offhand comment, it was also horribly insensitive, and in either case it should never have been printed.

Let's not drag our public discourse down this far in the future.

Rev. Nancy McDonald Ladd

Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, Manassas

Of course, the Rev. Teets wasn't only in the Potomac News on Sunday. Seems she was also written about in Sunday's Washington Post. It was a very interesting article about how she was to perform the service "marrying" two men.

Now, never mind the biblical teachings on homosexuality, which the Rev. Ladd chooses to ignore. And never mind that this practitioner of religious liberty --- liberated even from religious teachings --- apparently likes censorship of ideas with which she disagrees. But what's her complaint? That a citizen dares to express the notion that interning lawbreakers is a "good idea."

Either the Rev. Ladd is an idiot, or she just doesn't understand. Given both her letter and the Post's stories, probably both.

There is, of course, the alternative to interning illegal aliens, i.e., jailing them for violating the law. One can only imagine the condemnation of the writer whom the Rev. Ladd savages had she suggested that very reasonable alternative. It's hardly "hate-mongering" to suggest a course less severe than imprisonment to deal with the problem of illegal immigration. Of course, it's not like the Rev. Ladd actually makes an argument explaining why "internment" is "hate mongering" or "denying them basic human rights." She just wields the word like a club, without recognizing that internment is a far less onerous --- perhaps far less appropriate, too --- approach to dealing with these lawbreakers.

It's an interesting juxtaposition, given today's news about the fatwa issued by Pat Robertson against Hugo Chavez. I wonder how many guardians of the "wall of separation" will be leaping to Sandi Teets' defense against the Rev. Ladd.

Michael Graham Fired

The hammer finally fell today on WMAL morning talk radio host Michael Graham, as reported by the Washington Post. However, one searches the WMAL website in vain for reference to the firing. Graham has been cast down the proverbial "memory hole" by the Washington area's most prominent talk radio station, AM 630, which also boasts former Congressman Fred Grandy, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity on its line-up.

Graham was fired for his description of Islam as "a terrorist organization" on the air last month. The comments prompted complaints and an organized letter-writing campaign against WMAL and its advertisers by a Muslim group, the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) of Washington.

Were Graham's comments over the top? Without a doubt. But there also seems to be an organized effort to diminish the bloody history of Islam, whose "prophet" was one of history's great conquerors. To be sure, much conquest was perpetrated in the name of Christianity. And certainly, at least among the so-called "main stream media," attacking and stereotyping Christians and their leaders in the most negative terms possible is all too frequent, and perhaps perfectly acceptable.

But there are few, if any, Christians today who justify violence in the name of Christ. Those who do -- abortion clinic bombers come to mind -- are promptly and loudly condemned by Christian leaders.

Can the same be said of those who are, regrettably, the world's most prominent practitioners of Islam? Alone among the world's great faiths, Islam's evangelism went hand in hand with political conquest from its very roots. It is a history and tradition that today's Islamic terrorists invoke as justification for their vile acts, actions too infrequently or quietly denounced by Islamic leaders.

Those are facts worth remembering, and repeating, whenever politicians want to soft-pedal Islam as a "religion of peace." 'Fact is, it certainly didn't start that way, and the fact is, the only "peace" enjoyed by most of those who became subject to Islamic rules in the faith's early days, but rejected its tenets, was the peace of the grave.

Whether it is now, or will be in the future, a "religion of peace" is dependent upon leaders and practitioners who act swiftly and decisively against those who have declared war in the name of Islam upon the West. That one of its most prominent American iterations, CAIR, expends its precious time, energy, and resources to seek the firing of a radio talk show host is disturbing.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Good News on the Stem-Cell Front

Today's Washington Post has this article on a very promising recent development on the stem-cell front. It seems that "Scientists for the first time have turned ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells -- without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process, as has always been required in the past."

If this pans out, it will either deny to Democrats an issue with which they beat pro-life Conservatives over the head, and/or reveal their true "pro-abortion" agenda.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cindy Sheehan

Want to say more, but don't have time now, and hopefully missed the opportunity to pile on.

One question, though.

How long will it take for Ms. Sheehan to blame GWB and the neo-cons for her mother's stroke?

Working to Create a Drumbeat for the Winchester Billygoat?

Just got back into town last night after a relaxing three days at Dad's condo on Lake Maxinkuckee in Indiana, and spent a few hours catching up on the newspaper's accumulating at home.

It appears that the RTD's Jeff "Good Copy" Schapiro is not alone in his effort to create a drumbeat for the Winchester Billygoat.

The Pot. News said today that "Potts is no gadfly seeking attention. He is a member of the State Senate who filed his petition for candidacy to be included in this race. He has credentials." [Sorry. There's no link to the full editorial yet (typical Pot. News), and I'm not retyping it here.]

The Washington Post said today that "Mr. Potts is hardly a fringe figure: A four-term state senator, he chairs the Senate's Education and Health Committee and sits on the powerful Finance Committee."

Then there's the Daily Press, which said in an editorial yesterday that "Potts is a legitimate candidate who happens, by the way, to have some of the more thoughtful and courageous political positions - particularly on transportation and public finances - in this campaign. Potts is a senior member of the state Senate. He has been elected to four consecutive four-year terms. He's no turnip that just fell off the truck." [Thanks to Norm over at One Man's Trash for picking up this one.]

Norm also has a piece today which gets it about right: "WaPo Pimping Potts."

What is more interesting is the timing and phraseology of all of these pieces. It looks at though those fine "journalists" at the WaPo and the Pot. News are glomming off of the Daily Press, having done little more than taking out their hand thesauri (thesauruses?) to insure that the rhetoric wasn't identical.

When I was an opinion columnist, critics attacked me for a lack of journalistic "ethics," even though I made no pretense about being a "journalist." But the reality of the professional "journalists" is reflected in their virtually identical efforts to create a drumbeat for the Winchester Billygoat.

In the days before electronic media, candidates used to be able to campaign by making different and sometimes conflicting promises in different venues to pander for the votes of differing constituencies. The telegraph, telephones, and wire services made that more difficult.

Just as the web has made it more difficult for supposedly "independent" print media to glom off one another to pursue a virtually identical political agenda.

Thankfully, one can count upon the blogosphere to look at the Winchester Billygoat and his "agenda" of convenience with a somewhat more jaundiced eye.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Entertaining Presidential Candidate Contest

And in the nature of bright ideas...

Mitch's comment on the post below, along with my rejoinder, causes me to wonder, "Who would be the most entertaining presidential candidate from the world of entertainment, and why?"

Anyone is fair game, save for mimes; as Opus once accurately noted, everybody hates mimes.

On the other hand, kudos to anyone who can name a mime.

Johnny Smith for Prez?

Thanks to Norm over at One Man's Trash, via Instapundit, we learn that the MSM apparently missed the nascent candidacy of Christopher Walken for President in 2008.

I haven't heard whether Hitlary is packing it in, but clearly, she should.

Now, I suppose I could make fun of Walken for being an actor, but I voted for Reagan once (was too young to do so the first time), so that would seem disingenuous. Then there's the fact that his website offers much of the same pablum that most candidates do. 'Cept for his apparent contempt for the First Amendment, a dismaying position for an artist.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought this was a great idea. After all, Walken played one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite Stephen King novels (one of his, too), Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone. It was the theatrical incarnation (Walken was really too old for the part), not the very good and very popular USA Network television series with Anthony Michael Hall. And Johnny Smith saved the world from nuclear Armageddon, by shooting at Martin Sheen ... er, Greg Stillson, who cravenly shields himself with a child (unfortunately, not the annoying kid on Two and a Half Men ... oh, wait, that's Charlie Sheen's show). And his ability to know a person's future by touching them would be an incredibly useful skill in foreign relations. And then, he could shoot all of those pretentious Hollywood leftists who are polluting the public square....

Oh, wait, I'm confusing the actor with a character he played. Never mind.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Blogging Will Be Light

Comments will be light or non-existent for the next six days, as I am going on the road for a "family vacation," which may be an oxymoron when one is taking two small boys and a brother-in-law along.

Don't be disappointed when you don't find anything new. Either of you.

Early Contender for Best Line

A tip of the hat to Not Larry Sabato at Virginia 2005 Elections for publicizing what may be the best line about any candidate in this election cycle, from the Fairfax Times:

"Werkheiser ... looks young enough to perform a pretty steady headstand himself on top of a beer keg."

Don't know much about Werkheiser (can't seem to find out which small town in Pennsylvania he's from, and since I'm also from one of 'em, I'd like to know), and he may be a formidable candidate. His comments in the article don't impress, particularly since his purported concern about taxes don't match either his resume or his Democrat credential. Indeed, one looks at his campaign web site, which contains the usual Democrat claptrap guaranteed to get him the votes and support of the teachers' unions, and wonders if the main reason he's a candidate isn't because he's just so darn pretty.


I note that you, Gentle Readers, have just put my counter over 2000 hits. While probably not quite accurate (I added it after a few months), I humbly thank you.

Not bad for this little, one-man shop, if I do say so myself. Awww, I might as well; no one else will.

And remember, political rhetoric is like manure -- some of it more like manure than others -- it does no good if it's not spread around.

Spread the word!

Leslie's Faux Pas on Virginia's First Principles

It appears that Leslie Byrne's attack on Virginia's tradition of freedom, exemplified by the Right to Work law, is getting some much-needed attention. Jim Bacon discusses it over at Bacon's Rebellion, as do our friends at Sic Semper Tyrannis, along with Norm Leahy at his unduly humbly titled One Man's Trash.

At least one organ of the mainstream media has picked up the story, as well. The Richmond Times-Dispatch discusses the contretemps here, and Leslie Byrne is singularly dishonest in her comments. She calls the law "institutionalized mooching" because "non-union employees get to live off the bargaining of union employees."

What Leslie doesn't tell you is that the "mooching" results from the union bosses' receipt of a monopoly bargaining privilege, granted by Federal law. What Leslie doesn't tell you is that, during her one term in Congress, she failed to support any effort to prevent "mooching" by repealing those provisions of the National Labor Relation Act and the Railway Labor Act which grant monopoly bargaining privileges to union bosses. What Leslie doesn't tell you is that, had she done so, her union boss friends would have savaged her, since the monopoly bargaining privilege is lobbied for and jealously guarded by union bosses.

Union bosses bought a horse (monopoly bargaining), but complain about the price of oats ("mooching"). They can either sell the horse, or stop complaining. But they should not be allowed to add the insult of forcing Virginians to pay dues to the injury of denying Virginia's workers in a unionized workplace from bargaining for their own wages and benefits.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

How Far Left Can She Go?

It seems that Leslie Byrne has gone on the warpath against Virginia's Right to Work law.

Given his failure to respond to a question asked by your intrepid correspondent at a Committee of 100 debate, one wonders whether a Connaughton candidacy for Lieutenant Governor wouldn't have produced accord on this issue.


Byrne calls it “right-to-be-poor law”

During an interview with the United Mine Workers of America in Castlewood, Virginia on August 8, 2005, the Democrat nominee for Lieutenant Governor, Leslie Byrne, called for the elimination of Virginia’s right-to-work law.

When Byrne was asked if she would support legislation to repeal the right-to-work law in Virginia, she responded, “Absolutely, I call it the right-to-be-poor law!” (Click here for audio of Byrne’s comment.)

Senator Bill Bolling, the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, quickly condemned Ms. Byrne’s proposal.

Ms. Byrne’s proposal to eliminate the right-to-work law solidifies her position as one of the most anti-business candidates to ever seek statewide office in Virginia,” Senator Bolling said. “The right-to-work law is an important part of our ability to attract new business and industry to Virginia and ensure a continuation of economic growth.”

The right-to-work law prohibits any employer from requiring compulsory union membership as a condition of employment. The right-to-work law also prevents any business or union from denying an employee the right to work if they choose to do so.

“Repealing the right-to-work law would endanger tens of thousands of jobs in Virginia,” Senator Bolling said. “The right-to-work law has enjoyed broad bi-partisan support for the past thirty years, and Ms. Byrne’s opposition to this important law is just another example of how far out of the mainstream she is.”

Representatives of major Virginia business organizations were also quick to criticize Ms. Byrne’s proposal.

"Leslie Byrne is on record saying she wants to repeal Virginia's cherished right-to-work law, a law supported by over 80% of Virginians and mainstream politicians from both parties in Virginia,” National Right to Work Committee, Vice President Doug Stafford said. “If Mrs. Byrne wants to take such an extremist position, siding with the union boss elite and against Virginia's workers, she will find that an extremely unpopular position with the voters of the Old Dominion."

"National Federation of Independent Business believes abolishing the right-to-work law, as Bill Bolling's opponent suggests, would severely undermine one of the pillars of Virginia's successful economy," NFIB/Virginia State Director Gordon Dixon said. "Virginia's small-business owners are alarmed at such rhetoric, which further demonstrates the clear difference between Bill Bolling's pro-business positions and his opponent's anti-business posture."

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter Has Surgery

The Potomac News reported this morning that Delegate Scott Lingamfelter is in the hospital for hip replacement surgery.

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

Very Sad News

A thanks to Prince William activist Victoria DeLacy, who passed the sad news that conservative activist Walt Barbee passed away this morning.

Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Information Alert: Walt Barbee, Family Foundation Founder, passes away

Walt Barbee, founder and president emeritus of The Family Foundation and one of the pro-family movement’s most extraordinary leaders, died this morning after a long illness.

Beginning in 1982, Walt dedicated his life to returning our Commonwealth to the principles of God and faith. He was tireless in his actions and unwavering in his faith, setting the standard for everyone who followed him. His faith in God during recent health battles was an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

Walt’s commitment to ensuring that the family was protected was unmatched, from the early days of working from the trunk of his car, traveling the Commonwealth to unite like-minded Virginians in the pro-family cause to after his “retirement” as leader of The Family Foundation. He lived by his own edict that “knowledge without action is useless.” He never quit in fighting for the values he cherished.

With his wife Margaret and a handful of other dedicated people, Walt grew The Family Foundation from a dream and vision to a powerful force in Virginia politics. He will long be remembered for his immeasurable contribution to Virginia.

We will forward information regarding funeral arrangements when the are available. If you would like to send a card to Margaret and the family, you can send them to The Family Foundation, c/o Margaret Barbee, 830 East Main Street, Ste. 1201, Richmond, Virginia, 23219. We will forward them to the family.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Margaret and the entire Barbee family.

"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." Where, Oh death is your victory? Where, Oh death is your sting?" I Corinthians 15: 54-55

Condolences to his friends and family. Virginia conservatives have lost a true leader and champion.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Some Revisions

No, not of my beliefs. However, as I have toured the blogosphere, I've seen a great deal worthy of thef... er, emulation, so I will attempt to change the format here somewhat over the next few days to make my little corner of the Internet more useful to those few visiting.

All errors are my own, and to those to numerous to mention serving as sources, my compliments and appreciation.

Happy Nuke Day!

Because I was on the clock for over sixteen hours yesterday, I failed to make note of the sixtieth anniversary of the last time that a nuclear weapon was used in anger: the dropping of the atomic bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan, on 9 August 1945, at 11:02 a.m., by the B-29 Superfortress named "Bock's Car."

Much ideological claptrap as been written over the years trying to rewrite the history of why the bombs were dropped (Fat Man was preceded three days earlier by Hiroshima, where the Enola Gay dropped "Little Boy"). It's really not worth discussing here.

What is worthy of note is the fact that six decades have passed without a direct military engagement by the world's great powers. Indeed, the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union was resolved with the demise of the latter without a major military engagement.

Credit to this era of relative peace should go to the existence of these horrible weapons. Given the history of the world to 1945, including a recently misnomered "War to End All Wars" between 1914 and 1918, there is little reasons to expect that the world could go six decades absent such a conflict yet, as of yesterday, it had.

As literary critic Paul Fussell, a combat soldier in the Pacific in 1945 once wrote, "Thank God for the Atom Bomb."

To that, I would also add, "Thank J. Robert Oppenheimer, Hans Bethe (who died only five months ago), Albert Einstein, Gen. Leslie Groves, Edward Teller, and countless others, including Harry Truman, who had the wit and the courage to use it."

Attempting to Control the Terms of the Debate

Once again, an example of how the far Left attempts to seize control of the terms of the debate.

Came across this website, of a group which calls itself the Virginia Family Values PAC. In its "about us" section, it identifies the issues about which it is concerned:

Virginia Family Values is a non-partisan Virginia political action committee (VA 04-073) dedicated to promoting and protecting those values common to Virginia families, values like freedom and privacy, and working to remove from office those representatives who are anti-freedom, anti-privacy, and anti-family.

Those specific issues that Virginia Family Values has found to be most under attack and most in need of protection include:

  • The right of consenting adults to engage in any sexual activity that they see fit within the privacy of their own home.
  • Easy accessibility of basic methods of contraception to anybody who is sexually active, including condoms and the pill, among other pre-conception preventive measures.

To that end, Virginia Family Values is targeting several candidates, seeking to replace them in the primary stage or in the general election with a candidate – any candidate – who will uphold the rights of Virginia families. This will be accomplished by raising awareness of these candidates' record among the electorate and by providing contributions to these candidates' opponents.

Give 'em credit! I've never known homosexuality to be a "value" in any traditional family I've ever known, but then again, given the continuing effort to hijack the word "marriage," it's not surprising that far Lefties would want to camouflage their agenda as something it's not.

Not too much traffic, though. I suppose it's doubtful that I'll make much of a contribution with this post.

One of the Myths of the "Big Tent"

It's frequent in politics for certain "buzz words" to become clubs which one faction wields against another.

So it has become with the phrase "big tent." Oft-invoked by self-styled "moderate" Republicans --- it too frequently becomes an excuse to justify policies and actions more accurately attributed to Democrats. One good example is the constitutional monstrosity which is abortion. Don't get me wrong; I can respect if disagree with any Republican who believes that allowing abortion is sound public policy.

Just don't try to sell me on the fraud that it is properly a constitutional issue. That is an intellectual myth that cannot rationally be sustained, any more than Plessy's myth that "separate but equal" was constitutionally permissible under the Civil War amendments.

It's funny, though. Twice in the last two months, I have had occasion to speak to fraternal groups of African American public employees, groups not usually associated with conservatives or the GOP, who have sought my counsel because of the failure of traditionally left-wing groups, and their options. At least four times in the last few years, I have represented groups of such individuals to vindicate their legal rights against unions and public officials --- many, self-styled "moderate" Republicans --- in league with them.

And in what "radical right-wing" position did we find accord? That everyone should have the right, but no one should be required, to join or pay monies to labor union as a condition of obtaining or keeping a job.

I wonder how may self-styled "moderates" have made any effort whatsoever to take this or any other so-called "radical right-wing" libertarian/conservative position to groups not traditionally associated with conservatives?

There is much about RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman's "apology" to the NAACP that can be criticized. But he was dead on point in recognizing that the GOP institutionally --- and moderate, "country club" Republican faction in particular --- have done itself and black Americans a disserve by ignoring black voters and failing to recognize that their home is in the GOP.

That is, when the battlegrounds is where it properly belongs, in the field of ideas and shared values.

Pro-Islamofascist Types

Is there anyone else who thinks that Cindy Sheehan's son is rolling over in his grave over his mother's exercise of the freedom he died to protect?

Or that, next, she's going to show up with a bloody shirt, a la Jesse Jackson?

Kilgore Gets It Right on Day Laborers

It's good to see that Jerry Kilgore is taking the right public position on the continuing issue of day laborers in Virginia. Local governments should not be in the business of subsidizing the activities of illegal immigrants, and while it would be unfair to smear all day laborers as such, it is unrealistic to suggest that illegals don't make up a sizable portion of day laborers.

This is a sleeper issue that the GOP should get in front of, difficulties over Prop 187 in California to the contrary notwithstanding. We should never disparage those who want to come to the United States legally, as immigration is the sincerest form of flattery. But we should always stand up for enforcement of the law, something both the Clinton Administration and the Bush 43 Administration have failed to do.

Oops! There goes Young again, smearing and attacking a Republican with the facts!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Novak Walks Off a CNN Set

Wonderful footage last night on Bob Novak's dramatic exit from a CNN show yesterday, after an attack by Clintonista James Carville.

I've gotta say that it's about time. Novak is subject to the same type of slanders and personal attacks that I frequently receive here and elsewhere (particularly on the late, lamented Capital Gang), and has almost never even dignified them with a response. In my specific recollection, far Lefties like Mark Shields, Al Hunt, and Margaret Carlson have all impugned his motives for supportint tax relief, and some have even suggested anti-Semitism.

His response was long overdue, and well-justified. One shouldn't have to sit back and silently take slanders from gnats.

UPDATE: Apparently, CNN has suspended Novak.

This is despicable. Carville and others have gotten away with their actions for years. Novak finally responds appropriately, and CNN suspends him.

And they wonder why Fox News has been whipping them in the ratings?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Rewriting History to Benefit Chairman Sean

Poor PWC Chairman Sean Connaughton and his minions. So desperate for power that they have to demonize their opponents (i.e., at least in this case, one who tells the truth about Chairman Sean) with lies.

Some of it apparently lies in the fact that, when I was a columnist for the Connaughton Post.... er, Potomac News, I insufficiently demonized former PWC Sheriff Lee Stoffregen. Even had the temerity to say something nice about him once: on 14 November 2003, I complimented him and incoming Sheriff Glenn Hill because neither had played the race card in their contest.

On the other hand, on 4 June 2003, I noted the fact that he ran a surrogate against Chairman Sean (who I said was the superior choice, "whatever his flaws") in his 2003 race for the GOP nomination, and dared to suggest that case could be made for his policy prescriptions, even though Stoffregen hadn't made it. On 21 May 2003, I dismissed Chairman Sean's primary opponent as nothing more than a pawn of Stoffregen. Ahhh, how soon they forget!

'Course, then there was the time (9 April 2003) when I noted Stoffregen's efforts to become the "Boss Hogg of Prince William County." I guess the problem there was the fact that I was also discussing PWC's spendthrift Republican-majority Board of County Supervisors.

In the continuing effort to beatify Chairman Sean, or elevate him to sainthood, some of the folks commenting over at Too Conservative, are attempting to rewrite history, and slander me in the process. So, for your edification and to rebut the ill-informed comments over there, here's an oldie but a goodie: the unedited version of a column appearing on 28 August 2002 in the pages of the Connaughton Post.... er, Potomac News. Holds up pretty well, particularly in light of the efforts of some commenting on the aforementioned website to ignore the historical facts.

Suggested Title: Aspirant Kingmaker Stoffregen Risks Overplaying Hand

Few things set a political junky’s blood to pumpin’ like a good, old-fashioned, knock-down, drag-out political battle.
It is therefore ironic that Sheriff Lee Stoffregen — charged with keeping the peace, at least at the County Courthouse — has declared political war on four Republican County Supervisors. It promises to be an interesting battle.
On one side, there is Sheriff Stoffregen. First elected in 1995, Stoffregen then prevailed over local attorney Wally Covington, who defeated four rivals in a bumptious GOP primary. Stoffregen is the only non-incumbent Democrat to win election in the County election during the 1990s ... and even then, he was elected to succeed a Democrat. Otherwise fairly noncontroversial, Stoffregen has nevertheless amassed a nearly quarter of a million dollar warchest. In his first bid for reelection in 1999, Republicans did not field a candidate against him.
On the other side, of course, is a majority of Republicans on the Board of County Supervisors: Ruth Griggs (R-Occoquan); Chairman Sean Connaughton (R-At Large); Maureen Caddigan (R-Dumfries); and L. Ben Thompson (R-Brentsville), who have opposed some of Stoffregen’s funding requests, and his effort to beef up the law-enforcement activities of the County Sheriff’s Department.
The dispute has within it the seeds of questions worth debating and resolving in a rational manner. With just a little effort, County residents might be presented with starkly different visions of governmental responsibility and allocation of governmental power.
This ain’t it.
Perhaps it’s a function of some of the players. Few politicians are as blunt as Ben Thompson, for example, though there’s a fine mind with well-developed political instincts behind that rather gruff, good-old-boy exterior.
And Maureen Caddigan’s paranoia is well-documented. When your intrepid correspondent and his family moved from Lake Ridge (Occoquan District) to Montclair (Dumfries District) a few years back, it was Caddigan herself who told local reporters (who duly reported it in their papers) that the purpose of the move was to run against her. That Montclair is a wonderful community, and that the Youngs had gotten a great deal on a house, seems not to have occurred to her, though I told everyone who asked at the time that those were the reasons for our choice.
At the same time, Connaughton and Griggs are both political novices, serving in their first elective offices.
But the Sheriff seems to have turned what could be a civil, important argument about which County official — elected Sheriff or unelected police chief — should be primarily responsible for law enforcement duties in the County, into a ham-handed political battle which appears to be the last gasp of the Democrat political machine that ruled Prince William County virtually unchallenged for most of the last century.
After all, most political sophisticates would hardly begrudge a public official the use of his or her own political funds to elect like-minded public officials to work with him or her for the common good. When your intrepid correspondent ran for the Dumfries District seat on the School Board (1995 or 1997), there were a number of public officials (God bless ‘em!) who contributed their own funds to advance my candidacy. And there were those among the GOP who in 1999 urged running even a token candidate against Stoffregen, in order to prevent him from using his then-abundant warchest to help sustain Democrat Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors Kathleen Seefeldt, or to attack other GOP incumbents.
So why the indignity, especially from Dumfries Supervisor Maureen Caddigan? She calls Stoffregen’s actions “intimidation,” and I suppose that’s accurate. And....? So what? Is it unlawful intimidation? The answer appears to be “No.” Stoffregen has simply let known his intention to exercise his right of free political speech against those with differing views.
But the kind of silliness that sometimes passes for political debate in this County, Supervisors who have been targeted by Stoffregen, and their supporters, seem to believe that indignity is enough.
Not that Stoffregen has made his case. And there is one to be made. Stoffregen was elected in 1995 on the promise to beef up the law enforcement activities of the County Sheriff Department. Never mind that it has ceded most of these duties nearly thirty years before, when the County Police Department was established. Never mind that this pledge was like then-Attorney General Jim Gilmore’s 1993 election-year pledge to get tough on crime, even though the Attorney General’s office has no law enforcement responsibility. But it cannot be objectively reasonable to attack a politician who tries to keep his pledge, and Stoffregen appears to be doing that, even though a pledge many thought foolish at the time.
More fundamentally, voters might want to consider whether they want law enforcement responsibilities vested primarily in an official responsible to them — the Sheriff — or in one responsible to the Board of County Supervisors — Police Chief Charlie Deane. But Stoffregen is not making that argument. Instead, he cites “the war on terror” and “cutbacks in state funding,” as though mere recitation of these mantras were argument, and not conclusions.
On the other hand, the four GOP supervisors have a strong case based in fiscal responsibility, and the desire to avoid duplicative and wasteful County services, and to hold the line on what some seem to view as Stoffregen’s political patronage practices.
Whatever the outcome of the debate, it appears unlikely that the important underlying issues will be addressed. Many have expressed their indignity, but little else, over Stoffregen’s ham-handed techniques. Interestingly, they have not all be identified Republicans, who have remained mostly silent on the issues, indicating that Stoffregen’s tactics are distasteful even to non-partisans.
But that it has become a naked political battle with little reference to the important underlying questions is somewhat sad.

An attorney, Young lives with his wife and their two sons in Montclair.