Monday, November 28, 2005
Once again, a coach that Snyder hired, then fired --- Marty Schottenheimer --- came back to Washington and did something he couldn't do consistently while the coach of the Redskins: win a football game!
I vividly remember the last game I attended while Schottenheimer was coaching the Reskins. It was the first game played after the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. A friend called me up with an extra ticket, and I sat on the lower level, at about the 35-yard-line, next to a retired Sergeant Major who is about a foot taller than I am. Fans were calling it the "Toilet Bowl," since two teams without victories were meeting. As I recall, it was the Redskins who emerged with their perfect[ly awful] record intact.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Interesting day on Sunday. Having heard the advertisements, I went out to the Dulles Expo Centre for the Nation's Gun Show, and got to meet someone I've wanted to meet for years: Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk. World War II buffs will know that he was the navigator on the Enola Gay, the B-29 piloted by Paul Tibbets that delivered the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Well, it turns out that, like me, Ted is from Northumberland, Pennsylvania, a little borough at the junction of the North and West Branches of the Susquehanna River. Northumberland is a town of fewer than 3,000 people, and isn't known for much more than the fact that English chemist Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen and the guy to thank for carbonated soda, emigrated and conducted many of his later experiments there. As for me, I just remember playing Little League baseball on the field between Priestley's home (now a museum) and the Susquehanna.
It's rather odd, or perhaps a sad commentary on the woeful state of history education in this country, but in that small town, I never learned in school that a local man had played an important role (at church yesterday, a retired Air Force officer commented to me, "Well, he got them there") in one of the most historically significant events of the Twentieth Century. As I told my sons, who were with me, long after we're dead and gone, people will remember what Ted and the crew of which he was a part did to end World War II.
I was also happy to introduce my sons to a truly history-making man, the only one among the Enola Gay's crew who is healthy enough to do public appearances. And equally important, to demonstrate to them what Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey said so well, that "There are no extraordinary men ... just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with." As it happens in a small town, Ted and I knew many of the same people. Indeed, while I introduced myself as a fellow Pineknotter, and mentioned that he might have known my grandparents, who ran a restaurant in Northumberland before and during the war, Ted prompted me by noting that my grandfather became the Pontiac dealer in Sunbury immediately after the war, and that he had bought his first Pontiac from him!
Life in a small town!
Well, Ted's nickname fits him, 'cause he's a Dutchman, and we spent quite a bit of time --- probably more than I should have, but there was nobody waiting behind me --- reminiscing about our home town, and the people we both knew there. Of course, they were quite a bit younger when Ted knew them.
And my oldest son, Jimmy, simply ate it up. He's old enough to remember his beloved "Gramps," and was excited to meet a man who did business with him. For a nine-year-old, he's got a great head on his shoulders, and has a keen sense of where he comes from.
So Ted signed a copy of the book on the 509th Composite Group for me ("To a fellow Pineknotter"), and I know that someday, my oldest will cherish it as a link to his past. As for me, I was just privileged to have a pleasant conversation about small things with a man who, in his early twenties, was engaged in great things, dealing with some truly extraordinary circumstances, and who now gives of his time in the twilight of his life to share his experiences with a generation all too oblivious to the deeds and sacrifices of those who have gone before them.
Friday, November 18, 2005
First, there's Virginia Centrist, in a triumphant return. And no, this is not mere payback for his recent reference to a post here. VC only accepts cash.
Then there's Alice Marshall, who recently called for imposition of the death penalty for Virginia's senior Senator, Foghorn Leghorn... er, John Warner. And no, not because he voted against Robert Bork and worked against Ollie North. One read of Alice's comments, and you'll be yelling "Stop the Insanity!!!!"
I've also added (belatedly) Ben Tribbett's site, aka Not Larry Sabato, which badly needs a new name.
This is what I read fairly regularly, and maybe that explains a lot.
PROF. JOHN DALY: "SOLDIERS SHOULD EXECUTE SUPERIORS": A prof at Warren Community College in New Jersey woke up and took his stupid pills the other morning. That can be the only explanation for why he wrote this email to a college freshman who had innocently invited him to her campus event to hear from Iraq War hero Lt. Col. Scott Rutter.
The freshman was new student Rebecca Beach, and she was trying to drum up a bit of interest in her event which would feature the War On Terror vet. Here is the entire response she received from John Daly, English prof.:
November 13, 2005
I am asking my students to boycott your event. I am also going to ask others to boycott it. Your literature and signs in the entrance lobby look like fascist propaganda and is extremely offensive. Your main poster "Communism killed 100,000,000" is not only untrue, but ignores the fact that CAPITALISM has killed many more and the evidence for that can be seen in the daily news papers. The U.S. government can fly to dominate the people of Iraq in 12 hours, yet it took them five days to assist the people devastated by huricane Katrina. Racism and profits were key to their priorities. Exxon, by the way, made $9 Billion in profits this last quarter--their highest proft margin ever. Thanks to the students of WCCC and other poor and working class people who are recruited to fight and die for EXXON and other corporations who earning megaprofits from their imperialist plunders. If you want to count the number of deaths based on political systems, you can begin with the more than a million children who have died in Iraq from U.S.-imposed sanctions and war. Or the million African American people who died from lack of access to healthcare in the US over the last 10 years.
I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won't dare show their face on a college campus. Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people's needs--such freedom fighters can be counted throughout American history and they certainly will be counted again.
Prof. John Daly
Here's Prof Daly's e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org... if you'd like to tell him what you think of him.
Actually, I think "Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq return to the United States and turn their guns on idiotic college professors who spout this kind of nonsense to impressionable young college students."
Thursday, November 17, 2005
The movie, which was fairly sympathetic to Shepard, had a wonderful moment where the verdict of acquittal was announced and Peppard, as Shepard, having spent years in prison for the crime, slams his hand down on the defense table --- one slam for each word --- shouting "It's about time!"
I've had much the same response in the past few days, as the Administration is finally responding to far Left and far Left congressional critics who are accusing the President of lying about pre-war intelligence regarding Iraq. For example, Vice President Cheney yesterday attacked those critics as dishonest and reprehensible opportunists.
Finally, the lunatics of the far-Left blogosphere have started to influence more lunatics in Congress. But dismal Harry Reid, Democrat Senate Leader, had perhaps the most pathetic comment in response: he said that Cheney was “playing politics like he’s in the middle of a presidential campaign,” and "urge[d] the members of the Bush administration to stop trying to resurrect their political standing by lashing out at their critics.”
As opposed to whom, Harry? Democrats "playing politics like their in the middle of a presidential campaign"? Or Democrats "trying to resurrect their political standing by" trashing the President?
The truth is always the best cure for lies. And Democrats have been pursuing the strategy of the Big Lie since the beginning regarding George W. Bush, starting with Florida in 2000, and continuing throughout, save for that short interval after the terrorist attacks of 2001.
Don't know if that's true, but if it is, I find it even more disturbing that Tom Davis' name is on this list, as a Board Member.
Not that there isn't something entirely too far-Left about this organization to begin with. After all, the RMSP's website lists Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andrew Stern as a "supporter." SEIU is, of course, one of the more radical unions out there. Other supporters include David Dempsey of the National Association of Social Workers, gun-grabber Michael Harrington of Americans for Gun Safety, and Mary Elizabeth Teasley of the National Education Association. The homosexual group "Log Cabin Republicans" --- a group that refused to endorse the President's reelection bid --- is linked to as a "resource."
To be sure, this is only a partial list of "supporters." But what is Tom Davis, or any Republican, doing associating with people with these far-Left agendas?
Kudos to TC for being willing to take the heat.
Here it is.
Thoms' first post (7 May 2005), says that "Just heard word the Connaughton campaign is having yet ANOTHER press conference in Richmond on Monday to discuss 'placing pornographic filters on all Virginia public libraries'." Where did he hear it? Campaign HQ?
His second (same date) attempts to place the Connaughton spin on the race for the GOP nomination for LG.
I suppose I could go on, but you get the point. Most or all of his pre-GOP Primary posts were little more than hagiographies to the Connaughton Campaign, which was paying him. Some others spoke to Prince William politics, of which he is and was familiar only second-hand, and from Connaughtonites, at that. And then there's a comment that I recall that "I can't say Sean raised my taxes," as though he pays taxes in PWC. He repeated this practice with positive Chris Craddock posts (none of which I disagree, BTW), while serving as his Deputy Campaign Manager.
As one of his commenters stated, "Blogs that operate in this manner are exactly why SOME people want to consider them campaign donations." Well, maybe such irresponsibility and --- dare I say it? --- dishonesty are functions of youth.
On the other hand, he responded to a 29 September "What if..." post by noting what our ticket was, and trying to diminish such talk. Credit for that.
I'm glad TC has let us in on his little secret. It allows us to judge the credibility of his comments with knowledge of his basis (or lack thereof; his recent baseless accusations that I have called Chairman Sean a "RINO" stands out) for making them.
UPDATE: OK. That was fun/exciting/cathartic. However, I hereby declare a moratorium upon criticism of TC for keeping his identity/associations a secret. That he has displayed the courage to exit the anonymity closet has given his readers a basis upon which to judge his comments. That is an honesty which I demand/expect (remember that wonderful speech by Major Houlihan in M*A*S*H, where she concludes that she applies that standard to herself, and that, from others, she'll "expect nothing more, and accept nothing less"?), and which he has now satisfied. His revelations provide those who disagree with him points of reference, ones which allows the reader to judge how they color his comments.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Of course, the underlying "logic" of the slur is nonsense. None of the advocates of low taxes are interested in perpetuating or growing the modern welfare state. To the contrary, most oppose it and would tear it out root and branch.
It's time to respond in kind to these slanders. Let's call the "tax-'em-'til-their-eyes-pop-out" crowd what they really are: the all-you-can-eat buffet lunch crowd.
It's a lot more accurate applied to them than "free lunch crowd" is as applied to us.
Ask someone in the all-you-can-eat buffet lunch crowd what limit he would put on the percentage of a persons income that should be seized by the government in taxes. Most likely, you won't get an answer. If you do get an answer, it will likely be far less than the actual percentage of the average taxpayers income --- more than 40% --- that is actually seized by various local, state, and federal government entities.
And why does the all-you-can-eat buffet lunch crowd support taxation unlimited conceptually? Because they apparently believe not only in a social safety net, but it a nice hammock, strung between trees rich with foliage, with a all-you-can-eat buffet only a short distance away.
UPDATE: Well, I beat Shaun Kenny to the punch by a few hours but great minds do think alike. His more expansive comment on the same subject appears under the title "'Free Lunch' Republicans vs. 'Kamikaze' Democrats." I commend it to your attention. Not bad for one of such relative youth. ;-)
Monday, November 14, 2005
First, who was the biggest vote-getter in Prince William County in 2005?
According to the most recent State Board of Elections data, it was Bob McDonnell, Republican for Attorney General, with 34,339 votes.
And who came in second?
That would be Bill Bolling, Republican for Lieutenant Governor, with 33,571 votes.
Interestingly, Democrat Tim Kaine only barely made the top three, besting Jerry Kilgore by 1,189 votes.
Also interestingly, the Winchester Billy Goat, Russ "Chamber" Potts, from the Benedict Arnold wing of the GOP, received 1,220 votes in Prince William County.
What do these returns tell us about the County? Contrary to the conventional wisdom in the Left-wing media, I do not, unsurprisingly, believe that this is bad news for the GOP.
Let's first deal with the issue of the Winchester Billygoat. One could speculate that the Potts vote hurt Kilgore in Prince William, but it would take a great deal to persuade me that he took votes from Kilgore, not Kaine, and that all of those votes would have gone to Kilgore to put him over the top in Prince William. I have never thought that Potts took votes from Kilgore, since he worked very hard to sound like a tax-and-spend Democrat. Believing that Potts took votes from Kilgore accuses self-styled "moderate" Republicans of treachery. Assuming arguendo that they remain loyal Republicans, the notion that Potts hurt Kilgore cannot be sustained. I leave it to self-styled "moderates" to look within themselves to inform the reader whether such treachery among their fellows explains the Potts vote.
With that having been said, however, it seems clear to me that our squishy friends --- self-styled Republican "moderates" --- are dead wrong when they assert that the GOP was hurt by Conservatives, at least in Prince William.
The hard truth for our less-stern friends is that the unabashed Conservatives on the state-wide ticket led and won in Prince William. And they won not because of the drop-off in votes from Governor to the other two offices --- in 2001, about 1100 fewer people voted for LG in Prince William, about the same number as in 2005; in 2001, the drop-off for AG was larger than in 2005, notwithstanding a growing electorate --- but by out-polling every candidate in every other race. Was it tighter than in past years? To be sure. After all, Prince William County gave George Allen and Jim Gilmore 12,000 and 14,000 vote margins in their contests. Even Mark Early carried the County by more than 3,000 votes over Marky Mark ... er, the Boyish Governor.
So what is the problem in Prince William? Let me say that, first, I believe that there is less of a problem than the media would have you think. The simple fact in Prince William is that unabashed Conservatives carried the day. Candidates who "moderated" or more accurately, "liberalized," their message lost.
But where does the fault for Kilgore's defeat lie?
I have said elsewhere, and have not been persuaded otherwise, that it lies primarily with the candidate himself. Kilgore was clearly a drag on the ticket, throughout Northern Virginia, and perhaps even elsewhere (I haven't examined that data). And I have a sneaking suspicion --- I cannot back it up with polling data --- that it was his tax referenda plan on transportation that hurt him most among Northern Virginia voters. Could he have won here? Probably not. But we've "been there; done that" on so-called transportation tax referenda, in 2002.
Northern Virginia expects its leaders to lead, and its legislators to legislate. As I said at the time, such proposals are simply political cover for craven politicians who refuse to make the hard decisions they're elected to make. In this particular case, they constitute an excuse to do nothing about Northern Virginia's transportation woes, and the despicable failure of Richmond politicians to allocate fairly transportation dollars to Northern Virginia. To be sure, this proposal is a pet project of Northern Virginia developer and business interests, and was sufficient to garner their support in the election, but I have to wonder whether Kilgore's woeful drop-off from the down-ticket races is directly traceable to this problem.
Of course, virtually any miscue is sufficient when you're talking about the small margin in Prince William. But I believe that the argument is sustainable when you look to Kilgore's performance relative to Bolling and McDonnell throughout Northern Virginia.
And where does the fault for the relatively poor (relative to prior years) performance of the GOP in Prince William lie? Certainly, there are some macro-trends beyond the control of we mere functionaries to affect. Kilgore's drag on the GOP was beyond our control. Equally beyond our control was the perceived or actual weakness of the President and the GOP-controlled Congress. Likewise, County demographic trends and growth have cut into the GOP margin.
But what can we control? The simple fact of the matter is that the GOP flourished in Prince William County when it was a party of the grass-roots, governed from the bottom up with strong leadership in the County GOP Committee.
That is not the current state of the County GOP. With increasing electoral success, we have witnessed broader ambitions among elected officials. I've said elsewhere that one of the benefits of having a successful political operation is your ability to elect any idiot on the party's ticket; one of its pitfalls is that you frequently do. Lack of ability, however, is hardly sufficient to temper ambition, and with that ambition has come a desire on the part of some elected officials and their functionaries to dominate the County GOP. And while a healthy interaction between elected officials and County GOP activists is both necessary and desired, it is not healthy for the GOP as an institution when it becomes nothing but a vehicle for personal ambition.
Yet, sad to say, that seems to be the current state of affairs in the County GOP. The personally ambitious seem to have their loyal sycophants, including some who have, in the past, been smart enough to eschew such cults of personality. Moreover, the County GOP currently suffers under pathetically weak leadership. This is not simply a matter of lacking respect for the County Chairman, though one wonders if he ever would have held the post had he been required to run for it afresh, rather than as an incumbent succeeding to the job upon his predecessor's resignation. It is a question of performance. As an example of that lack of performance, one of the best grass-roots activities that the old County GOP did was a Labor Day picnic, one which has not been held for the last two years.
I certainly cannot venture a guess as to what steps need to be taken to revitalize the Prince William County GOP. But while things are not as bad as the media would have you believe, neither are they as good as they could be, or should be.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
God knows what this means, but I suspect that it's the Boyish Governor's appeal to the Kool-Aid drinking Far Left, that idiotic contingent who still believes that Al Gore really won in 2000.
No thanks, Marky. We don't need that kind of crap in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Glad to see you go in 2006.
Well, below is mostly what I posted in response, with a few changes. It helps to have actually looked at the numbers before you justify the outcome with your predetermined gripes.
Gee, let's see, Bolling got more votes in PWC than Kilgore. Frederick has apparently won. Marshall won in a relative walk. McQuigg won. McDonnell and Bolling BOTH won in Prince William County. How this translates into "people [in NoVA] didn't have any reason to go out and vote" is nonsense. GOP candidates who gave people a reason to go out and vote won. Kilgore didn't. It's pretty much that simple.
'Fact is, Republicans in Northern Virginia "didn't have any reason to go out and vote" for Kilgore because, in part, Kilgore didn't give them any reason to get out and vote. This is borne out by the fact that Bolling and McDonnell BOTH did better in Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria than did Kilgore.
Sounds a lot like O.P. Ditch's (whom I suspect to be a contributor to this blog, if not the author of the post-in-chief) comment to me at the PWC "victory" party last night to attempt to blame Kilgore's loss on the principled wing of the GOP, rather than on Kilgore's failure to motivate the electorate, in part, and on the failure of the Connaughton Cult of Personality wing to show the same loyalty to principled candidates that they demand -- and get (see Tom Davis) -- for so-called "moderate" candidates.
The fact is that most of the people that Connaughton "brought in" to the GOP never showed up again. Witness his attempt to pack the County Committee last year. Most of those were gone after they missed three succeeding meetings, per the party plan. To be sure, a few Connaughtonites --- notably Jane Beyer --- who were preexisting activists did what they always do, and worked hard for victory. But the simple fact is that most of those "brought in" by Connaughton were "brought in" only for his purposes, and quickly disappeared when they didn't get their way.
Kilgore's bath in Northern Virginia can't be blamed on the Conservative grass roots, which was out for him. It can be more appropriately blamed upon his campaign's virtual abandonment of Northern Virginia (I think this is the main reason), a misstep on the death penalty ads, the fact that he was -- in some ways -- a flawed candidate, and his failure to take a principled stand on taxes. The fact is that the business community in Northern Virginia was behind him.
Kilgore's loss was a personal one. It can't be blamed upon those who believe that the GOP should be about principles first.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
RE: The 52nd District Race Between Jeff Frederick and Hilda Barg
I had to laugh at the Potomac News' editorial endorsement of Democrat Hilda Barg over GOP incumbent Jeff Frederick. It's something like this where the left-wing, pro-tax agenda of that formerly moving-towards-reason rag really comes through. Assuming you're even modestly non-ideological or objective, what kind of moron advocates exchanging a 30-year-old in the majority with a 72-year-old in the minority?
RE: Democrat Concern Over GOP GOTV Efforts
Worked as a poll watcher in the Henderson Precinct of Montclair today for about four-and-a-half hours. Interesting, and somewhat grueling. At one point, a poll worker approached me and said that some voters had complained because I had been "hovering." She was rather polite, and prefaced her comment with the statement that I had done nothing wrong or illegal.
Talk about intimidation! I can imagine a poll watcher less informed of his or her rights and duties --- I spent Election Day 2004 as one of six attorneys in the GOP legal "war room" in Cleveland, after all --- doing a less effective job after such a "warning." Fortunately, secure in the knowledge that: (1) I had, indeed, done nothing wrong; (2) the latest group of voters had very few names on my favorable list; and (3) Democrats in Ohio had tried the same tactics of intimidation against GOP poll watchers in Ohio in 2004, I politely pointed those facts out to the poll worker, who bothered me no more. And never mind that the only reason I was forced to do so was the fact that the poll workers --- who are doing a thankless job for very little pay --- were not fulfilling their duty to loudly and clearly call out the names and addresses of the voters, so that I wouldn't have to "hover."
An interesting example, though, of Democrat efforts to intimidate the GOP into abandoning an effective and lonely job in getting out identified GOP voters.
RE: And One More Thing About that Potomac News Endorsement of Barg
Talked to Amy Frederick at the poll, and the issue of that endorsement came up. She reminded me that they didn't seem to like Jeff because they thought he was using his office as a stepping stone to something else.
I've heard this song before, notably as a criticism of me when I ran for School Board. First question: what's wrong with that? Second question: since when does the Pot. News object to such individuals? That journal's enthusiasm for Chairman Sean continues unabated.
One can only conclude that this "criticism" was opportunistic. Just another example of feigning application of an objective criteria while simply looking for a way to trash a candidate you don't like for ideological reasons.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Wow! Boy! It's sure good to know that Chuckie's on the job, protecting us against people who would "divide America." God knows that we need protection from the likes of those who would "divide America," like those race hustlers and class warriors who would divide us by race and divide the productive from their money.
And by the way, what is it that "divide[s] America"? Might it be judges who divine new constitutional "rights" out of "penumbras" and "emanations"? Might it be those who use judicial decisions to short-circuit the political process, preventing the emergence of political consensus that results from the democratic process? Might it be those who constantly inveigh against "the rich" and "paying their fair share," when the fact is that "the rich" not only pay their "fair share" but the "fair share" of quite a few of their neighbors?
I hear that Chuckie Schumer is perhaps the most scholarly and bright member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But this kind of slick and nonsensical political rhetoric belies that notion. "Division" in America isn't avoided or minimized by committing to judicial decisionmaking issues properly resolved by the political process. Aside from the fact that the course advocated by Chuckie does violence to the democratic and constitutional process, and virtually guarantees continuing political controversy, it bespeaks a political cravenness that one would hope to avoid in elected public officials.
In Sacramento, on a case, and just saw a commercial against Proposition 77, which would amend the California State Constitution to take redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and give it to three judges.
Not sure how I would vote, if it were up to me. But the far Left has gone on the warpath against this and other of the Governator's proposed "reforms."
The rhetoric was hilarious. Since when does the far Left resent the notion of "unelected judges" wielding too much power? The people opposing this are the same ones who insist that Roe v. Wade is sacrosanct.
Please tell me, what is the difference?
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
But I have a question: Does anybody know the name of the rude SOB who demanded that a lady give up her seat for him?!?!?! I'd kinda like to know.