Friday, March 31, 2006
On the bus we passed a group of protestors waving Mexican flags. Two of them held a ripped American flag, and as we passed they shouted, "F*** the U.S.!" They yelled something else, but by that time we were out of there.
If we aren't careful the U.S. will become the new New Mexico.
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Thursday, March 29, 2006
Information Alert: Homosexual activists coming to your neighborhood soon!
This Sunday, while you are attending church, homosexual activists in Hampton Roads will be going door to door in neighborhoods working to undermine marriage. While you worship God, Equality Virginia, the state's leading anti-marriage organization, will be knocking on doors trying to convince people that supporting traditional marriage is bigoted and hateful. This effort is just part of a plan by those seeking to redefine marriage to "educate" Virginians to vote against the marriage amendment in November.
I'm always wary of blasts from interest groups, so I checked the Equality Virginia schedule of events. And sure enough, they have scheduled a major campaign activity in Hampton Roads to start during Sunday morning church hours.
From the Equality Virginia Web Site Events Page (highlighting mine):
April 2nd: Day of Action (Hampton Roads) Volunteer Opportunity!Come on out for an empowering day of talking to people about our rights!
Date: Sunday, April 2ndTime: 10:00am-2:00pmLocation: 1204 Reardon Circle, Virginia Beach
Now, I've seen campaigns run literature drops in church parking lots during Sunday service, reaching out to the "religious" voters. I throw stuff out on my car, I think people who actually care about religious people should be in church on Sunday, not running around sticking things in people's cars.
But the EV folks aren't targetting church parking lots, they are going to talk to people, by knocking on doors.
And who will they find at 10am on a Sunday morning who are home? Mostly people who are not church-goers. I'm sure this will greatly improve their chances of finding people who will support them.
But if the opponents of the Virginia marraige amendment have any hope of defeating it, they are going to have to find some way to convince those churchgoers to oppose it. And sending people out canvassing when they should be at church will not help convince religious people that the "Equality Virginia" movement is compatable with their beliefs.
I know that some churches believe homosexuality is OK. I know that many gay people are religious. But I'm not the one who decided to target non-churchgoers in Hampton to find support for my views.
Update: Vince over at TooConservative has more thoughts on the letter from the Family Foundation, in his post: Life Is Short, Lets Live It With Some Civility.
Update 2: The folks at Equity Loudoun found me as well, their analysis and comments on both TC's and my posts on the subject are found in the somewhat provocatively named post Yes, Virginia, we’re everywhere. As I said there in more detail in a comment, I do not suggest that all the activists are not churchgoers, simply that I oppose doing campaigning on Sunday mornings, I'm not the only one, and that doing so could rightly antagonize an audience they must reach, or at least not incite to turn out in larger numbers.
And that non-churchgoers are more likely to agree with them than churchgoers will.
To wit, their use of the name "Some Families Foundation" for the Virginia Family Foundation may
These particular protestors aren't interested in amnesty, or in citizenship. They seem to be interested in taking back their country from the invading European army. That would be us, the legal immigrants and their descendents. If this was a picture of American Indians protesting, it might have more validity. But this doesn't look like American Indians to me:
As says The Mexica Movement,
First they invade our continent in 1492.They kill 95% of our population.And they tell us none of our land is ours anymore.Finally, they now tell usthat they want us of out of our own continent,the part that they stole from usand that they used to get rich.If this sentiment seems almost rational to you, check out their report on the march. One precious quote among many:
One of the more negative parts of the march was when American flags were passed out to make sure the marchers were looked on as part of "America".That's right, it was such a negative that these people, living and working in the United States, were forced to lie to us about their intentions by carrying American flags. Oh, for the day when they are a majority and no longer have to lie about their intention to take over and throw us all out. There are good, decent people waiting for a chance to enter our country legally, to become part of OUR society, to make THIS nation their own. They are prevented because their slots are filled with people in our country ILLEGALLY who hate our culture, hate our country, and can't wait for the day they can turn the United States into a greater Mexico. And the Senate wants to let them, so long as they pay a couple thousand dollars for the privilege and learn at least a little english. Of course, after 11 years they would have the 'privilege' of becoming citizens. The next day 11 million america-haters would be able to vote. For people who think like they do. For people who want to open the country to all of mexico, and kick out the European invaders. There are of course millions of legal immigrants. And there are many illegal immigrants who want nothing to do with our country, who just want to make money and go back home. But when 500,000 people show up at a march, and they follow people carring signs that call for the overthrow of America by mexicans, it's hard to think about those who don't agree.
There's a lot of stuff there, some real thought, and I urge you all to read it completely. I picked off a few of what I thought were obvious debate points, but my comment got so long I decided to put it over here in the hopes of drawing a few more readers.
My focus was on four assertions JD makes, starting with his opening paragraph:
"The people of Virginia must live within their means[;] their government should have to do the same." That's Old Zach @ SST's version of a common, meaningless, anti-tax populist platitude. Simply rebutted, Virginians don't live within their means.
The others were that Virginia Does live within its means, that people can raise their own revenue, and that therefore government should be able to as well:
But my point--that the people of Virginia can increase their revenue, so the idea that their government cannot belies the analogy--is that's it's not irresponsible to raise taxes per se.
(Again, I urge you to read his entire post at his site -- I certainly am not doing it justice with my snippets, and you may not agree with my interpretation of his focus).
That said, this was my long-winded reply, written with I imagine not nearly so much thought as his post:
While JD may be literally "correct", I think the post is wrong in application on several counts.
First, no individual can live above their means indefinitely. At some point the creditors want to be paid. So while a vast number of people may actually have a net worth below zero, few people are allowed to get to too far below zero.
Rich people are of course allowed to get much more in debt than us normal folk. At one point Donald Trump I believe was over 900 MILLION in debt. I'd like to see anybody reading this blog try that. If you could run up a 900 million dollar debt at a casino, you could walk out with a million bucks.
Second,Virginia is only required to live within its means in the sense that we must keep our expenses and revenue in balance. Revenues can be increased to match increased spending. That leads to...
Third, people CAN increase their income, but not at all in the same way as government. People get money mostly by providing service. They provide more service, they get more money. They privide BETTER service, they get more money. People have to achieve to get. People have to succeed to get more (there are exceptions of course, but in general this is true).
If people were the government, they wouldn't take a 2nd job to send their kid to college -- they would simply tell their employee to pay them an extra 10k a year. They wouldn't work any more, or provide any more service to the employer, and the employer would not be able to fire them.
In fact, in such a scenario you might ask why the employee doesn't simply ask for an infinite amount of money? Just like you might ask how does government decide when to stop asking for more money. More on that below.
But even if you think that Government does provide services equal to its income, the services rarely go to those who pay the money. In fact, we seem to be "pleasantly surprised" when government comes up with a "tax plan" that makes the people pay who get the service (like road tolls). Although we also seem to complain a lot about it (e.g. "why should we have to pay so much to use our public lands, they should be free").
Further, the worse government performs its tasks, the less in services it provides successfully, the more money it asks for in return. If the schools are excellent, we hold the line on the budget. If they are failing our kids, we clamor for higher taxes to put more money into those schools to fix them.
But going back to my question: Why doesn't government just raise taxes to an infinite amount? Well, obviously Government can't tax people more than people make. I suppose that corresponds to the idea that an employer can't pay an employee more than the employer "makes", but as JD notes a person can get a second job, so theoretically a person can make virtually an infinite amount of money (I'm thinking anything over a billion dollars should count as more money than you can use in a lifetime). Bill Gates is a multibillionare. So it can happen.
But Government can't raise revenue to more than what the people and business and visitors to the state can physically pay. Worse, as government increases taxes, it discourages visitors, business, and citizens from being in the state. The higher the taxes, the greater the encouragement to stay away. If Virginia had a 100% income tax, nobody would work in the state, so they would make no money.
In fact, you could do an analysis of various tax policies and their effect on people's habits, and find the exact amount of differing taxes that maximises the revenue to the government. If you follow that thought, it should now be clear to you that REVENUE TO THE GOVERNMENT is NOTHING AT ALL like REVENUE TO A PERSON.
A person's revenue is based on service and increases as service increases. A government's revenue is based on how much people are able to give and has a real maximum that can be calculated based on policies, above which revenue drops as taxes are raised.
So, when someone says the government must live within its means, that has a real-life application (although admittedly not what most people think). If one simply wanted government to spend as much money as it possibly could, there would be a specific number that would represent that maximum, based on the tax analysis of the maximum revenue we could confiscate.
Now, I believe in limited government. That means that I could care less about government living within it's means, I want government to live within its specified requirements. Or more precisely, I want government to set revenues at exactly that which will fully fund ONLY what we absolutely need government to do.
So in my perfect world, rather than figuring out how to maximize taxes, we would spend all of our time figuring out what exactly we NEED from our government. Then we would set taxes to raise that amount -- and it should be much less than the maximum possible, so we shouldn't have to take a lot of time figuring out how to squeeze out the last tax dollar.
Figuring out need is something our politicians do poorly if at all. Even the modern "thrifty" representatives are quick to spend money on frivolous items. But worse, we have almost no real debate about what government should be doing. Both sides always end up at money. The anti-tax crowd will argue that we shouldn't do something because we can't afford it. But if it is a valid government service, we SHOULD do it and if we have to raise taxes then that is what we should do. The pro-tax crowd will argue that if a program is "good", it should be funded. But almost everything is "good" in some sense. Giving every citizen a free ice cream cone sounds like a fabulous idea to me. But it isn't what government is for.
Maybe some day soon I'll actually talk about what government is for.
I think it is just coincidence for example that I've written several articles about immigration and she happened to write about it as well. After all, the protests have just been in the paper for most of us, but she is experiencing them first-hand as a student in schools where kids are talking about this issue.
It could be that she will read what I write and then mimic it, but I doubt it, and if I think that is happening I might drop another note -- it's not my intention for us to tag-team an issue. I would think that politics to a young teenager has to look different than it does to us old-timers.
I was inspired to try this experiment after having some pretty deep conversations with children about serious issues, where I found they really tried to understand the facts, and to form opinions that had firm foundations. I want to encourage that kind of thinking. I don't want people to agree with me because it's me, I want them to come to the same conclusions I do because the facts preclude any other conclusion.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
I'll have to admit I do have a certain respect for the students from Stonewall Jackson High who walked over 4 miles to get to the Manassas Park shopping center, where they were joined by Manassas Park High and Osbourn Park students. But that respect is lessened when I read what they were saying. For example:
Sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with an image of revolutionary icon Ché Guevara, 16-year-old Osbourn Park sophomore Alex Iraheta ... said: "I have family here who don't have documents. I don't want them to be sent back."
I wish I could it was stupid to publicly identify family as illegals. But there's little danger of any immigration officials taking action to track down these people.
"Why can't I come to school until 12 p.m.?" shouted Judy Vasquez, 16...
"We are here to make our voices heard, and we will keep on protesting until we accomplish what we want," said Montoya, who also participated in the protest at Freedom on Monday while she was on suspension.
[Montoya] said her goals are to "represent her people," and to protest legislation that would require schools to verify students' immigration status. The bill to which she referred -- HR4437 -- contains no provision requiring schools to check immigration status.
All the Spanish and the black people eat lunch downstairs, and the white people eat upstairs," Vasquez said of the Stonewall cafeteria.
"We do that to ourselves," objected her classmate Julio Ayala, 16.
"What about the dress code?" Vasquez insisted. "If a Hispanic girl shows just a little bit of skin, you get a referral. White girls can wear skirts as short as they want."
"We are the hardest-working people here," Montoya said. "How can you deny someone who wants a better life for their families?"
But the most incomprehensible revelation comes at the end of the article:
The demonstration was peaceful -- as student protests Monday and Tuesday had been -- until approximately 2:15 p.m., when the demonstrators were approached by a large, white man wearing a navy blue Fire Department of New York T-shirt and blue jeans.
"Wetbacks," shouted the man, according to eyewitnesses, "get out of this country. Go protest back home."
[Ricardo] Juarez [National Capital Immigration Coalition], an eyewitness, said he told the man to leave and called the police. The man left in a Dodge Dakota pickup truck before the police arrived.
So let me get this straight. A group of High School students leaves school without permission for the 3rd straight day. They gather in a parking lot without permission to hold a protest for which they have no permit. A man drives by and, obviously incensed by the sight of a mass of truant high-schoolers waving Mexican and other foreign flags, yells at them (in admittedly offensive language).
And the man sent by the Schools to mediate with the protesters calls the cops to arrest the one man protesting the protesters?
Free Speech for me, but not for thee. From people who are happy to come to this country and enjoy all the benefits, and then talk of "our people" and wave the flags of other countries that they fled to come here.
If we caught and deported people here illegally, we could open up hundreds of thousands more slots for people who are willing to go through the process of getting legal access to our country. The illegal line-cutters make it worse for america, and worse for all those would-be immigrants who respect our laws and want to do things right.
The thought that we would reward these people for their selfishness and lawbreaking is anathema to me. I can't imagine what is wrong with the Senate to even consider allowing these people to buy their way into the immigration line. I can understand a guest worker program for those who are in critical needs jobs which we can't immediately fill with others (I don't think there are as many of those as the President, but I can see the possibility). But we can't reward them further with citizenship.
Anyway, I would be surprised if many of these illegal immigrants even WANT citizenship. They seem to love their countries of origin more than this country. Many are just here working until they make enough money to be big shots back home. They don't assimilate, they don't learn the language, they don't try to fit in because they have no intention of fitting in. They just want to put in their time, make their money, and leave.
What I fear more than anything is a backlash from the protests, and to the Senates capitulation to amnesty. I don't like the house bill, I don't want these people to be felons. I don't want people to turn against legal immigrants. I want to try to put our society back together. I want to find a way to break down the cultural barriers, to assimilate the legal immigrants into our society, to bring them to the point where they love our country as much as we do. We can't do that if a majority of our citizens think all immigrants are foreign-flag-waving, law-disrespecting rabble-rousers.
Meanwhile, another "smug cloud" forms in San Fransisco, where Trey and Matt's unfortunate obsession with gaseous emmissions detracts from the show. But anyway, these two smug clouds combine with a 3rd cloud formed by George Clooney's Oscar speech, merging to form the "perfect storm" (an excellent play on the movie where Clooney's character idiotically rides out a storm to his death).
I am a strong believer in Hybrids, and in doing everything we can to minimize our ecological footprints (within reason). I don't consider myself smug, I do urge others to think about how they impact the world. However, I enjoy a good laugh at my expense, and I know a lot of truly smug hybrid owners (I like to argue with them, like when they say how great they are for buying a Prius to commute 50 miles to DC, I ask why they don't get a job near their house and ride a bike).
What makes South Park so entertaining is how they hit so close to home. The folks over at Newsbusters.org provided an excellent commentary in thier entry Smug Hybrid Drivers: NBC and CNN Imitate South Park.
However, I believe they mistake satisfaction for smugness. Their first example of a "smug comment" was this line from a woman on NBC's today show:
Betsy Rosenberg: "I decided this was something that I would do to protect my kid, my country, my planet and be patriotic. I think that's the patriotic thing to do is to use less gas and not more."
I don't see why saying it is patriotic to use less gas is "smug". If she said "I'm so much better than those evil SUV drivers", that would be smug. As it is, she's just overly excited about doing a small thing to make our world a cleaner place.
I do a lot to lessen my impact to the environment: Both my cars are hybrids, I use compact flourescents, I have a cordless electric lawnmower (I don't use any gas tools). But none of these are a sacrifice, I live the same normal overconsuming lifestyle as most americans.
If all of us just did what we can easily do without sacrifice we could make a small but significant dip in the ever-increasing energy use. This might help in the short run but in the end we need a breakthrough in technology to either drastically reduce energy utilization, or drastically increase our ability to make use of the nearly infinite supply of energy around us.
Now, normally I don't like to voice my opinion because I am always judged because of my opinion. So this is a big thing for me. Yah, yah, stop your complaining. Just be happy that I'm spelling correctly and capitalizing.
Anyways, I have heard many children in my school are going to protest tomorrow. The color (as I've heard) for tomorrow will be white, and a lot of kids enjoy the protests because it gives them a chance to skip school.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not against Hispanics. I even have some friends who are Hispanic. However, just think, why do we (citizens of the U.S.) learn Spanish? Is it just so that in two years when Mexico takes over the U.S. we can talk with the invaders? If Mexicans come here shouldn't they learn English? When my great-grandmother came here from Russia no one learned Russian for them, they set aside their time to learn English.
Look around your neighborhood. How many of your neighbors are Hispanic? The majority of them? It seems like Hispanics are taking over, and they are changing the U.S. If the Mexicans hated Mexico enough to come here illegally, then why are they changing the United States of America into the United States of the New Mexico? We already have a New Mexico, we don't need a bigger one!
Well, that's all I have to say about that!
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
This was the scene at a public school in California. People protesting laws against illegal immigrants were also seen with signs saying that the United States was THEIR land, and that we should be the ones to go home.
If you think "illegal immigrant" is just a harsh way to describe your gardener, who is a great guy and certainly not someone we should throw out of the country, realise that there are millions of illegal immigrants here now who want to take over the country (they say "take back"), and make it into their own.
We have reached the point where the illegals are comfortable with taking the day off from whatever work they do, and protesting in the streets of cities around the country. If our response is to put these people in the front of the immigration line, we will never stop the flow of illegals.
And if we signal that citizenship is for sale (The Senate bill requires two $1000 payments (fines)), we will have debased the sacrifice that so many legal immigrants have made through the years to come to this country, learn our language and laws, and become productive citizens of this great nation.
We wouldn't let another country's army invade us and take over -- why are we letting them do it with unarmed civilians?
UPDATE: Sophrosyne over at NovaTownHall had this earlier in Disrespect for America from Illegal Immigration Advocates, and he includes links to Michelle Malkin.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
If you are a reader and find this intolerable, just post a comment here, and I'll try something else. If you have a reason for the problem, post it and maybe I can correct the issue.
This is posted at 10:24pm, EST.
Update: Which would be a fine time if I lived in Los Angelos. Which I don't. Apparently it's not the BLOGGING SOFTWARE that needs correction.
OK, I've fixed the times, and now they all look pretty good. Back to watching Boston Legal....
"Her mother walked away, and I said to the girl, 'I'd like to give you a two-minute conversation about sex.' "Young people talk to me about what to do if they're being pressed for sex? I tell them (what I believe): oral sex is a hundred times safer than vaginal or anal sex. "If you're in a situation where you cannot get out of sex, offer a blow job. I'm not embarrassed to tell them."
I'm not sure which of many wrongs is the worst here -- Sharon butting into a mother/daughter discussion, Sharon giving unsolicited sex advice to an minor, Sharon telling a minor to give sexual predators a blow job, or Sharon's rediculous suggestion that oral sex is safe.
One thing was certain -- this was a very disturbing story, indeed. But then I found this story in theToledo Blade, titled "Girl, 14, hammers abductor and flees; victim accosted in central Toledo":
A 14-year-old central Toledo girl told police she was abducted at gunpoint yesterday by a man seeking sex, but escaped after she hit him in the groin area with a hammer she found under his car seat.
The junior high student later told police she had previously learned in school that, if something like this were to happen, to search for a weapon. So the teen told the abductor she had dropped her ring in the suspect’s car and was searching for it. She felt the hammer under the front passenger seat, then put her ring back on, she told police.
A short time later, she grabbed the hammer and hit her abductor once in the groin area, Detective Harold Mosley said.
Now that's a "blow job" I can recommend. My apologies to those who may be offended by the language, it's what happens when you start listening to Hollywood Leftists.
Turns out Sean Kenney is an avid Lego fan who builds lego sculptures.
Well, I am a Lego fanatic myself, a true AFOLer. At first I thought I had just gotten the low-level directory wrong, and thought I had found out something interesting about a fellow blogger.
Well, I can't say whether Shaun likes Legos, just that it wasn't his web site. I've added Sean Kenney's website to my list of links, just because I can.
I also went through a "K'nex" period, and can build a house big enough to live in. Building toys are good for children and adults alike.
Chad Dotson - Commonwealth Conservative
Not Larry Sabato - Includes links to other Bloggers.
Sophrosyne - NovaTownHall
Jim Young - Skeptical Observer
Vince Thoms - TooConservative
Riley, Not O'Reilly - Virginia Virtucon
Harry, you will be missed.
i hate capitalizing stuff, so, ya, don't expect it to be capitalized (in case i decide to capitalize it, and hit the all caps button by accident)
i can't spell. so everything will be spelled wrong, and it will remain that way until i get enough complains to make me search for the spelling button
so, i think that's it. for now anyways. i have some stuff that i'll post later, but i have to get 1 to tell me how to site websites. by the way, in case you people are slow (but if you are slow - why are you into politics?) '1' is conservative 1. i just don't like typing c-o-n-s-e-r-v-a-t-i-v-e . i think it would be funnier if it was conserva-THING 1 and 2, but i'll have to talk to 1 about changing it.
here's a mind boggeler:
if democrats (librel) are the ones pro-environment and 'conservative' of the environment, then why are republicans called 'conservatives'? just a question to get your minds to kick into gear.
well, i have to do other stuff on the internet, like get on one of my other 'joint blogs'. maybe if i feel like it, and get permission from 1, i'll post the website on here. it just depends........
well, see yall later!
Monday, March 27, 2006
The jist of the story is that any bozo with a few thousand dollars could buy a hand-held rocket launcher and blast an airplane out of the sky. And this isn't just speculation, it's already happened:
Worldwide, at least 24 civilian aircraft have been brought down by shoulder-fired missiles, and more than 500 people have been killed. And experts say that shoulder-to-air missiles can be bought for only a few thousand dollars on the black market. But U.S. commercial aircraft still have no defense system against these portable missiles
However, this raises more questions than it answers. Over what time period? What kind of civilian craft? Where did these incidents occur? How do I get a shoulder-to-air missile?
But it is unfair to suggest they don't give ANY specific example of a threat:
Last November, just minutes after takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport, an American Airlines pilot reported that something resembling a rocket might have been fired at his aircraft.
Although officials concluded it was most likely a hobby rocket, the investigation remains officially open.
"We had a scare in Los Angeles," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who serves on the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation. "We've been told that they cannot rule out the fact that it was a shoulder-fired missile."
BTW, Senator, the correct phrase is "cannot rule out the possibility, not fact. Of course, possibilities don't get another 200 million in federal funding for your campaign donors. One of the companies to get a contract for this work was Northrup Grumman, based in California.
Nobody wants to see 500 people dead, but in the history of aviation, that doesn't seem like the biggest threat posed to passengers. And at million a plane, there may be better ways to spend that money to protect more people.
Of course, the article doesn't tell us how much the systems cost. You have to go to another article for that. I found one in USA Today from Reuters: El Al fits fleet with anti-missile system. I don't think ABC's going to like this one:
Industry analysts say other airlines could consider such measures too costly and unreliable. The Bush administration has encouraged feasibility studies on similar onboard systems but said it may opt to fit airports with missile defences instead.
The likelihood of a shoulder-fired missile actually downing a passenger jet is considered to be remote, as such aircraft are built to withstand the loss of an engine.
The reference is to a superior concept by Raytheon Corporation to install fixed protection at the airports, rather than spend millions on airborne platforms that need constant servicing. After all, the threat is only when they take off and land. A good article on this idea is found at boston.com from the Boston Globe titled Raytheon airport grids would divert missiles
Of course, Raytheon is based in Massachusetts. I wonder which side Ted Kennedy is on?
His seminal point:
That’s right! The San Francisco County Board of Supervisors voted to officially condemn the gathering of Christian youth who only want to speak out against sexual content in modern media.
Read his blog, read the article, and ask yourself this question: Is it wrong for christians to participate in the public debate?
However, I also don't believe we should overly criminalize illegal entry. At this time, being in the country without permission is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. I don't support making it a felony, although I can see some usefulness in making it a criminal misdeameaner punishable by fine or deportation, just so police can enforce the law more readily.
And I certainly don't think we should make it a crime to help people simply because they are not legally in the country. A good samaritan should not have to check a person's green card before providing assistance. A church should not have it's members subjected to imprisonment because they run a soup kitchen.
Therefore, I support this action by the U.S. Senate. According to the referenced AP Article on MSNBC:
Senators writing an immigration bill broke from the House’s get-tough approach by refusing Monday to make criminals of humanitarian groups or individuals who help illegal immigrants as more than a thousand immigration rights activists rallied outside the Capitol.
The Senate Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that would protect church and charitable groups, as well as individuals, from criminal prosecution for providing food, shelter, medical care and counseling to undocumented immigrants.
The article also says the committee rejected an amendment by Sen. Cornyn (R-Tex) which would require groups to register before providing aid to illegals. I suppose if it was easy to tell who was illegal, you might think it a good idea to register help. But I don't, because first you CAN'T tell who is illegal in many cases, and second the idea of registration with the government just makes my skin crawl.
We need to get illegal immigration under control, but we shouldn't punish our own citizens simply because the government can't do it's job and keep the illegals out.
BTW, 500,000 protestors showing up in Los Angelos alone this weekend will NOT help the cause of common-sense immigration policy. It just scares people. It scared me. I don't want my country taken over by an invading army.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
SkepticalObservor: Governor Timmy Creates Jobs ... in Illinois
But this little snippet caught my attention, from the 2nd page of the msnbc we post:
Formally, Buckham was a consultant to the board, but he said in an October 2003 deposition taken by Federal Election Commission lawyers and obtained by The Post that he had a verbal understanding allowing him to take whatever actions he deemed "in the best interest of the USFN pertaining to issues that they cared about."
It seems to me that a deposition given to lawyers for the government should be under some sort of seal. It seems that someone in government can't keep their mouth shut.
It's one thing when a newspaper is chasing a story about government malfeasance and must get leaks from people involved to expose the wrongdoing to the public. But in this case the crime, if indeed there is any crime at all, involves a private group, private people, and private donors. If the Post wants to track down those involved and get their story, that's fine. But the government shouldn't be helping a newspaper get a story on a private organization simply because that organization was required to give information to the government.
How would you like it if the Post decided to take you down, and was able to get the details of phone conversations you had with an IRS auditor that you had to talk to because of some question on your taxes? This leak was the same type of leak as that. We have rules to keep the IRS from telling people about your taxes, but they are the same rules that protected this group from having FEC lawyers talk to the post about their deposition.
The law is meaningless if it isn't enforced. But I rest assured that nobody will lift a finger to find out who leaked this information. Because the leftists want to see Abramoff and the republicans go down, and they will see this leak as helpful to their cause.
Senator's McCain (R-Ari) and Feingold (D-Wis) held a press conference in Baghdad. They were delivering an important message to the Iraqis -- that our patience was not infinite, and that the quicker they could put their government together, the better.
However, during the press conference things got a little off-message. Reports the Washington Post:
The increasingly rancorous public debate in the United States over the war spilled into Iraq during a news conference Saturday with two visiting lawmakers who are outspoken in their opposing stands on the issue.
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a longtime supporter of the Bush administration's Iraq policy, and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who voted against the invasion and has spoken out against the war ever since, said they had come not to air their divergent views but to urge Iraqi politicians to speed up the process of forming a government. ...
The article says that during questioning, Feingold departed from that sound concept of not arguing the war while in the war zone, saying "a large troop presence has a tendency to fuel the insurgency because they can make the incorrect and unfair claim that the U.S. is here to occupy the country." and "I think that it's very possible that the sectarian differences are inflamed by the fact that U.S. troops are here."
According to the article, "McCain said the argument was better suited for the Senate floor."
I agree. Senators should not debate our foreign policy while traveling in other countries. Feingold of course is running for President. Should the unthinkable happen, and he becomes our next Commander-In-Chief, I'm certain he will be rightfully outraged if members of the senate run around the world criticizing the duly authorised actions of our government in a time of war.
Over at the New TooConservative, Vincent received via e-mail a report from the Republican Central committee, which he was all too happy to share. It had three pieces of information that Vince thought was important, the first of which was:
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling spoke early attacking Tim Kaine’s ads and “basically announced for governor” stating how many more days were left in Tim Kaine’s term.
The quotes are likely from the e-mail, not Vincent. But absent more information, a republican counting down the days until the end of a democrat's term as governor is hardly the same as announcing for the position. I'm counting the days and I can assure you I won't be running for his spot.
The 2nd was some internal party stuff that I won't bother to repeat here, as frankly I'd rather not publish our strategies to the world, even if others including our party itself decides to. If I read it in the paper, I'll be happy to report it if I care.
The 3rd was important enough that Vincent made it the headline of his post:
3)Perhaps the biggest news is that the committee passed a resolution in favor of supporting the Virginia marriage amendment. It was proposed by Russ Moulton then moved by Mary Gail Swenson and Seconded by Jim Rich It passed with no debate by a very large margin.
Now, Vincent has previously expressed his opposition to this amendment, and this post has nothing to suggest his opinion one way or another.
What was truly interesting is that Jim Rich, who "Seconded" the Marriage motion, and also was reported to have seconded the other motion I didn't comment on, is running for the 10th district chair against two "more conservative" opponents.
And what was MORE interesting is that Jim Rich was not actually AT the meeting. When this was pointed out, Vincent claimed he knew all along Rich wasn't there, that Rich's PROXY was used to make the vote in his name. That would have been good to know up front, as it is a useful distinction. I have no idea why Rich was not at the meeting, that would have been interesting I suppose as well.
Anyway, Rich is often cited by the the moderates as their idea of what the republican party should be, and by others as part of the problem which requires more ideological purity.
If this paragon of the "big tent" crowd took the time to send a proxy and specifically requested that proxy to make sure to SECOND motions that were going to be seconded anyway, can it really still be argued that the marriage amendment is a tool of the far right?
Update 6:17PM: Over at TooConservative, some readers argued with TC over this incident, and I added a question as to whether TC would re-think his opposition to the amendment. He responded:
Charles I did not say I was opposed to it..
but that I needed to think about it more. —Too Conservative
Wanting to ensure I didn't have the story wrong, I went back and found the original thread, and posted a comment backing up my claim:
TC, the thread I am referencing was Allen vs. Webb=Jefferson vs. Jackson
In the post, you said:Even President George W. Bush supports civil unions, and I don’t understand anyone’s opposition to them.
Then 10th District said (comment 3, 5:12pm):do you oppose Virginia’s proposed constitutional amendment to protect marriage because it precludes civil unions? will you be voting for it this fall?
To which you responded (comment 4, 5:21):10th District-No I absolutely do not. Yes I hear the arguements, but it simply sounds like spew. In the end of the day..gay people are people too. And it’s not the governments business to intrude into lives.
To which 10th dist, to clarify your statement, said (comment 5, 5:28 PM): so will you support the marriage amendment this fall, seeing as it bans civil unions?
TO which you replied (Comment 9, 7:24pm):No I will not then. —Too Conservative
I suppose that in some other later thread you might have softened this stance, but I didn’t see it. And this thread does NOT support your contention now that you just said you would have to look at it. You didn’t mention looking at anything.
I’ll be happy to accept that you now say you will look at it, and will update my blog to reflect that statement. But I feel comfortable in sticking with my claim that you said you opposed it, without qualification, and the quotes I provide here are my evidence. —Charles-conservative one
Any way, that is only to back up my claim that Vincent HAD said he was opposed. He is certainly free to express a different opinion, and I want the record to show that as of 6:24pm on March 25, Vincent's position is that he needs to look at it more before he decides whether to support or oppose the amendment.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
In reading the excerpts of the case, one thing stands out:
Justice David H. Souter, for the majority:
"There is no common understanding that one co-tenant generally has a right or authority to prevail over the express wishes of another, whether the issue is the color of the curtains or invitations to outsiders.
"Since the co-tenant wishing to open the door to a third party has no recognized authority in law or social practice to prevail over a present and objecting co-tenant, his disputed invitation, without more, gives a police officer no better claim to reasonableness in entering than the officer would have in the absence of any consent at all."
This could only be the words of a justice who has never been married, and who therefore should recuse himself from any case that requires knowledge of the marraige relationship.
No man who has ever been married would doubt who prevails in an argument over the color of the curtains, OR in whom may visit the house and when.
And yes, Souter has never been married.
Its Science. It's Entertainment. It's family-friendly. It's educational for the children.
It teaches the scientific method, critical thinking, and a thirst for knowledge for knowledge's sake.
This is one of the few shows that can keep me paying the exhorbitant cost of cable. And a great argument for new rules requiring an al la carte option for cable. If I paid for basic cable ($19.99) and then had to pay as much as $3.00 per additional channel for the ones I wanted, I could come up about $15 bucks a month less than I have to pay now.
We figure we need about 12 channels. We looked at satellite, but in the one case our 12 channels are scattered across three of their plans (which together are still cheaper than cable).
I use Verison DSL for my internet, I'd love to get rid of my cable. I only got cable for the 2000 olympics, but I am too weak to rid us of the evil. And Mythbusters is one big reason.
I'm watching electric sparks jump to a kite as I write this (which fits in with the Caption Contest over at Bacon's Rebellion -- Go submit your entries now, reader(s)).
I still like the show even though the one tech guy said "we just killed a dead president". Fortunately my children laughed, and the others said "He wasn't president". The learning never stops.
Tim Kaine is attempting to get his version of the budget passed by the Virginia legislature, including his so-called "transportation plan". The cornerstone of this plan is a new billion-plus-dollar set of tax increases and new fines -- this despite his promise during the election to veto any new taxes, and in spite of record surpluses already enjoyed by the state brought on by the 2004 tax increase.
He apparently can't persuade them directly by the strength of his argument, so instead he is trying to pressure them into violating his principles and theirs by stirring up the voters against them.
Unlike in 2004, it looks like the House will stand it's ground. And to some, Tim Kaine's approach to persuade them to back his plan looks like it is having the opposite effect. House Speaker William Howell is fighting back against what he calls the "disingenuous" and "misleading" phone calls and radio ads Kaine is using.
According the the Associated Press, as found in the Richmond Times Dispatch article by Bob Lewis, titled Howell blasts Kaine over roads, taxes :
House Speaker William J. Howell called on Gov. Timothy M. Kaine yesterday to "tell it straight" on Kaine's support of higher taxes for transportation and the House's budget plan.
Howell described as "anything but honest" and "unconscionable" Kaine's election-style statewide radio advertisements and automated phone calls intended to pressure House Republicans to support increased fees and taxes.
"It's bad enough that the governor fails to acknowledge in these promotions that he is advocating a massive $1 billion tax increase," said Howell, R-Stafford.
"This not what Virginians expect of their leaders, and it certainly is not what they expect of their governor," Howell said of the ad and call campaign paid for by Kaine's political action committee.
"If you honestly support a tax increase," Howell said, "you ought to be straightforward enough to acknowledge it and not play verbal shell games with the citizens you have been entrusted to serve."
Kaine responds that he has been up-front in his town hall meetings, and it is true that his full plan publication includes the details of his tax proposals. From the article:
Kevin Hall, Kaine's press secretary, dismissed Howell's complaints as "disingenuous" and pointed to numerous public hearings Kaine has held around the state spelling out his transportation plan.
But the governor doesn't mention the tax increases in his phone calls. He does find the time to accuse the house plan of cutting teacher pay and early childhood education, even though the house plan increases funding in all the areas Kaine complains about (not as much as Kaine would, since Kaine would spend the entire surplus AND raise another billion in taxes).
Government is not simply about taking as much money as you can from the citizens and then spending all of it before they figure out what happened. Government is about setting priorities, about using the taxpayer's money wisely. It is about being truthful with the people, both BEFORE the election and after the election.
Kaine fails that test on both accounts. Having apparently lied before the election when he told us he had no plans to raise taxes and would veto any tax increase for transportation passed before an amendment to protect the transportation trust fund was enacted, he now uses outsourced phone banks from Illinois to talk Virginians into supporting him without telling them about the tax increases and by misleading them about the alternatives.
Governor Kaine made a big deal about his character during the campaign, and fought with harsh words any suggestion he would raise taxes, or that he couldn't be trusted to keep his word. Since his election, he has done many things that bring doubt to those noble sentiments he expressed when he was convincing voters to trust him with our state.
If the house can stand firm, it would send a positive message to the Governor that even if his word means nothing to him, it means something to the rest of us, and that if he really wants to make a difference in the next four years, he should start by living up to his own promises. He should also heed the words of his own State of the Union response speech, and work to bring ALL of Virginia together, rather than cynically work to pit a few liberal republicans in the senate against a united house delegation looking for real solutions to the transportation problem.
Update: Chad Dotson also noted this from a different source over at Commonwealth Conservative.
The Virginia House is doing it's best to help Tim Kaine keep his promises to Virginians. But Tim is fighting them every step of the way. And now he has hired mercenaries to help him do his dirty work.
As reported in today's Potomac News column headlined Kaine's machine pressures McQuigg (by KAFIA HOSH), Governor Kaine has hired an Illinois telemarketing group to badger Virginians into calling McQuigg's office to make her support his tax increase proposal. These calls apparently filled up her voicemail, and kept her staff very busy.
But the article notes that the calls were from the 815 area code, which is in Illinois. Further investigation showed that in fact a company in Illinois is running a phone blitz. From the article:
Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, is financing the media blitz to exert public pressure on members of the Republican-lead House in supporting his road program for the state.
The campaign involves phone calls to the general public with a recorded message from the governor.
"The call is to average voters," said Mo Elleithee, the PAC's spokesman "It's the governor's voice explaining to people his transportation plans, and asking them to support his long-term transportation solutions."
At the conclusion of the call, a live person asks the constituent if he would like to talk to his delegate, and then patches the voter through.
The article notes that the calls do not mention Kaine's tax increase, only the supposed benefits of the extra spending. They quote the Speaker of the House, Rep. Howell, from an AP story, who said "The fact that he provides false information in his own voice is, I believe, unconscionable."
But what I want to know is, what happened to the happy bipartisanship, the ability to work together, that Governor Kaine touted in his State of the Union response delivered just after his inauguration? Targetting people for telemarketing blitzes simply because they disagree with you doesn't seem like a good way to foster that spirit of non-partisan cooperation.
And since Delegate McQuigg is simply trying to help Kaine keep his campaign promise, shouldn't he be thanking her rather than making her life miserable?
If the people of McQuigg's district find out that there dinners and evening activities are being interrupted by people from out-of-state paid by Kaine's group to mislead them about his plans, and to pressure them to call their delegate, would they feel all warm and fuzzy inside about how we are all getting along?
Kaine's high-pressure tactics may be backfiring:
McQuigg is also unimpressed with Kaine's attempt to reach her voters, dismissing his campaign as a "childish" approach.
The delegate typically polls her district, and said she relies on survey results to make legislative decisions that represent constituents' opinions.
Although McQuigg is one of the more flexible GOP delegates, she was visibly annoyed with the numerous phone calls she's received courtesy of Kaine's PAC.
"I will tell you that Gov. Kaine with his tactics makes me a lot less persuadable," McQuigg said. "I'm here to represent my citizens, and I'm trying to listen to both sides."
I hope that Delegate McQuigg can resist this undue pressure from outside agitators, and that the delegates in the house will stand together to help Tim Kaine keep his campaign promise to find ways to fix our transportation problems without raising new taxes before he's sequestered the transportation trust fund.
Because if Tim Kaine doesn't value his own word, somebody else ought to do it for him.
Riley, Not O'Reilly has his own take over at the new Virginia Virtucon site, along with an excellent South Park characterization of Governor "Timmy".
Friday, March 24, 2006
Prince William County has the state's 10th-lowest jobless rate for January -- lower than both Manassas and Manassas Park, according to a monthly statistical report.
The unemployment rate for January was 2.4 percent, down from 2.8 percent in January 2005.
This is on the heels of a vote by the Board of County Supervisors to approve a $250,000 subsidy to a non-profit organization which they hope will provide affordable housing to a few county employees. The reason for the expenditure? We are having trouble hiring and keeping workers. Supposedly, giving the workers a break on home ownership will solve this problem.
But isn't it more likely that the problem is that everybody in the county already HAS a job? Remember, the unemployment rate measures the number of people who live in the county now, who want jobs but don't have jobs. Numbers under 5 or 4% are considered full employment, and we are at 2.4%.
In other words, there are virtually no people living in our county now that are employable, and that don't already HAVE a job. If we want new county employees to l ive in the county, we need to get more people to move into the county.
I haven't written about the debate over this "affordable housing" boondoggle, I hope to get around to it before it is old news.
The ban only covers the eastern portion of the county. I am dissappointed that those of us in neighborhoods elsewhere in the county don't have at least the option to vote as a community to ban the parking in our narrow streets.
I am a strong proponent of property rights, but since the roads are not part of a person's property, I think a community has a right to decide what types of vehicles will clutter up the roads of the neighborhood. In my community, if large cars park on both sides of the street a fire truck could barely fit by.
Worse, large trucks and motor homes make it difficult to see children who might dart out into the street, and are a general distraction when trying to navigate the roads.
I think boats, RVs, and trailers belong in people's driveways or back yards. Oddly, many HOAs have rules prohibiting the parking of these items in yards, sometimes making exceptions if they are hidden behind fences.
There apparently is still hope for a wider ban on parking. According to the article:
Thomas Bruun of the Prince William County Public Works Department told supervisors his department could bring a proposal to ban utility trailers before the board in the future.
The Virginia General Assembly gave counties the authority to restrict parking of utility trailers and other commercial vehicles during this year's session.
Staff initially included utility trailers in Tuesday's resolution, but withdrew them because it would be more appropriate to use the new legislation to ban them from parking on county streets, Bruun said.
That law goes into effect July 1, along with the rest of this year's General Assembly legislation.
Nohe said he expected a resolution to come before supervisors by late summer.
I think the PWC supervisors allow our county to do way to much. We spend too much money, provide too many services, and just have too large a workforce and too large a scope for our local government.
However, common-sense parking restrictions on public streets is a perfect example of what local government should be considering.
I didn't understand the reason why they restricted the parking ban to the southeast. The article said:
John Morrison, a Dale City retiree, said he agreed with the ban and the way the supervisors came to the decision by holding community meetings for residents in the Coles, Neabsco, Dumfries and Woodbridge districts.
Community meetings were not held in the Gainesville and Brentsville districts, where people live on larger tracts and have room to park their boats on their property.
But if the northwest communities are MORE capable of keeping their boats and trailers off the streets, wouldn't that be a good argument to ban street parking in THOSE areas? Why ban parking only where it is needed most?
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The hospital was implicated because a woman hired from a temp agency to do billing record work for the hospital had previously been convicted of identity theft.
According to the paper:
In June 2003, Sloane gave birth to a son at Prince William Hospital.
A few months later, a woman working in the hospital's billing department lifted Sloane's Social Security number from hospital records and used it open several credit accounts, running up thousands of dollars in debt in Sloane's name.
The identity thief, a temp worker named Shovana Sloan, had previous convictions for identity theft and was on probation at the time she was working at the hospital, according to the lawsuits.
The Sloane family has obviously suffered greatly, as their credit scores were ruined and still have not been restored. It seems they were remarkably unfortunate, as the convict picked them out of all the hospital patients simply because of the similarity in their last names (Sloane/Sloan).
The hospital has denied any responsibility. They did not have a policy of reviewing criminal records at the time they hired the woman, but now they do.
A person who has served their time for a crime should be able to earn a living, but it does not seem unreasonable for a company to restrict hiring of people whose crime was in the field of employment. In this case it would seem a reasonable precaution not to give a person convicted of identity theft a job which provides access to confidential financial information.
But I am uncomfortable with holding the hospital responsible for not checking the woman's background, as they hired her through a temp agency that should have done the checks. Also, not every harm should require payment. Of course, the woman should pay for her crime, but since the woman has no money, the victims can't really sue her and collect the big dollars.
The Sloane family still has a lawsuit pending against the three major credit agencies. Again from the article:
More than two years after her Social Security number was stolen, Suzanne Sloane's credit score was still hundreds of points less than it was prior to the identity theft, the couple said in January.
After innumerable phone calls and letters yielded little progress toward restoring Suzanne's credit, she and her husband, John, filed a lawsuit in November against the country's three major credit reporting companies.
The couple's $45 million lawsuit against Experian, Trans Union and Equifax accuses the credit reporting agencies of lacking a mechanism to repair the credit scores of identity theft victims.
The suit also names Citifinancial, one of the creditors Shovana Sloan opened an account with in Suzanne Sloane's name.
This suit has more merit. If the credit agencies have harmed the Sloane's by not responding rationally to this circumstance, even after the perpetrator has been convicted in court, a lawsuit may be just what we need to make them more responsive.
That said, I still think the idea that you can file lawsuits against several different defendants, and collect based on their ability to pay rather than based on how much they were rationally culpable for the harm, is a flaw in our system that encourages lawyers to seek out victims to use against big-pocket companies.
In this case, they snared a non-profit hospital.
No trial date has been set for the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court.
Welcome to Two Conservatives. I will be known on the blog as Conservathingone. That is a reference to Thing one, from the Cat in the Hat. Thing one and Thing two were supposed to clean things up. I hope we work out a little better than that, of course.
Our other contributer is Conservathingtwo, a female child between the ages of 10 and 17. That's all I'll say for now.
The name of the blog was meant to be a play on "Too Conservative", a blog run by Vincent Thoms that I don't find to be too conservative at all. Credit given where it is due.
I don't expect my identity to be a secret.
I have two other blogs, which are or will soon be listed on my blog list. I'll deal with that in future posts.
I like politics, both local, national, and international. I would like this blog to appeal to local readers. I don't have access to gossip, and I don't care for it either, so don't expect to learn secrets here unless commenters can provide it.
I'm not sure what CT2 wants to do.