Thursday, August 31, 2006

I'm back again.

I stepped out for another trip to real america, this time spending the week down in Colonial Williamsburg (which I guess isn't really the "real america" since it is a re-enactment of the old pre-america).

Nothing happened this time while I was gone, at least nothing serious. Oh, someone else used the "m-word", but it was a democrat so nobody cares, except the guy trying to make us all believe this matters.

Also, Shaun points out gas prices are dropping. Jaded JD (before expiring his blog) noticed that the presidential poll numbers seem directly and inversely tied to the price of gasoline, a theory I mentioned a couple of times before. He raises the idea of a conspiracy to use gas prices to drive up poll numbers for Bush before the next election.

BVBL has some long posts about the continuing saga of Greg B. and the infamous parody pictures. I think I really do care about that but I'm just too tired to read it all and understand it right now. BVBL continues his raking of Rishell, this time for her "interesting" observation about having "confidential" complaints subject to Freedom of Information Act requests and her entire plan for solving the overcrowding problem. And he starts in on Sharon Pandak for her involvement in low-balling county payments for land seized for road-building. I remember the Parson's Farm pickup truck with the thermometer in the back, mentioned by a commenter.

And I note that it seems to be raining here in Manassas, although none of the bloggers I follow seems to have picked up that rather important piece of news. My grass is grateful nonetheless.

Colonial Williamsburg is doing a new presentation about our Revolutionary war (Colonial Williamsburg is generally run years earlier when we still had a cordial relationship with the mother country). We didn't catch all of it, but what I did see was very entertaining and educational. I'm glad we fit it in between theme park visits.

I've finished my summer tour of theme parks. I've still got a trip to Hershey Park next month. This year I hit Paramount Kings Island near Cincinnatti, Ohio. They have a wooden looping roller coaster. Unfortunately it broke. It really broke, in fact, and was shut down for the year -- they hope to have re-inspected the whole thing and fixed all the broken stuff for next year. They had a really cool wooden coaster though called "The Beast".

If I had to predict the fall elections, I'd be a very unhappy person. Fortunately I have no such task assigned to me. But I appreciate everybody else who has taken on this fool's errand. I'm not sure what would be worse for Democrats, losing again after assuring their victory, or actually WINNING and reminding all the voters why they were run out in 1994, because they had no ideas that actually worked.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The $137 million error and how Republicans were right

As some other bloggers like BVBL have been discussing, The Warner admininstration is taking some of the blame for a $137 million budget error which the Kaine administration failed to notice or correct. But there is more to this story, which in fact validates a republican vote last month that the democrats at the time castigated them for.

First, the current error, as reported in the Potomac News today:

Top fiscal officials in the Warner administration knew about a major budget mistake involving schools funding for seven months before Gov. Timothy M. Kaine independently learned about the $137 million error.
The crux of the original problem was that tax and finance analysts overestimated the amount of cash available for distribution to school districts in each year of the two-year budget because they did not take into account the speeded-up reduction of the sales tax on groceries.

In other words, this problem is that the budget showed $137 million MORE in money available for schools than actually exists. Governor Kaine has the typical democrat solution to ANY time government wants to spend more money:

The Kaine administration, alerted to the error last month by the huge Fairfax County school district, has promised to distribute this fiscal year an extra $60 million to local school divisions who had been promised the additional cash generated by the miscalculations.

Probably not the worst thing to do, since the schools already did THEIR budgets based on the additional money. Although this does point out how budgeting is done -- rather than determine the minimum needed to perform tasks, government just takes the total money available, and figures out how to spend it.

Note that if Virginia accidentally sent you a refund check with an extra zero, and you bought a new car with it, they would expect you to pay them back. But when they mistakenly give the money to a GOVERNMENT agency, they let them keep it.

But this brings us to the SAVIORS of this story, the republicans in the house. Remember last month, when Kaine said he had "found" another chunk of money, and proceeded to try to spend it on a bunch of stuff nobody CARED about 3 months ago? From the Washington Post at that time:

Before finishing the most overdue budget in state history and going home for the summer, the Republican-led House of Delegates voted to reject 20 of 36 amendments proposed by Kaine to the two-year, $72 billion spending plan, removing almost $22 million in additional funding the governor had wanted to divvy up among projects across the state.

In other words, by taking sound fiscal action, the republicans saved $22 million in unnecessary (as evidenced by the fact it wasn't in Kaine's bloated budget) spending. Now we need $60 million to cover the Kaine/Warner blunder, and at least we have $22 million sitting around still.

Of course, democrats bloggers like Raising Kaine and NLS attacked the republicans at the time for being mean-spirited, even going after one of their own democrat delegates for accidentally voting with the republicans. Because those democrats, like their elected leaders, think every time the government manages to lift from the people's pockets HAS to be spent immediately, lest someone get the idea that maybe government doesn't NEED all of our money, and we might be able to keep a little more of it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Back from Ohio

Where once again I learn the beauty of life out in the Real america, outside the gravitational pull of that area affectionately known as "inside the beltway" that we suffer from here in Prince William.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My conversation with John Gray

After the convention ended today, John Gray came up to talk to me while I was picking up papers and trash. He knew I was a Corey supporter because I had a Corey sticker. He also knew I was a blogger.

In fact, he knew I had had back problems as well, because he asked me how I was doing. I thought that was a nice thing for him to do. I don't need people to ask about me, and I look perfectly fine (just like a normal fat old guy), but it was nice that he asked.

He also wanted to set the record straight about his republican credentials. Now, I have not been attacking his republican credentials, so far as I can tell. I mentioned that the newspaper forgot to tell us his "primary loss" was in the democrat primary, but other than that I've been pretty quiet about him, mostly because I didn't remember meeting him and I didn't know him. I think I said that in a comment on a blog somewhere.

But anyway, he believed it was important to let me know that he had been a republican for years, had a good record of supporting republicans, and that his run for the democrat nomination in 2003 was a "stupid mistake".

I believe him. Of course, I tend to believe people that tell me things to my face, because I'm a pretty trusting guy. But if I had to justify my belief, I would use this argument: First, he sounded sincere to me. Second, he sought me out to talk to me, he wasn't trying an answer an argument. Third, this was after the convention -- he had no reason at that point to try to deceive me about his credentials as a republican.

I believe that, too often, we use labels to pigeon-hole people because it is easier than making hard, detailed judgments. For those who didn't want to vote for Gray, it was easy to say "He ran as a democrat in 2003". And it was true.

He may also be a "RINO" by somebody's definition, but his platform, while not what I would support in full, did not sound like a democrat platform dressed up in republican words. Of course, I've never considered Sean a RINO, so I probably don't count for those who make those judgments.

In fact, I'm certain that I could have supported John enthusiastically for the chair position had he won, even though I would have pressured him to modify his position on a few issues.

Most interesting was that, while he spent a lot of time talking about being the continuation of Sean, and saying we were on the right track and we shouldn't change direction, his comments about budgeting sounded like he would adopt a different strategy than that of Sean (who had the staff baseline a budget assuming large tax increases).

But enough about his platform. John also gave a nice concession speech, and it at least sounded like John and Corey were ready to work together to keep the chair in republican hands. Given how well the county is doing, and how satisfied most people are with the current direction, I see no reason for voters to want to throw out the republicans and put a democrat in, especially one whose legacy is from the Seefeldt era, when we had so many problems, and when some of the bad zoning decisions which still haunt us today were made.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I enjoyed talking with John Gray, and I hope to get to talk to him again at future PWC meetings. And I look forward to a unified Republican Party working our butts off to re-elect Frank Wolf (who gave a really good speech about terrorism, more animated than usual for him -- he usually isn't the most dynamic speaker), Tom Davis (who was also at the convention for a while, and gave a very SHORT speech which was well-appreciated), Jo-Ann Davis (does her district still contain any of prince william?), Jackson Miller, and of course Corey Stewart.

What racism really looks like.

From Montgomery county this morning:


Story from NBC4's web site -- eventually their video should be posted: Vandals Spray Racial Slurs On Md. Cars, Homes.

One woman, talking about the attack, said something like "you get mad for a minute, but then you get up and do something about it".

As I said, don't let these creeps control your life. Of course, this was vandalism and real threats -- hopefully we can all still rise up against racism like this, despite those who trivialize real racist attacks like this by using the attack when it is unwarranted for political purposes.

The stage is set for the PWC Chair race

Sharon Pandek vs. Corey Stewart.

The republican convention was well-attended, although less than half the registered people showed up. (Brentsville had 2/3rds of our delegates show up). There were no surprises or problems, Greg L's computer setup worked wonderfully (thanks Greg), and everything was cordial and orderly.

Our only "glitch" was the need to take a hand vote to allow 2 delegates who were rejected by the credentials committee because there was no record of them being registered to vote in the state. I presume that, if it turns out they really WEREN'T currently registered, we'll fix that up before the election.

There were fewer people at the democrat convention.

That's all I have to say, I'm sure others have details and information.

The big loser -- I guess Friedman, who looked to have a clear shot at a position he had already said he wanted to run for next year. Then at the last minute another candidate came in, and I believe beat him 70-30%. Ouch.

Friday, August 18, 2006

What If the World WANTS the islamofascists to win?

We always talk like the world is united against the "islamofascists" and the states that support them, mostly in the middle east.

But what if most of the rest of the world is quite OK with islamofascism, and would rather see them win than us? What if we are not United against a common enemy? What if a majority of the world doesn't think islamofascism is an "enemy"?

That would explain a lot of what we've seen in the last 5 years. And it would portend a much darker, and more dangerous, future than we could possibly imagine.

There is nothing in history that requires that we march from less to more advanced. If anything, there is considerable backlash against the technologically advanced but numerically inferior. And that would be us.

Decaying civilizations of Europe may simply not care anymore about their own grand history and place in the world. They may think peace with the islamists is as good a fate as having to live in our shadow.
I've posted my latest column, Do we spend enough on AIDS?

I think it's clear we do, relative to other diseases that effect a much larger part of the population.

Here are some excerpts:

Government spending on AIDS research for 2007 is almost $3 billion, higher than any other major disease (Heart disease is second at $2.3 billion). Relative to the number of people affected, HIV spending is vastly higher than other recurring diseases. We will spend over $3,000 per HIV/AIDS patient next year, while spending only $50 per diabetic patient, even though diabetes kills five times more people than AIDS each year.
Part of the problem is political. For most communicable diseases, the health care strategy is to isolate and report cases to prevent the spread of disease. But with HIV/AIDS we adopted a strategy of silence, hiding the identities of those infected.

The argument against publicizing HIV infection was that it can’t be spread casually – in other words, because it is hard to spread, we don’t provide the information people need to make informed decisions to prevent the spread. And when people suggest ways to provide that information, they are often called bigots or homophobes.

Still, if spending $400 million would save over $650 million in health care costs, it would be a good thing, freeing up millions to spend on other diseases. But until there is good evidence that spending more money would actually change the behavior of the at-risk population, the money can be better spent on prevention and cure for illnesses that can’t be so easily prevented, or successfully treated. Medical funding shouldn’t be driven by special-interest politics.

I don't know why I don't post my entire articles here, but go ahead, indulge me, click on the link.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sometimes, the conventional wisdom is quite wrong

Arrest Made In JonBenet Ramsey Case.

Other later stories are reporting a DNA match. So for now it looks like this is the real deal.
UPDATE 9/3/2006: OK, never believe early news reports on sensational stories. The DNA did not match, and the charges were dropped. And the saga continues.....

So -- how many of you were sure the Ramsey's had murdered their own child? It's OK to admit it, but if so many people were wrong about that, what else could people be wrong about.

I can't count the number of stories, radio shows, tv specials, etc. where person after person commented on the overwhelming evidence that the parent's did it. I tired of being laughed at for arguing that we needed to keep an open mind, that you can't just assume stuff, and I imagine most others who didn't accept the conventional wisdom likewise stopped bothering.

When something like this happens, I find it's a good time to re-assess why you are so quick to jump to conclusions and judgment when you don't have all the facts. It seems to be human nature to come to conclusions unsupported by facts, and to judge others in ways we would never want to be judged.

It is now seen as tragic that Mrs. Ramsey lived the last years of her life having to defend herself against charges of killing her own child -- even while she also had to live with her child being brutally murdered, by someone else as we now know. Think about that -- this woman lost her child, and rather than being comforted, a good portion of the population blamed her for the death.

I still think O.J. Simpson killed his ex-wife. Sorry, I just can't bring myself to believe otherwise.

NCAA makes itself look foolish again.

The Potomac News opinion page today rightly took the NCAA to task for their bizarre ruling regarding the use of American Indian symbols associated with school athletics.

From the The Chronicle of Higher Education: NCAA Rejects William and Mary's Mascot Appeal:

The College of William and Mary has lost its mascot appeal to the NCAA by a feather.

The image of a feather used in connection with the nickname of the college’s sports teams—the Tribe—persuaded the NCAA to keep William and Mary on a list of institutions that face a postseason ban because they have not given up their American Indian images, which have been deemed offensive.

Here's the "offending image":

The NCAA reasoning is, well, non-existant:

In its appeal to the NCAA, the college received support from some Virginia tribal leaders and argued that its nickname had various connotations. But because the feather might offend some American Indians, it must go, the NCAA said, according to a written statement.

In other words, the use of a BIRD FEATHER was why William and Mary is being punished, for "offending American Indians", none of whom are identified.

The Potomac News notes that the Florida State Seminoles got to keep their mascot, a indian riding around before the games on a horse -- with feathers. Obviously, a post-season appearance by the Florida State football team pays enough to assauge the sensitivies of the NCAA committee.

Of course, if George Allen picked up a feather off the ground, then we'd all be told how offensive it was......

Why are Democrats lying about a Mohawk?

Most of the people in the conversation on the "Allen" controversy are dismissive of the "mohawk/macaca" connection that Wadhams put out.

SO why is it that the democrats supporting Webb are pushing the lie that they guy didn't even HAVE a mohawk? They've been repeating that lie ever since Wadham made his Mohawk comment, even going so far as to put up an "un-mohawk" picture of the guy that they claimed accurately represented what he looked like last week.

But now, Chad Dotson, in a post about the manufactured controversy, has supplied a PICTURE OF THE GUY from last week, one that clearly shows his Mohawk:

In contrast, here's the picture they posted at Raising Kaine:

Since Chad Dotson's picture is contemporaneous with last week's activities, and clearly shows the Mohawk, the question is, what was Raising Kaine trying to do with their picture, which they used to claim that the guy never had a Mohawk and the Allen campaign was making it up.

It is clear that the Webb supporters who have been telling their readers that the guy did not have a Mohawk were misleading us, because he did have a Mohawk. The question is, why are they misleading us, why do they think it's OK to mislead people, and why is it so important to them to mislead us about something as trivially disprovable as a hair cut?

Oh -- and why, when confronted with their deception, do they all seem to change the subject?

For those who haven't made up their minds yet which side is being truthful, I hope this makes it clear. Allen says he didn't mean anything bad by his use of the word, and apologized for it. The Webb supporters can't even tell the truth about the guy's hair cut -- so why should we trust anything else they say?

Given the circumstantial evidence that the Webb staffer wasn't really offended on Friday, and given that nobody who weighs in on this subject has any idea what the word "macaca" meant until they are TOLD by the Webb campaign, I think it's clear which side is being more honest (which I use loosely because I tend to believe that honesty and political capaigns are always a hard mix).

I still don't put much trust in political campaign staff, Wadham included, but apparently he was telling the truth about the Mohawk, and the Webb side was not.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The staging of a controversy -- a sign of life for the Webb campaign

Lost in the absurd charges of racism was a good sign for the Webb camp -- his campaign staff does seem to have the ability to function as a campaign, at least once in a while.

The way they made a non-event into a real media win for their candidate was positively a thing to behold. And any time you can force your opponent to apologize on your terms, you've scored some points.

It is clear that the "outrage" over Allen's remarks were entirely a fiction written and produced by the Webb camp. Allen made his comments at a public event on Friday, attended by reporters. At the event, the Webb staffer is reported to have been smiling, and seemed to enjoy the spotlight. Nobody at the even reported any discussion by attendees, the staffer, or reporters about anything untoward.

In fact, after the event, the Webb camp sent no press release pointing out a problem. The staffer did not go find a reporter and point out his being "attacked". No reporter perceived Allen's exchange with the videocamera as anything out of the ordinary to be reported. It was a complete non-event.

Nor did the staffer seem to realise what he had. He didn't get the Webb camp to put out a release that night, or Saturday morning, or Saturday night. He didn't get the Webb camp to inform democrats appearing on Sunday morning talk shows either, or put it out on any friendly web sites or blogs. Every piece of evidence we have indicates that the staffer did not see the exchange as something to make a big deal out of.

So how did we go from a non-story on Sunday to a major blog event on Monday? It seems clear to me. Webb has this guy taking videos for a reason. There is obviously a person or a team which reviews every second of videotape looking for any offhand comment Allen might make to a supporter, or some slip of the tongue, or ANYTHING they can use against Allen. This is why I presume Webb worked so hard to get rid of the Allen stalker who was taping him, because it is hard to be perfect all the time.

So, presuming the tape was delivered back to the campaign HQ over the weekend, someone must have reviewed it then, and discovered the exchange. Noticing that the name Allen used was NOT the guy's real name, they did a google search. And the rest is history.

BTW, they may have already decided to focus on the exchange for another reason. It seeems possible that the Webb campaign chose a person of color for this job on purpose. Throughout this non-event, one charge the Webb camp has leveled was that Allen singled out the guy because he was the only non-white at the event. We all know Allen singled him out because he was a Webb videographer, but by putting a non-white person in that position, Webb's campaign KNEW that eventually Allen would interact with him and they could drag out the "singled out for his race" card. This wouldn't be a criticism of Webb, but in fact would show again that his campaign has some political savvy.

As to the charge that "macaca" was "macaque", and meant as a horrible slur of black people, I find it amazing then that democrats have posted blogs saying "we are all macaca", and have offered shirts with the word "macaca" on them as fund-raising items.

I even have half a mind to BUY one of the shirts, and wear it to Webb campaign functions in my area (assuming Webb will eventually come back and have Virginia events again). I could walk up to people, and if they asked about the shirt I would say "I've been told that the word "macaca" is just like the "n-word" in french, and that it is very offensive to black people. The democrats sold me this shirt as a fund-raising tool.".

Because I think it's funny that the democrats would raise money by selling a shirt with a vile racist remark on it. Except of course that the democrats obviously don't BELIEVE their own hype about the word. I have yet to see a single democrat say "the m-word". Instead they seem quite comfortable with saying the word over and over and over again, all the while claiming the use of the word offends their black constituents.

While I know democrats do some stupid things, I just don't believe they are purposely offending their base -- it seems much more likely that they don't find the word offensive, except when it suits them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Democrats Attack Allen's Mother

In the "so-called" Allen scandal, there is one thing that has received little attention, but deserves much more focus.

In order to "prove" that Allen would know an obscure reference to the proper name of a type of primate, AND know that the reference was also used as a derogatory term for blacks, the Webb supporters have trotted out the fact that Allen's mother is part Tunisian, and the phrase he used has been cited in french-tunisian lingo as a slur.

So apparently Allen, who was born in the U.S.A, heard this word growing up as a racial epithet, because his mother would have known it being from Tunisia.

In other words, the Webb camp is saying that Allen's mother is a racist who taught her child how to insult blacks using foreign words, I guess using them around the house all the time.

So, where is their evidence that Allen's mother was a racist? Are you kidding? Democrats don't need evidence when they have a good conspiracy theory.

For all we know, the guy could have told a staffer his name was macaca, in order to get Allen to use the word -- after all, the Webb camp seemed to know right away that the word was vaguely like a racist epithet in another language, something 99.9% of us were clueless about until the democrats were kind enough to let us know.

So, is it OK to call a candidate's mother a racist, just to try to score political points? Should we be attacking the candidate's family? Apparently that's OK by the Webb folks.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Countdown to Ground Zero on History Channel

I don't usually advertise for Cable TV, and I am betting there will be something wrong with this movie.

But it's got a relative in a prominent role, and a cast of non-union actors from Baltimore. Brian Draganuk is the man who got my son hooked up for a part in a YMCA commercial.

Here's the poster:

My cousin-in-law is the guy in the upper left corner.

What do the Democrats think is the biggest threat to America?


"The way to help this country is to limit Republican power."

The article notes that democrats think the Lamont/Lieberman election was about Bush:

Democrats see Lieberman's loss as a referendum on
President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, while Republicans says it shows that Democrats are soft on national security issues.

Lamont defeated Lieberman by 52 percent to 48 percent in the August 8 primary but polls taken around that time showed Lieberman ahead in a three-way race with Lamont and the Republican candidate, former state legislator Alan Schlesinger, who is not seen as a strong threat.

To which I say again, if the election was a referendum about Bush, Bush just got 48% of the vote from people in a DEMOCRAT PRIMARY, which may not be exactly the referendum they wanted.

Lieberman probably would have won if he hadn't started the "independent" candidacy weeks ago (which he had to do because of the deadlines).

More interesting is this. Let's go with the Lieberman == Bush/Republican, Lamont==democrat meme the democrats are pushing.

Days before the election, polls showed Lamont up by double digits over Lieberman, but he only won by 4 points.

Maybe the polls showing democrats ahead in other races are similarly flawed. If Democrats poll better than they vote (which is historically the case) then things are a lot different than they look, and the polls can be seen not as an accurate reflection of the future, but rather another ploy to try to sway public opinion and effect election results.

Never was that seen better than the histerical attempt to dismiss actual election results in 2004 because they were at odds with the exit polling data.

Washington Post Legitimizes Convention Schedules

I have been an outspoken detractor of the fast pace of our convention schedule. However, events have all played out so far like the proponents suggested. Now, the Washington Post weighs in, providing strong support to the efforts by BOTH parties to get their candidates picked as quickly as possible.

In the article "Racing to Collect Candidates", the Post explains the process pushing toward a november 7 election:

A fast-moving race to succeed Sean T. Connaughton as chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors is going even faster now that the U.S. Senate has confirmed his nomination to a federal post.

Republicans and Democrats are rushing to prepare conventions for Saturday to select nominees before key election deadlines. The field of hopefuls so far includes two Republicans and a Democrat.

Both sides believe that Connaughton's imminent departure to head the Federal Maritime Administration will probably trigger a special election coinciding with the Nov. 7 general election.

Their haste has been necessary to meet election deadlines in a process that could become more complicated depending on the timing of Connaughton's resignation.

The paper further explains how the only thing that could interfere with an orderly process leading to the desired November 7th election coinciding with the already scheduled general election would be excessive delay by Sean in resigning. Sean explained his delay as follows:

Connaughton, whose second four-year term as chairman is scheduled to end in December 2007, said he is waiting for the president to sign his commission as administrator and is wrapping up loose ends in the county. His resignation and swearing in, Connaughton said, could come as soon as Sept. 1.

"It will all be simultaneous -- one, two, three," he said.

There is no reason why Sean has to wait for his actual swearing in to resign his office. He knows he's got the job (his name is already on the web site). When then Governor Bush was elected president in 2000, he resigned his Governorship a month early in order to ensure an orderly transition to the republican lt. Governor. There are no important votes scheduled in the next few weeks, and Maureen is perfectly competent to take over the reigns on a temporary basis.

Earlier he suggested he needed to hang on to help Maureen take over, but that wouldn't require him being IN office, he could simply offer help from the sidelines.

Resigning before the August 19th Democratic and Republican conventions would meanwhile ensure there would be no sour-grapes lawsuits filed which could mess up the process and cloud the election.

The democrats claim Sean is playing games in order to find his "perfect" candidate:

But Democrats say that because the Senate has confirmed him, Connaughton should resign now.

"Connaughton's playing a game," said Victor D. Bras, chairman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee. He said Connaughton was holding on to the office long enough to find a Republican candidate who would satisfy the business community.

I don't see evidence of that, but why would I expect the PWCDC to say things that involve evidence? Further, the convention is August 19th, whether he has resigned or not, so for the democrats silly charge to be correct, you have to believe Sean would back a contentious lawsuit to overturn the results of the convention, something I would like to believe would be beneath a man who has acheived a national government appointment.

Sean himself ridiculed the idea, in a statement that was good but provided a rather inflated opinion of self-importance given the relative value of the PWC chair's position compared to major offices like the one he is moving to:

Connaughton dismissed accusations that he is stalling to buy time to find a pro-business candidate.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . blah, blah, blah," Connaughton said. "Listen, they've been jumping the gun on this for months. This has to be orderly. . . . You don't just leave the scene when you have that kind of responsibility."

The Post article leaves out small but crucial details. For example:

Gray, who lost by 17 votes in the 2003 primary, ...

... failing to mention that he ran in the DEMOCRAT primary in 2003.


But a judge would have until Sept. 23 -- which is 45 days before the general election -- to order an election that could be held Nov. 7.

This is just wrong (they make the same mistake I made and corrected a few days ago) -- the judge does NOT have to wait until 45, or even 60, days before the general election to pick the november 7 date. In fact, the law says the election must be held between 45 and 60 days after the judge rules, EXCEPT if that date is within 60 days of a general election the special election moves to the general election date. So if the judge ruled TODAY, the election would be held on November 7.

If however the judge waits until after september 8, the election might happen in November 7 without any names on the ballot, which would be an absurd result if both parties have named their candidates.

Sean did make one comment absurdly unbefitting his new national position, showing why he has been considered such a contentious figure in republican politics even as he has been "beloved" by the people:

Connaughton also took a jab at Stewart.

"Anyone who has any extended exposure to Mr. Stewart understands the concerns expressed by the entire county. It's a matter of integrity," Connaughton said, declining to elaborate.

Not very helpful, attacking our likely republican candidate with baseless, unfounded, and unexplained "issues of integrity". But that's what makes Sean such a devisive person when, on the face of it, he should be the perfect unifying figure. It's what always drives me crazy about him. I like the man, and in many ways he's the perfect politician, even though I disagree with some of his positions.

But he is also senselessly vindictive, holding grudges of little consequence, and spawning a "cult of personality" of followers who love tearing down other Republicans who Sean disdains. Sean could have reigned in his minions like Vincent Thoms, but instead feeds the sharks with offhand comments like this in a national newspaper.

If Tom Kopko had made a comment like that, the Sean worshippers would have torn into him. In this case, Tom's quotes are quite good, emphasizing republicans vs democrats not republicans against each other:

"That's the main driver," Kopko said. "But the fact is, there will be a vacancy, and that's why I wanted to make sure our candidate has enough time to campaign."

But since it was Sean making the attacks, his followers, like Vincent, used this article to proclaim Sean as the "most honest politician in Virginia".:

…and this is why Chairman Connaughton is the most honest politician in the state of Virginia…

A claim Vincent later said was based only on his response to the democrats, NOT his dishonest attack on a fellow republican which Vincent prominently quoted in his post. Vincent is of course not someone who has credence in discussing other's "honesty", especially discussing Sean.

Sean didn't "endorse" anybody in this article, so John Gray still seems to be striking out regarding all the republicans he has claimed endorse his candidacy, with most of them running away and vehemently denying the charge. Not exactly a good way to win friends, but if John can sell himself as the "next Connaughton" I suppose he could get some support.

I'm surprised though that Sean's cult hasn't slapped John down harder on this claim -- certainly those who worship at the feat of the master have to be peeved at this Johnny-come-lately's attempt to assume the mantle of their hero. So where's the "John, I know Sean, and you are no Sean" posts?

Maybe they are waiting for marching orders for their leader first -- it would be embarrassing if they denounced Gray and then it turned out Sean actually DID support him.

(NOTE: I tweaked a paragraph up top because it implied Sean WAS delaying to mess up the election, which I don't believe and didn't intend to say. The new wording corrects that error)

Bad Reporting by MSNBC, as usual

I'm sitting watching MSNBC at about 12:30pm, and the nice announcer (I won't credit him as a journalist), while talking about Hesbollah launching some 240 rockets into Israel, makes the astoundingly stupid statement:

Some of them hit their targets, one landing right on a house...

Hesbollah rockets are not being aimed at "targets", they are simply being launched into civilian cities (where there are NO active Israeli military actions) in the hopes that they might hit something. But MSNBC seems to think that civilian houses are valid targets, and that Hesbollah is "hitting those targets", nonchalantly confirming the legitimacy of the tactic.

But I can be certain that if Israel hit a civilian house, the report would be that "Israel missed it target and instead killed innocent civilians".

Not that there is an anti-Israel or anti-American bias at MSNBC or anything, it's just that everything they do is exactly what they would do if there WAS such a bias.

Of course, they are also working overtime "explaining" why the "surge in violent islamic extremism" is our fault, and how grateful we should be in america that so many of "our" muslims aren't provoked by our evil ways, and instead are pillars of moderation to be extolled.

We apparently need to be very careful with our domestic policies, lest we "fertilize" a violent part of the american islamic community.

"If we can get away from the name-calling"

No, this isn't about local blogs. As you may know, a man associated with Cindy Sheehan bought property for her in Crawford, Tx. so she would have a place to protest the President. In an article in, one anti-war protestor was quoted as saying:

"If we can get away from the name calling and see each other as Americans, that will be how we can heal this nation," Goodnow said.

Now, I don't think that's all we need to "heal this nation", whatever that means, but in any case this was particularly funny coming from the Cindy Sheehan party, part of the liberal name-calling wing of the Democratic Party in America.

Do they think we don't remember, and don't know how to use the internet?

Cindy Sheehan Quotes:

"That lying bastard, George Bush, is taking a five-week vacation in time of war,"

"You get that maniac out here to talk with me in person."

"He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. "

"And I’m glad to hear everybody else’s words, because somebody’s gotta stop those lying bastards.”

"I’m either gonna be in jail or in a tent in Crawford, waiting until that jerk comes out and tells me why my son died."

"So anyway that filth-spewer and warmonger, George Bush was speaking after the tragedy of the marines in Ohio, ..."

“I’m gonna tell them, “You get that evil maniac out here, "

"The only reason Bush wants to stay there is because his buddies are getting rich and feasting off the blood of our children"

"As soft-spoken and sincere-sounding as Paul Wolfowitz is, is there yet any sane adult in this country who's skin does not crawl when this murderous liar opens his mouth and speaks?"

There's plenty more, I wrote several posts about this last year, one with many quotes and citations over at CriticallyThinking.

The left are hypocrits who have made name-calling their primary tactic, and then when it suits them pretend that they just want to get along.

And it's not just Cindy Sheehan. James Webb called a fellow Democrat, Harris Miller, the Anti-Christ, among other things. Many vile invectives were hurled at Democrat and former Vice Presidential candidate Joe Leiberman, including linking him with the Nazis.

The party which used to have grand, although often fatally flawed, ideas, is now reduced to trivial government programs and petty name-calling, all the while calling for some new "civility" that involves them being in power so they don't have to put up with opposition pointing out the paucity of their ideas and the ineptness of their proposals.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Where everybody hates their names

While I was out, the folks at TooConservative seem to have had an interesting time, including some sort of internal family squabble about posts being too long (the supposed reason Riley, not O'Reilly was cut loose a few months ago, although now we know the truth about that).

But in the midst of it all, they turned to the one thing that unites them all -- their hatred for Jim Young and their love of infantile discussions. Thus they launched one remarkably inane thread, titled "Where Everybody Knows Your Name". The point of this thread was to attack James for his "obsession" with cowards who use anonymity and pseudonyms to shield themselves from the civilized world's normal response to vile personal attacks:

I’d like to send out this dedication to a special internet buddy of mine, James Young. I’d like to dedicate the Cheers theme to Mr. Young, who seems to be really hung up on the fact that he doesn’t know each and every blogger in the blogosphere. ”You’ve gotta go where everybody knows your name” is just so apropos for my friend.

The thread predictably turned into a bloodfest, starting with a parody of the Cheer's theme song with this chorus:

Where nobody knows Jim Young’s name,
’cause we all know that he’s lame.
Everyone here can all agree,the guy’s borderline insane
You wanna be where nobody knows Jim’s name.

And continuing to the less poignant and more pointed attacks:

Jimbo is often mad – nay - even dour
Jimbo even slandered Grapes, by calling him “Sour”
Jimbo’s bane, and it is a pain,
is that in the main, he’s got sex on the brain
BTW Nova, recently you commented about a “nice thread”…did you happen to notice that James Young never showed up and that’s why it stayed “nice.”

But all in all, things seemed somewhat tame, until James showed up to comment in his own unique style of direct assault:

I’m so flattered! Guess I know from whence those stalkers come.
You’re all just gutless wonders. ‘Cept for you, Anke.
Your'e just .

This predictable response was of course followed by posts feigning "shock" at how the thread had turned so nasty, as if up to that point it was the epitome of a good conservative policy discussion:

I thought you were an attorney. You talk like a foul-mouthed street punk. Why don’t you meet me at the clinic on Saturday at 9:00 A.M. so that I can teach you some manners.
James Young is on the waiting list for finishing school. His tendency to call people really vile names is all that’s standing between him and greatness. We don’t approve of that kind of talk, but we let him do it here to remind folks of what we’re dealing with.
James has now accused me of starting a “flame war” on his ever popular blog. He apparently has no sense of humor. I won’t be losing any sleep!

I could really drive up the hit count on my blog if I didn't mind senseless posts attacking my fellow republicans for not liking anonymous attacks like those which threatened the family of Greg L. last week. If I could also call people names and kiss the right people's behinds I'd be in everybody's blog roll.

But at least, when they are attacking James, it gives them a break from attacking a long-time solid republican like Corey Stewart running against a former democrat.

Would the Dem's let Leiberman back?

A lot of speculation in the Connecticutt Senate race centers around whether Leiberman might caucus with the Republicans should he win the general election as an independent.

My view is there is no chance of that. Leiberman is a strongly liberal democrat on almost every issue -- much more liberal than the most liberal republican, Lincoln Chafee, who is more liberal than a couple of sitting democrat senators.

The more interesting question is whether the Democrat party itself has any scruples at all. Because if it did, when Leiberman wins as an independent running against the selected Democrat nominee, the Democrats would refuse to let him caucus with their party.

But since I don't think the Democrat leadership values anything other than power, I am certain that, should Leiberman win, they will welcome him back -- if not with open arms, at least with committee assignments.

After all, they won't even RUN a democrat party representative against the OTHER independent running for office, socialist Bernie Sanders. Because the anti-free-market Sanders is much more suited to the Democrat party than the former Democrat Vice President candidate Joe Leiberman.

I'm tired of the "why are we in Iraq" crowd.

Over at Virginia Virtucon, an anonymous poster raised the liberal rallying cry "why are we in Iraq" in reply to the post Democrats confess (they can't walk and chew gum at the same time):

Just a reminder for you: Iraq has never attacked us regardless of what you’ve been told.

If we wanted to avenge the September 11th attacks upon the USA we should have destroyed Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Not a single 9/11 high jacker was from or had any connections to the country of Iraq.

I know for certain that we can not fight terrorism by creating more terrorist!

Why are we in Iraq? And why have 2600 of our solders died? Tell me what do we get out of it and how we are more secure invading nations that aren’t even a remote threat to our national security?

I answered thusly:

Iraq has never "attacked us" -- what is that supposed to mean? Iraq invaded a sovereign country, we vowed to defend that country, and Iraq military shot at and killed our soldiers. So don't give me that crap about not being "attacked" by Iraq.

Then Iraq shot at our airplanes enforcing a cease-fire the Iraqi government refused to abide by.

Now Iraq is NOT shooting Scud missles into Israel during a war, which is MUCH MUCH BETTER than it was in the last Gulf war. Iraq isn't sending money to Palistinians who are attacking our ally Israel. Iraq is not destabilizing other countries, stirring up trouble in Saudi Arabia or threatening to unleash biological and chemical weapons.

Meanwhile, Syria is out of Lebanon, Libya has given up its nuclear program, and Iran is SCARED TO DEATH about what is happening in Iraq -- so much so that they encouraged Hesbollah to launch an ill-conceived war which is now decimating Iran's biggest weapon against our friends in the Middle east. All because we freed Iraq from a dictator that was oppressing millions of people.

Saddam would have fallen eventually. If he had fallen without our help, the Shiites in Iraq would certainly have hated us and allied with Iran, and we would be in REALLY REALLY BAD TROUBLE.But because we came to their aid, and gave them their country, we have created a bond with them that will likely keep them allies of us, and unaligned with Iran, and therefore stabilize the region.

"Create terrorists"? We were attacked by terrorists on 9/11, way before we invaded Iraq. People didn't need an excuse to be terrorists, and we aren't creating anything but a chance for freedom for a people who were oppressed by a brutal dictator.

What amazes me is how many supposedly compassionate, liberal democrats seem quite happy with the idea of "peace in the middle east" forged under the hand of a brutal dictator using the blood of women and children tortured to "keep the masses" in line.To hear the democrats talk, Iraq was a wonderful, peaceful place until we got their, and we somehow made all the Iraqi people hate each other -- I call that the Michael Moore fantasy view of the world, an Orwellian fiction of massive proportions.

If we trounced Iran, I could see democrats making the same claims about them in a couple of years "Oh, what did we get for attacking a country that did NOTHING to harm us, what have we gained, what was the point?"Democrats are good at talking, but their capacity for great thinking has been lost through years of neglect. They are left with small ideas for small people -- raise the minimum wage a couple of bucks, give a couple more weeks of unemployment benefits, make sure illegal aliens don't feel like aliens.

8 years of small-minded Democrat policy led to 9/11. And having endured that attack, they now claim that somehow our post-9/11 policies are what is making terrorists hate us, as if the 9/11 attacks never happened.

Do we know how to fight a real war anymore?

That is the subtext of my Potomac News article which was published last Wednesday, I believe, on August 9th. It was originally written for publication on August 2nd, so it's a little outdated.

I put the entire column online on my column website, titled Lebanon is Latest Front in the War on Terror.


War. It’s a word that unfortunately we hear too often these days. War is not a good thing. War is, at its core, a failure of civilized society. Most people hate war. War causes the death of human beings – combatants and non-combatants, aggressors and bystanders, able-bodied men and women and children.

But we cannot actually fight a “war” with terror, or terrorism, or even terrorists. Terror is an emotion. Terrorism is a tactic. Terrorist is a participant. War is not fought against individuals, but against groups, usually nations. We can’t win the war on terror without involving the nations harboring the terrorists.

Civilization consists of nations given sovereignty over people and property based on physical boundaries. We need to hold nations responsible for the actions of the people within their borders. We need to stop targeting terrorists, and fight the nations that allow terrorists to operate in their midst. We must give nations a reason to denounce and defeat the terrorists in their countries.

The latest battle in the “war on terror” is raging in southern Lebanon. The world can choose to hold Lebanon accountable, to embrace the possibility of a true victory over terrorism. But sixty dead in Qana have broken our resolve, and instead of victory we are headed for another stalemate. People hate war, and will do almost anything to stop it. So Hezbollah will live to fight another day, terrorists around the world will breathe a sigh of relief, nations will continue ignoring evildoers in their midst – and most of us will just be happy the fighting has stopped.

But this is a column where excerpts cannot do it justice. I urge you to read the entire article, and comment here with your thoughts and criticisms, which I'm sure there will be.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Summer Vacationing

Because of various summer vacationing, I'm going to be in an out, out and about, and otherwise occupied.

So this week I've been working on newspaper columns, so I don't have to spend a lot of time on them while I'm on vacation.

This curtailed my posting. Then my column for this wednesday was inadvertantly not published (it will run next wednesday), so now I'm feeling pretty good about the month. The pain I have in my leg still makes it hard to concentrate on anything for more than an hour or so at a time, which has made it hard to put columns together, which has impacted my blogging (because every time I sit down to blog, I remember I need to spend another hour working on a column first.)

I won't be posting this week, I'll be too busy doing stuff. I may even be cut off from the internet for a while.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Electroshock Therapy

In my never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the answer to why the covers hurt my legs at night, I have enlisted ANOTHER of a seemingly endless supply of doctors and specialists, this time a well-trained Neurosurgeon.

Her suggestion -- Electroshock therapy and Accupuncture.

More accurately, I'm scheduled for two "high-tech" tests. The first is called Nerve Conduction Velocity, which involves sending electric shocks into my legs and measuring how long it takes the shocks to move up and down the leg. The second, is called Electromyography, which also I believe includes electric shock, delivered through "really thin needles" stuck into my leg muscles while I flex those same muscles.

Both tests are said to involve "minor discomfort", or be "slightly uncomfortable". Hey, if it helps us figure out what's wrong, they can do whatever they want.

It's supposed to be 45-60 minutes of nonstop fun -- so long as John McCain doesn't find out, because I'm certain this is against the Geneva Convention and the new anti-torture regulations.