From the column Tying up some loose ends, first I re-addressed the immigration issue, which is still scheduled to be considered again next week. Highlights:
However, the president and many members of the Senate want to bring it back again. They still think tinkering around the edges will make this unacceptable bill somehow acceptable, but it won't.
Here's an analogy to use. Imagine there's a sold-out concert at the Nissan Pavilion. But when gates open, people who did not buy tickets rush in and take seats. Obviously, the police would be called to remove people in the concert illegally and probably arrest them. It wouldn't matter if they were well-behaved in the seats, had purchased drinks and food or were perfect concert-goers.
Well, the Senate immigration bill is like the manager deciding to let them stay in the concert, so long as they pay the manager a premium for the privilege. Meanwhile, those who behaved legally, who waited in line, and who bought tickets, are out of luck. Even if the concert wasn't sold out, the illegal concert-goers got the best seats while others who waited in line are stuck in the back.
Next, I re-addressed the Brentsville Trailer issue. The PWC BOS approved the trailers, and the School Board came up with a plan to winterize the two stadium bathrooms (three stalls in the women's room, increasing the total female toilet count by 20%). I noted that they were STILL pursuing the lawsuit because, as I had said in my previous article (blogged HERE and HERE), it wasn't about the trailers, it was about power and not having to submit to the people through their elected officials. I also said this about Lucy, but not by name:
Fortunately, the head of the School Board, who is most responsible for the lack of planning that left the school grossly overcrowded and with inadequate bathroom and other facilities, is resigning to run for another office. Milt Johns, my School Board representative, is running for the position. He has worked hard to mitigate the disaster of Brentsville, including pushing a plan to help parents who want to transfer to less crowded schools. I hope under his leadership the School Board can get along better with the citizens of Prince William County and our elected government.
Note I didn't say I EXPECTED things to be better, I just hope. Milt voted with Lucy on most of these issues, and he can't escape some blame for the situation, although to his credit he seemed to be the most active in trying to fix the problem (of course, it's in his district).
Next, I re-addressed the orange tree article. My Homeowners Association mistook my self-deprecating statements for an attack on them, so I wanted to clear the air:
It's always dangerous to use personal stories, because people who know you can get the wrong idea. In this case, my friends on our HOA board knew about my orange tree, because they wrote the letter telling me to remove it. Our rules are pretty clear that you can't just paint stuff any color you want, and I meant for my readers to understand I was chastising myself for doing so.
But I was not clear, and because of a joke at the end about the tree, some thought I was attacking them for not talking to me personally. Further, since I'm a former board member, and wrote many of the guidelines, they felt I shouldn't need a letter to know not to paint a tree orange.
I apologize for not making myself clear, and for all the things in my yard that were in violation of our guidelines.
Because, in addition to the orange tree, I was in the middle of removing a large dead evergreen tree. If you look HERE, it was the large tree on the right I used for my Red/Green christmas tree in my christmas lights display, and while it died during last year, I kept it up so I could decorate it one more time.
But because it was only half cut down, and I had piled the sticks neatly but in the side of the yard and not the back, they wrote me up for those two items as well.
Lastly, I re-address the Iraq war vote. I noted the Democrats voted for war funding, and that a reader sent me a link about a fake Mickey Mouse used to promote terrorism (in response to my comment about Iraq being a "Disney World" for terrorists).
I also said:
Meanwhile, although the Democrats allowed our troops a few more months funding, they plan to attach surrender language to many bills over the next months, hoping to wear down the enemy and eventually win. Unfortunately, the enemy is our government, and "win" (in true Orwellian "Newspeak") means humiliating and total defeat. We need success in Iraq, not retreat and surrender.