Friday, September 28, 2007

Planning Not Politics in Chesterfield?

Independent candidate for the Board of Supervisors and current Planning Commisioner for Midlothian, Dan Gecker, should send the current Board a thank you note for making his campaign point of "Planning not Politics" ring as loud as the church bells on Sunday.

The current Board this week approved the Branner Station residential community in a clear case of politics and not comprehensive planning. What screams of pure politics in this instance is the fact that the approval by the Board of Supervisors to add another five thousand homes to an ever increasing housing inventory in the midst of a slowing housing environment begs the question as to exactly what the hurry is.

In evaluating much of the project it is apparent that the project may very well be acceptable from a political perspective because it will provide the county with land for two new schools as well as provide the necessary roads and infrastructure which the county would not be able to afford to provide on its own within projected revenue budgets going forward. That said, however, I am not sure that the Bermuda District is currently an area where their needs for new schools are higher than that of other districts already experiencing overcrowding in the classrooms. Of course if the Board was to approve the 5,000 home community it would require the schools in the future, but without the community does Bermuda's current demands require the need for two more schools in the next two or three years?

The Board voted 2-1 in favor of the community with two Supervisors abstaining. The two Supervisors supporting developer HH Hunt and the project were Republicans R.M. "Dickie" King and Renny Humphrey both of which are not seeking re-election in November. Current Chairman of the Board Kelly Miller voted against the approval while Republicans Art Warren and Don Sowder abstained.

Sowder representing the Midothian District stated that he "does not knowingly vote for politcal gain or loss..I try to do what I think is the right thing for people" and yet by abstaining from this vote he did play politics and did not act in the best interests of Chesterfield. By allowing the measure to gain approval with a mere two votes, Sowder in an attempt to appease criticisms regarding the record number of development approvals by this Board going into the election. Support for other developments like Roseland and Magnolia were not to different from the Branner Station plan and those were indeed supported by virtually the entire Board.

I fail to see how this was not political. Are we to believe that HH Hunt would have wanted to wait until early next year when they would have to go before a new Board? They simply wanted to get this done with this Board before the election. It would have been in the best interests of Chesterfield had the approval been delayed for further review and not given the green light by two Supervisors who will not even be in office when the project begins.

Mr. Sowder and Mr. Warren it should be about planning and not politics and voters will be reminded that you have both put party politics above the people of Chesterfield by supporting this approval through abstaining.

Dan Gecker has it exactly right and our future needs to be about "Planning and Not Politics".

This approval also begs the question as to whether we as residents want descisions as important as these to win approval with a mere two votes. Isn't it about time we consider raising the number of Supervisors to seven from five?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Local Immigration Issue

Voters across Chesterfield are gearing up for the last 50 days before the elections this Fall and as the debates begin with the forums across the county it is becoming readily apparent that the two most important issues residents are talking about are:

1. Growth: Roads & Schools
2. Impacts of Illegal Immigration

The latter I am sure will be a prime focus on the debate among candidates for Chesterfield Sheriff scheduled for October 10th at the Central Library at 7PM.

In the meantime, Chesterfield County officials are currently considering an ordinance that will set limits on the number the persons able to live together in a single house or apartment. Officials are reviewing implementing a square footage requirement in determing the numbers of person permitted to live in a given home. The County currently does not have a restriction regarding the number of "family members" that may reside in any given location as long as they are related to the owner/tenant of record.

The timing of this comes when Chesterfield, like many Virginia localties, are addressing the impacts of "illegal" immigration. Many localties feel forced to solve the issue of "illegal" immigration due the the failure of the Federal government to meet its burden on dealing with the issue on a national level.

It appears as if America is experiencing a government system on the brink of coming full circle with regard to states rights under the Federal System. The more the Federal government fails to meet its mandated burden more States will be forced to take action in dealing the impacts that the negligence of enforcement policy has created. The Federal government is forcing the hands of localities, some of which have determined to establish "sauctuary" areas for illegal aliens while other have sought to identify and remove illegals from their streets buy other means.

Many opponents to the enforcement of the laws regarding illegal immigration may be crying foul, but should they not also be focusing some of their energy toward the Congress who has managed to provide zero solutions? It amazes me how certain cities can publically snub the rule of law in the land and still cry for federal funds for their juristictions. It must be great to live in a city where the local government can determine which laws passed by Congress they seek to abide by and which ones they do not.

If I recall did we not fight a Civil War under such arrogance of ideology.

The only difference lies in the fact that during that conflict we had a Federal government willing to hold true to the rule of law and go to war to preserve it. Apparently, this Federal government is content on allowing the laws that it is tasked with upholding to play second or third fiddle to the politics of the day. I wonder just what other laws they might be willing to turn a blind eye to if it meant that it could be used as a wedge or a means to divide this country.

I think the politicians are entering dangerous territory. We have already seen the rage of the left and its attacking of State Republicans as "haters" and "racists"for focusing on the "illegal" immigration issue as of late. The perception of the left is the Republicans are using the issue to distract voters from its failed transportation agenda and however accurate they may or may not be it does not change the fact that main street wants solutions for this issue. Its far easier to attack the messengers but it does not change the fact that the incompetence of both legal parties to address the issue at the Federal level has left local governments with the burden of attempting to provide solutions to its constituents. Its as if the political machine of the far left is simply rollong over its opposition for the war into the immigration debate and I think that is a very dangerous game to be playing. I do not think you can treat the two debates in like manner in that there has to be a sensitivity involved in the immigration debate in that it truly does "impact" everyone. Unfortunately, the war in Iraq has not met that thresold with regard to the public and furthermore the average American can and does feel the results of the failed immigration policy.

The fallout of the divide can be seen in such areas like Manassas and Prince William County where groups are taking up sides on the issue and mobilizing efforts to bring about resolution. Ohter juristictions realize that if PWC passes significant ordinances against "illegals" than the illegals will be sure to move to areas where access to services would not be so prohibitive or at the very least easier to get. Counties such as Stafford and Spotsylvania may very well have to brace for that impact. This is why it is crucial that all localties begin to look at the issue and address the concerns of its residents and develop a comprehensive plan with regard to "illegal" immigration.

In Chesterfield, the housing ordinance would begin to address the community' concern regarding the numbers of people residing within homes and standarize the number based on square footage. If an ordinance can be created to limit the size of a house on a particular lot, you would think that an ordinance could also be passed to limit the number of people who can reside in that house but there will certainly be opposition to such a measure.

It will be interesting to see how the opposition shapes its arguement moving forward. The arguement that it is the Federal governments responsibility to solve the illegal immigration problem will not fly in the face of the fact that the Federal government has no intention of solving it and in doing so is asking citizens to go along with the status quo and that is simply unacceptable.

This issue will not be going away. If the Democrats want to leave the debate of potential solutions to the State GOP so be it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"A Thousand Splendid Suns": Afghanistan

I was presented with a copy of Khaled Hosseini's latest novel entitled "A Thousand Splendid Suns" this week at a gathering of canvassers before this weekends cookout for Independents here in Chesterfield.

Hosseini's other work entitled "The Kite Runner" back in 2003 was a great book so i was really excited to dive into the latest work describing the changes in and around Afghanistan from the perspective of two very different women.

So far it is turning out to be a dramatic tale of hope and inspiration regarding their lives and the very future of their country.

So far it is very impressive. More to follow later.

Free Speech or Freedom not to Offend?

I am curious about the real support for true free speech these days given the climate of repeated instances completely counter productive to the premise that all of us "really" have free speech.

I wonder if free speech is one of those Virginia "values" that GOP legislators have been referring to lately? Apparently not.

Two other instances cry foul with regard to the silencing of an individuals right to speak freely here in Virginia. Surprisingly enough they to have taken place on the campus of State supported sites of higher education.

First, at The University of Virginia a student was prevented from displaying a sign promoting the firing of Head Cavalier Football Coach Al Groh. Apparently, The University is more concerned with firing cartoonists of the Cavalier Daily then there football coach because officials felt that the students plea violated its so-called policy on banners, signs and flags. Uh excuse me, do they not attend their own games? There are signs all over, this is college football. have you never watched Gameday on ESPN on Saturday mornings right from on campus? It was not the sign that bothered offcials but solely its message. And my friends this is either violating that students right to free speech or selective enforcement in the least. Apparently, athletic events officials have the right to remove any sign or banner they wish.

That begs the question that at a state funded University should they have the right to remove such a sign? At a private school I gather they can pass whatever kinds of rules they wish with regard to their respective colleges because they are not securing state revenues for operations. But at a "public" University which in itself belongs to the the people of Virginia how then can this stand.

I remind you that V.M.I. was forced to admit women under the law because it was as a State funded institution of higher learning so are we somehow allowing for the use of selective judgement in which liberities, rights and amendments we are going to adhere to. Did tax payer dollars support the construction of the football stadium. And what about the new basketball arena as well?

Secondand a bit of a stretch but worth pointing out is that we have the administration of Virginia Tech and its Athletic Director asking if not demanding that the Marching Virginians no longer perform the music that inspires fans to gyrate with their bodies awaiting a Hokie score.. Laughing here.

Evidently the song causes the Hokie faithful to suddenly breakdown committing rude and crude behavior in unison. You know I can't get 15 young soccer players to all listen to me at the same time so kudos to the band director if at the playing of the song he can get 15K students and fan in unison to do anything. Thats a feat in itself. This stuff is absoltely ridiculous. I can see it now as Va Tech removes 15k screaming fans from their stadium from violating this mandate if they take it upon themselves to do it all anyway.

I can't wait for SportsCenter coverage of the parade of students exiting the stadium under the assistance of the Blacksburg Police. The Athletic Director likely had little to be concerned about last week down at LSU with only one touchdown scored.....oooouch!!!

Consider this About Terrorism

This really struck me as being one of the better quotes I have of observed concerning a view of terrorism:

"Terror has replaced territory as the new spoils of war. Some will give their lives simply to destroy the peace of mind of many. This is the new alter, where the sacrifices and the sacrificer become one in a senseless cult of violence that defies any theological rationale in any religion"

The Honorable Robert A. Seiple
President, Council for Amercia's First Freedom

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dear Mr. President

Just a thought Mr. President:

"If I were to try, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how-the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, whats said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference"
be Lincoln

A Growing Cultural Battle in America II: University of Virginia

Earlier I referenced the issue of the statue of Chief Justice Taney in Frederick, Maryland and attempts to force its removal from outside City Hall and now from the University of Virginia we have yet another example of the attack on the very basic principles that formed our nation.

In Charlottesville on the campus of The University, Grant Woolard, a junior cartoonist and graphics artist was forced to resign from the Cavalier Daily for his work entitled "Ethiopian Food Fight". Apparently, Mr. Woodwards cartoons have not been well received by certain groups on campus for his recent depiction of black men dressed in loin clothes and its parody concerning the country of Ethiopia. In fairness this is not Mr. Woolard's first fray with controversy. His cartoon entitled "Christ on a Cartesian Plane" and "A Nativty Ob-scence" were not well received by the Catholic League for Religion and Civil Rights and prompted members of that organization to seek an apology from the paper for the printing of the cartoon. No such apology materialized.

Mr. Woolard latest cartoon and its acceptance by the Cavalier Daily managing team led to a demonstration outside the papers office and protestors requested a private audience with the Managing Board of the paper. In addition, members of the NAACP political action organization presented a list of demands to Dean of Students Allen Groves at a meeting at Peabody Hall which addressed the issue concerning the cartoon. In short, they demanded Grant Woolard be removed and his cartoons no longer be eligible for publication whereby censoring his work.

It comes as no surpirse that this issue could arise on a college campus for sure,just not the Univerity of Virginia with a long standing tradition of honoring the rights given man both by God and our nations Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. So it is of particular interest that we find ourselves seeing that on this grand stage of higher learning that we are teaching our future leaders that setting aside freedom of speech or in effect silencing it is acceptable if it is speech by which you are offended or simply find deplorable.

Anyone who does not believe there is a battle being waged against our culture should take heed of this example of complete hypocricy. Are we a nation of liberties? Do we not have free speech? Is the University of Virginia not supported by public tax revenues and thus our University? Do our rights under our laws suddenly end upon entering the confines of our Universities?

While I find the action to silence the publication of Mr. Woolard's cartoon in and onto itself unacceptable, I find it intrigueing that the Managing Board takes no responsibility in the manner. The Cavalier Daily has a defined policy with regard to its cartoons and columns in terms of the evaluation and criteria for publication and apparently Mr. Woolard's work has always met that burden. Should not the Editor-in-Chief Michael Slaven be held equally accountable if the removal of Mr. Woolard is just. Did not the Board approve the cartoon before publication?

This again is yet another example of how a single group can silence free speech in an arena solely based on the ground that they oppose an individuals views or positions. The Univerity of Virginia is a state institution of higher learning and not a private college and as such needs to be leading from the front in terms of insuring that every member of the student body has a right to free speech, just as those who protetested the speech have a right to assemble and voice their opposition. Is not the Univerity of Virginia known for its Law School?

I am reminded by Thomas Jefferson's words of 1787:

"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter"

Well said Tom. The Rotunda at the University of Virginia has suddenly lost a little of its luster to be sure.

Ankara, Turkey: Yet another example

Very little is being reported regarding the attempted terrorist bombing in Turkey. Nor did bombings in Mexico recently.

Are some of our leaders picking and choosing just what to determine as terrorism and what simply to dismiss as something else. It seems to me that some of our leaders are playing politics with the lives of many of the international community.

Are we saying that the recent bombings down in Mexico along its pipelines, however internal, are not terrorism? Why are they so quick to distance themselves from such events in the world and then when a potential cell is discovered in America they seek to undermine its relevance to the war on terror. Ala Fort Dix.

The attempted bombing of a Turkish food market in the streets of Ankara, Turkey should be another reminder and demonstrate to the world that it is not merely the American presence in Iraq that is fueling the desire for radical Islamic fundamentalists to wage war on civilians.

Turkey, an ally to the US, celebrates the anniversary of the military coup of 1980 today and the attempted bombing uncovered by Turkish police either was to correlate to the anniversary of 9/11 or the coup. It is unclear at this point as to the real target, but the blue minibus packed with 1, 300 pounds of suspected sodium nitrate, a chemical fertilizer, was discovered parked in a multi-level parking area near a large city food market.

Turkey, a Muslim but secular country, has also been battling both rebels of the (PKK) Kurdistans Wokers party as well as Muslim extremists thought to be parts of Al Queda's network. The US has a major air base for operation in the ME in the southern part of Turkey (Incirlik) that could also be a prime target for attack in the region.

in 2003 Al Queda was responsible for a similar attack in Instanbul that killed 60 and wounded hundreds when vans loaded with explosives slammed into two synagogues. This attempted bombing is very similar in method and tactic as that of the one in 2003. Earlier this year, a suicide bomber killed 9 and wounded 121 Turks when a shopping center was targeted.

Turkey, a major ally in the war on terror, is becoming another front largely due to its association
with the West but more so because it represents a Muslim country that has been able to succeed as a secular state. Al Queda would like nothing more than to pull Turkey into a conflict with the Kurds to exapnd this conflict and divide the West and its Middle Eastern allies.

The result certainly will be that the U.S. will remain in Northern Iraq for some time as a buffer between Turkey and the Kurds in Northern Iraq. The Turks have raised concern that much of the explosives are coming into Turkey by way of Iraq and the PKK is using the border area as a safe haven from Turkish forces. The Turks have from time to time in the last few years chased those elements of the PKK and rebel forces into Iraq.

The leadership of the U.S. government and those seeking leadership must begin to recognize that Iraq is but one front on this war on terror. We are so focused on Iraq, but other areas like the Phillipines, Turkey, and southeast Asia are experiencing the reach of our enemy as well.

A Growing Cultural Battle in America

It is obvious that we as a nation are beginning to show the signs of a culture that is beeing attack and not solely from Islamic terrorist but also from within our very nation as well. Every election we get an opportunity to listen to those seeking office talk to us about our history, our heritage, our traditions and yet the basic traditions of this nation seem to be under attack with very little notice.

As a Virginian, I have grown up in a State based on the very principles of such great Americans, though not perfect, as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, and George Washington. Our leaders reference these great men as if to pay homage to an era that simply represents our past. I beleive these men should be referenced as means of grasping our future.

If there is any doubt that a battle is being waged against its very underlying soul, you need only observe the breakdown of our cities, schools and in fact the various attempts to revise our very history in a way in which not only lessons its significance but does our nation as a whole a disservice.

What I am addressing here is the attack upon our history itself. An battle being waged against our historical significance. People want to bury our past as a means of redefining our future. People want to shape the past so it fits securely within the context of our current self. We want to remove those parts of our past that do not reflect our political positions. We would like to deprive our children the right to explore the controversies of the past and would rather shape that past to bring about a desired outcome that is purely based on agenda. In fact, people want to turn their backs on the very basic principles by which our nation was created.

The word "value" has been so politically distorted that when we as as people her the phrase "our values" we almost are driven to place it in a political context and not neccessarily in the context of reason.

On the one hand our leaders want us to embrace our traditions and yet are telling us through their actions that they contuinuely allow that tradition to be undermined.

Case in Point. Frederick, Md 2007
Chief Justice Roger Taney.

Justice Roger Taney, a native of Frederick Couty, Md was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1836-1864)that was instrumental in the writing of the Dred Scott v. Sanford descision that declared blacks to be non-citizens and in fact allowed slavery to be carried out in the entire Union which certainly was pivotal factor leading to our nations Civil War. Incidently, Justice Taney in his career was a Attorney General of Maryland, Attorney General of the United States, and also a former Treasury Secretary of the United States.

Now in 2007, our nation after years of allowing activists groups use the courts as a sword for promoting an un-Amercian agenda have targeted Justice Roger Taney, whose wife was sister to Francis Scott Key. They seek the removal of his statue, a bust in fact, from outside City Hall in Frederick, MD under the grounds that it may promote a sense of healing among the community. Ring any bells? Behind this latest attack is the NAACP who obvious believes that the statue on government grounds represents a threat to its agenda.

This begs one question? Is not the bust art? Is it not a sculpture? Where is the so-called left who always seem very quick to promote the neccesity of freedom of speech with regard to art. And if its art and has a right to be displayed then where would the NAACP advise it be displayed. In a museum or behind close doors? No. If we look to the debate in Richmond, Va over the potential removal or relocation of the Musuem of the Confederacy they would prefer these institutions be dissolved. Another point involves the issue of the Confederate flag displayed as well. In this case activist groups want the flag removed form the Chambers of the State Capital where I think a grand total of 1% of the Virginia population even knew it was in the first place under the same grounds. I guess goverment should be in the business of making people feel better about who they are? Will its removal do anything to solve the issues facing the City today? I sincerely doubt it. Its solely a political and tactical battle be waged against our past. We don't like it, lets remove any memory of it, lets diminsh or maybe just maybe we can simply removal all reference to it. And yet I wonder would that merely just lesson the significance of exactly how far we have come as a nation by removing the barometer in which to view our progress?

Glenora Hughes, General Counsel for the Maryland Commission on Human Relations was quoted recently saying in reference to the Taney statute that the :

" symbolism of the statue is similar to having the Confederate flag in the represents a constant reminder that you are not equal.It sends the message that creates fear or reminds people of the vestiges of racism that still exist today"

What exists today is people who choose to fuel racism by there very actions against things that they claim create it. I wonder just how many residents of Maryland even know who Justice Roger Taney was?

It is obvious that the rulings of Justice Taney have proven over time to be contrary to the will of the American people but to vanquish that part of history serves exactly what purpose. Are we to cast aside all those men who may have been on the opposite sides of our nations greatest debates? Should we remove all the monuments of Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia and throughout the city except Arthur Ash? Do not get me wrong this is not a race issue, but that is exactly what the extreme activist themselves are shaping it to be, Thats is what they want. That is how they will win.

Thats the beauty of those who would play the race card. No one rational in society supports racism and these groups feel government will back down in the face of that portrayal. Well I say this is not about race no matter how hard they try to make it about race, its about our histroy.

Does Justice Taney have any historical relevance at all to this groups? Does a flag? Or are they simply viewed as points at which to continue to promote division within our culture. Should not Maryland reflect equally on the greatest of its historical leaders no matter their failings? Is not Chief Justice Roger Taney as important to our history as a nation as Justice Thurgood Marshall. We are all Amercians and we are all equal under God and we should treat all of our leaders, past and future with that dignity.

There is a battle being waged against our culture. We just simply are to busy to recognize the totality of it. Yet.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

They are called Congressional Hearings and not Listenings for a Reason

After the last few days of seeing alot of our nations leaders in front of us questioning the whole Iraq issue and its ramifications, one truly gets a little bit of perspective of just who it is that truly carries the water for the Amercian people and those that are merely playing career politician.

Now, I have no issue for someone hammering hard questions of course but for this whole process has taken my mind back to when Oliver North appeared before Congressional hearings. It was really the first time in my life that I can remember watching hearings on TV let alone seeing a military man being questioned regarding rather political undertakings. I remember though the level of respect that seemed to be given North even by those opposing the reasons by which brought North before him. There was civility and honor it seemed among both sides of the microphone back then. I wonder how North would have been received if he had to come before them now as he did some twenty years ago.

After today and the Senate turn, I find our leaders today much less civil, much less concerned with the greater good and more concerned with political posturing before the cameras. I learned today that there is a reason they call these things Congressional Hearings and that is because most of these leaders on the Hill are great at "hearing" just not too many a long on "listening".

I think it would be great if we could have Congressional Listenings.

To begin the process with an absurd and rather dangerous ad put out by attacking General Petreaus was afterall rather typical, but for many of the leading Democrats including those who would like my vote come 2008 not to condemn such an outragoues attack against the integrity of our military was striking to say the least.

I recall those same leaders telling us that the organizations like MoveOn are but a small part of the overall Democratic base, and yet these leaders constantly promote that very agenda, turn around and attend the Kos Convention all the while reassuring us that these elements are but a small part of the Party. If anyone was naive enough to believe that then they certainly cannot deny that the lack of condemnation of the ads placed is surely due to the fact that that element is certainly NOT a small faction of the left after all. It is becoming readily apparent IT is the Left.

I respect many parts of the progressive platform but am beginning to truly believe that moderates and fiscal conservatives of the Party have to admit there is I hijack in progress on the Democratic base. I only say thatin light of such observations as the lack of support for the DLC, that brought Bill Clinton to the Presidency I might add, by the very same leaders that say that the far left isn't the power of the left.

Now I realize that we are constantly being told that those old labels of "left", "right", "liberal" or "conservative" are becoming less defined in modern poltics as maybe in the past, but I cannot get over that this hijacking of the Democratic base, at least in terms of lobbying power, cannot be merely of "primary" influence but will spill over into the general election. I am tired of trying to figure out whioch face these leaders are playing on a daily basis while I'll country's domestic policy swings in the balance.

Say what you mean, mean what you say and get to work on moving our country forward. Thats apolitical by the way. My head as many Amercians I presume is tired of spinning. When we as voters have to determine what it is you (ie politcian) mean something is certainly wrong.

I must say that I have been impressed by two politicians over the course of the last two weeks and they are (R)Duncan Hunter and (D) Barrack Obama. Hunter has impressed me on his obvious expertise with regard to immigration and now the Iraq question and like Obama is passionate about his message. A message that comes of as genuine. Obama has taken some licks by the Clinton machine, but whatever his failings in terms of political strategy he seems ready to go after the issues of Afghanistan, Pakistan situation and carry on the war on terror all be it differently and voice his views and positions without regard to posturing. Thats inspiring.It would impress me even more if Obama would come out and condemn for its attack on the General. Hunter on the other hand took it to those who would support such ads within Congress and I would not be surprised if he and John McCain makes those memebers who support it "famous".

I think that those that would shoot the messenger rather than "listening" and then making judgements does our whole nation a disservice. Whether or not we agree about the war or what to do in Iraq or how to wage the war on terror, you simply do not allow your very soul to come into question because you fail to condemn those that are so obviously indefensible.

Have we no shame anymore? I wonder.

"Timelines" & Such

Well when I guess you get a bunch of legislators together who use the business model as the their example of shaping policy and the government itself all this "timeline" garb is what you get.

These guys use the word "timeline" for than a project manager whose very job is on the line if the timeline isn't met. members of Congress are using the very word"timeline" to politicize the perceived failing of the surge they oppose.

Whats the timeline to leave General?

For someone that portrayed in ads as dishonest and morally questionable in terms of integrity the General did not respond in a manner like us inexperienced watchers would certainly have.

I would have liked to have seen him respond to "Timelines" like this.

Timeline? Since this body is so focused on timelines, could you tell me when the Congress is planning to fix the illegal immigration problem in this country? Its been I don't know twenty plus years. How much longer do we have to wait? Whats your timeline?Could you tell me how you plan to solve the health care crisis in this country, I think it was Mrs. Clinton who raised that need back in 1993? Or Senators hows about solving the inevitable failure of the Social Security system or give me a "timeline" for how we are going to cover Medicaid for all the baby boomers getting ready for retirement in a few years?

Fact is all of these things that I would have thrown back at those Senators who question the speed of political reconciliation in Iraq and its failures need only to look to themselves to answer their own questions as to why Iraq has made little progress on that front. Because its politics by definition for Gods sake.

I praise the General for remaining strong to his convictions and sitting there before a body that itself is in need of some reconciliation.

So while I wait for an improving Iraq, I will also keep a keen eye on a Congress that has failed to live up to just about all realistic expectations since 2006 and accomplished very little by way of securing of domestic agenda. I will give credit where credit is do, our Congress did raise the federal minimum wage. Yeah. Run on that for re-election.

Let the General get back on the ground and continue fighting the good fight and please could the Congressman and Senators get back to moving America forward domestically.

How about this gameplan:

Let the military fight the combat operations and provide security, let the State Department undertake diplomatic efforts to secure peace and lets have our legislators go back to passing actual meaningful legislation in Washington.

No that would be wonderful wouldn't it?

"Conceived " on Sept. 11th

I was conceived on September 11th.

My very existance has yet to be embraced

It has brought turmoil to the lives of those who would embrace me

Its brought fear to those who would not

I was conceived on Sept. 11th

I will be born of two families

I will descend from two lines

Yet conception has been entirely at the blessing of a mid-wife

Her sacrifice is securing my arrival

I would not survive nor would my family without her

I seek resolution by way of my two families and hope

And yet who shall raise me up is unclear

I am from the North and from the South

I am from the East and from the West

I am unsure though upon my arrival just who "I "will be

I fear my birth will be laborsome and hazzardous

I fear they will resent the length of its labors

I fear they will not understand the blessing of delivery

I fear I may be abandoned

I fear that in the end my family will not bless my arrival

I fear

I fear

I was conceived on Sept. 11th

My family still awaits my birth

I was conceived on Sept. 11th

I am determined to arrive

I was conceived on Sept. 11th

I am destined to be free

I was conceived on Sept. 11th

I am a new Iraq.

Sept. 11th 2007 and the Times-Dispatch

I woke this morning knowing of course that today marked another anniversary of the attack of 9/11 and felt even more compelled to hug my children a little harder on the way out to school this morning. There was an extra sense of hieghtened awareness more so this morning in large part to some of the expose being done entitled "The Perfect Day" being aired this week by Glenn Beck concerning the potential targeting of our school systems which are relatively unsecure nationwide. After receiving countless email from other parents about the broadcast I was amazed at the lack of information being assimilated at the local level regarding security precautions given the fact most of us just sent our children back to school last week. I do not usually subscribe to the shock guys out there but I felt the need to at least hear out the potential situation concerning our schools and what the experts recommended the average Joe to be on the lookout for. Frightening to say the least.

It was disheartening however to open the newspaper this morning here in Richmond. I felt ashamed that on the anniversary of such an event that has shaped our nations lives the top line atop the Richmond Times-Dispatch reads "I scream at celebrities" with a pic of who else but Paris Hilton and the so-called "controversy" over the Confederate Flag fight the lead in story on the front page followed by the Petreus testimony. On this day , we find the RTD taking a more "political" posture if anyhting else though in fairness they certainly had to cover the Petreus testimony but use of a linking piece for the remembrance of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks with Hurricane Katrina, Va tech Shooting, and the Tsunami in a piece entitled "No clear way to remember 9/11" may certainly be in light of the other occurances of death and trajedy I suppose but I believe sorely misplaced. This is exactly but one example of how displaced and dysfunctional we have become in terms of recognizing the importance of such an event and its impact on our country and this rather limited and narrow focus of 9/11 itself minimizes the threats we face going forward together as a nation. After six years RTD seems to embrace or reflect the willingness to place 9/11 in the pages of the somber history book instead of using it as an opportunity to reinvigirate the will of our community or in fact inform it.

How is Richmond different since 9/11? What is our emergency response capability? The RTD pays no attention to the Pentagon or those lost souls in PA. Today is a day that should be APOLITICAL. It is a day where we should be embracing the commonality of our community and our nation and not a day where we should on the front page rehash the Confederate flag within the chambers of the Capital downtown or through politics upon the remembrance of our fallen brotheren.

The question is not how far we have come but rather how much we have forgotten. The RTD questions "whether we are becoming numb" to all the horrors when in fact is is the telling of the story from a politcial perspective concerning everything these days that has the community numb. The Unity following 9/11 has been lost in large part because of the will of the people to be divided in the face of messages like the front page of the RTD sends this morning. On a day of remembrance it is unimporatnt to be reminded of the sacrifice of those lost, or celebrate the achievments of Tuesdays Children, those of whom lost parents on 9/11. Where are their stories? Where is the picture of Amercia today? Could it be that that picture is still out of focus? Maybe that picture is exactly the challenge we face together as a nation in the face of trajedy how do we become whole when so many among us are driving a wedge right through the very soul of our nation. The RTD is quick to right about "commemeration" not "celebration" for the 150th Civil War anniversary (a soley political underscore I might add) and yet forgets about the sanctity of "remembrance" in the context of 9/11.

We were unified once in this endeavor following the loss of thousands of innocent lives. May we not have to withstand another trajedy the likes of 9/11 again for us to re-focus that picture of America and come together once again, I pray.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Independents Well To Do

Local canvassing and get the vote outs are showing that there is certainly a growing number of voters from the two major parties that moving in the direction of supporting Independent candidates in the elections for the 69th House of Delegate seat where Katherine Waddell (I) is the incumbant as well as threeof the five districts of Chesterfield County with seats up for the Board of Supervisors.

Surprisingly the Midlothian District which went Republican with the election of Don Sowder in the special election in 2006 is seeing a potentail shift to (I) candidate Dan Gecker (current Planning Commissioner from Midlothian) who lost last Fall to Sowder while running as a Democrat for the seat. Support for Gecker is growing in the Bon Air area through juristictions of Crestwood, Bon Air up into the Greenfield area along Robious Road. Supporters have been out knocking on doors and speaking with residents about three major concerns:
1. Growth Planning and Transportation
2. School construction and Class sizes
3. Illegal Immigration Impacts

Overwhelmingly by the way residents are opposed it seems to another bond referendum to pay for the growth projects going forward in this district. There are scheduled debates/forums right around the corner coming in October for most of the district contests in Chesterfield.

Independents have work to be done in Mataoca where there are both a Democrat and Republican candidate seeking the seat of Supervisor and Bermuda right now appears to be a dead heat based on feedback from residents. That one is going to be very interesting to watch.

Throughout the 69th touching parts of Chesterfield Katherine Waddell appears in good position to face off Republican manoli Loupassi , former City of Richmond Councilman. An election office for Waddell is up and running on Midolthian Tnpk across from the Koger Center and next to Wawa.

llegal Immigration and the Hypocrites

The debate has continued regarding"illegal" immigrants in large part throughout the summer and now going into the Fall. It is largely due to the impass on any political progress by the National Democrats with regard to the Iraq issue as well as the State Republicans with regard to solving the transportation abuser fee promise.

The issue will certainly play a larger part in the election of 2008 than in statewide elections but officials are using the rather negligent Congress as an excuse for attempting to solve the issue of illegal aliens at the State level. And as they should.

Much of the heat State Republicans are taking is by way of progressive and liberal blogs piggybacking the transportation dilemma and focusing much of their scopes on folks like David Albo of the 42d House district (Fairfax) and to a lessor extent Jay O'Brien 39th Sen district both of course Republicans in Northern Virginia.

Albo was the first official to propose legislation that would prevent illegal aliens from the ability to secure Virginia driving permits as well as sponsoring bills that would prevent illegals from securing benefits from state and local taxes. O'Brien, an Irish-Amercian has supported such measures in the Senate as well and has been quoted as saying:

"the time has come for Virginia to stand up to criminal illegal aliens and protect families...and stop rewarding illegals the benefit of in-state tuition for higher education" (deemed as hate mongering??)

O'Brien has been a big proponent of propping up Virginia law enforcemnt agencies and the ability for those to turn over illegals to the Department of Homeland Security in SB 1045. O'Brien represents some 30 localties in Fairfax and 9 in Prince William County where the issue of illegals is red hot. O'Brien is supported by many Virginia associations including the Virginia Farm Bureau, Association of Realtors, State Police, Va Medical Society, Va Society of Certified Public Accountants, Va Independent Insurance Agents and Independent Auto Dealers.

And yet the progressive blogs are somehow enraged at what they call the hypocricy of State Republicans largely because of the fact Republicans, and they are not alone on this score, have secured large contributions from employers such as Smithfield that have less than clean records with regard to employing illegal workers.

In effect this is where the debate is moving, the so-called hypocricy and not focused at the very issue at hand and that is the illegal alien issue itself.

It seems Progressives would largely like to make or keep illegal immigration a Federal issue and yet we see time after time where members of the Federal Government attempt to pass the responsibilities of dealing with illegals off to the States. The following measures in the very least provide instruction for the States under the Federalist system:

Immigrant Childrens Health Improvement Act :
addreses XIX XXI of the Social Security Act to provide States with option to cover certain immigrants under medicaid and childrens health insurance programs

DREAM Act: co sponsored by Hillary Clinton in fact to address the Illegal Immigrant Reform Act to allow for States to review and determine State residency requirements for higher education with regard to immigrants
Also here the DREAM Act says "the US should protect its borders and enforce its immigration laws. The consequences of illegal entry should be deportation"

So if this debate is being shaped by "hypocricy" why is it we are not talking about the fact that liberals are attacking Republicans calling them proponents of hate and linking them to KKK circulations in PWC for simply emphatically calling for what the DREAM ACT seeks in SB 1545.

The hypocricy might just be that Clinton, Schumer, Spector, and Mikulski all NOW very critical of how Republicans are shaping the arguement against illegal immigration in Congress are all co-sponsors of legislation that states that "the consequences of illegal entry should be deportation."

This blitz to judge Republicans and yet not acknowledge the language that very Democratic leadership have drafted in the past is worrisome at the very least. It very well may represent a shift solely based on political posturing and not the solving of the issue before our country.

The above mentioned Democrats in the Senate also sponsored along with (R) John McCain and Sam Brownback the Agricultureal Job Opportunity Benefits and Security Act sponsored by none other than SD (R) Larry Craig....yes that Larry Craig whom all of these folk have distanced themselves from in the last two weeks. The irony. This measure seeks to address the H-2A worker program and in particular Section 218. Then there is also the Access to English/Employment Acquisition Act that further places it upon the States to determine programs for bilingual education for immigrants.

So we have the Congress placing in large part much of the issues around immigration and its impacts upon the States and yet we are surprised when there is a call for accountability in the area of determining just who is eligible for all these programs. Is it immigrants of any status or is it the "legal" or "documented" aliens? If it is left to the State to make the distinction, so be it.

If a State is to use tax payer , public revenues, should they not perform due diligence to insure that state revenues go for the purposes of funding individuals who are indeed of legal status and residents of the Commonwealth? Should that not be the requirement? Is it not logical then for us to demand that illegals not be granted in-state tuiton? Is that not what SB 1545 from Congress is saying?

And it seems to me many of the more liberal folk tend to forget or never read "Hope and History" by Bill Clinton where on page 133-34 he states that :

" we are both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.Immigrants who enter our country legally and begin the process of attaining citizenship today are little different from the striven who were our ancestors..we must not tolerate illegal immigration...since 1993 we have removed 30 thousand illegal workers from jobs across the country"

Again we have reference not only in legislation but also in the works of Bill Clinton making the case against "illegal" immigration and yet it is the Republicans portrayed as hate mongers going after immigrants in an effort to identify those that are illegal and have them uniformly turned over to ICE for hearings and following the intent and protocal of the law.

It seesm to me that :

Addressing illegal aliens and eligibility of driving on Virginia roadways

Addressing illegal aliens in terms of securing in state tuiton rates for Virginia Universities

Addressing illegal aliens from securing State/Local tax benefits

Addressing the requirement for providing proof of citizenship ( if we would require it to leave the country why do we not have the same expectation of people already in the country )

It gets us off to a good start since the Federal Government is leaving it to the states under the basis of the Federal System and its own own hypocricy on the very issue itself. Let the debate begin.

Let see who carrys the water forward.


Breaking News from Richmond: Willey back in the news after break-in of home

Out of Richmond, Va today, the home of Katheryn Willey the former accuser of Bill Clinton some ten years ago , house was broken into in suburban Richmond in an apparent attempt so alleged by Willey to secure notes or sources for her upcoming new book characterizing the Clinton Years and her experience in the Oval Office with Bill Clinton as well as facts concerning Hillary Clinton. More to follow as this breaks into the main media I am sure. It seems the break in in Willey's opinion may be politically motivated but it is still to early in the investigation for anyone to comment. More to follow.