Archive

Archive for June, 2009

Prince William Tea Party Invites Anti-Immigrant Hate Group

June 29th, 2009 139 comments

Oy, vey. I thought the Tea Parties were a way to revitalize the Republican Party. Apparently, they’ve opted instead to shoot themselves in the foot by inviting the anti-immigrant organization – Federation for American Immigration Reform(FAIR) that has been declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center(SPLC). The SPLC is a civil rights organization that was recently in the news after they correctly identified the Holocaust shooter as a white supremacist.

According to the Tea Party website, Jay O’Brien will be the Master of Ceremonies at the Prince William Tea Party. Excuse me, but wasn’t this guy removed from office by voters during the last election cycle? Also, noticeably absent from the agenda are any local politicians. Will Corey Stewart boycott because of the FAIR connection? What about Tito the Builder, who spoke at the last Tea Party? How can individuals accept the Tea Party movement now that they have decided to join forces with this anti-immigrant organization? And how very disappointing that Bob Marshall would agree to speak at an event with FAIR.

 

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Categories: FAIR, General Tags:

Open Thread, as promised

June 28th, 2009 76 comments

Many people have indicated they have something to say about the state of the world. Too much is happening in the world for me to keep up with it. Here is everyone’s opportunity to discuss whatever. Enjoy.

Categories: General Tags:

Hard Hat Tour of Hylton Performing Arts Center

June 28th, 2009 1 comment

CAPAC, the Creative and Performing Arts Center, an arts group based in Woodbridge, did a hard hat tour of the new Hylton Performing Arts Center on the campus of George Mason University’s Prince William Campus on June 23.  Here’s the video:

http://www.youtube.com/user/GISASProductions#play/all/uploads-all/0/KUtNvyf-F0k

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Words of Compassion

June 26th, 2009 21 comments

Words of Compassion is a document of supportive statements on immigration compiled by Unity in the Community.  http://www.unityitc.org/documents/Compassion.pdf  If you are a person of faith, search for your denomination and see what the leaders of your faith have to say about this issue.

John Stirrup Stirs Up Silver Lake Controversy

June 22nd, 2009 70 comments

Apparently John Stirrup, having sabotaged any opportunity for citizens to have 500 acres of parkland at no cost to the taxpayer, is now up to more shenanigans at Silver Lake!

Someone please tell him that this isn’t about politics, it’s about parkland. All we want is the assurance that someone’s not going to come along in two years or five years and put in a Splashdown Water Park or light up the night sky at Silver Lake or ???

Deed restrictions will guarantee that what we’ve been told is what will happen at Silver Lake. And the problem is ???

People have been commenting for nearly three years now, saying they want passive uses and horseback riding at Silver Lake. Stirrup’s 6/21/09 newsletter says he wants trails, bank fishing, picnicking and other passive recreation at Silver Lake.

Everything seems to match, so what’s the problem? Why is Stirrup opposed to deed restrictions? Could it be that he has other plans?

Deed restrictions would also help open Silver Lake sooner rather than later. Since the Park Authority has already agreed to restrict recreation uses at Silver Lake, there’s no need to re-start at the beginning. Deed restrictions will make sure that doesn’t happen. They will speed up the process and move us one step in the right direction. And Stirrup is opposed to this because ???

Stirrup’s newsletter tells us that, after Supervisors deadlocked on the outcome of Silver Lake in April 2008, he told county staff to negotiate a solution and asked to include the Nokesville Horse Society in the meetings. The newsletter suggests that negotiations failed because “all suggestions were unacceptable to the BRMC.”

Why was the Nokesville Horse Society invited but all other organizations were excluded? And I can tell you, the statement “all suggestions were unacceptable to the BRMC” is just not accurate. In fact, according the 10/21/08 press release issued by BRMC:

“Mr. Stirrup and his planning commissioner Martha Hendley were not supportive in BRMC’s original negotiation with the developer to proffer the entire 230 acres for parks, open space and recreation, and have remained unsupportive ever since.”

You can’t have things both ways. The deed restrictions proposed by May and Nohe support everything Stirrup says he wants at Silver Lake. So what’s the problem????

By putting their proposal forward in advance, May and Nohe gave Supervisors time to consider the issues, consult the County Attorney and be ready to vote at tomorrow’s meeting. After nearly three years of discussion, there’s no need for more delays.

Categories: General Tags:

Burkas not welcome in France: Sarkozy

June 22nd, 2009 66 comments

VERSAILLES, France (AFP) — President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday that the burka was not welcome in secular France, condemning the head-to-toe cover as a symbol of subjugation rather than the Muslim faith.

“We cannot accept to have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity,” he said. “That is not the idea that the French republic has of women’s dignity.”

“The burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience,” he told lawmakers in a major policy speech. “It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic.”

The speech came just two weeks after Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama diverged on whether states should legislate on religious clothing, an issue which has sparked controversy in Europe.

Now here’s a slippery slope if ever there was one. France has more Muslims than any other country in Europe, in excess of 5 million. Several years ago, a muslim woman was denied french citizenship because she wore a burka and was subjugated to her husband. I guess she didn’t know the French way of doing things. Several thousand women in France wear the burka.

Somehow a burka is just not the same as a head scarf. A burka is a clothing prison. President Obama defended the head scarf and took a departure from Sarkozy’s point of view. Maybe this is one time Obama needs to butt out and let the French people decide this one for themselves.

How do contributors feel about Sarkozy’s views? Should he attempt to get the French legislature to pass them into law? Do his views, if passed in to law, intefer with religious freedom?

Full story at Google.

Categories: General Tags:

He’s Barack Obama

June 21st, 2009 7 comments

According to Channel 4 news:

President Barack Obama made his debut at Friday night’s Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner in more ways than one.

Apparently the President got in a few jabs and zingers of his own on Friday night.

I suppose in this job, it is good to have thick skin. Is this more flattering or insulting than the previous presidential jib-jabs?

Categories: General, Humor & Satire Tags:

Is Obama on the Right Track About Iran?

June 21st, 2009 26 comments

In the following video with Neil Cavuto of Fox News, John McCain (of Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran fame) admonishes President Obama for not being encouraging enough to the protestors in Iran.  Congress has passed a resolution condemning violence against the protestors. 

On the other hand, senior statemen like Henry Kissinger have come out praising President Obama and praising for his stance regarding Iran.  Kissinger and like-minded others feel that the United States is in no position to be meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nations. 

The Iran portion of the video goes from 00:00-5:10. (Then the topic changes to health care.)

Both the House and Senate Resolutions:

The House went first, voting 401-5 to adopt a measure (H Res 560) expressing “support for all Iranian citizens who struggle for freedom … condem[nation] of ongoing violence against demonstrators by the government of Iran … and affir[mation] of the universality of individual rights.”

The Senate later adopted by voice vote two measures (S Res 193; S Res 196) backing the protests and calling for free speech in Iran, respectively.

“The time has come for the United States Congress to speak out unequivocally in support of the fundamental right of the Iranian people to determine their future for themselves in freedom,” Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., in a joint statement. “With this resolution, the Senate joined with our colleagues in the House of Representatives to affirm our shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law, and to condemn the unacceptable violence against the peaceful demonstrators taking place in Iran.”

How do you feel? Should Obama have been more forceful from the beginning in defense of the protestors, especially with strong evidence that the democratic process had been tampered with?

Is Senator McCain right about the U.S. showing more support for the protesting Iranians? Should the President speak only about the civil rights issue of peaceful protest and the human rights issue of allowing protest without violence from the government?
 

 

Categories: General, Obama, protests Tags:

Ensign Plot Thickens, involves Fox News

June 20th, 2009 41 comments

Doug Hampton in Las Vegas

The Ensign plot becomes the gift that keeps on giving.  However, much of it seems to have missed the news channels.  There has been noticeable “non-coverage” of this story.  Usually cable news latches onto these kinds of stories and beats them to death like an old drum.  Not so in this case and there appears to be a reason why.

According to the Washington Post 6/20/98 Senator Ensign decided to go public with his affair for several reasons. Supposedly, the husband of the woman he was involved with, Douglas Hampton, has sought an undisclosed about of money from Ensign. On first glance, it appears to be blackmail or extortion. Reading further, one gets the idea it is for damages.

Mr. Hampton apparently was so distraught over this affair and the supposed continued interest and attention paid to his wife, he wrote a letter to Megyn Kelly of Fox News. (see letter) Apparently nothing was done with the letter but Ensign didn’t know that the letter would not be acted on and broadcast all over the United States (like was done with indiscretions by Clinton, Craig, Foley, et al).

The Hampton and Ensign friendships go back many years. Both couples were actively involved in a college religious group which continued for many years.  They live in the same upscale neighborhood in Las Vegas.

According to the Las Vegas Sun:

The affair with Cynthia Hampton occurred while she, her husband and their adult son were all on the senator’s payroll. She was Ensign’s onetime campaign treasurer and the former treasurer of the senator’s Battle Born Political Action Committee.

Unnamed sources cited in various media reports initially raised the specter of extortion as the reason for Ensign’s news conference, but Metro Police and the FBI said they were not investigating. Ensign’s office on Thursday declined to say today whether the Hamptons sought any money to keep quiet.

Cynthia Hampton’s salary doubled as she took over as treasurer for Ensign’s leadership campaign account until she left in May 2008. Doug Hampton’s final month’s salary as a top aide at the senator’s office was nearly $20,000 — more than his normal pay at the $160,000-a-year-job, although the extra sum could have been for accrued sick or vacation time, or as a stipend.

The couple’s son, Brandon, was also on the payroll with a $1,000-a-month summer job at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2008, which Ensign chaired at the time.

The New York Times reported today that after Ensign reconciled with his wife and dismissed Cynthia Hampton, he paid her a severance out of his own pocket.

Ensign’s office has declined to comment on the Hamptons’ salaries, or any severance.

Doug Hampton took a job with Allegiant Air, a Las Vegas company whose CEO is a major Ensign supporter.

There are some interesting missing key elements here.

Why has Fox News sat on this story?
How did Ensign learn of the letter to Megyn Kelly?
How does this fit in with the fair and balanced motto of Fox News?
How have other philanderers been dealt with by this station?

The Washington Post carries the following explanation for Fox News sitting on this story:

After the Nevada Republican acknowledged the affair Tuesday, a Fox producer failed to tell his bosses that he had the letter from Douglas Hampton, and Fox never reported it. The Las Vegas Sun disclosed the letter’s contents Friday.

“Sometimes a ball gets by,” said Tom Lowell, senior producer of Fox’s “American Newsroom.” “This one got by.” It was, he said, “my mistake.”

Hampton had written to the program’s co-anchor, Megyn Kelly, saying he was not giving the information to any other news outlet. Lowell said his primary concern was protecting Kelly, who “has any number of people who have stalked her.”

Fox says it never received the letter that Douglas Hampton says he mailed to Kelly, but it was later attached to an e-mail that the network received at 12:21 p.m. Monday.

And

After the news conference, Lowell passed Hampton’s contact information to his Washington bureau but did not send the letter or show it to senior Fox executives, who have expressed unhappiness at not being informed. “The letter was an allegation of an affair,” Lowell said. “I don’t know that it would have shined a light on anything new.”

Lowell said Hampton called the Fox booking desk before sending the e-mail Monday. “He seemed evasive,” Lowell said. “His entire focus seemed to be talking to Megyn.” Kelly asked whether she should call Hampton, Lowell recalled, but he said the network should do more research first.

“As the day went on, it fell off my radar,” Lowell said. When he heard the next day that Ensign had scheduled a news conference, “at that point I realized there might be credibility to these claims. . . . Should I have paid a little more attention to this e-mail? Sure.”

There seem to be a lot of reasons why this story was never followed up on.  One that hasn’t been explored is political motive.  Additionally, Senator Ensign is the fair-haired child of the Religious Right.  Was Ensign being protected? 

Reading Mr. Hampton’s letters gives one the feeling that this is a desperate man willing to do anything to normalize his family.  He doesn’t seem like a blackmailer.  Ensign acts like he is being bilked and is the wronged party here.  Hampton just sounds like a frantic, sad man who wants his wife and life back.  He sounds betrayed.  What goes on in Vegas, or DC for that matter, obviously isn’t staying in either place.  I expect when this all shakes down, Ensign won’t be staying in DC either. 

Categories: General, media Tags:

Superisor May and Nohe take bold stand on preserving Silver Lake!

June 19th, 2009 16 comments

Supervisors May and Nohe are taking a strong leadership position on Silver Lake and I commend them for it!  Although the opportunity to have Bull Run Conservancy take over stewardship and add an additional 270 acres to Silver Lake for public use was lost, there are still valuable long terms assets to perserving the Park.  As we all know, Supervisors come and go with each election, but the fate of Silver Lake can be preserved for generations to come through a simple deed restriction prior to handing over the property to the Park Authority. 

Why is a deed restriction important? Too many times, Parks meant for valuable passive recreation, like fishing, hiking, birding, and picnicking have been threatened by outside entities wanting to turn them into active recreation, often times the plans include cutting down trees and altering landscapes. In 25 years, 50 years and so on, beautiful sanctuaries like Silver Lake will be a rare commodity. We have already experienced how much a community can change from the pressures of development. Silver Lake, with appropriate deed restrictions, will remain a Park that will offer swimming, fishing, camping, hiking, nature education, and horse back riding for generations to come.

In June 23rd, at 2:00 p.m., the Board will turn over control to the Park Authority, I hope this Board finally decides to take a strong stand for conservation, it’s about time in Prince William County.

Please link to the Prince William Conservation Alliance read this “hot of the press” press release.

I urge you to visit www.savesilverlake.org to send your thoughts to the Board, you can also easily invite friends and family to join in this important conservation effort for all PWC citizens.

News and Messenger Coverage

 

 

Categories: General Tags: