Bipartisan Event Promotes Land Conservation Tonight!

If you want to save the Rural Crescent and ensure a high-quality development area too, tonight’s Conservation Forum is the place to be.

The Rural Crescent has been threatened since it was first adopted in 1998. With development nibbling at the edges, some have said it is more like a Rural Croissant that will disappear one bite at a time.

Properties slated for development, such as Bristow Village and South Market, intrude into the boundaries of the Rural Crescent, serving as ‘set up’ parcels for sewer lines and higher densities.

But the most significant threat to the Rural Crescent may be that Prince William County offers no choices for landowners other than to sell to developers.

Although Virginia has one of the best private land conservation tax incentives in the Nation, County government does not make this information available to landowners and rarely considers conservation opportunities in land use process.

During the past four years, Virginia conserved 400,000 acres of land. To the best of our knowledge, only 302 of these acres were in Prince William County, contributed by the conservation of Merrimac Farm, which protects our public drinking water supply and provides local residents with a high quality site for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.

This is a unique opportunity to learn how Prince William can begin to take advantage of conservation incentives to protect our rapidly vanishing natural areas. We hope you can make time in you busy schedule to join us this evening, 7:00 pm at McCoart.

Supreme Court Bars Life in Prison for Youth Who Have Not Killed

NYTimes Alert:

Justices Bar Life Terms for Youths Who Haven’t Killed

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said that sentences of
life without possibility of parole for crimes other than
homicide that were committed when the offender was under the
age of 18 are unconstitutional. The decision, in a Florida
case involving an armed burglary conviction, said such
sentences violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and
unusual punishment

Some criminals in their teens are just as vicious as adults. Why should they get a pass because of age?

Justice Kennedy was the swing vote.

According to

Juveniles who have not committed murder should not be locked up for life, according to a U.S. Supreme Court decision today. In the case of Graham v. Florida, the court says it considered brain and behavioral science in deciding that life sentences for most young criminals amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

The decision extends a 2005 decision (Roper v. Simmons) banning the death penalty for juveniles. Amicus briefs submitted to the court by the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and others questioned whether youths should be held to the same standards of culpability as adults given research suggesting that their brains are not yet fully mature.

In its decision, the court says it took this data into consideration:

No recent data provide reason to reconsider the Courts observations in Roper about the nature of juveniles. As petitioners amici point out, developments in psychology and brain science continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds. For example, parts of the brain involved in behavior control continue to mature through late adolescence. … Juveniles are more capable of change than are adults, and their actions are less likely to be evidence of irretrievably depraved character than are the actions of adults.


A Real Class Act

A huge thanks to our friend George for sending this video our way.  It isn’t often we get to start of the week with such a great display of real class.

Just prior to the start of the Air Force-BYU football game, Sept. 22, 2009, this video was broadcast in the BYU stadium in Provo, Utah. Later, the USAF Academy Superintendent, LtGen Gould, showed this clip to the faculty and staff. He told everyone that BYU ran it minutes before the kickoff at the game. He was clearly moved by it, as were those who watched it. BYU is a class act.


“We are all Arizonans?”


Sarah Palin being an Arizonan
Sarah Palin being an Arizonan

The AFL-CIO and one of its civil rights groups has written to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano demanding that all agreements between Arizona law enforcement and DHS cease. AFL-CIO is the largest labor union in the United States. According to the Huffington Post:

On Friday, the union conglomerate AFL-CIO and the civil rights coalition, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, became the latest institutions to urge for the isolation or boycott of Arizona when they requested that Homeland Security terminate its training of local law enforcement officials in the state.

“We write to express our deep concern with the Department of Homeland Security’s continued cooperation with state and local law enforcement in Arizona pursuant to Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (‘the 287(g) program’) in the aftermath of Arizona’s passage of Senate Bill 1070, and we ask that you immediately rescind all 287(g) program agreements in Arizona,” the letter reads.

The message continues:

“We are grateful that President Obama has spoken out to correctly call the Arizona law ‘misguided.’ However, more than words are required from the federal government at this time. As we explain below, the enforcement of Arizona’s law fundamentally depends on the use of federal government resources for the implementation of its racial profiling regime. Unless DHS terminates all 287(g) program agreements in Arizona, the federal government will be complicit in the racial profiling that lies at the heart of the Arizona law. Such a result would place the DHS at odds with this Administration’s stated views on SBI070, and at odds with basic American values of tolerance and non-discrimination.”

The letter is by far the most serious effort to date to make Arizona’s new immigration law untenable for the state. Other groups have urged economic and travel boycotts as a way to target the state government’s tourism revenues. Should DHS adopt the AFL-CIO’s suggestion (and it’s a big question whether the Department will) it would deny the state the type of law enforcement expertise that the immigration law was designed to beef up in the first place.

The legislation passed by Arizona state government would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime. It would also give law enforcement officials fairly broad powers to detain those suspected of being in the country illegally.

“A review of DHS’s 287(g) program agreements in Arizona makes clear that once SB1070 becomes effective, DHS will be complicit in the enforcement of Arizona’s misguided law,” reads the letter, signed by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “We urgently request that you exercise your authority to immediately rescind all 287(g) program agreements in Arizona and, in this manner, avoid making the federal government complicit in the enforcement of Arizona’s misguided law.”

So what, you might say. PWC and City of Manassas both participate in the 287(g) program. What impact will the dust up in Arizona have on our MOU with Homeland Security?

Meanwhile things show no signs of calming down in Arizona. 9500Liberty is now being shown in Tucson per request of the community. Sarah Palin is out there saying ‘We are all Arizonans now.’ Is that sort of like being a Hokie for the day?

Quoting Huffington Post again:

Jan Brewer and Palin blamed President Barack Obama for the state law, saying the measure is Arizona’s attempt to enforce immigration laws because the federal government won’t do it.

“It’s time for Americans across this great country to stand up and say, ‘We’re all Arizonans now,'” Palin said. “And in clear unison we say, ‘Mr. President: Do your job. Secure our border.'”

The former Alaska governor appeared with Brewer at a brief news conference on Saturday. The event launched a website that Brewer said was an effort to educate America about border security and discourage an economic boycott of the state.

I hate being simple minded but did Mexicans just start coming across the border since President Obama took office? I could have sworn this was an issue before then. Silly me.

To read the full SB1070 click the blue.