WaPo Editorial Examines Corey Stewart’s Latest Bid for Attention

Yesterday July 3, 2010, , the Washington Post printed  an editorial entitled: In Prince William County, a call for a tough immigration law. The editorial castigates the chairman of the board of supervisors and his ilk for being an opportunist. 

ARIZONA’S SPASM of xenophobia has inspired copycats as well as critics around the country, a disparate response that reflects Americans’ ambivalence toward illegal immigration. In a Washington Post-ABC poll last month, a majority of respondents said they favored the Arizona law, which allows police broad discretion to check the residency status of people — “your papers, please!” — based on an arbitrary “suspicion” that they may be undocumented. At the same time, a majority in the poll said they favored amnesty for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in this country illegally — that is, allowing them to remain in the county, shift to legal status and eventually become eligible for citizenship if they pay a fine and meet other requirements.

That ambivalence, and the political impasse around immigration reform, framed President Obama’s speech on the issue Thursday — his first since becoming president. The president accurately diagnosed the political dimensions of problem: that mending the nation’s broken immigration system is stalled in the absence of Republican support in the Senate. Unfortunately, he offered no new ideas to fix the system. His speech, prompted mainly by immigrants’ groups unhappy with his administration’s inaction, seemed more an attempt to keep Hispanic voters within the Democratic coalition than to inject new life into a moribund debate.

With Congress incapable of acting, other states are now likely to come under increasing pressure to do what Arizona has done.

A test case may be developing in Virginia, where a local politician who has ridden the wave of sentiment against undocumented immigrants wants to push the issue even more. Corey A. Stewart, the top elected official in Prince William County, has proposed a legislative agenda that takes Arizona’s law as its template but goes further. Mr. Stewart, a Republican who faces reelection next year, has proposed what he calls the “Virginia Rule of Law Campaign,” a package of legislation that, among other measures, would authorize police to ascertain the immigration status of any individual upon “any lawful contact.” If that’s not an invitation to racial profiling and harassment-on-a-whim, nothing is.

Mr. Stewart, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, was the driving force behind Prince William’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants in 2007, which bred intolerance in the previously relatively harmonious county. The law he sponsored requires the county police to determine the immigration status of suspects upon arrest. Its passage, and bluster from Mr. Stewart and his allies, prompted some illegal immigrants to leave the county — and probably go to neighboring jurisdictions. Mr. Stewart, with his characteristic disdain for facts, asserts that their departure is responsible for the county’s falling crime rate. In fact, the drop in crime mirrors regional and national trends

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has wisely kept his distance from Mr. Stewart’s attempt to take his crusade statewide, saying only he’ll study whatever comes up. The governor correctly notes that the federal government has failed to fashion a workable immigration system, and that the nation’s laws should be obeyed “and lawful immigration . . . encouraged and facilitated.”

Americans remain deeply divided over immigration, and politicians like Mr. Stewart have enjoyed some success in stoking tensions over that divide. Until Congress reforms the nation’s immigration system, undocumented immigrants will remain in limbo, and Mr. Stewart and his ilk will make political hay by hounding them.

Entire Editorial

The Washington Post sees right through Corey and his ambitions. Both the News and Messenger and the Washington Post have been around to see the debacle unfold, going back to 2007. Johnny-come-latelies like Fox News don’t know the background and won’t be asking the difficult questions like both of the Post and
N & M ask. Say what you want about print media, they are the ones who will ultimately make you look in the mirror. Both the Post and N & M have done just that.

Speaking of which….where are Corey’s old cronies? Who is going to crawl out from under a rock and cheer Corey on? Perhaps this latest move has thinned the ilk herd a bit. Perhaps the ilk will be more selective about whom they associate with.

Mr. F Strikes Again

Yup, you heard it hear first. The roving reporter just returned from the Manassas City fireworks display and emailed me that Mr. F has struck again with more messages. According to RR:

He hung a banner that was the Star of David with “Jude” in the middle of it. He had two signs. One talked about zoning ordinances against political free speech and the other said that PWC and Manassas City were treating “brown” people the way the Nazi’s treated the Jews. He had a shirt with the Star of David on the back and he walked through the crowd several times. There was also a tee shirt on his fence that said “Freedom of speech in Manassas City-hahahahaha…The White Supremacists still rule here”.

He will not get free advertisement on this blog. I won’t post his pictures. He needs to touch up his roots and go back to Arizona if he wants to start that Nazi nonsense. He had his day in court…several of them as a matter of fact. He kept postponing his day in court. That’s more than any Jew in Nazi Germany got and someone needs to tell Mr. F that. The City of Manassas has been more than patient with Mr. F’s shenanigans.

Meanwhile, he and Corey Stewart will each go around, each other’s ying and yang, both strutting attention-seeking behaviors to enhance their own egos.

Michael Steele’s Mangled Message

What is Michael Steele talking about? What is he smoking? Every major R in the country is calling for this poor dude’s head. This speech is pretty pathetic.

The video is difficult to hear. The following CBS link clarifies what was said.

So what do the Republicans on this blog think about this matter? Should he go and how dare the Republicans point a finger over Howard Deane. Physicans, heal thyselves. Tim Kaine is looking pretty darn good.

I expect Michael Steele to sort of disappear from the political scenery.

Local Teens Reach Out and Help Others


This video was sent to me by one of our contributors.  It’s terrific to see young people reaching out and doing for other people.    These kids are members of the Archdiocese of Arlington and this particular group of kids  were from All Saints Church.  They  built a ramp for Ms. Brown who has had fibromyalgia for about 5 years.

This is a great example of bucket filling.

And a Happy 4th to you, Mr. Jefferson

We are sitting on an historical gold mine. We are less than 2 hours from Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson.

No one owns Jefferson. Various political groups continue to try to lay claim to him. It won’t work. He truly was a man for all seasons. He was an imperfect man but he was one of the intellectual giants of his time. He, like most people of wealth, was a slave owner. He lost his fortunes. He didn’t spend wisely. He nearly lost his entire library. Perhaps he was better at giving advice than following it.

What isn’t found at Monticello can be found at the University of Virginia, mainly in Alderman Library. An original copy of the Declaration of Independence can be found there. To those who haven’t been to Monticello, do yourself a favor. You won’t regret it. The spirit of Jefferson is indeed in Monticello. You can feel it as you drive up the mountain.


Jack Jouett, Revisited

If this thread looks familiar, there is a reason. I posted this last year, honoring Jack Jouett, one of Charlottesville’s heroes. Most people haven’t heard of Jouett. He was one of those people that the little old ladies sat around and named their sewing circles after. However, were it not for Jouett and his vigilance, we might not be a nation today. I liked the thread. It is colorful and I am trotting it back out. Regardless of which part is myth and which part is real, every town needs a few home town heroes.

The United States of America is a proud 234 years old today. In many respects, its hard to believe that we are so old. 234 years is a long time. We have had 44 different presidents. We have fought a Revolution, a Civil War, 2 World Wars, and a bunch of other wars, some large, some small. We are the oldest democracy in the world (although some would debate this ‘fact.’)

Yet we are young–very young as a nation. Antiquity to us is Williamsburg. Antiquity in other parts of the world goes back thousands of years. We only got to the west coast crossing the continent a little more than 200 years ago.

It might not all have happened however, if it weren’t for Jack Jouett of Albemarle County, Virginia. Well now who the hell was Jack Jouett? He was the Virginia Paul Revere. General Tarleton was riding towards Charlottesville to capture Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the Virginia Legislature who were hiding out at Jefferson’s home, Monticello.

Jack Jouett was sleeping (on the lawn no less) at Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa when he spotted Tarleton and his calvalry. Jouett knew where the legislature was and rode off toward Monticello to warn Virginia’s leaders of the approaching British. Had they been captured, they probably all would have been hanged as traitors.

Jouett made the 40 mile ride and all but a few of the legislators escaped. He rode the back trails and through the woods, guided by the light of the full moon. Tarleton took the road. Much myth has grown up around this hometown boy.

Andrew Lubin: Our 234th Birthday

From The Kitchen Dispatch: (copied in entirety)

Note: Combat correspondent Andrew Lubin just returned from Afghanistan where he was embedded with the US Marines. As the Fourth of July nears, he offers his thoughts.

July 4, 2010

By Andrew Lubin
Following the recent immigration debates arising out of Arizona and in Congress made me step back and think. “What makes someone an American?” Is it an accident of birth? Having a special skill? Or is it an attitude?

My grandparents names are listed at Ellis Island. It’s no big deal, so are the names of dozens of thousands of others. They came over amongst those human waves of Europeans in the late 1800’s who were coming to the New World for a chance for a better life.

My maternal grandmother was Mary Inez Ryan, from Ireland’s County Limerick, and we grew up listening to her stories of wailing banshees and the shrieking tree. She married Joseph Mendell, whose father had changed his name from Mendel when he arrived from Germany the generation prior. My dad’s side was also European: Louis Ljubon from Budapest married Aloysia Woelfl from Bavaria Both families settled in northern New Jersey, learned English, struggled through the Depression, and then both my mom and dad joined the Marines in WW2. Afterwards they were part of the first G.I. Bill class at Montclair State Teachers College and worked hard to give us kids a better life and more opportunities.

America has so many other stories…last month at FOB Dwyer I met Tuan Pham, a Vietnamese refugee whose grandfather and father were killed by the Viet Cong. His mother and sister left Vietnam as ‘boat people,’ and eventually got Pham out when he was 16…now he’s Major Tuan Pham, USMC, who enlisted three years after arriving here. While his is certainly a far more interesting family story than mine, it’s remarkably similar in that it started with folks looking for a better life, making their way to America, working hard, giving back, and helping build that which we call “The American Dream”.

And it’s worth noting the many stories of citizenship that started after 9/11: there have been some 55,000 immigrants who became Americans through their service in the Armed Forces. The ranks of the Marine Corps are filled with young men and women with fascinating accents who are “giving back” to their newly adopted country. Some of them “give back” a lot; think back to Sgt Michael Strank, one of the five Marines who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. He was born Mychal Strenk, in Jarabenia, Czechoslovakia, and learned English in the tough steel mill of Franklin Borough, Pa. Sgt Strank was killed on Iwo, three days after that famous photograph was taken. Or Mexican-born Marine Sgt Rafael Peralta, whose last act was to roll onto a grenade in Fallujah, sacrificing himself in order to save the lives of the Marines behind him. Other countries should envy immigrants like these two.

Perhaps they’re the strength of this country, this blend of farmers, tool & die makers, steel workers, and shopkeepers who arrived here with little more than an ill-fitting suit and a fierce determination to “do better.”

That’s the unifying feature that built the United States of America; they learned the language; worked their way into the social structure and politics of their new homeland, worked hard, tried to blend in, and in committing themselves to success, they gave this country a mind-set that anything is possible if one works hard.

Another mind-set was that of leaving the old ways behind. The old ways weren’t working; that’s why people came here in the first place. My Grandpa Lubin would never, ever discuss his hometown, or his life before he came here. “It doesn’t matter,” he’d say “I’m an American now, and being an American is all that counts.”

And unlike the faux-patriotism espoused by so many of today’s politicians, the older generations understood that patriotism was something that was to be practiced, as opposed to lectured from the airwaves. On Monday 8 December 1941, most of the men of Harvard and many other colleges were on the recruiting lines, and by 1945 America had 12 million men under arms. Everyone volunteered; in fact my ex-wife’s father forged his father’s name to the paperwork, and joined the Army a year underage – Lewis Nash participated in the invasion of Italy and ended up fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.

That’s real patriotism. Everyone served, everyone helped out, and everyone pulled together for the common goal of protecting the American way of life that their parents and grandparents offered them.

That’s what makes the recent immigration debate so frustrating. Most of these 12 million illegals hunker down, work hard, and are taking the dirty jobs that most American citizens won’t. Sure many of them don’t speak English now, but then neither did my Grandfather Ljubon or Mychal Strenk when they arrived. America is still a country of opportunities for those who want to work, and given the opportunity, look at how the Strenks and Peralta’s have become an integral part of America’s history.

Maybe that’s it; being an “American” is as much an attitude as an accident of birth. Since people today aren’t digging the Erie Canal, or building the transcontinental railroad; perhaps today’s settlers are instead cutting lawns in New Jersey or working in an Iowa meat-packing plant. But hard work and attitude never hurt anyone, as Grandpa Lubin used to tell me; and as Grandpa’s Strenk, Peralta, and Pham likely told their boys; with attitude and hard work you can accomplish almost anything.

So let’s raise a glass to our 234th birthday – with more hard work and the same attitude, we’ll be celebrating 234 more.

Happy Independence Day.

Many of us have pontificated but we have never really discussed what is an American. Your thoughts, on our nation’s birthday…what exactly is an American and has that definition changed over time?