Vote for easy target Bob Marshall on April 26

bobMarshallTea

Retiring Congressman Frank Wolf is the patriarch of Loudoun’s Christianist right. The patronage system he developed will continue if we don’t stop it. The powerful, detail oriented politician who brought “The Colson Center for Christian Worldview” to Loudoun also brought us spy agency jobs, labyrinthian development, crazy supervisors and school board members, and gridlock. When he retires, he’s going to stick around, continuing his Chuck Colson influenced work, insuring that government directed ideological finance penetrates every aspect of our lives.

In this vacuum, the Washington Post reports that “Northern Virginia [GOP] lurches to the right,” but even the best exposure in the world won’t be enough to win this battle. Barbara Comstock, Wolf’s hand-selected successor, has the backing, power and money of the Republican establishment. For example, she is endorsed by Tim Phillips of Americans For Prosperity who specializes in phony grass tops organizations and dirty attack ads. Even so, the primary is not a wrap. Bob Marshall is running TEA Party attack ads that appeal to the rightmost fringes of the right, reminding voters that Comstock took direction from Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” and voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 primary.

Whoever wins the Republican primary, the congressional race will be exceedingly ugly and hateful. But with Marshall, we won’t need to work too hard to show what a crackpot he is. It happens every time he opens his mouth. He’s proud of it.

So we need your help to insure the “real” TEA Party candidate represents Virginia’s GOP 10th CD. Get out and vote for Bob Marshall. He’s no TINO, and he can be counted on to remind voters of this every step of the way.

 

The sweet scent

Blossoms_bloomingWhile running on a dirt road, up a slight hill, the Kelly green of the forest floor nearby, a soft breeze washed over me and there was the sweetest scent, I imagined, from the fruit trees nearby.  Ah, finally, the sweet smell of spring, an antidote for the sickness of mind that is modern society.

We’ve heard the metaphor in politics, invoking “spring,” the network herd of media mimics murmuring thoughtlessly the word “spring,” repeating it again and again as if it were true, misapplying this glorious time of year to mid-East street protests, armed conflict, American air strikes, AK-47s fired in the air, blood leaking through the dirt, improvised bombs, cries of pain, and needless death.

Such dystrophic destructive events cannot be compared — however you may stretch and pull a poetic metaphor — with spring’s awakening of that renewable life dormant through the cold and hard seasons until the moment when the sweet scent drifts in the air anew.

Of course, much of our public dialogue is imprecise, unfocused and misleading if not a lying whopper to lull the mind to sleep or to misdirect our attention from what really matters to what we can fear or hate.  It is this sickness of mind we must cure.

When I was young, I played a Seabee in South Pacific, and heard over and over in rehearsal the lyric how you have to be taught, carefully taught, how to hate and fear.

Much of our public dialogue is about hate and fear. Continue reading

Love at the County Courthouse

Photo: Leesburg Today

The Rev. Don Prange, Pastor of Lovettsville’s St. James Church, appeared outside the Loudoun County Circuit Courthouse to witness love, the love of same sex couples, committed to a union that the court and the laws of Virginia fail to recognize or allow.

Had these couples gone first to the Clerk’s Office and asked to file a marriage certificate, they would have been rebuffed.

Episcopal Priest, Daniel Velez Rivera, said, “God has made us equal in his image” but the law doesn’t recognize persons made in his image as equal.

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Scary Seeds

Off Mountain Road, in Loudoun County, Todd Morrison has a small farm and, when he first moved in, and they sprayed herbicide, everything turned brown in the field in front of his house except the soy; he got concerned.  We should all be concerned.

What was in the soy that remained unaffected by the herbicide spray?

The truth was the soy seeds had been genetically modified and that began Todd’s quest to understand what that meant, finishing up with his campaign against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and in favor of organic and community farming, not just on his place but throughout the Loudoun County area.

Todd learned that seeds have been modified with DNA from bacteria, viruses, other plants, even animals.  In other words, there is even a cross-species GMO hybrid created (plant with animal) with this genetic engineering.  There is also mounting evidence that GMOs bring with them health problems.

Worse yet, if you’re trying to avoid GMOs, Todd reported, that 80% of our processed food has GMOs.

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Impure Water – And Getting Worse?

When we use water, drink it, cook with it, bathe in it, it’s not “pure.” 

Accepting that it’s impure, how “safe” is our water?

The answer is we have cause for concern.

The reasons are obvious in Northern Virginia.

There is the increased density of our population, the accompanying development, the large number of households that use wells, the bad practices that many of us follow that can compromise the water’s “purity,” and, perhaps worst of all, the waste products that industry is allowed by law to dump into the water, also what industry dumps that is unlawful (that it’s not supposed to discharge), and how weakly the feds and the state push back against those who pollute, allowing the general public to absorb the cost and risk to their health and mortality.

We don’t always think of the cycle of water that we take for granted. Continue reading

Erin Go Bragh! (Ireland Forever!)

John P. Flannery kissing the Blarney Stone

John P. Flannery kissing the Blarney Stone

Some have jokingly said it was unnecessarily redundant, even dangerous, that I felt it necessary to kiss the Blarney stone, a block of bluestone found at the heights, in the parapet of the Blarney Castle, enchanted by the goddess Cliodhna, for its fabled gift of gab and flattery.

You tip the kind strong rain-garbed guard who holds you from falling as you lean backward.

We were told one soldier did fall, long before, perhaps after a pint, slipping between the walls, sliding to the ground, landing on his head, speeding him on his way to his final heavenly reward.

It was a somewhat rainy day when I underwent this transformation, bending backward, without fear of contracting anything even remotely dangerous to my health – as we are all related who kiss this grand stone, just like every member of a Catholic congregation may drink safely from the same Holy Communion cup

It’s more apt for a lawyer, however, to kiss this Irish stone as, according to the legend, it was this stone that Cliodhna first commended to the builder of the Castle so that he could plead his case in court successfully. Continue reading

Clean Air Is Important For Most Of Us

Some may remember when Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary James Brady, grabbed the president as they flew over a forest and said in mock alarm, “Look, Mr. President — Killer trees! Killer trees!”

Mr. Brady made this mid-flight stand-up joke in reference to the President’s statement that trees were a major source of air pollution.

Most High School students appreciate that trees absorb Carbon Dioxide and other harmful gasses including Sulfur Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide, and release the oxygen that we need to breathe.

One tree can store 13 pounds of carbon dioxide a year and supply enough oxygen in a day for four people to breathe.

Few think it was the “good old days” when President Reagan’s Administration cashiered twenty top EPA employees, when Assistant EPA Administrator, Rita Lavelle, was convicted of perjury after misusing toxic clean-up Superfund monies, and EPA Administrator Anne Burford resigned when found in contempt for refusing to turn over Superfund records. Continue reading

The Game of Chicken – over Kiev

Pro-Russian woman waves a Russian flag in support of armed men in military fatigues in Balaklava

Pro-Russian woman waves a Russian flag in support of armed men in military fatigues in Balaklava

This involves whether we allow “them” to kill our kids in wars abroad, this time possibly in the Ukraine and Crimea, while we forego benefits here at home like education, roads, retirement, you know, peacetime benefits.

The United States has been slamming Russia, calling Russian President Vladimir Putin “ruthless,” for protecting the Crimea with Russia’s Black Sea force, and, almost everyone in our government and the media, ignores what prompted this international showdown, namely, what the U.S. was itself doing in the Ukraine with the EU, that prompted President Putin to defend Russia’s interests.

When the Ukraine President, Viktor Yanukovych, balked at signing a trade agreement on political and free trade pacts with the EU, at our insistence, and wanted instead to sign with Russia for a $15 billion dollar bailout for his bankrupt nation, President Yanukovych stunned his prospective EU “partners,” and was ousted from his office in a New York minute and fled for his life to Russia.

He was replaced as quickly by a more pliable new leader, “acting” President, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, so that he could sign the EU agreement we wanted him to sign. Continue reading

Delgaudio attorney apparently switching sides

EugeneDelgaudioSadPandaLeesburg Today reports that Charlie King, the attorney representing Eugene Delgaudio in the citizens’ effort to have Delgaudio removed from office by the Circuit Court, has filed a subpoena seeking documents from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The rationale for the subpoena, according to Charlie King:

“Almost every article written about Supervisor Delgaudio mentions the designation of Public Advocate as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” King said in an email statement. “The Sterling petitioners (in a petition to remove Delgaudio from office) cited Public Advocate’s hate group status as one basis for removing him from office. In today’s America, calling somebody a member of a hate group is serious.”

Yes, it certainly is. And now I don’t know who, if anyone, is in charge of strategy over at Public Advocate/Office of the Sterling Supervisor.

Regarding SPLC’s 2012 addition of “Public Advocate of the U.S.” to its short list of anti-gay organizations extreme enough to be called “active hate groups,” Delgaudio only sings one note. Every transparently planted online comment, every press release, every public utterance directed at Loudoun County we’ve seen has repeated the same monotonous talking point: That the SPLC designation was made “because Public Advocate upholds traditional marriage.”

The repetition of this talking point has been so consistent that it could not possibly be accidental. The propagation of this lie has been the centerpiece of Delgaudio’s public relations management of the revelations about the co-mingling of his hate group’s fundraising activities with the privileges of his public office.

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It’s not perfect but it’s the best judicial system in the world? Really?

When we think of the Salem witch trials or Sacco and Vanzetti, our impulse is to discount that anything like that could ever happen now.

Yet it does.

We have all sorts of things going wrong in our judicial “system.”

We have too many cases because “stats” drive funding rather than policy driving order and peace.

The more sensational the case, the more winning the case trumps doing justice.

The more sensational the case, the more likely that the accused doesn’t have the resources to fight back.

We flood our courts with “drug” cases but not like the ones I handled as a federal prosecutor in New York against large heroin suppliers. Continue reading