Monthly Archives: April 2011

Delgaudio has 10,000 Reasons to Recuse Himself from OpenBand Vote

Have you heard the one about OpenBand, the wholly-owned subsidiary of MC Dean, Inc.? OpenBand is the cable/Internet provider for some local HOAs, among other things. OpenBand’s service doesn’t exactly engender a lot of positive feelings among many of its customers.

Well, OpenBand’s cable franchise agreement is up for renewal by the Board of Supervisors this year. Franchise renegotiations and renewals like these are on a regular, known schedule. Cable companies, like OpenBand, pay very close attention to these schedules. At times, you can actually see their responsiveness to their customers swell as the deadline for franchise consideration creeps closer.

It is worthwhile to also pay attention to a cable company’s political donations as franchise renewals come up for consideration. For example, here in Loudoun County people affiliated with OpenBand’s corporate parent, MC Dean and Companies, donated $4,500 to Eugene Delgaudio (and $1,000 to Lori Waters) during the 2007 election cycle, and another $5,500 to Delgaudio overall. MC Dean’s OpenBand franchise would be considered by the Board elected in 2007, after all. Continue reading

The new “normal”

Repeat after me: Our Rs are kinder and gentler than this R

I was initially heartened at the near-unanimous condemnation of the pathetic little Pamela Geller-inspired protest we saw last Thursday night outside the LCRC meeting (photos below the fold). As I noted in comments, there was only one LCRC member (or at least a frequent attendee of meetings and events) who affirmatively joined the protest, plus a few others who appeared friendly with the protesters, while most just walked by or chose a different entrance.

As the incident has developed though, I now have to ask: Is it the assault on religious freedom itself to which these seemingly anti-religious bigotry Republicans object, or is their objection only to what they perceive as a misdirected assault on religious freedom?

One LCRC leader, by way of explaining what was wrong with the protest, informed me that target David Ramadan “isn’t even a practicing Muslim.” This may or may not be true – but that’s hardly the point, is it? Continue reading

Forgot to mention…

This had been a post inviting everyone to come to a panel discussion Stevens was a part of earlier today…but because I was in a hurry, I failed to post it to the front page. Then, trying to fix it from my phone, I seem to have deleted the contents of the post.

Today, technology and I had a misunderstanding.

Tomorrow, I hope, will be better.

What’s wrong with…

“That’s retarded!” or any derivation of that word?

I work with and link to and get linked from disabilities activists (and I’m on the Loudoun County Community Services Board (and the VACSB)) and using “retard” or any derivation of that word is like using “nigger”. By using that word to describe a person or action, you’re not insulting that person or action. Instead, you’re saying that likening that person or action to people with intellectual disabilities is inherently insulting. Which means you’re insulting an entire community of people who are blameless.

I have been assured that people with intellectual disabilities do, indeed, feel insulted when that word is used. And they would like for all of us to please just stop using it at all and particularly to stop using it as a way to insult people or actions that are spectacularly foolish or inept.

I am assured by people with physical disabilities that “lame” is similarly hurtful.

Since I tend to NOT want to hurt innocent bystanders when I make criticisms of behaviors I find ludicrous or inane, I have modified my vocabulary accordingly.

Alternatives to “retarded” and/or “lame”: Foolish, inept, uncool, clumsy, inane, obtuse, dull, disappointing, unthinking, misguided, disasterously unsuccessful.

Please add your own alternatives to these words in comments.

Comments that ask what ever happened to freedom of speech* will be deleted from the comments thread, but I will keep a tally of them and will post a total later.

Comments that use offensive words just to use offensive words and not to offer up non-offensive alternatives will be deleted.

*Freedom of Speech is your ability to create your own blog and say what you like there.

An assault on religious freedom and decency

If true, this is very sad news for our Republican friends, and even more so for Loudoun County. Several local Republican activists report receiving an email calling for some sort of anti-Muslim demonstration – tonight, at the Government Center in Leesburg – in protest of a campaign event for David Ramadan. Ramadan is a well-known Republican running for the proposed 87th House district. The rhetoric suggests something similar to the protest captured in this video:

Ramadan is being described as a “solid conservative” by an otherwise rather diverse assortment of Loudoun conservative activists. One could only imagine how beyond the pale those behind this “ANTI-SHARIAH TASK FORCE” must be – except that the names Dick Black and his apparent tea party acolyte Joann Chase (also vying for the 87th seat) are mentioned in the email. Continue reading

How to be an online tea party activist

That was easy.

This is the way I just saw a young activist instruct other tea party activists on how to “give our ideas a fighting chance” in the marketplace of ideas:

Go to any website that allows ratings of books, movies, etc., search for “liberal” products and give them all one star, then search for “conservative” products and give them all five stars. You can do this relatively quickly for “hundreds” of products. Isn’t that easy? It doesn’t require the ability to make a cogent argument that convinces other people, to listen to and understand other peoples’ stories, or all the time-consuming reading and thinking that would take. “The vast majority of the books I rate, I’ve never read,” the young man assures his audience.

This was filmed at an actual workshop at some tea party event at which new activists were being trained. I didn’t catch where or when this was, but it appeared to be in a large meeting room in some sort of conference facility. I give that detail because it shows this idea to be mainstream within the tea party universe, not just something some crank said to 12 people in his basement.

The irony is that tea party patriots are fond of quoting Mr. Jefferson’s famous assertion that the cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate; “whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”

Just Sayin’

Instead of blogging or commenting this evening, I went to an OFA phone banking event and recruited people to help us out this year and next.

I like blogging and online conversations, I really do. But I like organizing more. And I kinda think it’s the organizing that will win the day in November, which is the point.

Speaking of sexism

Ok, the title may be slightly misleading, because what we’re speaking of is really just an extreme form of self-centered blindness. Which is what sexism is a form of, I suppose.

This gem arrived from the outbox of Chuck Colson (search the name both here and at Equality Loudoun for the full Monty):

A group of mostly female students is suing Yale University for allowing a “sexually hostile environment” to exist on campus.

The women, of course, have a point. After all, when frat boys are allowed to parade around the old campus chanting “No Means Yes,” or to hold up signs that read “We Love Yale Sluts,” I guess you could say that’s a sexually hostile environment.

But may I ask a question? What did you expect?

Continue reading