Yearly Archives: 2012

Gun control or thought control?

Pastor Doug Giles, Townhall columnist, and all-around "good guy"

 

“No one is willing to believe that adults too, like children, wander about this earth in a daze and, like children, do not know where they come from or where they are going…and are as thoroughly governed as they are by biscuits and cake and the rod.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “The Sorrows of Young Werther”

If Goethe were alive today, he might replace “biscuits and cake and the rod” with “guns and ammo and mental illness.” Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, wants taxpayers to fund a “national database of these lunatics,” because “good guys” need biscuits assault weapons and cake thirty-round clips. In addition to blaming the government for letting “these lunatics” out of the nuthouse, the innocent little LaPierre blames the video game makers (who market the guns and ammo he so adores) for gun carnage. The NRA isn’t likely to change their name to the “National Rifle and Friends of Mental Health Association” any time soon. Here’s what LaPierre said about mental health in a Meet the Press interview:

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Christmas Eve thuggery

Candlelight vigil held August 10 at Raj Khalsa Gurdwara after the Oak Creek Wisconsin Sikh community was attacked by a gunman, killing six.

He was wearing camo pants and combat boots, a vest and camo cap with a big American flag patch. With narrowed eyes, he was watching the Leesburg Target exit, a well-worn Glock strapped to his hip. I always felt safe at that Leesburg shopping center, but not this time. It was the way he moved. Everyone else was flowing out through those exit doors. I thought he’d be right behind me, that he’d walk outside. He didn’t. He was casing the joint, looking for trouble.

Is this the future? Are we going to have vigilante thugs policing our public spaces, ever ready to “stand their ground?” I hope not. As I passed him, I wanted to say: “Hey dude, no offense, but you don’t make me feel very safe.” I stopped myself. It was the look on his face. Grim, he looked right past me: A white guy with a picture frame; not a threat. He was looking for something else. His expression reminded me of people I see in the SPLC Intelligence Report.

As people celebrate Christmas, remember that the birth of the baby Jesus lead to the “slaughter of the innocents.” We don’t need more centurions, we need more saviors. If I have one Christmas prayer, it’s that we, as a nation, understand the difference between the two.

I don’t say this naively, as a so-called “liberal” fantasy, but as a statement of faith. “People are basically good. Love conquers all.” I understand that we live in a real world. There is a real God out there, and he isn’t a one-sided God of miracles and bliss. He’s also a God of suffering and blood. But let’s leave the suffering to Him. We don’t have to unleash our fear on our brothers and sisters. We mustn’t condone thuggery.

Let the Light shine.

Merry Christmas!

A Teacher in Every Gun Store

Teacher, Victoria Soto, 27, misled the gunman in Newtown, Connecticut, told him her children were in the gym, when she had hidden them elsewhere; she died to save her students.

This simple phrase, “A Teacher in every gun store,” was posted on Facebook by a friend.

It was in counterpoint to the crazy idea that we should arm every teacher in every class room, with a PPK or assault rifle, and have a cop in every school – but not every classroom.

Nor should we overlook the “other” substitute initiative for gun reform, that this nation should take a closer look at those who are mentally ill. Unfortunately, we’re talking detection and discrimination, scapegoating really, not about acceptance or treatment.

Consider the fact that Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disorder, suffered by our latest horrific shooter, Adam Lanza, is not a disorder associated with violence.

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, undeterred by Lanza’s mental state, railed against the nation’s mental health: “The truth is, that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters. People that are so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons, that no sane person can ever possibly comprehend them.”

Is LaPierre suggesting a policy that every gun owner must undergo a mental examination at the time of a weapon’s purchase or transfer? Hardly!

LaPierre calculated he had to divert the nation from any discussion of true gun reform, with forehead slapping distractions. He also sought to instruct the Republican T-party members in Congress that this stratagem was how to defend gun reforms against those who rebel against the notion that the gunfight at the OK Corral should be the law enforcement model we emulate.

LaPierre railed at the media for its coverage (even as he manipulated the media to cover him), refusing to answer any questions.

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The “culture of life” that kills people

“It was worse than if the NRA had not spoken at all,” said Gene Grabowski, executive vice president of Levick Strategic Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based issues management firm that has worked with firearms manufacturers.

Meanwhile, during that curious week of self-imposed silence from the NRA, we’ve heard just about every offensive explanation and excuse imaginable for the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut: The gunman could have his way with the elementary school because it was a “feminized setting” without enough “male aggression” (this ignorant assertion made in the face of the heroic actions of the women who hid children and tried to tackle the gunman); this massacre and others like it are the price we must be willing to pay for the convenience to gun enthusiasts afforded by the “almost universally benevolent” Second Amendment; and of course, there was the predictable ranting from the usual suspects blaming an imaginary “war on Christmas,” imaginary “homosexual agenda,” imaginary “end of school prayer,” etc. But in the discussion of a naked propaganda post that managed to go on and on and on about a sustained, lethal assault upon schoolchildren with a military assault weapon without once using the word “gun,” one commenter takes the prize for disingenuous sanctimony by claiming the atrocity wouldn’t have happened if only, if only, we had a “universal respect for life.”

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Bill Fox’s bright idea

The Loudoun Times Mirror reports that conservative Leesburg School Board representative Bill Fox suggested a creative bit of growth in our local government – the procurement and maintenance of elementary school arsenals. For an initial outlay of $100K plus $50K annually we can outfit each elementary school with a gun safe, semi-automatic shotgun, and training in the “art” of lethal killing.

Prove to me why keeping a gun in each Loudoun County elementary school wouldn’t be a cheap and effective school shooting deterrent, asked School Board member Bill Fox (Leesburg), in the comment section of a TooConservative.com blog post titled “Since Nothing Else Works, Arm the Principals.”

If Mr. Fox’s suggestion is approved, there will need to be a mandatory assembly to inform students and parents of the new policy. Here is a draft of the LCPS presentation:

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Blog grab – the death of the once critical “Too Conservative”

It is a sad day for the Loudoun County blogosphere. The once critical blog “Too Conservative” has been seized by Loudoun’s radical right. Loudoun Insider, a much needed gadfly is taking a sabbatical. Sensing LI’s impending absence, an apologist for Eugene Delgaudio, a “team player,” has been hovering over TC like a vulture.

FOIA responses from Supervisor Delgaudio’s office reveal that his appreciation of “team players“ is not without rewards. Delgaudio insures that they receive contracts, free advertising, and other plugs that provide the necessary finance and resource to conduct his business which now includes the seizure of abandoned blog properties.

Too Conservative hit moral rock bottom by politicizing the Sandy Hook gun massacre, a massacre of innocent children and adults by an obviously mentally ill individual who murdered his own mother, stole her guns and murdered twenty children with an assault weapon, riddling their little bodies with multiple lethal gun shot wounds. Absent from the heartless Too Conservative post is the word “gun.” There is talk of ”evil acts” and wonderment “when God seems to look the other way,” but not a single word about guns.

Oddly, the author likes to talk about guns a lot which is not surprising in a county where the current and former LCRC Chairs are propagandists for the NRA. Too Conservative has turned to the dark side. You will see no more critical analysis of the LCRC. You’ll see no more exposure of local government corruption. You’ll find nothing of value. May it rest in peace.

 

Bravo Sister!

“They’re saying it’s only about doctrine. But for us, the dialogue is about reflecting on our lives out of Gospel. Theology in our view is about exploration and discovery. They think that’s wrong. It’s like cutting the heart out of who we are,”

Sister Simone Campbell on the Vatican’s view of “open dialogue,” reported in today’s Washington Post.  The Vatican believes that dialogue is “a conversation about how best to implement the pope’s vision.”  Really? Isn’t Sister Simone asking, “Who represents Catholic women?“ How can a conversation be called “dialogue” if one side says – “I’m the authority, shut up and implement what I say.

Michelle Boorstein’s article really gave me hope. This dialogue between the nuns and the pope is one the most significant political advances I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. Why is it political? When asked if the dialogue includes hot button issues like contraception, Sister Simone replied,

“Absolutely. Theologies have evolved over two millennia. When Jesus died and rose, it wasn’t all settled.”

Bravo Sister!

Mr. Trump, some restrictions apply

I have a t-shirt with a modified Virginia tourism slogan. It says:

Virginia is for lovers*

*some restrictions apply

The slogan refers to the 2006 anti-marriage amendment, an amendment that applies to my family, but doesn’t apply to Donald Trump. Trump’s traditional, one-man, one-woman* (*at a time) serial marriage is a-ok. As a matter of fact, as he gets older, saggier and richer, his current wife gets younger and more super-model-like-unattainable, and that’s just dandy.

Well, on more important matters, Supervisor Volpe is putting Trump in his place. He can get away with basically anything in his “married” life, but he can’t rename Lowes Island Boulevard. Supervisor Volpe explains in her latest email, emphasis mine.

I have personally met with representatives of Trump National Golf Club to discuss their desire to change Lowes Island Boulevard to Trump Boulevard. In June, I informed the Cascades HOA Board of Directors and the Community Manager about this inquiry and stated that I do not support the name change.

Good for you Supervisor Volpe. Trump can cut down all the trees he wants and use any chemical he wants on his expansive “gentleman’s lawn”, but leave the name of that damn street alone. We’ve got to draw the line somewhere, or the corporate moneybags like the Washington football team will think they can get away with anything.

Actually, they can, so long as “anything” is opposed by “land-use freaks“, an endearing term coined by Reform Commissioner Bob Gordon. But, hey, a line in the sand is better than no line. At least Loudoun has symbolic boundary between citizens and unadulterated corporatism. Thank you Supervisor Volpe. Now Loudoun has a slogan that would do the BoS and their fellow winners of the “contest of ideas” proud:

Loudoun is for privatization*

*some restrictions apply

Two recusals too few

James Rohrbaugh recused himself from discussing Loudoun government finance functions at the July 19, 2012 Reform Commission subcommittee meeting because his spouse works for the county. That’s a fair recusal. Rohrbaugh may not want to see his spouse’s position privatized. John Whitbeck, chair of the the Republican 10th Congressional District is responsible for the RC’s privatization report and has demonstrated that privatization is a matter of personal opinion, his. I’ll have more in a subsequent post. On Thursday, July 26, the Reform Commission will investigate the County finance function and Whitbeck will have the chance to question Bob Wertz, the Commissioner of the Revenue who happens to be Whitbeck’s 10th CD finance chair. Whitbeck should recuse himself from the meeting and Wertz should have refused the 10th CD position in the first place. That’s two recusals too few.

(Updated 2012-07-28: corrected the spelling of Rohrbaugh)

Let Tom talk

Tom Seeman and "S." Mann at the Feb 2011 "LEC" protest. Note: This image has been altered to obscure the back of "S." Mann's head at the request of "S." Mann." She has also requested that we only refer to her as "S." Mann, which we confess to finding hilarious.

I don’t know both sides of the story. I read a letter from LCRC activist Tom Seeman. He attended the July 12 LCDC meeting and reported that Evan MacBeth, chairman of the LCDC asked him to lead the “Pledge of Allegiance” and then booted him out of the meeting. Supposedly, MacBeth called an “executive session” and asked all “non-LCDC and non-Democrats” to leave. Tom was the only person to oblige.

Excuse me, but what’s a “non-Democrat?” Is there a genetic test, ideological test or litmus test? Is Tony Hall, the Democrat who co-authored an anti-gay call for “Christian” insurrection against teh ghay a Democrat? Is there a Democratic equivalent of a Rhino? If Evan did what Seeman says, I’d bet you a dollar that quite a few LCDC members did not approve of the action. Democrats have little political power against the all Republican BoS. Their most potent tool is exposure, and that requires transparency. If the Democrats are going to demand transparency, they’d better practice it, right?

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