[<i>Promoted by Liz</i>]
If you happen to see David LaRock, Director/President/Treasurer of The 1789 Project, in the restroom, stay away.
LaRock wrote a letter to the editor of the Leesburg today where he ponders.
But once you erase commonly-accepted boundaries that define normal behavior, we may face bizarre circumstances such as our children encountering cross-dressing county employees in public restrooms.
Really, David? Is that what you think about all day? When I’m in the restroom, I just want to do my business and get out. The last thing I want is to be in there with some pervert who’s obsessed with thinking about my body parts.
So folks, if you see David LaRock in the potty, hold it a little longer. Wait for him to get out. You really don’t want to be in there with him.
By the way, the 1789 project yanked the photos of their staff, making it very difficult to find the above photo. I guess they don’t want us to know what they look like so that we can protect ourselves.
[Promoted by Epluribusunum. I was remiss in not finding and promoting this when it was first published. When asked to recommend someone who could speak with authority about poverty in Loudoun, I immediately thought of Ann. She will be leading a discussion about poverty in the US and in Loudoun tomorrow at St. James UCC in Lovettsville.]
Much has been made in the news recently about (supposedly) 50% of Americans who “don’t pay income taxes,” and whether or not they contribute to our national welfare. An analysis that takes into account all taxes paid—shows that everyone has “tax skin in the game.” About two-thirds pay payroll taxes, and most pay state and local sales taxes as well as excise taxes on gas.
According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, of those that file 1040s showing a zero tax due on April 15:
13 percent are a mix of mostly higher-income individuals with enough itemized deductions for items like mortgage interest, health payments, or charitable contributions, education tax credits, or tax exempt interest to zero out their income taxes.
22 percent are senior citizens who can exclude some or all of their Social Security income (which was taxed previously at the outset) and may have tax-exempt interest from mutual funds and municipal bonds. For those who itemize, charitable contributions and medical expense deductions also subtract from their tax liability.
15 percent are working families, many of them extremely low-income, who qualify for one or all of the Earned Income tax credit, the Child tax credit, the Child and Dependent Care tax credit.
For half of those that don’t pay federal income taxes, standard deductions and personal exemptions are enough to counteract their taxable earnings. A couple with two children earning less than $26,400, for example, will pay no federal income tax in 2011 because their $11,600 standard deduction and four exemptions of $3,700 cuts their taxable income to nil.
Keith Deltano, a self described “Christian comedian” is back. On October 3, 2011, he’ll appear at Smarts Mill Middle School in Leesburg for anti-bullying assemblies and a parent meeting. According to his secular anti-bullying web site, “no workshop is complete without teaching parents how to protect their children form online porn and gambling as well as bullying.” Why he discusses porn and gambling in an anti-bullying program is a puzzle. He may not have any real bullying expertise, like this, or he may believe that these things; bullying, gambling and porn are somehow related. I hope somebody asks.
Deltano first visited in 2007 and caused a controversy when he humiliated students and provided inaccurate information and horrible parenting advice. He told parents not to trust their kids. He said that kids will lie to parents, so parents have to spy on them. If I recall, he said “you know that cute Nemo toy? Your kid will hide an SDRAM full of porn in there“. He also instructed parents to humiliate their kids. “If your daughter is listening to raunchy music, make her repeat all the words back to you.” Authoritarian instruction is a Deltano theme. His methods don’t help parents open communication channels. They close them down.
On his Christian Comedian web site, Deltano explains a bit more about himself (emphasis mine).
“Christian comedy is rarely used for its entertainment value alone. Event organizers have used Christian comedy as a tool for outreach, fundraisers, gospel presentations, youth events and to deal with specific issues that are important to the body of Christ. A short list of these issues would include sexual abstinence, overcoming drug and alcohol abuse, strengthening marriage, singles issues, and scriptural inerrancy and apologetics. The list is as long as the topics that challenge us all….
Or, one could look at the fruit of Christian Comedy to determine if it is a valid and God honoring evangelistic tool. I have witnessed, as have many others, thousands come forward at the end of a comedic presentation. (The presenting comedian is more serious during the conclusion of a gospel presentation.) Am I a comedian or a funny Christian youth speaker? Can I be both? Many Christian comedians have used their abilities to raise funds for Crises Pregnancy Centers throughout the country.”
This time around, Deltano will address bullying. He’s well aquainted with the topic. In his abstinence gig, he shames and humiliates students. At one point he holds a cinder block over a prone male student’s crotch. The Smarts Mill PTA and administration seem to think he’s a good investment. Maybe we should trust them give him a second chance. His bullying routine has some good content. In Mean Girls, he describes bullying by exclusion.
“how do you decide who’s in and who’s out…that’s bullying…my value comes from who I am…I’m a Wal-Mart shopper and i’m proud…You cannot judge people by clothing and appearance you should never pick on people for their clothing and appearance”
He’s on to something. Exclusion – making a person an outcast – is a form of bullying. If I had one question for Keith Deltano, it would be:
“If a student is told that she doesn’t or shouldn’t exists, is that bullying?”
Ask yourself that question as you watch Deltano’s Pregnant In The USA: Sex Sells video. The featured photo shows Deltano imitating a girl’s unintended pregnancy. “Sex sells” he says but the “result of sex“; pregnancy and disease, doesn’t. His message is that a pregnant girl isn’t sexy. She’s rather ugly. Nobody wants her. She has nothing to be proud of. She’s not like a “Wal-Mart shopper”. She’s an outcast. She’s in a shameful state. She shouldn’t exist, at least not in his secular context.
If he switched to his “Christian” context, she would no longer exist as an independent person. She’d be a ward of the state, a vessel for the “most vulnerable member of society“. But this is his secular show, so she’s just fat, ugly and shameful.
What message is Deltano sending to a real-world pregnant girl? She’s a person who shouldn’t exist. She’s going to get fat and ugly.
What option does she have to avoid the shame? What’s the path of least resistance?
Lies and Distortions from the Right
A flyer from the Matt Letourneau campaign has started showing up in Dulles District mailboxes, and–just like the rhetoric we’ve heard from his fellow Republicans on the national stage–it’s rife with distortions, exaggerations, and flat-out untruths about his qualifications. Let’s look at his claims.
- “Matt . . . is the only candidate for Dulles Supervisor with both private and public sector policy experience.” Matt, take another look at your opponent’s resume. After his years designing and implementing policies in the State Department, Larry Roeder was a director of an international private-sector corporation chartered in Washington, DC doing charitable work. He has also worked as an independent consultant on economic development and emergency management policies.
- “[Matt] played a role in the passage of several key pieces of legislation.” What kind of legislation did Matt help pass, and who benefited from it–U.S. taxpayers, or special interests? Larry Roeder has negotiated major economic agreements
and designed strategies that expanded exports of U.S. goods abroad. Loudoun needs that kind of strategic thinking to boost domestic growth for all its citizens.
- “[Matt has] experience working at the highest level of government….” Did he ever advise the President? Larry did–specifically, Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton, as well as Vice President Gore. Larry has also worked with prime ministers, ambassadors, and other top-echelon global leaders from the United Nations and the Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as the Red Cross.
- “…and for the world’s largest business organization.” Matt actually works for one of the biggest lobbyists in the world–the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a huge trade association aimed at putting business interests ahead of everyone else. By contrast, when Larry talks about broadening our tax base in Loudoun to boost economic development, he is committed to using a lifetime of economic policy experience to preserve Loudoun’s culture and the interests of all stakeholders—not just big business.
- Transportation: Yes, we need to connect roads, but simply widening roads as Matt recommends is not the real answer. Traffic is like water. If the pipe is widened, water just fills the pipe with more flow. What Loudoun needs is to get cars off the road. Larry has offered a plan to do that.
- Education: Matt doesn’t offer a plan, just an attack on “misplaced priorities.” What are his priorities and how will they be paid? Larry’s priorities are clearly explained in his education flyer.
- “[Matt] became involved with county issues….” Matt cites only two experiences with community service: as part-time president of his HOA and as Dulles District Chair for his party. By contrast, in addition to being Dulles District Chair for Loudoun Democrats, Larry is vice chair of the Loudoun County Criminal Justice Board, as well as a volunteer with the Red Cross and the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps–programs that benefit the entire county, not just one party or one HOA.
- Cultural Diversity: Larry served in the military in Africa and has lived and worked abroad in nearly every region of the world, giving him the broad experience necessary to help Loudoun’s multi-ethnic communities and our returning veterans. Matt has none of that.
- “Matt’s Dulles Direct Initiative will bring government closer . . . through open quarterly meetings….”: Quarterly
meetings? Citizens and business owners tell Larry they want a Supervisor who will talk to them every day, not three or four times a year. With a full-time job 90 minutes from Loudoun–a job he admits requires a lot of travel–when will Matt ever be available to help citizens? When it comes to a choice between a Loudoun crisis and a Chamber crisis, whose needs have to take priority? Larry will have only one job and one priority: serving Loudoun. He will be a true full-time
A Personal Message from Larry:
“My lifetime of authentic, policy-level experiences in economic development and emergency management have been in both the public and private sectors. They taught me that elections should be fair, with truthful comparisons. Too many times we have been subjected to distortions by Republicans like John Boehner, Michelle Bachmann, and Eric Cantor. You deserve better. In these crucial times, when every vote is about jobs, schools, safety, and infrastructure, I want to assure our voters that when I am elected, I will have only one job: serving you, Democrat, Republican and Independent. I have the background and zeal to help Loudoun. Help me help you, and please vote on November 8.
“Many thanks for your attention.”
[Promoted by Epluribusunum, because this story has become even more disturbing. Apparently, this so-called “pro-family” initiative is diverting funds from programs serving the victims of domestic violence. According to a more recent Pilot article, some victim advocates were told by state officials “that shelters weren’t ‘a good fit’.” In other words, the ideology driving McDonnell says that marriage counseling is more important than saving lives.]
The Virginia Pilot reports on Virginia’s latest social engineering initiative; “Governor’s plan aims to solidify families, cut poverty“, but let’s call it what it is, a rather large allocation of taxpayer dollars to infuse right-wing think tanks and faith-based organizations with cash to help them build their revolutionary base. Revolutionary is not my term. I attended the DoingTheRightThingEvent on Saturday September, 24 and Chuck Colson explained that “we are living in revolutionary times“. He also said that government can’t solve the problems of culture. “Family” and “church” have to do that.
I was a bit surprised to see a Republican campaign booth at the Leesburg farmers market this past Saturday. I’ve always found the farmers market a bit too “dirty hippie”, his phrase, for the likes of Dick Black. I love the wool booth where a woman spins bare-footed as she dons a bluetooth headset. There’s too much reality, too many contradictions, too much uncertainty for the Black Campaign, you know what I mean?
Anyways, I was really happy because I wanted a handful of Dick Black bumper stickers. A very nice woman in a snappy yellow coat and hat gave me the stickers. She said that “Dick Black is a good man” as she handed me the stickers. She also told me that Patricia Phillips was “her Senator.”
I asked her what was so good about Dick Black? She replied:
“He’s for no taxes, er, no new taxes”
He’s going to get transportation moving, on Route 7 and …
How’s he going to do that?
He’s going to get more money from Richmond
From Richmond? Where do they get the money?
[sigh, pause, mousey voice] From taxes
Awww. She was soooo cute. An older woman with too much make-up, but she was such a doll, a very nice woman. You should have heard her voice, soooo disappointed, because, she knows it’s a zero-sum game. “Highway money” is not a “fluffy noun“, no. Highways are are serious corporate/state business. And it’s important to have a representative to ensure the Government dolls out those tax dollars using the correct formulation: “from each according to his tax bill, to each according to the power of his State Senator to marshall corporate/church power”. And when that representative derives his political power from mob fear, and pushes a programme containing all of the fourteen characteristics, there’s a word for that.
Last night at South Dulles Alliance and today at the candidate’s forum for the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, I engaged my Republican opponent and was ahead in both instances.
Matt’s one argument is that because he works at the US Chamber of Commerce, he knows how business works. But just being a functionary/spokesman who breathes the same air as real economists doesn’t mean you are an economist or that you have learned how to do real economic development. He didn’t rebut my argument, or that I actually did work as an international commodities economist for many years in the US Department of State and had crafted national stategies. In fact, he admitted my career is distinguished! Score TWO for the Roeder team.
I do like Matt on a personal level; but the truth is that he is to an economist what a news reader is to a journalist. I’ve actually been asked to write a text book on economic development. And let’s not forget he will be an “absent Supervisor,” meaning working full-time in Washington, DC (not in Loudoun) for a conservative firm that doesn’t have our interests at heart.
But the clown of the morning was Eugene Delgaudio whose bluster, anti-Metro and anti-union rhetoric knew no rational bounds. Noone, not even the Republicans, could keep a straight face, listening to Eugene. But though they were all smiling, we know they agree with Eugene on most of issues, and that’s just dangerous for Loudoun. Valdis, Malcolm, Kelly, Tom, Andrea and Denise did very well, and boy do we need them. Recommendation. Make a contribution of $100 tonight to a Supervisor Candidate. www.loudoun4roeder.org
[promoted by Liz]
In “Single-Issue Voter”, Roberto Rivera describes growing up in a Democratic Catholic blue-collar household. He’s progressive on all the issues but, he’s “strongly pro-life” and finds himself politically aligned with people who “if, by some (please God!) miracle, abortion disappeared tomorrow, many of them would probably vote in much the same way they do now”.
Rivera wouldn’t. He’d return to being a progressive, if “abortion disappeared”.
Roberto doesn’t know how abortion disappears. Remarkably, his article makes no mention of “woman” or “pregnancy”. Abortion is something that “happens” to a disembodied fetus.
The illustration was produced with your tax dollars. Isn’t he cute? His name is Adam. God created Adam from dust without the help of a woman. The Adam above looks like he’s going to wake up and practice Mozart piano sonatas before he goes back to being a fetus.
That’s the image that Rivera wants you to maintain as he alludes to – if not women – to original sin.
A society that enshrines (the word fits particularly well in this context) the right to use private lethal violence against its weakest and most vulnerable members isn’t only unjust in this regard, it’s likely to be unjust pretty much across the board. The right to an abortion is based on a jurisprudence and an underlying worldview that denies the existence of a common good and holds personal autonomy and self-fulfillment as the highest goods.
Mark Earley wrote a similar piece, “No Life, No Justice” for Prison Fellowship Ministries that referenced Rivera’s article. Earley does mention women, and Planned Parenthood, of course.
Since the passage of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, more than 48 million unborn children have perished—and only 7 percent of the women who had those abortions cited medical concerns, rape, or incest as their reasons. And those who promote abortions—they are flexing their muscle as never before. In Fiscal Year 2006-2007, Planned Parenthood…
According to Earley and Rivera, 93% of the time, women are choosing “personal autonomy and self-fulfillment” over their duty to dear Adam.
The fetus is fertile ground for conspiracy. Rand Paul ratchet’s up the rhetoric in a very Delgaudioesque fundraising letter (emphasis mine).
Dear Concerned American,
It’s a horrifying modern day genocide happening in our own backyards.
Last year alone, Planned Parenthood was responsible for ending the lives of over 320,000 innocent babies….
I believe there is something deeply wrong with an organization that kills babies, and even more so when they are funded through the taxpayer dollars….
Planned Parenthood’s progaganda calls the pro-life movement a war on women.
And believe me, they have their supporters riled up like never before.
Daily emails from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Emily’s List are being sent smearing pro-life Americans like you and me as villains.
Maybe the fetus should should be sitting on a slippery slope. Too bad there is no slope. Roberto is no liberal. If he was operating in the reality-based world he’d put down his moral smugness and ask, “what’s the root cause of abortion, unwanted pregnancy, maybe”? Wouldn’t Rivera sound more rational if he said “if, by some (please God!) miracle, unwanted pregnancy disappeared tomorrow“? But then he wouldn’t have a straw enemy. He wouldn’t be able to blame women for using “private violence“. He would have to take responsibility as a man. He’d be forced to ask if that 7% (3.5 million) pregnancies terminated for reasons of medical concern, rape or incest “disappeared”, if that would require some degree of violence against societies weak and vulnerable. He’d have to acknowledge that women actually embody those fetuses and that he’s advocating a Handmaid’s Tale world.
Suzanne Moore wrote personal piece in the Guardian, “It’s the same old game. Get your rosaries off my ovaries, as we used to say“. When she was 11, Moore and her mum were booted from a tupperware party. When talk turned to ‘getting “rid” of things’, Moore’s mum blurted
Christ, you really don’t know what you are talking about. If it wasn’t for abortion I’d have a football team by now.”
Moore’s was writing about British “independent counseling” legislation. It failed. The British controversy is like the new clinic rules that are pushing Virginia to the forefront of the abortion debate reported in the Loudoun Times Mirror. Both regulations intend to make it harder to obtain abortion services. Moore’s analysis is relevant to Virginia.
We are repeatedly told this is an “emotive” issue. The new vocabulary of the anti-abortion lobby is full of vaguely feminist platitudes – not feminist enough to counsel the men who walk away from pregnancies but still. Underneath, we are fallen women, damaged goods and so terribly stupid that we can be persuaded to have a quick abortion by wicked charities. When we could be what? Wombs to provide babies for “proper couples” or go it alone as the root of all evil: single mothers?
This is nauseating. A vote of conscience? If MPs had one they would say it is not the business of the legislature to control women’s reproduction. They would stop telling us what is “emotive” and ask what actually is. I didn’t want counselling in order to have an abortion. I certainly did after a miscarriage – again an awfully common experience – but none was offered. No, instead let’s bring on an army of “independent” zealots who can tell us that abortion leads to cancer, mental health issues and infertility, and sod the evidence that having a baby is more risky than having an abortion. Anyone who talks about how easy it is and how the reality is glossed over is ignorant. You have a scan. You know and see what you are doing. It’s not a walk in the park but it is a huge relief. The emotive part is the enforced waiting.
Now the tactics are to further that wait. This is nothing short of cruelty dressed up in the language of concern.
Chris Freund of the Virginia Family Foundation explains the rationale for the regulations. “The threat that a health department inspector could visit the clinics at any time also will ensure that clinics operate safely”. When discussing medical procedures, it’s no longer polite to refer to “private lethal violence”. “Safety” is a much better talking point.
Moore knows where Freund is coming from.
All fundamentalisms seek to control female sexuality. It’s the same old game. Get your rosaries off my ovaries, as we used to say. You trust me with a child but not with a choice? If MPs want to help women then they can make access to abortion and contraception more efficient. Who has the authority over my body – some geezer in the House of Commons? Or me and my doctor? Like my mother, I feel no shame and I refute this language of “care”. You want a definition of a nanny state? How about one that thinks it’s OK to poke around in your uterus?
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