Yearly Archives: 2011

How to ruin a ‘positive statement of belief’

You know, I pretty much agree with a sentiment expressed by the many people who wish the perennial courthouse unpleasantness would just go away. That sentiment is commonly expressed something like this: I uphold the right of anyone to express any belief, no matter how offensive, because that’s what the Constitution guarantees – but it would be more effective and neighborly if the way people chose to express their beliefs was limited to inoffensive ‘positive statements’.

Consider the campaign, spearheaded every year by the American Family Association*, to get store clerks and others dealing with the public to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” I personally don’t care what people say to me; if someone says “Happy Holidays” I don’t have any trouble understanding what they mean, and if they say “Merry Christmas” I don’t jump to the conclusion that they’ve intentionally dissed some other holiday. However, this detail is important to the supporters of this group, and they have every right to advocate via legal means for the changes they want. Their campaign involves (in part) distributing buttons and stickers that say “It’s okay to say Merry Christmas.” So far, so good; that sounds like a positive message expressing their belief.

Continue reading

Federal court overturns Prop 8

This (originally posted 08-4-10) is the funniest damn juxtaposition I have seen in a long time.

From closing arguments by Ted Olson, for equality:

The Supreme Court has said that marriage is the most important relation in life. Now that’s being withheld from the plaintiffs. Marriage, the Supreme Court has said again and again, is a component of liberty, privacy, spirituality and autonomy.

From closing arguments by Charles Cooper, against equality:

Marriage is to channel the sexual behavior between men and women into a procreative union.

A simple idea

Yesterday in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a brilliant, deeply compassionate speech in recognition of International Human Rights Day.

She begins by describing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted following the atrocities of World War II.

“It proclaims a simple, powerful idea: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And with the declaration, it was made clear that rights are not conferred by government; they are the birthright of all people.”

All people. Those are such straightforward, easily understood words that it seems silly to discuss the fact that some people don’t understand them. “Because we are human, we therefore have rights.” There are still some among us who actually advance the argument that some people are not really people, and that insisting that they are amounts to conferring upon them “special rights.” There are some who would – seriously – claim that this declaration of our universal humanity is merely a matter of “opinion.”

Continue reading

Ken Reid justifies mob rule

Update: After consultation with the author, I’ve changed the headline to more accurately reflect what happened here. Is the meaning different in this context? No. By telling the public that it was the lawful display, and not the unlawful vandalism of it, that “crossed the line,” Ken Reid gave his tacit endorsement to anyone who is offended by a future display to take the law into their own hands. Knowing that other displays would be going up in the near future, and knowing that angry citizens have already made their feelings about those displays known, his statement ‘calls for’ mob rule in all but the most narrow, legalistic sense. However, the term justified makes the same point without being needlessly hyperbolic. -Epl

If Supervisor elect Ken Reid’s comments to Darcy Spencer of NBC 4 portend anything, it’s that the rule of law is dead:


View more videos at:

Continue reading

Once More, With Feeling

Just a reminder that all those people who came out screaming and crying that their First Amendment rights would be trampled if the Courthouse Lawn were not available for them to display their creches and menorahs now need to suck it up when others use their First Amendment rights to put up other displays on the same lawn.

The First Amendment requires that the government can not play favorites. If the Courthouse lawn is open to any, it must be open to all.

All. Or Nothing at All.

Deal with it.

The Sterling Report (for the rest of us)

I received my taxpayer funded campaign newsletter from Eugene Delgaudio.  

The newsletter should have been titled the “Sterling District Newsletter” not “The Delgaudio Report.”  Our tax dollars are for educating the community and not for generating political name recognition.  Delgaudio should not misappropriate tax dollars for the benefit of his re-election campaign.

Continue reading

Eugene Delgaudio’s pants are on fire, again

[Promoted by Epluribusunum. Although surely our readers do not need that much help.]

WMAL reports on this year’s Courthouse Christmas controversy.  Here is the quote from Supervisor Delgaudio and the facts as reported by WMAL.  Can you spot the lie?  If not, I’ve bolded it.

“This is the same location that for three years running, crowds of people have shown up to protest the elimination or the barring, outright barring, of a nativity scene.  Why are we revisiting this again?” Delgaudio said.

This year’s accepted applications, in order, include:

– The Welsh family nativity scene


Pizza is a vegetable, really?

[promoted by Liz]

The house and Senate approved legislation that redefines pizza as a vegetable, and the President signed it.  You can see our Congressman’s vote on HR2112 here.  As you ponder this, please remember a few things.

  1. We’re talking about that cardboard crust pizza that is served in school lunches
  2. The rationale for the classification is that a slice of pizza contains three ounces of tomato paste
  3. A tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable
  4. Frank Wolf is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the committee responsible for the original bill content

If you are as astounded as me, you should see what Kermit had to say on SNL, “what next are twizzlers and a a grape soda a ‘fruit salad'”?  if you have time, please send a note to Congressman Wolf thanking him for favoring agribusiness over the health and well being of school children.

A public service announcement for “hack”

Commenting on a year-old post about something that has nothing to do with your cause du jour is not a good way to ask us to write about something.

It IS a very good method to make the moderators (or, at least, THIS moderator) grumpy.

I realize we don’t make it easy for you to contact us with ideas for posts. My contact information is, at least, available at Alternatively, you could create an account here and write your own post. I might even promote it!

Keep in mind, though, that now that you’ve annoyed me, I’m much more sympathetic to the Raspberry Falls folks point of view, so it would have to be a thoughtful, well-written post, full of insights, and containing no typos.

Are you up for the challenge?