Beer, bloggers, and beans in Richmond
We're getting together
Baja Bean info:
More info from the fabulous organizer here and here.1520 West Main Street
Corner of W. Main and Lombardy
"West of Shockoe" is the online home of Phriendly Jaime, Thaddæus Toad, and AhhYes; three young professionals living and working in Virginia.
More info from the fabulous organizer here and here.1520 West Main Street
Corner of W. Main and Lombardy
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich acknowledged he was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he acknowledged in an interview with a conservative Christian group.I wonder what he thinks about Libby's perjury...
"The honest answer is yes," Gingrich, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to be aired Friday, according to a transcript provided to The Associated Press. "There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards."
Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton's infidelity.
"The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge," the former Georgia congressman said of Clinton's 1998 House impeachment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. "I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials."
Gingrich, who frequently campaigned on family values issues, divorced his second wife, Marianne, in 2000 after his attorneys acknowledged Gingrich's relationship with his current wife, Callista Bisek, a former congressional aide more than 20 years younger than he is.Um...wait, this IS the same guy that trashes everyone else's lack of moral superiority, correct? Just checking.
His first marriage, to his former high school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, ended in divorce in 1981. Although Gingrich has said he doesn't remember it, Battley has said Gingrich discussed divorce terms with her while she was recuperating in the hospital from cancer surgery.
Gingrich married Marianne months after the divorce.
Dutch Run on Al GoreI fully expect to see more cities and countries proposing the same plan. Facts that detail one of the greatest dangers to the entire world should be available to all, free of charge.
MAASTRICHT, The Netherlands, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In a phenomenon never seen before in the world, cinema's throughout the Netherlands, are letting the public view the film "An Inconvenient Truth" for free.
Showing the film for free in cinemas, is the first initiative of a young new foundation called the Planet Prosperity Foundation.
Six weeks ago the foundation made itself known and publicly set itself a goal to show the film for free in 20 cities in the Netherlands. Not only for one day, but for four weeks in a row, starting March 8th.
Indeed yesterday the project started in 17 major cities, including cities like Rotterdam and The Hague. It immediately led to a run on the 50,000 free tickets that are available in the coming weeks.
The last few weeks the foundation already gained the public support of respected politicians and businesses while the media in the Netherlands gave it constant attention.
By showing the film for free the Planet Prosperity Foundation hopes to create more awareness among the general public about what is causing global warming and what the consequences of this process will be for people, nature and business alike in the near future if action is delayed.
Since the film is perceived by the public as an easy and understandable way to get informed on the subject of global warming, the foundation hopes that it's initiative will be followed in other countries.
By creating more awareness, the Planet Prosperity Foundation wishes to achieve that people will see that the inconvenient truth of global warming may prove to be a convenient opportunity to transform and successfully innovate our society.
When conservative commentator Ann Coulter called former Vice President Al Gore a "total fag" on national television nearly a year ago, it barely caused a stir.There are some excellent points made in that article. It'll be very interesting to see what happens, because this scandal isn't over by a longshot.
Coulter's recent labeling of presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot," however, has triggered a huge response, including a campaign initiated today by a gay rights group and media watchdog to persuade mainstream media outlets to dump her for good.
At least four newspapers have dropped Coulter's syndicated column, and 40,000 people signed an online petition to Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes her column, demanding that it release her. Three corporations, including Verizon, stopped advertising on Coulter's Web site after she made the comment.
This follows recent controversies over the use of the new "f-word" -- as some call it -- by actor Isaiah Washington and an antigay rant by NBA player Tim Hardaway. Washington apologized and announced he would go to "rehab," and Hardaway lost endorsements and was penalized by the league.
Coulter wondered on the "Hannity & Colmes" show on the Fox News Channel on Monday about the difference between the reactions this year and last.
Dan Savage, editor of the Stranger, a Seattle alternative news weekly, and author of several books on his life as a gay man, said the reaction to Coulter could indicate a change in how people view gays.
"I always thought we would be reaching a tipping point with anti-gay hate where it will no longer be acceptable, and maybe we are reaching that tipping point now," said Savage.
Neil Giuliano, the president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the rights group starting a campaign to get Coulter's voice out of mainstream media, said public opinion about anti-gay slurs is changing because gay and lesbian people are more visible than ever.
"As this happens, those in the overall culture who don't like that are going to raise their voices and become even louder, and that's why I think a lot of this is going on," Giuliano said.
Ronald Butters, a Duke University professor who studies the changing meaning of taboo words in American English, said he doesn't think "faggot" has become more or less offensive.
"Words mean what the public takes them to mean," he said. "The very reason that there is a furor is a pretty good indication of how insulting that term was."
Leaders in the gay community said the Coulter fallout could become the prototype for how the public will respond to the use of the term "faggot."
"People are actually realizing this word hurts and defames an entire group of people, and having people other than ourselves standing with us is very significant," said Giuliano, whose organization is known as GLAAD.
GLAAD is issuing a "call to action" today to its 40,000 constituents, asking them to contact the heads of cable news organizations and NBC and "call on them publicly to state that they will no longer feature Ann Coulter as an on-air commentator."
The Human Rights Campaign, another gay and lesbian civil rights organization, started a campaign earlier this week to pressure the Universal Press Syndicate and newspapers that publish Coulter's words to drop her. So far, people have sent about 40,000 e-mails through the organization's Web site.
"It just seems to me the conventional wisdom around Ann Coulter till now has been that the most important thing for anyone to do is ignore her, but I think we have a more serious problem here that we are addressing," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "This word ought to be seen as offensive and dangerous as any hate-based word."
Conservative gay scholar Andrew Sullivan, who heard Coulter's comments live, said she uttered it with "malice aforethought." But equating it to other slurs is a difficult comparison, Sullivan said.
"Nothing has the power of the n-word," he said.
Coulter made the offending utterance last Friday at a major gathering of conservatives, where she shared the stage with several Republican candidates for president.
During her speech, a series of jokes about Democrats, Coulter said, "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot.' So ... I can't really talk about Edwards."
Coulter has defended her use of the term as a "schoolyard taunt."
"The word I used has nothing to do with sexual preference ... and unless you're going to announce here on national TV that John Edwards, married father of many children, is gay, it clearly had nothing to do with that," Coulter said in an interview this week on "Hannity & Colmes."
The explanation has not satisfied her critics, including three Republican presidential candidates, Rudolph Giuliani of New York, John McCain of Arizona and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Edwards and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean also criticized Coulter.
And the Shreveport (La.) Times on Thursday became at least the fourth newspaper to drop her column out of 35 publications that carried it.
"Today, we move past the rhetoric and unproductive dialogue offered by Ann Coulter," the newspaper's executive editor, Alan English, wrote in an announcement on the newspaper's Web site.
Butters, the Duke professor, called Coulter's explanation of her use of the word "simply ridiculous and untrue."
"It is always intended, I think, as a derogatory term of one of the most pernicious sorts," he said.
Thom Lynch, who leads San Francisco's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center, said he does not hear the word used often among gay men.
"It's not a word people have reclaimed in any sense. If straight people use it in the same way Ann Coulter did, people will get really angry about it," he said.
Still, some gay people are skeptical of the condemnation of Coulter.
"I don't have a problem with people using the word 'faggot.' I use the word 'faggot' all the time," said Seattle's Savage. He started a public humiliation campaign against former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a Republican, after Santorum made derogatory statements about gay men. But he does not think there should be a campaign to silence Coulter.
"When we start acting like the thought police, it plays into the right-wing paranoia that we are going to force them all to say only nice things about us in public," Savage said. "I think we would gain ground faster in the gay and lesbian civil rights movement if we drop the Sally Field act of, 'You like me! You really like me!' "
Honestly, the people defaming our veterans should be ashamed at their disgusting nature and support of the spreading of misinformation, or non-information if you will. To lump all against the war into a description of the worst of the worst is unfair, demoralizing, and hateful. Sorry, but like it or not, Vietnam vets are part of the anti-war group, so if you choose to bash every member, you are unknowingly and wrongly bashing Veterans and their families, friends, and supporters. I don't know if I can ever again believe that any one of the offending bloggers supports the troops, the Constitution, or the United States of America.Tens of thousands of people will be gathering at Constitution Gardens at 12 noon near the Vietnam Memorial prior to the March on the Pentagon on Saturday, March 17. We will not be in the Vietnam Memorial and all speakers for amplified sound are turned away from the Memorial so as not to interfere with family members visiting the site. Constitution Gardens is the same location that ANSWER used for its mass anti-war rally on October 26, 2002. On March 17, 2007 we will leave Constitution Gardens and march on Constitution Ave. and then to Virginia on the way to the Pentagon.
The 58,000 U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam and the millions of Vietnamese who were killed, died in a criminal war. The connection between Vietnam and Iraq could not be more clear. Iraq is also a criminal war of aggression. The central issue today, just as it was in 1967, is to bring the war to an end.
Thousands of veterans and military families, including those who have lost loved ones in Iraq, will be in the front ranks of the March on the Pentagon. Some tiny pro-Bush groups who support the war in Iraq, and who normally mobilize about 25 people to hold signs when massive antiwar protests take place, are now callously trying to manipulate Vietnam veterans by spreading rumors that the March on the Pentagon will defile the Vietnam Memorial. This lie should be treated with the same contempt that people have for the other lies promoted by Bush and his followers to justify an illegal war of aggression: Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction; Iraq was responsible for the September 11 attacks; and that the U.S. occupation would be greeted as an act of liberation by the Iraqi people. Enough lies. Enough deceit!
Officers found multiple hidden compartments in Popper's vehicle -- which held a total of 14 weapons, including four rifles (one of which was a 50 caliber), nine handguns and a switchblade knife.Amazingly, Popper's excuse is a lot better than the excuse given by Gwen Stefani for the reason she carries a gun.
According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP), Popper told troopers that he had installed these items in his vehicle because (in the event of a natural disaster) he didn't want to be left behind.
Popper was arrested along with a friend, Brian Gourgeois, who was driving Popper's car at the time. They will both be charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The WSP also says that DEA agents seized Popper's vehicle, and he could face federal charges of possessing a vehicle with hidden compartments.
Gwen Stefani carries a gun to keep other women away from her husband.Why do I have the distict feeling that if I said the same thing to a member of the press that I would be carried away and placed on 24 hour supervision?
The 'Wind It Up' singer is paranoid hoards of women want to bed her handsome rocker spouse Gavin Rossdale, so she has a drastic method of scaring them off.
She quipped to Bust magazine: "Gavin is always going to be a chick magnet. So I always have to have a gun in my pocket, just in case!"
More info from the fabulous organizer here.1520 West Main Street
Corner of W. Main and Lombardy
The term 'institutionalization' may also be used to refer to the committing by a society of an individual to a particular institution such as a mental institution. The term institutionalization is therefore sometimes used as a term to describe both the treatment of, and damage caused to, vulnerable human beings by the oppressive or corrupt application of inflexible systems of social, medical, or legal controls by publicly owned or not-for-profit organisations originally created for beneficial purposes and intents; or to describe the process of becoming accustomed to life in an institution so that it is difficult to resume normal life after leaving.From the report:
"The danger of rape by other soldiers is so widely recognized in Iraq that their officers routinely told them not to go to the latrines or showers without another woman for protection," writes Helen Benedict.If you aren't outraged and ready for this war to end, then you simply aren't paying attention.
Unwritten codes of loyalty prohibit some woman from reporting abuse that is taking place, says Benedict.
"My team leader offered me up to $250 for a hand job. He would always make sure that we were out alone together at the beginning, and he wouldn't stop pressuring me for sex. If somebody did that to my daughter I'd want to kill the guy. But you can't fit in if you make waves about it. You rat somebody out, you're screwed. You're gonna be a loner until they eventually push you out," one soldier told her.
Another soldier told Benedict she carried a knife with her at all times. "The knife wasn't for the Iraqis," she said. "It was for the guys on my own side."
On the heels of her well publicized John Edwards quip—that both seem to be taking advantage of, there’s more Ann Coulter shock-and-awe. At a conference in Ft. Lauderdale over the weekend at the Center for Reclaiming America, which is connected to TV preacher James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Ministries, Coulter reiterated her John Edwards description, and, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the following:She's vicious, unapologetic, and CLEARLY IN THE MINORITY. Please feel free to use the comments section to describe Ann as you see fit, be it anonymously or with your name attached. I'll even go first. ;)
Earlier in her remarks, Coulter noted that seven doctors and clinic personnel had been killed, saying, "Those few abortionists were shot, or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them. I'm not justifying it, but I do understand how it happened....The number of deaths attributed to Roe v. Wade - about 40 million aborted babies and seven abortion clinic workers; 40 million to seven is also a pretty good measure of how the political debate is going."
A birdie on the scene told us that after the f-word remark about Johnny Boy, the hundreds of conservatives who filled the church to the brim, gasped in shock. Moments later, she bid her adieu.
Answering an audience question during the Fort Lauderdale event, Coulter said, “I spoke at C-PAC yesterday, and I [took questions] about Obama and Hillary and Gore and global warming, and I said I was going to also have a few remarks about the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but apparently you have to go to rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’”
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Damn, Ann. That's a big ole chunk of change you no longer have, huh? Regret your "school yard taunt" yet? I doubt it. I don't care though; no apology in the world could be better than watching her lose her place as the conservative queen of hate.WAMU
University of Phoenix
Power Chord Academy
Gulf Shores.com/Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau
Classmates.com (subsidiary of United Online)
At least two more daily newspapers -- The Oakland Press of Michigan and The Mountain Press of Sevierville, Tenn. -- have dropped Ann Coulter's column. A daily in Pennsylvania had dropped the column two days ago.More here, here, here, and here.
Oakland Press Editorial Page Editor Allan Adler, when reached this morning by E&P, said Coulter's use of the word "faggot" in a Friday speech was "definitely a factor" in the decision. He also read a statement from his paper that went as follows:
"When we picked up Ann Coulter, it was because we felt we needed a conservative columnist .. and we knew she had a following. She certainly no longer represents conservatism and apparently is more interested in being a celebrity. We are searching for a new columnist and will no longer be running Coulter."
The Oakland Press had picked up Coulter's column last summer and, since then, the Universal Press Syndicate feature "probably drew many more letters to the editor pro and con than any national column we run," said Adler.
In a story today on its Web site, The Mountain Press said it dropped Coulter because of her "distasteful and irresponsible comments over the weekend about a presidential candidate. Coulter referred to Democratic candidate John Edwards as a 'faggot' in a Friday speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. Her comments were denounced by both Republicans and Democrats," the Tennesse paper noted.
"When we agree to buy a syndicated column we expect the writer to offer responsible, reasoned opinion on national and international issues," Editor Stan Voit said in the story. "Ms. Coulter's column drew an unusual amount of criticism from our readers when we first started running it, but we felt she was a nationally known writer offering her opinions in her own style. However we will not continue to publish the columns of someone who uses people as a punch line to get a cheap laugh and who so freely uses an offensive term to describe another human being."
The Mountain Press will replace Coulter with another conservative, female columnist yet to be determined.
Another daily Coulter client, the Lancaster (Pa.) New Era, had dropped the Universal columnist this week following her "faggot" slur.
Please tell me which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Democratic nomination for President in the year 2008, or if you would support someone else.Here are the results for March 2-4, 2007:
Hillary Clinton - 36% (down 4% from the poll conducted last month)So, that's good news for Gore, in my opinion. But check out what happens when those same people were asked to name their second choice for POTUS:
Barack Obama - 22% (up 1% from the poll conducted last month)
Al Gore - 18% (up 4% from the poll conducted last month)
John Edwards - 9% (down 4% from the poll conducted last month)
Joe Biden - 3% (up 2% from the poll conducted last month)
Wesley Clark - 2% (up 1% from the poll conducted last month)
Bill Richardson - 1% (down 3% from the poll conducted last month)
(Asked of Democrats and independents who lean to the Democratic Party who named a candidate they support for the Democratic nomination in 2008) Who would be your second choice?The asnwers may surprise you...
Hillary Clinton - 59% (down a whopping 8% from last month's poll)So there you have it. Make fun of me if you wish, but the numbers are clear. If Gore's momentum keeps growing the way it has, and if he remains one of the more favorable candidates without even announcing, he will be the Democratic nominee for 2008. Bag it and tag it.
Barack Obama - 43% (up 1% from last month's poll)
Al Gore - 34% (up a whopping 8% from last month's poll)
John Edwards - 21% (down 5% from last month's poll)
Joe Biden - 4% (down 1% from last month's poll)
Bill Richardson - 4% (down 3% from last month's poll)
Wesley Clark - 3% (exact same from last month's poll)
On Saturday, the website NewsBusters.org posted a story under the headline "Bill Maher Sorry the Assassination Attempt onNow, yes; that was written by Bill Maher himself. But Bill Maher isn't the only person defending Bill Maher. Believe me, I realize that some Republicans and conservatives will choose to focus on Bill's last line about himself as the exact reason why Ann Coulter should be given a free pass to proceed with her hate mongering. In fact, they will claim that that is what the MAJORITY of their side feels and wants!
Dick Cheney Failed."
There's just one problem: As a fair reading of the show's transcript makes clear, I never said those words. Still, over the weekend, dozens of websites, mostly right wing, picked up the story (with headline intact) thus proliferating the myth that comic Maher somehow advocates the whacking of our Veep.
Don't get me wrong: I've never joined the Dick Cheney Fan Club. But what I said Friday -- and what I believe -- is that the Vice President has presided over a bungled execution of a war in which thousands of our bravest continue to die. And I believe that were he not in power, our troops would likely come home sooner. But I don't wish him dead.
Ironically, I made my comments during a discussion about Free Speech, which is one of the chief reasons that I love my country.
At least one newspaper has canceled Ann Coulter's column after she implied that Democratic politician John Edwards is a "faggot."She should not be defended by anyone. Period.
The daily Lancaster (Pa.) New Era, in a note to readers, said it "halted publication of Ann Coulter's syndicated column following her crude characterization of presidential candidate John Edwards as a homosexual at a public appearance on Friday. Coulter's use of name-calling, sarcasm, and overstatement in her columns too often detracts from the arguments she seeks to make. ...
"Lancaster County residents of whatever political view -- conservative, moderate, or liberal -- deserve intelligent discussion of issues. Ann Coulter no longer provides that."
New Era Editor Ernie Schreiber expanded on those comments when reached early this afternoon. He told E&P that Coulter "was hurting our credibility. Our community is largely conservative and Republican. They expect insightful discussion of issues. Ann Coulter wasn't giving us that. We have lots of conservative columnists who do -- Cal Thomas, Jonah Goldberg, Robert Novak, Michelle Malkin, among others."
Schreiber said of Coulter: "I can't defend her antics, and I don't want the New Era associated with them."
The editor added: "My primary objection to Coulter's antics are that they distract attention from the issues that are important -- the war in Iraq, immigration policy, spending policy, health care. Her schoolyard taunt of John Edwards is just so irrelevant to American life. I resent having to spend a moment dealing with it."
When asked about reader response so far, Schreiber said 16 people who contacted the New Era agree with the paper's decision and 12 oppose it. "One promised to cancel," he reported. "But even those who objected were polite, which makes my point. Readers want rational discussion, not name-calling."
Schreiber doesn't yet know who might replace Coulter in the New Era. "I've told a number of folks who e-mailed me in support of Coulter that I'd welcome their recommendations," he said. "But we're not at a loss for conservative columnists. There are lots of good ones out there."
In other fallout, several advertisers -- including Verizon -- withdrew ads from Coulter's Web site on Monday. "Per our policy, the networked Web site ad purchases are supposed to be stripped of certain kinds of Web sites," said a Verizon spokesperson. "This one could be considered an extreme political Web site, should be off the list, and now it is off the list."
AT&T also pulled ads, announcing: "Many of our ad placements -- particularly on the Internet -- are secured in bulk with placements made by third-party buyers with a goal of trying to reach the broadest audiences possible. We ask our media buyers to avoid sites that might generally be seen as offensive or polarizing to the public, which appears to be the case with this political Web site. Our ads have been withdrawn."
When will we all listen? Again, just like in 2002 to prevent the Iraq War both Jim Webb and Wesley Clark are working to prevent another war.I signed, GLADLY. Now it's your turn.
This time, here in 2007 it's with Iran.
Yesterday, Sen. Jim Webb introduced a bill that would block funding for any war with Iran. To veterans, this isn't a partisan issue. Matters of war and peace never are. It's an American issue.
We need this entire online community to get onboard with this issue. Who wants to go to another war? Who wants to send their children or grandchildren back to the middle east?
If you don't want another war, if you want to prevent it sign the petition.
No matter WHO you support for U.S. President in 2008.
Stop what you are doing, and sign the petition. This isn't about politics, it's about our future. In 2002, no one spoke out. Those who did in the beginning were labeled "unpatriotic".
I don't care about labels anymore, this is the most patriotic thing I can do. None, ought to question anyones patriotism in this country.
We have a duty, a duty to question our government.
If you haven't signed this petition, do so now. Join the troops, stop another war. Last time no one (or very few) listened to Wes Clark or Jim Webb, don't be fooled by the right again.
AWESOME. Webb is turning out to be a Congressional and media ROCKSTAR.Tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/7), the RK/NLS Virginia Politics show is extremely honored to have Senator Jim Webb on as our very special guest! Senator Webb will be live at 1:30 PM, and we'll start the show at either 1 PM or 1:15 PM...more details to come when we hear back from Blog Talk Radio. Ben and I most likely won't take calls while Jim Webb is on the air, since we only have 15 minutes of his time. However, you can call in before or afterwards at (646) 652-2679. Thanks, and please spread the word about this!
U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, had the second most conservative voting record in the House last year, according to the annual vote study by the National Journal.As you can see here, while E.R.I.C. Cantor may have won his own election, George Allen did not beat Jim Webb by a margin large enough to constitute an 82.5% CONSERVATIVE voting record. Perhaps some constituents and concerned citizens of Virginia need to write some letters, or actually pay attention the next time someone runs against the horror known as Cantor.
Only Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., was more reliably conservative on the 95 votes the publication reviewed.
Goodlatte voted more conservatively than 94 percent of all House members.
Ryun, who unexpectedly lost a reelection bid to a Democratic challenger, voted more conservatively than 97.7 percent of all House members.
The 10 other Virginia House members voted less conservatively. Rep. Eric Cantor, a Richmond Republican and the House GOP chief deputy, was the only one to come within striking distance of Goodlatte, casting a conservative vote 82.5 percent of the time.
Following the trail of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "An Inconvenient Truth," Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia promoted a new political documentary on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that slams the government for failing to stop illegal immigration.I don't know what's more amusing; seeing Virgil Goode's name compared to Moore's and Gore's, the fact that he is so "Hollywood Elite" now that he is hanging out with ex-ballet dancers, or the fact that the wife of the producer (read the big $$ guy) grew up in Goode's district and SHOCKINGLY Goode is the lone big Congressional backer of this "film."
The film, shown in a congressional meeting room, lauded the work of a controversial group known as The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps that has set up checkpoints along the U.S.-Mexico border. Critics call them vigilantes.
The Minutemen's leader, Chris Simcox, was one of about 30 people who watched the first of two showings of the film, "Border." He was applauded by the audience of congressional staffers and opponents of illegal immigration.
"If we don't control our borders and control immigration, we are going to be sunk as a nation," Goode said in his opening remarks. "My ideas are very simple ... to draw the line in the sand and hold back."
The film was directed by Chris Burgard, a former ballet dancer and rodeo bull rider who acted in Hollywood films and television shows before turning to writing and directing.
He said he financed the low-budget film himself after a Hollywood producer backed out of the deal.
He wouldn't say how much it cost. And don't expect to see it in theaters soon. Burgard said he is still searching for a distributor.
Much of the film documents the work of the Minutemen. Simcox rides with Burgard and his wife, Lisa Turner Burgard, the film's executive producer, on a big blue bus along the Southwest border.
Lisa Burgard grew up in Chatham, Goode's district, and the film was shown in Danville last July.
March 3, 2007
Webb Commends Passage of Amendment To Provide Training To Rural Law Enforcement Officers
Legislation to Offer Unique Training for Virginia's Rural Police Force
Washington, DC—Senator Jim Webb of Virginia today commended the passage of legislation that provides cutting-edge training for law enforcement officers in rural communities. Offered as an amendment to the 9/11 Commission Homeland Security Legislation, today's 82-1 vote creates a Rural Policing Institute (RPI) within the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).
"The post-9/11 environment has increased demands placed on our law enforcement agencies," said Senator Webb. "In addition, our rural communities are facing new challenges, particularly with the spread of methamphetamines."
The Rural Policing Institute will offer comprehensive training programs designed to address the needs of rural law enforcement agencies, including combating methamphetamine addiction and distribution, domestic violence and law enforcement response related to school shootings.
"We count on our more than 17,000 local law enforcement officials to serve as the Commonwealth's first responders, but our officers in rural Virginia communities face unique challenges. This Rural Policing program will ensure that they receive the training that they need to address such an array of issues.
"In addition to this amendment today, I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues to ensure the full implementation of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations to increase the security of our nation," said Webb.
The Senate is scheduled to pass the 9/11 Commission homeland security bill next week.
I just spent three days at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the preeminent national gathering of the conservative movement. It was nothing but spectacle—full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.OUCH.
Anne Coulter hurled eighth-grade insults at presidential candidates (John Edwards is a “faggot”; Al Gore seems to be “up to 400 pounds”). Grover Norquist called conservatives who vote with Democrats “rat heads in a Coke bottle” (bad for the brand). Senator Jim Inhofe called man-made global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated" and "eco-terrorist radicals" like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals the "number one" FBI threat to safety.
The confusing thing is that I cheered along with them for the first five minutes of every speech. I, too, appreciate the wonder of America and feel lucky to live here. I, too, value personal freedom and individual liberty. I admire the founding geniuses who created a constitutional structure that has lasted 230 years. I stood for the final ovations, Stars and Stripes playing in the background, for a nation of ideas that is a beacon of hope around the world.
But after the platitudes—which they call principles—everything turned strange. A panel called “Why Liberals are Hell-Bent on Raising Our Taxes” made no mention of fiscal deficits, balanced budgets or the simple fact that services like schools, roads and courts cost money. Any discussion of our troubled health care system immediately degenerated into accusations of government control and “Soviet-style Hillary care.”
The conference devoted two full panels to attacking "activist judges who overturn the will of the people." Nobody mentioned that that the founding geniuses they just applauded deliberately created an independent judiciary to protect the cherished principle of individual liberty from the tyrannies and passions of an inflamed majority. Conservatives can value individual liberty or they can assail judges. They can't do both.
Nonetheless, we get from conservatives this assault on fantasy enemies. On a panel called “Reining in the Courts,” Jan LaRue of Concerned Women for America said judges use laws as an "etch-a-sketch for their personal preferences." She started with the judge who struck down warrantless wiretapping, then made up a story of a judge who interprets a will giving the full inheritance to the kids to mean that the money should be evenly split between PETA and the American Civil Liberties Union. She concluded that the president should disregard the courts and continue wiretapping. "I would," she said to thunderous applause. Ten minutes earlier the same audience had cheered constitutional government and the rule of law.
Solutions were never offered; only attacks. Indeed, many of the problems put on the agenda weren’t problems at all, just issues designed to divide or inflame. The conference gave the death tax, the pejorative conservatives like to use for the estate tax, much attention. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., called it "the most punitive and unfair tax of all." Nobody seemed to notice that the tax doesn’t apply to estates under $2 million, is rarely paid by anybody and advances the American ideal that wealth should be earned, not given.
The conference barely recognized the conservative paradox on moral issues it created. These conservatives don't just seek to live moral lives on their own—which we should all do and can all applaud. They seek to use government power to control how other people live their lives. Traditional values start out as an applause line but end as a bludgeon.
Everyone cheered "traditional marriage." Few examined the contradiction of self-styled “small government conservatives” stopping adults from using their free will to formalize their relationships. Nobody "defending" marriage explained what it is about gay marriage that is dangerous to other people.
Everyone wanted to protect the unborn; fetuses needed to be protected from liberals who think “humans are for your sexual pleasure.” But with all of the discussion about Roe v. Wade, no panel offered ways to reduce abortion through family planning or expediting adoption. Certainly no one discussed low wages, expensive day care or absent health care—the troubles cited by so many women making this difficult decision.
Immigration got great attention, none of it positive. Immigrants never played a key role in the economy or epitomized America’s role as the home for the tired, the poor or the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. All they did was take our jobs, threaten our sovereignty or compromise our national security. Speaker after speaker craved a fence.
The hallways thrummed with the desire for power. "Permanent majority" was an ambition cited at the same level as freedom and liberty. The only obstacle to power was liberals, always presented in caricature. Liberals were the “sworn enemy,” "screaming harpies," "Hollywood hedonists" and “people who want to hug terrorists.” Conservatives blamed this “powerful elite” for everything, even though the conservative party has held all three branches of the federal government for years.
The conservatives at central headquarters don’t seem to have learned the lesson of 2006. America is tired of Bible-thumping division. Americans want real solutions to real problems. They’re catching on to the bait-and-switch: The first five minutes of every speech are appealing, but the policies that follow are catastrophic. An ideology that disdains government is destined to govern badly.
Adapting what Ronald Reagan once said of government, conservatism isn’t the solution to our problem. Conservatism is the problem. If it doesn’t grow up, 2006 was only the beginning.
While the rightwing has been off protecting the American family from the menace of gay couples wanting domestic unions, it turns out that the real threat to heterosexual marriage is economic and income inequality. And according to an article in today's Washington Post, it always has been. Who knew?Thanks again, AIAW. What an excellent post.
As this report points out, marriage rates have declined among the lower middleclass and working class since 1970. Here's the money quote:"The culture is shifting, and marriage has almost become a luxury item, one that only the well educated and well paid are interested in,' said Isabel V. Sawhill, an expert on marriage and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.So while upper middleclass couples are still marrying, poorer people - including the offspring of the once secure and prosperous working middleclass - no longer can afford this institution. They are cohabiting and even having children out of wedlock.
"Marriage has declined across all income groups, but it has declined far less among couples who make the most money and have the best education. These couples are also less likely to divorce. Many demographers peg the rise of a class-based marriage gap to the erosion since 1970 of the broad-based economic prosperity that followed World War II.
"`We seem to be reverting to a much older pattern, when elites marry and a great many others live together and have kids,' said Peter Francese, demographic trends analyst for Ogilvy & Mather, an advertising firm."
I know that a lot of conservatives will look at the date when the decline started and point out that it also coincided with the so-called sexual revolution and looser morals usually associated with social movements in the 60s and early 70s. And their argument has some plausibility on the surface.
That was my era and I was very much a part of the "Woodstock Generation" usually linked to more liberal social values including the decline of marriage and the rise of couples just living together. In fact, I actually still have my tickets to the Woodstock Music and Art Festival - all three days of it, and they are in Mint condition, because by the time I arrived, the gates had been trampled and the festival organizers had given up on ticket collection.
But the actual number of hippies who pursued the "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll" lifestyle was far smaller than it would appear. They captured the imagination of the media but had fewer real followers than people think.
They were, indeed, the children of the upper class elites and they often were in the intellectual avante-garde. Indeed, in the 50s, 60s and early 70s the children of the working class were usually the most conservative kids. They were the ones who served in Vietnam, got married at an early age, had babies, and worked at regular jobs. Those who challenged institutions, including religion and marriage, were college kids.
But once they graduated - and had finished posing for Life Magazine and having fun giving their parents gray hair - they were actually the ones who took the professional jobs, married fellow professionals and raised the typical middleclass family with two college bound offspring. Basically, the WaPo article and the study it cited have confirmed my own experience and observation of this.
Meanwhile, after the 70s, there was a precipitous drop in well being among working class Americans and with their economic decline, their marriage rates have also dropped.
The real danger in this is that many studies have found and confirmed the conventional wisdom that those who are in stable marriages often are better off economically and their children do better in school and in life. The United States can't afford to have so many people sinking into an underclass because of economic inequality.
So, I would suggest that if family values oriented conservatives are really interested in saving the institution of the American family, they might want to figure out how to make capitalism work, once again, in a way that allows ordinary people to share in the fruits of economic prosperity, the way they did back in the 50s and 60s when the slogan "what's good for America's business is good for America" was actually still believable by the vast majority of real Americans.
I'm sorry to see that Ann Coulter once again made certain news coverage of CPAC would be focused upon her instead of upon the conservative movement's goals and principles.So, there you have it. People with common sense, dignity, and a heart are condemning Coulter from both sides of the aisle. You can choose not to if you wish, but it looks like other conservatives would rather you call yourself something else and leave them out of your barrel full of crabs. The reality is, true conservatives are not down with Coulter, and by claiming you are a) a conservative, and b) on Team Coulter, you are slamming the party you claim to respect. Stop it. Call yourself a Republican, call yourself a gay-basher, call yourself an asshole; I don't care. But don't take the name of the party in vain.
The National Center for Public Policy Research is one of very many co-sponsors of CPAC, and has been for some years. After Ann Coulter's offensive speech last year, we telephoned the organizers and strongly suggested that Ann Coulter's behavior was harmful to, and unrepresentative of, the conservative movement. We said we were considering pulling out our co-sponsorship because of Ann Coulter's "raghead" comment, and asked them to not invite Ann Coulter to speak in CPAC 2007, or, at the very least, only invite her if she was told to can the offensive speech, and explicitly agreed to do so. I had 90 percent decided to stop our co-sponsorship for CPAC 2007, but the sponsor seemed to be taking our concerns about Coulter's 2006 remarks seriously and with what seemed to us to be appropriate sympathy, so the National Center co-sponsored CPAC again this year.
(I am, by the way. under no illusion that CPAC's main sponsors lose sleep over possibly losing the National Center's co-sponsorship. We do pay a fee to co-sponsor, and all the fees paid by all the co-sponsors together do add up to quite a tidy sum, but I'm sure any one co-sponsor is quite expendable.)
As has been widely reported, Ann Coulter not only once again went out of her way to use a nasty epithet, she pushed her offensiveness up a notch, using a word that is even more universally reviled than the derogatory term she hurled last year.
So, CPAC's sponsors either invited Coulter back without first getting her pledge that she would speak without using demeaning epithets, or they obtained her pledge, and she broke her word.
It would be better, in my opinion, to not have a CPAC at all than to have one that presents conservatism as a hostile, people-hating ideology. We conservatives have enough trouble overcoming the false things that are said about us without paying for a platform upon which we shoot ourselves annually in the foot.
Some of my past commentary on Ann Coulter can be found here and here.
Here's a roundup of other conservative (and moderate) commentary on the Coulter situation:"With Friends Like These... (re Ann Coulter)," JonQuixoteP.S. A hostile liberal blogger issues a challenge to conservatives:
"CPAC is Shocked--Shocked!--by Ann Coulter's Remarks," Jon Swift
"Coulter Screams for Attention, Again - Losing Whatever Supporters She Still Had," Patterico
"Ann Coulter Doesn't Speak For Me," Wizbang
"Coulter Said What? (Bumped)," Captain's Quarters
"The Shame Of Ann Coulter," The Moderate Voice
"Ann Coulter at CPAC," Betsy's Page
"Ann Coulter calls John Edwards...," Right Thoughts
"Count Me Out," Lone Star Times
"Ann Coulter Calls John Edwards The 'F-word'," Gay Patriot
"Coulter Needs A Rehab," Riehl World View
"Apologizing for Ann Coulter," MyDD
"On Ann Coulter, John Edwards, and Civility," historymikeReality: [Ann Coulter] is your biggest star. The people you claim to speak for feel she speaks for them much, much more than you do -- and they're right. She is modern conservatism's id -- she's the one who says what the rest of you would say if you didn't feel it would cost you your standing as reasonable, responsible people.Well?
Want to prove me wrong? You cut her off. You boycott the sponsors of TV shows that still invite her on as a guest. You show up at her book signings and campus appearances and hand out flyers quoting her nastiest bon mots. You boycott CPAC next year if she's invited, and demand that others do the same. Or if you have a problem with boycotts as a matter of principle, at the very least urge your fellow conservatives, on college campuses and elsewhere, to stop extending invitations to her, given the profound harm you say she does to your movement.
But you won't do that, will you? In that case, shut the hell up, hypocrites, and acknowledge that while Coulter may be the bad apple in the family, your door is always open to her.
Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:26 AM
BRITNEY Spears has flipped her lid in rehab, trying to hang herself with a bedsheet after screaming "I am the anti-christ" to frightened staff.I can only hope that later in the day, or tomorrow, or any time this YEAR, I have to retract this post because it is found to be a false rumor. If not, then Spears needs a lot more help than anyone can give her.
She made the demonic cry after scrawling the devil's number "666" across her head.
Spears's manic behaviour has concerned relatives who once again fear for her safety, and has staff at the Promises Clinic in Malibu, California struggling to cope.
The former chart-topper's troubles have been revealed in Britain's News Of the World, which broke the exclusive story.
Within days of her suicidal behaviour, Spears - who was in and out of rehab before shaving her own head and later attacking a photographer's car with an umbrella - was begging estranged husband Kevin Federline not only for a reconciliation, but demanding she wanted to soon have another baby.
The ordeal began when she terrified staff by writing the number of the beast on her head and running around the clinic screaming, "I am the anti-christ!"
"The clinic people just didn't know what to do," a friend claimed.
The pop star then tried to hang herself with a bedsheet was but was found before she could hurt herself.