novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

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[After you read the following, you can find more on this topic at this post, a week later]

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This is what “blight” looks like from the house across the street, and this is how it is allowed to happen. (click on photos for larger images)

For all of you who don’t have firsthand familiarity with the illegal alien problem in Northern Virginia, let me share a true-life story which might help paint the picture of what has been happening here in Sterling for the past five to seven years. In sum, I believe segments of our government at every level are at war with the legal residents of our nation, an economic war conducted on behalf of powerful business interests, a war that most citizens don’t even realize has already been declared on them.

I am going to relate this tale about Sterling to demonstrate what has gone wrong at the micro level – because the macro-level issues have been so thoroughly politicized that most people who are not on the front lines can’t make heads or tails of the controversy. Facts about border security and what the federal government is or isn’t doing are remote and opaque. Facts about what is happening at the neighborhood level are much easier to grasp.

In most American communities, where the rubber hits the road on the illegal immigration problem lies in the actions of three local government functions: Public safety, business licensing and zoning enforcement. We have covered the first two in substantial depth on this blog over the years (check here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) We’ve touched on zoning, but it is time to probe a little further.

When we turn over this particular log, as most Sterling residents know and which was amply testified to at the May 14 community meeting, the reality is not pretty. Both the Sheriff’s Office and the Zoning Administration division received abysmally low grades from local residents.

This was no major surprise to me.

From my personal experience with filing zoning violation complaints in Loudoun County for the past two-plus years, I believe the Zoning Administration division of the Department of Building and Development is worse than ineffective. From my vantage point, I believe this particular section of the county government is, like Robert Mugabe’s Ministry of Justice, “part of the problem.”

continue reading…

Sorry for the bleg but I am desperate:

My (day job) company is considering a Web software purchase which is a content management system that runs on Microsoft Server, and I need to get some information on Web site hosting companies. There are many Web sites that tout themselves as “Web hosting review” sites but a tiny bit of digging reveals the vast majority are simply advertising outlets that reprint each company’s promotional literature.

There is a special place in Hell for the guy who started that trend, believe you me.

The very few sites that actually do seem to be trying to provide reviews or compilations of customer ratings are either really outdated or – judging by other “reviews” for software and such that I happen to know about – don’t seem to have much going on between the ears, so I am not taking their word for anything.

The basic specs for the potential host would be dedicated (co-located) server, very powerful machine to pull the gargantuan pile of ore which is Microsoft software, and MS SQL Server. Backups and such, obviously. If anyone knows of any place on the Web or elsewhere where there are actual reviews or test center results for any hosting companies, that info would be greatly appreciated.

This is the question the parents and community around St. James Catholic School in Falls Church are presently dealing with. There is a petition among local residents who want to stop the Hilton from developing this project.

Someone with an interest in the issue e-mailed me with the following:

The parents are concerned that with the development being built so close, during the initial construction phase, it’s going to be very loud and disruptive for the kids in class, and potentially there’s going to be a lot of dust and other stuff that could affect air quality in the immediate area.

On a long-term basis, they’re concerned about increased traffic around the school (with all the attendant risks to pedestrians), and the possibility of the hotel attracting prostitution and drugs.

Here are some recent news stories on the controversy:

Video 1 on St James Catholic School
Video 2 on St James Catholic School
Video 3 on St James Catholic School

More news stories and the petition at Too Conservative.

With all the recent news about how gosh darned exotic China really is, I don’t know that anyone needs further convincing, but here ya go anyway (cat lovers may not want to click on the link):

“When we went inside, we saw about 70 cats being kept in cages stacked one on top of the other in two tiny rooms.

“Disease spreads quickly among them and they die slowly in agony and distress. The government won’t even do the cats the kindness of giving them lethal injections when they become sick. They just wait for them to die.

“It is the abandoned pets that suffer the most and die the soonest. They relied so much on their owners that they can’t cope with the new environment…”

The killing of the six stray cats at the kindergarten – where staff at a Beijing cigarette factory leave their children – is the most striking illustration of the city-wide fear of cats.

A teacher at the nursery said: “We did it out of love for the children. We were worried the cats might harm them. These six cats had been hanging around the kindergarten looking for food.

“So three male teachers put out plates of tuna in cages for bait, trapped the cats and then beat them to death with sticks…”

You have to hand it to the Chinese that they so resolutely allow any tinch of humanitarian scruples to slide right off their backs.

And, frankly, who can blame them. When the powers that be decide “We need to get rid of a WHOLE BUNCH of cats before the Olympics,” (5 months away), if you quibble over logistics you might never get anything accomplished. You could easily end up with animal lovers hemming and hawing about animal rights and basic human decency until the whole program is nibbled to death by ducks.

The fact that the round up will be accomplished in a fashion that most civilized societies would view as, well, harsh, is not going to interfere with the round up actually occurring. In China, they get things done.