novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

We have all heard the statistic from Sheriff Simpson while on the campaign stump, that “1 in 20 gang members arrested are illegal residents”. This comment was made on October 13, 2007, at the candidates debate held in Leesburg. This statistic was recently quoted by the Honorable Stevens Miller at the July 22 Public Hearing. Mr. Miller seems sold on this, but I am not.

The Center for Immigration Studies has a very detailed report available which provides some detailed estimates and statistics on Northern Virginia gangs :

A significant portion of gang members in Virginia have violated our immigration laws.

Sizable illegal alien population facilitates gang settlement and recruitment in Virginia.

15-40% of caseload is estimated to be illegal or criminal aliens

The Report (Powerpoint)

If you do not have access to Powerpoint, you may view it in html via google.

After seeing this presentation, I had some serious reservations about this 1 in 20 number. Either Loudoun is very unique among our neighboring cities and counties, or this number is simply wrong.

In August of 2007, LCSO issued a press release which discussed the relationship between ICE and LCSO :

“Our continuing working partnership with ICE through the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force has led to a decrease in violent gang-related crimes in Loudoun County,” said Simpson. “It has been very successful,” he added.

Is this saying on one hand, that a partnership with ICE is a worthwhile endeavor, while on the campaign trail, two months later, a statement is made that pursuing gang members in conjunction with ICE is a waste of resources ?

This same press release also states :

In August, an operation targeting Criminal Street gangs’ in Loudoun County netted 13 arrests. Members of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Loudoun Sheriff’s Gang Intelligence Unit worked together to locate subjects who were suspected of being actively involved in firearms and narcotics trafficking, money laundering and violent criminal activities. Four of those charged in the operation were held by federal authorities based on their immigration status.

“Our continuing working partnership with ICE through the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force has led to a decrease in violent gang-related crimes in Loudoun County,” said Simpson. “It has been very successful,” he added. In the first six months of 2007 there were 10 violent gang-related cases in Loudoun. There were 37 the previous year.

For the 1 in 20 statistic to be true, with these four August arrests alone, we would need to have had a minimum of 80 gang members arrested in Loudoun at the time of the October debate. To verify this would require hard data from LCSO, as searches of the local newspapers do not show anything close to 80 gang member arrests. Those repeating this statistic, should either back it up with hard facts, or write it off as campaign rhetoric spoken during the heat of debate.

More recently, Sheriff Simpson was quoted in the Washington Post about the recent LCSO partnership with ICE :

Simpson called the partnership with ICE a “big tool for us,” especially in dealing with gangs operating in Loudoun.

“I know when we work with gang members, a lot of times we got through a number of different identifications and different names and different aliases and that type of thing before you get to actually who they are,” Simpson said. “And if you don’t have a way of getting into this system to find out if they have ever been arrested in California, you may never know that information.”

It is obvious Sheriff Simpson has distanced himself from the comments he made at the October debate. One would think Stevens Miller would focus less on those comments and more on what LCSO has done since then.

Our Sheriff’s office appears to have moved on toward making some real progress, but Mr. Miller appears to be stuck in October of 2007. Where do we want Loudoun to be, focused on the future, or with Mr. Miller, stuck in the past ?

That’s why we have the guns, folks:

The homeowner reportedly shot the one suspect when he and the two others tried to kick down the front door of the single-family home.

The suspect died at the scene.

A couple in their 60s and their two sons, both in their 20s, reportedly live in the home. Police said one of the sons fired the fatal shot.

If you own a fire extinguisher, if you have a light on the porch, if you lock your front door before turning in for the evening – you and I are on the same page with regard to home security: You should also have a gun. It’s all part of the same logical plan.

UPDATE V: Ok, I just killed Sitemeter. There should be no more errors. Hate to see Sitemeter go, but that seems to be the consensus fix around the Internets.

If you want to keep Sitemeter on your blog, read the rest of this post for instructions for your readers.



Switch to Firefox!

Hey, YOU: Just move that annoying Internet Explorer “Operation aborted” error window. Click on the top bar of it and move it out of the way without pressing the “Ok” button. Then, you will be able to at least read this post about the Internet Explorer error which is crashing it on many blogs tonight. It is not your fault, and it is not my fault, but it just might be Microsoft’s or Sitemeter’s fault. Switch to Firefox!

OK, here is the fix thanks to one of the magnificent lizards at LGF

The problem is an Internet Explorer conflict with Sitemeter, causing IE to give an “Operation aborted” error when trying to open a Web page with Sitemeter running. Obviously, this is going to affect the vast majority of blogs which depend on Sitemeter for their very mojo.


1. Open menu item: Tools…Internet Options
2. Click “Security” tab
3. Select “Restricted Sites”
4. Click “Sites” button
5. Under “Add this website to this zone”, enter “*” without the quotes
6. Click “Add” button
7. Close windows using “Close” or “OK”, not “Cancel”.


UPDATE III: Whoa whoa whoa Nelly! Charles of LGF has identified this as a Web-wide problem. So it ain’t us. Jacob, I will restore your graphic.

UPDATE IV: Rumor has it the reason so many blogs are suddenly causing errors in Internet Explorer lies in a conflict between Internet Explorer and Sitemeter. Must have been a silent update from one of them. Well, I can tell you right now I ain’t throwing Sitemeter under the bus because it is one of my primary enjoyable timewasters, so IE – out the door with you!!

Human race: Switch to Firefox!


As luck would have it, I am about to be away from the Internet for an extended period and the site has a technical issue: INTERNET EXPLORER SUDDENLY IS NOT WORKING TO BROWSE THIS WEB SITE. I have no idea why, except that something got changed – some code in a comment or post – since earlier today, and I may not be able to figure it out until a week from today.

In the meantime, readers may be forced to switch to Firefox or another browser. You will be grateful you did.

UPDATE: I have a little time to try and fix this, and the only thing I know to do is start deleting stuff until the problem stops. I apologize in advance if I happen to delete something you happen to love.

UPDATE II: Ok, I have sure deleted some stuff and IE still will not allow this site to be browsed. Looks like Redmond, we have a problem. After about 8:00 am tomorrow I won’t be able to fix it for at least a week. SWITCH TO FIREFOX!


The Democrat party decided they would go on vacation without allowing a vote on off shore drilling, or on shore drilling or any kind of other than that of oil executives. In fact when the Republicans stayed in order to stir up debate regarding oil relief the Democrat party leadership ordered the lights turned off. From the Politico

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House, turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.

Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi’s refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m., and they are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.

Speaker Nancey will now go down in history with the quote “Give me vacation or give me death!” The oil issue is obvious not important enough to stick around; getting to the beach is far more important. I am not sure which would be worse than her ridiculous statement as noted in the Washington Post:

“I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet.”

With gas prices around $4 per gallon the American public is ready to drill. According to Rasmussen nationwide support for increasing the domestic oil supply is near 67%. Instead Nancy and Harry are seeking to punish the oil industry a la James Carter with a windfall profits tax; this tax had a huge impact, it damaged the economy and it helped get Reagan elected. Playing class warefare games with the economy did not help Carter, nor will it help Reid and Pelosi.

Obama is looking to raise taxes on the Oil companies and give $1000 to each family. This is little more than smoke and mirrors economics. With one hand Obama plans will take money from the Oil company’s. The Oil companies will then raise the prices at the pump. We, the people will pay more at the pump, and a check might then arrive in the mail. In short, nothing will get done.

Here we are thirty years later. Oil prices are now five times their 2003 average. The Democrat party is playing politics with our economy by their refusal to do anything about the oil shortage. We are at a cross roads and the race to the bottom between the two parties needs to end. The American people deserve better than the sophomoric antics or a the Democrat Speaker who turns off the lights and microphones in the peoples house.

Well we got through the three year nominating process and here we are at August 1, 2008, and it is finally time to focus on the November 2008 elections. Longtime readers of this site know I have no deep love for John McCain or his compatriots in the GOP, but deep love and politics typically have little to do with each other. This is pragmatism time.

Pragmatically speaking, Barack Obama is the candidate from hell. This guy is a disaster waiting to happen, the second coming of Jimmy Carter, and all sensible people need to do whatever they can to keep him out of the White House. Anyone with a scintilla of historical awareness should immediately understand that the bill of goods Obama is selling was put to the test, evaluated, laughed at and totally disdained in 1980. America changed when Ronald Reagan was elected, not solely because Reagan himself was such a great human being, but moreso because Jimmy Carter had exemplified the utter stupidity of “making friends with the world” as a basis for policy. Carter came into office saying sweet things and promising to make friends with the world, and by the time he was booted out of office the world had eaten his lunch. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the Iranians took our people hostage, and all in all reality delivered America a knuckle sandwich. Carter gutted our military, and the crash-and-burn fiasco during the hostage rescue attempt in the Iranian desert in 1980 cemented Carter’s legacy as the worst American president in modern history. Obama, with his suggestions that our main priority should be to repair America’s image, is leading us down the same path.

So, to put a final point on this discussion of why Obama needs to be elevated in the pantheon of America’s potential problems, I give you John Hawkins’ list of Obama’s flaws. Here are just two of them:

His Inexperience: Obama has never served in the military, the House, or as a governor, was first elected to the Senate in 2004, and his battle with Hillary was the only tough campaign he has ever been in. In other words, if he’s elected, he would be one of the least worthy candidates ever to make it to the White House. If we had another 9/11 on his watch or even if one of those infamous 3 AM emergency calls that Hillary campaigned on were to come in, would you rather have Obama or McCain handling it? For that matter, would you rather have Obama or a random person picked out of the phone book handling it? Neither Obama nor the random person from the phone book would have much relevant experience, but at least the random person would probably be humble enough to realize it and ask for help, unlike Obama.

The Poor Judgment: This is a guy who stayed in a racist church and stuck by a bigoted reverend for 20 years, grotesquely leaked his Western Wall prayer to the press, and blew off a visit to see wounded troops while the whole world was watching him overseas. In other words, even when it comes to matters of mere politics, this is not a man who can be trusted to make wise decisions. So, how can we trust him to make good policy decisions for the country?

Read all of Hawkins’ essay.

Cry me a frickin’ river:

Javier Martinez, 46, a construction worker who lives in Manassas, said that a year ago he was able to send up to $1,500 a month to his wife and two children in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. Now he can only send about $500 a month. His work laying tiles has slowed down, and he can no longer find renters for the three houses he owns as immigrants have left Prince William County because of the ongoing crackdown on illegal immigrants.

(emphasis added)

In a nutshell there it is. The core of citizen outrage over illegal immigration in Northern Virginia is that the illegals are gaming the system to get away with stuff that law abiding residents would be penalized for. You can’t fight city hall – unless you happen to be facilitating the presence of illegal aliens, in which case city hall gives you a stack of get out of jail free cards, when you actually should be thrown in jail.

Buying single family homes, subdividing them into boarding houses and renting out floor space is a pretty fantastic investment arrangement which has also been against the law long before any Mexican entrepreneurs started doing it here. But our local government has decided to allow it to happen with the surge of illegal aliens into our communities.

In case you are new to the area, here is a basic primer: Boarding houses in neighborhoods are considered a bad thing because the boarders tend to behave badly.

And as the Washington Post geniuses did so elegantly and unwittingly for us two years ago, they once again document how foreign nationals have been allowed to thumb their noses at our local laws and proceed to degrade our neighborhoods.

Multiply this tile worker by a few hundred and you will suddenly understand exactly what has happened in eastern Loudoun County. You will also understand why Sterling Park residents are not only asking “where is our Board of Supervisors?” but also where the hell are our Sheriff’s Office and County Prosecutor, and why the hell Terry Wharton and his entire department are still employed.

The Center for Immigration Studies is reporting a significant decrease in the nationwide illegal alien population :

Monthly data collected by the Census Bureau through May 2008 shows a significant decline in the number of less-educated, young Hispanic immigrants in the country. The evidence indicates that the illegal immigrant population may have declined by over one million in the last year. There are strong indications immigration enforcement is responsible for at least part of the decline. The economy also is likely playing a role.

Among the findings:

Our best estimate is that the illegal immigrant population has declined by 11 percent through May 2008 after hitting a peak in August 2007.

The implied decline in the illegal population is 1.3 million since last summer, from 12.5 million to 11.2 million today.

The estimated decline of the illegal population is at least seven times larger than the number of illegal aliens removed by the government in the last 10 months, so most of the decline is due to illegal immigrants leaving the country on their own.

One indication that stepped-up enforcement is responsible for the decline is that only the illegal immigrant population seems to be affected; the legal immigrant population continues to grow.
Another indication enforcement is causing the decline is that the illegal immigrant population began falling before there was a significant rise in their unemployment rate.

The importance of enforcement is also suggested by the fact that the current decline is already significantly larger than the decline during the last recession, and officially the country has not yet entered a recession.

While the decline began before unemployment rose, the evidence indicates that unemployment has increased among illegal immigrants, so the economic slow-down is likely to be at least partly responsible for the decline in the number of illegal immigrants.

There is good evidence that the illegal population grew last summer while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to fall almost immediately.

If the decline were sustained, it would reduce the illegal population by one-half in the next five years.

The full report.

A clear trend is emerging, enforcement works. While Stevens Miller and others on our Board of Supervisors wring their hands over concerns of cancer and racism, a countless number of cities, counties, and states are tackling a difficult problem head on, with demonstrable results.

This also confirms that with enforcement, and a decrease in public benefits, many illegal alien residents will leave of their own accord.

Too bad our BOS refuses to lead on this issue, as has the governing body of Prince William County, and closer to home, Herndon.

We can still hope.