novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

The good guys won in 2008. That is the most important part.

The 2008 10th District of Virginia Republican Convention was MUCH better run than the 2006 edition of this event.

Ahem.

Part of the improvement is attributable to the fact that Jim Rich had no opposition as committee chair. Part is because Langley High School was a better venue than Survivor: Horse Country. And I think people kind of wanted to take care of the business and get out of there. (That’s the reason for the abridged coverage by me this time: I had other things to do today and could not hang out until the end.)

It was sort of curious that the balloting had to be broken into two segments. First phase was the voting on all the major candidates. Second phase – hours later – would be voting on “alternate” delegates to the Republican National Convention, who could not be determined until all the votes from the first ballot were tabulated so we would know who the “first” delegates were. This meant, everyone voting on the alternate delegates had to wait around. Hypothetically. Because in reality, most of the voters would certainly have already left. Why not just have one vote, and the three next-highest vote-getters are named as alternates?

10th District Committee Chairman Jim Rich may be a great guy, but a manager he is not. On paper the above might have seemed like a reasonable workflow, but in reality it assumed some really dumb things. Such as, those sitting through the Convention on a spectacular Saturday afternoon would be motivated to stick around for ballot counting and a later vote. On alternates for delegate positions that most voters do not even understand. I had family commitments, so I was not there for the second vote.

If the meeting had been run with Swiss-watch like efficiency, it might have worked. But the first signal this was not the case came when the report from the Rules Committee showed that the three pages of rules had to be read from the podium – because the 10th District staff had neglected to provide copies of the printed rules at the entrance to the Convention hall. Reading the rules was not a powerful tactic for audience engagement, I can assure you. I joined many others leaving the meeting room in search of coffee.

The proceedings, led in an extremely competent fashion by Delegate Tom Rust, got bogged down because the Credentials Committee had to spend nearly an hour adjudicating cases of people who showed up seconds late for the 10:00 am registration cut-off time. A couple signs and some observers in the registration area could have obviated the whole mess.

So what with Tom Rust’s agile leadership and a generally quiescent audience could have been one of the most efficient political conventions in the history of western civilization, this ended up being pretty much like all the others because of subpar management. It dragged on.

I got to see some great friends and fellow bloggers. Our own Brian Withnell was among those who arrived late. Six seconds, to be exact. So even though the clock still read 10:00 am, Brian and his wife were told by 10th District staff they were too late to participate – and Brian is too much of a gentleman to even suggest a protest. They left, and their case was not among those adjudicated by the Credentials Committee. Most of the NVTH blogging crew were there. Also, I got to finally meet Ron of Isophorone Blog, my third-party brother in arms, and I got to spend some always-enjoyable time with Blog Fu.

In attendance from the town next door were newly re-elected Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis, Councilman Dennis Husch, and Help Save Herndon co-founder Phil Jones. I am guessing Fairfax County’s delegation contributed a sizeable number of votes for the good guys on the ticket.

Here’s a screwy thing that a friend brought to my attention, and another commentary on 10th District Chair Jim Rich’s management savoir faire.

The 10th District staff enforced the rules on signage. None allowed inside the Convention.

10th District Convention No Signs Allowed

But, hey, what is the dominant sign within the Convention and the backdrop for the stage?

10th District Convention Signs On Stage

So while Frank Wolf’s challenger, Vern McKinley, had to play by the rules, the incumbent did not.

Vern McKinley signs 10th District Convention

Vern had to keep his signs outside.

It’s not easy out here for a regular citizen who wants to represent us in the U.S. Congress.

My daughter (bless her veagan heart) made me aware of something of late and I find it noteworthy.  Although when growing up she really didn’t have a say in what was shoved down her throat for meals, now being a mother of 2 has changed how she sees things done for her own .  Makes you wonder where it will all end.  I am talking about genetic engineering of food stuff.

“Why should you be concerned about GMOs and labeling of GE foods:

 

It’s a simple conflict of interest.  Pesticide companies like Monsanto have developed Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) spliced corn, that is resistant to it’s own Round Up herbicide product.  This starts a vicious cycle where farmers must use both products to grow anything.

 

Biodiversity is a big deal.  There are 20,000 varieties of corn in Mexico alone.  If heavily introduced in Mexico, GE seed stands to decimate the assortment through cross pollination/contamination.  In 1970 the US experienced a corn crisis.  Southern corn leaf blight destroyed 15%-50% of the total US corn harvest, resulting in the loss of over $1 billion.  The US turned to Mexico’s seed biodiversty and cultivated several varieties of corn that were resistant to Southern corn blight, thus saving billions of dollars in losses the next year.

 

Bt corn is engineered to punch holes in the intestines of the insects that eat it and kill them.  What effect does Bt have on human organs and immune systems?  What effect does it have on our livestock that eat it and also become our food?  What effect does it have on beneficial insects?  It’s a good question.  It’s also a question that cannot be answered without GE labeling.  There is no way to link or trace illnesses back to GE foods if they are not labeled, thus the effects have never been studied.

 A small California biotech company, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the development of genetically engineered corn which contained a spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile. At the time Epicyte had a joint venture agreement to spread its technology with DuPont and Syngenta, two of the sponsors of the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Carolina biotech company. Astonishing to learn was that Epicyte had developed its spermicidal GMO corn with research funds from the US Department of Agriculture, the same USDA which, despite worldwide opposition, continued to finance the development of Terminator technology, now held by Monsanto. 

According to the USDA in 2007, adoption of biotech corn reached 73% while GE soy is at a staggering 91%.  This means most soy on the market is genetically engineered.  This is very frightening indeed.  Soy is the first alternative infant formula for babies with milk sensitivities and allergies.  What effects will this GE soy have on infants exclusively fed this formula?  We just don’t know and there should be proper labeling.  We DO know what it does to rats, however:

 Over half of the rats born to mothers who ate GM-soy (55-56%) were dead in three weeks, as opposed to a 9% mortality rate in rats whose mothers ate normal soy.What is happening here is that genetic seed is being manufactured.  The seed can pollunate with other seed but by the same token NULLIFYS (sterilize if you will) that seed so that it cannot be anything but GE used for future crops.  In essence, terminator seed wipes out the competition.  All that is left for each years crops are genetically manufactured seed from Monsanto.  We are talking about cornering the WORLD market literally.  It takes decades to manipulate nature into producing changes that are good for us and it takes science a short time in the lab to ruin it forever.  This isn’t comforting.

http://www.thecampaign.org/index.php

http://www.thecampaign.org/states/virginia.php

I would say that this is definately worth consideration.  Make your voice heard.  Do some research.  Watch what you eat and never, never eat grain from a crop circle! (Just thought I’d throw that in).

You will have to forgive me for this.  I usually don’t have links because I don’t know HOW to link.  I also refuse to violate term agreements by reproducing without permission.  So, as usual, this is a “seek and ye shall find” article unless one of my brave brethern want to pony up with an edit HERE!  ;-)

Todays Post-anything has a banner headline: “California Supreme Court Strikes Bans on Same-Sex Marraige”.  Now you may think this another piece on homosexuality but really, Jonathan, it is not.  This is purely the subversion of power by our political “leaders” holding office.

“The 4-3 ruling opened the way for the nation’s most populous state to join Massachusetts in allowing partners of the same sex to marry.  The court’s order becomes final in 30 days, and it told county clerks and registrars to prepare.

Marraige is a “basic civil right” guaranteed to all Californians, “whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples,” Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote in a 121-page ruling.”

I will agree with his statement here.  ANYTHING in California is a basic civil right for those people.  This is the part that gets me:

“Before (read that word carefully…..BEFORE…) the ruling, a conservative coalition submitted more than 1 MILLION signatures to place a constitutional (state) amendment banning same-sex marraige on the November ballot.

…..from California’s Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has twice vetoed legislation that would have allowed same-sex marraiges.  “I respect the Court’s decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling,” (and this is when he should have shut-up but NO-O-O-O-O-O) he said in a statement. “…I WILL NOT (3 very important words) support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.”

Understand this.  The court upholds the constitution as they interpret its meaning (and this is California) which is what courts do.  The correct procedure for changing the constitution is being followed by having a vote for an amendment to this document.  This is the people’s will.  This is what changes  the law that the courts are now obligied to honor and follow.  And this knucklehead that wants to be the first foreign-born President of these here United States (yes, he had to pass the immigrants test-must have graded on a curve) is willing to NULLIFY the will of the people and SUBVERT the mechanisms of the office.  If nothing else, this is why you NEVER, EVER marry a liberal.  I think it will be shown that Arnold is WAY out-of-bounds here for having a lack of knowledge as well as just crapping on this counrty.  Another case for secession in my book. 

Yippee kay yay … America.

From past experience I have the impression our readership is not by and large a “techie” audience, unless the technology happens to go bang – in which case I think we have the top experts in the world this side of Janes.

But maybe the occasional Web or marketing person will drop by, so I am going to share a great blog I discovered in the course of researching my day-job Web overhaul project (which remains highly diffuse at this point). It’s honestly one of the best blogs I’ve ever read in any subject field, and I have read a whole lot of them.

Jeremiah Owyang is clearly the rare individual who has found an occupation which matches his personal enthusiasms, so that his online diary bears the depth and quantity of content of someone who pours 100% of himself into the subject matter. This is a pure blessing for anyone interested in learning about the information-intensive, jargon-rich, and opaque – for those who have fallen a bit behind on tech innovations – field that Owyang specializes in: Web strategy. Every minute spent on his blog is worth that minute of your life. His posts on User Experience could serve as a certificate program.

For instance, this post and comment thread on Content Management Systems arrived at a perfect time – when I am engaged precisely in researching CMS and social media solutions for our company. If you are behind the times on Internet trends, terms like Twitter and Technographics are greek to you, if you are responsible for making a strategic Web decision, and you want to get caught up, read this guy’s blog.

I have been following all that is said and questions raised about this election and the candidates involved.  Politics is a dirty, messy business and I often wonder why anyone would subject themselve to the abuse and mud slinging that goes hand in hand with campaigning.  We have 3 liberals vying for a single position when along comes a spoiler that says he is a true conservative and an alternate choice.  This brought back elections with Ralph Nadar, Ross Perot and Lyndon LaRouche as well as some others.  It got me to thinking and I would like to present this for all to contemplate.

Competition is what makes business and the world go round.  We get a better product and a better price when companies and people compete.  If nothing else, we get choice in what we would like to have.  This election will be a stinker of great proportions.  Apathy abounds.  There is no one great candidate now or on the horizon.  So that everyone has a chance to feel good about pulling a lever (or whatever means to make vote) I propose that all parties start their signature campaigns to get on ballot for all 50 states.  Let’s have the Independents, Constitutionalists, Nazi, Communist, Queer, Blue Hair, Julio, Bikers-R-Us, Green, Veagan, Whig, Tory and any other party that wants to get involved.  I am dead serious here, folks.  There is absolutely no reason that this counrty needs to be a 2 or 3 party system.  Most other countries aren’t.  And being that the Republican Party is no longer my party of choice since they ate and vomited their values and mission statement, I would like to have other choices.  Why eat chicken every day when you can have beef, pork or fish.  We need the competition and it will help to remove the eletists from the ranks of the “2″ parties.  The main concern is that there are steadfast differences between parties and I mean more than just one issue or belief. 

I want my friends to vote.  I want voting to be fun and soothing.  I want people involved in the political process and understanding their country.  I want us to be “We, the people..” again.   Most of all, I want to be heard.  Give me some choices!

In the parts I & II of this series I laid into John McCain. I also explained why I thought it would be better to treat election day as an Irish Wake. Out could come the pipes, a few pints and the blarney would flow as we we watch the socialists lather up the clueless Republican Johnny ‘Boyo the Maverick’ McCain with their left wing media shillalies. We could then spend the next four years three sheets to the wind as a coping mechanism during the Obama presidency.

I got a lot of grief from some quarters saying that the Republican Party must moderate and not be so extreme. I’d rather see us show a respect for the Constitution I swore to uphold and defend when I joined the Marine Corps in 1983. Having principles is not extreme, it is called sticking to your guns. Upholding the law is not extreme, or is it? Do I need a dose of nuance from the left? Wandering about the internet I have stumbled upon a kindred spirits in the issue of the Republicans ongoing leftward meandering in the name of Wir and Hawkins. Both present interesting views on the matters. From Wir:

Republicans are denied a “meaningful opportunity to participate” in the affairs of their own political party. If you are asked to join something, anything, you expect that joining means involvement and participation. People don’t join civic or political affairs just to receive barked orders.

This is something that rings true, and Wir goes on to write …

Turnover in leadership, changing of the guard from one generation to the next is being delayed because simply turning 65 no longer means one’s getting infirm.

The trouble with this is that as the leadership becomes entrenched it becomes self serving which is why we get bridges to nowhere, and other forms of runaway spending. Wir further notes:

The GOP once the party of reform, became the party of insiders. Access to power replaced the power of ideas.

We started to try to hold on to power by any means necessary, which narrowed the differences between us and the Democrats. This is lethal for Republicans for unlike the Democrats the Republican party does not have the old guard media carrying its water. With the scandals and spending excesses the Republicans may have consigned themselves to the wilderness for a generation.

Then comes part two of this disaster, the non-conservative Republicans. Spector, Graham, Bush et all, and of course … McCain. They have shown contempt for the constituency that propelled this party to power. The Conservatives are the mainstay of the Republican party. The trouble with the economy, Iraq etc all pale in comparison to the disenchantment of conservatives with the GOP. Hawkens states:

there is one overriding problem that dwarfs all the others, a problem that few people in the leadership of the Republican Party seem to have come to grips with. That problem is that conservatives, who are the heart and soul of the Republican Party, no longer believe that the GOP has their best interests at heart.

We do not see our selves being served. So we are staying home. We stayed home in 2006, we have seen nothing to fight for. Simply voting against Obama is not enough. People need something to vote for. Hawkins continues …

does the Republican Party adequately represent conservative interests? No. Do George Bush and John McCain’s values and beliefs match up well with those of the average conservative in the Party? No, they do not. Does the machinery of the Republican Party — the RNC, the NRCC, NSCC — treat conservatives fairly and do a good job of representing conservative interests? Not at all.

This is the heart of it. The McCain-Kennedy Amnesty bill was brought up and the elites tried to stuff it down the countries’ throat, that finally tore it. Sen Graham’s calling us bigots was not helpful either. The money dried up. The approval ratings dropped even more, and the conservatives walked; most have not returned, for nothing has been done to improve matters. Some will provide an anti-Obama vote, but face it, this is small potatoes when compared to the millions of votes that will be home Nov 4. Good luck fellas, you’ll miss us.

UPDATE:
For those who insist on not getting it: When a political party has your interests you will forgive mistakes, like those made in the occupation in Iraq. When a political party does NOT have your interests, things like a downturn in the economy, which are technically NOT in your control, will hurt you. When the voter sees no gain for themselves supporting a party, then the party is finished regardless of circumstances.