novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

I have to give the Senator credit, he “stayed in his lane,” as the Army expression goes.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama met Iraq’s prime minister in Baghdad on Monday but did not raise his plan to remove combat troops within 16 months if he wins the election, an Iraqi official said.

-From a National Post report

It sounds like he did as he said he would.  He listened, rather than talked.  I hope his visit with the Iraqi PM was enlightening to him.  I also wish the Senator had been paying us more attention over here prior to this point in time.

Other than my previous objection to Senator Obama’s past comments, I think he did pretty well on this part of the trip.

Here and here are two different accounts.

I don’t have a problem with US Senators meeting with foreign leaders, so long as they are doing so with the approval of the State Department (hear that, Nancy Pelosi?).  Senator Obama’s meeting with President Karzai was good for America overall.  I think it is appropriate for a sitting US senator to act as an ambassador and help strengthen our alliances.

The only complaint I might have is this:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama pledged steadfast aid to Afghanistan in talks Sunday with its Western-backed leader and vowed to pursue the war on terror “with vigor” if elected, an Afghan official said.

-From the above linked AP article

My opinion is that Presidential candidates should not be making “if elected” commitments to foreigners (hear that, John Kerry?).  The only people any US Presidential candidate should be making “if elected” promises to are the American people.  Like Senator Obama has said himself, he is travelling as a US Senator, not as a presidential candidate.

However, based on the way the AP article is written, he may have been quoted out of context.  If anyone knows where to find the full quote or a transcript of the meeting, fill us in.

This recently came across via e-mail; Loudoun Community Association:

Important government functions meant to protect our quality of life, such as zoning enforcement, are not being implemented even to the degree permitted by existing laws…

Please consider this forum an ongoing “open letter” to our local government officials.

That reminds me, tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 22, 6:30 pm) there will be a follow up public hearing in which the Loudoun County staff and entire Board of Supervisors will be at Park View High School to deliver the findings of the previous series of public hearings held in Sterling and Potomac Districts, and also to hear public opinions. I believe people get to speak for three minutes. It is an important chance to have the whole Board hear what you have to say – say, about zoning enforcement in eastern Loudoun – and not have to drive out to Leesburg to get it done.

So be at Park View tomorrow evening if you can.

The preliminary findings of the county staff are linked at the Loudoun Community Association Web site, go check them out. I won’t have a chance to read them for a while because of work but plan to eventually give my opinion. It will be interesting to see which public comments at the previous seven hearings the county staff heard.

This is way too cool.

More Here.

Someone let me know if you can find where to order the CD.


George Bush said ‘Drill!‘ and the price of crude dropped over nine dollars in a single day, and it continues to fall.   The market knows that the U.S. has huge, untapped energy reserves. The United States has more than three times the amount of Oil the Saudi Arabians do. Due to a masochistic energy policy brought on by environmental extremists we are now importing 70% of our oil from people who hate us, and indirectly funding our foes in the war against Islamic Extremism. The more energy independent we become, the less money we will be putting into the pockets of those who wish to kill us and end our way of life.

The need for energy in the long term will require a shift in technology.   We need to move away from our dependence on fossil fuels.  The most viable short-and-mid-term avenue currently is nuclear power. The other commonly discussed alternatives are wind and solar power.  These have yet to demonstrate economic viability, but should be pursued none the less.  Government funding of research for these and other ideas such as Algae_Fuels is a must.  With our economy growing, and our population expanding we will need more energy.  Conservation alone will not be able to cover the increase in energy needs. Therefore, until the future alternatives are found, we must make full use of our natural resources.

We are the only nation in the world with access to known oil deposits on our own land or off our shores that essentially refuses to tap those resources.

Giving our own people access to these resources should not be a political football.  However the Democrat party is seeking to further politicize the energy debate by couching it as a class warfare issue and giveaways to the wealthy.


Currently it is easier for the Chinese to drill in the Gulf of Mexico than it is for any American Oil company; this is ridiculous.

While Washington dithers over exploiting oil and gas reserves off the coast of Florida, China has seized the opportunity to gobble up these deposits, which run throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and along the U.S. Gulf coast.

There are new reports out circulating that Chinese firms are planning to slant drill off the Cuban coast near the Florida Straits, tapping into U.S. oil reserves that are estimated at 4.6 billion to 9.3 billion barrels. This compares with 4 billion to 10 billion barrels believed to be beneath the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

Nancy Pelosi is more worried about Exxon being able to drill than she is about the Chinese pirating our very own oil reserves.  From an article in the Herald Tribune

“We have chosen to lock up our resources and stand by to be spectators while these two come in and benefit from things right in our own backyard”

The Cuban regime at least is prospering from our policies.  Neat trick, someone finally figured out how to bring a profit to Castro’s Caribbean gulag.

Obama’s idea to fix our energy woes is to, ‘Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions‘.  Great!! The patient is bleeding, Dr Barak’s brilliant idea is to apply leaches.  The Democrats in both houses of Congress have proposed a windfall profits tax, considering what a raging success this was under James Carter, I am surprised they are even considering it.  With help like this we should be on our way to the guilt-free third-world economy the left has always wanted.

The Democrat party is currently against drilling in ANWR, the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast the Gulf Coast, the Rocky Mountains and Montana.  So what is left?  With the other alternatives even more economically unsound than $140/barrel oil, we need to tap into this reservoir now, while we still have an economy to save.  Waiting for the alternatives which are at least 30 years away from becoming available will sentence our children and grandchildren to contending with a crippled economy.

Any economy is dependent upon energy.  Currently our energy comes primarily in the form of fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas).  These fuels have made modern life possible. Without them we would still be huddling in the winter around wood fires, in cramped quarters.  In the summer we will perspire copiously and experience mosquito bites in our bedrooms as we try to sleep.  This life style romantically is also known as medieval.  The lifespan of an individual is 30 to 40 years under this technological regimen.  For those who wish to return to this level of existence please vote Democrat.  Their policies are putting us on a trajectory back to the past.

From an AP report:

Obama recently chided Karzai and his government, saying it had “not gotten out of the bunker” and helped to organize the country or its political and security institutions.

Also on his itinerary later in the trip is a meeting with Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi leader. On the campaign trail, Obama has said one benefit of withdrawing U.S. troops is that it would pressure al-Maliki to shore up his government as well.

Nonetheless, he said he did not plan to reiterate those messages in person.

I don’t buy his “I’m going over there as a US Senator” cop-out.  He’s willing to publicly put down foreign leaders to get a crowd of liberal supporters going (and get primary votes), but refuses to personally confront those same leaders when given the chance.  He shouldn’t have said those things to begin with.


Nature and music. First the music -

the clarks

The Clarks

My wife and I are fortunate in so many ways it is impossible to quantify, but one is our respective cultural inheritances, which are inarguably excellent. Just like I’ve got the great musician, Paul Cebar, who attended my obscure college while I was there, Linda has The Clarks, who attended her equally obscure school while she was there. We make it a point to go see both of them every convenient opportunity.

This week our trek was to Dewey Beach, Delaware to see The Clarks at the Bottle and Cork – which is, incidentally, a really, really good bar: large, open-air, friendly and cheap.

I can’t classify The Clarks because I am not a rock critic and am frankly an old man, but I will just say they are an original rock act (did a cover of Springsteen’s The River on Thursday, but that’s the only cover I’ve seen them do) with an exuberant quality, an outrageously good lead singer, and just a very fun sound …. which explains the fantasticly loyal fan base this Pittsburgh band has throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

To get the sense of their style, go here and watch “Shimmy Low” under the “Video” section.

The Clarks did a kick-ass show opening for Sister Hazel who I never heard of before on account of my boutique (read “old man”) musical repetoire. By far the majority of the audience were there for The Clarks, I can say. Hopefully the Bottle and Cork will have them back as the lead act and give them a little more time in the future. Sister Hazel was quite good, though, rock in a similar vein.

Definitely check out The Clarks if you get the chance. I guarantee you will like them.

Here are the rock and roll photos for my wife’s photo album:

Scott Blasey

Greg Joseph Dewey Beach
Greg Joseph

Dave Minarik Dewey Beach
Dave Minarik

Rob James Dewey Beach
Rob James


My sleeping habits being what they are, I woke up well before dawn and could not get back to sleep, so I went driving around to check out the fishing scene.

Delaware sunrise

This is sunrise at the Indian River inlet. Note the seagull over the rising sun, Digital Camel dudes. ART, my friends.

Delaware fishermen

Here are the fishermen heading off down the jetty. Wish I was going with them, but that is a trip for another day.