Friday, April 30, 2010

An Interlude: Vote For Paul

My friend and fellow Wahoo, Paul, is in the running to win an MBA competition and meet Ben & Jerry.

Go here and vote for him, he's "WakeForestMBA"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Leesburg Votes May 4th!

Next Tuesday, May 4th, election day for the Town of Leesburg (and the other Towns in Loudoun). There are three open positions on Council and a contested Mayoral race to be decided by the voters. The last election (in 2008) was a low-turnout affair. In Town elections, your vote really counts, as it is such a smaller set of people voting.

There are a number of important issues facing the Town that the next Mayor and Council will have to address, including but not limited to a new Cable TV Franchise for Comcast, Town revenue changes, as carryover (i.e., surpluses) from previous years declines, and, as always, land use and development.

Leesburg Democrats have endorsed Mayor Umstattd for re-election, as well as Marty Martinez, Neely Law and Ann Robinson for Council.

As a point of interest, Leesburg Town elections are somewhat different in that the County is broken up into voting districts that do not necessarily honor the borders of the Town. As a result, five Precincts that are in the Catoctin District (Heritage, Tolbert, Evergreen, Balls Bluff and Greenway) vote in Leesburg Town elections, but have a different Supervisor (Sally Kurtz) from the rest of the Town (Kelly Burk).

Please come out and cast your vote on Tuesday, every vote really does count.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Health Insurance One Liner

A neighbor's health insurance company is demanding to know why the antibiotics for her 12 year old are "medically necessary."

Read that again.

I don't want to wait until 2014.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Futuaris Non Irresus Ridebis

Futuaris Non Irresus Ridebis was a motto for my Band at UVA.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
South Park Death Threats
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

(With a tip-o-the-hat to The Daily Beast.)

In the interest of full disclosure, this was posted while watching Animal House on cable.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Slate On History

Just a quick post because everyone should go read Slate's article on how Tea Party members are mistaken when it comes to some pretty basic 20th century history.
You hear them say, for instance, that we live under "tyranny" because one side lost a health care vote in an elected legislative body. And that, in all seriousness, the president is a communist. For many Tea Party members, the word is not just a vile epithet; it's a realistic political description. Check out this clip in which Tea Party "celebrity" spokeswoman Victoria Jackson flatly tells a flummoxed Fox News host, "The president's a communist." When the host (the Fox host!) starts to object, she responds that Glenn Beck has taught her that progressive is a code word for communist. - Ron Rosenbaum, Slate
Go. Read.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Support The Southwest Connector

Over the course of the past couple decades, Leesburg has been building a trail system that is the envy of other towns. The Council is considering funding and building the next, important part of that system, the Southwest Connector.

There is a group of people interested in stopping the Southwest Connector (for various reasons), so supporters of this important addition to Leesburg's community are rallying to bring this effort to its final installment. They've put together a Facebook Group, Save The Southwest Connector Trail.

As I am a strong supporter of the Trail, I wrote my own email to Council, and I encourage you to do so as well. Here's what I wrote:
Dear council,

I strongly support funding and building the Southwest Connector trail. It is critical to continuing the integration of Leesburg as a united, walkable community of neighbors.

Thank you,

I hope you'll write one too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Marty Martinez This Sunday

On Sunday, come and join the Friends of Marty Martinez and support Marty's re-election bid for Town Council.

On April 25, 2010 from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM, Bunkers of Leesburg will be hosting a "Meet the Candidate", featuring Marty Martinez with guest speaker State Senator Mark Herring. Come and hear State Senator Mark Herring speak on his legislative and community efforts. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served and, in turn, you'll be helping Marty to keep the Town of Leesburg a great place to live.

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Requested Contribution is $30.00 per person. You'll get to hear and meet one of Virginia's great State Senators, Mark Herring, and Town Council Candidate Marty Martinez.

Bunkers of Leesburg
Leesburg Plaza
510-I East Market Street
(703) 443-0777

RSVP to Stephen Axeman at 703-777-2787

If unable to attend, you can still support Marty by sending a contribution to: "Friends of Marty Martinez", 803 Catoctin Dr NE, Leesburg, VA 20176

Neely Law This Saturday

Neely is a Good Fit for Leesburg

Join Neely Law, a candidate for Leesburg Town Council:

Saturday, April 24th from 3 - 5pm
Activities begin at 3:30pm.

Foxridge Park Pavilion
(located at 525 Catoctin Circle and WO&D Trail)

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For family fitness and fun.

For more information visit

$10 family donation to “Vote Neely” requested and appreciated.

Fitness trainer, Adam Lee, will lead families through fun activities in support of Healthy Lifestyles!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

McDonnell's Follies

Just some of the latest actions of our Governor, for your amusement.
Of course, as of Tuesday afternoon there's no activity or mention on or the Governor's website of the worst mine disaster in a generation, happening next door, at a mine owned by a Virginia company based in Richmond itself. Of course, it couldn't happen here, right? So why say anything?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recovering Soldiers, Real Stories

A friend who is in the news business pointed me to a blog by a colleague of hers:

Circling The Moon

The colleague is a reporter recovering at Walter Reed. The blog is worth the read as a window into the world of wounded warriors. Here's a snippet.
I was told this morning Bethesda is over-flowing with Marine casualties. Walter Reed can't handle the incoming soldiers. My experience on Ward 57, where I was treated for months when I arrived, was horrible this time around. The military is hiring un-qualified contractors to act as "nurses". The soldiers here complain about them all the time. - Circling The Moon
And another.
Sen. Joe Lieberman stopped by today and seemed surprised when I reminded him that Walter Reed Army Medical Center is closing and merging with Bethesda at a time when more wounded soldiers are arriving from Afghanistan nearly every day. What? Did he forget the war? Can't blame him. Most of America has. - Circling The Moon
I asked some folks I know who work with wounded veterans how to best help them out, and they recommended The Wounded Warrior Project. (Incidentally, the LCDC Chair, Mike Turner, works with them.)

Also, the blog's author says this:
There is also a great need for people to come out and ASK the soldiers and Marines what they need. So much time and effort is being mis-directed... Anyone can come to Walter Reed, or Mologne house. Mologne House especially is a good choice because there's an area pout back where soldiers and marines congregate and smoke. It's a great place to meet them and hear their stories.
Thank you to all our soldiers and veterans everywhere.

"Thank Taxes"

Following up on the discussion over on In Through The Out Door a few weeks ago, I want to draw your attention to this great, short video prepared by two women in Alexandria.

Of course, while you're thinking about the things your taxes provide, remember that it's your taxes, not the taxes of America's most profitable company, because that company doesn't pay taxes on billions of its profits. (Meanwhile my small company which ekes its way into the black, pays its taxes and lays off three people.)

Of course, large corporations also benefit from roads, fire companies, the FAA and schools, and they've got the same speech rights as actual people, but making them actually pay taxes the same as other "people" is a step too far.

(With a tip-o-the-hat to Blue Virginia.)

And then there's this bit-o-zen.

Free (Immigration Reform) T-Shirt!

One of the organizations behind the hundred-thousand-plus immigration march on Washington a few weeks ago was Reform Immigration For America. This group is dedicated to reforming our unjust immigration policies to benefit American workers and our immigrant neighbors, together.
Our vision of reform includes immigrants and native-born U.S. citizens working shoulder to shoulder to achieve better wages, working conditions, and labor protections—making sure everyone is playing by the same set of rules so that it is harder for unscrupulous employers to cheat immigrants and therefore harder for everyone to be cheated. We need to build faith in our immigration system so that people respect the process and so that the process respects them. That’s our vision for a stronger America. - Reform Immigration for America
And Reform Immigration for America is offering a free T-shirt! So, go get your free shirt.

Immigration reform is going to be a steep climb. For all that Lindsay Graham is meeting with Charles Schumer on this subject, I am suspicious of his willingness to vote for reform when the time comes to do so. With the nativist undertones of the Tea Party movement that so dominates the discussion in Republican circles, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to get to 60 votes in the Senate. And immigration reform is not a deficit-reduction policy (though an argument can be made that it would reduce the deficit), so reconciliation is not exactly an option. And if you think the air was filled with lies and vitriol over health care reform, wait until you hear what's said about immigration.

I do not know whether we can build a winning coalition for Immigration Reform in 2010, but I know that in trying to do so, we will lay the groundwork for a solution in the near future. And that is worth the effort, because we are all immigrants, we are all Americans.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Note to Local Businesses

I ran an errand this afternoon...
Dear Home Depot Leesburg (and related retailers, I'm sure),

When there are customers waiting in line to talk to staff in every (or almost every) department in your store, at 1pm on a Friday it is time to hire more people. Not only is it good for the economy, and good for our neighbors who need work, it's going to be good for your reputation.

Thx, bye!

(With a tip-o-the-hate to my buddy Mistah Bubbles.)

An Interlude: Bacon

(With a tip-o-the-hat to Bryan!)