Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who Funds Who?

You may remember one of our favorite progressives, Andrew Kujan, cast a nonsensical aspersion towards our “insane brand of conservatism” and little blog of “25 percenters.” Kujan wondered whether Eagle Publishing has any financial interest in Red Maryland because the man who founded Red Maryland, Bill Streiff also posts at Redstate, which is owned by Eagle Publishing. In Kujan’s mind this is obviously another sinister plot by the evil right wing conspiracy. Bill Streiff’s response gave Kujan a little dose of reality here. Sorry to break it to you Andrew, none of us get paid to do this, unless one considers enduring snarky accusations of racism and the twisting of our words out of context, payment.

Now that we know there are no vile corporate machinations tugging the strings here, I thought I would look a bit deeper into our friends over at Free State Politics.

Free State Politics is funded by a grant from BlogPAC. BlogPAC is a political action committee formed to coordinate the activities of progressive bloggers and raise money for political candidates. It was founded by none other than Kos himself, Markos Moulitsas Zuñiga. Democratic operative Matt Stoller runs the site, nothing unseemly there. Stoller is a sycophant of George Soros. Nothing sinister about that either. However, Stoller had high praise for Soros’ definition of the war on terror as a “false metaphor”. Stoller said, “I think he’s right… The war on terror just doesn't exist any more than a child's imaginary friend exists.” Yes the attacks of 9/11, USS Cole, the Kenya/Tanzania embassies, and the Khobar Towers are all imaginary and the victims that were not murdered are gearing up for the Labor Day weekend!

Also, BlogPac and Kos have come under some sharp criticism, from their side of the political spectrum, for their advertising shenanigans, purging of local progressive blogs that do not toe-the-Kos line (see more groupthink here and here), and Google Bombing the 2006 election.

The bloggers at Free State Politics may or may not agree with Stoller’s moonbat ideas, and the purging of dissenters from Kossak groupthink, although I think most of them do. It would please me to hear a response that they don’t.
However, they should at least understand that this is the prevailing view of those who fund their website. In short, Andrew Kujan should be more concerned about who FSP IS associated with instead of who Red Maryland is not.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't Know Much About History

Isaac Smith admits that does not know much about history, see here and his vapid response to me. Before I get into the crux of Isaac’s history lesson, let me address his comment “And for the record: No one who favors withdrawal thinks the violence will stop once we leave.”

As I’ve said before, both Smith and his contemporaries on Iraq, and their predecessors from the Vietnam era a take no responsibility for the disastrous consequences of an American military withdrawal. Oh, he acknowledges that there will be more violence in Iraq after a withdrawal, but that is not my point. My point is that they will celebrate US withdrawal, the defeat of the evil George W. Bush, then wash their hands of the nightmare to follow. They brought down the man or the machine or whatever, that is all that matters to them.

Now I will address his assertion that conservatives are somehow deluded because some of us think that Vietnam could have turned out differently.

Smith shows us that he lacks a fundamental understanding that the work of history is constant revision, which includes revising the so-called lefty “revisionists” like Howard Zinn, Victor Navasky, and Ellen Shrecker. If he did understand this, then he would know that when new documents and evidence become available our understanding of historical events and eras change, unless that change refutes your own destructive ideology, see here.

An example: For the last 50 years the received historical knowledge was that folks like Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs ,and Harry Dexter White were innocent of the charges of spying for Stalin, and the CPUSA was just a homegrown “communism is 20th Century Americanism” organization of social activists. Any scholar who thought otherwise was a McCarthyite witch-hunter harassing innocent liberal New Dealers. However, in the last decade, Soviet archives have opened, and the NSA declassified the Venona project. From this new evidence, we now know that Hiss, White, and the Rosenbergs were indeed Soviet spies, espionage on behalf of Soviet intelligence services was a major function of the CPUSA, which took its marching orders from Stalin, and that many New Dealers were either fellow traveling dupes or outright Soviet agents.

As for Vietnam, yes, it could have turned out differently, and yes anti-war activists and duplicitous reporters played a major role in pursuing the North’s strategy of sowing domestic divisions about the war in America. Smith would know this if he ever bothered to read any history of the war not written by David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan or Stanley Karnow.

In a new and persuasively argued history Triumph Forsaken, historian Mark Moyar reveals that the war could have been won in 1965, without introduction of US ground troops. Moyar states that the 1963 coup and US-backed assassination of South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem was a disastrous mistake. Contrary to the traditional school of thought, Diem was not the monster most historians and contemporary reporters portrayed him to be. In fact, Diem was a skillful, if authoritarian leader, who actually saw success against the Viet Cong in 1962, and eliminated the communist agents who remained in the South after the 1952 partition. Diem cultivated a successful officer corps, which led to the 1962 successes against the Viet Cong. Most Vietnamese shared Diem’s traditional ideology it was not as harsh and radical as Ho Chi Minh’s land redistribution that murdered tens of thousands. Diem’s crackdown of the Buddhists was necessary because they were a small politically minded group with close ties to the North or communists or communists themselves. Reporters like Halberstam believed that Diem had to go. Halberstam and his colleagues, Sheehan and Karnow, passed damaging information on Diem to his opponents, which made its way to his opponents in the American government. We now know that the information gathered by Halberstam was in fact false data passed to them by Reuters stringer Pham Xuan An, who was in fact a secret communist agent. After Diem’s assassination, the new regime purges the capable Diem loyalists from the government and military, consequently negating South Vietnam’s advantage over the VC and PAVN.

North Vietnamese documents prove that LBJ and McNamara’s policy of limited incremental response did not induce the North to in turn limit itself, rather is showed to Hanoi that the US would not mount a major defense of South Vietnam. Couple this with the disintegration of the South Vietnam’s military capacity in the wake of the coup against Diem, the North began a full scale invasion.

About those dirty hippies! Apparently, Smith hasn’t heard of people like Jane Fonda’s husband Tom Hayden, a founding member of SDS and New Left radical. Hayden played a crucial role in executing Hanoi’s plan to sow dissent at home. Hayden traveled many times to North Vietnam, Czechoslovakia, and Paris to meet Communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong leaders and collaborate with them in defeating America's anti-Communist efforts. Hayden returned from a trip to Hanoi proclaiming he had seen "rice roots democracy at work." He even offered advice on conducting psychological warfare against the US. Hayden and Fonda labeled the torture of American POWs “propaganda” and called returning POWs like John McCain “liars.” Hayden cultivated a radical anti anti-Communist caucus in Congress, where he lectured and agitated for an end to anti-Communist efforts in South Vietnam and advocated support for the Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia. When anti-war activists like Joan Baez spoke out about the North Vietnamese genocide and re-education camps, Hayden and Fonda called her a tool of the CIA. Yes, we have moved on from the 1960’s, unfortunately, we are still stuck with the disastrous ideas and consequences of that destructive generation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rivalry? It Should Be

I am now the proud owner of Redskins season tickets. Yep five years on that vaunted waiting list and they finally came through this year. My first experience was at last week's storm shortened Redskins-Ravens pre-season game. Being a Redskin fan in Baltimore is a bewildering experience to say the least. Its true that most Redskin fans don't really consider the Ravens a rival, if they ever consider them at all. Well until you move to Baltimore.

The first day I ever wore Redskins gear out in public in Charm City I experienced the legendary Baltimore inferiority complex (BIC). I walked into a local Hampden watering hole wearing a Skins T-shirt and the bartender said "You're in enemy territory!" I replied, "am I in Dallas?" It is so annoying and this attitude is everywhere you turn in the Baltimore region. Now, I wear Redskins gear as much as possible just to irk Ravens fans and tickle that inferiority complex.

So is there a rivalry? No not really, but there should be. The Redskins and Ravens should play a yearly regular season game. Its a natural geographic rivalry, with bad blood simmering on one side and just below the surface on the other. Will it replace Redskins-Cowboys or Ravens Steelers? No, and it won't unless both teams meet in a few Super Bowls. However, the NFL should schedule a standing home and home regular season game each year to stoke the flames. Seriously, and I think Ravens fans would agree, that giving up one game a year games against a non-conference opponent that you only see once every four years anyway to invigorate a natural rivalry is worth it

Now for my part to stoke the flames of a rivalry:
Look I love Baltimore, its a great town, but seriously Baltimore sports fans, get over your own myopia. Right now, you have a better team, a better owner and superior front office. The one thing you do not have on the Redskins is a better coach. So what's your problem?

Hail to the Redskins!

Rule of Law for Thee But Not For My Crony

Martin O’Malley’s sincere concern for the environment stops at the water’s edge (pun fully intended) when it comes to lining the pockets of his phony environmentalist rent-seeking cronies.

The details of the shady Kudner Land deal are now coming to light, thanks to top notch reporting by Travis Dunn at the Easton Star Democrat (subscription required) and publicity from O’Malley Watch.

One other thing to remember when looking at this sketchy land purchase, is that this same Board of Public Works voted 2-1 to deny a wetlands permit to developer K. Hovnanian for their proposed Four Seasons development on Kent Island. O’Malley and Peter Franchot voted no, Nancy Kopp voted yes. The BPW denied the permit even though Hovnanian followed all laws and regulations required in the planning. Both O’Malley and Franchot explained that their votes turned on concerns about the development’s environmental impact on the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding tributaries. O’Malley said, “They have jumped through every hoop…but this is not a canine hurdle exercise.” No governor, it is not. It is the rule of law and one should expect the man charged to “bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the Constitution and Laws thereof” to fulfill that oath even when it contradicts his own pet policy agendas and payoffs to political allies. Even though she had reservations about the development’s impact on the bay, Nancy Kopp at least expressed an interest in upholding the rule of law saying “I'm not happy about it in my heart either, but it is important to apply the laws and the regulations in a consistent way for all people.”

Consistency however, is not a concern, when connected O’Malley cronies like David Sutherland want to develop environmentally sensitive land. They need not jump through the dog hoops of laws and regulations, when O’Malley can run a dog and pony show at the Board of Public Works to land them a sweetheart deal at taxpayer expense.

Another fine example of what O’Malley Watch has deliciously dubbed O’Malley Operating Procedure Standards (OOPS).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Charm City Bloodsport

Despite having no electoral prospects, the one fun thing about being a Republican in Baltimore City is sitting back to watch the bloodsport that is Democratic politics in Charm City.

Of course there is Kieffer Mitchell Jr. vs. Sheila The Shoe. And now there is Michael Sarbanes vs. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Sarbanes has called into question a Rawlings-Blake fund raising report that listed a negative $64,000 balance.

A recent Baltimore Sun poll showed both candidates in a near dead heat. Sarbanes leads Rawlings-Blake 27% to 26% with with 37% undecided.

The next month should be very interesting.

Red Maryland

Bill Streiff invited me to contribute over at Red Maryland. I have been posting there for about a week now. Bud the Blogger at the No BS Zone has joined the team as well. Welcome Bud.

The conservative blogosphere in Maryland is growing and coordinating. It is my hope that our efforts to, in the words of William F. Buckley, "stand athwart history yelling stop" will help reinvigorate the conservative movement and Republican politics to permanently end one-party rule in Maryland.

Phoney Envrionmentalist Rent Seekers

O'Malley Watch has another great post about the Teflon Leprechaun's approval of the state's dubious Kudner land purchase. I highly recommend it.

Martin Watcher links to a Star Democrat investigation into the deal, which exposes the sellers David Sutherland and Walter Petrie as "phoney environmentalists." The land deal essentially allows Sutherland and his cronies to artificially increase the value of the whole area, develop the good land, then use state and county money to preserve the less valuable land.

Sutherland and Petrie are rent-seekers, that is, those who obtain from government what they cannot get fairly on the open in market. I touched a bit on this in my post about Johns Hopkins' climate change policy.

I highly recommend Chris Horner's book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism. Horner, a former lawyer, lobbied the Clinton-Gore administration to sign the Kyoto Protocols, on behalf of ENRON. ENRON was strategically positioned to make a killing on the energy scarcity and higher energy costs that Kyoto would have created. Google Books has a fairly extensive excerpt.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hammer and Drivel

Socialists are living breathing arguments against themselves and their ideology. A case in point is Baltimore City Mayoral candidate A. Robert Kaufman. His campaign site and press releases read like the Communist Manifesto or a William Z. Foster speech. Perhaps Kaufman does not realize the Cold War is over and his side lost. Then again, maybe he does and is still bitter about that whole freedom thing for Eastern Europe.

Kaufmann teaches the course The Class Struggle and the Road to Socialism, where he "teaches" that "socialism is the only answer to the myriad of crises wrought by capitalism in its imperialist stage”, at the Johns Hopkins/Baltimore Free University. The JHU/BFU offers other intellectual fare such as, I kid you not, Delights of Gastronomy I and II, Shower Singing, Anarchism for Beginners and Beer History and Appreciation.

Set aside for a moment that Kaufman preaches an ideology responsible for the murder of nearly 100 million people all in the name of “social justice,” he is quite simply a whiner.

I received two press releases, more like childish tantrums, from Kaufman’s campaign complaining that he has been disrespected because he did not know about two candidate forums. Let’s take them one at a time so you can see the socialist mindset at work.

Here is his release about the WOLB radio forum:
I have spent my life protesting against discrimination of blacks, gays,
immigrants, and others. It is an abomination for a black or gay
radio talk show host to now discriminate against myself, and deny his radio
listeners the benefit of my solutions to the social crisis. This is
happening in a publicly advertised Mayoral Candidates Forum. The forum is
scheduled on WOLB Radio for the Larry Young Show, Thursday, August 9, 2007 from 8 to 10 a.m.
I had a medical procedure at Union Memorial hospitals cheduled for 10 am on Thursday, which I have had to cancel, as I only found outabout the forum on Wednesday morning. I asked the other invited candidates to refuse to participate unless I am treated with equal respect. We will see just how principled these candidates are. I will be at the station by 8 a.m.

He either missed the invitation or wasn’t invited, so in the socialist mindset it automatically means discrimination. Socialism is a secular religion, and socialists are on the side of the angels and so WOLB must be discriminating against him. Kaufman also complains that since had a scheduling conflict, the other candidates must rearrange their schedule to accommodate him? WOLB is a private company, which is most likely Kaufman’s real beef, and they can invite whoever they want to appear on their programs, no matter the civil rights record of the candidate they did not invite.

Here is his release concerning the BUILD/Black Chamber of Commerce/Harbel Community Association Forum. It reads much like the first:
I was not invited to your recent Candidates Forum, and in fact found out aboutit after the event. I will take pains to verify whether or not you will have a forum in the next election I participate in. If my health permits, I will conduct a C.O.R.E. sit-in at your forum, and you will treat me with the respect I deserve, or have the onus of having me arrested. Were your members told I was a candidate and why I was not invited? Given my civil rights/civil liberties, and pro-labor activities for the last 60 years, you ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.

Here he is again with the association of disrespect and subtle accusation of racism, and he wonders why groups do not invite him to their forums.

For a better understanding of why he is not invited take a look at a few of his responses to the City Paper candidate questionnaire and you can see why no one takes him seriously.

Q: Which city department should be first in line for cuts during budget crises? Which city department should be last in line?

A:Well, there is certainly a good deal of waste and corruption in any ruling class
government. So long as there are private entrepreneurs–particularly large
enterprises to bribe officials, there will be bribery. A popular socialist
society will create more democratic institutions–workers councils–which could
look out for society's interests.

Q: What does a candidate's business and personal financial situation say about his/her ability to manage the city's affairs?

A: What is far more important is what side of the class struggle he or she is committed to.

Q: Over the past several years, the Baltimore Police Department leadership has experienced a lot of turnover. How do you propose to stabilize the department and its leadership?

A: The historical role of police have always been to maintain existing property relations. The greater unjust division of wealth and poverty-the more efforts by the increasing number of impoverished to gain economic security by any means possible

It should be no mystery, except maybe to Kaufman, that a candidate, who espouses an ideology that leads to abject human misery, is not invited to serious mayoral candidate forums.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cardin gets to first base with Mikulski

Or at least that's how Baltimore Magazine teased their quick interview with "Senator Barb."

The blurb says "Ben’s no rookie, he’s been a major leaguer for some time now. Sure, when he was first elected I played Coach Barb and helped him get on first base, but he knows how to bring it home." By bringing "it home," I assume the pork for Baltimore. It is no secret Baltimore politics i.e., patronage is fueled by state and federal money, and Mikulski, Paul Sarbanes and now Cardin assure Baltimore's prominent position at the federal trough.

Baltimore’ Magazine’s word games may conjure unpleasant thoughts, but what is truly disgusting is how bellying up to the federal teat to dole out political patronage is the modis operandi of Democratic politics in Maryland.

Johns Hopkins Goes Green for the Green

Here is another shining example of the old adage that some ideas are so bad, only academics (and state Democratic politicians) could support them.

In an email last month to students, faculty, staff Johns Hopkins University president William R. Brody announced a sweeping new university-wide initiative to combat climate change.This initiative and the subsequent policies could have serious implications for individual and academic freedom at Johns Hopkins, while providing an opportunity for the university to reap large research funding.

Taking his cue from the alarmists, Brody does not use the term “global warming”, which is what he really means, because “climate change” is now the preferred term of the alarmists because their opponents have gained traction and some scientists have become skeptics. Instead of “global warming,” the alarmists now call their bête noir “climate change” to make their extreme agenda more palatable to the public. This is ironic because Johns Hopkins School of Public Health professor Cindy Parker called “global warming” the term that folks tend to think of as not a big deal.

Brody wrote:

There is near-unanimous agreement in the scientific community that the emission of greenhouse gases caused by human activity is contributing substantially to global climate change. It is clear that curbing these emissions poses asignificant challenge for future generations. It is also clear that universities must play a central role in meeting this challenge. We must forge new knowledge, use that knowledge to develop and implement solutions, and pass along that knowledge so that our students will have the necessary tools to help solve our problems. Johns Hopkins is eager to rise to this immense challenge. I believe that sustainable solutions to the global climate change problem will require both changes in individual behavior and cultural changes. Johns Hopkins will take a leadership role in discovering both practical and innovative changes and will promote their adoption. As of today, I am committing The Johns Hopkins University to become a driving force for developing solutions to the climate change problem. To that end, we are adopting the following four guiding principles in operations, research, and scholarship:

*We will reduce, withthe vision of carbon neutrality,the emissions of greenhouse gases derived from university operations. We will doso in a timely manner that allows for flexibility, incorporation of new technologies and financial stewardship.

*We will share knowledge and experience with the community, offering leadership and assistance on actions that can improve our surroundings while reducing the carbon footprint of the Baltimore-Washington region.
*We will leverage our strengths in science, technology, public health, and public policy to contribute to finding solutions to issues related to climate change on a global level.
*We will incorporate student involvement as an essential element in all relevant greenhouse gas emissions reductions strategies.To implement these principles Brody commissioned a task force to:

a. Develop a Comprehensive Climate Strategic Plan. The plan will cover the objectives described in recent recommendations to me from the Johns HopkinsSustainability Committee.
b. Create an interdisciplinary working group, comprising university experts from different divisions, to focus on innovative and novel approaches to creating the appropriate incentives for individual, group and societal behavior changes as they relate to climate change.
c. Begin to develop strong relationships with state and local governments within the greater Baltimore-Washington region, exploring how wecan collaboratively address climate change issues.

It is disconcerting that Brody, a man trained in science and medicine could unequivocally state that, “there is near-unanimous agreement in the scientific community,” that human activity is the cause of global climate change. What Brody won't admit, is that debate is not over. In fact, it never took place. The alarmists just shouted “the debate is over” and that they won and we should all replace those incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs and cede the sovereignty to set our own energy policy to an unaccountable international body.

This sweeping policy initiative could put the future of free and open intellectual inquiry at Johns Hopkins in jeopardy. Will Johns Hopkins allow or support climate change research that contradicts the so-called “consensus?” How will this new policy affect scientists and researchers, whose research findings contradict its goals? Will they be silenced and intimidated as other contrarian scientists have?

What will be the “appropriate incentives for individual, group and societal behavior changes” the new policy will entail. Will the university pursue these incentives be through persuasion or coercion? This is an especially important question given the university administration’s dreadful record on free speech and individual freedom.

What is involved in developing those “strong relationships with state and local governments?” Will this development involve Brody or administration officials lobbying Annapolis for more frivolous spending and oppressive taxes like the Chesapeake Bay Green Fund and the Global Warming Solutions Act?

Corporate rent seekers like General Electric, British Petroleum, and the granddaddy of them all Enron signed on to global warming hysteria to get from government what they cannot obtain on the free market. Therefore, it should be no shock that Johns Hopkins has similarly positioned itself given that global warming alarmists have received over $50 billion in research funds to study a one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century.

Positioning itself as an optimal institution to receive funding is a paramount activity for a research institution like Johns Hopkins, whose institutional motto is Veritas vos liberabit (The truth shall make you free). Given the dubious science of global warming and the university’s hostility toward free speech, it remains to be seen whether the administration’s thirst for research dollars will trump its responsibility to uphold the constitutional and academic rights of its students, faculty and staff.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Cater picks up endorsement from radical group

Baltimore City Mayoral candidate Delegate Jill P. Carter picked up the endorsement of the PAC for the radical group Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN is the brain child of Wade Rathke an organizer for the National Welfare Rights Organization. ACORN fights for workers rights and living wages.

Recently ACORN has been at the center of serious voter fraud cases in Kansas City, Seattle, and Ohio. In March 2003 The NLRB found that ACORN, friend of labor, had fired two employees for daring to speak to SEIU about organizing. In 1995 ACORN filed suit in California seeking to exempt itself from the state’s minimum wage requirements.

With endorsements like this, who needs political opponents.

Jessica's Law and the Democrats

The Maryland General Assembly unanimously passed Jessica’s Law during the 2007 session, (139-0) in the House and the Senate (43-3). Only Senators Lisa Gladden, Brian Frosh, and Delores Kelley voted against it. Jessica’s Law is named after Jessica Lunsford the nine-year old Florida girl kidnapped, raped and murdered by paroled sex offender John Couey. Jessica’s Law provides for strong mandatory minimum sentences without possibility of parole. For example, the law calls for a mandatory 25-year minimum sentence, with no possibility of parole for a first-degree child rape conviction. Given such a unanimous vote you would think that the legislation would have sailed through committee and the assembly with no problems, especially with a large Democratic majority. You would think.

More below the fold

However, it took a determined group of citizens, media allies, and the Republican minority to drag a recalcitrant Democrat majority across the finish line. Here is the story.

Jessica’s Law was one of the most covered legislative issues during the 2007 session. Citizens for Jessica’s Law, local media outlets, specifically WBAL, WCBM, and Bill O’Reilly put almost daily pressure on House and Senate judiciary committee chairs Joe Vallario and Brian Frosh. Vallario and Frosh, chiefs of the tort lobby in the General Assembly, were the main roadblocks to getting Jessica’s Law out of committee.

In 2006 Jessica’s Law did not make it past the Democrat majorities in the House and Senate. Many of the same Democrats, who voted unanimously for legislation this past session, killed it in the 2006 session. They killed Jessica’s Law by wrapping it into larger legislation in order to strip out mandatory minimum sentences in the amendment process. The most notable opponent was then delegate Anthony Brown, now our secretive Lt. Governor. Brown strong-armed delegates at the last minute to kill the bill on procedural votes. Republican Tony O’Donnell tried to keep the bill before the house but was rejected (83-52) and Joe Vallario, Brown’s ally succeeded in his motion to recommit the bill (69-63) back to his judiciary committee where it was effectively dead. The two procedural votes came down along party lines. Take note of the vote count and how so-called “progressive” Democrats voted against a bill that protects children. The General Assembly did pass watered down version of Jessica’s Law in the 2006 special session.

For the 2007 session, many people came to Annapolis to testify before both judiciary committees. Vallario and Frosh were not the most gracious hosts. Vallario was rude and Frosh made those testifying on behalf of Jessica’s Law wait over five hours and didn’t even bother to be present for the testimony, including Marc Klass, whose daughter Polly, was murdered by a parolee. Even my wife was not spared Frosh’s shabby treatment. When she called his office the next day to complain, his staff laughed at her. The resulting bad publicity forced Mike Miller to pressure Frosh to bring the bill up for a vote. It passed with Frosh and Lisa Gladden voting nay. WBAL asked Gladden why she voted against Jessica’s Law but for a bill barring restraints on dogs kept outside. Gladden’s asinine response was that her votes don’t mean that she takes the safety of dogs more seriously than the safety of children. She said he based her votes on both bills, “on their merits.” For Gladden, keeping dogs free of restraint has more merit than keeping child sex offenders off the street.

On the House side it took the presence of an O’Reilly Factor camera crew to get Jessica’s Law past Vallario. Old Joe saw the camera crew outside the hearing room and delayed the committee vote until he could scramble for an acceptable amended bill. The amendment being, the addition of his name as a sponsor. After Jessica’s Law passed committee, Vallario stood for an interview with the O’Reilly crew. The Factor producer’s questions sent Vallario into an apoplectic fit. Just a few short hours later Vallario, chief opponent of Jessica’s Law for two years, stood in the House chamber praising the merits of Jessica’s Law calling for Maryland to be on the forefront in protecting children.

In the next election cycle, when Democrats laud themselves for passing Jessica’s Law, ask them why they were so adamantly opposed to it only a year before and put up a staunch fight against it in the 2007 session.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Martin O'Malley and the KGB?

Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa (say that 10 times fast) the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the Soviet bloc, wrote an interesting piece for Yesterday's Opinion Journal. Pacepa was chief of Rumania's foreign intelligence and state security services under the tyrant Nicolae Ceauşescu. Pacepa's main point was that the American left's nasty anti-Bush rhetoric is straight out of the old Soviet propaganda playbook, which only abets our enemies. Our own governor gets some mention. Pacepa writes:

During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren't facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy. As Yuri Andropov, who conceived this dezinformatsiya war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.

Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community... This same strategy is at work today, but it is regarded as bad manners to point out the Soviet parallels.

The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the U.S. from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the U.S.

Unfortunately, partisans today have taken a page from the old Soviet playbook. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, for example, Bush critics continued our mud-slinging at America's commander in chief. One speaker, Martin O'Malley, now governor of Maryland, had earlier in the summer stated he was more worried about the actions of the Bush administration than about al Qaeda.

Now, I don't believe that Martin O'Malley or certain parts of the American left are deliberately aping Soviet propaganda tactics. However, the unintended parallels Pacepa illuminates are quite interesting. The parallels should not be striking though, given the American left's long history with Soviet communism. In fact the old left preferred to be called "progressive" just as O'Malley's patron Hillary Clinton prefers to call herself. After all, the leaders of Democratic party as it currently exists are not the heirs of Cold War liberals like Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy, but rather they are the progeny of fellow traveling/Soviet dupe progressives like Henry Wallace and George McGovern.

Suspected MoCo Child Rapist Fled to Philly

Cross Posted on Maryland Politics

The Mahamu Kanneh child rape case just keeps evolving into the most glaring example of how Maryland's justice system favors criminals over victims.

Anyone watching Maryland crime news is familiar with the Mahamu Kanneh case. Fox News has by far the most in-depth coverage.

Last month Montgomery County judge Katherine Savage dismissed child rape charges against Mahamu Kanneh, a legal immigrant from Liberia. Kanneh completed high school and attended community college here in Maryland. Savage granted a defense motion to dismiss based on the argument that Kanneh's right to a speedy trial had been denied because of a three year delay by the court in finding a qualified interpreter, who speaks Kanneh's obscure West African dialect of Vai. Savage dismissed the case despite the fact that four different interpreters were found, and one had agreed to participate in the trial. An interpreter was even sworn in the day the case was dismissed. Montgomery County court clerk Loretta Knight claimed she was unable to find an interpreter after an exhaustive 47 state search and requests to the Liberian embassy. The Washington Post found three local interpreters who could speak Vai, one conveniently located in Gaithersburg. Why a person who is proficient enough in English to complete high school and take community college courses, needs an interpreter is a bit unbelievable. According to a Kanneh's neighbor on a scale of one to ten of English proficiency he was, "maybe a seven or eight."

The Montgomery County States Attorney appealed Savage's ruling and asked for the same restrictions to be placed on Kanneh i.e. no contact with children, surrender his passport wear a GPS ankle bracelet, and barred from leaving the state without permission from the county's pretrial supervision agency. Kanneh did not attend the hearing where prosecutors sought to impose these restrictions while the appeal is under consideration.

Kanneh was located in Philadelphia and tried to escape Philadelphia police as they attempted to apprehend him. Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Popkin noted that Kanneh appeared to have moved to Philadelphia saying "He had packed up his belongings." This is telling because Kanneh's defense attorney, Theresa Chernosky wrote in a court filing that "Mr. Kanneh has never been accused of trying to leave the area or trying to run away from this charge." It must have been a shock for Chernosky at the hearing, when Kanneh failed to appear because he had packed up and moved to Philly. I can only imagine the hearing judge reading Chernosky's words and then looking around the court room for Kanneh.

We can only hope that Kanneh did not molest any other children during his flight to Philadelphia.

We will continue to see more cases like Kanneh until judges start getting tough with criminals.

A case in point are the reprehensible actions of Judge Joseph P. Manck who terminated the parole (Manck originally suspend all but 18 months of a four year sentence) of a man convicted of first degree assault and let him move to Florida, where he is charged with murdering his ex girlfriend. Another of example of Manck's brilliant jurisprudence is when he sentenced a man, to four months jail time and house arrest, who admitted to molesting his seven year old daughter and two friends. Let's see here, sentence a man who molested his daughter to house arrest in the same house his daughter lives in!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Progressive is the New Center

Martin O'Malley along with Harold Ford Jr. authored an op/ed piece in today's Washington Post titled "Our Chance to Capture the Center." On its face this seems a reasonable endeavor. Centrist voters are the swing demographic in electoral politics, especially the coveted soccer moms. Cast your party and candidates as the moderate alternative to your hyper ideological opponents and then offer sensible policy proposals.

However, that is not what this op/ed does. It is merely progressive wish projection. O'Malley and Ford do not offer themselves or their party as sensible moderates so much as they try to redefine the center toward the left. That is, they project their ideology and policy preferences onto "the center." Politically, it is a savvy move designed to shore up netroots support for Hillary Clinton. The tactic works like this. Define the progressive left and centrists as one and the same, then call it the “center”. This has the effect of calming the netroots and deceiving actual centrist voters. However, this is patently untrue. O’Malley and Clinton are progressives, not centrists. They are tying to have it both ways by deceiving centrist voters.

O’Malley and Ford state, "With an ambitious common-sense agenda, the progressive center" can win the White House and create a governing majority like FDR. Firs this statement is classic Martin O'Malley. It talks big, but does not really say much, and is partly self-contradicting. O'Malley is surely, if anything at all, ambitious, but he lacks any common sense. Exhibit A: O’Malley’s campaign pledge to stop the BGE rate hike, and change the universal economic laws of supply and demand. Only O’Malley’s political ambition could override the common sense that should have told him there was no way to stop a legal rate hike. The “progressive center” is an oxymoron. By definition progressive cannot mean the center because progressives are constantly moving away from the center on their road to Utopia. Centrists do not like it when political parties move too far in one direction. Furthermore, FDR built a lasting majority not by appealing to centrists, but through creating permanent interest groups and doling out federal dollar to those groups, ensuring an ever-expanding federal government.

What are O’Malley and Ford’s practical centrist plans, to help Americans uninterested in partisan politics solve their problems? Cap and trade schemes for carbon emissions, universal healthcare, rebuilding an “embattled” military, and assistance to the working poor (higher taxes).

How many centrists believe that catastrophic manmade global warming is a real threat and not a backdoor to socialism and rent seeking by unscrupulous corporations?

How many centrists want socialized medicine? How many want to pay for it?

How many centrists want higher taxes? In O’Malley speak they taxes are called “investments.”

How many centrists believe that progressives actually care about the military? You would not think that progressives cared about the military from what took place when a soldier showed up to debate the paragons of progressivism at the Yearly Kos.

Interestingly enough chief Kossack himself Markos Moulitsos declared, “We are the center.” This highlights the dilemma of Democratic politicians stuck between appealing to the swing votes in the center and the progressive netroots on the far left. O’Malley’s political patron, Hillary Clinton is squarely in this pickle, she is no stranger to biting criticism from Kos and the progressive netroots. It is no coincidence that O’Malley’s op/ed piece appeared only days after Hillary attended the Yearly Kos to shore up support from the netroots, who once scolded her. Why try to appease the netroots when all you have to do is pull an Orwellian switch and fool centrist swing voters into thinking that netroots policy preferences are in line with what they believe.

O’Malley and Ford claim “proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Marylanders can tell you just how sour O’Malley’s policies taste.

Politicians like O’Malley (I cannot speak to Harold Ford) do not care about centrists. Oh sure he will appeal to them in campaigns, like he did in 2006, but once he wins, centrists and their non progressive concerns are jettisoned for progressive policies like higher taxes and expanding government.

To the centrists out there don’t be fooled.

Democracy or Dictatorship Update: Steny Hoyer "We Control NOT Parliamentarians"

Friday I posted about House Democrats stealing a 215-213 procedural vote, they lost on motion to recommit an agricultural bill that would have provided tax-payer benefits to illegal aliens. Democrats tried to essentially re-vote on the motion, but Republicans stormed out. Records of the vote have disappeared from the House voting system and the House clerk's website.

Democrat Majority leader,Maryland's own Steny Hoyer tried to strong arm the House parliamentarian saying, “We control this … not the parliamentarian.” The video is telling. Breitbart has a lengthier video here. Sometimes C-SPAN can be enjoyable to watch!

The Washington Post reported that a Hoyer accepted GOP calls for an a select committee to investigate the matter. An interim report is due on Sept. 30 and the full report next year.

This presents a bit of a problem for Hoyer, who the Washington Post quotes as saying "I do not believe there was any wrongdoing by any member of the House. I do believe a mistake was made... and I regret it."

How will Hoyer square his strong arming of the parliamentarian on the procedural matter with his regret that this was all just a harmless mistake?

See Minority Leader John Boehner's take on all this here.

In an interesting side note, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed aside Hoyer's regret and citing Republican sour grapes saying, "they've just been deluged by the success of the Democrats on behalf of the American people." Riiiight Nance, a 26% approval rating is a "deluge." From that statement alone you can tell she grew up in a Baltimore Democratic political machine.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Maryland Political Blogs

Be sure to check out these three excellent blogs Maryland Politics, Annapolis Politics, and Chet Dembeck's The Last Reporter.

Brian Gill runs Annapolis Reporter, which is a great local blog for Annapolis. Brian is a fellow fraternity brother from Maryland. Brian is also owner and operator of Gill Grilling. Gill Grilling is the long established preference for Fraternity and Sorority meal service at the University of Maryland. Brian represents the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners that helps drive our economy. See his excellent exposé of the Main Street Maryland program as another deceptive tax grab by state and local government.

Chet Dembeck is the Last Reporter and has produced some of the latest scoops on O'Malley's tax hikes and Baltimore politics. See his take down of O'Malley's push for socialized medicine in Maryland.

Maryland Politics has some of the best conservative political thought and commentary on Maryland politics especially the "twittery" of Maryland progressives.

RINO Alert

RINO Alert

As a candidate for city council, I routinely get email blasts from other campaigns. I assume their staffs plucked my name and email from the list of declared candidates from the state board of elections.

One of the routine email blasts I get is from A. Robert Kaufmann a socialist candidate for mayor running for the Democratic nomination. Kaufmann, teaches a Johns Hopkins/Baltimore Free University course The Class Struggle and the Road to Socialism, where he "teaches" that "socialism is the only answer to the myriad of crises wrought by capitalism in its imperialist stage."

At Kaufmann's campaign site , which is a myspace site, he has a Brian Davis for Baltimore City Council listed as one of his friends. Naturally curious about the other candidates in the race I checked out Brian Davis' site. Turns out Davis is a fellow Republican, or so I thought. Davis is a Republican in Name Only or RINO. Apparently Davis is running as a Republican to avoid a Democratic primary fight. Davis says:

"I'm the Republican candidate for Baltimore City Council representing the second district. I'm running as a Republican only because it's the best way to get to the general election in November... not because of any particular partisan feelings."

Davis lists Dwight Eisenhower as "the last great Republican politician I can think of," and links to and Oliver Stone type Youtube video of Ike's famous farewell address. Very similar to the opening sequence of Stone's fantasy film JFK.

Davis lists Fahrenheit 9/11 and WalMart: The High Cost of Low Prices as his favorite movies.

His heroes: John F. Kennedy, John Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann.
His favorite books: Our Endangered Values by Jimmy Carter and John Dean's Conservatives without Conscience.
Where to begin.

Let's start with the oxymoron that Davis is a declared candidate with no partisan feelings. The very act of running for office is partisan and it is quite clear where Davis' partisan leanings lie. No man who counts Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann as his heroes is non-partisan. Those two are poster boys for left-wing Democratic partisanship.

Ike is the last great Republican president he can think of? Davis must have forgotten about Ronald Reagan, even liberal historians have begrudgingly ranked Reagan in the top tier of presidents.

Brian Davis is not a conservative, he is not a Republican. If he wants to make it to the general election fine, but he should not run as a Republican because his politics clearly reside on the left. He should at least show the courage of his convictions to run as either a Democrat, a Green or an independent.

Wyman Park: The land of NIMBY

My Baltimore neighborhood of Wyman Park pitched a collective fit about a planned "dusk-to-dawn" John Waters film festival in the neighborhood park. A community member who had a hand in planning the event sent an email to the Wyman Park listserve to give the event some publicity.

A vocal group of neighbors bombarded the listserve with albeit vaild complaints about the all night festival. They don't want the all night noise, trash, dog poop, litter etc...

One or two folks voiced their support for the festival based on the notion that it would be a good cultural event for Wyman Park to host. This sparked some healthy and clarifying debate on the listserve, if for a time before the moderator shut down the thread. Apparently some of the open-minded progressives that dominate the neighborhood cannot tolerate free exchange of ideas.

The Wyman Park Community Association (WPCA) officers notified the city and our councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (full disclosure I am running against her in the November election). The city notified us that the festival planners did not have a permit and eventually moved the event to Middle Branch Park.

The general mindset in Wyman Park is NIMBY or Not In My Backyard. Which is a delicious irony given that many folks in the neighborhood consider themselves open minded progressives. Typical of this mindset, many of the listserve commenters wanted the event shut down. No counter proposal to limit the time frame, or requesting the city to provide portajohns and trash pick up. Nope, just shut it down, we don't want it.

Say what you will about John Waters and his movies, I like some, don't like others, he makes a good flick. Obviously, some of his movies like Pink Flamingos, may not be appropriate to show on a big screen in the open, but there are plenty of others like Hairspray, Serial Mom, and Pecker that are suitable for a public event. As a conservative I don't much identify with Waters, but if I selected all my entertainment based on the politics of its creators, I wouldn't have much to do. One of my neighbors wittily noted that if Divine showed up for the festival there would be no need to worry about cleaning up dog poop. Watch Pink Flamingos if you don't get that joke.

Anyway, the point is that there was some room for compromise. However, the NIMBY mindset asserted itself and Wyman Park lost out on a chance to host a cultural event. I didn't like the idea of an dusk til dawn event. However, an early evening to late night event The movies could have been screened in the dog park, which sits in well below Tudor Arms St. and provides some natural sound barrier. Furthermore, Johns Hopkins uses the dog park as intramural fields and they could have been brought in as a co-sponsor and assisted with the clean-up.

This isn't the first time the neighborhood nixed a good opportunity to showcase itself. The WPCA fought the LAB School, a private special education school from locating in the old Northern District police station. The building is still vacant.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Democracy or Dictatorship

More from the most "ethical Congress in history."

Powerline has a developing story about Democrats continuing to vote on an agricultre bill AFTER the gavel.

While voting on a motion to recommit for the agricultural appropriations legislation, the presiding chair (who is a Democrat member) gaveled the vote closed. The tally was clear and the
vote was over. The Republicans had won. Then, realizing what had happened - the
Dems allowed just their people to keep voting to change the result. Let's be
clear, this wasn't holding the vote open - they changed the results of a vote
that was legally declared over.

Rep Eric Cantor has more here and Politico here