December 31, 2005

Virginia adds on to the wall bordering Mexico

Well, not literally. It is the kind of block, though, that will dissuade illegal immigration. A Virginia law now bans illegal immigrants from receiving benefits from the Commonwealth. With the debates surrounding in-state tuition at Virginia colleges, this is good news.

There is some debate around these laws though.
Activists who oppose the new law say it duplicates other state and federal statutes that already block illegal aliens from receiving government benefits.
However true this may be, these laws do not appear to be strongly enforced.
They also say the new law might confuse legal immigrants and keep them from applying for benefits to which they are entitled.
This just presumes stupidity on the part of those who have entered the country legally; how many people cannot distinguish between legal and illegal?
National estimates show roughly 500,000 aliens enter the United States annually, with many settling in North Carolina and Georgia.
Before "it was easier just to look the other way," [Ira] Mehlman [spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform] said. "What's happening now in Virginia and other places is the cost of looking away has become prohibitive."
Illegal immigrants basically "cut in line," ahead of those who had worked so hard to get into the country through legal channels. This is unfair to them and unfair to those of us who already live here. I hope that this law gets the proper attention and does not just get stacked into the pile with the other "duplicate" laws.

December 30, 2005

I guess it is better than dressing up like the BK King sounds like a PETA website; indeed it is, but it also belongs to a 19-year old who legally changed his name. Believing that KFC is cruel towards chickens, Chris Garnett changed his name to bring awareness of this perceived injustice.

Mmm, is anyone else hungry for chicken?

Great Finish for the Hoos

I missed the first half of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl Presented By Bridgestone (This is the kind of name that makes me think about the impact of advertising in sports), so I was shocked when I came to find that, at the half, the score was 21-10 favoring Minnesota. Fortunately, the Hoos pulled a come from behind victory not seen since 2002. Behind a dazzling performance from quarterback Marques Hagans, UVa put up 24 second half points to win 34-31, with a finish that made me reminiscient of the game versus Florida State earlier this season. Ending this season, UVa finished a disappointing 7-5 (in the past three seasons, UVa did not finish with less than 8), including a 3-5 ACC record. While it is a minor victory that the team did not finish at .500 or worse, bigger things have been expected of this team, and it has been in a downward spiral for the last three seasons. Coach Groh has a lot of work ahead of him, losing much of his coaching staff and a number of seniors, including QB Hagans, RB Wali Lundy, and OL D'Brickshaw Ferguson (predicted by Mel Kiper of ESPN to be a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft). There is some potential on this team still, but Groh needs to harness it as UVa continues in a very challenging ACC (which is currently 3-1 in bowl games this postseason).

Now, the BCS and NFL are what remain for a football fix. Hopefully, the Redskins get the win on Sunday (chances are pretty good, Philadephia is starting Mike McMahon at QB) and advance to the playoffs. As it is, one ESPN analyst seems to think that the Redskins are the NFC's best hope against a tough AFC conference (go to #8 and #7 on the link). Maybe the Redskins will finish better than the Hoos did.

December 29, 2005

New Member to the ODBA

A few weeks ago, Chad wrote a post suggesting expansion for the ODBA, and many people, myself included, heard the call. Well, the trend is not slowing down. Brown Hound is the newest member. Sadly, I am not yet familiar with this blog, authored by John, but I look forward to familiarizing myself with it. Welcome John!

December 28, 2005

Around the Horn

- SacramentoVoice is positive about the economic news coming from Iraq. This is indeed good news, particularly as it comes from the (normally) heavily biased al-Jazeera.

- Michelle Malkin notes that the recent allegations over domestic wire-taps without warrants are not turning people against the NSA. On the contrary, most appear to believe that this action is justified, or at least shows that the White House is willing to protect the United States, as seen by Virginia Centrist; even some of those who question the Bush administration appear to have a difficult time challenging this decision.

- John Hawkins notes the incredible challenges facing black Republicans in the United States, facing racial epithets that are normally derided in other situations. In particular, he speaks of Ted Hayes, a black Republican trying to aid the homeless (Evan Coyne Maloney also looked at this). Hayes founded the Dome Village, using a rented space to house the homeless. His landlord and him agreed that the contract could be terminated at any time for any reason. After the landlord found out Hayes was a Republican after a televised interview, he raised the rent six-fold, leaving Hayes with no option but to (at least temporarily) close the Dome Village. While this does follow the contract, and I suspect that a Good Samaritan will arise to give Hayes a good rate elsewhere, it does beg the question; why are black Republicans such as Mr. Hayes and Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele free targets for racism while it is unacceptable elsewhere? Indeed, this may be the king of all double-standards and hypocrisy.

- Jerry Fuhrman is frustrated at the late start time of Monday Night Football. While there are a few of us over the age of 21 that can watch Monday Night Football (I have this season, but next season may be another thing all together), it is rather difficult for anyone holding a full-time job to watch the entire game. Jerry suggests a 6 o'clock start time; I'll do one better. Do the starting time based on the coast the teams are on. The 9 o'clock time allows for west coast teams, and that is fine when Oakland, San Fransisco, and Seattle are playing. But when it is Washington, Atlanta, and Jacksonville, an earlier start time would be more appropriate. Obviously, this leaves difficulties for games such as San Diego playing Baltimore, but a compromise for the start time (7 pm or 8 pm maybe) should be acceptable, so that both coasts can still see the end of the game if nothing else.

- Lowell, over at Raising Kaine, is running a poll on who should challenge George Allen next year for Senate. I cannot say that I am a fan of Lowell, but he does seem to understand that a competitor needs to stand up if they want to see George Allen take a hit before starting his 2008 presidential campaign. While I think these efforts are futile (George Allen's ratings rival Mark Warner's), letting him go unchallenged would prove to only be a bigger boost for George Allen's presidential aspirations. I sure hope this happens, even if that is a bit unrealistic.

- And finally, the end of the world is indeed coming in the form of global warming. Just look at Britain. It was a balmy -10° C (14° F) overnight, and heavy snow has been predicted for much of the country. Better get some more sunscreen and shorts, because a bona fide heat wave that will last from now until eternity is coming.

December 27, 2005

Week 17

This upcoming weekend signals the end of the NFL's regular season, and most of the playoff spots are filled. But for the first time in six years, Washington Redskins fans still have something to look forward to. With two playoff spots still remaining in the NFC (and one in the AFC), about the only thing that can stop the Redskins is the Redskins. The scenarios are simple. If the Redskins win, they are in the playoffs. If the Cowboys lose, the Redskins are in the playoffs. Even with a Dallas win or tie, a Redskins win guarantees a spot, but a loss would eliminate the Redskins, stifling a huge comeback from a 5-6 record. The only other possibility requires a tie by both the Redskins and the Cowboys, but ties are rare enough (particularly for two specific games) that that possibility can essentially be discounted.

Interestingly enough, even the Redskins, with their two huge victories over Dallas, may not be enough to keep Dallas out. Should Dallas and Washington win, a Carolina loss will allow the Cowboys a chance in the playoffs.

Even the NFC East is still up for grabs. The Cowboys cannot win the division, due to lost tie-breakers to the Giants and Redskins, but the Redskins can take it with a Giants loss and a Redskins win. Any other scenario, and the Giants will be the NFC East Champions.

So what do each of these teams have on their plates? Dallas takes on a bad St. Louis team, and the Giants take on a weak, but dangerous, Oakland team. In other words, the Redskins, who will face Philadelphia (a team with nothing to lose, making them very dangerous), very much control their own destiny, and need to win if they wish to make the playoffs and possibly win the division title.

Will Super Bowl XL be the destination for any of these teams? Probably not, so it would not be a crime to look ahead. As proven by the number of competitors for three playoff spots, the NFC East will remain a tough division. The Redskins will need to do a few things.
1) The easy things: Keep Joe Gibbs, Clinton Portis, and Santana Moss. Gibbs has proven that he still has it in the new NFL, Portis continues to be a workhorse for a good offense, and Moss has been a huge playmaker, turning many games around. These guys will define the offense next season.
2) The tough thing: Don't led Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams get away. He has greatly defined this defense, which has put up some dominating performances in recent weeks against St. Louis and Dallas, among others.
3) The essential thing: Find a QB. Brunell has been great, but he is not getting any younger, and may not be able to do the same great things next season. Regardless of what Madisonian says, going with Patrick Ramsey is a terrible idea; he has been given many chances and failed everytime. Ramsey should look for a new team. Campbell was good in college, but entirely unproven in the pros, having never taken a snap. Why not look at reuniting Matt Schaub of the Atlanta Falcons with his University of Virginia Offensive Coordinator, currently taking those responsibilities with the Redskins? Schaub is very professional and would be a great leader for this Redskins team.

Big things are in the future for the Washington Redskins, but only if they keep their attitudes, and win tallies, up.

December 25, 2005

A Gift

Last night, at the Christmas Eve service at my parent's church, my father reproposed to my mother, twenty-five years to the day after he originally did so. He offered his life to share with my mother as a gift.

Likewise, more than two millenia ago, God offered His only son as a gift to us all. If you have not done so yet today, spend time with your family, or at least give someone close a call, because this is not just an individual gift, but a gift to be shared.

Merry Christmas everyone.


December 23, 2005

Santa is dead, and some really want to share that information

First, there were the Santa hangings, and now, a substitute teacher believes it is her duty to inform children that Santa Claus is not alive, or at least not what they think he is.

Reasoning that "it goes against [substitute teacher Theresa Farrisi's] conscience to teach something which [she] know[s] to be false to children", Miss Farrisi took it upon herself to inform her music class, composed of young elementary school children, that the Santa they know and love does not exist. The man he is based on was born centuries ago, but she insists she "did not tell the students Santa Claus was dead,” something even a six-year old can figure out with a little information. Some of these students came home with tears in their eyes and a great deal of grief.

While no one over the age of ten can claim that Santa Claus really exists, one has to wonder why Farrisi decided to take it upon herself to inform these students. Santa Claus brings a sense of wonder and magic to this holiday for many children, and gives many children more for their imagination as well as their hopes. And as far as I know, I have never heard of a child reacting negatively when told later in life that Santa Claus does not exist.

While it appears that all harm has been healed, this teacher took it upon herself to override the authority of these parents and to hurt the feelings of all the children in her class (did she really think they would leave feel enlightened?). She also has placed these parents in two situations; currently, they had to deal with the pain that their children suffered, and in resolving that issue, they will likely be faced with an issue in a few years time when they reveal that Santa is a story. While the Northern Lebanon school system has no policy directly addressing Santa Claus, I imagine they must have some sort of policy regarding emotional damage done to students. Theresa Farrisi needs to learn that she does not hold ultimate moral authority over these children, and unless the parents are causing serious harm to their children, she should keep her nose out of the business of others.

December 22, 2005

Thanks due out for welcomes to ODBA

Only on the ODBA for a day and I'm already getting a nice welcome. Kilo noticed my addition quickly, as did ImNotEmeril (apparently he's had me blog-rolled for a while, how did I miss that?). Thanks for the welcome, I will not let you guys down.

UPDATE 12/23 1:35 PM: Tack on Old Zach to that list. I always enjoy reading his posts, though (*cough*cough*chokie*cough) he is a big Virginia Tech fan and is not shy to admit so. Oh well, no one is perfect.

UPDATE 2 12/23 10:45 PM: Also thanks to Jerry Fuhrman from Blog on High. Wow, this is indeed a tight-knit community.

Universal Public Transportation

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about the possibility about transportation and emissions. The topic of a universal public transportation system came up as a way to solve the issues of pollution and the perceived threat of greenhouse gases. Though the recent transit strike in New York City provides a good argument against eliminating automobiles altogether, this is but one problem with such a proposition.

First, the painfully obvious. It is impractical. In a city like New York or Chicago, it is doable. In Charlottesville, it could be done with greater numbers of pedestrians. However, the vast majority of the country would be unable to start such a program. Take Northern Virginia; outside of a city, it can still be quite dense in some areas, and already uses public transportation through buses in Fairfax and Loudoun, and the Metro. With traffic at levels beaten only in areas such as the Los Angeles-metropolitan area, getting more cars off the road would make such trips faster. That is, if it were not for the problem that a bus or train would have to make frequent stops. Even if people were willing to walk as much as half a mile from a stop, one would presume a near-grid pattern with stops seperated by a mile or less. Each road would require at least a couple such buses running at once, and people would need to make some transfers in many cases. The busing system would have to run 24-7, so people could get whereever they need at any time, and one would presume that one bus would need anywhere from three to six drivers per day. Assuming an area near a thousand square miles, Northern Virginia would require hundreds, if not thousands, of drivers. This would require an impossibly large amount of money (even considering the savings of no individual vehicles and no individual gas purchases), and the amount of time to get anywhere would only increase from the long commutes that occur today. This would become an issue when emergencies arised and people had no way to get where they need to be.

Now, imagine extending this out to the rest of the country (for simplicity sake, let's eliminate Alaska and Hawaii). Northern Virginia is the exception, as the rest of the country is generally more rural. This means that stops seperated by only a mile can greatly lengthen the time in a trip, particularly when trying to take a longer trip. Yet, the half-mile walk still holds. How to resolve this? Even if an exception were to be made in particularly rural areas allowing for individual vehicles, gas prices would likely soar, as would the costs to buy and maintain vehicles. And while jobs in busing and trains would increase, there would also be huge layoffs in the oil and automobile companies. I suggest not even pondering the tax hikes that would be required to support such a program.

Local transportation programs are a great idea (though allowing a union may be counterproductive as proven this past week), but it cannot be extended beyond that. For the time being, it would be more practical to search out new forms of transportation and fuel (and do not suggest hydrogen cells as (1) the hydrogen being made produces emissions of its own and (2) water, like carbon dioxide, is a greenhouse gas and the main by-product of hydrogen cells, but this is another discussion). Maybe in fifty years, we will be able to fly around like the Jetsons, but for now, we will just have to deal with automobiles.

December 21, 2005

A religious leader who cannot be religious

Aren't chaplains supposed to be available for religious council of the troops? I'm sure that is what Navy Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt believes, as do the vast majority of the troops (about 80 percent of them are Christians, and a good portion of those remaining are of other faiths). Yet specific mention of God (and not the lower-case god; these mentions include Jesus, Allah, the Holy Trinity, or any other religion-specific term) is worthy of counseling. Chaplains are basically expected to be faith counselers for every faith. I know of no religion that would endorse something like that, and a chaplain of any given faith would likely hold a bias towards his own religion from the very beginning.

Now, I believe having ministers, priests, and the like available for our troops is an excellent idea. However, they must be allowed to preach what they believe. While there may not be enough Jewish, Muslim, or other leaders to cover those needs, why would a Buddhist look to a priest for divine aid, even if the priest were greatly trained in Buddhist ways or even general counseling? What can a cat teach a dog about being a dog? Allow the chaplains to give aid to those they can give the most.

The Old Dominion Blog Alliance

Some of you may have noticed a new addition to the sidebar today. That is because, as of last night, I am now a member of the Old Dominion Blog Alliance, an alliance of conservative blogs serving the Commonwealth of Virginia. After an endorsement from Old Zach during my short sabbatical, I decided to pursue the idea after returning.

Chad graciously added me on, so my blog is among others including Commonwealth Conservative, Sic Semper Tyrannis, and Shaun Kenney. This is a great honor, and I look forward to working even closer with these and the other great bloggers included on this list.

December 19, 2005

Fahrenheit 1225

"There's no anti-Christmas threat in this country. This is a lie. This is the biggest lie we've been told."

No, Michael Moore is not producing a new film, but the ardent arguments that there is no war on Christmas in America are not looking to good right now. Displays like this, this, and this.

But wait a second. None of these are religious symbols. No real harm there, right?

This is actually more disconcerting to me than attacks on religious symbols. Hatred towards religion through the desecration of religious symbols is disturbing, but far from unheard of. Santa, elves, and the Peanuts gang are not religious symbols at any definition of the term; though they hold a connection to Christmas, it is through the secular interpretations of the holiday. I, for one, hate to hear "Holiday Tree" and "Chrismahanakwanzaka" (or however that is spelled), but Christmas is only considered holy because it has been designated as such, not because of an inherent holiness (such as in the sabbath). So, what is the problem then?

Isn't it obvious?

Putting up bloody Santa displays that scare the neighborhood children.

Stealing Linus, simply because he understands the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is about spending time with those who you love. Christmas is about peace and goodwill towards others. And Christmas is about one gift in particular, that of Jesus Christ. Just because Christmas was not preordained by God or it is "not inclusive enough" does not mean these sourpusses should ruin our fun, 1st Amendment or not (even as they may defy the 1st Commandment, interestingly enough).

Those individuals responsible in such reprehensible acts are not showing love. They are not showing peace and goodwill. And something tells me they do not have much respect for Jesus.

If they want to be miserable at this time of year, no one is going to stop them. But I and many others enjoy Christmas, so stop being babies and stop raining on our parade.

One Hundred

That is the number of blogs that are recognized from Charlottesville, as noted by Waldo Jaquith at This is an impressive number and shows how strong the blogosphere has grown in such a short period of time. This is great to see, particularly as not all blogs are political in nature, meaning that there is a lot of interesting stuff to read everyday.

And while I certainly do not see eye-to-eye with Waldo most of the time, I will thank him for providing this service. I added the Charlottesville Blogs to my RSS a few months ago, and it has been well worth the time to read some of the posts included.

December 18, 2005

President Bush speaks to the nation

As I listen to President Bush speaking about the War in Iraq and the War on Terror, I am reminded of his strength in defending our nation. President Bush has made some good points, including the understanding of many of the soldiers that this war is not over, that Saddam Hussein may not have had WMDs but had clearly murdered thousands and terrorized millions, and that the Iraqi people are finally getting the freedom they so greatly deserve. He also made a good point to take responsibility for the actions in Iraq, but with the understanding that Saddam Hussein was an ally to terror, of his own people, of Iraq's neighbors, and of America. The recently held elections were more greatly inclusive of Iraqis than our own elections, and the pride that many Iraqis feel as being such. President Bush is speaking out against defeatism, and has stated "we not only can win the war in Iraq, we are winning the war in Iraq;" if only the moonbats would see that it is more important that we (and the Iraqi people) win than that President Bush (and ultimately everyone) loses.

And through all this, he is not succumbing to the calls for a time table; good for him. He understands that an artificial timetable will not aid in finishing the job, particularly if it does not run perfectly. "Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom."

This is, by far, one of the president's best speeches. The only one I can remember that tops this one is the speech he gave September 20th, 2001, reassuring the people after the awful terrorist attacks in Washington and New York. I suspect that the left will tear into this speech as soon as possible, but for those of us who still support the decisions that President Bush has made concerning the Middle East, this was very reassuring.

The Legendary Matchup

I am back, and I am currently riding a high as the Washington Redskins are cruising over the Dallas Cowboys, 28-0 at the half. With the playoff hunt and a potential sweep against Dallas on the line, the Redskins seem to have found the motivation they need. Being a loyal fan of the Washington Redskins has never been easy, but it certainly pays off from time to time.

UPDATE 9:20 PM: Great game, with the Redskins holding their 28-point lead in a 35-7 win. There is a tough road ahead though. Even with a win versus the New York Giants and at the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins could still miss the playoffs. Next week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons are playing each other. For the Redskins to get into the playoffs, a win by Tampa Bay will have a bigger impact for the Redskins. If the Falcons win, the Redskins will need Tampa Bay to lose again, this time to the awful New Orleans Saints. And even then, the Redskins need to help themselves. Should be interesting to watch.

December 07, 2005

Some time off

I recognize that I have not been updating as much since Election Day. Things have become rather busy, and keeping up with the blog has been difficult. So, I am going to start a (very short) sabbatical, lasting at least through the end of the exam period (possibly through Christmas). I am not running away entirely from the Red Stater. I will still be reading other blogs and commenting on occasion; I will also post if I feel an event in the coming weeks brings about a need to post.

For those loyal readers who have continued to read my thoughts over the last few months, I thank you. I promise that I will be back soon, but for now, I have some more pressing matters that require my attention. Enjoy the upcoming snow (for those fellow Commonwealth readers) and if I am not back before then, Merry Christmas! (no, not happy holidays, political correctness is too pervasive in our culture as it is.)

Never Forget

Those words are just as applicable for December 7th, 1941 as they are for September 11th, 2001.

December 05, 2005

Virginia Blog Carnival XIV

The newest VBC is up, and I have finally gotten back in the mix. Check it out over at Sophistipundit and see some of the other great blogs that our Commonwealth has to offer.

December 03, 2005

Go Navy, Beat Army!

After the 'Hoos, my favorite collegiate team is the Navy Midshipmen. Navy has just defeated Army for the fourth straight year (42-23), and have taken the Commander in Chief's Cup for the third consecutive year, a new record (Air Force, Army, and Navy have been trading it around for decades).

Navy will be going to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego this year, while Army falls just shy of being bowl eligible. And they may not be the lone east coast school playing on the west coast. Virginia may be playing Utah at the Emerald Bowl in San Fransisco. Navy travels well, but if UVa is in California, will the Hoos bring a large contingent as well?

The Bowl Congress Series?

I am all for making a change to the Bowl Championship Series (the BCS, which determines the national champion and other top teams in college football), but this is just ridiculous.

December 02, 2005

Because a Republican never retreats...

Unfortunately, I will not be "advancing" this weekend, due to my work constraints here at UVa (ugh, the difficulties of being a blogger in college). However, many of the Commonwealth's great bloggers will be at the RPV Advance this weekend. Among those attending are Chad Dotson, Lighthorse Harry and Old Zach, and too conservative, all of whom have stated their intentions of blogging on the event. Among the activities this weekend is the election of the new College Republican leaders, which too conservative takes a look at (I'll be cheering on University of Virginia College Republican Chairman Brian Gunn for the 2nd Vice Chair position).

Have fun you all; I look forward to hearing what is in store in the future of the Commonwealth.