Uranium mining issue plagued by myths and misconceptions

Lt. Gov. Bolling swung though Pittsylvania County on Friday, 14 December, to announce his opposition to lifting the “ban” on uranium mining at the Cole’s Hill property. Sadly, he seems to be more concerned with the myths and fears surrounding uranium than he is in the facts:

“…even though two well respected organizations have completed reviews of the efficacy of removing the ban on uranium mining and milling, I believe there are still too many unanswered questions regarding the potential impact that an incident at the mine might have on the environment and, subsequently, citizens in Southern Virginia and beyond. Given these legitimate environmental concerns, I believe the ban on uranium mining should remain in place.”

It’s quite sad that he still has questions, because Virginia Uranium was available and willing to answer him:

In a statement, Virginia Uranium complained that Bolling has refused its invitation to tour the so-called Coles Hill site of the uranium deposit and attempts to brief him on the scientific and technical aspects of its mining and milling plan.

“We took Lt. Gov. Bolling at his word when he claimed to support the expansion of Virginia’s nuclear power sector and an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy policy,” Patrick Wales, the company’s project manager, said in a statement. He added that Bolling is “clearly pursuing a ‘some of the above’ energy policy that is the antithesis of free enterprise and free markets.”

While this doesn’t really surprise me, considering Bolling’s political implosion over the past few weeks, I do find it very irritating that Bolling seems willing to sacrifice the economy of Pittsylvania to draw some thin support for the sinking possibility of a “possible” independent run for Governor.

Sadly, as Jim Hoeft notes over on Bearing Drift, this also indicates an incredible lack of leadership, as well as quite a bit of hypocrisy on Bolling’s part. The website for his gubenatorial run (and here’s a screenshot, in case the site is taken down) clearly states Bolling’s support of nuclear energy:

Governor McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bolling believe in an “all of the above“ approach to energy policy. They strongly support the expansion of traditional forms of energy, such as coal, natural gas and nuclear power; but they also support expanding renewable forms of energy in Virginia, such as wind, solar and biofuels.

Bolling4GovenergyWell, Mr. Bolling, nuclear energy requires fuel – and at the moment, we IMPORT most of the fuel for our nuclear energy plants. Many of the countries which supply uranium have governments which are unstable or hostile to the United States, which would, of course, jeopardize our supply if something untoward should happen to these governments. Have we not had – do we not continue to have – for this reason, the debate about using our own resources for oil and gas?

The National Academy of Science report (summary downloadable as a .pdf here, full report available here) is one of the reviews to which Bolling referred. The report is quite dense, and neither I nor Mr. Bolling are qualified scientists on this subject, so let’s see what one of the panel’s members has to say in summary.

Dr. Corby G. Anderson was a member of the NAS panel which wrote the report, and his op/ed in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on 09 September has this to say:

Virginia legislators and residents should keep in mind that much of the NAS report focused on the impacts of uranium-mining practices dating back to the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, long before any of today’s strict regulations were put in place or modern industry practices were adopted.

Fifty years ago, we had neither the technology nor the understanding about the effects of radiation to mine uranium safely. That is not the case today. The NAS report affirms that and provides a “starting point” for Virginia by identifying internationally accepted best practices and regulatory standards for uranium mining.

Uranium is mined safely with minimal environmental impacts throughout the world. Studies conducted by leading epidemiologists demonstrate that today’s uranium workers and the public living near modern uranium mines are as healthy as the general population.

Consider that about one-fifth of the world’s uranium is mined in nearby Canada, largely in Saskatchewan. Since a government study panel concluded in the 1990s that the environmental impacts of uranium mining could be minimized, the Saskatchewan government has fully embraced the industry and still boasts an enviable record of environmental stewardship.

Today the uranium-mining industry there supports thousands of high-paying jobs and is rigorously regulated by the provincial and federal governments. Virginia would be well served to draw upon the Saskatchewan experience. [emph. mine]

Dr. Anderson rightly reminds us in this op/ed that he is speaking as a private citizen, and not as a representative from the NAS panel, but is remarks should be taken seriously. Technology has made tremendous strides since the moratorium on uranium mining, and the NAS report, while carefully examining the problems associated with uranium mining and acknowledging the difficulties associated with it, mainly concludes that is can be done – assuming proper regulation and oversight is in place.

(As an aside, please remember that “ban” is actually incorrect, while “moratorium” is more accurate. The relevant portion of the Virginia code states

§ 45.1-283. Uranium mining permit applications; when accepted; uranium mining deemed to have significant effect on surface.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, permit applications for uranium mining shall not be accepted by any agency of the Commonwealth prior to July 1, 1984, and until a program for permitting uranium mining is established by statute. For the purpose of construing § 45.1-180 (a), uranium mining shall be deemed to have a significant effect on the surface. [emph added]

So there is no “ban,” as such; rather, no mining may be done until proper statutes are drawn up for regulating uranium mining.)

I have met with several people at Virginia Uranium; they all seem quite above-board and truly interested in the economic health and future of Pittsylvania County. Now, certainly I can be fooled – we can all be fooled at one time or another – but if these men and women are truly the nefarious reprobates intent on destroying the culture and environment of our county (as the anti-uranium folks are wont to picture them), then why are they all so willing and eager to be subject to the regulations Virginia would have to enact? Why are they so willing to dig in and hold on to their ownership, when it would be far easier to sell out and let one of the big companies shoulder the headaches that crafting, editing, and passing the regulations – and then the whole, nightmareish process of actually getting permitted under those regulations! – entails?

Heck, if it were me, I’d be sitting on a beach somewhere, sipping mai tais rather than attempting to inform people of the FACTS about uranium and slamming my head against the brick wall of people who just don’t care about facts!

One of the most common myths I’ve heard promulgated is that, appaerntly, Virginia has a climate that is wet with lots of rainfall, and is thus utterly unique in all the world, so mining couldn’t possibly be done safely here. (Yeah, tell that to the farmers who are currently lacking about 16 inches of rainfall this year…)

Uh-huh. Well, it seems to me that Canadian mines seem to be doing quite well. Rabbit Lake (Cameco) is practically surrounded by water, plus it has to deal with snow and snowmelt far greater than anything we’ll ever see (oh, and it’s won several safety trophies, too!). Or take a look at AREVA’s operations in France (which, by the way, is not at all an arid country). Cleanup and proper shut down of old mines is extremely important in protecting the environment, of course. Note that AREVA is very concerned with complying with regulations set up by the French government!

Oh, did you mean that Virginia has no experience with this “wet climate” mining? How about I refer you back to Dr. Anderson?

The report emphasized the effectiveness of runoff and wastewater collection systems, as well as buffer zones and groundwater monitoring wells surrounding the site to detect the slightest elevations in contaminant levels and prevent contaminated water from escaping the site.

Virginia does not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to uranium mining and milling. It can draw from the international best practices reported in the NAS study as well as borrow from effective regulatory regimes established in other states and countries. [emph. mine]

We do not live in a vacuum, people. We do not live in the 1970’s or 80’s. We live in 2012 (soon to be 2013), and in an area where we have the chance to help supply America’s energy needs. We have a chance to be part of it – and whether we go ahead and use this resource or not, let’s make the decision with our brains and not our emotions!

The second report Bolling may have referred to could have been either the Chmura report or the George Mason study (links go to .pdfs). The summary at the beginning of the GM study (pp. 2-5) reviewed the circumstances of Pittsylvania County and also examined the impact of existing mines in communities in Texas, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. It concluded:

  • The fiscal impact analysis of the proposed mine and mill on Pittsylvania County found a substantial net fiscal benefit for the County.
  • The regional housing market analysis found that economic and demographic factors have the greatest impact on housing sales and values with recent housing trends showing gains from the 2008-09 recession.
  • Spending from the uranium mine and mill construction and operation would also be expected to increase demand for housing in the County.
  • The analysis of how uranium operations have affected the economies of other counties have found that uranium has had a positive economic impact on these communities with no effect on business attraction and retention.
  • The business climate analysis concluded that recent gains in the housing market and multiple business attraction successes indicate that the proposed mine and mill do not create a stigma that negatively impacts the County’s economy.

When looking at other communities and reviewing recent changes in the housing and business sectors, the George Mason report indicates that this would be a definite positive for Pittsylvania. I would suggest you download the report and at least read the four page summary at the beginning.

A look at the Chmura report’s summary will quickly demonstrate that, while it appears to have a more cautious view of the possible socioeconomic stigmas many citizens are concerned about, overall the mine will have a positive impact on the county. Of the four scenarios Chumra looks at, only one – the one where current federal standards on uranium mining are not met – has no positive impact at all.

Chmura is also quite blunt about the fact that the local community is very skeptical about whether federal or state regulation would, in fact, be able to keep the mine operating within safe environmental standards. The report puts forth a suggestion

… that several steps could be taken to mitigate some of this skepticism and bolster the public’s confidence in VUI as well as in state and federal regulatory agencies. These steps include the signing of an “Impact-Benefit Agreement” between VUI and Pittsylvania County, the establishment of permanent Environmental Quality Committees, and the utilization of “adaptive management” practices by VUI. [page 10]

You see? Yes, there are problems associated with the uranium mine – there are problems associated with any type of heavy industry like this – but they are not insurmountable. If we step back and look at the facts with our BRAINS, and do not succumb to emotional impulses based on myth and fear, uranium mining could be a positive development for us all.

America has historically been a place where people dare to do great things and reach out to better themselves and their communities. Of course we have failed at times; that’s part of life. However, failure is only an opportunity to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and learn from your mistakes so you can make it succeed the next time you try.

Does uranium mining have the possibility of failure? Of course it does! However, when you step back, look at the facts, and evaluate them carefully with your intellect rather than your fears, I believe that the chances of success far outweigh the chances for failure.

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

(NOTE: I apologize for any formatting weirdnesses; I tried a copy/paste from Typepad, and when that didn’t work, I stripped out all the formatting and added it back in through WordPress’ interface, which still seemed to balk at what I wanted it to do. — Kat)

Bill Whittle outlines the way forward for conservatives

An excellent and practical video. It’s well worth the hour you’ll spend watching it, and for those of us who have been extremely discouraged by the results of the election, Bill give a gracious-but-firm kick in the butt!

Conservative Virginia bloggers demand revocation of Laura Vozella’s press credentials to the RNC

The Honorable Pat Mullins
Chairman
Republican Party of Virginia
115 East Grace Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Dear Chairman Mullins,

On August 20th, 2012 the Washington Post launched a scurrilous, yet sadly typical, attack on Republican U.S. Senate nominee George Allen.

While Allen had made a statement repudiating Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remarks, the Washington Post‘s Laura Vozzella chose to take the opportunity to attack Allen by linking him to a vote for a judicial appointment — a connection so bizarre, it could only have come from a DSCC opposition research book, not to mention far beyond the scope of her article.

Vozzella has a long history of bashing conservatives, so naturally the Washington Post is a perfect home for her.

What strikes the bloggers and readers of the Jeffersoniad as bizarre is this: why would the Republican Party of Virginia grant this vitriolic and anti-conservative “reporter” with credentials at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida?

Bloggers have long been up front and critical about the difference between real journalism that presents perspectives and the sort of op-ed reporting the Washington Post has long engaged in against Virginia conservatives — particularly George Allen.

Therefore, the members of the Jeffersoniad Blog Alliance demand the Republican Party of Virginia immediately revoke Laura Vozzella’s credentials for the 2012 RNC Convention in Tampa, Florida as an example and a warning that while journalism will be respected, copy-and-paste hatchet jobs courtesy of the Kaine/DSCC machine can no longer be treated as journalism and is unworthy of such respect.

Regards,

Jim Hoeft
Bearing Drift

Jim Riley
Virginia Virtucon

Tom White
Virginia RIGHT!

D.J. McGuire
The Right-Wing Liberal

Trent A. Barton
Virginia Virtucon

David Shepherd
Virginia Gentleman

Lynn Mitchell
SWAC Girl

Brian Kirwin
Bearing Drift

Jeanine Martin
Virginia Virtucon

Dean Settle
The Bulletproof Monk

Kat Wilton
Cathouse Chat

Michael Fletcher
The Write Side Of My Brain

Brian Schoeneman
Bearing Drift

Krystle Weeks
Crystal Clear Conservative

Shaun Kenney
ShaunKenney.com

Steve Thomas
Virginia Virtucon

Terrence Boulden
Virginia Virtucon

references:

Bearing Drift – “WaPo’s Laura Vozella Sure Knows How to Slant the News

Washington Post – “George Allen criticizes Akin for ‘legitimate rape’ comments; voted to confirm judge who once held similar view

Obama just scorned the Republic our Founders gave us

Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn’t. They’re worrying about their family; they’re worrying about their jobs; they’re worrying about their neighborhood. They’ve got a lot of other things on their plate. We’re paid to worry about it.

via althouse.blogspot.com

(Edit to add blockquote and link – 815pm, ET)

You know, our Founders were all about keeping the power in the hands of the people, the ordinary citizen.

Now Obama comes along and says, “Aw, folks, don’t worry your poor li’l heads about all that nasty debt stuff. It’s far too complicated for y’all, so just let me and the ‘professionals’ take care of it. Bless your hearts.*

I am a Christian, and Christian longsuffering and self-control forbid me from saying what I REALLY think.

Bless his little ol’ heart.*

* – You’ll only get it if, by God’s grace, you live or have lived in the South.

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

Thoughts on the END OF THE WORLD™ that, well, wasn’t

It has been rather amusing – and somewhat painful – to watch all the sturm und drang that Harold Camping’s prediction of the world’s end on 21 May stirred up. I wasn’t too surprised when the media et al. hyped it because that’s what they do – and God forbid that they should bring in, you know, an actual biblical scholar or theologian to discuss the matter and provide a real, non-sensational rebuttal to Camping’s non-biblical bid for attention.

So, basically, my main reaction was amusement at the gullibility of ‘most everyone who opined on the matter in their quest to sensationalize a topic that is really quite serious.

Which point brings me to the painful aspect of all the hoopla: you may not believe it, but the Bible – God’s Word – does speak of the end of the world. Jesus, in fact, speaks more of unsaved man’s fate in Hell more than any other person in the Bible; if He spoke of it so much, simple respect for His character should make us take a look at our eternal destination and the end of the world.

Since I’ve written about salvation a few times on this blog but not about the end of the world (not that I recall, anyway), I thought I’d toss in a few of my own thoughts on the matter as my blog-brother, Michael, has. Continue reading

In preparation for Resurrection Day (also known as Easter *grinz*)

You know, technology can be a pain and it can be dangerous – but it can also be a blessing. I was listening to my Christian “channel” on Pandora today, and a song by Shane and Shane came up that was PERFECT for today: “Before the Throne of God Above.”

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

Isn’t it amazing that the God who created all the “infinite” universe – all the stars and galaxies, all the cells and atoms, all the people and animals that exist – would care so much for humanity that He came down to us and lived among us? Isn’t it incredible that the God we sin and rebel against every day would still love us so much that He, in the Person of His Son, stands before the Father every moment, interceding for His children? Doesn’t it fill you with awe that this perfect, holy, transcendent God would still be so involved with His creation and so desiring to reconcile us to Himself that He would bear all the punishment for our sins and pay the penalty in full on our behalf?!

My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart;
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

Christian, do you realize that nothing you do can ever make God love you more? Do you realize that nothing you do can make Him love you LESS? Do you realize that He has loved you with an everlasting love and has chosen you as His child from the foundations of the earth? Do you – and I – really understand that no matter how intensely and truthfully Satan may accuse us and bring up all our sin, the sacrifice of the only begotten Son of God as a propitiation for our sins has completely removed all the filthiness of sin? We stand before God clothed in the perfect righteousness of His Son, who loved us and gave Himself for our salvation.

Unbeliever, do you understand that God’s mercy is deeper than the depths of the sea and more vast than all the heavens, and that He is willing and eager to gather you into His family and into eternal joy – if you will only listen to His Spirit calling your name and repent? The Perfect Father is waiting with open arms and will hold you close in His arms and pour out His love upon you if you will only come to Him!

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Satan is no longer my master; I have a new Master who desires only my eternal good. Satan has been defeated, and my new Master will no longer allow Satan to steal, kill and destroy me. Satan’s power over me is broken forever, and if I resist him, he will flee. Instead of a callous slavemaster, I am now under the care and authority of the Loving Father who holds me in His hand and will never leave me nor forsake me. Though the devil may accuse me, I look upon the Author and Finisher of my faith: Christ Jesus, whose Spirit dwells within me… And greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world!

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Jesus cried out on the Cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!” The very Son of God, who always did all that the Father commanded and in whom the Father was well-pleased, prayed to His Father for my forgiveness – for your forgiveness! How could God not have heard His Son’s prayer and granted it with all His heart?!

Jesus cried out, “IT IS FINISHED!” All the infinite debt for our sins has been completely satisfied – paid in full. Jesus’ work on the Cross has fully appeased the just wrath God had toward us, and now His resurrected life brings us into the very presence of His Father. We are now clothed in the spotless white of Jesus perfection and are presented before the Throne of God without stain or blemish.

No further sacrifices, no other acts of atonement are required of us – they would, indeed, be blasphemous! Since Jesus’ perfect, complete, and finished work of atonement has been accomplished, Christians are now free to live before Him in grateful love and joy. We can now follow Him in liberty, desiring to do His will out of love rather than fear. We have been loosed from the terror of the penalty of the Law and follow the Spirit of God because the Law is now written on our hearts.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!

Behold Him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in Himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God

So I look back to yesterday, Good Friday, and can mourn: it was MY sin that nailed Him to that Cross. But I also look back to Good Friday and rejoice, because Jesus knew my sin before I ever lived – and He loved me enough to provide the only way to gather me into His eternal kingdom.

I contemplate the stillness of this Saturday, when Jesus’ body lay in the Tomb and Satan had apparently defeated God… I see that sad stillness and I look forward to Sunday, Resurrection Day, when Jesus rose from the grave in triumph over sin, death, and Satan. Jesus’ resurrection is the proof of His completed work on the Cross – proof that God the Father had fully accepted the sacrifice of His Son on our behalf.

It. Is. FINISHED!

He is risen – He is risen indeed!

Christ has triumphed over my sin, and I can only live a life of loving gratitude and joy for all He has done for me.

Do you know Him? Have you bowed before Him to say “thank You”? Have you laid your life and hopes and dreams at His feet, knowing that He will remake them into an everlasting hymn of praise and glory to His name? Do you understand that though you give up your life to Christ, He will give it back to you transformed into holy perfection and multiplied to an eternal expression of His abundant life?

All I can do is echo His praises and point you to His perfection and love…

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One,
Risen Son of God!

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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Forgiveness: It Ain’t for Sissies

The past few weeks, I’ve had the honor of team teaching in my Adult Bible study at church and we’ve been going through the Tale of the Prodigal Son from Luke (chapter 14, vv 14-32). Last week we discussed the forgiveness shown by the father in the parable and it provoked a passionate and intense discussion about what forgiveness looks like and how it works out in real life. I think, perhaps, the one thing that really fueled the flames was my statement that forgiveness is not a feeling but an action.

I’ll say that again, and even put it in bold accents:

Forgiveness is not a FEELING
forgiveness is an ACTION

Continue reading

“Rush Limbaugh will be on the air”

Obama, as Rush Limbaugh predicted, has in fact now failed. Nancy Pelosi is out of a job. And thanks to Rush Limbaugh, a new generation of Americans is learning that conservatism is not simply cool — more importantly they are learning collectivism isn’t smart.

But lest there be any doubt, this fight will continue. Not all races were won last night — not all races will ever be won. Harry Reid is still there. No one in all of American history has won a unanimous election — with the solitary exception of George Washington. 2012 lies ahead. Fortunately for conservatives, for the Republican Party — and America — there is one certainty as this battle continues:

Rush Limbaugh will be on the air.

via spectator.org

Yep. And the Tea Partiers and the Dittoheads and the Beckheads will be on the team.

What team is that, you say? Oh, it’s not Rush’s team – and he’d probably be the first to say that. No, it’s not Rush’s team; it’s America’s team.

Rush may have been a focal point, and he has certainly been a leader for the past 20-odd years. But the real team is American citizens keeping a critical and skeptical eye on Washington – and finally this year deciding to move like the giant we are to shrug off the chains of oppressive government.

In United States law, the first document is not, actually, the Constitution.

It’s the Declaration of Independence.

It is that same Declaration which states:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Don’t mess with the American people. Because if you abuse us and our trust enough, we get angry.

You liberals, politicos, and intellectual “elites” won’t like us when we get angry…

And Rush Limbaugh will still be on the air!

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

 

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Calling out for help!

Dear friends, I have a wonderful blog-brother, Kender MacGowan, who is trying to raise some money so he can come and spend Christmas with me – and maybe pad his bank account a little for medical and living expenses *grinz*

Kender blogs at Kender’s Musings, and also has an internet radio show: Young Gun Conservative on Right Talk Radio. He’s one of the blogosphere’s burrs-under-the-saddle; funny, irreverent, intense and definitely not politically correct. The K-man tells it like he sees it, and has a very low tolerance for liberal idiocy.

Kender is a talented and passionate writer and has two books of poetry published: Shattered Ashen Heart: Poetry For Loves Victims [link updated] and Watering the Tree: Thoughts on Liberty and Tyranny. [UPDATE] Kender also has a THIRD book, The Hunter and the Elf Queen, which I totally brain-dumped on…

Tree has colored illustrations to go with each poem, and the forward is written by the wonderful and awesome Evan Sayet! [/UPDATE]

To get from California to Virginia, the K-man needs to sell 500 copies of Watering the Tree (although if you ALSO wanted to purchase Ashen Heart, I’m sure he would have no objections, LOL). So I’m asking all my friends to click on the links and buy a copy or two if you like what you see. Plus, if you can, please spread the word to YOUR friends and ask them to do the same.

If you’re not interested in the book(s) but want to help out a bit, Kender does have a “Donate” button in the left hand column at Kender’s Musings.

So please help out as you are able, because I adore my K-man and really want him to be able to spend Christmas with me!

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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A cure for the Monday morning blues…

Well, it’s been a long time since I did a “Songs from my iPod” post – possibly because I haven’t HAD an iPod for about 2 years. Now, of course, I have my wonderful MotoDroid and can get Pandora. I’ve also got an awesome BlueTooth-to-radio device by Motorola that my Beloved Husband got me, so I can truly enjoy music wherever I go.

I’ve set up a Christian “station” for myself on Pandora, and here’s what blessed me this morning:

Continue reading

Ready for Day Two of the Virginia Tea Party Convention

Yesterday, I had the opportunity of attending a seminar with Del. Bob Marshall and Jim McKelvey (former candidate for the Republican nomination for the House in VA-5),moderated by Pat McSweeny, and I didn’t post anything about it… It was quite interesting, and I wish I had video, but my battery wasn’t properly charged (*facepalm* – and that little issue is fixed now).

However, both of these gentlemen made some excellent points which really stuck in my mind. They’re not terribly complex at all, but they are very much part of the foundation of the Tea Party movement. Mr. McKelvey pointed out that there are two simple questions which should direct elected officials in every decision they make:

  1. Is this according to the Constitution?
  2. Can we afford it?

Yes, folks, it really IS that simple!

Del. Marshall said, “As an elected official, we are supposed to serve you with the power you give us.” I wish that more of our men and women – heck, ALL of them! – would have this attitude! After all, they are our employees, and we are not their subjects. Unfortunately, far too many people in government service think they’re in office to rule over their fellow citizens – which should be a very dangerous assumption.

Finally, both these men stressed that it is each individual’s responsibility to stand up and vote “NO!” when their representatives do not live up to their constitutional responsibilities.

I am enjoying myself immensely – lots of good information, friendly people, blog family, and a great deal of interesting things to see and learn!

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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Tea Party Convention update

Well, folks, I’m having a wonderful time here – I’ve met up with Tom White of Virginia Right! as well as Norm Leahy of Tertium Quids. Tom is wonderful fun, and Norm, of course, is his charming self ;-) (Hi, guys! *waves*)

Lynn Mitchell – SWAC Girl – is manning the table at Bloggers’ Row (so to speak), but I came back up to the Media ready room because I feel much better leaving my laptop alone here while I wander. Lynn seems to know everyone

The opening was wonderful – Bishop Jackson gave the opening prayer, and then also gave the initial keynote welcome. I’ve never heard him speak before, and WOW! His church is truly blessed to have a man of such eloquence, passion and faith in the pulpit. He began by asking us all whether the Tea Party is racist or hateful (an obvious and resounding NO!”),but ended by inviting anyone who loves our country, who loves our Constitution, who loves our Declaration, and who loves the Judeo-Christian foundations of our nation to join up with the Tea Party movement and get involved.

It is not about color, it is not about race. It is about cherishing and honoring and protecting our Founders’ vision for a free country of citizens who will self-govern and do not want the government bureaucracy interfering with the liberty given to us by our Creator.

I hope that I will have the opportunity to get at least some of these speeches on DVD; someone is filming in the central exhibition hall… ;-)

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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It’s rather amazing to find such idiocy on a casual search

I was poking around the Internet yesterday, looking at State parks in reasonable driving distance. We have a lovely RV that hasn’t been anywhere in too long, and I thought I’d look around and see if anything piqued my interest. I remember that may years ago we stayed in the general area of Phohick State Park -Westmoreland, I think – and had a great time.

So, I was googling around, and saw that in the Pohick area (or at least, I think it was in that area, I wasn’t looking at maps) is also Mason Neck. And for some reason, I came across this blog post, essentially saying that Gov. McDonnell doesn’t love our State parks, because he’s closing five of them.

I see that Blue Virginia has also jumped on the bandwagon, with an approving mention of that post by Benny-Wenny over at Not Larry Sabato (get your own link to that reprobate).

Now, Norm over at Tertium Quids as well as Krystle at Bearing Drift have already chimed in on this – and far more eloquently than I might – but I do want to ask the leftosphere something. A few somethings, actually.

Do you really think that, after only a month in office, Gov. McDonnell really holds a particular animus for these parks? Or do you think that, maybe, in an attempt to look over the budget snarl the recent *ahem* Democratic *cough* governors have bequeathed to the Commonwealth and bring some sanity to spending, Gov. McDonnell reviewed various proposals by the many departments of government to see where they said they could cut costs? Perhaps – possibly – the Governor saw that the Department of Conservation and Recreation said that these parks were losing money for the State due to low visitation revenue vs upkeep expenses… And, perhaps, the Governor saw this as a way to cut costs with the least impact possible to jobs?

I realize jobs will be lost in this move – but I didn’t realize that Virginia had a policy of guaranteeing jobs so long as there were breathing bodies to occupy them. I’m sorry some people will be out of work, but what if it’s a case of 100 jobs in the recreation section vs 500 jobs in education or health?

Folks, everyone is having to tighten their belts in these difficult times, including the Commonwealth.

Would you rather we keep spending money we don’t have, placing more of a burden on future generations and eventually teetering on the edge of bankruptcy like, oh – California? Hard times mean hard choices. Get with the program, pare down non-essential services as much as possible, make wise spending decisions, and get inside sensible budget restrictions, and we’ll weather the storm and come out better.

But as long as y’all keep whining, things are just going to get worse.

C’mon, Virginia Democrats – don’t be like your big brother.

Democratic_crybaby_seal

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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Announcing the Carnival of Christmas, 2009

Carnival of Christmas2009

It’s that time of the year again, and I am honored and delighted to announce that CatHouse Chat will be hosting the Carnival of Christmas for the third year in a row. This is the fifth year of the Carnival, which was originally begun by Adam Graham (previous editions are here, here, here, and here), and I hope and pray that the Carnival continues to grow and gain popularity each year.

Adam’s original statement for the Carnival was

A Carnival for anything Christmas related. You can share Christmas
stories, Christmas poems, Christmas podcasts, Christmas parodies,
Christmas pictures, etc. The only requirement is that the post be
respectful of the Holiday and in the Spirit of Christmas cheer and
kindness.

I am going to add just a couple of clarifications to that: first of all, absolutely no political or advertising posts. I want to make sure the Carnival remains focused on the season and that it celebrates the joy, solemnity and unity that the season ought to bring. Secondly, I earnestly request that all submitted posts be dated from November and December of this year, 2009. I really want to keep the Carnival fresh with new pictures, recipes, memories and meditations, so get cracking and send in some of that awesome creativity I know you all do so well!

The past two years that CatHouse Chat has hosted the Carnival, I have pretty much accepted as many entries as I’ve gotten and haven’t limited people to one submission per person; I’d like to continue that tradition. However, bear in mind that the Carnival has gotten bigger each year (hooray!), and I may have to limit people to, oh, three entries per person *grinz*

The deadline for submissions will be Tuesday, 22 December, and I plan to post the Carnival no later than 3 p.m., ET, on Christmas Eve. Hopefully, I’ll get it up by the 23rd, but I like to give myself that extra time just in case something crazy happens.

I will NOT be using the Blog Carnival tool for entries this year. Please send ALL submissions directly to cathousechat -AT- gmail-dot-com, and use CARNIVAL in the subject line. In the body of the post, please include the permalink to your post, as well as the trackback URL if you want me to send one when the Carnival is posted. Please also give a brief (one or two sentence) description of the post, and what category I should put it in. So far, I’m planning on

  • music and video
  • pictures and art
  • recipes
  • memories and traditions
  • meditations of the season
  • humor

I may end up adding some categories (and there’s always “miscellaneous!”), but these have been fairly standard for the Carnival so far.

All right, that’s it so far. If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at the cathousechat address above (NOT the romeokat e-mail listed in my right hand column) with QUESTION in the subject line, and I will get back to you with an answer as soon as I can.

May your Advent season be full of joy, and may your Christmas be truly blessed!

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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Come 2010, Perriello is in for a world of HURT!!!

(big kittipurrs to Jim Riley for the post title and the heads-up… )

Go Dan River (which is apparently the Danville Register Bee‘s online presence) is reporting that Robert Hurt, Virginia‘s Senator for the 19th District, has decided to campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives:

Confirming what many political pundits have been assuming for months, state Senator Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, filed the paperwork Tuesday to run for Congress in 2010 against Rep.Tom Perriello, D-5th District.

Hurt, a lawyer and Pittsylvania County native, said he and his wife began seriously discussing the idea after former Rep. Virgil Goode opted against another run earlier this year. Hurt said he would wait to make a formal announcement of his candidacy until after the November election, but filed now “because there’s so much to get done.”

Sign me up, Sen. Hurt!

His website, though incomplete at the moment, is live – so go sign up and show your support!

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I PROMISE to raise your taxes!

R.CREIGH DEEDS, the Democrat running for governor in Virginia, has now unequivocally committed himself to support higher taxes to rescue the state’s sclerotic road system. His stance is nothing more or less than common sense: Virginia needs tens of billions of dollars in new revenue for roads, and it will not materialize without asking taxpayers — the same taxpayers who rightly groan about traffic — to foot a good part of the bill. Still, by articulating that position in plain English on the opposite page Wednesday, Mr. Deeds showed political guts, which is more than one can say for the smoke-and-mirrors, wing-and-a-prayer approach to transportation endorsed by his opponent, Republican nominee Robert F. McDonnell.

via www.washingtonpost.com

Yeah. Thanks. Raised taxes, poor economy, rising (skyrocketing!) unemployment, tight budgets, and Creigh “What’s In Your Wallet” Deeds is going to raise taxes.

The WaPo, of course, is carrying the DemonRATs’ water and proclaiming that raising taxes is “common sense” – after all, the DemonRATs (hey, and the RINOs, too – let’s be fair) never saw a tax they didn’t love. Meanwhile, I’d wager that at least 30% of the average person’s wages goes to pay taxes, both hidden and otherwise. More taxes, more government waste, more government intrusion, more government strangulation of personal liberty and business opportunity.

The WaPo calls McDonnell’s transportation plan a “smoke-and-mirrors, wing-and-a-prayer approach,” but certainly – even if true – that’s better than Deeds’ plan, right?

Plus, the WaPo slips up and betrays their smarmy, elitist attitude toward the unwashed masses right there in the second paragraph:

True to form, Virginia Republicans are betting that an easily misled electorate will be too shortsighted to notice that the state has completely run out of road-building funds.

“Easily misled,” huh? Yeah, I suppose the WaPo ought to know: they’ve been leading the more gullible among us down the primrose path for years, right into the grip of economic disaster and enslavement to the Nanny State government.

Plus, from Douglas Wilder – whose endorsement is positively coveted by DemonRATic candidates -

The overriding “issue” in this year’s Governor’s race will be the judgment the voters make about which candidate is most capable of managing tough times and establishing the right priorities for when the economy begins to recover.

Throughout my entire involvement with public service, I have tried to be a voice for those most often left out when decisions are being made which affect them in their everyday lives.  As a state senator, I fought to get rid of the sales tax on food. As Lt. Governor, I fought to get rid of the sales tax on non-prescription drugs and opposed the increased sales taxes for transportation, because they are regressive taxes, meaning the poor pay at the same rate as the rich.  I have lived long enough not to assume that these voiceless people can always count on someone articulating for them.

This is not the time in our Commonwealth to talk about any kind of tax increase, especially those that are fundamentally regressive and will hit hardest those who are struggling. [emph. mine — Kat]

And another clip from Mr. Wilder, not transportation/tax related, but *ahem* interesting:

Furthermore, In my conversations with the people across the state, I have not encountered anyone who has listed as their priority the need for them to have more handguns.  The present law permits anyone of sufficient age, who is not a felon, to be able to buy one gun a month; twelve a year, twenty four a year for couples etc..

Mr. Deeds thinks that’s not enough and signed a pledge to repeal that law.

[…]

I do not see how endorsing a proposal to have more handguns brought into our cities and suburban areas qualifies as any type of urban renewal plan.

And -

The requests, made of me, have been to endorse Mr. Deeds,  the Democratic Candidate, for Governor.  I refrain from doing so and will leave that choice to the voters. [again, emph. mine]

Hm… Well, golly-gee-darn! Don’t think you’re gonna get his endorsement, Creigh-baby.

Deedsleadership

(kittipurrs to Riley for the image)

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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Obama is not operating on all cylinders

In declaring that it is time for Middle East peace “without preconditions,” President Obama used his speech to the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday to fire a warning at Israel that “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”

Obama’s stark declaration, which drew applause, was coupled with a call for Palestinians to end their “incitement of Israel.”

But it was the use of the U.N. forum to carry the settlement message to Israel that drew the most enthusiastic response on the floor — and incredulous reaction outside its walls.

Obama just put Israel “on the chopping block,” said former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.

Obama said he met Tuesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was not in attendance at the speech, and agreed that the two have made some progress in both strengthening security and facilitating freedom of movement, which have allowed the economy in the West Bank to grow.

via www.foxnews.com

What’s that definition of insanity? “Doing the same thing, the same way, and expecting different results”?

HOW many times has Palestine been brought to the table for peace talks? HOW many times has Israel graciously turned the other cheek? Israel has endured unprovoked, murderous attacks on its citizens ever since they became their own state, and have reacted aggressively only on comparatively rare occasions, and under extreme and foul provocation.

Palestine? Palestine has received pats on the head from the whole world, billions – trillions, probably – of dollars in aid and relief, and in response they elected a terrorist organization to power, continue the unprovoked and cowardly attacks on Israeli civilians, and refuse to renounce their intent to destroy Israel.

The second paragraph of Hamas’ charter (you know, Hamas, the elected ruling party of Palestine? The terrorist organization?? Oops, Ron, in the comments, reminds me that it’s actually Fatah – but a difference which makes no difference IS no difference…) states

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory).

In the second paragraph of their charter! They obviously think this is a critical point to make, to give it such high priority…

You know, that’s racist and genocidal – it’s amazing that all the liberal lunatics are so concerned with “free speech” and the “rights of mankind,” and yet refuse to open their eyes and SEE that this is insanity!

Obama and all those who favor talking with the Palestinians are willfully irresponsible and criminally callous when they insist that Israel cannot be permitted to protect its citizens and itself from slaughter.

I hope Prime Minister Netanyahu spits in Obama’s eye on behalf of the Israeli people.

I firmly believe that America is in great danger due to Obama’s stance on Israel. Not just because he is giving respect to terrorists who have no interest in peace and coexistence with Israel, but also because of God’s great promise to Abram when He called him out of Ur:

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

America has steadily removed blessing after blessing from our ally, Israel. I believe that we have now, definitely, crossed the line and begun cursing it.

The Palestinians pray to their great “god,” allah, who is nothing more than a demon from hell who is intent on the destruction of lives and souls. Demons are created beings who once were angels in Heaven before they followed Satan in prideful rebellion and were thrown out – and there is no chance of redemption for them.

God – the true God, the Creator and Sustainer of all, the Good God, the Loving God, the Merciful God, the Righteous God, the real Judge of all the earth, the Omnipotent God who gave the Promise to Abram and Israel after him – is so far above “allah” that, as the song goes,

The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

One little word.

“allah” is just a pissant wannabe. He’s so over-matched that his final end won’t even be a byline in the weekly small town paper!

And at this point, I can’t see many other options for Obama: Either he is greatly deluded and does not know the facts of his professed faith in Christ or the clear word of the Bible, as well as being incredibly naive, or… He is a willful servant of Satan and his minions and will end up being cut down by the God who still holds Israel as the apple of His eye.

President Obama, I strongly urge you to reconsider your stance on Israel and Palestine. If you do not, I warn you that, as the old saying goes, “Your  arms too short to box with God.”

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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A “jackass”? Yeah, probably

President Barack Obama called hip-hop musician Kanye West a “jackass” on Monday in an off-the-record comment during an interview with CNBC, an ABC News anchor reported on Twitter.

Obama was apparently weighing in on an interruption that occurred the night before during the MTV Video Music Awards where West grabbed the microphone from teen country singer Taylor Swift during her award acceptance speech to announce his belief that Beyonce had a better music video.

“Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential,” “Nightline” co-anchor Terry Moran wrote Monday evening to his more than 1 million followers.

via www.foxnews.com

… but then, it’s probably more a case of Hollyweird liberals just doing what they do.

West is apparently going to take some time out to reflect on his rudeness. Frankly, he would be better off trying to find a way to honestly apologize to Taylor Swift and acquire a deep sense of humility and compassion. I doubt he’ll do it, but one can hope…

And, as a side note, it’s lovely to see that our President can actually speak in an honest and straightforward manner… even if it was supposed to be “off the record.”

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat… and with, I suppose, a “fare thee well” to my image of a quiet, firm, gracious MomKat here at VV… LOL!)

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NO!!!! No, no, no, nononononono!!!! Not Patrick Swayze!!!!

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Patrick Swayze, the hunky actor who danced his way into viewers’ hearts with ”Dirty Dancing” and then broke them with ”Ghost,” died Monday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 57.

via www.nytimes.com

Oh, damn. I liked Patrick Swayze. I loved Dirty Dancing, Road House, and so many of his other films… And, from what I’ve heard, he was also a very sweet guy in real life….

Damn.

Father in Heaven, I pray that You are welcoming home another of Your children. I pray that Mr. Swayze is now face to face with You, completely healed and rejoicing in Your presence. I pray that You send Your Spirit to comfort and uphold his family in their time of grief, and that You remind them of Your love and grace. Hold them in Your strong and gentle arms, Father, and bless them with Your mercy and salvation.

(hat tip to Fausta for letting me know)

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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The RNC: the Epitome of “Chutzpah”

Look what I got in the mail today:

RNCPastDue

“Past due.” PAST DUE????

Gentlemen and ladies (I use those terms out of courtesy only) of the RNC: May I direct your attention to this post and this one as well? To paraphrase a very fine man who was a great Republican, “I didn’t leave the [Republican] Party; it left me.”

The one and only time I ever gave to the RNC was right after John McCain (RINO-AZ) chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. I was going to vote third party, but the choice of Sarah Palin gave me new hope that perhaps the Republican Party intended to return to its roots of small government, fiscal conservatism, and faithfulness to the Constitution-as-written.

Well. We all know how that turned out. (And Bill Whittle has an excellent video which beautifully and eloquently outlines what I’d like to say about that fiasco!)

And now the RNC and the NRSC continue to follow a failing “strategy” of nominating Republicans in Name Only (or RINO, for those few who aren’t already familiar with the term) and ignoring their base with irresponsible and blind abandon. Is it any wonder that they can’t seem to win elections any more?

Plus, the chutzpah – the GALL! – of sending me something labeled “past due” as if it were a bill I was obligated to pay…! Oh, and to heap up injury to insult, they sent this after they’d already sent a “final notice” letter (I got it within a few days of the one my blog-brother Michael received)…!

Hey, dudes, just to let you know… Your pleas for more money?

CIRCULAR FILE. UNOPENED.

In other words:

GET… LOST!!!

(UPDATE: Check out Michael’s post about his receipt of the same letter… And Cargosquid chimed in in my comments, and made me consider sending the pledge plea letter back to the RNC in shreds – and in their return mail envelope!)

(crossposted from CatHouse Chat)

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