Sunday, February 25, 2007

Martin O'Malley has taken a page out of his rival Doug Duncan's fundraising scheme handbook. Governor O'Malley has quietly put forward legislation that will require every employee of the State of Maryland to give money to the unions that fund his campaigns. Here's how the scam works:

O'Malley forces state employees to give money to unions.
Unions increase their income by that amount.
Those same unions then write checks to O'Malley and fund other efforts towards his reelection.

Ingenious, isn't it?

I'll acknowledge that at least this scheme doesn't use taxpayer funds!

Maryland citizens, will you allow this scheme to go forward in Annapolis?

How about some positive news about immigrants for a change? In contrast to the recent anti-Catholic bigotry of the Washington Post and John Edwards' bloggers, there was a Post article about legal immigrants in England Saturday. Because the European Union has adopted the rather free market idea of interstate movement of labor, it doesn't have the chaotic immigration crisis we have on this side of the Atlantic. So many Polish Catholics have come to England and Ireland in search of better jobs. Not only are they legal immigrants, but they also are very hardworking and religious. In the process, then, they have given quite a boost to the Catholic Church in both countries.

300,000 have arrived since 2004, and it is important to realize that A) No catastrophe has occurred as a result, and B) this is an orderly process that the government can control as necessary. And many parishes that were declining are now standing-room only at every Sunday Mass. One migrant in the article, Monika Swierczyusko, reports that she works a six-day week in a factory, and then spends her only day off Sunday volunteering at her church from 7 AM to 9 PM(!). She adds, "I don't understand people who don't like to go to church." Isn't this the definition of an upstanding citizen?

Most Latino immigrants who come to the United States have a similar devotion to faith and family. Of course there are a number of bad guys who cross the border. But that's why we would do best to secure our borders and switch from the chaos that some Democratic County, State, and national politicians cynically exploit for political purposes, to an orderly system that will weed out the criminals. And that would allow the Federal Government to control the number of immigrants entering in relation to the employment needs of not just business, but of American workers. We should first be sure that there really aren't Americans who "won't do" this or that job. And if there aren't, then we shouldn't be afraid to allow upstanding, law abiding people of any country to find employment here and pursue the American Dream.

There was also a serendipitous aspect to the article, given the Lenten season. Another immigrant, Dominika Marszalkowska, is not only a devout Catholic churchgoer, but has a newborn child as well. The article mentions nothing about the child's father. I don't know if that was intentional or symbolically coincidental. It's safe to say this was a positive Easter story that James Cameron and the Discovery Channel would not enjoy.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chris Van Hollen vs. Israel. This is a stunning development. Chris Van Hollen, our Democratic congressman here in Congressional District 8, has put Israel's security on the table. Quoted in the Washington Post on February 20, 2007, Chris Van Hollen called for a congressional vote on the "full" Baker Commission proposal as a Democratic alternative to the Bush plan. Van Hollen's Democratic constituents cheered his latest swing at George Bush at first, but then, oh no, wait! Wasn't the Baker Commission's requirement of major security concessions the very downfall of the Baker Plan? It's not hard to forget. The day the Baker Commission announced its proposal, the Washington Post was declaring it a defeat for George Bush. Then, as people studied the details, they found it tied everything to concessions by Israel. Suddenly, the Post said, 48 hours later, that Bush ought to ignore the Baker Plan, and the national Baker-mania evaporated faster than the integrity of a Maryland election.

Chris Van Hollen's demand for the "full" Baker Plan means that Chris Van Hollen has endorsed the full Baker Plan. Ergo, Chris Van Hollen has endorsed the Israeli concessions that are fundamental parts of the Baker Plan. That's strange, considering I was at the Candidates Forum at a Potomac synagogue last year, and heard Van Hollen pledge his full support for Israel.

Would the real Chris Van Hollen please stand up?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Many of our elected officials believe that "public service" means that the public serves government, as I mentioned a few weeks ago re: the radical Clean Cars legislation, etc. This concept leads not only to bigger government, high taxes, and greater control of our lives, but also to hypocrisy.

One might recall the controversial Montgomery County Council mandate years back that forced homeowners to immediately clear snow and ice from any public sidewalk that crossed their lawns. Council members jabbed their fingers at the taxpayer, who is of course responsible for all that is wrong in Montgomery County. Well, it seems that the County government is not holding itself to the same standards it holds the taxpayer to. Days after last week's snow and ice fell, the County has yet to clear many sidewalks - including one in front of an apartment building for residents with disabilities. There is a photo in today's Washington Post Metro section that shows one resident having to flag down a bus, unable to access the Metrobus stop due to uncleared sidewalks. The County should be ashamed. They always trumpet those wonderful "services" as the reason you must hand over your wallet to them. Apparently the disabled do not receive the same level of service.

Readers of this blog, few as they may be, know that I just dealt with a similar disability issue last fall with the County Board of Elections, and was able to bring about a change there. Here goes the County again! It's a disgrace.

Now, while this is going on, what are Senator Frosh, and Delegates Bronrott, Lee, and Goldwater up to?

Ah, yes, they're once again helping convicted felons vote! What did you expect from legislators who haven't addressed increased violent crime in the last four years?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We often hear politicians talk about the "first 100 days" in office, and the legislation they plan to pass during that time. Regardless of party, they are usually items that are popular and have mass approval within their ideological base. Often they gain votes even from moderate lawmakers in the opposing party or parties. Not so in Rockville and Annapolis.

Bob Ehrlich went to great lengths to foster a bipartisan cooperative spirit in Annapolis directly following his election. Like the usual 100 day wish list, no such efforts have been made by Governor O'Malley or by other Democratic leaders in Annapolis.

Instead, amidst a general do-nothing atmosphere in Annapolis, the only legislation being put forward is on divisive, partisan fringe issues by the most radical Delegates and Senators in our capital city. Forced vaccinations, radical auto emission legislation that will devastate working families and small businesspeople across the state, radical new gun control laws, a hefty tax on the poor, and, yet again, early voting(!) legislation that has already been declared unconstitutional by the courts. Rockville has not fared much better. After a show trial about development, and a bluff moratorium, it's back to business as usual under the "new" Planning regime, which has yet to make any substantive change in the way the County manages development. Next on the agenda? Naming the Rockville Library. Heavy lifting indeed.

What citizens want to know is, what happened to the major issues? Affordable housing, transportation, taxes, healthcare, utilities, education, eliminating portable classrooms? Many voters stayed home in 2006 because they were tired of the partisan bickering and want politicians to solve these problems. As I warned during the campaign, and as voters are now finding out the hard way, we are in for another four years like the last four.

It is frustrating to witness District 16's delegation waste our time with a minimalist agenda of far-left issues. So far, Brian Frosh and Bill Bronrott (the only active District 16 legislators, apparently) have only supported the radical Clean Cars measure, and new taxes on the poor and middle class. Again, even their beloved-yet-flawed Geographic Index for the Thornton Plan is off their agenda. Yes, O'Malley, Frosh, Bronrott: fighting for working families. It sounds more like they are just fighting working families. Are you a working mom with 4 or 5 kids? Do you want to pay higher taxes and stuff your kids into a tiny hybrid car? I rest my case.

Contrast this inaction and hostility with my positive, substantive agenda that was supported by the many people I met during the campaign, and who voted for me on November 7. First priority of William Bronrott: Clean Cars/Tax Increase. Robert Dyer's first priority (on video record at My Comprehensive Transportation Plan. You know, transportation - remember that? While Democratic delegates are putting radical measures forward, I would have instead been introducing bills for transportation, elimination of portable classrooms, tough anti-crime measures, and reducing taxes and utility bills. Furthermore, while much psuedo-scientific pontificating has been offered in support of the radical Clean Cars bill, the real, known environmental crisis - the Chesapeake Bay - has been utterly ignored by the Governor and his allies.

The victors in 2006 should be ashamed. It's time to get to work. If they continue this for another four years, it will be an interesting election in 2010.

Speaking of interesting, you've probably heard about the Washington Post Company's outrageous blogger, William Arkin, who wrote some of the most vile, hateful, vicious, extremist attacks I have ever heard directed at the men and women of our nation's armed forces. Men and women who are dying so that Mr. Arkin can continue to freely offer his hate speech through the Washington Post. Mr. Arkin clearly represents the opinions of the editors at the Washington Post, as evidenced by the Post's decision not to discipline him. I won't quote Arkin's blog here, because I don't want to give him any wider audience, but I will quote a damning statement by the Post's biased, ineffective, and unresponsive "ombudsman," Deborah Howell, regarding the controversy:

"Blogs are held to the same standards as any Post journalism, [the Post's Jim Brady] said."

That comment speaks for itself. The prosecution rests.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

George Will bashing Ronald Reagan? Just when we were getting used to the new Senator Warner, now Mr. Will has a stunt double writing his columns. According to Will, Ronald Reagan was not a true conservative because his conservatism was "without anxieties." And, assert Will and like-minded author John Patrick Diggins, because Reagan did not subscribe to "melancholy fatalism."

Will and Diggins then go on to make false claims about Ronald Reagan's religious beliefs, that are in stark contrast to Reagan's message of personal responsibility. It was Ronald Reagan who took on the Great Society and said there was "no free lunch." Further, they say that "Reagan's popularity was largely the result of 'his blaming government for problems that are inherent in democracy itself.'" Nothing could be further from the truth. To believe Will and Diggins, one must believe that big government and high taxes are "inherent in democracy," a ridiculous suggestion that has no basis in fact or logic.

Finally, they offer this whopper: "Reagan's theory of government has little reference to the principles of the American founding." Absolute rubbish, which could only be posited by persons who have no knowledge of American history. Were high taxes a major issue in our Revolution? I would go out on a limb and say they were. Was government control of an individual's liberties and commercial activity an issue? Yes, claro que si.

We seem to have a continuing attempt by some to claim that Reagan conservatives and religious conservatives are false conservatives. They state that we have lost our way from the true path of the Goldwater era and that conservatism is simply about fiscal issues. In an attempt to feel less ashamed at their Washington and Hollywood cocktail parties, they are prepared to toss social issues overboard in hopes that they will be accepted by the liberal elite. But that is a road to ruin. To abandon our defense of life and liberty, as well as our values, is the road to destruction.

The reason Ronald Reagan was popular was precisely because he was not a "melancholy fatalist." Reagan was an optimist. We have a superior message to what liberals offer. We have the American dream, opportunity and ownership societies, national security, low taxes, less government, and defense of traditional values. If Will and Diggins want a melancholy President who will lecture the people about why they should be ashamed and be prepared for painful sacrifices, it's not to late for them to start a Draft Jimmy Carter website.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

So much for global warming. High tomorrow: 24 degrees, Low: 7 degrees. It is, frankly, hilarious to listen to people who have no scientific expertise whatsoever pontificate ad nauseum about changes in global temperature for their own ideological benefit. The limits of even the scientific community to make broad judgements on the subject are real, given the relatively short historical data available. And what data we have suggests that temperatures have changed drastically over the history of our planet, and the level of the oceans has risen before. The only difference this time, is that we have a group of extremists, and the more mainstream followers they've gained through the liberal media and stunt movies like An Inconvenient Truth, using these phenomena to advance an agenda. And it's an agenda that goes frighteningly beyond conservation and alternative fuels. Is the planet doomed? Yes, because every planet in this universe has a lifespan. Our job as the human race is to figure out how to get off this planet and beyond our own solar system before that distant doomsday occurs. So there is irony in the complaints that George Bush's space initiatives (which are admittedly modest, but more than anyone else is proposing) are taking priority over studying our own environment. Global warming is up for legitimate debate; the lifespan of the sun is not.

It was plenty cold already Saturday morning when I left for our County Republican Party Convention at the the University of Maryland Shady Grove campus. When I went through the drive-thru at McDonalds, I tried to roll down my window and found it was frozen shut. After arriving at the campus, I manned the table for District 16. Our first vice chair, Dan Willard, who organized the convention started the actual program which had many speakers including our state national committeepersons Louis Pope and Joyce Terhes. Jim Pelura, the new state party chairman, also spoke. We had a presidential straw poll and the winner was Rudy Giuliani. Mitt Romney was second, and Newt Gingrich, third. Surprisingly, John McCain finished low on the list. I'm not committed to any candidate yet, as I want to know their positions on all of the issues and their platforms. I have concerns about the current frontrunners' positions on social issues, deep concerns in some cases.

We actually had some enthusiastic District 16 Republicans who took time to come out early on a frigid Saturday to participate in the convention, and they had many good ideas that we can utilize. One thing we all agreed on was to continue having District 16 meetings. All Republicans, and anyone who wants to register as a Republican, in District 16 are invited to our monthly meeting at the Bethesda Library on Arlington Road, February 22, 2007 at 7 P.M.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Can someone get Roger Manno a copy of the program? Just when Democrats in Maryland and elsewhere have learned to avoid the gun control issue, Delegate Manno (D - District 19) has put forward a bill to give more gun control authority to the Montgomery County Council. Several council members, including Marc Elrich and Phil Andrews expressed great interest in this new authority that would expand government power and further weaken the 2nd Amendment rights of every citizen in the county. One national Democrat said recently that the party would ignore these issues indefinitely, to counter the belief that the party "is going to take your guns away!" Well, it sounds like the Mssrs. Manno, Elrich, and Andrews are "going to take your guns away!"

In a bizarre twist, Manno gave a recent armored car shootout as an example of why the law is necessary. The participants in this shootout were professional armored car guards and the robbers of said armored vehicle. Statistics have revealed again and again that criminals rarely purchase firearms legally at gun shops or gun shows. Once again, the absurd arguments of the far-left, gun control movement have proven false. Maryland's gun laws are already far too strict; no additional legislation is necessary.

Combined with the bill put forward by another member of Mr. Manno's delegation, that would outlaw all use of cell phones by drivers, and you begin to understand why so many voters are tired of the extremist theatrics. They want their public officials to work on the serious issues like education and transportation. From these early developments in Annapolis and Rockville, it appears that won't happen anytime soon.