Articles from July 2009



Best use of WordPress for a political campaign site ever?

You should really check out Delegate Chris Peace’s (R-97th) campaign website.

I swear that has to be one of the best designed and laid out campaign sites I’ve ever seen. The colors are great too. Ditto for the slideshow, it gets your attention but doesn’t overwhelm you when you’re trying to find something else on the site. It’s one of those things that you look at and say, “Dammit! I wish I could make something like that!”

And when you look at it you don’t realize that it actually uses a self-hosted WordPress installation. I didn’t realize that it did until I saw the standardized URLs for the news updates and I checked out the HTML code and saw the references to WordPress directories. WordPress is great for blogs if you want your site to look like a blog but you usually don’t want your campaign site to look like one. Convenience of WordPress plus a professional design that doesn’t look like a blog? Win.

It’s certainly a far cry from Catherine Crabill’s campaign website which uses a TypePad blog setup. It’s also a far cry from Bobby Orrock’s website that hasn’t been updated in two years. Albert Pollard’s site is okay but noticeably light on content, especially on the “Views” page. Of course, with the person that he’s running against, what does it matter?

And for what someone has told me and what I can find on Peace’s campaign finance disclosures, it didn’t come cheap either. $4,356 for the web hosting and design being paid to PharrOut according to VPAP. It looks like the single most expensive item he’s bought this campaign cycle in fact. Definitely money well spent even though Peace doesn’t have an opponent this year.

Happy belated second blog birthday to myself.

This travesty of writing and intellect all started over two years ago on July 15, 2007.

Why does the world seem to be more and more like The Shield every day?

Via Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge:

Baby girl cut from mom’s womb is found; 2 arrested…

On the banning of commenters.

I’ve recently been forced to implement the first ever ban of a commenter on this blog. Now, I’ve been forced to remove spam and the like for years. I’ve also been forced to remove or redact a vulgarity or two from a comment, as well as removing one comment that contained a rumor with false and defaming information. I have also removed a comment or two at the request of the commenter. But none of those incidents were outright bans and the persons involved retained their commenting abilities.

The recipient of this first ever ban is “Jason Soiman”. Why the quotes, you might be asking? Well, that’s a long story. It all started back on June 6, 2009, when “Jason Soiman” posted a comment saying that Catherine Crabill had just received a $1,000,000 inheritance from her mother’s estate which would fund her election campaign. Now, “Soiman” was mum on details even after I asked “him” how this was possible when Crabill currently has her $875,000 home on the market. She also has five or six siblings, so if Crabill managed to get a $1,000,000 inheritance, that must have been on big frakin’ pot to begin with. After I asked those questions to “Soiman”, “he” stated: “I really don’t know that much about Catherine Crabill’s finances”. Yeah, obviously.

And since then, “Soiman” has been a somewhat regular commenter on this space, with comments ranging from regularly taking up for Representative Rob Wittman (R-1st) to attacking Delegate Chris Peace (R-97th) for posting a comment on this blog.

“Soiman”‘s commenting reached its end yesterday, however, when “he” posted two comments claiming that Sheriff Tony Lippa had a been a big  supporter of now-Supervisor Jeff Sili’s election campaign in 2007. “He” claimed, inter alia, that Lippa was at Sili’s campaign kickoff event in July 2007, yet Lippa’s presence isn’t noted in a press release from Sili’s own campaign (which also appeared in The Caroline Progress), despite naming every local politician that had attended the event. Mix in some more lies from “Soiman” which totally clash with the personality types of the people involved and you have a couple of comments from “him”.

I eventually decided to ban “Soiman” from posting anymore comments on this blog. I despise liars to begin with but when someone lies and the person’s claims can be easily refuted by a simple Google Search it annoys me even more. And, for crying out loud, if you’re going to lie about someone, at least make sure that the actions that you claim someone did are consistent with the person’s personality.

After I implemented the ban, I decided to do a little research. First, I Googled “Soiman”‘s name and found several comments on other blogs attacking John Brownlee and even a profile on RPV Network.

Then I Googled “his” e-mail address: nothing.

But then I Googled “his” IP address. Guess what came up? Fredtalk. And not just Fredtalk, but posts on FredTalk from one “oharascarlett”. Who is “oharascarlett”, you might be asking? Why, that would be Susan Sili’s username on Fredtalk of course. Susan Sili is, of course, the wife of Caroline County Republican Committee Chairman and Caroline County Board of Supervisors member Jeff Sili. And who did Jeff Sili endorse for the Republican nomination for Attorney General? Why, Ken Cuccinelli. And who was one of Cuccinelli’s opponents? John Brownlee. It all comes together doesn’t it?

That obviously pathological liar has been posting on this blog for over a month and I just figured it out. Grr…

After this whole experience, I feel that I need to lay out some ground rules for commenting in the future:

1.) Don’t lie.

2.) If you’re going to lie (see Rule #1), at least make sure your lies can’t be refuted by a simple Google Search.

3.) If you’re going to lie (see Rule #1), make sure that the nonexistent actions that you attribute to someone don’t completely clash with the person’s personality.

If you’re found to be in violation of these rules, with me being the sole arbitrator of that, you will be banned.

Besides that, comment away.

But before we go, I want to share a couple of lines from Atlas Shrugged:

“But don’t I have any freedom of speech?”

“In your own house. Not in mine.”

“Don’t I have a right to my own ideas?

“At your own expense. Not at mine.”

“Don’t you tolerate any differences of opinion?”

“Not when I’m paying the bills.”

Time for a variation of Godwin’s Law and other logical fallacies from people supporting Lippa’s railroading of Benjamin Boyd.

For those not familiar with Godwin’s Law, it states: “As a Usenet [a message board-style system] discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.” It was also used in the ye olde days (back when you had to carry the electrons on your back!) to determine when a Usenet discussion had reached it’s peak and needed to be ended due to someone deciding to compare someone else they were arguing with to a Nazi or Hitler. Anyone that make a comparison to Nazism or Hitler was determined to have lost the argument as well.

Well, here’s a new wider variation coined by me: As any argument continues, online or offline, the probability of a comparison to a mass murderer, including a serial killer, approaches 1.

And, ladies and gentlemen, we have reached that point in the back and forth regarding Sheriff Tony Lippa’s vendetta against Caroline County High School football coach Benjamin Boyd. In a letter to the editor in the July 23, 2009, edition of The Caroline Progress, Roger Cavendish stated the following as part of a tirade against former Principal Jeff Wick, the Caroline County School Board, et al.:

I can certainly understand why Jeff Wick is an ex-principal with his moral values. For him to even suggest that the drug crime was nineteen years ago is disgusting. I am sure that if Mr. Wick has anything to say about it the next time Charles Manson comes up for parole, he will want to hire him as a music teacher — after all, it has been forty years since he killed Sharon Tate and he is quite a musician.

Yep folks, he just compared someone that was convicted of two misdemeanors for the possession of steroids nineteen years ago to someone that was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of seven people. Do I really have to point the absurdity of that argument? To compare someone to Manson, who was involved in the brutal murder of seven people, including the murder of Sharon Tate who was eight-months pregnant at the time of her death, is beyond absurd; it’s reprehensible.

In the same letter Cavendish also stated that former School Board member and Coach George Spaulding had also come out in support of Boyd’s hiring and condemned Spaulding for supporting Boyd. Now that’s pretty interesting since Lippa is such good friends with George Spaulding through his wife Elisabeth Spaulding. Elisabeth Spaulding is the widow of Stan Benson who was a very good of friend of Lippa before his passing several years ago. In fact, Lippa was a big supporter of Spaulding’s failed bid for the Bowling Green Board of Supervisors seat back in 2007. Does all that support and friendship go out the door when someone ends up on the wrong side of one of Lippa’s vendetta, or, in this particular case, is it just the ravings of a lunatic like Roger Cavendish? It’s hard to decide at this point.

And then we have a portion of a the letter that appeared in the same edition from former Virginia State Trooper Robert Gordon:

As for the cheap shot by Mr. Wick regarding Sheriff Lippa’s son-in-law being interested in the coach’s position, it now has become a situation where members of the School Board and former principal Mr. Wick are now attempting to portray Sheriff Lippa as the bad in this entire matter.

First, note that nowhere did Gordon deny the truthfulness of Wick’s allegation. And, uh, excuse me, that’s a cheap shot? Is it a cheap shot for the Sheriff, the chief law-enforcement officer in the county, to publicly and falsely accuse someone of committing a crime? Is it a cheap shot for the Sheriff to invade another government employee’s privacy and to go around stating as a fact what was included on the employee’s application? Is it a cheap shot to get someone indicted for two felonies as part of a larger vendetta against someone and then run to a friend at WTVR Channel 6 News (Jon Burkett) to have him do a story about the charges?

No, of course not. It’s only a cheap shot to reveal to the public why a elected public official is pursuing a vendetta against someone. This is part of a wider revelation I’ve had: To Lippa and the people that are supporting him in this travesty of justice, they think there are two sets of rules: One set just for them and another set that everyone else has to follow. The problem is their set of rules is blank. They can do whatever they want: falsely accuse someone of a crime, try to publicly ruin a man’s reputation using the media, or try to get a man fired from a job that he was properly hired for, and it goes on and on. But when someone dares to point why they’re taking this course of action it’s a ‘cheap shot’, ‘an invasion of privacy’, ‘uncalled for’, or whatever else they want to say about it.

Crabill Watch: Catherine Crabill gets the coveted endorsement from the conspiracy theory clearing house Prison Planet.com.

Not a real surprise, right?

But a couple of words do not probably describe the type of folks that are behind Prison Planet.com. It isn’t just Oklahoma City Bombing Truthers (OKC Truthers) and United Nations one-government nuts like Crabill, it’s 9/11 Truther (people that believe that the Bush, or the Jews, or combination there of were responsible for the 9/11 attacks), anti-vaccine loons, anti-fluoride morons (they must worry about people trying to “sap and impurify” their “precious bodily fluids”), and, of course, those newest nuts known as Birthers (people that believe that Barack Obama is not a “natural born citizen” and therefore ineligible to be President). Of course, Crabill has previously shown her support for the Birthers between links on her campaign site to WorldNetDaily and comments made elsewhere.

To get a good idea on how insane the folks at Prison Planet.com are, consider this quote from the very article calling Crabill a “[p]atriot”:

GE manufactures jet and attack helicopter engines used in Iraq and Afghanistan to kill thousands. Not only is GE complicit in mass murder, it also pled guilty in federal court to civil and criminal charges of defrauding the Pentagon and agreed to pay $69 million to the U.S. government in fines — one of the largest defense contracting fines ever. Part of this fraudulent scheme was used to fund Israeli military programs not authorized by the United States – in other words, [Jim] Newell’s [the author of an article lambasting Crabill] boss helped Israel torture and kill Palestinians.

I’m loathed to even post stuff like that anywhere on my blog but I feel it’s important to document the type of insane people out there that have decided to support Crabill’s candidacy. I did make the prediction that Crabill would make the Republican Party and anyone running as a Republican look like a complete moron and it’s nice to see I was correct in that hypothesis even though I don’t like the net result.

And, no, I won’t be linking to that site. You can get your own link if you want to read that drivel! And the only reason that I even know about the endorsement post is because of a handy “Catherine Crabill” Google Blog alert. Heck, it was Google News search that found me the first article detailing Crabill’s OKC Trutherism, so they’re a a pretty good resource FYI.

Shakeup at the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office: Lieutenant Colonel Mike Hall resigns “effective immediately”!

From Portsia Smith’s “Caroline Crossroads” blog:

Talked to Sheriff Tony Lippa and he has confirmed that Lt. Col. Mike Hall resigned from the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office effective immediately Tuesday.

Lippa said Hall will focus on his lawn care business, B & H Site Improvements.

No other details are available at this time.

I’m sure I’m not the only that isn’t buying this. No one resigns “effective immediately” unless they get fed up and walk out or if they’re fired outright.

This is pure speculation, but maybe Hall got sick of a sheriff’s office being used to go after someone (i.e., Ben Boyd) because that someone got hired for a job over someone else’s (i.e., Lippa’s) kin (i.e., Robbie Jenkins)?

This whole thing is even weirder because it was Lippa that brought Hall into the sheriff’s office (Hall was previously a Virginia State Trooper, a sergeant I believe) to be Lippa’s Chief Deputy when Lippa was elected. I’m guessing that Major Moser is doing those duties now which he should be able to manage since he was Homer Johnson’s Chief Deputy for several years). Now, the question is will Major Moser agree to do things that Hall apparently refused to do? Only time will tell…

Let’s hope that Hall keeps his calendar clear for two years from now. That would be 2011 for those that have trouble counting. Lot of interesting stuff happening that year, constitutional officer elections amongst them.

Speaking of disclosing convictions on an application: Did a Caroline County Sheriff’s Office sergeant disclose his involvement in the tear gas attack of a gay bar when he was hired?

Prologue: I had originally planned on publishing this post on Monday but I deferred posting for one reason. The person involved, Travis Nutter, was one of the investigators which worked on the Joseph Beverley murder case for which John Wayne Peck was on trial for earlier this week. Since I did not know if Nutter would be testifying during the trial for the case, and out of concern for some juror who might have tried to Google his name and find some reason not to believe what he testified to, I opted not to publish this post until after the trial concluded. And, yes, I’m aware that jurors are not supposed to use to Internet to check up on witnesses nor defendants, but given the number of morons that were obviously on that jury I believe my concern was well-founded. Anyway…

It’s amazing the stuff you can find on the internet by accident.

He was also given a bad conduct discharge by the United States Marine Corps according to The Washington Blade:

A former Marine who was given a bad conduct discharge from the military six years ago for his involvement in the tear-gas attack on a Capitol Hill gay bar is currently working as a deputy sheriff in southern Virginia.

Travis Lee Nutter is employed as a deputy in the Caroline County Police Department [sic], located south of Fredericksburg, Va., according to Deputy Sheriff Roger [sic] Moser.

Moser said he was unaware of Nutter’s involvement in the 1997 incident, which gay activists have characterized as a hate crime. According to Moser, Nutter was hired as a Caroline County police officer [sic] in 2000.

The incident dates back to the summer of 1997, when a group of five U.S. Marines, stationed at the Marine Barracks at Eighth and I Streets, in Southeast, D.C., threw a CS grenade, containing tear gas, inside Remington’s, a gay country-western themed bar, just six blocks from the base.

The following year Nutter, along with the other Marines involved, served brig time, was demoted to private status and was given a bad conduct discharge from the military as a result of the incident.

According to Moser, Caroline County Police Department authorities are aware of Nutter’s military background. But Moser would not comment when asked if he knew of the details surrounding Nutter’s discharge from the Marines. Moser also would not say if the department would investigate whether Nutter lied about his involvement in the ’97 incident when he applied to join the force.

It could not be confirmed by Blade deadline if Nutter had been convicted of any crime for his involvement in the Remington’s incident, but coverage of the attack in the Blade seven years ago documented Nutter’s demotion and bad conduct discharge from the military.

“We don’t hire any convicted felons,” Moser said. “By Virginia law, you can’t carry a weapon if you’ve been convicted of a felony.”

Moser added that the Caroline County Sheriff’s office conducts a National Criminal & Intelligence check on all applicants.

Moser said all applicants must pass a criminal background check, and a federal background investigation before being considered for the position. But because the Remington’s case was handled by military authorities, it may not have appeared on a criminal background check.

The Blade this week requested Nutter’s discharge records from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and was told that the request would take “several days.”

When Moser was asked if he had viewed Nutter’s military discharge records prior to hiring him, he said he was “not at liberty to discuss anything involving an officer’s personal issues.”

Nutter did not return calls seeking comment.

[…]

The Blade reported in early 1998 that Nutter, who was 21 at the time, was charged with conspiracy in aiding Ryan M. Barrett, the Marine who threw the tear gas grenade into Remington’s. Barrett pleaded guilty to conspiracy, assault and theft charges that year during a court martial proceeding at the Marine base in Quantico, Va.Barrett admitted that he threw a CS grenade — commonly known as a tear gas grenade, which is often used to control crowds during outdoor riots and other disturbances — into the gay bar.

The CS grenade was thrown into Remington’s at 2:15 a.m., on Saturday, July 12, 1997; about 70 patrons were inside at the time. No serious injuries were reported, but shortly after the attack, Remington’s owner Steven Smith told the Blade that many customers and employees had suffered stinging in their eyes and throats.

Authorities charged the Marines with conspiracy to commit assault, assault, wrongful disposition of property (the tear gas grenade), breach of peace, and underage drinking.

Five months after the incident, a judge in a military court martial sentenced Barrett to four months confinement in a brig, lowered his military status to private and issued a bad conduct discharge.

Nutter was demoted to private; the lowest military rank, and was one of five Marines sentenced to a 35-70 day confinement in the brig.

Nutter was given a bad conduct discharge for his involvement in the incident.

[…]

After the sentencing of the other four Marines in ‘98, the Marine Corps prosecutor of that case, Maj. Joseph Bowe, told the Blade that the bad conduct discharges, and the fact that these men had been convicted of crimes listed as federal offenses will remain on the records of the four for the rest of their lives.

It could not be confirmed by Blade deadline if Nutter had been convicted of any crimes listed as federal offenses, but he did receive a bad conduct discharge from the military in February of 1998.

For those that are unaware, a bad conduct discharge is just one level about a dishonorable discharge. And while I don’t see where The Washington Blade did any follow-up regarding whether Nutter was actually convicted of any crime for the whole accident, what I did find out online regarding a bad conduct discharge says that it can only be given to a someone as the result of a court martial which leaves me to believe that Nutter was convicted of something.

And while Homer Johnson bears the responsibility for hiring Nutter, it was Lippa that retained Nutter as investigator even after his office learned the full details of Nutter’s separation from the military.

And to make matters even worst, Nutter was just promoted to sergeant where he “will serve as the first line supervisor for the Investigative Division” according to Portsia Smith’s “Caroline Crossroads” blog at Fredericksburg.com.

I guess everyone deserves a second chance, except for that monster Ben Boyd of course. </snark>

Carter had Begin and Sadat, Clinton had Barak and Arafat; Obama has…a Harvard professor and a cop?

I speak of the Camp David Accords between President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin back in ’78 which eventually resulted in a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and the failed 2008 Camp David Summit between President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Barak, and that — thankfully now dead — terrorist POS Yasser Arafat.

And what does Obama have? He’s trying to get a meeting together between Harvard professor Henry Lewis Gates and Cambridge Police Department Sergeant James Crowley who Obama previously declared “acted stupidly” when Crowley arrested Gates for disorderly conduct. And, of course, since Gates is black Crowley is obviously racist. No details have announced regarding when, or whether, a meeting between them will be held but maybe they can hold it at Camp David?

Maybe when all is said and done Obama will announce “peace for our time” a la Chamberlain.

“Think Small”, that’s what the folks at VW used to say.

Gee, thanks Eric: Cantor opposes privatization of interstate rest stops.

Delegate Bob Marshall has been on the frontlines of this issue and has been keeping his mailing list up-to-date on it:

Congressional Efforts
Congressman Frank Wolf offered an amendment to the Transportation Appropriations Act to keep Virginia rest stops open by allowing Virginia, like other states, to contract with private restaurants to operate the rest stops and provide motorists services.  The Wolf Amendment narrowly failed in the Appropriations Committee 32 nays -26 yeas.

The Wolf Amendment would cost not one dime of tax money! This amendment may come up this week on the House Floor when the Transportation Appropriations Bill is considered on Thursday, July 23 and possibly another bill!  AAA has said that closing these stops will contribute to more interstate traffic accidents.

Eric Cantor Opposes Wolf Amendment
I was interviewed by WRVA’s Jimmy Barrett (7-16-09) who informed me that Rep. Eric Cantor OPPOSED the Wolf Amendment because it would lead to competition with existing businesses just off the interstates.  I received a call (7-21-09) from an authoritative Congressional source that Congressman Eric Cantor actively worked to defeat the Wolf Amendment for the reasons that existing business near interstates OPPOSE commercial ventures at these  eighteen Interstate Safety Rest stops.

I emailed a letter to Rep. Cantor (7-20-09) and also spoke to his Chief of Staff about this and left my phone number with her.  I have received NO answer to my inquiry from Rep. Cantor or his staff.  (Gov. Kaine supports the Wolf Amendment.)

Stifling business competition is a normal Republican policy.  IF WRVA Radio and my congressional source are accurate, the bottom line is that protecting businesses is apparently more important than protecting lives on the Interstates.

Contact Congressman Cantor today and ask him to support the Wolf Amendment to allow Virginia to contract with private vendors at Interstate Safety Rest Stops to keep them open.
Richmond:  p: (804) 747-4073 | (800) 438-3793 | f: (804) 747-5308
Culpeper: p: (540) 825-8960 | f: (540) 825-8964
Washington:  p: (202) 225-2815 | f: (202) 225-0011


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