Thursday, January 31, 2013

SB 1309: Compulsory Education in Composting

Virginia Senate Bill 1309 will, if passed by the House of Delegates, require some farmers to be "certified" in "nutrient management," i.e. composting, programs recommended by a Soil and Water Conservation Board. The bill mentions farmers who are not required to be "certified" but does not explain which farmers those are. It mentions that the farmers will be required to pay some fees for this compulsory education scheme. It does not mention how expensive "certification" will be.

I don't like it; maybe if there were some indication that only large-scale farms were affected by it I would feel less concerned about the small family farms that tend to be hit harder by regulations like this one. Nevertheless, all forty State Senators voted for it today. If you don't like it, you'd better send a message to your Delegate now.

HB 1717: Planning, But...

Virginia House Bill 1717 authorizes "planning" of "areas" by people other than the property owners and those they have directly elected to do this kind of thing for them. Therefore, this web site doesn't like it. The right to participate in the political process, including any "planning" processes, is one of the fundamental civil rights that makes us the United States; anyone who wants to interfere with it needs to be removed from the political arena and sent home with a packet of literature about other countries where they might be happier. Nevertheless, some readers' favorite Delegates voted for HB 1717 today.

Sandy Garst e-mailed a list of the few who deserve special commendation for opposing these apparently self-appointed "planning committees," early and often, whenever we find them and as hard as we can. (The ones highlighted represent her Tea Party, the Shenandoah Constitutionalists.) Delegates Bell, Robert B., Cline, Farrell, Gilbert, Habeeb, Iaquinto, Kilgore, Landes, Ware, R.L., Webert, and Wright.

SB 1279: More Land Grabbing

Virginia Senate Bill 1279 is about as bad as House Bill 2048. Both basically authorize the state to take over any land for which the state thinks it could find a use:

...and again, the way this unpopular idea, directly opposing several bills our legislature already enacted into law, made it onto the floor was: Extremely Bad Writing. It's so messy, so wordy, so complicated, so link-jammed, that some people might have given up and let it pass. That's probably how this atrocity passed the State Senate.

Here's the list of senators to blast for letting this abomination pass: Alexander, Barker, Blevins, Colgan, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hanger, Herring, Howell, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Marsh, McEachin, Miller, Norment, Northam, Petersen, Puckett, Puller, Ruff, Saslaw, Stosch, Stuart, Wagner, Watkins--28.

And here are the ones to bless for spotting it in time, and trying to stop it: Black, Carrico, Garrett, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Obenshain, Reeves, Smith, Stanley, Vogel--12.

Pro-Life Pris Feels Prodded...

Am I pro-life? Of course I am. I'm not anti-choice. I think the reasons why any woman would make a choice that's not pro-life have to be too horrible to be discussed here. But with all this current legislative activity going on, that some e-friends continue to focus on an issue that was basically decided forty years ago does annoy me. Just a little.

Also annoying is the way State Senator Carrico, otherwise a pretty good legislator I'm proud to say, listened to the road hogs last year and seems to have listened to them again this year.

So these two annoyances came together as I looked for guidance to the most urgent bills in today's e-mail, and this is the e-mail I sent to Mathew Staver's group and to Senator Carrico. I've removed some front-and-end matter, but left the text of the Liberty Counsel e-mail intact, in case anybody out there has time and energy to support what they're doing as well as what this web site's doing:

"Dear Mathew and Friends,
The abortion debate has been generating more heat than light for as long as I've been able to read. It's unwinnable. I was tired of it fifteen years ago, when I helped friends triangulate a solution that we hoped new medical discoveries would make feasible. Now I'm merely sad that second-trimester fetuses aren't as viable as we hoped.

But recent developments in the Virginia legislature have turned my attention to a whole new way of being pro-life. This way of saving lives doesn't depend on an unwinnable debate about whether people want to count fetuses as having lives of their own. I'm concerned about the lives of people who are moving around, commuting to jobs, paying taxes...who are being killed by the thousands every year, while so-called pro-lifers say nothing.

Specifically, about the victims of automobile "accidents."

This class of endangered lives is a hot potato nobody wants to touch because, let's face it, most of us like to drive; most of us are competent drivers, most of the time; and far too many of us have killed or injured, or will kill or injure, someone "by accident." As my drivers' training teacher used to say, there are very few real accidents. Most crashes are caused by someone's not having taken appropriate action while or before driving. Nevertheless, the odds against people's being able to take all the appropriate action, every time they drive, throughout their driving lives, are astronomical. We are human. We rush out to work at the last minute. We blink. We sneeze.

Why am I repeating this depressing fact? We can't do anything about being human, but we can do something about the number of lives that are lost to automobile "accidents" each year.

Specifically, as individuals, we can choose safer means of transportation. Slower, less expensive transportation devices save lives whenever we choose to use them. Plenty of "accidents" involve bicycles, mopeds, scooters, Segways, and four-wheeled small-motor golf-cart-type vehicles, but very few of these accidents are fatal; very few are even serious; and very few injure anyone but the operator of the vehicle.

You probably think that this is a personal choice that people make based on things like the weather, the distance they have to travel, and the condition of any lower-impact vehicles they happen to own. Until this week, I thought so too.

This week, my State Senator backed a vile bill intended to keep all but the deadliest motor vehicles off interstate highways.

To "see" how vile this is, you need to know that there are just two real roads in and out of my home town: a two-lane state "highway" with NO paved berm or shoulder, and a four-lane interstate highway with a paved berm and smooth gravel shoulder. Try walking or driving a pro-life vehicle on both, and I guarantee you'll agree that the berm on Route 23 is where you feel much safer than when you're right out in traffic, or picking your way through the shrubbery, on Route 58.

Plus, if you're commuting from my town, Gate City, Virginia, into Kingsport, Tennessee, which is approximately a ten-mile trip and I walk it fairly often--the only way to do that without using a four-lane interstate highway is to detour--thirty miles from Gate City to Bristol, then almost thirty miles back to Kingsport.

[Please see my CORRECTION:]

Basically, the effect of anti-alternative-vehicle legislation would be to ensure that nobody in my home town could rely on a pro-life means of transportation to and from a regular job, unless of course they were lucky enough to be employed in Gate City, in which case they could walk to and from work anyway.

For a few weeks, about twenty years ago, I lived in Gate City and commuted to work in a conventional 3500-pound car. I loathed that car; I drove it because it was the cheapest conventional vehicle I could get--and I still couldn't afford it, working three days a week. The last time I drove it, one of those preventable "accidents," a flat tire I was too inexperienced and ignorant to deal with, caused me to veer out in front of another car heading the opposite direction. A little girl was in that car. She might have been five or six--old enough to be terrified as her Daddy wrestled their car out of my way. I can see her face yet.

I've not owned a car since then. When asked why I walk in weather like we had today, I tell people the most obvious reason is that I don't own a car. Why don't I own a car? One of the reasons is that little girl.

Some people aren't as lucky as I was when I had my "accident." After being swerved around by the little girl's Daddy, I proceeded down a ramp, rolled across a lane, landed in a ditch, and was able to crank down the window and vault out of the car. Nobody was hurt. I know a lot of people whose last "accident" with a lethal-sized motor vehicle has left them unable to walk. These people, and others with disabilities that make it hard for them to walk ten miles, are the market for the mopeds, scooters, and other smaller, slower, safer vehicles.

I'm not saying that State Senator Bill Carrico hates people with disabilities, or people from Gate City, or any other class of people. Actually he seems to be a decent guy who generally represents our part of Virginia well. I'm saying that he's listening to the wrong sector of his constituents--he did listen to me, last year, when the road hogs in our part of the state were trying to ban walking on Route 23. He needs to hear from more people who are seriously PRO-LIFE. activists, I propose that we start thinking of pedestrian and alternative-vehicle access, and safety, on all America's highways and byways, as a Pro-Life Issue. I think it will be much more successful than this endless bickering about abortion.

Still opposed to abortion? Well, aren't we all. I feel too sorry for the women who "choose" abortion to want to say much to them, except for "There are people who would give that child a loving home."

But we all can make pro-life choices on behalf of healthy children and active citizens.

Priscilla King

--- On Thu, 1/31/13, Liberty Counsel wrote:

Subject: Christianity on trial in America: We're fighting back!

Liberty Counsel

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman


Who would have ever thought that in America it would be illegal to counsel people who want to change from a dangerous, ungodly lifestyle to a healthy and righteous one?

Or, that it would be legal to…

force Christians to pay for killing another human being, or

force Christians to act against their Freedom of Conscience, or

force Christians to call good evil and evil good?

Yet, all of these wildly improbable propositions are at the heart of cases Liberty Counsel’s legal team has been battling in January, along with many others.

++The new California “change therapy” law is a total outrage.

At the onset of 2013, Liberty Counsel filed its opening brief at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against the California ban on change therapy (SB 1172), which would ban any counseling to minors seeking to diminish or eliminate unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, or identity.

Under the new law, Christian counselors are by force of law prohibited from counseling against the homosexual lifestyle – even if the client sought help to break free!

Thankfully, in late December, the Ninth Circuit granted Liberty Counsel's Emergency Motion to temporarily block the law from going into effect on January 1, 2013, as previously scheduled.

Please continue to pray that the Lord moves on the hearts of the judges in this case, and this Orwellian “thought police” law is struck down and never implemented.

++Liberty Counsel continues its vigorous defense of natural marriage.

This month, Liberty Counsel filed two extensive amicus briefs with the United States Supreme Court on a pair of enormously significant marriage cases – the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8, the well-known state marriage amendment.

Liberty Counsel has been deeply involved in legal advocacy on both of these crucial cases for many years now. The High Court will decide both cases by the end of the term in June 2013.

++We will not allow pro-homosexual activists to destroy the sanctity of marriage in America!

Priscilla, we are at a pivotal point in our nation’s history. Nothing will define the future of America more than the Court’s upcoming decisions on marriage.

It is no exaggeration to say that America’s very existence is at stake. Marriage is not simply an artifact of law needed to regulate government benefits and determine domestic rights and duties.

Rather, it is an institution ordained of God to nurture mankind and rightly order procreation through the generations. The natural family is fundamental to our very existence!

That’s why our intense legal advocacy for natural marriage is so important and why Liberty Counsel will never stop fighting for this vital institution!

++We aggressively fight against any attempt to squash the right to publically share the Gospel!

. Last September, Doru Neamtu was peacefully passing out Christian tracts in front of the post office in Tempe, Arizona, when a police officer accused him of "Aggressive Solicitation." His constitutional rights were further violated when the police officer arrested him on a bogus “Failure to Provide Identification” charge.

After Liberty Counsel intervened, this month the Tempe City Court dismissed the outrageous charges against evangelist Neamtu.

We defended Doru, the son of a Romanian pastor who was also jailed for sharing the gospel in their native land. Who could have imagined that what happened to the father in Communist Romania could also happen to the son here in “the land of liberty”?

Yet, that is what it has come to in an America that seems to have forgotten what it is to be a “shining city set upon a hill.” May God help us!

++Christians must now pay to kill others’ unwanted children.

Encouraged by Barack Obamas’ radical advocacy for abortion, Americans have been forced to fund a “Hitler-like killing machine” through the hundreds of millions of federal taxpayer dollars given to Planned Parenthood each year, and now a direct payment-per-month through ObamaCare’s heinous “abortion mandate.”

At a time of exploding government borrowing and debt, as states slash spending to get their own fiscal houses in order, it is outlandish that the federal government would give Planned Parenthood, the largest participant in America’s abortion industry, $542 million last year alone.

Liberty Counsel has been a leading advocate of defunding Planned Parenthood – and we will continue working hard to lawfully stop the public funding of their abortion mills.

++Obamacare and the HHS mandates must not stand!

As I’m sure you know, Liberty Counsel has the most comprehensive lawsuit in the nation to rid the country of the scourge of ObamaCare.

We are in intense preparation for our upcoming appearance before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, and have an excellent chance of getting the President’s healthcare “reform” law declared unconstitutional. Among other crucial aspects of Obamacare, we will be directly confronting provisions that force employers to pay for abortifacients, regardless of the firm’s standards, beliefs, or principles.

Please mark these dates on your prayer calendar: February 27 and May 14-17, 2013. These days may well signal the beginning of the end of ObamaCare as our case heads back to the Fourth Circuit and eventually the United States Supreme Court.

++Liberty Counsel can’t win these cases without your help!

Priscilla, please let me encourage you to make a special month-end gift to help cover the cost of Liberty Counsel’s extensive litigation work.

What I’ve shared with you today is just a small portion of the legal work that we performed in January 2013. The majority of our cases are actually settled out of court – about 95% of the time in most years – but still require my team to do the necessary work to achieve a non-litigated victory for our clients.

Right now, our litigation docket is full of crucially important cases. We need your help now more than ever! Please click here to give a substantial gift to help Liberty Counsel win these battles:

Liberty Counsel is committed to advancing life, liberty and family, and we have certainly been called upon to do that in this first month of 2013. And the fact that this month marks the beginning of the Obama administration’s second term has added a certain urgency to our vital work of defending the Constitution!

Please, give a special gift today and stand with us as we take on the leftist organizations and individuals who want nothing more than to squash our inalienable rights as Americans. Every gift – whether large or small – helps us move forward:

Thank you in advance and may God richly bless you!

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman

Liberty Counsel

P.S. Again, please mark these dates on your prayer calendar: February 27 and May 14-17, 2013. Those are crucially important dates for our case against ObamaCare and for the future of America!

For information on the multi-faceted work in which the Liberty Counsel family of ministries engages – or to make comments – please visit our new website:

Liberty Counsel, with offices in Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and family. Liberty Counsel . PO Box 540774 . Orlando, FL 32854 .800-671-1776

Right to Work in U.S. Congress

A "National Right to Work" bill is being introduced by Rand Paul in the U.S. Congress.

Regular readers know that this web site thinks "National Right to Work" is long overdue. For irregular readers, let's just say that right-to-work legislation does not prevent workers from joining unions--it just prevents unions from becoming corrupt and failing to support workers' actual rights and demands.

Since the low-budget (hurray!) Paracom rent-a-page I received in the e-mail may not work for everybody, click here to contact the National Right to Work Committee:

Or go offline: "The Committee's mailing address is 8001 Braddock Road, Springfield, Virginia 22160. The Committee can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-325-7892."   Senator Paul would like you to know that his e-mail was forwarded to me by a supportive individual, and neither it nor the Paracom page was produced at any cost to the taxpayers. Hurrah for frugality!

SB 908 and HB 1642: Parents' Rights

Virginia Senate Bill 908, as passed today, is beautifully simple. Here's the link:

The wording is elegant enough to fit here:

"Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 1-240.1 as follows:

§ 1-240.1. Rights of parents.

A parent has a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of the parent's child.

2. That the provisions of this act are declarative of existing law."

Virginia House Bill 1642, still up for consideration, is a little wordier--the way SB 908 looked before it was discussed, simplified, and voted on:   If you like these bills,here are the legislators to thank: Senators: Reeves, Obenshain, Black; Delegates: Pogge, Cole, Marshall, R.G., Ransone.   According to e-friend Michael Ramey, the Delegate who most needs to hear from constituents who support this bill is Salvatore Iaquinto of Virginia Beach.   I'd be surprised (and disappointed) if most of our correspondents' Delegates, e.g. Kilgore, Crockett-Stark, Bell (either one), Lopez, Garrett, Gilbert, or Lingamfelter, needed to be told where we stand on this one...but we are paying for assistants to tally e-mails.

One-Day Class for Activists

Donna Holt's Tea Party, the Virginia Campaign for Liberty, aren't just asking you to support a web site, letter writing campaign, or similar. They're offering a Saturday class in the arts and skills of activism. If you will be in Richmond on Saturday and have $35 to spare, you may want to reserve a seat now. Only sixty people can be seated. Will the class be offered again later? Er, uh...given the choice, wouldn't you rather be in Richmond in February than in March? The registration page includes a map...

Much as I dislike Saturday classes...if I were anywhere close to Richmond and had $35 to spare, I'd want to take this one.

HB 2340 Update: Whom Are You Going to Call?

Virginia House Bill 2340, the one that withholds support from any potential federal gun bans, has been referred to another committee. Once again, here's the full text:

Here's the e-mail Delegate R.G. "Bob" Marshall sent to a constituent who e-mailed it to me. Why? My Delegate and State Senator are already co-sponsoring HB 2340. So, evidently, they want you readers to check the list below and see if you need to call your Delegates.

If your legislators are on this list, and you like HB 2340, you might want to send them notes of thanks: Delegates: Marshall, R.G., Gilbert, Lingamfelter, Cole, Crockett-Stark, Fariss, Hodges, Kilgore, Morefield, Morris, Ransone, Rush and Wright; Senators: Black and Carrico.

Could Virginia lose federal grant money as a result of this bill? I think some delegates may have been less vocal in supporting HB 2340, after this objection was raised, because stranger things have happened. Even symbolic votes of no confidence in the federal government, which have not violated existing laws or conditions of existing monetary grants, could be penalized by the terms of subsequent grants. Perhaps the question is...should we be telling good ol' Uncle Sam to tighten his budget and stop handing out grants? I say yes ('cos I love my Uncle Sam and do not want to see him go bankrupt) but I can imagine how any loss of any grants could become controversial.

I would still stand up and be counted with Delegate Marshall on this bill, but I would also remind you readers that I would skip a few meals, and have skipped meals, rather than let Uncle Sam waste his money to provide me with food. Being a Real Fiscal Conservative is not for Republicans only, but it's for brave, self-reliant people only. No wimps need apply.

From Delegate Marshall:

"Dear 2nd Amendment Supporters:

My HB 2340, which says Virginia law enforcement and the National Guard will not enforce any new federal gun control efforts, was to be voted on by the full House of Delegates today. However, the House of Delegates shamefully voted to send my HB 2340 to the Appropriations Committee with a non-recorded vote to look into “concerns” that Virginia might lose federal grant money for Joint Task Forces as a result of this bill. This is simply not true!

HB 2340 will not prevent a state or local official from participating in such task forces or from aiding a federal official in an investigation related to a federal crime such as kidnapping across state lines, or a drug operation just because the person being investigated happened to be in possession of a firearm made illegal through new Federal gun controls. As such there should be no reason for the Federal government to withhold funding for such Task Forces. What HB 2340 WILL DO is give Virginia a leg to stand on in opposing new Federal gun control legislation.

On the floor today I equated failing to protect the Second Amendment rights of our citizens to accepting 30 pieces of silver from the Federal Government in exchange for a fundamental right.

Delegate Kirk Cox (R-66) raised the objection about losing Federal funding but when questioned could not point to any funding that has been lost as a result of HB 1160 which became law July 1, 2012.

HB 1160 was very similar to HB 2340 with regard to the method used to stand against the Federal Government’s intrusion into the Constitutional rights of Virginia citizens. In that case the bill was to keep Virginia from assisting the Federal Government in detaining citizens with no trial and no charges filed under the NDAA. To my knowledge no funding has been withheld by the Federal Government as a result of HB 1160 becoming law and none would be withheld as a result of HB 2340.

I requested a record vote on the motion to refer the bill to Appropriations, but could not even find the necessary 20 members willing to second my demand for a record vote. I asked for a division which resulted in an overwhelming number of Republicans raising their hands (in addition to the Democrats, of course) to send the bill to the Appropriations Committee. I could only identify 4 other members who voted not to send the bill to Appropriations, Delegates Mark Cole, Todd Gilbert, Scott Lingamfelter and Tony Wilt. If the Appropriations Committee fails to take the bill up or make a motion on the bill, every member must be held accountable because silence on HB 2340 is consent to an agreement with federal efforts to abridge our Second Amendment rights.

Please contact the members of the Appropriations Committee below and urge them to act without delay to send HB 2340 to the full House of Delegates for a vote before crossover, or HB 2340 will be killed and Virginia will be left with nothing to protect its citizens from new federal gun control laws!

Chairman Lacey Putney 804-698-1019

Delegate Robert Tata 804-698-1085

Delegate Riley Ingram 804-698-1062

Delegate Joe May 804-698-1033

Delegate Bev Sherwood 804-698-1029

Delegate Kirk Cox 804-698-1055

Delegate Steve Landes 804-698-1025

Delegate Chris Jones 804-698-1076

Delegate John O’Bannon 804-698-1073

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter 804-698-1031

Delegate Charles Poindexter 804-698-1009

Delegate Jimmie Massie 804-698-1072

Delegate Ed Scott 804-698-1030

Delegate Chris Peace 804-698-1097

Delegate Tag Greason 804-698-1032

Delegate Jim Scott 804-698-1053

Delegate Johnny Joannou 804-698-1079

Delegate Bob Brink 804-698-1048

Delegate Onzlee Ware 804-698-1011

Delegate Algie Howell 804-698-1090

Delegate Mamye BaCote 804-698-1095

Delegate Rosalyn Dance 804-698-1063 "

Union Leaders Backing Off Obamacare?

Becket Adams adds some satirical humor to a Wall Street Journal report about union leaders who, having lobbied for Obamacare to be comprehensive and expensive, are now doing a fast shuffle away from it...

Mary Lee the Great White Shark

Sometimes I understand why people think scientists are weird. Would you name a great white shark after your mother?

A commenter on Liz Klimas's article snarked about "global warming causing these fish to be such adorable killers." Er...uh...actually I think the point of the story is that now that Mary Lee Shark has been named and fitted with a radio transmitter, we know where she is, so there's no problem with her being a killer. Just keep plenty of smaller fish in between her and you, and you're safe. Sometimes technology saves human lives.

Lingamfelter Honored by National Rifle Association

From Delegate Scott Lingamfelter:

"Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter To Be Honored with the National Rifle Association’s Harlon B. Carter-George S. Knight Freedom Fund Award

Past recipient of the award was now-Senator Ted Cruz, (R-TX)

Dear Fellow Defender of Freedom,

The NRA recently informed me that I will receive the organization’s coveted 2012 Harlon B. Carter-George S. Knight Freedom Fund Award. The recipient of this honor in 2010 was Ted Cruz of Texas, who was elected to the United States Senate in 2012.

I am gratified to receive this honor and join Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) among the strongest defenders of the Second Amendment in the nation. Now more than ever, it’s very possible that we in the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia will be called upon to defend Virginians’ constitutional right against unlawful Federal encroachments on our fundamental right to keep and bear arms. I’m prepared to answer any such call and I hope you will too. And as Lieutenant Governor, I will be the authentic, conservative, 21st vote in the Senate of Virginia against any attempt to take our rights away.

Please join me in not only defending our right to keep and bear arms but as a delegate in the May 18th Republican Convention to be held in Richmond, VA.

As the Chair of the Militia, Police and Public Safety committee, I have galvanized resistance to liberal attacks against lawful gun owners by:

  • Successfully leading the fight to repeal one-gun-a-month to get this draconian measure off the books;

  • Protecting law-abiding gun owners from frivolous civil penalties for keeping their firearms safely locked in vehicles at work;

  • Expanding the rights of lawful firearms owners to possess and transport firearms as they choose;

  • Pushing to ease restrictions on concealed carry permits by supporting a commonsense measure to offer lifetime concealed carry permits in the Commonwealth of Virginia;

  • Championing the Sunday Hunting Bill when others refused to lead on the issue;

  • Founding and chairing the Virginia Legislative Sportsman’s Caucus in the General Assembly.

  • Consistently received the NRA’s A+ rating as a leader in defending our 2nd Amendment rights.

Please consider becoming a delegate for me at the Republican Convention on May 18th in Richmond, VA.

National Rifle Association of America

Incorporated 1871

11250 Waples Mill Road - Fairfax, VA 22030

January 29, 2013

For More Information, Contact:Robert Dowlut, (703) 267-1254

Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter to receive NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund’s Carter-Knight Freedom Award

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association’s Civil Rights Defense Fund is pleased to announce that Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter of Virginia will receive the Harlon B. Carter-George S. Knight Freedom Fund Award at a ceremony this March at NRA headquarters in Fairfax.

First elected to the House of Delegates in 2001, Lingamfelter was Chief Patron of the 2012 legislation that repealed Virginia’s gun rationing (one-gun-a-month) law. As Chairman of the Committee on Militia, Police & Public Safety, he consistently works to enhance public safety by assuring law-abiding citizens ability to acquire, possess and carry arms. He is also the founder and Co-Chair of the (joint) Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, which focuses on hunting, fishing and shooting sports concerns.

A 28-year veteran of the United States Army, Lingamfelter served in several theaters and received numerous commendations including, but not limited to, the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legions of Merit and the Southwest Asia Service Medal with three battle stars.

“We were most impressed with Delegate Lingamfelter’s unwavering principles, proven expertise and genuine accomplishments,” said Fund Chairman and NRA Director William H. Dailey. “The late George Knight, a retired Navy officer who served in World War II, would be proud to see this award presented to a combat veteran.”

Established in 1989, the Carter-Knight Freedom Fund Award is the most prestigious honor bestowed by the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund. Named for Harlon Carter, founding Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, and George Knight, founder of the Fund, it was created to honor those who demonstrate exemplary support for the constitutional and human right to keep and bear arms. Past recipients include U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who received the award while serving as Solicitor General of Texas.

The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund was established in 1978 to develop case law and scholarly research favorable to the Second Amendment. The successful result in the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court D.C. v. Heller case was due in large part to the intellectual and legal foundation provided by decades of support by the Fund.

Please consider becoming a delegate for me at the Republican Convention on May 18th in Richmond, VA. "

Boneta Bill Update: Good News, Bad News...

Two views of what happened to Virginia House Bill 1430, the Boneta Bill, yesterday. First, in the chronological order the e-mails arrived, from Delegate Scott Lingamfelter:

"The Boneta Bill Passes Full Committee

--Heads to the floor of the House of Delegates--

**Click here to sign up to receive updates on HB 1430 as it is debated in the full Agriculture, Chesapeake, & Natural Resources Committee**


Quick update on The Boneta Bill:

Today, the Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee passed HB1430 and it will now be heard on the floor of the House of Delegates! There's good news, and not so good news.

I am pleased that language requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a model ordinance was removed, as well as other language; these changes will make the bill stronger. But most importantly, I am pleased that we are still in the fight.

However, the Committee also included a "reenactment clause" which means that the bill would have to come back up during the 2014 Session. I think that the one-year fuse creates a great deal of uncertainty for farmers. There is nothing that would prevent anyone from introducing an amendment, if an amendment was justified by any ill effects of the legislation. For me, this is unacceptable.

Let me be clear: We will have many opportunities to attempt to eliminate the "reenactment clause" between now and when we have a final bill that we want. In the event we are not successful in removing this clause, at any point I can withdraw the bill, in essence killing it. For me, I cannot allow a bad bill to move forward,

Folks, this is the Super Bowl. It's the 1st half and we are about to begin the 2nd half of the battle. There is still a lot of work to be done and there is still a lot of fight to be had. Now our fight shifts to the Senate where we can attempt to fix things in this bill that we don't like. At least we're still in the fight. No one felt we would even get this far, but with your help and energy we are still in the battle.

We must now focus our effort in the Senate to get a good bill that protects the rights of all farmers, including small farmers and small business owners whose rights have been hurt by government overreach.

Once again, I DO NOT approve of the "reenactment clause" requiring the bill to come back next year. Too many bad things can happen between now and then. But for now, I firmly believe we must continue the battle. And again, I can strike the bill and kill it at any time - I control that move and pledge to use it to prevent a bad bill from becoming law.

Please keep up your passionate advocacy for this bill because it is making a difference!

Our opponents NEVER thought we would make it this far. In fact, they were BETTING against this bill's success.

We've got to prove them wrong.

Fight on!


Paid for and Authorized by Lingamfelter for Lt. Governor"

Next, from Patricia Evans and Mark J. Fitzgibbons. Note that Delegates Orrock and Marshall (or, if you want to be picky, their office staff) aren't supposed to take calls from me, so if you are among their constituents, calling them is your responsibility...but you can tell'em a writer out west asked you to call, and by the way tell'em that this web site appreciates their other good work:
"Please call Delegate Robert Orrock at (804) 698-1054 and Delegate Danny Marshall at (804) 698-1014 and ask them to replace the re-enactment clause in the Boneta Bill HB1430 with an enactment clause that would make the bill effective THIS YEAR.

Lawmakers in Richmond are caving to the pressures of the Virginia Farm Bureau, VACo, and Fauquier County Supervisors. At the request of Matt Lohr, Virginia's Commissioner of Agriculture, Delegates Robert Orrock and Danny Marshall moved to add a re-enactment clause to HB1430. What this means is if the bill passes and is signed by the Governor in this session, it must also pass and be signed into law in the 2014 session before it takes effect.

The rights of farmers to sell their produce and other agricultural goods can not wait another year and must be protected now! Farmers have been stepped on long enough by corporate special interests and over-reaching local ordinances. Waiting another year will mean less profits for farmers and more farms will fail, including Martha Boneta's farm...

Please read the letter below from Mark J. Fitzgibbons to Chairwoman Sherwood:

'As a result of today’s Ag Committee vote on HB 1430, Martha Boneta’s farm will remain closed under uncertain, unlawful and unscrupulous threats of fines of $5,000 per violation per day.

You noticed that I was about to leave the committee meeting and take bill supporters with me, but decided against it out of respect for our friend Delegate Lingamfelter.

While the committee “passed” the bill, the parliamentary amendment added by the committee means that the bill it will not go into effect. Committee members escaped blame if they were to vote against the bill, but the result for Martha Boneta and others like her is the same.

Through this parliamentary amendment, the bill will be turned over to what were described at the committee meeting as “stakeholders.”

The U.S. Constitution guarantees a republican form of government. The Constitution protects citizens, not “stakeholders,” which I assume is a cosmetic term for special interests.

I of course understand how committees work, and that issues are frequently resolved before hearings. Today was not a hearing, of course, since the bill’s proponents and opponents were not given an opportunity to speak. Given the nature of HB 1430 – that the right to farm of course includes commerce, and the bill’s remedies against counties that violate the law and bully farmers – it is assuredly more popular among citizens than “stakeholders.”

Over the next year there will be a loud debate over who controls the rights of farmers and other property rights issues, and why government officials who bully farmers and violate the law should be subject to the consequences of remedies. That debate will not and cannot be controlled by Richmond’s stakeholders.

I hope that you and other members of the committee stick up for the people who traveled hours to be at the meeting today, and all the others who work and could not take off the day. Everyday citizens don’t have lobbyists, and that is why under our republican form of government we look to our elected leaders to do the right thing.

Kind regards,
Mark Fitzgibbons '

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." - Thomas Jefferson Virginia Tea Party Patriots Danville Patriots  "

Fellow Virginians...if you are not out moving cattle to higher ground, or storekeeping, or fixing somebody's cracked water pipes, this afternoon, you have an opportunity to be lobbyists. This web site has already explained how to identify your Delegates and State Senators. If you know someone who is in fact moving cattle to higher ground right now, it's time to lean on your legislators on behalf of the farmers.

Notice, I said "lean on." Delegate Lingamfelter said "fight." For the benefit of foreign readers, let's explain that he assumes we all know how to fight this kind of battle. Nice, polite letters, calls, and e-mails are the "weapons."

HB 2048: Blatant Land Grabbing

Virginia House Bill 2048 is worth reading, at least, if only to see how it is possible for a single proposed piece of legislation to be this bad. Basically, what the verbiage boils down to is that if the state can think of a use for your land or any body of water situated thereupon, the state should be entitled to grab it:

But note the sheer volume of words, words, words, and links, links, links, and redundancies and obfuscation. Delegate Sherwood may deserve to be drummed out of the legislature for proposing this abomination, but does deserve, at least, a Bulwer-Lytton Award for Deliberately Bad Writing.

(Note: The Gate City computer center, where I'm waiting for the bus to Nickelsville, opens at 11:30 on Thursdays, and so at least three separate e-mails about the awfulness of HB 2048 were among the first 25 when I logged into Yahoo this morning. If you are a legislator's assistant, this probably will not be news to you: every bill reader who's discovered HB 2048 hates it.)

Chortle: Self-Defense in the Obama Administration

Mytheos Holt shares an unintentionally hilarious video. I think I like this article because the text, which explains what's so funny and qualifies as a spoiler, shows up above the video on this computer--nice for those who can't watch the video. Anyway, click this link to see how the Obama Administration wants us to defend ourselves from guns and bombs...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

HB 797 Update: Requiem for the Smart Meter Bill

Virginia House Bill 797, which would, if enacted, have established our right not to have "smart meters" attached to our homes if we accept the evidence that they are health and fire hazards, failed to pass the House of Delegates.

Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh came all the way from Canada to testify in support of HB 797. Her report of how this common-sense bill failed to pass the House is available here:

The good news is that this hasty hearing shows that our Delegates were in a hurry. How can they overlook the difference between holding a cell phone to your head for a few minutes, and having a "smart meter" exuding the same level of radiation, possibly within a yard or so from your head, throughout every day you work or night you sleep in your home? Canadians are entitled to insert the dumbed-down-U.S.-schools joke of their choice here--we deserve it--but, seriously, I can't believe any of our Delegates was born that dumb. They didn't give HB 797 their full attention because they were busy and because they'd been bombarded with corporate propaganda.

Those who don't want "smart meters" have this web site's encouragement to launch Phase II. Bombard all the Delegates with information about why we hate "smart meters." If you can afford a stamp, go ahead and pay for real mail--it's easier for more people to read. Then lean on your own Delegates to propose a fresh Smart Meter Bill.

HB 1385: Workers' Right to Secret Ballots

Virginia House Bill 1385 will, when enacted, officially preserve workers' right to vote by secret ballot on the fitness of unions to "represent" the workers:

Though co-sponsored by an impressive list of Delegates (Comstock, Hugo, Anderson, Bell, Robert B., Cline, Cosgrove, Dudenhefer, Fariss, Farrell, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Head, Hodges, Kilgore, Landes, Lingamfelter, Minchew, Morris, Poindexter, Purkey, Putney, Robinson, Scott, E.T., Sherwood, Tata, Villanueva, Webert and Wilt) this one wasn't the slam-dunk I would have thought it would be. We have thirty Delegates who failed to understand that, in view of the violence that has erupted in past union disputes (e.g. the Kingsport Strike), it could theoretically become vital that union representatives not be able to target workers who have, for good and sufficient reason, withheld their support from unions that failed to represent the workers' actual views.

Some people out there need to educate your Delegates--including some I was starting to feel tempted to characterize as mostly "good" ones, last year, like Delegate Lopez--about the history of union violence in the United States. Although some people in Kingsport, Tennessee, still hate it for not representing all of their views as well as the ones it represented, we recommend sharing Sylvester Petro's Kingsport Strike, which is a Fair Trade Book you can buy from for $5 + shipping.

HB 1931: Protecting Contact Information

Virginia House Bill 1931 will, if enacted, protect workers' contact information from union organizers. We wish it protected workers' contact information from everybody, but we certainly want to protect everyone's contact information from any organizers of anything with whom the people to be contacted have not encouraged further contact from the organizers.

Note that, although we can't say as much for our host corporation, this web site will never ask for real-world contact information from you, nor will we share even your e-mail address with other people unless either (a) you ask us to, or (b) we report you as a spammer or other abuser of our site or e-mail. (And we generally laugh at spam, unless it purports to be something that needs serious attention.)

While we're here, this web site also thanks Delegates Kilgore, Marshall (both of'em), Lingamfelter, Cline, Crockett-Stark, Bell (both of'em), Garrett, Gilbert, O'Quinn, Habeeb, Ramadan, and all the other fiscal conservatives (including Democrats) who passed this good piece of work in the House.

SB1293 Mandates "Planning"

Virginia Senate Bill 1293 is exactly what most of the Virginians who read this web site do not want:

Basically, it mandates that the state continue to pay unelected busybodies for "planning" more unwanted "growth" and undesirable "development," meddling with the business of the people who actually generate the state's economy, and generally raising everyone's taxes and blood pressure in exchange for no noticeable benefit.

I'm very, very sorry to report that this abomination passed the state senate by a unanimous vote and will probably pass the House of Delegates too. As long as the state requires localities to pay for "planning," even the Boneta Bill will be like trying to dam the Potomac River with duct tape: What is briefly contained in one place will merely spew out a few feet away, and there will be no real hope of curbing the flood of corruption, petty personal harassment, greed, envy, and general abuse of the public.

We need legislation criminalizing the sort of "planning" we've seen lately...and we don't need to be paying for any sort of "planning" whatosever. If local elected officials can't do all the "planning" localities need in open meetings with their electorate, what are we paying them to do?

SB 1038: State Senators Who Hate Mopeds

Virginia Senate Bill 1038 would, if enacted, not only require licenses for mopeds, and for their operators, and still ban mopeds from the roads that are the only effective routes between many places moped users might want to go, but also make licensing a moped more expensive than licensing a car:

Some State Senators just hate to think about anybody getting out of paying a gas tax, right? This web site officially hates SB 1038. Actually, now that this web site has been goaded, this web site calls for legislation requiring operators of motor vehicles, a.k.a. "road hogs" and "motor terrorists," to pay into a fund covering any injuries or property damage they may inflict on pedestrians, equestrians, or operators of more fuel-efficient vehicles such as mopeds or motorcycles. Goad us again, we'll start agitating for legislation making it illegal for anything that weighs more than 1000 pounds to pass anything that weighs less than 1000 pounds on a public road.

We like the idea of sharing the roads, but if legislators are going to cave in to the motor terrorists, we will start making some demands of our own. We have never particularly wanted to penalize people who cling to their Detroit Dinosaurs. We do, however, want to see new legislation that encourages more people to adopt safer, healthier, more economical means of transport whenever and however they can.

We have always recommended legislation keeping vehicles that weigh more than 1000 pounds behind solid concrete barriers that keep them out of lanes reserved for more efficient vehicles...and not allowing any road to lack at least one lane that's permanently reserved for more efficient vehicles.

Bad job, Senator Carrico. This web site privately warned you to drop this bad, bad bill, while there was plenty of time to do so. This web site is now holding you up for public ridicule.

Gun Brand Bans Won't Work: Ask the Green Berets

Liz Klimas shares the text of a letter the U.S. "Green Berets" signed, explaining to our legislature why banning specific types of firearms would inconvenience law-abiding private citizens without preventing mass murders like the Columbine Tragedy:

This web site officially thanks all 1100 of them. Blessed Be.

HB 2340: Federal Firearms Crimes Are Still Crimes

Virginia House Bill 2340, decried by extremists as "symbolic" because it doesn't prescribe penalties for complying with new gun bans, has been misconstrued as potentially removing penalties for things that traditionally have been (and should remain) illegal. Full text:

Delegate Marshall just e-mailed everybody to clarify this. HB 2340 will, if enacted, authorize Virginia's law enforcement officers not to enforce any of the new gun bans Dianne Feinstein has proposed and Virginians have fairly solidly opposed. HB 2340 specifically says nothing about enforcing laws that existed in or before 2012 and dealt with stealing firearms, using firearms in committing crimes, etc. Those laws will continue to be enforced...and if anybody who intends to violate them is reading this web site, here's a short list of three places not to look for sympathy:

1. The office of any legislator this web site supports

2. Any real-world place from which this web site is published

3. The gun shop that has sometimes sponsored this web site

But we do like HB 2340, and other state legislation that refuses to endorse or enforce anything outside interests may have shoehorned into federal law without the consent of an affected state. Secession was and remains a very bad idea. Non-participation is a good idea.

A Shout to the Mighty Gypsy

An article about the (silly) flap over a commercial in which a White actor went into a "Be Happy" routine--racist?--annoyed me enough that I ran a quick search for one of the last bands whose cassettes my husband and I bought. Yes, they're still online. Those who can listen to videos may e-meet "Gypsy," the Calypso King of Trinidad and Tobago, here:

He's updated his name to "The Mighty Gypsy," perhaps as a tribute to an older performer known as The Mighty Sparrow, and the title has been updated to "Calypso Monarch" since 1997. Same guy. Here's the list of his greatest hits:

More about him, and how he got his Calypso Name. (Calypso used to be considered disreputable, thus singers traditionally performed under goofy stage names.)

A little more about his offstage life:

When my husband bought the tape featuring the smash hit "Little Black Boy," he'd never been in Gate City and didn't realize that I would want to share the cassette with George Peters (no relation). It is truly a great song. Apart from the coincidence that the Gypsy's legal name happens to be Peters too, another reason to share this particular song with this particular person was that Mr. Peters was a perfectionist about diction. Had to be; he'd suffered some hearing loss before becoming blind. So I thought he might appreciate the Gypsy's flawless, though exotic, diction.

A third reason was that, in addition to flawless diction and a great voice, in "Little Black Boy" Gypsy also had a radical message American "conservatives" ought to appreciate. (After seventy years of helpism, should responsibility be considered a pro-change, thus "liberal," idea?) The older Black man advises the "Little Black Boy" to "go to school and learn" and "show some concern," because "See who's the doctor...the banker...the lawyer...Look at the prison, see who's in there too." Every opportunity is out there for the little boy, including some undesirable ones.

The Limbaugh Show, which George Peters gave good marks on diction, had recently aired a calypso parody about "Rush Limbo," and we thought it really ought to have aired "Little Black Boy." This is a song everybody can love. If not otherwise keen on calypso, at least you can appreciate the one that got the performer crowned Calypso King, once.

Unfortunately, one of my in-laws made off with the cassette before we had a chance to send a copy to the Limbaugh Show.

Well, here's the article that set me off...

As noted there, this web site has discussed racism recently in two serious contexts: sickle cell anemia, a contributing factor to the overly-ballyhooed observation that some people of African descent are underachievers; and HUD "block grants" that single out "black and Hispanic families" as potential residents for low-income housing projects to be shoved into rural communities where low-income families are least likely to find jobs to get themselves out of low-income housing. Serious comments on racism should go there.

As far as consciously or unconsciously imitating accents, whether it's Bob Marley "being happy" or someone else's...I can only regret that Mike Opelka's audience, especially the unknown actor in the commercial, don't have access to a no-name homemade calypso tape my husband brought back from his 1997 visit to Trinidad. If they'd heard that tape, they'd know the tune that goes with what I recommend singing if and when you're accused of imitating any West Indian person, of any color, whose words or music you may feel moved to quote or imitate, however well or badly:

"Not Guilty! Shango say me talk like dee mahn! Shango say! Shango say!"

Rescuing a Deer Is No Crime

Donald Pennington reports on how P.E.T.A. hysteria (which has been manipulated by Agenda 21 for years now) is threatening the career of a police officer, and the well-being of his family, because the nice policeman humanely rescued an injured deer:

Just after I told DP I was going to postpone reading Yahoo and Junkscience during the bill reading marathon, along came an unexpected moment when a slow computer pushed me to click on this Yahoo article, and I'm glad it did.

Should You Curb Your Cat to Protect Birds?

Liz Klimas is one of my favorite bloggers in all the world but I can't believe she failed to check the crucial fact in this report:

The crucial fact here is that pet cats are killing all those healthy and valuable adult birds in New Zealand (and in Australia and in Hawaii, and presumably on some South Sea islands from which we haven't heard).

In North America and Europe, all bird species are naturally adapted to coexist with cats--even with wild cats who are much more efficient climbers and hunters than our house pets. (House cats have been systematically bred to be less dangerous, to birds as well as humans, than their wild relatives.)

In Australia, Hawaii, and New Zealand this is not the case...and since we do have a few readers Down Under, let me take this opportunity to recommend that youall keep your cats indoors. You wouldn't want your pet to eat the last living kakapo, right?

But in the contiguous United States, cats are able to attack birds only under two circumstances: (1) when the birds are helpless babies, and (2) when the birds are very, very sick.

If you see a North American cat with a dead adult bird, you should remove the bird from the cat--it will make the cat sick. Don't handle the bird yourself! Wrap and burn it, then wash your hands thoroughly.

Birds can lose their ability to fly for several reasons, including injuries, old age, chemical poisoning, parasites, and bird flu, but the Sibley guidebooks say the most common reason is aspergillosis. Most of the birds I've taken away from my cats were visibly suffering from aspergillosis. Humans rarely develop visible symptoms of this disease unless they have AIDS (in which case the fungus can grow on human skin, just as it does on sick birds' skin, forming patches of green slime) but humans do get allergy and flu-type symptoms as our immune systems cope with this fast-growing infectious fungus.

Helpless baby birds are another good reason to confine cats, but in most of the United States the baby birds are helpless for only a week or two at a time, and by observing your birds you'll know when it's time to bring the cats inside. This happens to be the time of year when field mice and other wild vermin are not highly motivated to destroy your home, if you keep food covered when not in use. Isn't nature wonderful? If you're not a bird watcher or haven't noticed a ground-nesting adult bird flying around your home, but you see a cat with a baby bird, even this web site recommends that you confine that cat--or ask its humans to do so--for another week.

There is one other excuse for interfering with cats' valuable role in limiting rat and mouse populations in the name of protecting birds. That would be if your neighborhood is positively known to be the home of a severely endangered (not merely threatened) bird species. When a species gets down to a few hundred individual birds, then its habitats can fairly be declared bird sanctuaries where even sick individuals need to be allowed every chance to produce healthy eggs. Ornithologists don't necessarily know when and how to confine the sick individuals and/or take the eggs into custody, but they think they do, and denying them their chance to study severely endangered birds is a pointless bit of cruelty.

Otherwise, when North Americans think of cats killing cute little fluttering, twittering songbirds, we need to give thanks that they've put these poor sick individuals out of their misery before the sick birds could endanger others.

RECOMMENDED READING (more about key facts discussed above, and also good reads!)

Endangered birds in Australia and New Zealand: Anybody who likes this web site ought to love Douglas Adams' Last Chance to See. Despite its profanity, gross-outs, and atheist reflections I'd share this one with The Nephews. Close-up looks and a few pictures of some birds that are actually threatened by cats.

Birds in North America: The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. If you already have Peterson's Field Guide to Birds of North America, which I find easier to use to look up new birds, check the Sibley guide anyway for more information on nesting habits after you've identified a bird.

Symptoms of full-blown aspergillosis in humans: Jamaica Kincaid's My Brother (he had it). This one is not recommended for children but it's definitely recommended to teenagers contemplating becoming sexually active.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

HB 1352: The Cost of Seeing Your Medical Records

Virginia House Bill 1352 would, if enacted, double the cost of obtaining a copy of your own or a family member's medical records:

Actually, the existing law seems more disrespectful of patients' rights than the proposed change. What medical record could possibly do more harm to a patient's health than the claim that the patient isn't fit to see his or her own records?

HB 2326: Regional Planning Commissions?

Virginia House Bill 2326 would, if enacted, allow unelected "planners" to take over every part of Virginia, and some of these planners wouldn't even live here.

"Regionalism is Communism," commented an e-friend who recommended this bill for special attention as being especially bad. Surprising me. I'm accustomed to thinking of "regionalism" as an artistic term having nothing to do with politics; if asked to use "regionalism" in a sentence I'd probably say something like "Regionalism is one of the charms of novels like Wuthering Heights, Mickelsson's Ghosts, and The Weedkiller's Daughter, each of which offers a strong sense of a place that readers want to revisit again and again, even when they know how the story will end."

Unfortunately, "regionalism" is also a term that's been co-opted for use by those who want to override local elected officials, who are accountable to voters, by setting up "regional planning committees" who are accountable only to the foreign interests behind Agenda 21.

This web site recommends a counter-movement in the direction of restoring all governmental powers to elected officials. It's not an easy thing for elected officials to do, but we'd like to see them cut spending by steadily downsizing the number of unelected persons on the public payroll. Unelected persons who perform clearly specified services, like driving a school bus or delivering mail, are more tolerable than unelected persons who meddle with government. We'd like to see some legislation to the effect that any unelected person who presumes to do anything more than write an article about what government ought to do, or wave a flag at a rally, is entitled to (1) a permanent bar to employment in any part of Virginia and (2) a nice selection of brochures about other places where such people can go, including but not limited to Hell, Michigan.

The alternative is what Catherine Turner forwarded as the testimony of someone whose name came through as Charlotte Iserbyt (is that correct?):

"Dear Chairman Ingram and Members of the Counties, Cities and Towns Committee:

I came before this committee last year to document the personal financial injury my family suffered in the amount of just under $70,000 in architectural and engineering site plans and around $500K expense in erecting a timberframe barn, part of an equestrian development on Claytor Lake that failed to get a Special Use Permit from Pulaski County, after the plans were passed by the Planning Commission.

In the three minutes that I was permitted to speak before this committee, I barely got a chance to detail how months and months of research had proven that the fix was already in against my small business in the Draper District: My property is NOT in the designated "Rural Sustainability Hub", the "vision" of the New River Valley Planning District Commission (with the details now scrubbed from the web). It is the Regional Comprehensive Plan that will kill what's left of any surviving entrepreneurial spirit in the region, courtesy of the 68-page Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities grant that the PDC has been awarded, mandating a Regional Comprehensive Plan.

Ten minutes from my property, in the designated "hub", a country store opened that is now getting the blessing of all kinds of grant $$$ and even helped by Pulaski County in securing its own non-profit status.

A country store was in our business plan, part of the SUP we were seeking. The fix was already in. In this new world Public/Private Partnership order that legislation like HB 2326 ensures, it is only the chosen among us---the acolytes of the unelected PDC executive boards---that will get to do business. My experience proves it.

This was not a business plan that was scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin. I was Executive Chef at both Stanford University and California Cafe in Palo Alto, CA and have the credentials to build the kind of business we were pursuing. So does my husband. My filing cabinet contains two drawers of documentation on how the New River Valley---and now all the rural areas in the 19 counties of Congressional District 9, under the impending National Heritage Area designation---are targeted for radical transformation.

We are under a siege of United Nations Agenda 21 policies and programs in Southwest Virginia. The far-reaching goals of the Biodiversity Treaty--never ratified by the US Senate-- are being achieved, one bite of the elephant at a time. It's way past time that all of those who faithfully swore an oath to the Virginia and US Constitutions live up to the job.

The Virginia State Legislature created the PDCs and has provided no oversight. This bill seeks to expand their power beyond our sovereign borders, further emaciating the individual liberties that our once-representative government honored and protected.

Regionalism is communism no matter how you slice it. The sooner Americans get that unpleasant fact permanently entered into their brains, and process that information into appropriate action, the sooner we will be able to escape what Orwell described so well in his novel 1984:

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face--forever...and remember, that is forever." "

I'm not sure whether Charlotte Iserbyt or Catherine Turner originally typed in the closing line, "Please kill and bury HB 2326." Both undoubtedly share the feeling. So does this web site. So do the lurking sponsor whose money order arrived in the real mail this afternoon and the other five people who can't afford to sponsor this web site but have been offering physical support, and input, today.

Attention all Delegates and State Senators. We realize that, as Delegate O'Quinn admitted last week, the "aides" have been trying to bring everything into fuller compliance with Agenda 21, and we realize that good people initially thought that compliance with Agenda 21 might be a good thing, but the more we're seeing of this thing in practice, the more we're hating it. What's being touted as "sustainable" and "Green" is neither sustainable nor Green--it makes sense as short-term power grabs, but the only way this widespread support for it makes sense is as a foreign plot to destroy the United States. If you stand up for the kind of policies that have made the United States a great nation and Virginia a great state, some people will try to make you feel strange and unpopular this winter. If you fail to stand up for these policies, your constituents will make you really unpopular, forever, because you will have betrayed your trust. Don't be the first Legislature to sell us all down the river. If you do nothing but block bad bills like HB 2326, that will be better than if you allow any violation of the established rights of individuals and elected officials to become law.

Declawing the Boneta Bill?

Here's what yourall's demonstration in Richmond yesterday accomplished on behalf of farmers via the Boneta Bill. Link and summary were forwarded from the Southwest Virginia Tea Party. The "amended bill" text was not available when I checked this morning. The second link, to the original web site at which Mark Fitzgibbons' report first appeared, opens a page with a nice graphic that may not show up on your screen and a link to Mark Fitzgibbons' ongoing reports on the progress of HB 1430, the Boneta Bill:

YEAS--Marshall, D.W., Orrock, Poindexter, Knight, Morefield, James--6.




Boneta Bill Update: Legislators Reject Constitutional Protections for Farmers

The Boneta Bill was considered for the first time at the Virginia General Assembly in a January 28 Agricultural Subcommittee hearing before an overflow crowd. The bill, H.B. 1430, was introduced by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter.

The Boneta Bill was designed to clarify that the Virginia Right to Farm Act protects commerce, protects constitutional rights, and provides remedies for when counties violate the Act.

The Ag Subcommittee decided to adopt an amendment in the nature of a substitute bill. The substitute bill has some good provisions such as clarifying that the right to farm includes commerce. It also has some provisions that leave farmers at the mercy of bureaucrats who do not follow the law.

The substitute bill to H.B. 1430 that was introduced by the Ag Subcommittee creates a “rebuttable presumption that a farm is presumed in compliance with local zoning ordinances.”

The Ag Subcommittee, however, decided to strike language from the substitute bill that expressly provided constitutional and evidentiary protections for farmers. The language that was struck read as follows:

“The rebuttable presumption shall not be overcome by hearsay evidence or without an onsite inspection performed in compliance with the strictest standards under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which requires no warrants shall issue without probable cause supported by oath and affirmation.”

The Ag Subcommittee further struck:

“A locality that violates this chapter shall be liable to the agricultural operation for (1) the amount of fines, if any, that the locality sought to impose on the [farm] operation in defending against the action of the locality or seeking to enforce the provisions of the chapter. A local ordinance that violates any provision of this chapter or any right protected under the Constitution of Virginia or the Constitution of the United States is void.”

Besides showing its displeasure with rules of evidence and constitutional protections for farmers, the Ag Subcommittee also rejected protections for farm art and literature. "
This web site officially denounces these amendments, and encourages constituents of Delegates Marshall, Orrock, Knight, Poindexter, James, Sickles, and Morefield to lean on your elected officials to support farmers' rights above the claims of greedy land and power grabbers.

Nevertheless, Delegate Lingamfelter's e-mail shows that he's comfortable with the compromise:


The Boneta Bill Passes Subcommittee

-Will be debated in full Committee this Wednesday at 8:30AM-

**Click here to sign up to receive updates on HB 1430 as it is debated in the full Agriculture, Chesapeake, & Natural Resources Committee**


Yesterday was truly a day that I will remember as a highlight of my legislative career. I didn't get a chance to update you after the long subcommittee meeting last night, but I wanted to send you a note first thing this morning to tell you the good news!

The Boneta Bill (HB 1430) passed through the Agriculture subcommittee this evening and will be heard in the full Agriculture Committee this Wednesday (January 30th) at 8:30AM!

The bill as passed last night contains key language that will protect the rights of property owners and farmers like Martha and is a leap forward in keeping government out of every aspect of our lives!

Friends, I wish you could have been there. As I came out of the elevator and headed towards the committee room, there was a massive crowd of supporters spilling out into the hallway. There were folks from all over the Commonwealth. No joke. From all over.

It was almost impossible to get into the room. Both entrances were packed.

I couldn't help but be grateful for the sacrifice that all these folks made for the sake of property rights, liberty, and free enterprise. It was humbling to see so many folks there to support Martha and my effort to move a good bill forward and we did!

And it really made a difference to the subcommittee members to see first-hand how powerful this grassroots movement really is.

The fight isn't over yet, folks, and here's where you come in. We need to show the full committee how powerful this movement is and show them that we are going to fight.

So here is your call to action: WE NEED TO PACK THE ROOM ON WEDNESDAY.

Please forward this message along and make sure that we have all of our supporters at the full committee hearing.

Here are the details:

What: Meeting of the Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee

Why: To debate The Boneta Bill (HB 1430) and vote to send the bill to the floor of the House of Delegates

When: Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at 8:30AM

Where: House Room C of the General Assembly Building (1000 Bank Street, Richmond VA)

More Information: Email

If you'd like to contact the members of the Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee, you can find their information here!

I can't thank you enough for all of your support. Like I said, I will not soon forget this day. But we've got a long ways to go before we can celebrate. The opponents of property rights are going to come out fast and hard against this bill but I know that we will outwork them.

I hope to see you Wednesday!


PS: Click here to sign up to receive updates on HB 1430 as it is debated in the full Agriculture, Chesapeake, & Natural Resources Committee.

Paid for and Authorized by Lingamfelter for Lt. Governor"
If you can be in Richmond tomorrow morning, this web site recommends turning out to show's what the Northern Virginia Tea Party (which is running buses from the suburbs) has to say about the Boneta Bill:

Keeping Farmers (and Children) Safe from Bureaucratic Bullies

Why the Remedies in the Boneta Bill Are Fair, Appropriate and Needed

The Boneta Bill, H.B. 1430, amends the Virginia Right to Farm Act. It includes remedies that add “teeth” to protecting farmers’ rights. The remedies are no more than the amount of fines that counties may impose on farmers plus attorneys’ fees if the counties (1) are sued by farmers, which is not likely, and (2) are found to have violated the Right to Farm Act. If anything, the remedies in the Boneta Bill are not strong enough.

Martha Boneta was threatened by Fauquier County with fines of $5,000 per violation under charges that she held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a permit and a “site plan,” advertised one wine tasting, sold postcards with pictures of her rescued farm animals, sold wool fiber products from her sheep and alpacas, and sold organic tea from herbs grown in her garden even though she had a business license. She paid $500 to appeal these unjust administrative charges and threats. The county zoning administrator said at her hearing that Martha was “out of line” for appealing these charges. Martha’s farm store that was open just seven hours per week is now closed because of the uncertain, unlawful and unscrupulous actions of the county.

1. Counties have litigation liability insurance; farmers do not. County officials will not go out of pocket on legal fees when they violate farmers’ rights. Farmers go out of pocket on legal fees to defend against overreaching and unlawful actions by county officials against them.

2. Frivolous lawsuits against counties will be quickly dismissed. Bureaucratic administrative zoning actions against small farmers do not follow rules of evidence, can violate farmers’ rights without due process, and can shut down lawful farm activities.

3. Sovereign immunity. This is the doctrine that “the King can do no wrong.” Ask Martha Boneta whether county officials can do no wrong.

The doctrine of sovereign immunity is itself limited to good faith violations of law and mistakes, not intentional acts beyond the duties of government officials, and may be limited by the legislature at any time. Not long ago the Virginia legislature limited sovereign immunity under the Virginia Tort Claims Act, § 8.01-195.3.

Police departments are subject to lawsuits, damages and attorney’s fees under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988 for violating constitutional rights under color of state law, yet this does nothing to impede strong enforcement of the law. Clerks of Virginia county courts have personal liability for certain acts, such as violations of fiduciary duties for funds and wrongful discharge (VanBuren v. Grubb).

This provision of the Boneta Bill may be the most popular of all. County officials should be required to do what is expected of all citizens, which is to respect and follow the law. The remedies provision is a prophylactic way to help prevent violations of rights and the Right to Farm Act, and will not impede good and lawful enforcement.

Boneta Bill supporters stand shoulder to shoulder with county officials who may be their friends, neighbors, relatives, church members, etc., who are conscientious and law abiding in their conduct.

The Boneta Bill remedies provision:

3.2-302.1. Remedies

A. Any county that violates any provision of this chapter shall be liable to aggrieved persons in the amounts equal to the fines and penalties that the county seeks to impose on such aggrieved persons, plus attorney fees.

B. Any official or employee of a county who violates any provision of this chapter, or whose interpretation or enforcement of duties operates contrary to this chapter, shall be personally liable to aggrieved persons in the amount equal to the fines and penalties that such county official or employee seeks to impose on such aggrieved persons, plus attorney fees, and shall otherwise be subject to the penalties that the official or employee seeks to impose, whether civil or criminal. Such official or employee shall not be protected by sovereign immunity for causes of action in trespass or tort.

Sympathy for Neil Heslin

Neil Heslin is the father of a six-year-old who was murdered at the Sandy Hook school, just before Christmas break. (Funny how a certain political party want to make it "the winter holidays" until it's the occasion of a family tragedy...) Nobody at this web site is personally acquainted with him, and the whole community have received so many condolences and teddy bears and suchlike from around the country that it would probably never have occurred to me to mention his name here, until a certain political party decided to use him for an anti-firearms speech.

The comments on this one flew fast and furious. Mine's buried. So I'll say it again here. For those who wanted to see a pro-firearms-rights statement on the ickiness of heckling a bereaved father, here is one. Anything that adds to this man's grief in any way is beyond tacky. It is obscene.

How bad was the heckling? Doesn't matter. Any heckling was bad. How bad was putting him on the stand in the first place? Ghouls.

A few years ago...actually, as best I recall without losing any online time to look it up, it was May 1987...a father bought his son a new sports car as a graduation gift. It was the Camaro IROC Z-28, the trendy impractical car every teenager was believed to want that year.

A bit of back-story young readers won't remember: The Camaro featured the kind of responsive power steering and transmission that now seem to be standard, but that seemed unsettling to some older drivers accustomed to slower-starting cars. When the same features were introduced on economy and family cars, notably Toyotas, the same older drivers learned to live with them but described cars like the Toyota Corolla my mother and I loved as "darty" and "hard to handle" and "not for inexperienced drivers." Funnily enough people my age described these cars as, well, normal.

There was a cliche of my generation in which a guy bought a Camaro to impress chicks, and the chick who moved in with him enjoyed driving the thing so much that when she left him she packed up all her stuff and all his spare cash and drove away in the Camaro.

This did not happen to the son of the former mayor of Johnson City, Tennessee, Sam Crockett. Instead this young man and a friend went out drinking in the new car. Both young men died; the car was a write-off.

Sam Crockett actually wrote--I forget whether I read the letter in the Kingsport Times-News or the Johnson City paper, now--a letter to local newspapers, inveighing against...drunk driving? Reckless driving? Teen driving? No...against Camaros!

Well, naturally this made an incredibly overpriced and inefficient car even more attractive to my generation. Duh. Despite my natural preference for economy cars and dislike of driving I was, briefly, engaged to a guy who drove a Z-28. I drove it. I was sober, got used to the different shape of the new car in a few minutes, and felt as safe in the Z as in the Toyota, or in the Chevette some poor soul used to pay me to drive. What would any twenty-something have done?

But, would anyone in their right mind have heckled or hassled Sam Crockett in the summer of 1987? I don't know. Maybe somebody was that low, back then. I wouldn't know who it might have been. The man was grieving. If blaming (and thereby promoting) a brand name was not the wisest move he could have made, who'd blame him? After losing a child a parent is not exactly insane, but definitely in a special state of consciousness you don't want to know anything about. You give bereaved parents empathy hugs. You debate with people who are not bereaved parents. Duh.

Carrico Heads Subcommittee on Public Education

From State Senator Bill Carrico:

January 29, 2013


Contact: Stuart Higley 276.237.3565

Carrico Appointed to Powerful Senate Finance CommitteeWill also Chair Subcommittee on Public Education

Richmond – Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Fries) received yesterday his committee assignments for this year, and they include a coveted position on the powerful Senate Finance Committee and the chairmanship of a Senate subcommittee on Public Education.

“I am honored by the responsibility given to me by my colleagues in the Virginia Senate,” said Carrico. “My committee assignments will give me the opportunity to have an impact on many different critical issues for Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth as a whole.”

Carrico, who in 2013 began his 12th year in the General Assembly and his second year in the State Senate, is the only Senator for Southwest Virginia to occupy a seat on the Senate Finance Committee. “I will be uniquely positioned to do everything I can to ensure that our region is protected when it comes to matters of finance,” he said.

His committee assignments include a spot on the Health & Education Committee, where Carrico will chair the subcommittee on Public Education. The chairmanship ensures that Carrico will play a key role in developing K-12 education policy in the Senate. “The success of our public education system is critical to the Commonwealth’s success in the future, and I am eager to do what we can to improve outcomes for teachers and students across the state,” he said.

He will also resume his role on the Privileges & Elections Committee, where he will continue to chair the Certificate, Oath & Confirmation subcommittee. Finally, he will continue to serve on the Senate Transportation Committee, which will be at the center of the transportation debate in Richmond this year.