Bad Dots: MD PoPo and Unintended Messages

Two links, telling a story about Maryland and DC law enforcement that we really don’t want to read. See, we were raised to respect officers of the law– police, sheriffs, aurors, FBI, etc . . . One of our dear friends is a Deputy Sheriff, Snape has worked with the lawmen, and I had a good friend growing up who was with the police. We want to respect them. We want to support them. But current laws and practices are making this difficult. So, to the links:

First, via Drudge: Recording Cops as they do their work in Public is a Felony in Maryland. But police-car dashboard cams are totally okay. No hypocrisy there.

Second, from Big Journalism: SEIU protestors escorted to private residence by cops. Read the whole thing.

Add to this the PG County habit of no-knock raids to the wrong houses and shooting innocent dogs . . . well, the picture isn’t pretty.

I don’t know that it’s malicious, so much as lazy and unthinking, a falling into the easy abuse of power that comes for frazzled law officers with more energy than honor. Or foresight. Or sense.

Either way, however, it’s not acceptable. There should be no reason why random civilians cannot record public servants when those servants are in public. Protesters should not be escorted by police to private residences for any reason– this is trespassing, and is illegal.

Listen, we want to support our law enforcement, but when they start acting like mafia muscle men, how can we?

Strawberry Festival

Today was the annual strawberry festival in these parts. The exact date changes from year to year, though always in late May or early June, whenever strawberries are at the peak of ripeness– much like the actual viewing of cherry blossoms in DC a month or two earlier. Usually, signs go up near the beginning of May, along roads and by churches and banks, announcing the impending festival, which always takes place in the parking lots and fields of a local Montessori school. One field has a collection of moonbounces for the kids, while another nearby field is managed by a Boy Scout troop that directs parking.

The upper parking lot gets filled with booths and tables of local craftspeople, businesses, and other organizations. One lady this year was selling tatted jewelery, including a nice collection with bat charms which I, naturally, had to spend money on. Likewise Tastefully Simple and Pampered Chef people, of which Okassan took advantage. There was a nearby Episcopalian church represented and there, down at the end, a group of young men with a table of pamphlets proclaiming that “Islam is Loyalty” or some such thing.

We didn’t really wander down that way because, quite frankly, Snape and I have a bit of an allergy to Islam– I tend to sneeze alot, and she breaks out in hives, the poor dear. And, to be honest, they stuck out because there were no females among them– and lets face it, a strawberry festival is a rather feminine place, where one expects to see hordes of grannies, moms, and little girls, husbands and sons pulled along with patient (or not so patient) faces. Not really the place for a pack of young fellas (at least, a pack not dressed up in Scout uniforms)– not without even a single Mom or Sister among them.

The backwards American Flag on one of their displays may also have something to do with our reluctance to drift much closer.  Maybe. Either way, both of us are quite happy with our current relationship with The Lord (though we’ll admit, it’s often the two of us being whiney brats that He, in His Mercy, has thus far refrained from smiting out of sheer irritation). They could have been from the local group of Muslims who got kicked out of Pakistan for being to pacifist. Or, they could have been from another, sorta (as far as we can tell) moderate-ish mosque or, they could have been representatives from the Islamic Society of Washington, D.C. Don’t know and, with them lacking any ladies, not really interested.

And before you get all PC, one word: Taqqiya.

After browsing the stalls, down we went to the lower parking lot, where the truck of strawberries had pulled in and a line was forming to purchase strawberries by the full or half flat. While waiting, Snape got into a conversation with a lady behind us on pie dough– and how to change the recipie to account for the recent change in how they make shortening. Really, so typical. We ended up with two flats, which was 16 pounds of strawberries at the peak of ripeness and freshness. 16 of these:

strawberries

16 of these-- yummy!

Then it was time to head home, routed through residential streets filled with yard sales– I found a rather nice oil lamp, and one jar to add to my canning collection. When we came home, we got right to work, hulling and slicing strawberries, and the rhubarb we’d gotten recently from the CSA, and made two Strawberry-Rhubarb Pies and one Strawberry-Rhubarb tart, of which one pie was baked, one frozen for later, and the tart baked and eaten for lunch. The crust was a Snape family recipie, made by her last night. Sooo good!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb pie is not the most photogenic of pies.

We then froze most of the rest of the rhubarb and strawberries (save for what we used the the Rhubarb-Peach Cobbler currently in the oven), though we did set aside one pound of strawberries to make these:

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Of course we'd have some chocolate dipped strawberries. . .

Which are, as most wizarding folk know, a perfect antidote to Dementor or Lethifold exposure (well, after your Patronus has chased the beasties off, of course). No, no Dementors or Lethifolds around here, just a couple of decadent Slytherins.

Weekend after next, we’ll likely be using some of the frozen berries and rhubarb to make Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam. Can’t wait!

MD politics brief update

Went to the meeting of AFP Maryland Montgomery County this past Tuesday evening.  There was a brief business meeting, followed by a very good talk on Climate Change Legistlation by Ben Leiberman of The Heritage Foundation.

It was nice that they very deliberately keep specifics partisan politics out of things– when a man got up to announce some upcoming MCGOP things, he was politely but firmly told that he could not do so during the meeting (due to their tax code of being “non-partisan”)– but everyone was free to meet with him after the meeting. More on that later.

Some items of interest were: On March 3rd people will be going to testify in Annapolis about the effects of the proposed budget.

We all recieved a free book from a Cuban exile named Agustin Blazquez, who co wrote a book called Covering and Discovering, about battling the Media that tries to disguise the truth. Once I read it, I’ll let you know how it is. The English part, at least, since my Spanish is Sesame Street level. I’m afriad I can’t find it on Amazon, either. If he’s at the next meeting, I’ll try to get some ordering info from him.

They are planning on having a Tax-Day (April 15) Tea Party in Rockville, this year.

Finally, as regards the MCGOP:  1) Precint Organization training will be held March 7 and March 20. The 2010 MCGOP Convention will be March 6 9am to noon (it’s free, btw). Finally, there will be a fundraise on March 18th at 6om– a dinner with Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger as speaker, which might be pretty cool. That’s $125 to get in the door, not bad for a fundraiser. . . Check out the site, as there are some other upcoming events listed.

Ben’s speech was really a good summary of a lot of what he’s written for Heritage. Some highlights:

  • Global Warming (GW) if it exists at all, falls short of a crisis, see Climategate, et al.
  • But, if it were a problem, how much would be solved by the legislation under conderation? Ans: None.
  • Is there a better way to deal with GW or other future challenged? Yes, Rights, Rule of Law, smaller gov’t.
  • 1 Green Job kills 2.2 Actual Jobs, leaving a net loss of 1.2 jobs for every Green Job “Saved or Created.”
  • The real agenda, as seen most clearly at the Copenhagen Debacle, is the Redistribution of wealth from the West to the “poorer nations”, who attended to try to get handouts.
  • The proper solution to any of these Climate problems (if, indeed, they even exist) can be seen in the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, where there is a clear correlation between Economic Freedom and Environmental Protection. That is, the more economically free, the wealthier a country is, the better they care for their environment, and vise versa.

If you want more details, just read Ben’s work linked above.

Finally, re: Climate Change Bushwah, I was able to get an email copy of a paper called 13 Definitive Reasons to Question Global Warming. I haven’t finished this yet, either, but I’ll want to contact the author before posting any excerpts, as the only contact I have to put as a link at the moment is his email, and I don’t want to publish that if I don’t have too. Anyway, I hope to soon share some of the highlights from that.

Audio: Wargotz on Seniors Talk Radio, and Sen. Babs

Irv, a commenter over at Hillbuzz, provided this link to an interview Wargotz did for Seniors Talk Radio. I’ll admit I haven’t listened to it yet, but I’ll post for y’all to listen to in the meantime. . . Wargotz’s campaign site is here.

Also, you likely heard the rumors that Babs Mikulski is soon to announce retirement. As far as this goes, don’t believe it untill she actually does so. This was a rumor at the MCGOP Open House, so it’s not surprizing– but don’t believe it until it happens. (Thanks to reader Lola LB for the link on this ^_^) She’s delaying since the rumor started chugging along, so again, who the heck knows until something happens?

Video: Rutledge at Montgomery County GOP Open House

So, I’ve finally had time to find the video from the Montgomery County MD GOP Open House. This is Jim Rutledge addressing speaking, and I’m postnig this so you can draw your own decisions on the matter.

Part 1:

Part 2:

I haven’t found any video from the debate this past Tuesday (I was going to go, but something else that was postponed from the snow was rescheduled for then, and I really had to go to that.) I’ll keep looking, as I can’t imagine no one recorded it. . .

I’ll also be looking for videos of the other candidates to post. ^_^

Daniel McAndrew: 4th Challenger to Mikulski

Found Daniel McAndrew’s website –> it’s now in the blogroll. I’ll be updating my chart to include his info, but in the meantime, you can check him out. He (along with the other three) will be participating in the Young Republicans’ debate on the 16th.

. . .Which also happens to be Mardi Gras. I wonder if they’ll have beads and King Cake  . . .

Meeting Jim Rutledge

So, I did go to the Montgomery County Republican Party Open House this evening, and I’m glad I did. As with another attendee, I had expected a big room, people milling about and socializing, maybe one or two people addressing everyone, and then more socializing. You know, an Open House. I suppose since Republicans in Montgomery County MD are such a rare bird, we got something even better– comfy chairs around a long table (three put together), with a few addresses and the main item being Jim Rutledge presenting himself and his ideas and why we ought to help him kick Mikulski out of the US Senate.

I deliberately did not bring in my notepad, or even a pen, as I wanted to avoid being so busy scribbling down words that I didn’t get a chance for impressions. Tonight was about looking the candidate in the eye, watching his body language, and trying to get a feel for who he is as a person (and likewise for his staff). So, my impressions:

1) I do hope they update the pic on the website– he’s shaved and gotten a haircut since those pictures, and looks a lot better. A rather shallow observation, but voters can be shallow people, and sadly in our fallen, imperfect world, looks have a lot to do with many things. So, yes, much better looking in person.

2) Jim really focused his address on the need to have less government interference in people’s lives. He noted all the spending that Mikulski has voted for in this year alone, capping everything off with that horrid vote to raise the debt ceiling. He then contrasted this with “And what has this done for Maryland?” Answer: Not a whole bloody lot. He noted the unemployment in Ocean City (11%) and other places in Maryland that are farther from DC. He noted too, the skyrocketing foreclosure rate in Maryland, and how none of the spending Babs has voted for has helped Western MD, Southern MD, or the Eastern Shore.

3) In answer to a question, he affirmed that he was personally in favor of term limits, but realized that as it would need a Constitutional Amendment, that it would be a tough sell.

4) Jim, like everyone else in the room, was clearly energized by the recent Scott Brown victory in MA. Almost all of what he talked about were topics that would appeal to the Tea Party folk– fiscal conservatism, small government. Twice, he did say “I am a Reagan Republican.” Granted, saying it doesn’t make it so, but the Tea Party people clearly who he’s trying to market himself toward.

5) He really seems to believe it’s possible for him to win the Senate seat, but he also has no illusions about how very difficult it will be. I’m not sure if he actually said this, but I got the impression, that was the very reason he was coming to Montgomery County so early– Winning the Montgomery Country precincts would be a total coup.

6) Although he did have some notes on the table in front of himself, he mostly spoke freely. No teleprompters, no reading off the sheets. He seems to be new to this, in that his delivery didn’t flow forth in a torrent of eloquence– but this isn’t a bad thing. It’s the beginning of February, for one thing, when most people in the state aren’t even thinking about elections. I suspect with a little more time in front of people, he’ll get it all ironed out. He devoted half his time to taking questions from attendees, and doing his best to answer clearly and honestly.

All in all, at this point in time, I’d say this is a man I can support for this seat. Granted, I haven’t met any of the other candidates yet, and I’d like to do so before throwing support to one or another. But, should Jim Rutledge win the primary, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed. I did receive a little campaign brochure that is basically a very abbreviated version of his website.

In addition to hosting Candidate Jim Rutledge, the MC Repubs also spoke on some local issues of importance. Robin Ficker got up and spoke about his new initiative to institute term limits for the Montgomery County Council, and passed around petition sheets for folk to sign to get the language on the ballot in November. Sadly (or perhaps happily?) there were more people in attendance than he had forms, so I ended up without one.

Betty Kuck also presented a short briefing on the state of the Maryland Budget (2 billion dollar deficit, 8.3 billion dollar long-term structural deficit), and the way teachers unions are blocking education reforms that would help us get Race to the Top funding. And, current Governor O’Malley has already been endorsed by the Maryland State Education association–even though his opponent is yet unknown. [Although, as a side note, we’re all pretty sure Erlich will be running again].

Finally, I also picked up a bumper sticker that says “Loose your freedom? Enough Taxes? Vote ALL Big Spenders OUT”

Hn. Yes.

Some AFP attendees took video, so if I get ahold of it, I’ll post so you can see and decide about this Rutledge fellow for yourself.

All in all a good evening. The Young Republicans will be hosting a debate in a week or two, so I’ll try to get to that so I can see the candidates all together, do a compare/ contrast.

Mont. Co. (R) open house

Maryland Senatorial challenger (to Babs Mikulski) Jim Rutledge (R) will be at the Montgomery County Republicans’ Open House tonight 7:30-9:30 pm. http://www.rutledgeforussenate.com/events.html

I’m thinking of going– meeting a person (or at least, seeing them in person)– can tell you a whole lot more about a guy than a well crafted website. I gotta think of some questions if I do go, and do get to speak to him.

At the moment, there are no current event calendars posted for the other two challengers. I’ll be contacting their respective campaigns to suggest they post, so people can plan to meet the men running.

The current 3 MD Senate challengers against Mikulski

So, I’ve perused the three sites of the three candidates out there. All three focused more on Fiscal Issues. and “Freedom” issues, than social things. I looked at what they emphasised, the order things were listed. They all focused on different issues, some had different solutions from each other, and they come from different backgrounds– a Lawyer, a Doctor, and a Political Consultant who owns 2 small businesses and is fond of Tea Parties. You can see who is the most fleshed out. All three have Facebook pages, and I think two (at least one) has a twitter feed. Here’s a side-by-side comparison chart of their platforms, based on what their websites say.

  Jim Rutledge Corrogan Vaughn Eric Wargotz
Health Care Cross state competition, tort reform, cost transparency, portability of policies between jobs. Tort Reform Tort reform
Illegal Immigration Enforce Uniform laws Enforce Laws Enforce laws, no amnesty
Radical Islam Resist implementation of Shariah Law    
  promote superiority of US law    
Energy Independence Promote clean coal and nuclear Drill here and now, on land and off shore  
  Promote Wind and solar Clean coal and natural gas  
  Promote R&D    
  Mass transit and Ethenol    
Taxes No raise in income tax Bring businesses back to MD For limited, small gov’t.
  Abolish inheritance and capital gains taxes   Move away from “production taxes” and toward “Consumption taxes”
  Stop “refunds” to those who don’t pay taxes   Hold line on taxes
  Enforce Immigration laws    
Spending The proper sphere for spending is national defense: Air, land, sea and space. Favors strong defense Balanced Budget Amendment with Exception for War
  Limit foreign aid and UN spending Support of Israel  
2nd Amendment Supports right to bear arms, to defend self and others.    
Educational Freedom Supports School Choice End Dept. of Ed.  
  Supports Parent’s Bill of Rights    
  Supports Academic Freedom    
1st Amendment Against PC Speech Codes    
  Against “Hate Crimes” legislation (this relates to free speech, for those who may not know why. . . )    
  Against Fairness Doctrine    
Social/ Other (for the record, for the most part, these issues were the least emphasised on all three pages at the time of this writing.) Pro-Life Believes marriage is one man/ one woman, but also upholds civil unions for whomever, “just don’t use the word marriage.”  
  Against Euthanasia and assisted suicide    
 Term Limits For Term Limits   Term Limits should be considered
Current Career Law Pol. Consultant, Business-owner Doctor, County Commissioner
Summary Most of site focused on “freedom” more than anything else. Still under construction. Seems Tea Party Friendly. Has the most on “social issues” of the three. Focus on Fiscal, Limiting Gov’t issues.

(apologies for the odd formatting. I’m not sure why it’s aligning “Full” on some, but not others. Trying to get it not full on any of them. . .) 

Note: Vaughn’s website is under construction, so we’re rather incomplete on him. Also, of the three, only Rutledge is currently listed by the MD elections people as a candidate, so I’m assuming he’s the only one with his paperwork in at this time– the for that is deadline is July 6th.

As things progress, I’m sure we’ll be able to fill in more of this, and we may have to change some, maybe even add some people, but here’s your current overview of challenger’s to Mikulski’s senate seat.

2010 MD Senate Race

Mikulski is up for re-election this year. Personally, I like her. However, since she voted for the healthcare mess and for raising the debt ceiling, it”d be great for her to “retire”. Mdgop.net has nothing up on their site yet. However, wikipedia (I know!) had some info on the upcoming race. Thee of the contenders have websites either up or in construction according to the links there, so here are the sites for:

Eric Wargotz

Corrogan Vaughn

Jim Rutledge

I’ll try to find sites for the other contenders, and then I’ll do a compare/contrast so we can see how they line up on issues.

Here’s the official MD gov’t 2010 election page. Rutledge is the only guy with a website and on the official list. According to the PDF calendar availible there, the dealine for candidacy submission is July 6th. Once I have a chance to learn a bit more about the candidates, I’ll do a write up but, considering what I’ve seen, Rutledge is currently looking like the most serious candidate to look at. But I’ve still got a lot to find out, so. . .