Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I'm Done With the RPV

June 13, 2018
I'm Done With the RPV
I used to be a card-carrying member of the RPV.  I used to have pride in the fact that I’m a conservative from Virginia.  With its rich history and beautiful landscape, I love Virginia.  I’m a huge fan of Gen. Robert E. Lee who fought for Virginia, not because he owned slaves or believed in slavery as a practice, but because he believed Virginia was a sovereign institution worth fighting for.  I admire that type of dedication to principle and I admire men who exhibit well-thought out, purposeful principle. 
Then we turned around and chose Corey Stewart as our candidate for Senate in 2018.  Yes, friends, Virginia has indeed jumped the shark.
The few of you who read this blog regularly already know that I can’t stand Stewart.  I knew nothing about him until January of 2017, when I saw him speak at a local GOP meeting during his Gubernatorial campaign.  It caused me to write this article:
And nothing has changed.  Check that.  He’s gotten even worse.  And as I made the point on the RPV FB page last night after they congratulated him, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to look in the mirror because you’re likely part of the problem.  I’ll spend some of this article addressing the common criticisms I get for my stalwart opposition to Corey because they’re absolutely absurd.

First, I hear “you’re just a liberal troll!”  Nope, far from it.  But you know what I am?  I’m a reasonable person living in the modern era who lives in a world where it’s not OK to cozy up to white nationalists.  I’m just kooky enough to believe that the holocaust was one of the most abhorrent atrocities committed upon mankind, so I’m not down with a candidate who reveres an accomplished anti-Semite.  I know, these notions are completely off the wall and “fake news” (the other argument I hear), right?  Again, if you believe that, please take a good long look in the mirror because your blind faith in a demagogue will lead you over a cliff.
Corey Stewart is not the future of the GOP, nor of Virginia.  Hell, he isn’t even the PAST of Virginia!  He’s a Minnesotan!  Which brings me to one of the biggest reasons I can’t stand the blowhard Stewart -- He has no integrity. First, he has the nerve to call Nick Freitas a “carpet-bagger” from California.  Um, where are you from again, Corey?  Where was your law license suspended (and still suspended)?  Second, he and his more ardent disciples have constructed an ostensibly illegal shell corporation to funnel donations to his campaign.  Ever heard of the Virginia Freedom Caucus, Inc?  Well, I wrote about that one too here.  The company (yes, it’s not a caucus at all) solicits donations and blatantly advertises and supports Corey Stewart primarily, along with other candidates of the same ilk on its website, or at least they did before some of us called bullshit.  I’m no tax code or election law guru, but that sounds illegal to me.  No integrity.  None.  Any of them.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the lovely supporters of Mr. Stewart, many of whom are paid staffers.  Their overwhelmingly charming disposition [sic], especially behind the anonymity of a keyboard is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I have never run across a nastier, more vitriolic brand of supporters (read: sycophants) in my entire life.  If you follow Virginia politics on social media at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  They spew hate, discontent and are mean-spirited. In short, they are not nice people and I suspect they are not GOOD people. This leads me and my 40+ years of life experience dealing with people to conclude that Corey picked them for a reason.  Birds of a feather indeed flock together.  And I want nothing to do with him or them.  To be sure, this is not all-encompassing of Corey supporters, but I’d say it’s true for about 98% of those I’ve run across.  Sad.
And make no mistake about it, I’ll get attacked on all sides by them for even publishing this blog.  I really don’t care.  I look at them the same way I do at Corey and at any blowhard, loudmouth with an overblown ego who has never really had to fight for anything real.  MSG (USA Ret.) Paul Howe said it best in his book, Leadership And Training for the Fight: “The other side of this coin are the shit talkers I have run into and I have come to the conclusion that braggers and loudmouths are the first to crumble in a high-stress situation.  I venture to say their outward projection is a smoke screen for lack of confidence… I equate loud talk with foreshadowing of failure… All an overinflated ego will do is confirm you are an asshole and make you look like a pussy under stress…”
This quote reverberates in my head whenever I hear Corey speak about anything or whenever one of his sycophant disciples starts in with their “cuck” and “liberal troll” bullshit.  I’m just over all of them. 
On a final note about leadership, it bears noting the complete absence of leadership on the part of the RPV.  I don’t know if it was John Whitbeck’s decision or a group decision, but they had the power to end Corey Stewart.  They had the ability to put this circus to bed, but they chose not to.  Now they double-down on support of him because he’s he nominee and we apparently need to win at all costs.  No, friends, we don’t.  We can stand on principle.  We can choose to say enough is enough and not support someone who curries favor with some of the most dark and abhorrent elements of hatred within our society.  But the RPV chose not to do that because “we must defeat Tim Kaine!”
Look, I can’t stand Kaine, either.  But consider that Kaine is much more reasonable and more likable and more charismatic than Stewart, plus he doesn’t cozy up to white nationalists and anti-Semites, which helps a wee bit.  I don’t want Tim Kaine to win, but I won’t vote for Corey Stewart on principle.  And guess what?  I’m not the only one. 
“But not voting is a vote for Kaine!”  Kaine doesn’t need my help.  Corey isn’t getting my help.  Kaine has Corey and that’s all he needs to win.  Kaine can sit on his porch in North Richmond, sipping a mint julep, pretending to be a good Catholic for the next 5 months and he will trounce Corey.  Do you know why?  Because Corey can’t keep his mouth shut.  He is physically incapable of shutting the fuck up.  And because he can’t shut up, he’ll hurt the other decent candidates on the ballot.  Dave Brat, Scott Taylor, Barbara Comstock and Ryan McAdams (most of whom are incumbents) all stand to suffer from Corey’s mouth.  Even Denver Riggleman and Ben Cline could suffer in solidly red districts.  Did you do the math, Chairman Whitbeck?  Did you consider that many of these incumbent seats and others in Virginia stand to feel the effects of Corey’s inability to keep his trap shut, or did you just tow the line?  That’s not leadership.  That’s cowardly. I predict we will not gain one seat in Congress and unfortunately may lose some.  That’s the reality. 
So I will not vote for Senator this year.  I will watch the side show and vote for my Congressional House Representative and do my part to keep them in office, but Corey and the Virginia GOP can stuff it.  You all had the chance to stand for principle and you blew it.  I travel all over the country for work.  After Charlottesville, I had to field questions from colleagues about the “race riots” in Virginia and had to throw up my hands and shrug my shoulders.  I had no explanation.  Now, it will start all over again.  Thanks, Virginia and the RPV.  You’ve taken another step to making Virginia the laughing stock of politics in the USA.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Priorities in the Wake of the Florida School Shooting

February 17, 2018

Priorities in the Wake of the Florida School Shooting

As the parent of middle and high school-aged children, I will be the first to express my profound sadness and fear in the wake of the school shooting this week in Plantation, Florida.  No parent should ever have to endure that fear and no community should ever have to accept that this happened.  Seventeen people were senselessly murdered.  There is no rhyme, reason or justification for it.

But as so often happens in the wake of these incidents, the leftstream media and the left-leaning folks in the zeitgeist call for gun control – more legislation about who can own guns, who can buy guns, where guns are permitted, etc.  Then come the echoes from the pro-gun side about the Second Amendment and how laws don’t actually prevent determined people from committing crimes.  If you read this blog regularly, it should come as no surprise that I agree with the pro-gun element in this discussion.  Guns don’t kill people, evil intent does.  Guns are simply a tool for evil, just like moving trucks are for radical Islamists who drive into large groups of people. 

Let’s talk about math for a moment.  There are more guns in America than there are people. Setting aside the Second Amendment, it would be impossible to confiscate and destroy all of those guns.  If you make the purchase of the guns more difficult or near impossible, they will still be bought and sold.  So the reality in 2018 is, we need to do more to fortify our schools.  We need to invest in measures to harden those soft targets if we want to prevent this from ever happening again.  Doing so will require money, manpower and above all, commitment. 

“But O’Hanrahan! The government doesn’t have any money!”  Right.  Well, I beg to differ.  In fact, the government has all of the money they ever want or need for any given project.  They simply don’t prioritize things like school safety and security.  The bottom line is, it’s not important to them.

For example, let’s take the Broward County Public School system.  In 2016-17, the budget for the Broward School System was just under $3.7 BILLION dollars… Yes, that’s BILLION with a “B”.  Take a look:

Yet, with all that revenue, the Broward School System ostensibly didn’t allocate much, if at all, to school safety and security.  A quick scan of the budget document (located here: ) indicates no allocation within the budget for safety and/or security.  All that cash and no one can bring themselves to spend a little on student safety?  What does that tell you about the priority of the Broward School System?

In fact, public education is hands-down, far-and-away the single largest portion of any state or local governmental budget.  More than public safety, more than assistance programs, more than any other category.  Bringing it closer to home, here are some of the public school budget numbers from inside the Commonwealth of Virginia:

·        Fairfax Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $2.8 Billion
·        Loudoun Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $2.5 Billion
·        Stafford Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $278 Million
·        Henrico Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget: $469 Million
·        Chesterfield Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $621 Million
·        City of Newport News Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $305 Million
·        Gloucester Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $65 Million
·        City of Charlottesville Public Schools FY 2018 budget: $81 Million

You get the idea…

Yet in all of these budgets, if safety and security is addressed or funds are allocated, it is a fraction of 1%.  If you want to see what the real priorities are in your government, follow the money.  Less than 1% -- That’s how much the public school system feels about the safety of your children. 

After the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT in December of 2012, I wrote my local school board member and County Board of Supervisors a letter.  I explained my background and expertise in the area of school safety and active killer response for law enforcement.  I told them under no uncertain terms that if they want to make real progress to protecting the children in our County, they need at least 1 full-time police officer stationed in each school because (although I didn’t quote him), Wayne LaPierre was right – The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

My proposal was not only dismissed, but other consequences ensued from me sharing my opinion and expertise with them.  That’s how much they cared about my kids’ safety.  Nothing got done and I was actually reprimanded by my employer.

So leftists can claim the NRA is at fault for their lobbying efforts or for partially bank-rolling pro-gun or pro-Second Amendment candidates, but their contributions are a drop in the bucket compared to the revenue the public school system spends.  And they spend virtually none of it on safety or security. 

Who will hold the public school system accountable for protecting our children?  We entrust them with our kids’ lives every day they leave the safety of our homes and they spend virtually no time or effort to ensure their safety.  It’s inexcusable and it needs to change.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some Early Stinkers in the 2018 General Assembly Session

January 11, 2018

Some Early Stinkers in the 2018 General Assembly Session

Well, the new and not-so-improved Virginia General Assembly (GA) began the 2018 session this week.  And I have to say, from a distance I’m more than a little put-off about the issues some of our new (and old) legislators choose as priority items in the new session.  Unfortunately, these disappointments come from both sides.  I wish I could say that the left has a monopoly on head-scratching, time-wasting bills, but alas, I cannot. 
In case you’re wondering, the website Richmond Sunlight is a pretty good resource for tracking these bills.  They list break-downs of legislator voting records, affiliations, committee records, bill tracking and full bill summaries.  Registered users can comment on bills and submit informal polling about whether or not they think a bill should become law.
I’m in the Richmond area and I’m interested in activities with regard to gun rights, personal protection, protection for children and anything my legislators or those around me are proposing.  So without further adieux, here are some of the real “WTF” bills I found in the early going:

1)               Firearms; civil liability for sale or transfer, background check. (HB273)
Introduced By

Now, keep your seats.  I know it’s totally shocking that two Democrats from NoVa would seek to enhance penalties for the sale of firearms upon the sellers when and if that firearm should be used in a crime.  This bill stinks so bad on so many different levels!  I mean, is it even legal?  That’s like the original (or all past) owners of a car being held civilly liable for any future accidents.  It’s preposterous and stupid and should die a quick death.

2)             Abortion; informed written consent. (HB450)

Introduced By

This gem comes from none other than my neophyte Delegate, Debra Rodman.  Apparently, she doesn’t think that women who are about to undergo a procedure to kill their unborn children should be informed about the procedure by a licensed physician and sign a form stating same.  The irony here:  Rodman is an educator, a professor.  So she seeks to repeal a requirement that women be educated about the abortion they’ve decided to have. 
Maybe leftists don’t have a monopoly on hypocrisy, but they sure do their best to perfect it!  I miss Dr. O’Bannon already!

3)             Killing of police animals; penalty. (HB739)

Introduced By

Now, Let’s see if you can follow this one from Freshman Republican, John McGuire…
He wants it to be a class 5 felony for YOUR dog to “show a reckless disregard” for a police dog, whether on or off duty, through YOUR alleged negligence.  First, off… WHAT?!?  He is proposing that we punish owners for dogs doing what dogs may naturally do?  And how does an investigating agency prove this?  And what if the law enforcement officer is trespassing on my property, am I still on the hook for a class 5 felony should this happen?  I know from where this bill originates, but I won’t bore you with the tale.  Just know, this rarely (if ever) happens and I don’t think we need to make it a serious felony to charge the owner, who arguably has zero control over his animal in any given circumstance, to attack a police dog.  Don’t we have more important things to deal with?

4)             Concealed handgun permits, out-of-state; reciprocity. (HB498)

Introduced By

Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) with support from 6 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:

OK, did every single Democrat in NoVa and some in Tidewater co-patron this bill? 
Why is it the left despises your right to protect yourself, but they’re OK with other people carrying guns to protect them?  This is a bad one, folks.  If this becomes law, you’ll see a ripple effect in our reciprocity with other states, just like when Mark “I hate guns except when they’re protecting me” Herring tried to do a couple of years ago. 

I wonder, when are we going to recognize the Right to Bear Arms, which is enumerated within the Constitution, just like we recognize other things that are not – like gay marriage?  Every year this issue becomes more and more of a hot-button and I’m worried that with Virginia getting bluer, they’re eventually going to get what they want. 

Meanwhile, the only people who will have guns are the criminals.

My suggestion, tank all of these bills.  Make them die a quick death.  Shoot them in their proverbial heads because they stink on ice.  Each one of these is either a total waste of time, effort, energy and money and/or just plain bad law, and that’s overlooking the obvious disrespect for life in the womb or the individual’s right to protect himself and his family.
Call your Delegate or Senator and tell them these bills suck and they need to vote against them.  Stay informed about this session.  These bills are just a sampling of the BS that’s out there.  I can only imagine what will come about as the session moves along.   

Meanwhile, the murder rate in Richmond is through the roof.  Tolls on the hot lanes in NoVa are astronomical and the traffic is not improving.  Homeless, many of them Veterans, are on seemingly every street corner, begging for change, many of them suffering from mental illness.  Aren’t any of those issues that affect real people worth working on?

Yes, friends, elections do indeed have consequences!