Showing posts from November, 2006

Interview With Terri Beirne - Interim Supervisor of Chesterfield County

Recently I sat down with Terri Beirne and discussed her experience as the new interim supervisor representing the Midlothian District of Chesterfield County. I found her to be refreshingly candid and very comfortable to talk with. She gives some insight into the county and her brief experience on the board.

As a mother of five and an attorney representing significant clients, how have you been able to take on this new responsibility of being on the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors? How much time a week do your board responsibilities take?

Well, the month of August was a bit of a blur – I should have probably been fired from here because of the work I wasn’t doing for my clients – but fortunately in August many clients are on vacation. August was tough, just getting acclimated and getting orientation from various department heads in the county, and understanding who I could go to, to get answers I needed for constituents. I think one of the reasons people are able to do this…

A Political Disconnect In Virginia


The above pie charts tell a story of the political disconnect between the people of Virginia, the electorate, and their elected delegates to the Virginia legislature.

The people spoke yesterday and they are far less in favor of amending the Commonwealth’s Bill of Rights to define marriage than is the legislature. The Virginia Senate, by the way, voted 100% for the amendment.

Although reported in the press at the time and well known to the opponents of this legislation, the politics of this measure deserve revisiting. This measure was spirited through the legislature at the beginning of this year’s session with remarkably little debate for so momentous an alteration to the state's highest law. And this was largely due to the obsessive crusade of Delegate Robert Marshall, to minimize the opportunity of the opposition to present fact and rational argument.

But it more importantly shows how a legislature, who often see their seats, due to the p…

Acknowledging the Delegate Marshall Effect

I’m sitting here in the early morning hours waiting to see if three of the possible four states undecided will swing the Senate. I’m disappointed but surprised at the outcome of the Virginia Marriage amendment. And I’m wondering – wondering what could have erased the knife-edge difference between Allen and Webb.

And it comes to me that there had to be a large number of religiously conservative voters who were motivated to the polls by the marriage amendment. Without those votes I would imagine that Webb would have won easily.

And the tireless crusading of one Virginia Delegate – Robert Marshall, largely propelled that marriage amendment.

Now should this eventually comedown to Webb losing and because of that loss the Senate remains under Republican control, then a lot of credit will go to Delegate Robert Marshall.

Who would have imagined that Mr. Marshall would have been in the position of king maker – of having tipped an election that tipped the Congress that tipped the balance of powe…

Will November 7th Be Virginia's Kristallnacht?

This is the type of crap being put out by supposed conservatives – this from the Cultural Insurrectionist blog. And most of these blogs supporting the Virginia Marriage Amendment are too cowardly to even post comments opposing their views – but I and others need to “out” these red neck bigots.

On the Cultural Insurrectionist blog is this sentence – I suggest you go to the blog to see the type of Brown Shirt bigotry that should be an embarrassment to all Virginians. This is an example of the type of arguments they present to their intellectually challenged audience.

“It is a sad day in our Commonwealth when such action has become necessary. George Washington, Virginia’s greatest son, had sodomites drummed out of his army.”

I say, grow up – that was over two hundred years ago.

Merriam-Webster definition of sodomy - anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex

From the National Center for Health Statistics: Among adult males 25-44 years of age, 97 percent have had sexu…

The Advantages of Marriage in Virginia

The following are the rights that are conferred on a married couple in Virginia:

>> Accidental death benefit for the surviving spouse of a government employee
>> Appointment as guardian of a minor
>> Award of child custody in divorce proceedings
>> Beneficial owner status of corporate securities
>> Bill of Rights benefits for victims and witnesses
>> Burial of service member's dependents
>> Certificates of occupation
>> Consent to post-mortem examination
>> Continuation of rights under existing homestead leases
>> Control, division, acquisition, and disposition of community property,
>> Criminal injuries compensation
>> Death benefit for surviving spouse for government employee
>> Disclosure of vital statistics records
>> Division of property after dissolution of marriage
>> Eligibility for housing opportunity allowance program of the Housing, Finance and Developmen…

A Discussion On The Virginia Marriage Amendment

To defend traditional marriage, as sacrosanct or impervious to change, just because you contend it has been that way, is not a sufficient argument. It is only an argument against change. We certainly have experienced significant drift in the notion, perception, and reality of marriage in Virginia in our lifetimes. A characterization of marriage and the state of marriage in the 1940’s and 1950’s is far different from that of today, whether we are in agreement with that change. The causes of these changes are widely known and have had the result of redefining the relationship between men and women in society, largely increasing the power and franchise of women relative to men.

These changes occurred outside the conversation on homosexuality in society.

To argue that same sex marriages are a dysfunction to society or in some way a threat to the institution of marriage would require a logical argument, so far not introduced. To argue that the purpose of marriage is the production and…

Gay Marriage Hasn't Hurt Europe

The Richmond Times Dispatch just published an article that was originally in the Wall Street Journal and should be required reading for anyone voting this Tuesday on the Virginia Marriage Amendment.

It should put to bed the arguments that same sex marriage will threaten traditional marriage, or that same sex marriage is a slippery slope to other forms of marriage.

Facts have already been proffered that being gay or lesbian is concluded by science to be a state of being and not a moral choice. And that theologians debate whether the scant applicable Bible verses even apply to gays and lesbians in committed relationships.

The legal consequences to unmarried couples are unknown:

Consider an unmarried couple, gay or straight, that decides in Virginia that they want to approximate the rights and benefits of marriage and who go to an attorney and pay untold amounts of money to have wills, contracts, visitation rights, declarations concerning life sustaining procedures, child custody, etc. etc…

The Iraq War Is Now Longer Than World War II

I recently lived in a middle class neighborhood in Riyadh for six years and I traveled extensively in Saudi and a bit in the Middle East. I don’t pretend to be an expert. But I knew quite a bit about the Sunni/Shia animosity. I had a rudimentary knowledge of the centuries old unresolved conflicts in the region. I had traveled in 22 countries.

But my experience here is more than our “C” grade president. Reports indicate that before the Iraqi war George Bush was not even familiar with Sunni and Shia divisions. He had never traveled outside the states. He had an appallingly scant worldview.

And now this “compassionate conservative”, this “I’m a uniter; not a divider” president is going around the country telling audiences that Democrats are “cut and run”, and implying ludicrously that a vote for Democrats is a vote for terrorists. Shame on him and shame on those who continue to support his policy in Iraq.

Democratic Senator Joe Biden has for some time argued a rational and pragmat…

Ted Haggard – The Face of Evangelical “Christians” – A Telling Video

This is a super video that shows the real face of evangelical “Christians” and their hypocritical ministry.

The Devil Masquerading As A Preacher Man

I have a habit of getting up far too early on Sunday mornings. At a time in the morning when it seems that almost every channel has some smarmy preacher in his sanctimonious preachy preacher voice conducting more of an anachronistic morality play than a contemporary discussion about good and evil and man’s search for spiritual uplift.

And unmistakably there comes a moment when the plate is passed, the pitch is made. Last Sunday there was even the opportunity to take a tropical vacation with the evangelist, where interspersed with some Bible readings the onboard congregation can delight in the wonders of God’s tropical paradise – and I’m sure give the pastor and his family a gratis cruise.

And here in Virginia we are seemingly blessed with the embarrassment of two of the extremes of this evangelical nonsense – Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. We have seen over the years the travails of the likes of many other evangelical scandals and it should surprise no thoughtful person that there …

Top 10 Consequences Of Voting Yes On The Virginia Marriage Amendment

The following is offered as there are opposing lists being circulated by the religious right. So, here are my Top 10 Consequences of Voting Yes on the Virginia Marriage Amendment.

1. Voting Yes is unnecessary, as marriage is already defined in Virginia by statute.

2. Voting Yes ignores the facts – ignores the accepted medicine and science on this subject.

3. Voting Yes to constitutionalize such a socially charged issue, in flux, is clearly in opposition to Jeffersonian Democracy.

4. Voting Yes is an unabashed ploy by cynical Republicans to get out their base.

5. Voting Yes is in opposition to the maintaining of a bright line between church and state.

6. Voting Yes could bring about a myriad of unintended consequences to unmarried heterosexual couples.

7. Voting Yes will continue to paint Virginia as a cultural backwater and an unfriendly place for the location of new high tech businesses.

8. Voting Yes will hardly benefit the thousands of children in gay families nor give hope to many orphan…