I never left the party. The party left me.

This year’s election started off looking brilliant.  The GOP had such a deep bench of candidates that would have been amazing.  Then the Trump Train idiots just shat the bed.  I promised in my last post that I would change party affiliation if Donald was awarded the GOP nomination.  Unlike Alec Baldwin and so many others, I keep my promises.  Here’s the evidence:

 

16-07-18-partychange

 

I am now officially “Unaffiliated.”  I stand by my choice to refuse to vote for Donald Trump.  He represents everything I am against.  He is a conman who is only looking out for himself.  I’ve said the very beginning that his campaign was never supposed to be more than a pr stunt for his TV show.  Then the Social Justice Warrior crowd went at him over his “build a wall!” comments and got him fired from his show.  At that point, the Donald can not just sit back and allow himself to be humiliated, so he kicked the rhetoric into high gear.  Media, even conservative media, loved him because he was so bombastic, he was great for ratings and clicks.  Those of us who are #NeverTrump warned that he was not a good candidate.  Several of us begged for us to coalesce behind either Rubio or Cruz.  The longer the primary dragged on, the more clear it was that Cruz had the best chance.  But it was too late.

2016election-allthenopesI wanted to jump to the Libertarians.  I like the Libertarian platform in many respects.  I generally disagree with them on the view of pot & foreign policy, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t work with.  Then the Libertarians shat their bed by picking Democrat-lite Gary Johnson.  Pro-abortion, anti-religious freedom…  I just can’t.

So for the first time in my 21 years of voting — I will not be voting for the office of President.  I will go vote for the down-ticket races.  But I can not in good conscience select any of the choices we have for President this year. Hillary is a proven liar with a long record of corruption.  Trump is a con man, who has already changed his mind about everything he’s promised so far.  Johnson is the least Libertarian Libertarian I’ve ever seen.  As for Jill Stein, her platform is just the worst for our already struggling economy.  If a good candidate would mount a decent write-in campaign between now and November, maybe I’ll throw a vote their direction, but that’s not likely to happen.

I urge everyone to research their local candidates.  In Maryland, you can see who will be on your ballot on the State Election Board Website.  I will be supporting Kathy Szeliga for Senate and Mark Arness for the House of Representatives. I still have to research on my local county officials and judges.

Setting the Record Straight, WaPo Reporter Misquotes Police Chief.

** Cross-posted at DanaLoeschRadio.com Check out Dana’s book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America, for more information about the Second Amendment**

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) held a round table event in Largo, Maryland, on October 23, 2015, called, “Ending Gun Violence in America: Healing our Communities.”  I had no idea this event was happening in my area so I was not there.  Based on the Senator’s Twitter feed, it was really an opportunity for him to push the Democrats newly-released and highly-flawed “Gun Violence Prevention Principles.”

It seems an oddly timed coincidence that Cardin’s event preaching the evils of gun shows, and perpetuating the mythical “loophole”, was held the day before the Gun Show returns to PG County’s Showplace Arena for the first time since 2013.  Considering the County Executive has made it clear that he does not like guns shows at all, and all the outrageous restrictions placed on this year’s show (No live ammo is allowed on the premises at all, among other restrictions and fees), this tweet from today’s event caught my attention:

WaPo-1
I just couldn’t believe it!  My hometown police chief advocating for dealers to be held responsible for buyer’s actions? It just seemed a bit out there.  So I wrote to Chief Gonnella.  Here’s his response:

UMPDChiefResponse

Notice, the Chief is referring to people who purchase for someone who cannot legally purchase.  That is the definition of a straw purchase, not a “seller” as Ms. Hernandez had tweeted.  I quickly tweeted the screen-capped email to my followers, so that everyone who was as floored by the suggestion Ms. Hernandez had tweeted would get to see the other side of the story.

But this story does not end there.  After seeing the email exchange, Ms. Hernandez asked me how what she had tweeted was different from what the Chief had written in his email.  That’s how I found myself discussing the difference between a “seller” and a “straw purchaser” with a WaPo reporter while making dinner for my family.

Eventually, after dodging my requests for Chief Gonnella’s full quote as she had written it in her notebook, Ms. Hernandez admitted that she wasn’t as clear as she should have been with her initial tweet, and blamed twitters 140 character limit for the misunderstanding.

WaPo-2

She also seems to be saying that since the quote was not included in the story on the event, it wasn’t a big deal.  However, what Ms. Hernandez did not know, was that her tweet had already been shared with at least one local political discussion group, and there were now people on both that group and twitter who were absolutely shocked at what the original tweet claimed Chief Gonnella had said.  By contacting the Chief, I was able to set the record straight in both locations, and hopefully prevent a man from being smeared with a false representation of his opinion.

Hopefully, after this misunderstanding, Ms. Hernandez has learned a little bit about gun laws, and the power of words.

Asperger’s Syndrome, The Second Amendment, and The Value of Life.

I went on The Dana Show during the second hour of the radio show, which is now broadcast on TheBlazeTv, to talk about Asperger’s Syndrome.  Once again, Asperger’s has been thrust into the national limelight under the worst circumstances.  I’m not even going to link to any of the myriad of news articles all screaming “The killer had Asperger’s! OMG! He wasn’t taking his medication!” As I explained to Dana, it’s all a load of bull-puckey.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is NOT a mental illness, it is a neurological difference.  There is no medication for Asperger’s Syndrome.  Let me repeat that.  There is NO medication for Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is often co-morbid with other issues that would be medicated, but Asperger’s Syndrome has no cure.

(Check out my “Not weird, just wired differently” line at Cafe Press)

Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of high-functioning autism.  Technically, after the latest updates to the DSM-5, Asperger’s is no longer an official diagnoses, but I digress. Typically, what separates an Aspie from a higher-function autistic person is their language skills.  Aspies can talk, quite well. Aspies tend to be very literal, and have to learn sarcasm.  They don’t generally look people in the eyes, often because the amount of emotion and input in the eyes is overwhelming.  Aspies also don’t pick up on social cues, things like body language and facial expressions, which makes them generally outcasts or targets for bullies.  Some Aspies pace, or flap their hands, or clap, scream, or whatever when overly emotional or over stimulated.  For me personally, I close my eyes to talk to shut out other stimuli so I can concentrate on what I’m saying.  I also tend to use headphones and music to block out the world when I’m overwhelmed or need to shut out distractions so I can stay on task.

I also struggle with depression. Depression is just one of several issues that can coincide with Asperger’s Syndrome.  I am well aware that Depression lies. In my case, I’m medicated.  My “Happy Pills” help me to keep my emotions level.  I’m blessed to have an amazing support system.  My husband picks up the slack around the house when I’m struggling to keep myself together. He’s always there to talk me through the worst of it.  A few weeks ago, I hit a rough patch where I just had too many feels.  He let me rant, rave, and cry.  My mom is amazing, and has talked me through some tough spots, and reminds me that I need to take care of the one that needs me most at the moments, and sometimes, that’s me.  My family has always been ready to pitch in and lend a hand when I need them, just as I do for them when they need help.

When I see people declaring that we need restrict the rights of the “mentally ill”, I get concerned. Ya’ll are talking about me. As I told Dana, I believe the real conversation needs to be the value of life. America no longer values life. As long as we continue to treat life as disposable, these types of tragic events will continue. 

 

In which I criticize Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan

I love Governor Hogan, and I think he’s doing a great job in Maryland.  I love that he’s been able to balance the budget without raising our taxes again. Reducing the tolls, while it doesn’t affect me, seems like a great move to make MD more friendly to tourists and truckers.  I personally appreciate the military retirement tax relief increase.  This particular post has become even harder to write after the Governor announced he had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, and just started chemo to treat & hopefully beat his cancer.  Lord knows my prayers are with him and his family as they go through this difficult time.

hogan-raintaxrepealBut I’ve got a major beef with his current push to take credit for repealing the “rain tax.”  He did not repeal the tax. He repealed the state mandate that the affected counties had to charge a fee.  The federal mandate that those specific counties continue to come up with money to fund the storm water clean up still continues. Three counties have either never enacted the fee in the first place, or repealed their “rain tax” fee.  Baltimore County reduced its fee by a third.  But so far, none of the other counties have tried to repeal their fees. In my home county of Prince George’s, the County Executive Rushern Baker has already said that he will not attempt to reduce or repeal the fee in PG County.  He told the Baltimore Sun that he’d have to slash things like education to come up with the federally mandated funds. So it is disingenuous for Governor Hogan and his team to sit in Annapolis and brag about “repealing the rain tax.”

Then there’s the purple line fiasco. The Governor rightly rejected the Red line in Baltimore as the money-pit that it is, but he said the Purple line would go forward, provided Montgomery and PG County pony up more cash.  Really, he should have just vetoed it outright.  The counties now have to decide if they think it’s worth it to raise taxes in order to pay for it, because neither county has any extra cash to throw at this project.  Montgomery County is dealing with the fall out from a double-taxation lawsuit they lost. PG County barely got a budget passed after they raised property taxes for the first time since 1979, possibly in violation of TRIM. It’s once again disingenuous for Governor Hogan and his team to say they approved the Purple Line.  In reality, it’s been approved conditionally, and those conditions are very unlikely to be met without counties raising taxes on their citizens.   I’m hoping this is just some sort of strategic move on his part to try to save the state some money and appease some voters while turning public sentiment against the idea.

All in all, I like Governor Hogan, and I think he’s doing the best job he can.  His handling of the Baltimore Riots was spot on, despite all the shade Mayor Rawlings-Blake tries to throw at him for it.  I wish him nothing but the best of luck in getting cooperation out of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.  He tried to get the automatic increase in the gas tax stopped, but couldn’t get it through the General Assembly. I just wish that he would take this opportunity to educate the people about the federal mandates that kill the state and local budgets.  I also hope that his wording of the “rain tax repeal” doesn’t come back to bite him in the rear.

 

PG County Executive & Council Chairman in a Pissing Match; Taxpayers Get Soaked.

Short version:

The PG County Executive, Rushern Baker, wants a double-digit property tax increase to fund schools, and is using a 2012 state law to get around the limits and requirements in the PG County Charter. The Council, led by Chairman Mel Franklin, vetoed the 15% increase, replaced it with a 4% increase, and added a penny increase to the Parks & Planning tax rate. Mr. Baker said that wasn’t good enough, vetoed the Council’s budget. The Council overrode his veto, which pissed Mr. Baker off. So he vetoed their budget again, and sent back one with an 11% increase in Property tax, and threatened legal action if the council didn’t pass his budget. The Council has once again overridden the County Executive’s budget, and passed their version.

Meanwhile, the taxpayers will see their property taxes increase, as well as their phone bills and the cost of various permits and licenses, despite very public outcry against the increases. Taxpayers are left feeling like no one is listening, and the only question now is how much will taxes increase.

 

pgcopissingmatch-sm

The TL;DR version:

Back in 1978, the citizens of Prince George’s County did something absolutely brilliant.  They passed a law that capped their property tax rate at the 1979 rate, affectionately known as TRIM (Tax Reform Initiative by Marylanders).  When TRIM was challenged in 1996, the voters in this very blue county not only upheld TRIM, but also passed into law the Approval of New or Additional Taxes by Referendum, which said the county government could NOT raise any taxes without asking the public to vote on it.

People who have been involved in PG County Politics much longer than I remember the Park & Planning Surplus scheme.  Fast forward to the height of the housing bubble in about 2005/2006. Maryland has this thing called the “Homestead Tax Credit” which was very helpful to families who saw their property assessments soaring.  The Homestead Tax Credit capped the amount your property tax bill could rise each year to 10% of the previous year’s assessment.  Thing was, the PG County half of the Maryland-National Capitol Park & Planning Commission had long before decided that the Homestead Tax Credit did NOT apply to it.  So P&P was taxing people on the full assessed property values, not the Homestead Tax Credit capped values.  This resulted in a HUGE surplus of cash sitting in the PG M-NCPPC account.  Once the folks in the county government realized how much extra there was, they started lining up with their hands out and a list of projects to do.  P&P also had ideas for the money, as they had their own list of maintenance issues and whatnot that needed attention.  Everything was rolling along so well.

Then the housing bubble burst. When the county went to the state delegation for funding, the state delegates took one look at the beefy account in P&P, and said use that money to plug the holes until the economy turns around.  That right there was a violation of the taxpayer’s trust, as money that had been taken for use in parks and such was now being used to fill the holes all across the county budget. But the economy didn’t recover as fast as hoped, and the county had to keep raiding the P&P fund to fund the budget.  That is until Martin O’Malley signed a bill restricting Park & Planning to the Homestead Tax Credit assessed value levels in 2010.  After that, the money quickly dried up, and P&P was left with a HUGE list of projects, and an ever-shrinking bank account to fund everything.

In 2012, one of the constant attempts by government officials to circumvent TRIM got approved in Annapolis, under Martin O’Malley.  The State Delegation from PG County supported SB 848 2012, also known as the Education Maintenance of Effort bill. SB848 allows county governments to violate the taxing restrictions in their charters for the express purpose of “maintaining the effort” for the county school system.  “Maintenance of Effort” is defined in the bill as the level of funding from last year, and the bill makes it next to impossible to cut education spending at all.  Any reduction in education spending must be granted a waiver from the state.  Operating any large system like this and not allowing the potential for cuts leads to a situation ripe for corruption, cronyism, and abuse.  Just recently the entire school board gave up their county credit cards because of wasteful, fraudulent spending on the part of several members.

County Executive Baker has his eyes on higher office.  It’s well known to anyone who follows PG County politics that Mr. Baker wants to take a shot at the Governor’s Mansion.  According to the Washington Post, “He told residents and business leaders that rehabilitating the education system would be the centerpiece of his legacy.”  He needs to drastically improve the school system, especially since he took it over just a few years ago, in order to have something he can use in his campaign for Governor.  So SB 848 2012 is the bill that Mr. Baker is using to claim he can raise property taxes in PG County by whatever amount he deems necessary for the school system.  Mr. Baker wants to is increase school funding dramatically, and he assumes that the citizens will go along with it because “it’s for the kids.”  He started asking for a 133 million dollar increase, then tried to settle for a 65 million dollar increase. The County Council will only approve a 34 million dollar increase.  There is a group of citizens, PG Tax Watch, who want to fight any increase, claiming that SB 848 2012 doesn’t apply here, and they may be right.  However, they will face an uphill battle as the State’s Attorney General’s office has already come down on the side of the County Executive. The one thing the letter from the AG’s office does not address though, is whether SB 848 2012 can be used to increase school funding. PG County has more than enough in the budget to fund the school at last year’s level without raising taxes, therefore, neither increase is needed to meet the Maintenance of Effort.

Meanwhile, the County Council, led by Chairman Mel Franklin, have declared that simply throwing money at the school system is not going to fix the myriad of problems there.  They want to increase funding for P&P instead. It seems that P&P told the Council & Executive that they are operating in a deficit this year, but have enough in the bank to cover next year.  After that though, they will be in big trouble, financially.  Councilman Franklin is rumored to have his eyes on the County Executive job when they both term limit out in 2018.  The last thing he wants to do right now is enforce a double digit increase in the property tax.  He realizes that’s political suicide. Instead, he wants to do a much smaller increase, a 4% increase that looks completely reasonable up against Mr. Baker’s proposal of 15%. He also wants to plug that hole in P&P because one of the projects that has gotten underway is a HUGE new aquatic & recreation center near Gwynn Park High School.  It’s one of the things he promised to bring to the area, and he wants to deliver.

Baker’s original proposed budget got shot down by Franklin & Co.  He got upset and vetoed their version of the budget, and resubmitted his own again.  They overrode his veto, and sent their budget back to him.  Baker then got really upset and vetoed the Council’s budget a second time, and vaguely threatened legal action if they don’t pass his budget.  The Franklin-led council promptly overrode Baker’s veto a second time, and essential told Baker to “bring it.”  Now the county’s budget is in limbo while we all await the County Executive’s next move.

Shannon Watts Thinks the NRA is Scared of Her.

The hypocrisy of the Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action & More Franzia (Thanks for that one Dana!) is shown clearly on twitter by its founder Shannon Watts.

ShannonWattsBlockedNRA

She is currently bragging about being blocked by the NRA twitter account.  She says that means the NRA is clearly scared of her, which means her group is totally winning ya’ll.  Yet this woman has blocked so many, including hundreds of mothers, who are 2A supporters, that there is a hashtag!  Scroll through the #ImBlockedByShannonWatts stream on twitter. Lo. It is amazing.

Of course, coming from a woman who had her ARMED security guards push and shove Dana Loesch (whose new book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America, is one on my list to get and read ASAP), because Dana has been an ardent critic of Moms Demand, and wanted Shannon to clear up several lies she had been telling about Dana.

So, if the fact that the NRA blocked her means they are scared and she is winning, by her own logic, she must be completely terrified of anyone who voices a viewpoint that is different from her own.

Irony. Thy name is Shannon Watts.

A Response to Feminist Frequency (@FemFreq)

Friday October 24, 2014, there was a school shooting in Washington state.  A boy, believed to be upset over a girl, walked into a cafeteria and shot five kids, then himself.  In response, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency said this:

— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) October 24, 2014

Anita’s reinforcement of a negative stereotype – that males are “always” the aggressors in these situations – is offensive.  I am the mother of two boys.  Anita’s actions here only serve to hurt my boys, and men in general.  Not only that, but her statement is false.  I perused the roster at Murderpedia, and found 15 examples of female mass shooters.

"I hate Mondays"

“I hate Mondays”

And last, but certainly not least, the O.G. of mass school shootings – Brenda Spencer. Brenda’s story is chilling.  I urge you to go read it. When asked why she shot at an elementary school yard full of kids, she said simply, “I hate Mondays.” These are just the names I found in a quick 15 minute search of one website.  This list could be extended much longer if you were to accept mass murder, including the female weapon of choice – an automobile. Meanwhile, you know what Anita is NOT using her Feminist Frequency account to do?  Anita has not attempted to speak out on behalf of the girl on twitter that most people believe to be the shooter’s ex girlfriend. This poor girl, who is likely still alive as she went to a different school & is not one of the names being circulated as a victim, is getting all kinds of hate and vitriol from twitter trolls.  Everything from “you’re a slut” to:

Yes, you read that right.  Some fool on twitter is advocating for the ex-girlfriend to stand trial for murders committed by a boy. This girl is being savaged online right now, on twitter, instagram, and likely everywhere else people have found her social media.  Yet Anita has not spoken out against it. This poor girl is the real victim here, moreso than anything else.  Yet what is Anita’s response to the inevitable push-back from her inane comments?


That’s right. It’s all about her. She said something stupid, got some blow-back for it, and our culture is so sick because of it. Yes, Anita. Our culture is sickening. But not for the reasons you think. It’s sick to think that we live in a world where the first reaction to a school shooting is to blame all males.  It’s sick to think that we live in a world where feminists hold up Beyonce & her wall of butts as an example of a great feminist, but do nothing to support a young teenage girl who is most certainly going through hell right now.  It’s sickening that the first reaction of a school shooting for far too many people is to politicize it. It’s sickening that people like Piers Morgan, Shannon Watts, and their ilk automatically default to blaming the NRA and people like Dana Loesch for events like this.  It’s sickening the amount of hatred and vitriol spewed at anyone who dares to push back in support of the Second Amendment.  It’s sickening that organizations like Project ChildSafe not only get their funding cut, but get no love from the press & groups like Everytown & Moms Demand.

But most of all, it’s sickening that we live in a world where life has so little value.  Babies are disposable, disease is an acceptable excuse to off yourself with so-called dignity, assisted suicide is becoming more popular, and a teenager doesn’t blink when shooting his cousin in the face. That, Ms. Sarkeesian, is what is truly sickening about our current culture. And until we begin to see the value in life, nothing will change.

So please, Ms. Sarkeesian, keep your male-hating #Matriarchy to yourself.  Don’t make life harder for my boys than it already is.

WTF Secret Service?

We all heard about the White House fence jumper who made it just inside the front doors, that turned out to be a veteran on anti-depressants, possibly with PTSD, a gimpy foot, and rambling about the atmosphere collapsing.  In the days that followed, we learned that he had all kinds of ammo & weaponry in his car, and that he had been stopped multiple times before, including one time in VA with a shotgun & a map of the White House. We even learned that the Secret Service had been notified about him.

But as shocking as all of that was, we learned yesterday that Omar Gonzalez got much farther than previously admitted.  He got all the way to the southern wall in the East Room.  Here’s a map courtesy of the Washington Post:

Jumper's Route From the Washington Post

So… This dude with a gimpy foot managed to hop the fence, run across the yard, get in the front door, overpower a guard, turn the corner, and get to the southern end of the East Room.  Really Secret Service? really-amy-poehlerReally?

Then we learn that the White House Usher staff had the alarm box inside the front door muted, supposedly because the alarm kept sounding off randomly.  So rather than get the alarm fixed, we just turned down the volume.  Really Secret Service? Really?

Chaffetz said he plans to ask Pierson how an alarm meant to alert officers to intruders could be silenced or turned down. The congressman said two people inside the agency told him that boxes were silenced because the White House usher staff, whose office is near the front door, complained that they were noisy. A Secret Service official told The Post that the usher’s office was concerned the boxes were frequently malfunctioning and unnecessarily sounding off.

“If true, the fact that crash boxes were muted to avoid being ‘disruptive’ is not due to a lack of resources or an insufficient number of checkpoints or barriers,” Chaffetz said.

He called the incident a “failure of leadership” by the Secret Service.

“The agency needs a solution that goes deeper than more fences and more people,” Chaffetz said. “It must examine what message is being sent to the men and women who protect the president when their leader sacrifices security to appease superficial concerns of White House ushers.” (WaPo)

This is flaming ridiculous.  I don’t care who is in the White House. Columbian hookers  aside, this kind of lapse in security is unforgivable.  If Gonzalez had been wearing a suicide vest, we’d be talking about a terror attack INSIDE the White House.

But you know what? Maybe we should go easy on the Secret Service. They all probably have contact highs from hanging with President Choom Gang.

VA State Legislators Tell City Council to Get in Line

“If you want to have the state involved … there’s a lot of projects that are in front of it,” Delegate Chris Jones R-76 said. “You have to get in line, and it has to be a priority.”

via Legislators discuss library | The Suffolk News-Herald.

Last year, I worked with the Suffolk Chapter of the Hampton Roads Tea Party, and we got the city to postpone the library project, a replacement of Morgan Memorial Library, a perfectly fine library near the heart of downtown.  They had planned to spend 1.5 million dollars buying up the land, for a library they were not projecting to build until sometime after 2019.  It seemed a ridiculous waste of money considering they were already planning to raise taxes, and did NOT have the full 9 million extra the school system was requesting.  So City Council was forced to defer the project.

This year, they’ve partnered with Paul De Camp Community College for 2 reasons.  First, to try to get grant money from the state to fund the project. Second, to make the Tea Party types shut up about it, because how could we possibly be against education?  /eyeroll

The new library will be on the corner of Lee & West Washington, where there are several houses & business right now, so that land would have to bought and taken off the tax rolls.  Also, it will cost $22 MILLION dollars!  That’s twice the cost of the new city hall!

Our illustrious mayor, Ms. Linda Johnson, has said in the past that she really wants this library project to go forward. She honestly believes that if we have a spiffy new library across from our spiffy new City Hall, that people will just love to hang out there.  Because, oh yes – when I think of where I want to go hang out and relax, I think City Hall.  /eyeroll   No, I am not joking. She actually said that.  You’d have to go through the archives of the City Council meeting discussing the project, but it’s there.

So the Council really wants this project, but they know they will face resistance again.  They joined up with PDCCC to try to circumvent the resistance by getting state money.  However, state legislators are telling them that the money won’t come from the state anytime soon.  LOL!

Dear citizens of Suffolk, be prepared, and start fighting this NOW!  Go to council meetings and speak up during the Non-Agenda Speakers time!  Start telling the council NOW that this project needs to stop, the city does not have the money, and the legislators have made it clear that the money won’t be coming from the state anytime soon.