Blacknell.net

Politics, technology, and society. And the seasonal incursion of pro cycling.

Year: 2009 (Page 3 of 49)

Loudoun County: Over The Line?

So I've been joking (sorta) about Northern Virginia seceding from the rest of Virginia since, oh, about a year after I moved to Arlington (this makes it many many years).  In my original formulation, I was all about reconstituting the original DC - it was going to be Arlington & Alexandria re-forming with the District.  Then a year or so later, I realized that Falls Church isn't the sleepy 'burb I thought it was, and it would be unfair to leave them suffering in Virginia, so I added them in.  And then - as all successful political strategies must do - my vision compromised a bit, and morphed to include Fairfax County.  It's not really my kind of place (as best I can tell, anyway - I only ever see it from a bike path or Dulles Airport), but it seems to work for a lot of people, and any state I'm going to help form has to have an international airport.  So.  That's the plan that I've been pushing at parties for the past decade.  Now?  Well, perhaps it's time to consider another addition.* Loudoun County. I know, I know.  Why would I want a place that is mostly low-tax-base horse farms** in a political unit that is otherwise urban/suburban?   And nevermind the political makeup, right?  I mean, the whole point of something like secession is being able to pick your friends, no?  For example, a friend in Loudoun recently wrote to tell me about a situation where:
A local committee was working to evaluate what to do with all the requests that come in throughout the year to use our County courthouse lawn here in Leesburg. They decided not to allow any use because there we so many applications for things such as bands. Many of the locals (many religious folks) protested because that would also mean no annual Christmas tree or nativity scene. Well the supervisors backed down to this protest and now are allowing up to 10 holiday "displays".
Totally not the kind of place that would fit in with the new state, right?  Except, well, here are summaries for the seven applications pending for the 10 spaces available for display:
* The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1177, in Leesburg, has applied to put up a Christmas tree from Dec. 10 through Jan. 1. Post members would provide the tree. * Along with the VFW, the Knights of Columbus Holy Family Council #6831, of Leesburg, is applying to place a Christmas tree from Dec. 10 to Jan. 1. The tree would be provided by the organization, which would also provide the installation and removal of the tree on the requested days. * Leesburg resident Dennis Welsh has requested to place a crche, or Nativity scene, on the southwest corner of the grounds. * Loudoun Interfaith Bridges has requested permission to put up an interfaith display to include a Menorah, crescent, and Sikh display to honor the Jewish, Muslim and Sikh holidays in December. The group is requesting that the display go up the week of Dec. 14 or Dec. 21, in the corner with the crche. * Leesburg resident Richard L. Wingrove is requesting the placing of a six-foot banner provided by Freedom From Religion Foundation, saying "At This Season of the Winter Solstice, May Reason Prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural World. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." Wingrove is requesting the banner be placed in same area as the Nativity scene. * Sugarland Run resident Edward R. Myers is applying for three signs to be placed on the fence around the courthouse in time for the Leesburg holiday parade to commemorate the Dec. 15 anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights. Myers put together a parody of the "12 Day of Christmas" song to include "12 master debaters, 11 cunning linguists, 10 percent jobless, 9 niggardly noobs, 8-speech as gay tweets, 7 teabagger tools, 6-ting safety screws, 5 birther-control rings, 4 sucky health care, 3-dom disappearing, 2 many bills and a red FCUK to you too."
Any place that can produce that last application? Has a place in my future state. *No, no, not Prince William.  Are you crazy?  That nutjob county is welcome to form its own country, fence and everything.  I'll help them build it. **Actually, I don't know if this is true.  Like Fairfax, 95% of my experience with Loudoun is from the seat of my bike.  And?  There's a lotta horse farms.

ABC Celebrates the True Meaning of Christmas . . .

by massacring A Charlie Brown Christmas to fit in more commercials.

Arlington Street Naming

Another interesting post over at GreaterGreaterWashington - an explanation of Arlington's street naming methodology.

He Said “Caulk”

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Most Immature Montage Ever - Cash for Caulkers
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Sign ‘O The Times

Damn.

The Official Guide to How the TSA Will Treat You

This post links to the TSA's screening point operations manual.  Seems that someone at TSA had the bright idea to post it in a rather weakly redacted manner.  We'll skip over the fact that the entire document itself seems to be marked SSI (that is, Sensitive Security Information - not to be disclosed), and shouldn't have been posted at all - redacted or otherwise.  We'll go straight to noting that it was redacted using the same pointless method that has been derided since . . . the late 90s?  Which means, of course, that we all get to see which passports send you straight to secondary screening, which putative bans aren't enforced, etc.   In the end, it's a lot of terribly unsurprising stuff, but the point is that the super duper triple probation secrets that the TSA has be working so hard to keep obscure are all, well, kinda stupid.  I think we'd all be better off knowing and understanding these guidelines in the first place.

December 7th

I wasn't born there, but Hawaii was where we lived when I first started sorting out the concept of the globe.  I have to admit, it didn't make a lot of sense when I first conceived that WWII (which was everywhere at the time, in Hawaii - from the rusted anti-aircraft guns on the beach to a giant cross marking Kole Kole Pass) was in large part about killing Japanese people.  Because, umm, weren't the grandparents of my friends at school or the older people on the beach Japanese, too?  And now, decades later?  Better understood, but still the same reaction of horror, on a personal level.   But marking December 7th was always an important yearly event, and I'll always note December 7th, 7:51am.

Obama on Mel Brooks

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And for the record, I believe that Blazing Saddles is the pinnacle of comedy.  I thought that when I was 10, and I'm certain of it now.

Sunday Music: Mealtime

Dig this - I'm sure you haven't heard it:

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Didn't know Dead Prez had done this:

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And this?  A household favorite:

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LBJ in Pakistan

There's no particular point to me posting a link to this story, other than me thinking that it's fantastic.  LBJ, in Pakistan, making friends with a dude on the side of the road.  Seriously, click it.

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