Sunday, December 31, 2006

On Language - Democrat and Hanged

To all conservative bloggers:
I am proposing a New Year's resolution for those conservatives among us who offer our opinions to general public via various forms of mass media:

Saddam Hussein was sentenced to HANG by the neck until dead. Yesterday, shortly before 6 a.m. Baghdad time, Saddam Hussein was HANGED. OK? Not hung. Please, let's not give moonbats and the otherwise lazy-minded any more base material from which to draw by using the proper terminolgy, hmmmmm?

Also, can we PLEASE resolve to NOT to use the word Democrat as an adjective? It really does make you look stupid. Look into the mirror and say "Democrat plans," or "Democrat talking points." See how stupid you look? And by association you make the rest of us conservatives look stupid, too. There is an added bonus by using the adjective 'Democratic' properly. You don't have to keep qualifying the word in speech by say: "...with a captial D."

Mike Netherland

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Re: SP Middle School Options

A pretty large crowd of mostly teachers, CAC-members, AACo school board and AA County Council members were on hand last night to force the $58 million Severna Park Middle School replacement down the throats of homeowners like me.

School board member Vic Bernson did his best to summarize the pros and cons of each capital improvement option for befuddled voters like me. One of the "options," he said, really is not an option because his colleagues have pretty much ruled out the modernization plans. Instead, the choice is really between the Revitalization Plan and the Replacement Plan.

Councilwoman Cathy Vitale called for the meeting to help county officials make up their minds as to how to spend capital improvement funds that have been budgeted for the school. So much for the need to have "qualified" experts sitting on the school board. At the end of the presentation she asked for a show of hands. I was the only one voting against the Replacement Plan.

If this thing passes, I am going to buy a bullhorn and stand 100 feet from people's houses and read from the Kapital news article about how "everyone enthusiastically supported" the replacement option. Then ask them if they want to buy my house. "But, Mike, new schools means real estate," bubbled one of my enthusiastic neighbors, whose house is deep enough into Chartridge that she'll never hear a single power-tool.

Yet another reason for an "elected" school board.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Day After Tomorrow....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Netherland <>
Date: Nov 8, 2006 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: [ThePublicSquare] memo

Dear folks,
I think we all need to spend the weekend with a good bottle of red wine, dim lighting and aroma therapy candles. Put on Kansas' "Point of Know Return" or Dave Brubeck's Greatest Hits CD on a loop and think.

Think about what doesn't work. If I hear one more "Republican" say that we have to reach out to the Democrats, or that we have to reach across the aisle and compromise, I will scream.

This is what "compromise" has wrought. I don't think Michael Steele did us or himself any favors by running away from the Party. I don't think any of the Republicans did themselves or the country any favors by running away from the President.

What we need to do, and it's why I set up this group, is to come to terms with conservatism in this county and in this state. We need to be able to AR..TIC..U..LATE the conservative message. We need to be able to spank our own when they veer off. We need to have the guts to look them in the eye and say "No, I'm sorry but you are WAY OFF, man!"

Above all, we must eschew the politically correct. We must stop saying things we think people want to hear, things that we think might appeal to 63.5 percent of the audience. We must abandon the polls and the pollsters.

If we do this, we may have a shot at taking back Congress and maybe holding on to the Oval Office. If we don't, you better get used to hearing, reading and even uttering the words President Clinton again.
Mike Netherland

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Iraq War was a Mistake

I am waiting for the sixth seal. I don't recall what the first three were but surely the fourth and fifth are on display this week. Kirsten Powers of Fox News is using Jonah Goldberg Of National Review Online, who up until today I always considered God's gift to literate conservatives, as a new club to smash the argument supporting the war on terror.

To her credit, Ms Powers, true to her form, doesn't gloat at having found in Mr. Goldberg's recent column a new tool in the liberal jihad to discredit the Bush administration. And it is to his eternal disgrace that Mr. Goldberg has allowed himself to used in this way. It is difficult to know with whom to deal first. I have a new-found respect for Ms Powers as the voice of reason among a Democratic party increasingly influenced, if not dominated by the shrill and obtuse left wing. And one must constantly remind oneself that while she is neither shrill nor obtuse, she is also not a Republican. This simple fact, regardless of her background and current notoriety as a reasonable Democrat, has to stand athwart the blogosphere and shout "She is a Democrat!" to borrow a phrase.

And as a proud Democratic activist, she will work against an agenda supported, up until he fell from grace, by Mr. Goldberg. Not that I am big fan of the Republican Party these days. The only good thing I can say about Republicans is that they ain't Democrats. So it is more than a shock that Mr. Goldberg has joined the ranks of conservative pundits who have willingly and knowingly thrown themselves into the dark and greasy deep part of the liberal tool box. You know, where you put the big tools like the monkey wrench and vice-grips, under the top tray of the smaller, frequently-used ones.

The problem for me and others like me, is that Mr. Goldberg's capitulation makes life that much harder. Yes, I've read his piece, over and over, hoping that I've missed his trade-mark tongue-in-cheekism. No. He is seriously wrestling with all that he knows to be true, and losing out, pinned to the mat by ...Kirsten Powers! Simply by saying "The Iraq war was a mistake," Mr. Goldberg is implicitly calling for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, who Ms Powers somehow blames for the protracted conflict. Mr. Goldberg throws Rummy to the wolves, a man among men, arguably the toughest and most effective Secretary of Defense this country has ever had and will likely ever have again, thanks in part to Mr. Goldberg's desparate "third-way."

With a stroke Mr. Goldberg joins the indistinguishable blob of "I support the troops" but not the war or the President and "Now that we are there..." And so with that rambling rant, I address Mr. Goldberg:

Dear Mr. Goldberg,
The only mistake we as a nation made in Iraq is waiting until after 9-11 to invade. We should have invaded the first time Saddam fired on our pilots patrolling the no-fly zones established in the aftermath of the Gulf War. But of course, we were being "led" by Bill Clinton who had more important things on his "mind."

After 9-11, all Americans should thank God that Al Gore did not win the election. After 9-11, war was inevitable. We, as a proud nation demanded it and all our politicians except Dennis Kucinich authorized it. We invaded Afghanistan. We were victorious in that engagement. But now the Taliban are still restive....Mullah Omar and bin Laden, still on the lam. Our troops continue to die in Afghanistan. Abject failure? Should we ask the Afghans to vote for continued U.S. military presence there?

The only mistake George Bush made in "rushing" to war with Iraq was "rushing" to war. For nearly two years, we rushed. The Bush administration rushed to the UN, thanks to Colin Powel, three times at least. If anyone is to blame for the problems we are experiencing now in Iraq, it is our former Secretary of State. Not our current Secretary of Defense. Now Saddam may have been a madman, but he was certainly not stupid or naive. The rush was agonizing. I keep thinking of that scene in Monty Python and The Holy Grail, where the murderous knight of the round table is spied rushing the castle gate by an alert guard. Over and over again the alert guard observers the suspicious knight rushing at the gate. Finally, the knight is suddenly upon the alert guard who is put to the sword. Unlike the guard, Sadddam and our other adversaries actually did something when is was apparent to the non-brain-dead that the U.S. would invade.

I am convinced that had we not invaded Iraq, that Saddam's playground would have been taken over much as Lebanon has by Hezbollah. The great difference of course is oil. It is, literally, black gold and would have been diverted to ever more diabolical acts of terror against the West. The terrorists dominated by al-Quiada would have used Hussein's Iraq like they had used the Taliban's Afghanistan. And so Iraq was the next logical step. The only options were 1. wait until bin Laden had set up shop in a quite place such as northeast or western Iraq from which to plan an attack on Chicago after which we could invade with a search warrant while we buried and grieved for thousands more dead American civilians, or 2. invade Iraq BEFORE bin Laden has a chance to set up shop.

These were the only two options. Which one would you pick?

Mike Netherland

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Le Figaro Cave-In - My Posted Comments

*****UPDATE -- The nice folks at Extreme Center have nothing to do with Le Figaro. To confess, I saw a whole lot of French writing and, well, I couldn't resist. I saw (in what I now know are lists of Extreme Center editors' Likes and Dislikes, in French) what looked like a strange contradiction and went wild. I herewith apologize to the three people who read my blog for misleading them.*****

My take on the latest French appeasment of the Islamists at the expense of everything we hold dear. Read Michelle's Malkin's blog on recent editorials published in Europe that are critical of the recent conduct of Muslim extremists, and the comparative history of Islam, Christianity and Judaism by German Professor Egon Flaig.

These editorials come on the heels of the sudden extreme sensitivity to religious adherents by the artistic community. In Berlin, the German Opera House decided to cancel a production of Mozart's Idemeneo. The modern production featured the severed heads of Jesus, Buddah and, you guessed it, Mohammed. The production wasn't cancelled out of respect for Christians or Bhuddists, but out of admitted fear of violence against members of the production company as well as against the Opera House and the surrounding community.

Initially, Le Figaro defended philosophy teacher Robert Redeker who has had to go into hiding under police protection (no word, yet on the fate of German Professor Egon Flaig).

Then a day later came the subjugation. I posted the following comment on the Extrem Center's website. I don't know what, if anything (nothing, see update), Extreme Center has to do with Le Figaro, but the message is clear.

Do the editors of Le Figaro not see the irony? I have to believe that they do. As literate and sentient human beings, how can they not? So they have consciously submitted, like the Vichy before them, to the forces of fear and intimidation, hoping to spare themselves by prostration. They have consciously traded their self-respect, pride, honor, freedom of thought and of speech, and the separation of religion and "l'etat" for.....what, exactly? Their lives? Their livelihood? And what of the lives of their children? And of their childrens' children? I guess they will never know what it was like to publish or read a newspaper like Le Figaro. They will never walk through the Louvre and witness the beauty of the Enlightenment and the Rennaisance. They will be universally reviled first by their masters the Islamists to whom their fathers and grandfathers willfully submitted and second by the remaining free nations whose sons and daughters are forced to fight harder and die in greater numbers to guard the freedoms that their forefathers fought and died to defend and that the French so easily and willfuly served up to their masters on a silver platter.

I beg you, while you still can, stop the inevitable violence with ideas. Do not force my sons and grandsons into uniforms and ranks onto the bloody battlefields of France, again. Because, once liberated a third time, they will not ask your permission to stay. They will stay to defend the frontiers of peace and freedom, whether you like it or not. You have forfeited the right of your own sovreignty and by doing so imperiled the rest of the free world. We will not, I should hope and pray, allow you to do so again.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Fwd: "So much waste."

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Netherland <>
Date: Mar 26, 2006 7:59 AM
Subject: Re: "So much waste."
To: Larry A Bailly <>

Dear Mr. Bailly,
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I think I see the problem, now. Your observations, as you wrote in the article that prompted my letter to you as well as in your response, are excellent and rational. Sadly, it is the conclusions you draw from your observations that seem to attract the most attention.
You are correct when you observe that Haiti's problems won't be solved by sending them more money, however that money is collected. And similarly correct in your assessment that Haitians, like most people, will take the opportunity to better themselves and relieve thier sufferring through hardwork.
However, your conclusion that if only we sent our jobs to Haiti (and other Latin American nations) instead of to Asia, that the Haitians would greatly benefit, is on par with the light-bulb theory which we agree does not adequately address the problem.
Part of your conclusion is correct, though. Obviously, the Haitians would benefit greatly if only corporate America would simply send a factory or two and other captial to our poor neighbors instead of to poor nations in other parts of the world.
But capital investment is attracted, not pushed, Mr. Bailly. Jobs cannot be sent anywhere. They are created through the investment of capital that has been rationally decided to promise the greatest return, however that return is measured, usually in terms of profit.
For example, my state, Maryland, has recently made itself about as attractive to business investment as, well, Haiti. The political majority decided attracting business investment and thus jobs was less important than appearing to be a workers paradise buy forcing certain businesses to pay for health insurance for its workers. The fact that the 800 jobs that Walmart would have "sent" to Maryland will now be "sent" to South Carolina, seems not to worry the Democrats in Maryland who have been and will always be the dominant party in my sad state.
Now, whose fault is it that the poor folks on our eastern shore will have no jobs (and no health care insurance)? Walmart's? Or would you conclude that is it the fault of Maryland voters who continue to elect buffoons to our state legislature?
So how do we make Haiti more attractive to business? How can Haiti attract more capital investment? As you say, a hand up, not a hand-out.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

"So much waste"

(My correspondence with the author of a piece in the Seattle Times of March 23, 2006)

Dear Mr. Bailly
I came by your editorial in the Seattle Times ("From haunting darkness to embarrassing light") via a link in the web site. I read your article and I must say that you are to be commended and admired for your efforts on behalf of the impoverished Haitians. You set a Christian example for us all to follow.

However, I must ask you to restrain yourself in making apologies for Americans and expressing your embarrassment by the behavior of your fellow Americans for their penchant for consuming resources (in this case electricity) for which they have paid.

You are perhaps expressing, more honestly, the awe-inspiring contrast between your experience on the ground in Haiti and in the air over the richest, most powerful nation on Earth. It is similar to the stark contrast to that nighttime satellite photo of the Korean peninsula that the Secretary of Defense likes to use to illustrate the difference between democracy and totalitarianism. In that image the southern half of the peninsula is ablaze with light which abruptly ends, meeting with pitch blackness along border with North Korea.

Now I don't pretend to know all or even as much as you about our impoverished island neighbor. Nor do I pretend to know how to solve the problems that, I am inclined to believe, are more the result of poor leadership choices than the perceived "waste" measured by the estimated number of lights one sees at night from the air over the United States or South Korea.

Ascribing to your fellow Americans greed and indifference to the plight of Haitians then apologizing for it to a member of that impoverished nation (someone who has managed to attain the education and experience to become a "medical doctor" against the odds that must have been stacked against him) seems to be counter productive. There you were, winging your way back to Snohomish County, Washington where raw sewage does not somehow flow openly through the streets (I am just guessing) and all you can do is wonder aloud at how greedy and wasteful are the citizens of America. Your time might better have been spent in silent reflection on why some nations are rich and some are poor. Or, if you couldn't help engaging your Haitian seatmate in a bit of conversation, perhaps you might have learned a good deal about why Haiti is a political and economic basket case.

This may have made for more interesting and fruitful reading (and writing) than your rambling wishful thinking has otherwise borne. But then again, I am sure the Seattle Times would not have published it.

So let's just say, for the sake of argument that every household in America turned out one light (for an indefinite period) for the explicit purpose of channeling the money otherwise spent making a 40watt bulb glow for a few hours, let's say, every night for a year, to a relief fund for Haiti. And let's further assume that somehow that money is calculated, collected and banked and a sum total of "a bazillion" dollars is suddenly available to the Haitian people.

To whom would you give this money? What goods and services would be purchased by whomever receives this money? Maybe we need to establish the goals of this fundraising. To relieve the suffering of this perpetually poor island nation, obviously. But how and for how long?

Think carefully, Mr. Bailly. The answers won't be as simple as turning off a light for Haiti. I welcome your comments and am genuinely interested in knowing your thoughts of my letter.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park, MD

Monday, February 06, 2006

Islam: Religion of Peace?

Note: only the CAIR message got through. The other contact addresses were returned undeliverable.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Netherland <>
Date: Feb 5, 2006 1:19 AM
Subject: Re: Islam: Religion of Peace?
Dear Islamists,
I am writing today to express my disgust at what some, despite your attempts to deny them, are doing in the name of Islam. The latest outrage seems to be the childish behavior of followers of Mohammed (pbuh) over the publication of cartoon images of Mohammed. You won't find these cartoons in the U.S. print and broadcast media which, it seems, has no stomach for desecrating politically correct religions, while happily denigrating Christianity and Christians as well as publishing the details of U.S. defense programs. It seems the liberal media, despite their claims to the Constitutional high ground, are more afraid of "peaceful" Islamists than they are of George W. Bush (aka "the world's greatest terrorist").
The link below is to Michelle Malkin's site which is carrying links to hundreds of bloggers ("infidels," "apostates," you know, free people) who are posting these images on their web sites around the world. You may recognize some the unashamed Islamists in the crowd scenes where many are carry signs of "peace." I do not believe these are "isolated" fanatics. I believe these are your firends and relaltives and are mainstream Islamists. You will have to go a long, long. long way to convince them, me, Michelle Malkin and the rest of who know what peace and freedom really mean, that they are un-Muslim, are not followers of the Koran and are not true believers of the prophet Mohammed.
A good place to start, though, if you are truly interested in wresting Islam from its fanatical hijackers (which I seriously doubt you are) is to start protesting, picketing, boycotting, etc., those in the liberal American press for NOT publishing the cartoons. You must insist that these media outlets publish for all to see the horrors of these cartoons to show the true difference between what you call the true religion of peace and that portrayed by the same media (you know, the howling mad masked gunnmen and beheaders of women). Call on the true followers of Islam to buy Danish products, to prove your solidarity with the people of that freedom-loving and tolerant land. Fly the Danish flag as proudly as you do the American flag. You should exhort the Arab Islamists with in your organizations to flood the Department of Homeland Security with applications for Arab language translation jobs.
Failure to do so is admission of your organizations' complicity and support of these people; that your organizations are merely false fronts for the terrorists and their sponsors; and that all your rhetoric about Islam being a peaceful religion is so much propaganda bunk. Do not reply to this message. Your words mean nothing. Their words, on their placards, speak volumes. Look at the pictures; do something about it.

RE: Islam: Religion of Peace?

My responses to Mr. Hooper's replies:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Netherland <>
Date: Feb 5, 2006 4:48 PM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Islam: Religion of Peace?
To: Ibrahim Hooper <>

Well, Mr. Hooper, do not delude yourselves into thinking that North American media are restraining their urge to excercise their First Amendment rights out of "respect" for Islam and its followers. They are restraining themselves out of fear; fear that Islamist organizations will incite followers to visit violence upon the property of the North American media and the people who run them.

And I put no conditions on my love for you, my fellow man, Mr. Hooper. My suggestion was not aimed at gaining my acceptance. It was meant as one way to show that you mean what you say; that those who visit violent acts on the most innocent and tolerant of societies are not truly Muslims and are not being true to the teachings of Mohammed.
Fear is no way to induce respect or understanding. I am glad that you indulge me in this dialogue, Mr. Hooper. I am truly trying to understand the many paradoxes and dilemmas pointed up by this cartoon flap.
And now I know what PBUH stands for! Peace Be Upon Him!
Mike Netherland
On 2/5/06, Ibrahim Hooper <> wrote:
So to be accepted by you, we would have to defame the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)? No thanks.
At 04:00 PM 2/5/2006, you wrote:
Dear Mr. Hooper,
The "not-so-peaceful" actions of" justified concern" are being excused by the usual apologists in the West as the acts "primeval barbarians." Is that how you would like to be known and thought of? As a proto-human species of man? This is not how I see the authors of the Koran and the creators of such art and architecture. But this is how your friends in the West are defending you. By casting you in the role semi-intelligent, half evolved creatures in order to explain your unexplainable barbarism.

As a result, I add another goal for you: distance yourselves from such "friends." Embrace those in the West who assume that Islamists are human beings, too, and, as such, yearn to be free, free to feel love for their fellow man be he Christian, Jew or Muslim.

Here's a thought: Publish the damn cartoons yourselves, in your Internet and print media! Nothing will gain your organization instant respect and from and shut the mouths of people like me (and they are legion) quite like seeing CAIR itself publishing the cartoons. Of course, your "freinds" will never understand this act of primeval barbarians.
CAIR to offer educational initiatives highlighting legacy of Prophet Muhammad

(WASHINGTON, D.C ., 2/5/06) - On Sunday, February 5, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference in Washington, D.C., to express the U.S. Muslim community's rejection of violence in response to the defamatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published in European newspapers.

On 2/5/06, Ibrahim Hooper <> wrote:
[Excerpts from] What Would Muhammad Do?
By Ibrahim Hooper;id=38841&theType=NB

[Ibrahim Hooper is National Communications Director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties group. He may be contacted at: ]

"Peaceful and not-so-peaceful protests have occurred from Gaza to Indonesia. Boycotts have targeted companies based in Denmark and in other nations that reprinted the offensive caricatures. "

"We all, Muslims and people of other faiths, seem to be locked into a downward spiral of mutual mistrust and hostility based on self-perpetuating stereotypes."
"This unfortunate episode can be used as a learning opportunity for people of all faiths who sincerely wish to know more about Islam and Muslims. It can also be viewed as a "teaching moment" for Muslims who want to exemplify the prophet's teachings through the example of their good character and dignified behavior in the face of provocation and abuse. "

Monday, January 23, 2006

Literate Candidates

Well the 2006 Republican Primary Season has opened with a whimper. To be sure, there have been the obligatory bull roasts and backslappings that have defined Republican politics in this state for generations.

For those of us who rely heavily on the written and published positions of each candidate, though, there is only silence, for the most part. In District 33A (my district), the man to beat is Tony McConkey. A likeable guy and, I assume, staunch conservative. But we don't hear much from him. He seems to be taking a back seat to the more senior members of the GOP delegation, perhaps respectfully so. But he faces at least one serious challenger in Greg Kline.

Mr. Kline is by far the most literate of the three contenders (am I missing any 33A candidates? I'll get to Carrie Geldart in a minute.). And because he is literate we are familiar with his positions on current issues and thus familiar with how he would conduct himself in the House of Delegates. Who knows, though...maybe he will clam up once elected. I hope not.

I would have thought, and still hope, that Mr. McConkey would rise to the occaison and defend his record and publicize his positions. Since he was elected, he has grown distant. A third candidate, Carrie Geldart, from my neighborhood, has taken no substantive position on any of the recent issues. But keep checking her website for some content on the Issues page of her website(

I think a debate is in order and have floated the idea. The challengers have both expressed to me their willingness to particiapte in a debate. The incumbent has not responded and we are left to assume that he doesn't see any benefit to his reelection campaign to debate the issues with his challengers.

May the most literate candidate win!

Mike Netherland

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Message to Wal Mart

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Netherland <>
Date: Jan 16, 2006 10:43 PM
Subject: A Message to Wal Mart
Cc: "Letters, Kapital" < >,,, ,

Dear Mr. President, Chairman, Members of the Board, Shareholders of Wal Mart,
Please do me, the state of Maryland, the cause of conservative Republicans everywhere a huge favor, and abandon Maryland. I don't know how many thousands of jobs will be lost, how many other businesses will have to downsize or close all together as a result, and I don't care. Whatever the impact, it will be worth a million times what it cost just to see the liberal Democrats in Maryland eating so much crow in their last terms in office.

And folks, it would be worth a million times more than that to see this happen to Del. Michael Busch, Speaker of the House of Delegates, leader of the campaign to override Gov. Ehrlich's veto of the "Wal Mart" bill ....AND the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce's 2005 Delegate of the Year!!

Yes indeed. Many of the AAACCC's member businesses will be adversely affected, no doubt, by Wal Mart's partial or complete withdrawal from the anti-business political environment apparently supported by the Chamber of Commerce. Of course, I have addressed the Chamber's leadership before in similar e-mailed correspondence, but I'm sure they are just too busy trying to find other ways of making life difficult for Republicans in Maryland.

It is comical that the AAACCC President Bob Burdon actually had to announce the Chamber's support of the Governor's veto. Might there have been some doubt that the area's premier business organization would support another area business? Hmmmmm. In his "Business Break" column, Mr. Burdon reflects on the beginning of the 90-day General Assembly session as a time when politicians begin making laws and begin to assess "how legislation emanating from that discourse will impact the business community in our state."

He goes on, after rationalizing the Chamber's sucking-up to Del. Busch, to assert businesses have suddenly become "...very wary of excessive government regulation in what should be a free market economy." After a while you start to wonder who Mr. Burdon is addressing in his letter. High school kids? Here's a tip for Mr. Burdon and the rest of the AAACCC:

Democrats: Bad for Business
Liberal Democrats: Worse for Business.
Del. Michael Busch: Liberal Democrat....someone of whom businesses should be vary wary.

Oh, and another thing to remember: When Democrats organize, it is generally to make the free market economy less and less free, less and less of a market. When businesses organize, it should be for the opposite reason. Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Monday, January 02, 2006

Compromise for the Permanent Minority

Regarding the "debate," one-sided though it might be, over the merits of the School Board selection reform bill, I have word that our Republican leaders are compromising with the Democrats. Delegates Leopold and Dwyer are indeed supporting what has become known as the Love Bill because it represents a compromise and, well that's the best we can hope for, being that we are in the minority.

So the debate on the merits of the bill is largely academic now that the bill will most certainly be approved. The new debate now turns to the benefits of compromising, again. I may be going out on a limb here but I cannot recall a single instance in the last twenty years when the Republican agenda has been advanced by compromise. I mean truly advanced. So I will predict that the policy born of the Love Bill will be bad, and will be used to make Democrats appear as though they are doing something while the Republicans gripe on the sidelines. And when it fails, the Republicans in Anne Arundel County will be blamed, somehow.

It will be our fault that the school board is now selected by an unelected commission of God-knows-who from the TAAAC/MSTA. After all, the county GOP delegation co-sponsored and voted for the thing. "They griped about the Nominating Convention and now they're griping about the Commission!" the Democrats will say, over and over and over... . It won't take a professional communicator to make the sweetest hay for the Democrats out of whatever happens.

The best possible outcome would be for the Republicans (that's us) to refuse to go along with the charade, forcing the Democrats to defend their claptrap. Oh...but it isn't their claptrap....It's ours, or more precisely, it's John Leopold's claptrap. Trying to explain this to my son a few minutes ago, I came up with this:

You see Mike it's like this: There's this rotten footbridge called "Compromise" spanning the divide between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Dems sit on the other side trying to get us to come across the bridge, to compromise (you see, they never have to cross the bridge to compromise). Well, Leopold has crafted a bill and set out across the bridge to deliver it to Del. Love of the Democrats. If that wasn't bad enough, Leopold stands at bridge and beckons his fellow Republicans across. "C'mon!" he yells. "The Dems are willing to compromise! Come over and stand with us!" Sure, the bridge will hold one, nimble member of the GOP. But the bridge will surely fail under the weight of the whole delegation, now stampeding toward the bridge.

But why would Del. Leopold do such a thing? We will never know because Leopold doesn't have the guts to defend his compromise. I can only assume he was led to believe that doing so would get him re-elected.

We will reap, once again, what we have sown, and we will eat the bitter fruit and moan and groan, and profess shock and dismay as though it has never happened to us before. Meanwhile, the teachers union-suckled board and public school system are busy erasing "Nominating Convention" and replacing it with "The Commission" on signs, letterhead and websites and everything becomes even darker.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park