Friday, December 28, 2007

Harris v Pipkin

The folks over at Red Maryland are having a grand ol' time trying to define conservatism, its founders, its leaders past and present and what it has to do with the Republican Party. Some of the comments are just ridiculous and warrant little if any attention. However, in between the bouts of silliness, a debate emerged, here and in other blogs, as to the worthiness of a true conservative representing CD-1.

Bud of Bud's Blog writes: "Harris thinks standing with a certain political party makes him some good conservative. In reality, that proves he's only a lapdog partisan. Go Pipkin!" And again in response to my comment Bud writes: "You're operating under the false assumption that siding with the republicans means you've voted conservative."

Nothing could be further from the truth. I say again, I take a back seat to no one when it comes to trashing my own party for doing and saying things that make being a Republican embarrassing for conservatives. Harris will stand with the Republicans when it is time to vote. Up until then he will make the conservative case.

I expect to read future news items that go something like this: Harris, who vehemently opposed yet another Farm Bill and lectured his Republican colleagues for pandering to a powerful lobby, nonetheless voted with the rest of the GOP delegation to approve the latest reauthorization. "It turns my stomach to have cast this vote," Harris said after the vote. "But this is what I promised to do when I was elected. Voting against the GOP would not have made a difference in the outcome but it would have disappointed my Republican constituents back home."

My comment is case you don't get around to reading the RedMaryland blog.
"No, Pipkin is probably not a liberal, however, his supporters refer to him as a 'moderate.' Gilchrest was a "moderate" when he went to Washington. Do we really want to take a chance on another one?
"No. A Partisan is exactly what we need. Someone who will add to the votes and voices of the minority Party in Congress. You see, in order to hold sway over critical pieces of legislation we need votes. We DON'T need independent thinkers. The time for independent thinking comes during the debate or the hearings. But if and when you've failed to convince the rest of your party that yours is the way to vote, then you DAMN well better vote with the rest of the GOP.
Harris will vote with the rest of the party because the vote agrees with conservative values; or the rest of the party will vote with Harris because he has articulated the conservatism of his position.
"That is what I and his other supporters expect him to do. Why? Because it is what WE would do if we were in his shoes. It's perfectly simple.
"Pipkin? I don't know the guy. He would, I assume, see the conservative values in, say, securities lawmaking. But hey, Warren Buffett would be the same way, wouldn't he? Would you want Warren Buffett representing you in Congress? No. Or how about all the fine upstanding businessmen and women in US Chamber of Commerce, busy helping the ACLU and AFL-CIO bring in illegal aliens? No, I don't think they can be trusted, either, with upholding the principles of liberty, small government and faith in God, unless there's a buck in it for them."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Phyllis Schlafly Endorses Harris

Arguably one of conservatism's leading lights, Phyllis Schlafly has taken a critical look at the first district's Republican primary and has judged that the sheep need a shepherd! Maybe this will give the other national conservative personalities pause before running to the aid of yet another liberal and duplicitous Republican safe-seater.

December 26, 2007
Contact: Chris Meekins 443-553-4794

Eagle Forum PAC Endorses Andy Harris

Annapolis - A nationally recognized conservative organization, Eagle Forum PAC, has endorsed Andy Harris in his bid to unseat incumbent Wayne Gilchrest. Eagle Forum PAC supports candidates who are committed to a conservative philosophy of limited government, national sovereignty, and traditional values.

In the endorsement, Eagle Forum Founder and President, Phyllis Schlafly said, "Andy's articulate conservative voice in the Maryland General Assembly shows he's the right man to represent the first district. From his support for the unborn to limiting the size of government to ensuring that illegal aliens do not receive driver's licenses, Andy knows the issues facing America and is willing to address them head on."

"I am proud to receive the endorsement of this respected conservative organization," said Andy Harris. "I share Eagle Forum's commitment to limited government, support for the unborn, and defense of our national sovereignty."

"This endorsement shows that on February 12, 2008 conservatives have one choice in the first district - Andy Harris," said Chris Meekins, Campaign Manager for Andy Harris for Congress.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Harris for Congress - Against the National GOP!

I have just started a new blog, one that I think will be necessary to draw the attention of nationally-known conservatives like Newt Gingrich, who, according to recent information, is planning to endorse Wayne Gilchrest. I need you to visit the site and register your disappointment at this turn of events by clicking on this link and leaving a comment or two:

According to one commenter, our case would be stronger if we provide examples of why Gilchrest is a bad choice for Speaker Gingrich. I have have provided links to some of my Blog posts that point out some of the votes (just some) that have moved me to write and campaign for Andy Harris.

I look forward to reading your comments there and here. Thanks and Christmas wishes to you all!

Mike Netherland

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The 22nd Blog Carnival of Maryland

I am pleased to host the 22nd Carnival. Below you will find posts that many of MBA's finest bloggers have personally selected from their own blog sites in hopes that exposure on Mike's Nether Land will provide their writings a wider audience than they would otherwise enjoy.

And YOU, dear reader, dear devoted Mike's Nether Land fan, can sample posts from a broad spectrum of ideologies without having to labor over yet another piece of right-wing zealotry and psycho-neurotic "issues" you usually find here.

No. This post won't describe some of the conversation I just had at a little party last night with a house full of all white, all Christian, upper-middle class parents. I won't make a mockery of how many times, within span of a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau I was greeted with "Happy Holidays!" And, "have you finished all of your Holiday Shopping?" Am I travelling for "the Holiday", am I taking time off for "the Holiday." It was as if I had just walked onto the pages of a JC Penny catalog. Every time I asked, "which holiday?" or returned a greeting with Merry Christmas, they looked at me as though I had three heads.

So I have to ask myself, did these people forget, within a single generation, what Christmas is? Have they all been brainwashed at their respective places of employment into wishing their Friends and neighbors well with a bland, meaningless greeting? Perhaps. Do me a favor, hmmm? The next time you see someone, try to avoid using the word "Holidays."

Now for the Carnival!

Michael Swartz reaches to the back of the rack for Ripples from a bailout posted at monoblogue.

The Ridger describes why "the solstice month is all about the sun" in December skies posted on The Greenbelt.

Mark Newgent presents "an essay on what McCartyism was and was not, and its misuse by both the left and the right" in What Was McCarthyism posted at The Main Adversary.

Richard Lee Takes us to school in Everything You Will Ever Need To Know About Business posted at Richard Lee.

Kevin Dayhoff reports on Operation Christmas Tree, where "on Saturday, December 1, 2007, over 300 volunteers gathered at the Carroll County Ag Center to pack 5,000 live decorated Christmas trees for the troops in Iraq," in 20071201 Operation Christmas Tree posted at Kevin Dayhoff - Soundtrack.

Joyce Dowling tells why "volunteers are needed to get more history on the web!" in Dec. 16, history, and the world wide web. I think that while it isn't Beethoven, the piece on McCarthy should count...right? See Creating a Jubilee County: Prince George's Co., MD for more.

Even Attila our Fearless Leader and, of course, the Pillage Idiot, gets one in with "When you think your wife is plotting to kill you, it must be time to go under cover. " Not sure what this has to do with bargain hunting, but I've learned not to put anything past Attila. Looking around for a bargain, perhaps? posted at Pillage Idiot.

Turning to sports, Soccer Dad gives us a play-by-play post mortem on the Ravens latest attempt to play football in At least they beat the spread .

David W. Keelan takes issue with "Howard County Surplus and Comments on quotes in the Baltimore Sun attributed to me" in County Surplus posted at Howard County Maryland Blog.

Matt Johnston gets off the fence and wrestles with the developing dilemma faced by Frederick city and county planners: how much regulation is too much? Read My Worry About Chain Stores In Downtown Frederick and find out.

The Patriot Sharpshooter proves that, conventional wisdom to the contrary, we still DO have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore in: I am not a crook! posted at Common Sense.

And finally, this view on Wreaths Across America "from the top of the foodchain" from Stan over at Blogger1947.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Great Coup

Well it appears the great coup long predicted on RedMaryland and, yes, by Brian Griffiths was not to be. If we are to believe the reportage by Michael Swartz on the Monoblogue of the events of the Fall Convention, there wasn't a peep from all those Executive Committee members who were supposedly sharpening their knives and burning for regime change.

Not a word was heard from those so deeply concerned about the "competence" of the current leadership. All we have is Brian Griffiths himself, the only member of this crew with a ounce of self-respect and the conviction to use his real name and stand by his assertions. He will, unfortunately, be left twisting in the wind by the rest of the gang, who, true form so far will deny ever knowing Mr. Griffiths. We'll probably never know who they are unless they slip up and inadvertently identify themselves in their anonymous comments they leave on RedMaryland posts.

The anonymous commenters have accused me of being insufficiently "involved" in state or county politics to be a qualified observer, let alone critic. They want to know how many doors have I knocked on, how many signs have I waved, how many voter registrations have I collected. My answer is: As many as time and opportunity would allow, I suppose. I have supported conservative Republican candidates and elected officials in the best way I know how. I joined the Elephant Club and revamped its website, adding all of its content and used it to support candidates. I started the Elephant Club list on yahoo and presided over many a great debate. I designed a few websites for local candidates and asked nothing in return.

And, apparently, I don't really know what a political party is supposed to do. Well I am convinced that the party needs to set the political tone and to communicate it throughout the state. People need to know what a Republican is and that the ideology of the Republican Party is and should be conservatism. It is conservatism that resonates with those voters who affiliate themselves with the GOP. And it is those voters who need to see their conservatism in action, in word and deed. When this happens, when the conservative tone is clear and unambiguous, it draws people to it. When Republicans dissemble and use the politically correct lexicon of the left, it is transparent and it is sickening. People turn their backs on just another empty suited, blow-dried politician. They don't vote. They don't defend the party and they certainly don't contribute money.

And, I know what a political party is NOT supposed to do. It is NOT supposed to be an embarrassment to its members every time the leadership opens its collective mouth. It is NOT supposed to honor Democrats at Lincoln Day dinners. And its would-be leaders are NOT supposed to name Democratic delegates as Delegate of the Year. So far under Jim Pelura's watch this has not happened. I would expect to read about John Flynn's resignation the day after it does happen, God forbid.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Anatomy of a Smear

In the last 24 hours, or there abouts, since my last post, I have heard from a half a dozen members of the State and County GOP. It is becoming clear that there is nothing to rumor that some kind of a coup is afoot to seek the installation of a new State Party chairman. There isn't even a drumbeat. I don't have Al Redmer's e-mail address, but I am sure he would be appalled that his good named is being used to further this rumor.

All we really have is a cadre of disaffected individuals, in and out of elected office and at least one who ran, up until yesterday, a respected Republican blog. Here are a few things to remember when reading certain blogs flogging this rumor:

1. The only way to force a siting chairman to step down is to first notify him in a formal letter that is sent to members of the Executive Committee.
2. The Executive Committee must meet and vote in sufficient majority to replace the sitting chairman with a successor.

The members of the Executive Committee I have heard from have not received a formal letter notifying them that such a vote would take place. Therefore such a vote cannot take place during the current Fall Convention.

Given these simple facts, the notion that a vote to oust Jim Pelura is imminent is ridiculous. That certain Republicans, who have, it seems, given up all hope of ever holding elected office in Maryland would spread such a rumor is saddening.

What, if not a vote during this convention to replace Jim Pelura, do these Republicans have to gain by smearing the good names of Jim Pelura and John Flynn and other principled conservatives? There are plenty of other Republicans out there near and far who are indeed deserving of such treatment. Plenty.

The folks I have spoken with personally have no doubt as to what motivates the current smear-merchants. Vengeance and ideology, it turns out are on their agendas. Those currently on the Executive Committee, privy to embargoed documents such as financial statements, budgets and letters clearly marked "Confidential," seek to replace a principled conservative with a squishy, bring-home-the-bacon moderate. I don't know Mr. Redmer but I'm sure he would resent such a characterization. Also, members of this cadre who are not on the Executive Committee seek to right many perceived wrongs against them, the latest of which involved the unpleasantness on the Anne Arundel State Central Committee, by smearing county conservatives.

If there is a strong and ambitious moderate faction of the party, let them persuade the party faithful that theirs is the best way, seek a mandate in the light of day to lead the party, rather than abducting it in the middle of the night. If they have the courage of their convictions, they should stand up and proudly state their arguments and refutations.

Otherwise, I suggest they go back home, turn their compost heaps, watch a few more hours of Lifetime or Oxygen cable TV programming, sip green tea and put in some time on a Re-Elect Wayne Gilchrest phone bank.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Sunday, November 25, 2007

First Spouse?

What should we call the husband of our first woman President? Notice I didn't use the phrase "female President." The ability to make this simple distinction has been lost on members of my generation (who consciously avoid it) and simply doesn't exist for later ones (from whom is has been deliberately kept by members of my generation).

To illustrate this stage in human evolution, simply read the Washington Times feature on The U.S. Mint. The story is a cutesy feature on how one federal agency is dealing with the possibility of a woman President. The cultural and intellectual vagrants at the Mint presented President Bush and the First lady with their first ever "First Spouse" series of commemorative coins.

My 10-year-old daughter and I were waiting for the train at Union Station when I decided to read it. I got to this point:
"What to call a male "first spouse" could be a hot topic if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, is elected president next year.
So I asked my 10-year-old what should the husband of the President be called. After phrasing the question a few different ways, she finally came up with "The First Gentleman."

Why this is a cultural and not a clinical or biological issue is important because it marks a recent example of the real effects on society that attempts to erase from our perceptions and thoughts any and all differences between the sexes, or between social norms such as right and wrong.

The problem with such experimentation is that the differences are not erased. They are now and will always be real. What we have instead, is an entire generation of willing dupes and a new generation of people with no connection to their true cultural heritage except that which has been scrubbed clean of the truth, good and bad. The phrase" Ladies and Gentlemen" is simply just a sound that a person makes in addressing an audience, no more meaningful than a car alarm.

And so we have the Director of the U.S. Mint who has no concept of what a Lady is or was and why that term is used to distinguish one woman from another. If he does, and he appears to have the years to know better, then he falls into the "willing dupes" category.

In grappling with the problem presented by a woman holding the highest office in the land, one must come to grips with the differences between Ladies and Gentlemen, which Edmund Moy, the 38th Director of the Mint, seems to have abandoned. The solution, as with all things male and female (except in Montgomery County, MD of course) is to have separate commemorative series.

The First Gentlemen Series, will be small at first, while the First Ladies Series will continue to grow, God willing.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tis The Season, Again

Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year. It stopped being so when American society stopped having Christmas parties; when grade schools stopped having Christmas Pageants and stores stopped selling Christmas decorations and other things I had associated with this time of the year.

Now I can't even look at a container of egg-nog, whose label has the traditional red and green coloring and borders of ribbon, holly berries and poinsettias, without being reminded of this sad fact. I opened the refrigerator one morning to get my milk for my morning coffee and stared at this label whose contents were described, in the traditional Christmas script, as "Holiday Egg-Nog."

OK, why does it have to be described as "Holiday" egg-nog? Why not just plain egg-nog? At what other time of year do I find egg-nog in my refrigerator? Christmas, of course. Well, we backwards and unenlightened obviously can't be trusted to have the colors, graphics and script associated with Christmas and NOT think of this time of year as Christmas, can we? So the good culture-neutral nut-jobs have seen to it that such dreadful thoughts never enter our empty heads.

Later that same day, I get an e-mail message from one of our esteemed conservative Republican elected officials inviting me and the fam to, yes, a "Holiday Party" fundraiser. The invitation was festooned with garland, holly and berries and poinsettias, and was written in the traditional Christmas script.

It's almost enough to make one say "Bah! Humbug."


I unhappily report today that our message is not getting through. How do I know this? It first occurred to me last month as I trudged back to my truck after another long day at work along with other trudgers whose daily work lives involve the MARC commuter train system.

One of my fellow trudgers, a long-time commuting acquaintance who delights in passing the time between late or annulled MARC trains by ribbing me about the latest Republican or Bush administration foible. A retired army non-com, he disapproves of everything the current government does and we have interesting debates. His political acumen, however, is limited and his opinions tend to be formed, like so many others, in the Democratic echo chamber of the mainstream media.

So together we trudged and debated as we have on so many occasions until he stopped and wheeled around to face me. This is it, I thought, he's snapped and now he's going to resort to violence. I tensed and waited for the strike, when he suddenly he changed the subject as though he just remembered something very important that he wanted to tell me.

"Did you know that we are paying farmers to not grow anything?" he asked, expecting me to fall over and die. "Not only that," he continued when I didn't appear as dumb-struck as he expected, " but we are paying millions to rich farming conglomerates!"

Well, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He had just heard the news about the Congressional debate over the most recent Farm subsidy reauthorization. I wanted to tell him that, unfortunately this has been the case ever since the Great Depression, that yes, of course I knew this and have remained a Republican largely because of it and many other ridiculous wastes of tax revenue, etc.

But, why? He wanted to know. Well I took the time to explain the purely political reasons behind the ancient policy he just discovered and the very real economic impact of such politics on the poor nations of the world. I don't think I made a convert that night but maybe, just maybe, he'll hesitate come the general election before voting for Hillary Clinton.

More recently, on the Metro this time, another commuting acquaintance took the occasion to explain to me his plan for getting another of his kids into a private school. The tuition is eating him alive, he said, but what can he do? The public school stinks on ice. I was about to leave him with my trademark "almost makes you want to vote Republican," when he said he was going to look into a tuition voucher. Intrigued, I asked what sort of voucher he had in mind. Well he had heard about private school tuition vouchers "on the news" and was going to look into Maryland's program to see if he qualified.

I almost missed my stop. I was this time, dumbstruck. I recovered in enough time, though, to advise him that looking into the Maryland school voucher program would be a waste of time, as there isn't one. No? No. We could have had one, I said, but your friends and neighbors voted against the last time it was on the ballot. Oh. "Almost makes you want to vote Republican, doesn't it?" I said as I left the train. Yeah, I heard him say.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Strange Bedfellows?

I read this phrase in a Washington Times editorial last week: "...the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and the ACLU..." Then I spewed bad coffee all over the rest of the editorial page and used it to clean up my desk. Before the coffee spew, though, I remember the issue of note was matching Social Security numbers of employees with the Department of Homeland Security's database. It's a law that is designed to, you know, provide a measure of security for the homeland by verifying that prospective or even curent employees are actually who they say they are and in our country legally.

Not sure whether it was just a bad dream, I just chedcked the USCOC website to find the press release. Read it here (caution, do not read while drinking or eating anything; be seated comfortably).

It reads in part:
September 10, 2007
Chamber Files Legal Challenge Against DHS “Social Security No-Match” Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today joined with other business organizations in intervening in a legal challenge against the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) so-called “Social Security No-Match” regulation issued on August 15."
And, sure enough:
"The suit intervenes on behalf of a lawsuit filed last week by the AFL-CIO, several California labor groups and the ACLU, which argued that because of errors in the SSA database, many American citizens could be fired because of this new regulation."
What bothers me about this? Where do I start? Maybe it's just me. Maybe I sholdn't assume that the members of the US CoC are good, solid upstanding American business men and women. When I hear "Chamber of Commerce" I automatically think "Republican." Why? Well because Republicans band together to promote a public policy that generally favors capitalism and free markets. There are notable individual exceptions, of course, mostly in the Senate, and at least one, whose name rhymes with Gilchrest in the House.

But how can I think "Republican" when these people are teaming up with the Socialists? The answer, of courser, must be that the USCoC does NOT represent solid, upstanding, patriotic American business folk. This chamber and others, such as Bob Burdon's Chamber, represents tragically misguided business folk or pathetically greedy business folk.

But Mr. Netherland, Chambers of Commerce across the land are non-partisan. As smart (not ethical, mind you, or conscientious) but as smart business folk, as you call us, we cater to clients and consumers of every political stripe. A buck is a buck, right? You wouldn't tie our hands in our pursuit of profits and shareholder equity, would you?

No. But the AFL-CIO and the ACLU are, at this very second, scheming to do just that. They are going into every facet of your operations looking for ways to make your profit margins even thinner, the cost of doing business every higher. And they will make it look like your fault. And they will succeed. And how will they succeed? They will rely on your tragic misguidedness or your pathetic greed. Oh, I mean your non-partisanship.

Why don't you people wise up and realize that there is a subtle difference between making a buck and cutting your own throats. I will be happy to teach a course at the USCoC on ethics and principles and patriotism (the love of ones own country). I think I'll call it "Can I Run a Successful Business AND Support and Promote Laws Designed to Protect My Country's Sovereignty? Or Why the AFL-CIO and ACLU are Bad for Business.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

AA County GOP - Hope It's Not Contagious

Shortly after the below was posted, I received a phone call from John Flynn, one of my heroes in Maryland State GOP politics and Executive Director of the State GOP.

He took the time to assure me that the rumor I described in the original post, and message to the ThePublicSquare was indeed just that, a holdover from the former leadership of Mike Collins and his supporters. Here's what he had to say in a message destined for the Square:


Yes, the rumor you heard is wrong as is the one that the State Party is trying to get involved in the First Congressional primary race. The State Party has no interest in getting involved in primaries, and in fact, we have advised all of the campaigns in the First Congressional District primary race that the State Party will be neutral until after the primary. Later this year, the State Party will be considering new by laws language to prohibit any financial or in-kind aid to any primary candidate by the State Party. That would be a departure from what the State Party has done in the past. Unfortunately, your father received the same misinformation that has been making its rounds. As a long time Public Square member, I felt it was necessary to set the record straight.
Best regards,
John Flynn
Executive Director
Maryland GOP

I am sorry it has taken me so long to post this. He assures me that while this is a State Party policy, the AACO party also has no intention on modifying its bylaws to permit Primary endorsements.

I have avoided commenting on this subject which has reached a news story, mainly because I don't know the people involved. It seemed to me a manifestation of the personality cult, like we had in high school. So I wrestled with the sickening idea of taking part in the cult, trying to get "in" and pretending to be loyal to one side or the other. I decided to opt out and content myself with watching from the sidelines.

Until this afternoon. I was informed by my father whom many of you know, that there were among the "winning" side of the show people who would have the State GOP endorse one Primary contender over all others. Long-time subscribers to ThePublicSquare will recognize this beast as I have pointed him out in the past. Curiously enough, the State Party under the "leadership" of chairman Kane floated this balloon during the Primary season in which Wayne Gilchrest faced his first serious challenger.

I had thought the idea, which was roundly ridiculed by the influential conservative thinkers of TheSquare, was long dead. The rationale then was that Primary campaigns are a "waste" of resources that would be better spent on a losing campaign against the Democrats. That was pretty much it. Excuse me! What did the Party intend to do, you know, instead of holding a Primary? I don't remember there being an answer. Perhaps those receiving this can assist me.

How, indeed, would the Party select it's champion? In order to conserve precious resources for the general election, prospective GOP candidates would simply sign-up. The County Politburo would meet in secret and the personality cult would welcome a new member into its fold. Then they would trot out the anointed candidate to the jeers of an ever-dwindling base. Those other candidates, I guess, would be free to campaign against the endorsed, or the favored one. But what would be the point? In order to conserve campaign resources, the State (and County) party would back their man and discourage the others from running. Remember the 11th Commandment, they would chide. Party unity, they would chant. Go along to get along, eh? And so a machine would be born.

I wouldn't mind it so much if it was a winning machine. This one, unfortunately would be destined to turn out failure after failure. The County party would hasten its slide into obscurity.

The liberals would have a field day with this idea, too. In a last ditch grasp for power, the Maryland State GOP has decided to turn their Primary into a giant rubber stamp, and endorse State Sen. Bullroast Backslapper for congress. Primary voting in the GOP would be a mere formality as candidates vie for the Party nod.

I hope I am wrong. I hope that my dad heard or read wrong.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Peeves - Karaoke

Karaoke Singers
"Singers" is, of course, a polite reference. I became intimately familiar with them after a co-worker, who was an extrovert par excellence, invited my wife and I to the club in Alexandria, I believe, where she worked part-time as a KJ. That's right, a Karaoke Jockey. It was more than a couple of years ago and I remember how awe-inspiringly weird it all was. I sat there in the club drinking what they called gin, with my mouth agape as though I were watching a circus side show.

I had to keep reminding myself that these were "ordinary" people who carry on otherwise ordinary lives and livelihoods. That they weren't paid performers of the sort that pack the green room of a typical Jerry Springer show. My co-worker was typical among them. By day a very competent contract specialist. By night, a howling, hollering KJ, exhorting the crowd not to hog the book (lists of songs that would be played in special Karaoke format that provides the "singers" with the song lyrics and the other popularly known utterances of the song displayed on a video screen).

I spent the evening trying to figure out who was more mad, the singers or the people who egg them on.

So it was just recently in a Solomon's Island resort hotel nightclub. I was trying to explain to my mother (we were there celebrating my sister's 25th wedding anniversary) why I was so concerned about these people. They are borderline psychopaths, I told her. What possible difference to me could it make if these people get up a make fools of themselves? I explained that these people are not just drunks who are fulfilling some long dead dream. They are stone-sober serious about this. They have one of these Karaoke machines in the rec room at home. And they practice singing these songs! They practice singing while looking at the lyrics on a video screen! They are not singers, nor do they want to be singers. If they did, they would have voice lessons and would know the lyrics by heart. The only difference between them and Robert DeNiro's character in Taxi Driver, was that the taxi driver used handguns instead of a Karaoke machine.

So they are not practicing to sing a song. They are practicing to sing Karaoke "songs." They schedule time to go to the local Karaoke club. They connive to get to the book first and get their names in. The sit and wait for their turn, trying to remember how their "OOoooo,, OOOOooo Baby, Yeah's" sounded.

What possible harm could come this fetish? Remember, these are ordinary people. Any one of them could be at the controls of your next flight, or in the tower. They could be in the operating room monitoring your blood pressure, or, God forbid, behind the scalpel. They might be thinking of landing the plane or making a clean cut. Then again they might be thinking about their last Karaoke performance, and how you resemble the balding bearded guy who burst out laughing as you tried to hit that high "!"

So the next time you find yourself laughing at a Karaoke singer, think of Robert DeNiro coming over to your table and asking "Are you laughing at me?"

Peeves - Church

I can't go to church anymore. I tried, Lord knows. I promised the priest who baptized our children that I would try. But then it started. The people. After a year or so of trying I decided it was best for the rest of the congregation if I just stopped going.

First it was the clerics. Some of them were clearly socialists. I found myself writing rebuttals to their Silent Spring and Population Bomb theology to which, even long after they've been discredited, they continue to cling. Anonymously I would hand in my thoughts. I like to think I was getting to them. But who knows?

Then the church subscribed to video sermons, played on twin mini-jumbotrons on either side of the pulpit. I watched the ridiculous spectacle as the pastor took a seat in the pews and craned his neck to view the gospel music video. This was too much. I grabbed another prayer card and chastised the church for marginalizing the wonderful talent of the congregation as well as our excellent organist. The organ itself is an amazing device darkened by nameless, faceless, two dimensional video "choir."

On my second and last such back-of-the-prayer-card missive, I offered to fill any gaps in Sunday service content they felt needed to be filled by the video gospel, with my own brand of sermonizing. The next Sunday's sermon was devoted to gently reminding me that it was for the church to decided on how best to minister to the flock.

Then it was the worshipful themselves. It occurred to me that the only reason people go to my church, it seemed, was to cough. For some reason, some people find occasional moments of silence that break up a typical Sunday service irresistible. They take it upon themselves to fill these reflective voids of noise with their expectoration's. Cough! Here I am! I think they do it because they lack attention otherwise. And who is going to throw them out of church for coughing?

I looked around at these coughers. They are healthy, young men and women. After the service in the fellowship hall I'd expected to see them in an oxygen tent. But no. There they were, gabbing away, laughing politely. On one special service, I think it was Easter, a group of elderly ladies sat in the pew in front of us. For the entire hour, these ladies managed to breath normally in and out. They must have been 99 years old each. Meanwhile, all around them, healthy young men and women were hacking away. But only during moments of silence!

And so I became neurotic, obsessed with the people in the church; obsessed with analyzing their every move. I tried shutting them out. It is rude, apparently, to use an iPod in church. I had to sit in the very back because I was obsessed with idea of people coughing on the back of my neck.

Next....Karaoke Singers

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Clambake - Harris - Wrap Up

I want to say "wow." The series of clips of the Harris interview, as amateurish as they are, has gotten a lot of attention. Even my mother got into the act, though I am sure she was being reserved in her comments for public consumption. She has taken me to task in the past for calling people "spineless" and "gutless" without offering any clinical proof. These are respected people in the community, she would say. Remember, your son is named after nice for his sake, is another one usually followed by the standard motherly if-you-can't-say-something-nice-about-someone...

C'mon, mom! Give me your best shot! Lemme have it with both this guy:

In my post I didn’t say that I disagreed with Harris on his stance, but I did find it suprising that a candidate who is portrayed to be on the opposite end of the conservative spectrum from incumbent Gilchrest would support more government involvement in health insurance.
First I have to thank the blogger for noticing the interview. And I was, indeed, refering to his (or her) post.

The blogger takes exception to being called a left-wing blogger. All I can say is that anyone who doubts Andy Harris' conservative bonafides must be, in my book, a leftwinger, a liberal, not a conservative. "...opposite end of the conservative spectrum from incumbent Gilchrest..."? Gilchrest isn't even ON the spectrum. He doesn't know where the spectrum is. He's lost it, up in a closet somewhere. you know, behind all the winter accessory odds and ends that come tumbling down on you everytime you are looking for something up there.

Anyway, for my mother's sake, I'll let Mr. Harris speak for himself on the health care issue. From my standpoint, his position rings true. I can't wait for the first Harris-Gilchrest debate!

In other matters, I do want to let it be known that I have a short video interview of Michael Swartz, author of BlogNetNews' Number One Maryland blog. If anyone wants to see it, please contact Mr. Swartz or visit his blog The Monoblogue, and leave a comment!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harris -- Nuclear Power?

Hell Yes. More along the Energy Independence line of questioning. It's like he is reading my mind. I'm sure if he wasn't so busy being a Physician, being a Naval medical officer, state senator, father and now, candidate for Congress, he would be writing a blog called "Andy's Harris Land" or something....

Harris -- Energy

Sen. Harris expounds on how and why he differs from the incumbent on U.S. energy policy. Sen Harris obviously wants to lead the nation in the direction of energy independence that doesn't require dotting the landscape with millions of giant windmills, forcing Americans to beat their laundry clean on rocks down by the river, read only during the daylight hours, or all the other cockamamie ideas and practices forced on us by tree-huggers and those spineless, gutless and braindead politicians like Wayne Gilchrest.

Harris on HealthCare

About a week before the Clambake, one of the left-wing bloggers tried to take some steam out of the Harris campaign by asserting that he may not be the conservative he claims to be. As proof, they cite his support for the relatively new health insurance scheme signed into law by then Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. So I figured I'd give him a chance to refute this claim or explain why he supported it.

Essentially (I know the audio is bad so I will paraphrase here) Sen. Harris explains that he supported the plan as it was initially drafted by Gov. Romney. Of course, once submitted to the socialists in the Massachusetts legislature many of the desirable elements were cut out and plan became more socialized. He doesn't support the system that Romney, as a Republican governor in a state that just loves Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, was pretty much forced to sign.

What Sen. Harris supports is something more aligned with what we'd expect a conservative statesman to support.

Harris -- Fear The Sheep!

More of the interview with State Sen. Andrew Harris. This is the money shot for me; the whole reason for burning $150 worth in regular gasoline, to get the good senator to go on record as being a proud member of the GOP sheep herd that Congressman Gilchrest denigrates on a regular basis. Why do District 1 voters not see this? Why do they continue to tolerate being disenfranchised by a man who takes their Republican campaign funds, endorsements and votes and then votes with the Democrats?

Harris in Crisfield

If I was slightly skeptical before, I am fully convinced now that state Sen. Andrew Harris is the man who will be our next Republican Congressman. Three generations of Netherlands traveled first to Delaware, where we topped off the gas tank, then to Crisfield, MD, site of the annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake. The whole reason for the journey was to interview Sen. Harris, on the video record. Thanks to campaign political director Christopher Meekins who followed through on his promise to allow me to record the interview for the blog.

Thanks to Dad for spotting the water tower! And to my cameraman, Mike Netherland Jr for expert handling of this introductory scene.

I also want to thank Sen. Harris for being such a good sport about finding just the right spot for the interview. There was a lot of funny musical chairs played in order to get the right angle on the water tower. Also for the shouting required to be heard over the incredible noise of the crowd. Now I promise to find either a quieter venue for the next videoblog or some video equipment with an extension microphone capability.

Our first time to the clambake, we had no idea what to expect. Someone said to grab your mug and mallet from the table full of them courtesy of the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce. Wearing our yellow Harris t-shirts, who do we run into first? Susan McConkey and husband Del. Tony McConkey....Gilchrest supporters! Of course he couldn't help calling over his pals, including blogger Brian Griffiths of Pasedena to say 'hey look who showed up wearing a Harris shirt!' But thanks Tony and Susan for getting us started in the Right direction!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The End of Civilization

I witnessed the beginning of the end of Western Civilization the other night on the way home from work. It was on a late and crowded MARC train to Odenton. I had just given up my seat to a "lady" who apparently was not satisfied with one she had taken next to me. She wanted mine as well. Fine. I left for better, more civilized accommodations in the next car.

Finding none, I took up a standing spot and tried to do last week's crossword. At New Carrollton, the first stop, where the train was also late, the platform was crowded with tired commuters. One was a lady. A large lady. On a MARC commuter train, the volume of air one displaces is something of premium and everyone, even the brain dead, are somehow acutely aware of that displacement. It's different than on the subways and buses which are designed for standing commutes. The MARC train is designed for more civilized travel.

So this large lady was standing next to me as we pulled away from the station. I looked around in disgust at all the men sitting while this lady struggled to remain standing as the cattle-car lurched and swayed. I remembered writing years ago in my proto-blog about Etiquette on a MARC Train. Finally I heard a small voice. Another lady, noticing the poor woman's difficulty keeping her balance stood up from her seat next to a man. A Man! This is it, I thought, the Man will be shamed into giving up his seat instead. I watched as both rose, the man smiled at the gentle lady. I watched in horror as the man allowed one lady to give up her seat to another lady. I could not believe it as I watch the man retake his precious seat.

"I never thought I'd live to see the day when a lady is forced to give up her seat for another lady! Too bad there are no gentlemen in this car"! The whole car heard me. There were some protests. I shushed them with a wave of my hand. Perhaps I had embarrassed them. I hope I did. Perhaps they might act differently in the future.

The gentle lady took up the standing space formerly occupied by the large lady. She immediately made it sound as though she was grateful for the chance to stand. "I've been sitting all day..." She realized there was no excuse and no defense for these ...males. Of course I blamed her as a modern woman, a feminist. Oh no, no. She insists she appreciates being treated like a lady by a gentleman. Well I'm sorry, I told her bluntly. I'm taken.

I hope we can be gentlemen inspite of feminism. I hope that we'll feel uncomfortable sitting while ladies stand. So, are we men? Or are we little girls? Fat, old, bald-headed bearded little girls? I think you know where I stand.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Gilchrest Votes Again!

Proving yet again that "our" congressman Wayne Gilchrest represents a grand total of 12 Republicans in Maryland's 1rst Congressional Distrct, he voted, as I expected he would have, with the Democrats in the House. See Michelle Malkin's, column below:
By a vote of 223-201, the House of Representatives passed a surrender timetable that culminates in an April 1, 2008 withdrawal. How appropriate. It’ll be vetoed, but don’t think our enemies aren’t hearing the defeatist message from the House loud and clear. The Republicans who voted for the measure:Duncan, Emerson, Gilchrest,
Jones (NC)...
I remember thinking on the drive home last night as I listened to the news reports of the House vote "Hmmm I wonder how Wayne-O voted?" What are his options?

1. Aye - Where he continues to beg District 1 Republicans to terminate his Congressional career;
2. Nay - Where he turns into a sheep and follows (most) of the other sheep into the Republican sheep pen.

Neither option is very attractive. However, he is on record as wanting nothing to do with the rest of the Republican caucus. So the former option is the least unattractive. I wonder what his thoughts were?

1. Aye - Where I continue to be counted upon by Liberal Democrats in the House to seal the fate of the GOP in 2008, or;
2. Nay - Look like a fool who doesn't know where he stands. Hmmmmmmmmm.....

But Mike, what about the actual issue of continuing to fund the war in Iraq? Doesn't that count? Isn't it possible that he was actually voting with the best interests of the American people in mind?

If, indeed, Mr. Gilchrest voted with the Democrats because he thought they had in mind the best interests of the security of this country and the stability of the rest of the free world, then he is certifiably insane.

To his dwindling ranks of die-hard supporters, I have to say that I understand if you continue to delude yourselves thusly. But I think you should approach Mr. Gilchrest's political career as a cowboy to his lame horse; with your heart full of love and gratefulness....

Friday, July 06, 2007

Stop the Madness

To any adult men or women holding high public office,

We, the unenlightened, stupid, little people of this great State, beseech you, stop the madness prevailing now Montgomery County, indeed in the whole state. The madness wherein taxpayers' money will go to purchase cucumbers and condoms as part of an enhanced sex-ed curriculum; the madness that assumes little boys who have been putting on their own socks and pants for years before being given the cucumber cannot figure out which end of what goes where; the madness that tries to turn the very forces of nature and teach an unnatural form of human copulation.

We, the ignorant, humble, God-fearing folk do not pretend to know what strange and powerful magic is wielded high above in order to educate our children. That is why we turn our meager earnings over to you, trusting that whatever magic is used will be for the good not only of our children, but of the next generation of our society and the future of Western civilization itself. No pressure.

We do know some things, though. We know that certain forms of sexual activity are dangerous to your health the health of those around you. Why on Earth would you teach our kids to experiment with dangerous activity? After they finish each lesson on How to Contract the HIV Virus and Die from AIDS, what do you? Send them out to clear minefields? Drink and drive? Sniff glue? Is this a new way to reduce class size?

While your staff are working on a response to this plea, have them find out one thing for me, hmmm? Have them find out why cucumbers. Cucumbers are a favorite vegetable at our house. There's nothing like my mom's cucumber and tomato salad drenched in a homemade mint and garlic dressing. I would really like to pass that simple pleasure along to my children.

Are there research papers, cost-benefit analyses, focus group data that was used to pick the cucumber over, say, the carrot? Or the zucchini? Why a vegetable? I would think a fruit more appropriate in this task.


Mike Netherland
The homophobic, bigoted, right-wing gun (and Jesus) freak living right here, in your midst, in
Severna Park, MD

Monday, June 25, 2007

Carnival of Maryland #10

Dear readers,
What follows is a post listing articles that have been submitted to what we in the blogosphere call a Carnival. It is a way of sharing posts from around the Maryland blogosphere. Assuming you are reading this because my blog is in your "favorites" ...sigh...or is a link on another of your favorite blogs, then you would not only get my usual humorous generalizations about unions and politicians, you would also get blog posts from other perspectives.

Whether those bloggers will want to associate themselves with me remains to be seen. So if you see any links below, give them a read!

Blog Carnival #10 posts:

#1. Wade Crodhil presents Baltimore City Election 2007 Candidates posted at Politics, Hon.

#2. Michael Swartz from the Eastern Shore is checking up on the doings of his representatives in Congress.

#3. Attila (aka The Pillage Idiot) presents World's most trivial con man posted at Pillage Idiot.

#4. The Ridger presents Un Connect-a-Ride posted at The Greenbelt.

#5. The Ridger presents Red Admiral and friends posted at The Greenbelt.

#6. Zinzindor presents Out of Comptrol posted at Leviathan Montgomery.

Friday, June 22, 2007

WSJ and Susan Sarandon

Feedback Letter to the WSJ:

Until this afternoon's lunch I had been for decades enjoying reading the Wall Street Journal, even putting up with its open borders fanaticism and occasionally running across reporting that is blatantly slanted leftward. Recent changes to style and format have turned a once respectable broadsheet daily into a tabloid, however, leaving me cold.

But what caused me to toss my pre-packaged tuna-fish sandwich was the site on the back page of section A of actress Susan Sarandon, featuring the just-crawled-out-of a-clothes-hamper look, head cocked to the right and a not-quite-vacant expression as though she is struggling to put a coherent thought together. This is the page I and, I suspect millions of people who still use two hands to turn to the editorial pages, see first.

I expected to read how she and her batty cohort are trying to stop conservative Republicans from committing this or that atrocity against her and her batty cohort. No. How she is starring in Michale Moore's latest movie "Whacko." No. Raising money to help the poor Islamic freedom fighters of Hezbollah and Hamas purchase better quality plastic explosives, nails and detonators. No. This time she is helping to sell the Wall Street Journal. Something called Journey. "Every Journey needs a Journal" goes the ad; a long stem rose angled up marks time and events in her career or "journey." How clever. How sickening.

I liked the Journal because it was top-notch in everything it did. Even in the liberally slanted news reporting. It covered everything. Everything you could ever want to know about the world was there. Now it lies there, folded on its back page so I don't have to look at her. I want to read Dorothy Rabinowitz's column on the Nifong-Fitzgerald similarities. But I can't! It's not just her. It's the thought of who's next in this silly Journey campaign? Michael Moore? Jane Fonda? Arlen Spector?

Just tell me who's next on which days so I can avoid running across Sen. Ted Stevens' "journey" by accident and really making a mess of things.

Thank you,
Mike Netherland
Severna Park, MD.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

Well It appears that the Kapital's latest press release from the Anne Arundel County Public Schools system served to confirm my last message regarding the "unscientific" poll run by the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC): that the poll would be fed to the Union hacks being passed off as "reporters" to further its agenda of getting more and more money. Even though we were assured by the Kapital editorial board last spring that "we have seen the last of the annual squabbles" over more money for the "education" black hole. I couldn't write; "Fat chance" fast enough and I received anonymous letters claiming I was misinformed and heartless.

You know if I were the author of the press-release-published-as-news-story, I would be shouting about plagiarism! But then again, perhaps I take a bit too much pride in my work as a professional. However, as I said, the poll, as unscientific as is repeatedly disclaimed, was used as I had expected it would. I wonder what other "unscientific polls" the Kapital is willing to prominently feature?

Maybe this "mean-spirited" letter will inspire the Union Tools at the Kapital to ask the simple questions they can't or won't bring themselves to ask. I say again: Fat chance. Nonetheless, I offer myself as a source, or a source of sources, to the professional journalists in TAAAC newsroom, if there are any. I ask nothing in return, except to read one day how a Union hack actually had to answer a few questions.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

School Board Petition - Sad News?

From the Chairman:
We have received the news we dreaded from the State Board of Elections. It appears that after the counting and validation of the petition signatures turned in for May we have come up short by 275 signatures. We are seeking more information and exploring our options but it would appear that our petition drive has fallen painfully short. Our volunteers did a concientious job in collecting signatures
and the rejection rate was about half of the typical average for these efforts. However, it appears that signatures which were invalidated for technical reasons were the difference. You will be reading about this in the paper today and I wanted to give you a head's up.

I also wanted to thank all of you for the hard work you have given to our effort. Given that the effort was completely grassroots and all volunteer, what you accomplished is nothing short of amazing. Time, not any lack of support, was the enemy.

Thousands of our neighbors joined us in sending a message that our voice should not be silenced in the school board selection process. While the focus of our efforts may now shift, I hope we can continue to work together to give power to the people and not the politicians.

Thank you again for all your hard work and make sure everyone who helped us gets this message.
Greg Kline
Chairman, Citizens for an Elected School Board

For what it's worth, 275 short, on technicalities, is amazing. What was the minimum? Something like 20,000? This should send a BIG message to Anne Arundel County politicians!

Mike N.

"The Way I see It"

Fred Thompson for President article by a fellow blogger out west:

Check it out. Let me know what you think!

Mike Netherland

Sunday, June 17, 2007

LTE: School Survey

While there's no mention of it in Sunday's (6-17-07) huge feature on the school budget battle, there is a link on the Union-run Anne Arundel County Public Schools website to a ridiculous poll purporting to seek input from parents, taxpayers, etc. about how the budget should be allocated and how taxes and fees should be raised. This is supposedly a, taxpayer-funded website of the county government. See for yourself:(

I like the lead-off question for the What-Taxes-Should-Be-Raised section: Q#17: "I want Anne Arundel County Public Schools to be the best school system in the state of Maryland." Who would Strongly Disagree? Me. Why? Because I can just see the Headline: 'Parents' want best schools; for free.' Then it starts: Q#20: "I would support a property tax increase dedicated solely to school funding to help Anne Arundel County Public Schools move toward its goal of becoming the best in the state." Your own 'reporters' can tell you this is misleading, at best. State and County and tax revenues cannot be "dedicated" to anything.

So the Teachers Union is at it again. Trying to bamboozle our elected leaders, friends, neighbors, the rank and file and the voters. I am begging you: Find someone with the guts to confront the school system union on this poll, how much taxpayer money is being used to pay for a blatantly political tool, and why the public school web site is being used, once again to further a political agenda.

Mike Netherland

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mike Netherland
Date: Mar 12, 2006 2:53 PM
Subject: The Teachers....Again
To: "Letters, Kapital"

Dear Editors,
I read your latest flak-piece for the Teachers Association (Union) of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC) in Sunday's edition. And I am resigned to the inevitable caving-in of County politicians to the irresistible and relentless, thanks to you, union propaganda campaign. If only every special interest in this county had a daily newspaper in its pocket.

So I read with awe, about the guaranteed union, salary increases being etched into the granite tablet just after 'XI.' But I wasn't shocked. What I did find amusing, though, was the editorial's assertion that after achieving the second highest salary in the state, "...a multi-year agreement would avoid the yearly squabbling...." over salaries. Fat chance. I can just hear those poor serfs of the public school system now: "We must be Second-Class citizens; our salaries are Second-Rate!"

And we, the electorate, the "friends and neighbors" of our children's teachers will be tarred as union-busters again and again until all teachers can afford a NEW Mercedes, a house in Severna Park, have a free and fully-funded pension at 100 percent of their salary, teaching in classes that are regularly reduced to "manageable sizes" and are made up of child prodigies.

Mike Netherland

Thursday, June 14, 2007

AACo Public Schools - "Budget Survey"

It comes to my attention (from a a recent and vigiliant member of the Square) that the county school educrats and Teachers Union are taking a poll regarding the 2008 budget!

Yes! They WANT our input on, according to my source, what programs should be cut and what TAX Increases we would support to keep teachers' salaries and union dues flowing. I haven't looked at the poll yet, so I am begging you to go to this site:

And give them a piece of your mind. Please let us now what else you discover and such!

Another vigilant member of the Square writes (emphasis mine):
Mike, Read the questions carefully. They talk about raising revenue for dedicated funds for the board, but both you and I know that the funds taken in go to the general fund and are dispersed from there. Also, perhaps a bit more parochial, our area pays a lot of property and personal taxes, there is no guarantee that the raised funds would ever be used for our schools, as once we turn over our tax money, the County and Board can place it anywhere they want.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Good Connections?

In ThePublicSquare are 52 of the most well-connected members of the Republican Party in Anne Arundel County. You know who we are. Now I'm not one to post just for the sake of self-promotion; and far be it from me to begrudge a fellow MD conservative blogger a little of the prestige that comes from being the first to break news or to post an opinion on anything.

I have nothing but the highest opinion of Michael Swartz, especially after he posted a link to my blog, but even before then. He didn't squawk when I recently stole one of his commenters. So why do I feel so out-of-the-loop just because the Monoblogue seems to have gotten advanced tickets to the BIG event:

Wednesday, July 18th, the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake. I have tickets available for that event if folks are interested! Just let me know, the e-mail is

Well, there you have it. He only has three tickets, so he says, but still. That's four more than I have!

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bartlett Joins the Fray

From one of my dear readers (bless you). Now I have criticized Rep. Bartlett in the past for his position on "energy independence." But here he redeems himself. Read the whole thing.

Mike Netherland

Immigration Bill Must Die
by Roscoe G. Bartlett
Posted 06/07/2007
Amnesty is not a “narrow slice” or “one little aspect” of the Senate immigration deal as the President argues. Awarding amnesty to 10-20 million illegal aliens would be the one sure result. It will promote more illegal immigration by almost guaranteeing that if you can cross the border, you will be able to become a permanent U.S. resident.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm With Fred!

Regular visitors here, both of you, will notice a new feature of the blog. On the right margin is a "widget" supplied by the good folks at the Thompson campaign. It was ridiculously easy to put in, so I don't want you getting the idea thatI'm some master blog wizard.

And I have tested it. You don't have to put your name in here, Just click the Contribute button and go right to the donation page and enter all the data there. While you are on the site, register as a volunteer.

If you have a blog, get your own widget!

UPDATE: Fred is raising money like a drunken sailor!

Rule of Law

It's pretty bad when you have to raid another blog's comments. But I couldn't help myself. After noticing that the Monoblogue had posted the MDGOP press release (hours after I did), and that he had one comment already, I had to do something.

The commenter raised the ol' you-can't-blame-them-for-coming-here-to-work-at-jobs-Americans-won't-do "argument":

"These folks come here to work. Why should they be punished for responding to an economic need? We need to find a way to allow enough immigrants into this country to meet our economic needs."

To which I reply:
Because there is a law. Not just any law. There is a U.S. law. U.S. Law is supposed to be waaaaay different than, say, Mexican law. We expect laws in this U.S. to be enforced. It is, after all, why the illegals come here. Forget about working, let's just focus on The Law. The law in the U.S. is what allows people like you and me to hand over 30 percent of what we earn to the government without thinking too hard about what's done with it. Why? because we know the LAW will be enforced equally and fairly on everyone.

Now the LAW also gives us comfort in knowing that if we disagree with how much is taken and how it's spent we can change it. So the LAW in this country is very attractive. People from all over the world know this. Even the poor folks in Mexico know this. Yet they are actively, if unwittingly undermining that very same rule of law that comforts them. The world is watching us once again, to see whether we will uphold the sanctity of the rule of law. If we don't enforce immigration law, which laws will we enforce? Suddenly all laws suspect. Laws protecting private property, patents, contracts, life, etc.

***Update: counter jab on the Monoblogue. From Marc:
"Did these folks break the law? Sure. But that doesn’t really bother me. They aren’t hurting me."

Marc,....The concept of the Rule of Law is central to this many-faceted issue. Addressing it is not a means of avoiding the questions. If one cannot adequately address the impact on rule of law, then one hasn't a leg to stand on.
"Did these folks break the law? Sure. But that doesn’t really bother me. They aren’t hurting me."
So we should take it that if they were, in fact, hurting you, we should then enforce the law. Yes? Do you not see how rapidly this argument leads to anarchy?

Monday, June 04, 2007

MDGOP Chairman Balks at Shamnesty Bill

All I can say is 'wow'!
If there was any doubt that the new GOP leadership is anything but the best thing that could have happened to the Party, this press release blows it away completely! I think that most if not all of you have a gut feeling about this legislation. I haven't read the thing, but from what I've been able to gather, it just doesn't give me the warm and fuzzy feeling that it's going to work any better than than previous attempts to reform the law. And it takes guts, as the leader of a state GOP party, to come out and say so. Dr. Pelura and his team are effectively immune from Removable Spine Syndrom. Let their blood be used to manufacture a vaccine.

Mike Netherland

Immigration Bill Takes Us In The Wrong Direction

ANNAPOLIS—Members of the United States Senate return today from Memorial Day recess and will be debating the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007. Chairman James Pelura of the Maryland Republican Party made the following statement:

"We all agree that our current immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed. However, the immigration proposal currently being considered would be a move in the wrong direction. Our nation needs an immigration bill that respects the rule of law, makes border security a priority, and does not grant amnesty. The immigration bill being considered by the Senate would grant benefits to those who have willfully broken the law, and in some cases, provides illegal immigrants rights not even afforded to U.S. citizens. Plain and simple – that is wrong. This wonderful land of opportunity is the envy of the world and people risk their lives to come here. We, as a nation, should encourage those seeking the American dream to follow the rules to citizenship and then fully participate in all this land has to offer."

Monday, May 28, 2007

"Leopold Endorses Gilchrest"

I guess it was only a matter of time. The Examiner was the only newspaper on my stoop this morning, so I picked it up. The blurb was a sidebar to the main story about Gilchrest jumping on the anti-amnesty bandwagon that his primary and general election opponents had been riding for some time now.

The blurb didn't mention the occasion of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold's endorsement but what do you want for a blurb? This link is to a PDF of the Examiner page on which the News brief is found.

The Examiner's Len Lazarick says:
I asked him [Leopold] about Gilchrest at a tour of Fort Meade on Friday [5-25]. I noted Republican senators and delegates who were endorsing Andy Harris over Gilchrest, and asked Leopold about his position. “I’m supporting Gilchrest” he began by saying, and then pretty much volunteered the rest.

It was an interesting endorsement, however. Leopold basically said it was payback for Gilchrest's endorsement of his own recent bit of political opportunism. When they are not scratching each others' backs:
"We share the same passion for the environment," said Leopold...

That John Leopold is in bed with Gilchrest should be the final nail in Gilchrest's political coffin. Leopold has consolidated his hold on Anne Arundel County GOP politics after engineering a sweeping coup of the County GOP central committee which, when it takes a break from defending Gilchrest, is busy attacking the conservatives who, unexpectedly I guess, ascended to the State Party leadership.

Take It Easy On Gilchrest

I write to beg the hard-hitting reporting and editing staff at the Annapolis Kapital to go easy on the embattled incumbent Congressman from District 1, Wayne Gilchrest. Liam Farrell's critical examination of the man and his wardrobe in Sunday's edition (5-27-07) made me, a hardcore Gilchrest opponent, wince with each menacing jab at the poor man such as this passage:

"Clad modestly in a baseball hat, short-sleeved button-down shirt and olive khakis, U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest looked out on the crowd."

It was the schoolmarm in Gilchrest, I suspect, that kept Farrell's pen at bay, sparing his subject the embarrassment of mentioning that his shirt was blue, and his hat green. But later on in the rambling feature story, Farrell confronts Gilchrest, as Gilchrest no doubt confronted the ruthless VietCong with this brutal onslaught:

The congressman, dressed in a blue-button down shirt and a rumpled navy pinstripe suit, spoke in soft, even tones.

I can only pray that when Farrell turns his steely gaze upon state Senator Andy Harris, that it isn't over a scrumptious omelet lunch on fine white linen with silver and china service at Harry Browne's!

Mike Netherland
Severna Park, MD

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Run, Andy, Run!!

from the Eastern Shore's Michael Swartz:

I have it on very good authority that Andrew Harris has made a pretty quick decision and will seek the Congressional seat held by Wayne Gilchrest, with a formal announcement sometime tomorrow.

Obviously this is a developing story, but it appears that the show of support he received at the Maryland GOP gathering over the weekend let him know the effort was viable. Who knows, maybe the comments on my little old blog story assisted as well.

And knowing that the husband of Gilchrest’s communication director is the editor of the Daily Times, methinks I don’t see a lot of good coverage coming from there. But I’ll be happy to pick up the slack.

Check out his Monoblogue. Leave a comment.

Scott Hollenbeck is getting the same signals from someone close to the Senator as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Welcome Home, Troops!

First attempt at posting a link to a video - homemade video of MD GOP contingent trying to make the troops feel like rock stars and greatly appreciated!

OK, so it's a slide show. And every shot has my daughter in it. Well, you'll forgive me. She is a cutie pie! There are links below to some video snippets that provided the sides.

Where're we going, Sara?

The Netherlands

Welcome home, soldier!

"Thank you, sir!"

Please feel free to grab a link. Or link back to this page. Refresh now and then to see updates.

Thanks to John Flynn, the chief zealot responsible for bringing us together and making sure the troops had a little welcome-home snack!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Party Rift

Since sharing my, oh lets call it consternation with former MDGOP Chairman's John Kane's remarks to the press last week, I have heard from Chuck Gast (R-Mitt Romney). Mr. Gast has been invited to defend Kane's remarks or add his voice to those who have suddenly soured on the new leadership and professional staff of the state Party. And it also seems as though Mike Collins (R-?), our County Central Committee Chairman has called to reassure those of us who are rightly put off by Mr.Kane's smear tactics. I find it curious that Kane and his supporters are out conducting overt and covert operations against a GOP leadership that is unabashedly conservative. The smear also comes at the same time that Wayne Gilchrest (R-Baaa, baaa) is under enormous pressure, whether he realizes it or not, to begin brushing up on his Lincoln and Reagan or risk being shunned by the Party. So while the bring-home-the-bacon crowd are busy circling the wagons around Gilchrest and trying to discredit the conservative leadership of the party, the rest of us are wondering just what the heck is going on.

I hereby invite the current and former Chairmen of the County Central Committee to explain to the Square exactly why it was a good thing to attack the current state party chair and executive director. I will not publish their essays on my blog as I will this one. Their essays will be available to the members of the Square (so you have to join to read them!!). Maybe there's something we ought to know about Dr. Pelura and John Flynn. Some dark secret, ulterior motives, a hidden agenda? Tell us! O Keepers of the Incumbent, O Defenders of the Indefensible! Enlighten those of us out of backslapping range!

I can understand that the party might be taking up sides in advance of the National Primary (So Chuck, you can stop sending me the Romney material). But why attack the State Party leadership? The state and county Party must remain neutral during the Primary. But if they hold private opinions and allegiances, they need to get an outsider to advance their candidate(s). So far I have not been able to detect a similar move by the current State party leadership, you know, the conservatives. It seems as though they are remaining neutral. Imagine that.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Thursday, May 10, 2007

In Praise of the Zealots

I sent the message below to the Washington Times using their "Contact Us"page. Let's see yours!

Regarding Mr. Kane's comments in today's story by Tom LoBianco: ( The Republicans I have talked to who have been withholding their donations are now eager to donate to the party under the highly competent leadership of James Pelura and John Flynn. Both are very well respected members of the party. As many people know, I haven't had a good word to say about the GOP, state and national since I can't remember when. Under Mr. Kane's "leadership" we witnessed a party apparatus that would have turned the GOP primary into a rubber stamp. And the leadership was AWOL in the face of well-organized attacks on the first Republican governor in decades. Finally, Kane and Co. made idiotic and insulting comments, repeatedly, in the press about loyal Republicans who had the temerity to offer good ideas. Privately, the professional staff were encouraged to squash dissent by well-meaning GOP activists.

I have every confidence that the new leadership will breath life into the party that Kane wasted. They have already made a difference in keeping the party informed, constantly banging the drum to ensure the Democrats get away with nothing. And if Mr. Kane thinks John Flynn is a zealot, then I have to say, to borrow a phrase, that zealotry in the pursuit of conservative Republicanism is no vice! Compared with four years of zero leadership, I am sure that principled and driven leaders like Dr. Pelura and Mr. Flynn represent a drastic and sorely needed change in Maryland.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What Next?

Well now that the GA has concluded without too much damage (many of you will disagree but there's no denying that things could have been worse; we could be celebrating Rachel Carson Day next month), to what do we turn our attentions and considerable intellectual resources?

I have some thoughts on this, of course. Chief among them are the Congressional and National campaigns. Closer to home, I think that it is vital to return the Anne Arundel County Delegation to the GOP where it rightfully belongs. The lack of delegation control has consigned our fair county's education policy to the cronies, nephews, and golfing buddies of those still unknown members of The Commission. Well, at least we were spared the horrors of turning school board elections into a "popularity contest" as one of our West County brethren has maintained. I feel so much better knowing that Bob Burdon's business buddies will have first refusal when it comes time to put names into The Commission hat.

But hey, what difference does it make, really? The Teacher Union-infested public school system will roll right over whoever is on the school board, regardless how they got there. So we lost and Leopold won. I wonder, though...what did he win, exactly? Why would he have fought so damn hard against fellow Republicans for such a meaningless prize? It must be the potential political favors he and Mr. Burdon and the rest of the bring-home-the-bacon crowd expect to wield.

Ok, back to the Congressional and National campaigns. I had been brooding over the field of presidential contenders. I am still hopeful that Newt will jump in. But I am absolutely on fire about a possible Fred Thompson bid. On fire is putting it mildly. Have you seen the polls? He would take the Primary if held tonight. He has a ton of conservatives ablaze as well. And he would be enjoying really solid financial backing if he had only made a move earlier. As such, Mitt Romney is now the Tennessee Mafia's boy. Go figure.

Anyway, as soon as he announces, I will be volunteering to help with his Maryland Campaign. Go to my blog at and use the links to the Thompson sites or to Michelle Malkin's HotAir site to keep up on Fred! Check and vote on some of the on-line polls. And you skeptics, go ahead and try to burst my bubble. Just start from why you think he can't win or why he shouldn't make a better president than X.

As far as the Cong. Dist 1 campaign goes, all I can say is that the time has never been more ripe for regime change. I will also volunteer to aid whoever decides to challenge the incumbent.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Friday, March 23, 2007

True to Form - Wayne's Latest Outrage

Well, I don't have the roll call, but here's how Wayne-o voted:

Voting for the bill were 216 Democrats and two Republicans — Wayne Gilchrest ( news, bio, voting record) of Maryland and Walter Jones ( news, bio, voting record) of North Carolina. Of the 212 members who opposed the bill, 198 were Republicans and 14 were Democrats.

He must figure he has nothing to lose.

For those of you just tuning in and for whom the simple fact that Wayne-O was one of only two Repub...(I can't bring myself to write the whole word) voting with the rest of the Democrats against his colleagues, again just isn't enough, the outrage is just this: He voted to approve an emergency supplemental appropriations bill, larded with Blue Dog Pork, to provide continued funding for the Iraq War as well as other GWOT activities.

HOWEVER....the reason why 198 of his colleagues voted against it was because it contained a timetable for retreat and surrender and off-cutting funds for the troops in harm's way. This is also the reason why it will, hopefully, die in the Senate and, if not, on the President's desk.

I am awarding myself a bottle of Chianti, by the way.

Mike N.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shear Audacity

Fictional transcript of fictional interview with a fictional Eastern Shore, Kent County, Republican.
What do you think, Mr. Marr?
Interview with the Sheep
Host Tom Marr

TM: Good Morning. WCBM 680 is pleased to welcome Red Bartlersman of Kennedyville, MD, home to Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of MD's First Congressional District. Mr. Bartlersman is one of a growing number of long-time Gilchrest supporters who are increasingly disaffected by the Congressman's recent votes and speeches. Mr. B has come to the studio this morning wearing a sheep costume.
TM: Mr. B I have to ask you....why the sheep outfit?
RB: It is a symbol of how Gilchrest has come to view those of us, faithful Republicans, who have supported him through the years.
TM: He views you as sheep?
RB: Pretty much. He has said that voting for Republican measures in the House are the acts of mindless sheep.
TM: But, Red, may I call you Red? He considers himself an independent. What he meant by that comment was that he thinks for himself and votes his conscience. How can you take umbrage at that?
RB: One: If he considers himself an independent, then he should run for office as such; and TWO: What does it say about the rest of us? About his colleagues in the Republican Caucus?
TM: I guess it says that you are all mindless sheep. Thanks for coming on this morning, Red.
RB: Baaaa Baaaaa Baaaaa.
TM: That was Red Bartlersman....just one of a ...herd, er flock, of Eastern Shore, District 1 Republicans not happy with Gilchrest's recent vote for the non-binding resolution. Perhaps we are witnessing the beginning of the end for Congressman Gilchrest.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gilchrest's Last Term?

As I read the headline on the Victory Caucus and The Weekly Standard web sites, I was hoping I would not see his name. But in Meet the Move-On Republicans , Wayne Gilchrest rears his ugly head, again:

"Vote for this resolution," said GOP Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland, "and we can move on to end the violence, the sectarian chaos, the foolish, bitter electronic exchanges between countries."
He distinguishes himself yet again, as indistinguishable from the Democratic Party. Proving that he is no sheep, mindlessly following the other Republicans who foolishly represent the values of their Republican constituencies, Congressman Buffoon, decides to mindlessly follow the sheep on the other side of the aisle.
I wonder if his "constituents" on the Otherside of the Bay are aware? I wonder if the Conservative Refuge will step up and call the good Congressman to account. And, really, It's time to pull the plug on MD GOP support for this guy. Dontcha think?
I'll just stand here and hold my breath .....
Mike Netherland.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

36 "Republicans" Vote for Tax Hike

Well there you go. What timing, too. I just received a solicitation from the RNC yesterday. They want me to give them some money so they can re-elect these buffoons. By the way, Rep. Wayne Buffoon, MD-1, not only voted for the tax hike, in doing so, he also apparently broke his pledge to never vote for new taxes

So I will be giving another $50 to the Club for Growth whose mission to support candidates for public office seems to be more effective in electing genuine Republicans than that of the RNC. And with this post I will join the Club's Blogroll of members blogging about Members. Congressman Gilchrest, so far has no blogger listed, so I will gladly take up that honor with

Mike N.
Severna Park, MD

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Next RNC Chair

Dear Mr. Pelura,
First, let me congratulate you on your election to the chair of Maryland's GOP. I expect you are already planning big changes in the way the Party conducts itself. Big changes are needed, I think, if we are to forge a party that stands for something other than the letter 'R'.

Now, if there is a chance that state committees can still influence who ascends to the National Chair, I hope you do not fall into line (you know, the one leading over the cliff) and give your nod to Sen. Martinez.

I have nothing against the good Senator. But from what I have been reading, there are plenty of people who do; people who have only the best interests of the Party and the country at heart. They, like me, know that the Party's elected officials suffer from Removable Spine Syndrome (RSS) and cannot be counted on to vote in the interests of their constituents, their party or their country. Obviously there are a few members of the GOP who are immune to RSS and who would, if asked, permit the harvesting of a few billion adult stem cells for use in finding a cure.

I am not going to suggest an alternative. The list of better candidates includes all of the usual characters found in Saturday morning kids TV programming.

The wonderful Joyce Thomann, however, has definite ideas: "Ask Jim to let Joyce Terhes and Louis Pope know of your views. Jim Pelura is an honest and good man and will let them know of your support of Michael Steele and your opposition to Senator Martinez."

We could do worse. My pick, if he could be drafted, is still Pat Toomey, the Pennsylvanian who nearly beat Arlen Specter in the 2004 (?) Republican Primary. (Chuck, I think Michael Steele would be an excellent candidate to head the Club).

I look forward to answering your questions, and to save time, yes, I would accept a high-level appointment to MD GOP.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

Monday, January 08, 2007

Re: [ThePublicSquare] Conservative PODcasts: Another Step in the Right Direction


Thank you for mentioning the show and giving everyone some very good instructions on how to listen to the show on their computer.

The show is also available through iTunes and is downloadable to any iPod or mp3 player. The url to suscribe is

I am always happy to help anyone who has difficulty in accessing the show.

The show is a work in progress and we have to this point simply letting people know about it by word of mouth and mentions on the internet.

As you can tell, Mike has been very geneorous with his suggestions and I certainly do welcome any feedback people may have about the show.

If you heard our second installment you know about the "Open Door" policy for guests on the show. I hope a number of the members of this group will take advantage of this to spread the word about what we are doing in the county.

Thank you for listening.

Greg Kline

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Conservative PODcasts: Another Step in the Right Direction

The cause of conservative politics takes another plodding step forward in Anne Arundel County with Greg Kline's Conservative Refuge pod-casts. Mr. Kline, long a conservative Republican activist in the county, made a gallant yet unsuccessful bid in last summer's Primary race for Delegate in 33A.

He has since been laboring to cast a conservative light onto county politics and policy as we look towards 2008 and beyond through his Blog, The Conservative Refuge, and now with radio-show-like recordings featuring Greg's take on the week in politics, Republican party scheduled events, a "round table" discussion with other conservative bloggers, interviews with party poobahs and elected officials, etc.

I have listened to both "shows" and I applaud Greg for his effort in exploring new ways to get Republicans, especially conservatives to express and debate themselves. The concept is new enough to allow us to help shape it and Greg is open to new ideas. So I encourage you to give it a listen and give Greg your thoughts. But let's be constructive.

Here's what you do:

1. Click here:
2. Pick a Show by click on the little POD icon to the left of each show title. If you click on the show title you don't get anything.
3. Your computer should start your Windows Media Player and begin to play the MP3 audio file.
4. The first minute and a half consists entirely of sound clips from different movie and radio shows (Greg, despite it's popularity among certain members of the Kline is a bit much and is confusing. Consider cutting it down to 15 seconds and prefix the theme with something to suggest to the listener that they are actually listening to your show.)
5. Then listen to the show. I suggest opening an e-mail message to record your thoughts on the show as it progresses and send them to Greg and\or to the ThePublicSquare.

I am not sure how it works on a "Pod" or how to subscribe. I think Greg needs to explain a bit about these concepts. To the younger set it may all be second nature but I am not a pod owner and I am still not sure what a subscription is or what a "feed" is but I am willing to learn!

I will write more extensively on this subject on MY blog here I hope Greg reads it! Maybe Greg will host a Public Square segment....

Mike Netherland