SPECIAL ELECTION FOR THE PRINCE WILLIAM CLERK OF THE COURT ON APRIL 18, 2017

The Prince William County Courthouse in Manassas in July 2011 (from here)

On April 18, 2017, Prince William County will hold a Special Election for the Clerk of the Court.  Why?

Michele McQuigg’s untimely death last month (February 15, 2015) left an opening in one of the county’s constitutional offices, prompting the three localities served by the court — Prince William, Manassas and Manassas Park–to ask for an April 18 special election to fill the seat. (from here)

What is the Clerk of the Court? It is a big job. If the Clerk of the Court does a poor job, we can waste lots of time in line waiting our turn. Worst, the Office of the Clerk can lose track of or mess up important records.

Here is a miserable example waiting in line from Atlanta, GA, of gods and goddess… by Julie (aka Cookie). With an introductory lesson in Thalia, the Greek Goddess of comedy, she tells her story of visiting the courthouse in Atlanta to probate her father’s will. is a skilled writer. So she makes her story both interesting and amusing. She also reminds of just how insufferable it is to wait in line for no good reason.

Put yourself in ‘s position. Your father has just died. So you are in mourning. Is that the best time to be driving through heavy traffic just so you can spend hours in line? Don’t you think the better option would be to plan ahead? If we take the time we can elect decent manager to keep our county’s legal records.

Here is the official job description. The full title is The Clerk of Circuit Court.

The Clerk of Circuit Court is a constitutional officer elected every eight (8) years. The Clerk serves the citizens of the County of Prince William and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.

The Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court dates back to the 1700s. From that time to the present, the Clerk’s duties have changed significantly, but the office remains vitally important to the citizens of the county and each city.

The Code of Virginia lists more than 800 responsibilities of the Clerk, many of which are complex and challenging. The Clerk serves as the recorder of deeds and probate judge, issues marriage licenses and fictitious names, and is the official court administrator for all civil and criminal court cases. In this latter capacity, the Clerk creates and maintains all court files and records, prepares court orders and jury lists, contacts jurors and issues summons and court processes.

Circuit Court Clerks in Virginia perform duties that in many states are divided among three or four separate offices. Virginia has chosen to combine judicial and administrative functions into a single office–saving citizens significant tax dollars. (from here)

If you want to understand the full scope of the job, click on this link. That is the web site for the Clerk of the Court. That will show you the kind of records that office maintains.

Who is running for the job?

Check out the candidate’s websites. In addition, check out some news articles.

Who am I campaigning for? Jackson Miller. Like Miller, I think the job requires an experienced leader/manager, and he is that. Smith is sharp, but Miller strikes me as sharper and a bit more honest, but judge for yourself.

Anyway, please take the time to become informed and vote. If you are unwilling to do a little research, please stay home.

Need information about voting? Check out pwcvotes.com. Note that if you commute out of the county or expect to be out of the county on election day, you can either vote in-person absentee.

PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE

Here is a story that relates to my last post.

We the pupils: More states teaching founding US documents

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — Should U.S. high school students know at least as much about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist papers as immigrants passing a citizenship test?

In a growing number of school systems, having such a basic knowledge is now a graduation requirement. But states are taking different approaches to combating what’s seen as a widespread lack of knowledge about how government works. (continued here)

If you are gullible enough, this sounds like great news.  It is not. What is happening is that our state legislators would have us believe that they can test quality into a failing product. Doesn’t work that way.  For example, do you want a car that was correctly designed and built on a properly designed assembly line, or do you want a car that passed some sort of test after 400 others were rejected for defects?

What else is wrong with this stupid idea?

  • People raised in this country should be able to set the standard for what a new citizen is supposed to know about citizenship. It is absurd to look for new citizens to set the standard for the rest of us.
  • If we use the American citizenship test to set the standard for basic knowledge of U.S. Government, then whoever writes that test determines what our children will learn.  Isn’t that kind of like having a fox guard the henhouse?

Anyway, if anyone is interested, here is a sample test: 100 Civics Questions and Answers with MP3 Audio (English version). Of course, even though a new citizen is supposed to speak English……

 

NEW MILESTONES IN OPPOSITION RESEARCH

As a nation we are at least halfway to being totally deranged. What this post is about is two examples of our insanity.

The first example is a column by Bill Gertz of The Washington Times, Warfare goes digital in the 21st century. The primary subject of the column is information warfare. What is Gertz’s complaint?

American adversaries have found asymmetric ways to attack and are waging sophisticated information warfare operations — both technical cyber-attacks and soft power influence and disinformation campaigns designed to achieve strategic objectives.

The U.S. government remains completely ignorant of the threat and lacks ways to deal with this new form of warfare. The Cold War-era U.S. Information Agency (USIA), the last semi-autonomous agency used for promoting America was disbanded in 1999. Its functions were folded into the State Department and the result has been diplomacy-impaired information programs. (from here)

That sounds innocuous, but what is odd is that Gertz’s column also included this observation by Matthew Armstrong, a former official involved in government radio broadcasting and associate fellow in King’s College Center for Strategic Communications.

Mr. Armstrong said he was told by a Russian information official that state-run RT broadcasts would have no audience in the United States “if the American media was doing their jobs.”

The failure of America’s news media in this sphere stems of the Balkanization of news outlets. Coverage by mainstream press outlets today is biased by three central liberal narratives of gender identity, racial issues and climate change, while the conservative media outlets are heavily weighted toward opinion and lack a needed hard news focus. (from here)

The news media is not doing its job? The news media is too biased to do its job? What happened to journalistic objectivity?

The second example is about a civil war.

The recent revelation about Susan Rice seems to be causing the war to swing Trump’s way.  That is what this report, Tucker vs Dem who called him Trump ‘smokescreen salesman’, considers. Here we see much of the news media has definite conclusions about the Susan Rice story: Steyn: Media annoyed someone has outfaked their fake news.

So what are we to make of all this? How are these news items related? Gertz’s column points out that the news media is failing to do its job in a very fundamental way. Instead of getting the true story out, the news media is leaving a vacuum that  foreign propagandists have filled. What is the news media doing? Lately the talking heads have argued over two distinctly horrific possibilities.

  • Did the Donald Trump betray America by colluding with a foreign power to steal a win in our last presidential election?
  • Did the Obama administration abuse America’s national intelligence systems by conducting “opposition research” on the Trump campaign and transition team?

Stories like this have not filled the airwaves for decades, but such has been more common in recent years, and the seriousness of the charges keep getting worse. Yet there is almost never any resolution. Apparently, the primary concern of our leaders is spending our money, not honest government.

What does Gertz propose in his column? Is it a fix for America’s news media? No.

The Trump administration urgently needs to recreate a new USIA for the digital age, something I call “Information America.”

This new institution can be established as a government entity similar to the USIA, or a nongovernmental organization funded by philanthropists. A third option would be set up Information America as hybrid government/private-sector organization.

Its mission should be to use truth and facts to counter lies and disinformation. Information America also must begin anew to promote fundamental American ideals and values. (from here)

Good idea? Maybe, but what about the America’s news media? Isn’t there some way we can get the press do its job instead of warring with words, effectively acting as rabid advocates for our two national political parties? I think so. We need to get our government out of the education business. We need to reduce the scope of the Federal Government’s responsibilities so that it is primarily focused national defense.

What is happening is Washington DC looks more and more like war because it is. Listen to different news media sources, and pretty soon it will become apparent the Democrats want Trump gone yesterday. Is he guilty of something?

Listen to different news media sources, and pretty soon it will become apparent that somebody was spying on Trump’s campaign and transition officials. Was that legal?

Unless we the people of America are properly educated, few of us will be able to appropriately review the facts and answer such questions. Instead we will be propagandized.  Unless we the people of America are properly educated, we will not understand how our government is supposed to work, and we will not fulfill our role as good citizens. Instead of electing officials who serve us, we will elect officials who will eventually demand that we serve them.

What the increasing acrimony in Washington DC indicates is that the crisis is coming to a head. When the crisis does come to a head, it is going to be ugly. Because the prize is huge, people will fight over it and not just with words.

If we want our children to be properly educated, we have to get our government out the business and take responsibility ourselves. If we want to understand how our government is supposed to work, we have to ignore news media propagandists and look up what the founders of our country had to say about it. We have to throw out the bums who just think their job is to spend as much of our money as they can.

DO YOU THINK DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME IS NECESSARY?

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. (from here)
“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.” ― Benjamin Franklin (from here)

AccuWeather has a poll (here) with this question.

Do you think daylight saving time is necessary?

When I saw the results, I just laughed. What is the primary reason for daylight saving time? Some merchants like it because they think it leads to an increase in sales for outdoor products, but this just illustrates the ease with which some politicians can be bought.

Did you know daylight saving time started as a joke?

American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay called “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” to the editor of The Journal of Paris in 1784. In the essay, he suggested, although jokingly, that Parisians could economize candle usage by getting people out of bed earlier in the morning, making use of the natural morning light instead. (from here)

smithsonianmag.com credits someone else with the idea, but observes that Franklin had a role.

The creation of DST is usually credited to George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand artist and amateur bug collector who first proposed the idea in an 1895 paper, but 100 years earlier, Benjamin Franklin, inventor of all things useful, pondered a similar question in a letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris.
Here is the letter.  It is a priceless example of deadpan humor.

Benjamin Franklin’s
Essay on Daylight Saving

Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Paris, 1784

To THE AUTHORS of
The Journal of Paris

1784

MESSIEURS,

You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit me to communicate to the public, through your paper, one that has lately been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great utility.

I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp of Messrs. Quinquet and Lange was introduced, and much admired for its splendour; but a general inquiry was made, whether the oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case there would be no saving in the use of it. No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expense of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense was so much augmented. (continued here)

What Franklin proposed as a joke is now reality, but I doubt he would be surprised. After his long life, it is good bet Franklin well understood the foolishness of which we are capable.