Open Thread………………………………………………Wednesday, September 3

September 3rd, 2014 53 comments

queen anneQueen Anne’s Lace in all its simple elegance fills the Virginia landscape in mid-summer and fall.  Queen Anne’s Lace is actually a relative of the lowly carrot.  In fact, you can smell carrot when you pick this plant which grows wild pretty much everywhere.

When I was a kid, I used to stick a bloom or two in ink or food coloring to dye the lace.  I have long forgotten all the plant part names but I think I did learn a little something about how nutrients travel in the plant world by doing this simply kid trick.

Queen Anne’s Lace has other companions that hang out this time of year.  Black Eyed Susans are one such road-side wild flower.  What are other Virginia favorites?

Categories: General Tags:

Adrian Peterson: Was it just a “good switching?”

September 15th, 2014 20 comments

Was the Adrian Peterson case overkill? Minnesota Viking Peterson was arrested for supposedly beating his 4 year old kid with a tree branch.  Let’s walk this one back a bit.  Could some of these charges be hyperbole?

The classic switching is well known to many kids and adults. Many kids even had to go select their own switch.  Could a switch be also called a “tree branch?”  Of course.  Forsythia probably makes the best switches, especially if you let the shrub grow freely.

Read more…

Categories: General Tags:

Holy Batman! Border Vigilantes Confront Scientists

September 14th, 2014 14 comments

A frequent message among anti-immigrant activists is that the federal government is refusing to do its job in guarding the border, and therefore civilians should consider joining border patrol militias to stop the purported massive flood of immigrants, sometimes with tragic results. Calls to join such vigilante groups only increased with the rise of unaccompanied minors fleeing drug violence in Central America, even though the minors were actually seeking out border patrol officers.


This week, one of these armed groups ambushed a group of geologists who were “counting bats in a local cave” for a wildlife survey. One of the researchers told the Huffington Post, “We didn’t know what they were doing. We started hiding behind rocks. We’re not doing what they’re saying, and they’re acting kind of jumpy. … We had them yelling at us with spotlights, acting like they have some kind of authority.” Of course, that led actual Border Patrol officers to come to the scene of the (non)crime…taking time away from their, well, actual job that they are supposedly not doing -

Categories: General Tags:

“If We Keep Chickifying This Game We’re Going To Ruin It”

September 14th, 2014 22 comments

Limbaugh is such an ass he is funny.  “Chickifying” football.  What a hoot.

I guess according to Rush, real women should like getting the crap beaten out of them.  Yea boy!

I can’t even get pissed off at him any longer.  This is humor at its very sickest.

Nah, there is NO war on women.  Wimmins need to learn to take it or turn off the TV.

Categories: Humor & Satire, Women's Issues Tags:

Child sex abuse? Rule of Law! Rule of Law!!

September 13th, 2014 13 comments

Mike Hethmon, for those of you who do not remember, was one of the outside sources giving Prince William County legal advice on how to write their “Rule of Law Resolution.” There are just some things that come back and bite you in the ass. This is one of them.  Surely Prince William County could seek advice from someone who didn’t have this alleged dirty little secret.

Don’t expect other blogs to be covering this tawdry story.  I am sure it will be brushed under the rug.  The anti-immigration blog might be crawling back under its rock with this news.

Mike Hethmon tried to protect us from anchor babies.  If this charge is true, who is going to protect the anchor babies and all the rest of the children from Mike Hethmon?

Mike Hethmon advises US on Rule of Law????

Mike Hethmon is innocent until proven guilty.

GOP backs President’s plan on ISIS?

September 12th, 2014 13 comments



House Republican leaders moved quickly Thursday to broadly support President Obama’s plan for an open-ended campaign to combat the Islamic State — but the mechanics of how they will do so remain open for debate and are expected to take several days.

The day after Obama’s national address, GOP leaders were mulling exactly how to handle the president’s request to explicitly authorize the training and arming of foreigners to combat the Islamic militants.

Congress is “at the beginning stages of building the kind of support that is needed across the nation to carry out this plan,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Thursday. He said that many Republicans are skeptical of the policy laid out by Obama.

“If our goal is to eliminate ISIL, there is a lot of doubt of whether the plan that was outlined last night will accomplish that,” he said, but added later: “It’s important to give the president what he has asked for.”

Be still my heart!  Surely the GOP isn’t going to give President Obama what he has asked for.  I will believe it when I see it.

Should Congress back the Obama plan to defeat ISIS?  Lip service or money?  How much should Congress be involved?

Once Congress is involved, don’t they start getting security briefs?  How long before they start leaking information?


Categories: War/Military Tags:

After Ray Rice: What’s the new standard

September 10th, 2014 10 comments

There are all sorts of defining moments where the rules all change.  The press will never turn the other way after the Senator Hart and the Monkey Business.  Behavior between men and women in the work place will be forever changed after Anita Hill.  Lots of things changed post Watergate.  Sports figures will never get by with domestic violence after Ray Rice was banished from football after a video was released of him coldcocking his soon-to-be wife in a elevator, knocking her unconscious.

Many folks were already upset that the NFL had such lightweight sanctions on players who were involved in violent acts against others.  Penalties were longer for those who were arrested for drug use than for beating one’s wife to a bloody pulp.  All that is going to change now and it should.

Hopefully these kinds of sanctions will carry over to other sports and to other career fields.  Domestic violence has to have sanctions. Now, here is the question.  Would we feel differently if the roles were reversed?  What if the perpetrator was not a well-know athlete?  Would we have the same abhorrent reaction?  Is this about size difference?  Gender?  Would we be as upset if a wife or girl friend flew into a rage and pummeled an athlete?  No one seemed to care that Mrs. Woods broke up tiger’s golf clubs. Speak to the issue of domestic violence please and do we cut slack to women to beat on their husbands?

Panera Bread doesn’t want guns in its restaurants

September 9th, 2014 63 comments


ST. Louis, Mo. — Panera Bread doesn’t want guns in its restaurants.

The sandwich-and-soup chain out of St. Louis, said it doesn’t want armed customers in its more than 1,800 stores in an effort to increase the comfort of its unarmed patrons, joining a growing list of other companies who have issued similar directives.

The news is another victory for gun safety group Moms Demand Action in its campaign to get guns out of America’s restaurants and retailers.

“We ask that guns not be brought into this environment unless carried by an authorized law enforcement officer,” the company said in a statement. “Panera respects the rights of gun owners, but asks our customers to help preserve the environment we are working to create for our guests and associates.”

The company first announced the decision during a CNBC interview with Panera CEO Ron Shaich. He said during the interview that the company would not post anti-gun signs in its stores or require employees to confront gun owners.

Reading between the lines, it appears that if the gun owners are respectful of other customers, no one will even know that individual is armed.  What I fail to comprehend is how the ordinary person is supposed to feel comfortable seeing some stranger prancing around with an AK-47 or any weapon, to be perfectly honest.

Read more…

Categories: 2nd amendment/guns/weapons Tags:

iphone 6 and iwatch: Are you ready?

September 9th, 2014 2 comments

September 9 is a huge day! The iphone 6 will be announced tomorrow at 1 pm here (10 am Pacific time). Apple fans are also hoping the promised iwatch will also be announced.

Do you plan on upgrading? I am an apple fan but I collect stocks and ipads. I am an android user when it comes to phones. (sleeker, more flexibility, swyping and a larger screen)

Tomorrow is also Harvest Moon. I plan to go out with family and friends to my favorite Asian restaurant, just for good luck. Its just one of those ritualistic things I like to do. Harvest moon is also a good time to welcome my favorite season.

Categories: Tech Tags: , , ,

So what do we do about ISIS?

September 8th, 2014 47 comments


Basically, we don’t have that many choices about ISIS.  We can ignore them, we can attack them from the air, we can form a world coalition to destroy them, or we can put boots on the ground to go to war with them.

What should we do, given we have been at war in this area off and on for 25 years.

The U.S. State Department has made a video advising young people to “Think again, Turn away.”   U. S. officials want to discourage all recruitment.

Is the video too crude?  Too graphic?  Will some see it as free advertising for this terrorist group?


Categories: General Tags:

Bill Nye on Common Core

September 6th, 2014 21 comments

I would throw in over regulation by government as a reason not to do Common Core.  I opposed it early on because of the mess that was made with No Child Left Behind.  Of course, Common Core dictates what to teach nationally.  We have the SOLs.  Those are a more rigorous curriculum.

So enough on what I think.  Do you agree or disagree with Bill Nye?  I do think he is spot on about killing one’s passion for learning.  The SOLs have been doing that for years.  Why the same token, there should be some standards in Virginia’s schools.

Categories: General Tags:

WaPo editorial: Virginia, the McDonnells, and ethics

September 5th, 2014 7 comments

From the Washington Post:

September 4 at 5:58 PM

IN THE end, it didn’t take long. After months of legal wrangling and public spinning; after five weeks of courtroom testimony; after two hours of a judge’s instructions in the legal niceties of the case, the jury in Robert F. and Maureen McDonnell’s trial knew public corruption when it saw it. Scarcely 48 hours after they got the case, the jurors rendered their verdict with no minced words: The McDonnells are guilty.

Until today, too many politicians in Richmond had convinced themselves of the commonwealth’s alleged exceptionalism — the supposed civility and ethical uprightness of the so-called Virginia Way. Convinced of its own abiding rectitude, Virginia’s political class has refused to enact laws with teeth to hold elected officials to decent standards of conduct in carrying out the people’s business. At the least, the McDonnell verdict should disabuse the old boys of their smug self-righteousness and their conviction that the state’s egregious absence of laws on public ethics is somehow all right. At the very least, it should end, once and for all, the common, cosseted view that legislation will not eradicate moral obtuseness. Of course it won’t; but a vacuum of laws will only encourage it.

Read more…

Categories: Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

McDonnells found guilty of conspiracy

September 4th, 2014 74 comments

verdict in

Both McDonnells have been found guilty of conspiracy.  They were found guilty of most of the 14 counts.

The courtroom became the scene of many emotional outbursts and a flood of tears as the verdict was read.

The media is describing this  situation   as a dramatic fall from grace.  At one point, he was being courted as a vice presidential candidate.


Categories: General Tags:

Devil worshippers in Greece? No atheists need apply

September 3rd, 2014 20 comments

When last we left the town of Greece, New York, the Supreme Court had just blessed its legislative prayer policy, announcing that expressly sectarian prayer, which persisted over many years, prior to town council meetings does not violate the storied tradition of nonsectarian  legislative prayer and is therefore acceptable under the First Amendment. Since that sunny week in May, the town of Greece has been confronted by many well-meaning applicants from across the country, seeking a chance to be the legislative chaplain. This list of supplicants evidently included “someone who wanted to sacrifice a small animal, a man identifying himself as the devil, and a representative of a movement calling itself the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” So great was the clamor to lead worship in Greece that the town decided last week to enact a formal, written prayer policy to determine who could lead prayers and who could not.

The Supreme Court has handed down some real bone-headed in the past view years.  The Greece decision is one such really stupid decisions, in my humble opinion.  Regardless of intent, when you must pray to participate in government, the government IS establishing a religion, albeit for a brief period of time.

Read more…

Categories: General, Religion, SCOTUS Tags:

Virginia ethics laws: It seems that anything goes in the Old Dominion

September 1st, 2014 3 comments


But the perfectly legal, unlimited-cash culture that has long pervaded Virginia campaign giving has been on display right alongside McDonnell and his wife, Maureen — and it has renewed the question of whether that culture is broken and needs a fix.

Although it enjoyed a reputation for clean government, Virginia had some of the loosest ethics rules in the nation before the McDonnell scandal prompted reforms by the General Assembly this year. Even now, elected officials can accept campaign contributions of any size and unlimited “intangible gifts,” such as vacations and meals.

Some legislators expect the closely watched trial to inspire even tougher standards. Others say the case seems too extraordinary to form the basis for broad policy.

“I don’t think you can write a law that can cure what’s going on in the McDonnell trial,” said state Sen. William M. Stanley Jr. (R-Franklin), expressing a common sentiment among state politicians who point to trial evidence of Maureen McDonnell’s possible mental illness and infatuation with Williams as unique circumstances to this case.

But there’s one thing the case has exposed: how subjective and mutable the rules are for who can give and how much.

For example, the legislature capped gifts at $250 this year. But gifts from “personal friends” remain unlimited. In 2013, McDonnell described Williams as a personal friend.


It doesn’t seem that Virginia really has any ethics rules.  What seems even more amazing is the fact that Virginia lawmakers didn’t race in to shore up their loose-knit, obviously problematic non-ethical standards.  It appears that current legislators wanted to keep the status quo of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”

Read more…

Categories: Va Politics, Virginia Tags: