Open Thread……………………………………………Monday, April 14

April 14th, 2014 41 comments

cherry treeCan we  finally assume spring is here?  Not so fast.  The temperature is supposed to get down into the high 20′s on Wednesday morning.  That doesn’t feel too spring -like to me.

The cherry trees are finally out.  This past weekend hit all time highs for crowds and garbage overflow.  The picture is one of mine from another year.  None of the men in my house could be talked into going yet.  Even I wouldn’t have gone on a weekend.

Americans love the cherry tree blossoms.  This has not always been the case.  After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the cherry trees, a gift from Japan, were the subject of attack.  Guards had to be posted to ensure the safety of the trees.  See the Smithsonian Magazine for this strange behavior.


Categories: General Tags:

No library in the Gainesville District? BS!

April 23rd, 2014 5 comments

Several speakers at Citizen’s Time yesterday  spoke to the issue of a library in Gainesville.   In fact, one woman shrieked at the board for a solid three minutes.  Sadly, she did not make her point.  Shrieking anger  seems more blog-like than tone one should use addressing the BOCS.  I was extremely grateful when her three minutes were up.   Other speakers spoke for the libraries at citizens time, with considerable less vitriol.

What some of the people in Gainesville must not realize is that they have a library.  We call it Bull Run Regional Library up here in the original Gainesville District.  It’s right over in the Sudley North Center, off of Sudley Manor Drive on Ashton Avenue.  It’s very much in the Gainesville area.  It’s a modern, attractive,  large, well-stocked  facility with several community meeting rooms.

When I want to go to restaurants and shops in Gainesville, I get in my car and drive there.  It might take me 15 minutes.  Unless it is rush hour, getting there is simply not a problem.  Why can’t that same route work for those who want to use the library?

I am not saying there shouldn’t be a library IN Gainesville.  I don’t really have a position on that issue.  I like libraries.  However, I must correct the notion that there is no library in the Gainesville District.   There most certainly is one.  Everyone in  Prince William County is entitled to use this library.   In fact, I would encourage the BOCS to build additional libraries when our public safety issues, community issues  and class size overcrowding issues have been addressed.

The shrieking woman seemed to think that all everyone has to do is rearrange the financial chairs on the Titanic and all will  be well and good.  In fact, several times she snarled at the board that more money was not needed.  Yes.  We do need more money.  Most of us are extremely tired of PWC trying to live on a shoe string.  We are a wealthy county and we are the 2nd most populated county in the state.  This perpetual tea party mentality simply cannot fly any longer.   I certainly don’t feel my taxes are too high.  I expect decent services and I don’t mind paying higher taxes to get those services.  If I wanted to live on the cheap, I would move out of Northern Virginia.

One gripe those of us “in town” folks have with the other members of the Gainesville District is their failure to realize that Gainesville District goes all the way to the City line.  Hello……….{echo chamber}….Yaaaaa-hooooooo!  Gainesville and Haymarket!!!  We are here.  We were here before you were in fact.  We are the original Gainesville District.   Yes, we are a more diverse population and probably a little more liberal than many folks out there in “God’s Country,”  but we are here, nevertheless.  We will get loud if you ignore us much longer.

Categories: General Tags:

Loudoun County suffer school money woes–face sex ed cuts

April 22nd, 2014 No comments

Budget cuts being considered by the Loudoun County School Board this week are far-reaching. They could affect class size, foreign language offerings and the availability of full-day kindergarten.

They could also affect sex education.

The county has 19 specially trained Family Life educators who could lose their positions, as the board tries to reconcile a $38 million gap between its proposed budget and what county supervisors appropriated this month.


In many Virginia counties, trained health and physical education teachers cover the state Family Life Education standards, which include lessons about healthy families and relationships, as well as human reproduction and sexuality. In Loudoun, Family Life teachers who specialize in the curriculum, which was adopted in 1990, rotate among schools.

LeGrys said that the Loudoun program is often considered a model in the state. Parents are able to have their children opt out of classes addressing sensitive topics, but only about 2 percent do, LeGrys said, indicating a high level of trust in the county’s program.

Some Family Life Education teachers have addressed the board during budget hearings to stress the benefits of having specialized teachers leading sensitive discussions. The teachers have helped identify children who are victims of sexual abuse, and the county’s teenage pregnancy rate has plummeted over the past 20 years, they said.

Read more…

Categories: Education/Schools Tags:

‘Hoos Against Hazing? Apparently not all of them

April 21st, 2014 7 comments

anti hazing

UVA’s statement and definition on HAZING:


Pressuring a potential new member or a new member to do anything against her/his will. Hazing is STRICTLY PROHIBITED and IS NOT tolerated at the University.

Apparently the ‘Hoo statement was not embodied by all because 2 charters have just been pulled by UVA because of hazing.  People just assume the banned fraternities are minority frat houses.  Such is not the case.  One of the fraternities was a founding charter member.

Read more…

Categories: Education/Schools, General Tags:

8THEIST NJ license plate rejected

April 21st, 2014 15 comments


A New Jersey woman who says she was denied a license plate referencing atheism filed suit this week, claiming her online application was rejected because it was deemed potentially offensive.

Shannon Morgan, of Maurice Township, said in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that the Motor Vehicle Commission violated her First Amendment rights when its website rejected the plate reading “8THEIST.” She said she received a message stating that her vanity plate request was ineligible as it “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.”

Morgan then filled out the online application using the phrase “BAPTIST” as a test, which the website accepted. Morgan claims in her lawsuit that she sent the agency a letter of complaint by registered mail and made several attempts to contact them by phone, all of which went unanswered.

What’s New Jersey’s problem?  I disagree that the plate is offensive.  The plate message refers to the car owner and isn’t trying to recruit or shove its message down anyone else’s throat.  It isn’t close to being off-color nor does it contain  sexual or profane language.

Does New Jersey now mandate that people believe in a deity?  Afraid that might violate the Constitution.   They deserve to lose this court challenge.  Somehow I don’t think it will get that far.  Perhaps this time their DMV system will get it right.

Categories: General, Religion Tags:

Cliven Bundy: Domestic terrorism?

April 18th, 2014 79 comments

The Blaze:

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed on Thursday that armed supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy are “domestic terrorists” and reckless individuals who put their families in danger.

Speaking at a Las Vegas Review-Journal event, Reid was clear: “They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists. I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.”

The rhetoric certainly will do nothing to ease already-high tensions after the Bureau of Land Management prematurely shut down its operation to round up Bundy’s “trespass cattle” on Saturday. The federal agency cited fears of public safety after having run-ins with armed militia members who traveled to Bunkerville, Nev., to support the rancher.

Read more…

Categories: General, Terrorism Tags:

Black student group challenges practices of Washington Lee University

April 18th, 2014 13 comments

lee chapel

A small group of black students at Washington and Lee University took school administrators by surprise with a list of demands that included renouncing Robert E. Lee for his racism.  The students, who do not represent all African American students at Washington and Lee,  call themselves The Committee.  The Committee has threated civil disobedience if W & L officials administrators do not meet their demands.

A group of black law students at Washington and Lee University is urging administrators to atone for its Confederate heritage and what they call the “dishonorable conduct” of namesake Robert E. Lee. The movement has struck a racial divide on the bucolic campus in Lexington, Va., where black students make up about 3.5 percent of the total student population. Third-year law student Dominik Taylor, a descendent of slaves on his father’s side, said he felt betrayed by admissions representatives who touted the school’s diversity. “They assured me it was a welcoming environment where everyone sticks together as a community,” Taylor said. “Then I came here and felt ostracized and alienated.” Read more…

When Mr. Wonderful becomes Mr. Horrible: You’re a porn star!

April 18th, 2014 6 comments

There seems to be a rather simple solution for revenge pornography. Don’t allow anyone to take intimate photographs or video of you. Problem solved. Mr. Wonderful could turn into Mr. Wrong real fast.

This simply cannot be rocket science. Why allow someone to capture your most intimate moments for perpetuity?

Read more…

Categories: Criminal Activity Tags:

Va Supreme Court rules in favor of UVA: Bob Marshall foiled again

April 18th, 2014 44 comments


Washington Post:

(Tom Jackman)

Unpublished research by university scientists is exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting an attempt by skeptics of global warming to view the work of a prominent climate researcher during his years at the University of Virginia.

The ruling is the latest turn in the FOIA request filed in 2011 by Del. Robert Marshall (R-Prince William) and the American Tradition Institute to obtain research and e-mails of former U-Va. professor Michael Mann.

Mann left the university in 2005 and now works at Penn State University, where he published his book “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” about his theories on global warming and those who would deny it. Lawyers for U-Va. turned over about 1,000 documents to Marshall and ATI, led by former EPA attorney David Schnare, but withheld another 12,000 papers and e-mails, saying that work “of a propriety nature” was exempt under the state’s FOIA law.

Read more…

Categories: Climate Change, General Tags:

What will we call the children by mid-century?

April 15th, 2014 20 comments

Only 27% of people polled said President Obama was black.  Yet on the 2010 census he identified himself as black.

The following chart shows the increase in mixed marriages over the past several decades:

marriage chart

According to Paul Taylor of the Pew Institute:

More than a quarter of Hispanic and Asian newlyweds “marry out,” as do one-in six-blacks and one-in-ten whites. Whites are still the largest race group, so even though they “marry out” at lower rates, they still account for 70% of all interracial marriages.

By mid-century, what will we call the children of interracial marriages? Today we aren’t even sure what to call our president. We do know this: In many cultures and societies through history, being mixed race — being a “mutt” as Obama sometimes calls himself — has meant being an outcast. In today’s America, judging by those Super Bowl ads or today’s celebrities, the norms are changing and the stigma receding.

Read more…

Categories: General Tags:

Heil Hitler and 3 dead….a hate crime?

April 14th, 2014 23 comments

Was Birmingham Sunday, the church bombing in Birmingham in the 60′s where 3 young women were murdered, a hate crime?  Absolutely.

This crime was committed, allegedly, by a former KKK member named Glenn Miller.  He was a frequent flyer in the white supremacist movement.  He will be charged with first degree murder by the state and he will also have some federal charges heaped on him.

What kind of monster does something like this?  He can hate who he wants in his head.  The minute he acts on that hate, he should go to prison.   People living in America should be able to worship how they please without fear of being gunned down or assassinated.

Categories: Religion Tags:

Keep ‘em married!

April 14th, 2014 93 comments


For years, social conservatives have been fighting to prevent certain people from getting married. But they’re waging a parallel battle, too: Trying to keep married couples together.

In cooperation with the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, socially conservative politicians have been quietly trying to make it harder for couples to get divorced. In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons  a couple can formally split. States such as Arizona, Louisiana and Utah have already passed such laws, while others such as Oklahoma and Alabama are moving to do so.

If divorces are tougher to obtain, social conservatives argue, fewer marriages will end. And having  more married couples is not just desirable in its own right but is a social good, they say. During his presidential campaign, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) emphasized finishing high school and getting married as cures for poverty. “If you do those two things, you will be successful economically,” he declared at a 2011 event in Iowa.

Read more…

Categories: General Tags:

Fixing the 2nd amendment

April 12th, 2014 47 comments


Nothing in the Bill of Rights has caused more debate, in recent times, than the second amendment.  As written, it seems that there are no limits placed on private citizens.  Others would argue that the words imply a well regulated militia.  Retired Justice John Paul Stevens suggests that adding 5 words to the current amendment would remove all ambiguity.  What do you think?

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

Your opinion please.  Why can’t states regulate guns?  The Bill of Rights defines the limitations of the federal government, not the States.


Categories: 2nd amendment/guns/weapons Tags:

Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman

April 11th, 2014 25 comments


CBS put a swift end to speculation and announced Thursday that Stephen Colbert will take over as host of the network’s “Late Show” sometime next year when longtime host David Letterman retires. It’s a five-year contract. It’s also a welcome and possibly daring choice in the late-night genre, which could use the inventive, concertina-wire wit and mastery of tone that Colbert possesses.

Nation, I can tell you’re mildly alarmed. Don’t be.

Read more…

Categories: Entertainment Tags:

Open Thread…………………………..Sunday, March 23

April 10th, 2014 91 comments

daffodilsWinter is over.  We have all decreed that it is over.  Think pansies, daffodils, and cowslips.  Anything but winter.  What are good flowers to plant now that won’t die if there is an overnight freeze?

How soon can you set out rosemary bushes and cypress from winter gifts?  Will they die if they go out now?

How about those cherry trees?  Will they bloom before Memorial Day?  (Just kidding)

Categories: General Tags: