Open Thread…………………………………..Saturday, July 12

July 25th, 2014 52 comments

thunderstormLots of thunder-boomers happening this summer.  The last one featured loud cracks of thunder and horizontal rain coming down in sheets.  I thought for sure my neighbor’s oak trees would land in my living room.

Yes, this summer has definitely been the Summer of Thunder and Lightning.  To date, I have not lost electricity.  NOVEC customers rarely lose their service.  Part of my good fortune is because of underground cables.  However, Westgate still has above ground wires and they rarely lose power either.  NOVEC just gets things right.

I did notice that my electric bill was higher by about 30 bucks than it was for this time a year ago.  I guess the weather was hotter in June, other than on the weekends.  I am looking forward to the polar vortex that is due to arrive next Wednesday.  Bring on the cool!!

Categories: General Tags:

Doing the right thing: Child refugees

July 30th, 2014 17 comments

Sonia Nazario has been to Central America and has ridden The Beast for 3 months. She was there 10 years ago and she has gone back more recently. She followed one young chap named Enrique in order to write her book, Enrique’s Journey. Enrique’s Journey is about a young boy who made a journey across several countries to reunite with his mother who had left him when he was 5. Nazario tells us that 10 years ago, poverty and the desire to reunite with family drove children to come to the United States. Now she says things have changed.  Enrique’s Journey is not a newly released documentary.
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The ex Va Governor’s Mansion: The Divine Soap Opera?

July 29th, 2014 13 comments

Maureen 3

 

Washingtonpost.com:

 

Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell (R) and his wife on Tuesday unveiled an unorthodox defense to the federal corruption charges against them: Maureen McDonnell had a “crush” on the charismatic executive who lavished gifts and cash on the couple.

Maureen McDonnell’s intense — even romantic — interest in Jonnie R. Williams Sr. helps explain why she let him pay for expensive shopping trips and vacations for her and her family while she promoted a nutritional supplement he was trying to sell, defense attorneys said during opening statements. She was not hatching a scheme with her husband to get rich by abusing the prestige of the governor’s office; rather, she was a woman in a broken marriage who craved attention.

“Jonnie Williams was larger than life to Maureen McDonnell,” said William Burck, Maureen McDonnell’s lead defense attorney. “But unlike the other man in her life, Jonnie Williams paid attention to Maureen McDonnell.”
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Federal Appeals Court strikes down Virginia’s ban on same-sex-marriage

July 28th, 2014 39 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Monday that state constitutional and statutory provisions barring gay marriage and denying recognition of such unions performed in other states violate the U.S. Constitution. The Virginia gay marriage case is one of several that could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In February, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban violates equal protection and due process guarantees. Lawyers for two circuit court clerks whose duties include issuing marriage licenses appealed.

The lawsuit was filed by two Norfolk men who were denied a marriage license and two Chesterfield County women whose marriage in California is not recognized by Virginia.

It looks like Virginia will be joining the 21st century in spite of its bad self and in spite of Bob Marshall and Ken Cuccinelli.  That has to be good news for couples who simply want to be allowed to do what other couples can do–be legally married.

Categories: Gay/Lesbian Tags:

What a fool! Is this the best Florida can do?

July 27th, 2014 50 comments

Huffingtonpost.com

Rep. Curt Clawson (R-Fla.) addressed what he believed were two members of the Indian government at a House hearing on Thursday and assured them that, as a U.S. representative, he would support all efforts to facilitate a better relationship between America and “your country” and “your government.”

There was only one problem. The officials testifying before the House Asia and Pacific subcommittee weren’t Indian officials at all, but two senior members of the U.S. government.
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Categories: Congress, General Tags:

Only in America: So which kids do we say don’t count?

July 26th, 2014 28 comments

Supposedly America is where dreams come true if you work hard.  Listen to the words of the Brooks and Dunn  song, Only in America.

Sun coming up over New York City
School bus driver in a traffic jam
Starin’ at the faces in her rearview mirror
Looking at the promise of the Promised Land
One kid dreams of fame and fortune
One kid helps pay the rent
One could end up going to prison
One just might be president.

It is true or is it all BS?  Perhaps that is what some of us are afraid of…that an “other” could grow up to be President.

I think it is probably time to start looking at the facts and remembering that these are children. President Obama said last night that they would all go back.  There is something sad about that.  I would foster a child trying to escape violence.  Who else would?

 

Categories: General, Immigration Tags:

Michael Stafford: A Christian perspective to the Central American refugee crisis

July 25th, 2014 30 comments

Since we have been  discussing how a religious person reconciles a humanitarian crisis witinh our immigration system, I thought this article would be some food for thought.  So far as I can determine, the good folks of PWC have chosen to their better angels and NOT fallen into the ranks of hateful public protests.

Strangers at Our Door:  Refugees, a Crisis of Conscience for American Christians

Michael Stafford ABC Religion and Ethics 25 Jul 2014

In the words of Pope Francis, America is experiencing a “humanitarian emergency.” Fleeing instability and violence in Central America, a human tide of thousands of refugees, many of them unaccompanied children, has been flooding across our southern border.

As children often travelling alone, these refugees are uniquely vulnerable. And yet their arrival has been met, in many instances, with ugly scenes including displays of rank nativism, cruelty and hatred. Instead of finding sanctuary and protection, they are the targets of abuse. As CNN has reported regarding one shameful incident in Murrieta, California, “busloads of babies in their mothers’ laps, teens, ‘tweens and toddlers … were met by screaming protesters waving and wearing American flags and bearing signs that read such things as ‘Return to Sender.’” These reactions communicate a brutally simple message: you are not welcome here.

Read more…

Categories: General, Immigration, Religion Tags:

Arizona: two hours to die

July 24th, 2014 25 comments

lethal_injection3

Washingtonpost.com:

The execution of a convicted murderer in Arizona lasted for nearly two hours on Wednesday, as witnesses said he gasped and snorted for much of that time before eventually dying.

This drawn-out death of Joseph R. Wood III in Arizona prompted the governor to order a review and drew renewed criticism of lethal injection, the main method of execution in the United States, just months after a high-profile botched execution in Oklahoma.

“I’ve witnessed a number of executions before and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Dale Baich, one of Wood’s attorneys, told The Washington Post in a phone call. “Nor has an execution that I observed taken this long.”

Wood was sentenced to death in 1991 for shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend Debra Dietz and her father, Eugene. In 1989, Wood went to a body shop where Debra and her father worked and shot Eugene Dietz in the chest; he then shot Debra twice, killing her.

He was killed at the Arizona State Prison Complex in an unusually prolonged process that immediately brought to mind lethal injections that have gone awry in recent months.

“I take comfort knowing today my pain stops, and I said a prayer that on this or any other day you may find peace in all of your hearts and may God forgive you all,” Wood said as part of his final words, according to the Associated Press.

Read more…

Categories: Criminal Activity Tags:

FAA: No Flights to or from Israel

July 22nd, 2014 34 comments


Washingtonpost.com:

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday afternoon ordered U.S. carriers to stop flying to or from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, prohibiting them from traveling through Israel’s largest airport after a rocket landed nearby.

Airlines were banned from flying to Tel Aviv for a 24-hour period beginning on Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. The FAA said it will issue additional guidance by the end of that period.

This prohibition came after a rocket landed about a mile away from the airport, the FAA said.

“The FAA immediately notified U.S. carriers when the agency learned of the rocket strike and informed them that the agency was finalizing [the notice],” the agency said in a statement. “The FAA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation.”

Even before the FAA’s notice was sent out, several U.S. airlines began canceling flights on Tuesday morning and afternoon.

Some experts think that Israel will continue to pound Hamas in Gaza  because of the revenue lost in tourism. Once the United States cancelled flights in and out of Tel Aviv, other countries followed suit.

Some feel that the cancellation of flights is giving in to Hamas. Others think safety is far more important.

What do you think? Will flights resume after 24 hours or will this cancellation last for several days or weeks?

Is Israel pounding too hard to should they continue to ferret out the source of the rocket attacks? What are ordinary Palestinians to do? Surely they would like for all of this assault to stop.

Categories: War/Military Tags:

Don Shaw: Democratic candidate to run for the 13th Delegate seat

July 22nd, 2014 12 comments

Bristowbeat.com:

Democrat Don Shaw declared his candidacy Tuesday for the 13th House of Delegates District seat, which voters will decide in November 2015.

The district covers portions of the Brentsville, Coles, Gainesville and Occoquan Magisterial Districts in Prince William County as well as all of the city of Manassas Park.

His campaign announcement means that he will not seek the office of Brentsville County Supervisor in the special election that would be held if current Supervisor Wally Covington receives a judicial appointment from the Virginia General Assembly.

So that leaves the race for the Brentsville Magisterial District supervisor  to the Republicans unless someone else jumps in.  Meanwhile, this can’t be very good news for Del. Bob Marshall.  Marshall has been in office for years and is seen as a politician with a not so hidden agenda.   While he takes  up a few popular causes in his district, he is mainly known around the  State Capital as an anti abortion extremist.

Read more…

Categories: Va Politics, Virginia Tags:

Pete Candland: Red badge of shame

From Pete Candland’s website:

Statement on Housing of Undocumented Border Children in Prince William County July 15, 2014

Statement on the Housing of Undocumented Border Children in Prince William County
July 15, 2014With news breaking this past week that a facility in Prince William County is being used by the Federal Government for an extensive program to house undocumented border children, I believe that two important actions must be taken immediately to address this issue.

First, the County must exhaust every regulatory tool available to stop the placement of any additional undocumented border children anywhere in Prince William County.  Now that we know this extensive program exists, we need to stop growing the problem.

Second, every undocumented child who is presently housed in a Prince William County facility that receives taxpayer money must be repatriated with their families as quickly as possible. Furthermore, Prince William County and the Board of County Supervisors should take action to facilitate that process.
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45 years ago today: One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

July 20th, 2014 14 comments

Where were you July 20, 1969? Do you remember what you were doing? Were you glued to your TV like the rest of the world?

What has changed because of that day, if anything?

Additional Reading

Categories: Science, World Events Tags:

A grim world

July 19th, 2014 9 comments

Things in the world look pretty grim.  Israel and Gaza, specifically Hamas, are at war.  Ground troops have entered Gaza.  Could it have been stopped before it got to this stage?  Ask Hamas.  They are who rejected the cease-fire agreement.  I feel badly for the women and children.  Women have no power and certainly children don’t.   Gaza is tiny.  There is no place to run and hide.  This is a difficult region to understand.  What I do understand is why Israel doesn’t want rockets fired in on its population.

Russian separatists have downed a Malaysian commercial airline.  The militants won’t allow the international community in to aid recovery efforts.  The scene sounds horrific.  There isn’t much doubt at this point that the plane was shot down.  This evil act of aggression on an innocent civilian population is totally inexcuseable.

Watch Russia scramble to make up excuses for itself, as usual.

Crash victims were mainly from the Netherlands but victims from 10 other countries were also killed.  The world mourns the loss of these innocent souls lives.

Are we on the brink of some sort of mass war?  I hesitate to say WWIII, but we all know from history how those things escalate.  Yet, the stock market was thriving on Friday, despite all the grim news.  Capitalism never ceases to amaze me.

 

 

Categories: General, War/Military Tags:

All about Margaret Sanger…let the discussion rest here

July 18th, 2014 35 comments

I am asking that any discussion of Margaret Sanger stay on this thread.  There are serious issues in our community and none of them have one damn thing to do with Margaret Sanger.

I think it is important to note that all historical figures must be evaluated in their own place and time.  Additionally, the language changes over time.  Let’s start with Thomas Jefferson, one of my favorite historical figures.

I grew up in the shadow of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I lived in a house off of Rugby Road less than three blocks from Mr. Jefferson’s University.  In Charlottesville, everything is Jefferson.  He is our hometown hero.  He, Jack Joutte and Paul Goodloe McIntire are the three most mentioned town heroes.   Jefferson’s influence is certainly national in scope.  He is the author of the Declaration of Independence, Revolution visionary, one of the most prominent thinkers of his time, inventor, statesman, diplomat, first secretary of state and president  for two terms.

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Categories: General, sexual issues, Women's Issues Tags:

Another Dumb Ass: YMCA camper bus mistaken for immigrant children

July 17th, 2014 9 comments


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Just what we need. Another Arizona politician weighing in on those damn YMCA campers with iphones.

They were sad alright. Those campers were on a field trip.

Can we at least leave kids alone? It takes really cowardly politicians to go after kids.

Let’s let kids get settled in facilities. Let’s encourage our federal legislators to fund money for extra judges, social workers, intake officers etc. so we can facilitate a quick resolution of this issue.

We obviously can’t provide permanent homes for kids without parents. Each kid has his or her own story. Let’s cut the politics and get on with it.

As an aside, Youth for Tomorrow has hired off-duty police to guard their entrance. Good for them. Is this what its come to, folks? A Christian organization feels its necessary to have additional security because of hot heads in the community. I wonder if they have a donation fund for this initiative?

This story is at Bristow Beat.

Categories: General, Immigration Tags: