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Open Thread…………………November/December, 2017

 

The ginkgo trees at the Virginia Arboretum over in Clark County off its 50/17 are a sight to behold.  There is a grove of these yellow beauties.  The ginkgo is the oldest tree in North America.  The leaves are smaller than I thought.  I hope the leaves survive this patch of rainy weather because I certainly plan on going back.

If you have never been to the Arboretum, it is worth the trip.  There are car/pedestrian trails, picnic tables, and horse trails.   The trees aren’t too shabby either.

Trump attacks Senator Gillibrand in sexually suggestive tweet

Washingtonpost.com:

President Trump attacked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in a sexually suggestive tweet Tuesday morning that implied Gillibrand would do just about anything for money, prompting a swift and immediate backlash.

“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Charles E. Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump,” the president wrote. “Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

Gillibrand’s response:

“You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.

Gillibrand hit the nail on the head.  That any sitting president would demean the office of the presidency by suggesting that a senator “would do anything for them”  (campaign contributions) simply makes him unfit for the office that he serves.

Trump needs to resign before he is removed from office.

Meanwhile, Kathy Kay weighed in:

Katty Kay, an anchor for BCC World News America, also took to social media to respond to the president’s missive against Gillibrand, casting it in tweets as “clearly sexual” and “demeaning to women.”

“What is so maddening about the Gillibrand tweet is that women can be smart, work hard, become Senator and STILL get sexual c**p thrown at us,” she wrote. “Enough.”

 

A growing list of women are filing complaint against Trump’s past alleged sexual misbehavior.  Additionally, Gillibrand  joined Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in calling for Trump’s resignation.

Where will this all end?  Trump’s behavior is despicable.

 

Corey Stewart defends Roy Moore

 

Washingtonpost.com:

Outspoken Virginia Republican Corey Stewart this weekend defended U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of initiating sexual contact with a teenage girl. Meanwhile, Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) said if the allegations are true, Moore should drop out of the race in Alabama.

Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and a candidate for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), defended Moore on Friday in a Facebook Live event.

“These allegations are 40 years old. Forty years old, and they’re unsubstantiated,” Stewart said in response to a question from Ian Sams, Kaine’s campaign spokesman. “There’s no way to prove it. They didn’t prove it, but you’re presumed guilty? That’s not right.”

Sams, speaking on behalf of Kaine, said, “Any person of conscience should be willing to condemn child sex abuse, and the fact Corey won’t speaks volumes about him.”

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Veterans Day 2017

Our poet laureate, George Harris sent this piece to me last week.  As usual, George’s way with words and personal experiences greatly contribute to this blog.  George, thank you for your service!

Veterans Day 2017 by George Harris

They’re all gone now, those doughboys of 100 years ago with their wrapped leggings and their soup bowl helmets.  They were our grandparents or perhaps great grand grandparents eager to go vanquish the Hun as the Germans were called.  George M. Cohan was just sitting down to write, “Over There” to send our troops off with a rousing song.  Little did they know they would be facing machine guns and gas; mustard and chlorine gas that would burn their skin and their lungs.  Mr. Ramsey, our Assistant Coach and Driver Education Teacher, had bleached spots on his face and in his hair from gas attacks.  He never talked about it but we all knew what it was.

We were still enough of an agrarian nation that many of those young men and women, yes there were women in World War I, literally laid down their plowshares and picked up arms to join the British and French in The Great War-it didn’t become World War I until 23 years later when we became involved in another world war.  Like many wars, The Great War was being fought much like previous wars-troops were massed and then launched against the enemy much in the same way they had been in our own Civil War and the Spanish-American War.  But there were two big differences-machine guns and chemical warfare.  The United Kingdom lost nearly 750,000 killed while France lost 1,150,000.  Russia, Romania, Italy, Serbia and some others lost something over 2,000,000.  When the end came in 1918, we had lost nearly, 54,000.  And this doesn’t count deaths from disease, particularly the Great Flu Epidemic and the loss of civilian lives.  On the Allied Side alone, perhaps 10 million people died.  And among the Central Powers another 8.3 million military and civilians died.  This war was one of the costliest in our history.

What did we learn from this war?  Perhaps nothing because just 23 years later we found ourselves engaged in another war on a global scale that ended with the new capability of world destruction when the new atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

Now we find ourselves involved in a new type of war-a war against terrorism, a war that seems endless.  Now millions of young men and women have served our Nation; hundreds of thousands have been wounded and, depending on who you ask and how they count, perhaps something on the order of 74,000 to 80,000 have died in the wars in the Middle East.

What is my point in all of this?  Although not much in favor at the moment, General Robert E. Lee once noted, “It is good that war is so horrible, or we might grow to like it.”  And thus it is.  In the 241 years of our independence, over 4,000,000 young men and women have been sacrificed on the altars of the gods of war.  And we continue to offer them up with no end in sight.  Freedom has a terrible price and it should always be remembered that war is the absolute failure of diplomacy paid for with the blood of our young men and women.

Perhaps Dwight D. Eisenhower, president and leader of the world’s greatest armed force in World War II said it best:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

— Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953

Woman accuses Roy Moore of sexual encounter when she was 14 and he was 32

USATODAY.COM:

A bombshell report that four women accused Senate candidate Roy Moore of groping, kissing and pursuing them as teens has prompted a fallout as his fellow Republicans gauge how to respond.

The report, published Thursday in the Washington Post, identifies women who claim Moore asked them on dates while while he served as an assistant district attorney in his home state of Alabama in the 1970s and 1980s. Moore, a firebrand and religious conservative, called the report “completely false,” blaming the Democratic Party.

Senate Republicans quickly distanced themselves. John McCain called the allegations “disqualifying.” John Cornyn, a Moore backer, described them as “deeply disturbing.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “must step aside” if the allegations are true.

But the state auditor of Alabama’s home state rushed to Moore’s defense. And he invoked the mother of Jesus, Mary, and her husband, Joseph.

“There is nothing to see here,” Jim Ziegler told the Washington Examiner. “The allegations are that a man in his early 30s dated teenage girls. Even the Washington Post report says that he never had sexual intercourse with any of the girls and never attempted sexual intercourse.”

 He later added: “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”
Oh dear God, do these people have no shame?  To compare groping a 14 year old CHILD to Mary and Joseph is simply obscene and yes, immoral.  I don’t throw that word around lightly.
There are enough witnesses here to send Moore back home to ‘Bama  with this tail between his legs, if he can even find it.  His past behavior is unacceptable.  Even accusations by one person, much less 4 should send a strong message to the Senate that Moore should not be seated in this august body of legislators.
Roy Moore has spent far too much time worrying about the morals of others and not enough time making sure his own behavior was up to snuff.    The man doth protest too much, me thinks.
Roy Moore is unfit to hold any office.  Roy Moore is king of the hypocrites.

Musing from under the tent

 

 Guest contributor, Solon.  Solon has made some keen observations and formed some rather  interesting opinions.

 

Musing from under the tent
Its Virginia.
Another year, another election.
On to 2018 for better or worse.
If one is honest, they did not see the blue wave coming.
No pol, no poll, no candidate anticipated it.
The wave was strong enough to lift even weak Democratic candidate to victory.
Now, can they stay there?
Their hard work is just beginning.
Some learning and winners/losers:
Learning #1: The politics of negativity and meanness don’t pay off.
Yes, we are looking to you Scott Lingamfelter and you, Russ Harrison.
Learning #2: Hard work and dogged determination can pay off.
Congratulations Delegate Donte Tanner!
Loser #1: Barbara Comstock. Babs, that bulls-eye on your back just got a whole lot bigger.
Loser #2: Marc Aveni. Your time has come.
Loser #3: Corey Stewart. How are the politics of hate looking now?
Loser #4: Ruth Anderson. They are coming to get ya!
Winner #1: Harry Wiggins. A very nice victory lap for the often maligned (and sometimes deservedly so) PWC Demo Chair.
Winner# 2: Tim Kaine.
Winner #3: Redistricting reform. The Dems need to continue to be the adults in the room.
Winner #4: Terry McAuliffe. Terry vs Donny in 2020?
On to 2018!!!!!!

 

Moonhowlings endorses Danica Roem for the 13th

 

Election day 2017.  Moonhowlings is endorsing Danica Roem, hands down.  Danica has plans. Her opponent has very few that don’t involve denying women their reproductive rights.

I first realized what a dynamic candidate Danica was when she nocked on my door last summer, before the primary. I went out, sat down, and an hour later, as she stood up to go, I realized how knowledgeable she was about our community.   Truthfully, I had thought western PWC might not be ready for identity politics.  Well, I was dead wrong.  Identity has little to do with Danica’s campaign.

Danica stopped by last night again.  She was exhausted after 10 hours of door knocking.   We chatted,  we gave her a bottle of water and she was on her way–2 more doors to knock on.  I have been very impressed with her dedication to winning, her tireless approach and her knowledge base.  Those attributes are what we need in Richmond.

Danica, may the force be with you as you win the 13th today.

As we head to the polls….

Here is the reality.  Those politicians who scream the loudest about being “pro-life” often  are the quickest to vote against medicaid for those around the poverty level.  Additionally, they often vote against food stamps, maternity programs and assistance so that single mothers can work.

Finally, most who shriek about “pro-life” issues are the first to start yammering about defunding Planned Parenthood.  In reality, this simply means denying Medicaid reimbursement for women seeking medical (not abortion) services at Planned Parenthood.

Newsflash- contraception is your best weapon against abortion.

Trump: lies, political lies and dishonorable lies

Bostonglobe.com:

WASHINGTON — President Trump falsely asserted on Monday that his predecessor, Barack Obama, and other presidents did not contact the families of American troops killed in duty, drawing a swift, angry rebuke from several of Obama’s former aides.

Trump was responding to a question about why he had not spoken publicly about the killing of four US Green Berets in an ambush in Niger two weeks ago when he made the assertion. Rather than answering the reporter’s question, Trump said he had written personal letters to their families and planned to call them in the coming week. Then he pivoted to his predecessors.

“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls,” Trump said during a news conference in the Rose Garden with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. “A lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate.”

Trump’s assertion belied a long record of meetings Obama held with the families of killed service people, as well as calls and letters, dating to the earliest days of his presidency. Before he decided to deploy 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, Obama regularly traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the arrival of the caskets of service members.

Donald Trump continues to be a liar.  This time he surpassed even his own race to the bottom.  He has mortified the American people on a global level and he has reinfected pain on the families of those who gave their all.

What is wrong with this moron?  Yes, I will call him a moron.  (Thank you, Secretary of State Tillerson)  He first failed to mention the deaths of the 4 Green Berets who were killed in Niger.  His lame attempts to justify this neglect turned to lying about his predecessors and then making it all about himself.  No Trump, a killed service person isn’t about YOU, its about that person who gave his or her life for the country and those families who have lost a loved one.  It is our country’s loss.

How many times did Presidents Obama and Bush go off, in the night, without fanfare or press, to solemnly greet those caskets arriving at Dover Air Force Base?  We will probably never know.  We will probably never know of the personal pain service- related deaths have caused past presidents, mainly because they didn’t trumpet their grief all over the cameras.

Donald Trump is a disgrace.  He owes the American people an apology as well as all gold star families.  He, in particular, owes John McCain an apology while he is at it.  Shame on Donald Trump, once again.

Shame shame shame on rudeness and borrowing trouble

potomaclocal.com:

 

WOODBRIDGE — An effort to rename Route 1 — Jefferson Davis Highway — in Prince William County failed to gain the support of multiple elected leaders, Tuesday night.

Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi wanted to change the moniker of the highway, named after Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

The Democrat said the highway’s name represents “bigotry and oppression.”

“My intention is not to ignore or to erase history…These names are haunting, and they serve as a reminder of a time of great pain, suffering, and great loss,” said Principi.

His motion failed to gain a second, and that drew the ire of many who came to speak to the Board of Supervisors in favor of the name change.

The group shouted “shame, shame, shame” before Chairman Corey Stewart; At-large ordered the audience out of the Board Chambers.

Others also shouted at John Jenkins, a long-serving Democrat on the board, for not supporting his fellow Democrat’s motion.

“You call yourself a Democrat,” cried one person as the audience got out of their seats to exit the room.

After the audience cleared the room, a video of the meeting captured Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan’s displeasure with the crowd.

“I can’t believe this. This is what it has come down to?” she asked. “They’ve got to start obeying our rules…they are the rudest people… I’ve been on a lot of boards but this…”

The crowd was extremely rude.  Organizations have their own rules and procedures.  The BOCS is no different.  Corey was right to clear the room rather than dealing with petulant, ill-mannered, insulting  behavior.

Shame on Frank Principi.  Why compare us to Charlottesville?  We don’t have the same problems Charlottesville has and has had.  I feel he invited trouble.  The road names Principi discussed  are state controlled.  School names come under the auspices and jurisdiction  of the School Board and the fire house is a semi-private entity.  Frank needs to deal with things over which he has control, not things beyond his control as a supervisor.

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Open Thread…………………………….October, 2017

October is absolutely my favorite month.  The air is crisp and clean.  It nips our cheeks and noses in the morning.

October is beautiful–nature’s color palette that continually changes.  Head to the mountains to drink it all in.  If you start in Front Royal,the tree scape will look totally different by the time you get to Big Meadows.

October has wonderful smells.  A burning campfire, fallen leaves, fruits and spices all send our olfactory senses on a month long high.  Our autumn expert, North of Nokesville, aka North, really paints fall with his words. North has brought fall to the blog and I thank him.

Was it an act of “pure evil?”

Was the mass murder in Las Vegas an act of “pure evil” as stated by Donald Trump or was it something else? Is mental illness “pure evil” or some chemical imbalance in people’s brains? I do believe there is evil. Don’t get me wrong. But I am very uncomfortable branding all bad things evil.

At some point I think we as a society need to start taking a long, hard look at our own contributions to these unspeakable acts. Is it easier to control mental illness or whether citizens and residents get their hands on inordinate amount of weapons with little or no background checks as to stability and temperament to own such weapons?

I don’t necessarily want to go round up everyone’s weapons. I have been clear on that in the past. I want certain weapons to be available to most of us. Simple guns, pistols, rifles that the average citizen can use for personal protection should be available for purchase and ownership for most of the population. However….

Weapons like those used in the Vegas massacre should not be owned by everyone. Now, should certain individuals be allowed to purchase such weapons after presenting themselves for intense vetting? Yes, probably. Gun ownership of those types of semi automatic weapons should not be the default.

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Nat Turner to be honored on statue in Richmond

Dailyprogress.com:

RICHMOND — A state commission planning an anti-slavery monument in downtown Richmond voted Wednesday to include Nat Turner, the leader of a bloody 1831 slave uprising in Southampton County, among a group of 10 African-American figures who will be honored on the statue’s base.

The work on the new statue being done by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission has thus far avoided controversy, but the decision to include Turner — seen as a freedom fighter by many and a mass murderer by others — is likely to bring a new level of attention to the planning process for the monument meant to celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery.

Turner was by far the most hotly debated name Wednesday as a panel of state lawmakers and historians tried to select 10 honorees from a list of 30 finalists.

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Ken Burns and Lynn Novick: The Vietnam War

Has everyone gotten their initial Ken Burns fix? The first episode was 90 minutes last night and just excellent. Most of what I saw was new to me. I expect to learn so much from this series.  Last night did not disappoint.  I had no idea that the beginning  issues went back to 1858.

Like much that happened post WWII, we sure misread that one, and of course, sacrificed another generation of young men as a result.  57,000 names on a wall is just too many names–too many names for something we shouldn’t have been involved in.

Start looking for parallels.  How long will we be involved in our current wars?  Is there an end in sight?   Bush, Obama and Trump have all been swallowed up by our current wars.

When will we ever learn?

Meanwhile, enjoy a fine documentary.  I look forward to seeing all sides.  Each show is 90 minutes and it runs for 2 weeks.  For those who miss an episode, there are lots of opportunities the next day to catch a missed show.  The last few episodes appear to be 120 minutes each.  The series runs 18 hours in all.