Open Thread………………………………………..Monday, November 3

November 20th, 2014 101 comments

late autumn leavesThe trees are becoming bare. Trees just handled leaf-change and leaf-drop differently in different places this year.  Trees around here didn’t do it all at once.  some of the leaves turned brown instantly while still retaining fully green.  Those leaves fell off the trees the first week of October.  Some of the trees turned colors while retaining lots of green.  I have a dogwood out front that is still doing the schizo-leaf thing.  It has lots of green still. Perhaps an easy third is still green.

Winchester and west of Winchester is another world in terms of leaves.  The trees there are brilliant and beautiful, full of color.  I have rarely seen such a display.  I was truly amazed last week to see such beautiful colors–none of this half green display.  I am not sure how the leaf display can be so different.  Winchester put on quite a color show, even compared to Front Royal.

Autumn will always fascinate me.  It’s truly Mother Nature’s time to strut her stuff.



Categories: General Tags:

It’s our tradition….Happy Thanksgiving to all!

November 27th, 2014 No comments

A few moments to be thankful that we are all part of the great melting pot.


Meanwhile, Yo quiero turkey?

Is this really what people think is going to happen?  I have read all sorts of fear mongering.  Some papers refused to run this cartoon.  Others took the mustache off the man or altered it so it didn’t look quite as “Mexican”, in order to be politically correct…well sorta.  (eye roll)

Yea, Foxies, ….them “Mexicans” are here to steal your turkey and probably the silverware also.  Give me a break.

Categories: Immigration Tags:

Darren Wilson not indicted for death of Michael Brown

November 24th, 2014 119 comments

ST. LOUIS — A grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo. police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests and a national conversation about race and police interactions with African Americans, prosecutors said Monday.

The decision means that Wilson, 28, will face no state charges in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Although a parallel federal civil rights investigation of the shooting is continuing, federal investigators have all but concluded they do not have a case against Wilson, either, law enforcement officials have said.

A separate federal probe of the Ferguson Police Department is underway. But the prospect that Wilson will face no direct legal consequences for Brown’s death was expected to trigger protests in the St. Louis area, and in the hours before the announcement, scores of demonstrators gathered near the area where Brown was killed.

Protests are going on nationwide.  In Ferguson,  some businesses are going up in flames.  Gun shots have been heard.   I am not sure what protests will do.  Would the behavior be the same if Wilson were not white?  I am not sure.   I have never felt that Officer Wilson was guilty, from what I read.  However, I wasn’t there.  Neither were most of the people out in the streets rioting.

As you comment, please attempt to be judicious in your comments.  None of us were there.   A set of parents have lost their son and a community has lost one of its young.  Those things hurt.  Michael Brown has become an icon, rightly or wrongly, for police brutality, especially in communities of color.

Categories: General, Racism/racial issues Tags:

UVA Sullivan sends Greek life to time out until Jan. 9

November 23rd, 2014 8 comments

Her decision will not be popular. UVA President Teresa Sullivan has banned fraternities and sororities at UVA until Jan. 9. No one is quite sure what “Ban” means at this point. For now, all we can do is speculate. Since students live in fraternities and sororities, it would be fairly difficult to re-house all of them. However, Sullivan can and should shut down all social activities until January 9.

Read more…

County Employee, Ray Utz, Arrested

November 22nd, 2014 17 comments

hello ladies utz

For those of us who heard the stories, who knew of the myriad of complaints that had been filed against Ray Utz, the common mantra today has been this…..”Wow, I am shocked but not surprised”

There use to be several women in the Planning dept several years ago, but. one by one they left until there were none.  I believe there is now one woman, and she is a secretary. Too many people in leadership positions were aware of these complaints, and yet, nothing was done. All were deemed “unfounded” and so the women left and Ray Utz stayed.

Here is the story from Inside Nova:

Raymond Utz, the second-in-command of the Prince William County Planning Department, has been arrested after police say he exposed himself to women while driving.

Utz, 49, was the county’s assistant planning director since January. Before that, he served 11 years as the county’s chief of long range planning. County spokesman Jason Grant said Utz is no longer employed by Prince William County, but would not comment on whether he was fired or resigned.

Utz was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 19, after two reported incidents of indecent exposure, one in Woodbridge and the other in Lake Ridge.

Just before noon, police were called after a 38-year-old woman reported that a man in a black Honda CRV lowered his passenger side window while both drivers were stopped on Gideon Drive and Smoketown Road.

“At that point, the victim noticed that the driver was exposing himself and making an obscene sexual display,” Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok said.

The victim was able to provide officers with the Honda’s license plate number, which was registered to Utz.


Read more…

Categories: General, PWC, PWC Police, PWC Politics Tags:

UVA assaults: A national disgrace

November 22nd, 2014 33 comments

phi psi 2

The harrowing account of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house described in a new Rolling Stone article roiled the campus Friday, with students, faculty members and parents questioning the administration’s response to the allegations.

The article, in the pop culture magazine’s December issue and posted online this week, describes a brutal sex assault that allegedly occurred in the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012. The victim, who is given an alias in the article, said a member of the fraternity led her upstairs during a party and took her to a dark room, where numerous men pinned her to the floor and attacked her.

The victim later describes a underwhelming response from university officials, whom she contacted about the attack, according to Rolling Stone. She did not file a police report.

After the story appeared online, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called for the university to begin a thorough investigation into the matter, and Charlottesville police said they are investigating the allegations at the request of the university’s president, Teresa Sullivan.

U-Va. Vice President Patricia Lampkin said the article has “deeply affected” the university community.

Read more…

President Obama’s immigration plan: It’s about time

November 21st, 2014 112 comments

President Obama announced on Thursday evening a series of executive actions to grant up to five million unauthorized immigrants protection from deportation. The president is also planning actions to direct law enforcement priorities toward criminals, allow high-skilled workers to move or change jobs more easily, and streamline visa and and court procedures, among others.

The president’s plan is expected to affect up to five million of the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population, currently 11.4 million according to the Migration Policy Institute. It would create a new program of deferrals for approximately 3.7 undocumented parents of American citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for at least five years. Deferrals would include authorization to work and would be granted for three years at a time.

Read more…

Categories: General, Immigration Tags:

Adrian Peterson suspended for a year

November 19th, 2014 9 comments


Saying Adrian Peterson has “shown no meaningful remorse” for injuring his young son, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the Minnesota Vikings star without pay for at least the remainder of the 2014 season Tuesday morning for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

The NFL Players Association quickly announced it will appeal the decision and demand a neutral arbitrator — not Goodell — to hear the appeal, accusing an unnamed league executive of telling Peterson his nine weeks on the exempt list would be considered time served.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Peterson’s time on paid leave was taken into account but cited the aggravating circumstances laid out in Goodell’s letter to Peterson as explanation for the extended discipline.


How does anyone judge someone’s remorse?  I find that odd.

Read more…

Categories: Sports Tags:

Lakota: House of Representatives has declared war on the Sioux Nation

November 18th, 2014 41 comments

The president of South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) tribe has called the House of Representatives’ vote to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline an “act of war,” the Summit County Citizen’s Voice reported on Saturday.

“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” President Cyril Scott said in a statement. “We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL.”

Scott said he and other tribal elders have not been appropriately consulted on the pipeline, which would run through the tribe’s land. He also contended the House vote violates the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties, which gave the Black Hills to the Sioux Nation, according to the Summit County Citizen’s Voice.

We have been breaking treaties with the Indians for centuries. I doubt if this will stop us from doing it again if someone really wants that pipeline.
I think the questions to ask are as follows:

1. What will the Keystone XL pipeline do for the nation?
2. What is the impact on the environment?
3. What is the impact on the people where the XL actually goes through?

All of these questions need to have a positive answer before anyone approves this thing. I hope that the Keystone XL pipeline isn’t just another political consequence that has not been thought through thoroughly.

Categories: General Tags:

Military commissions for terrorism suspects are a proven failure

November 11th, 2014 9 comments

by @ColMorrisDavis

On Veterans Day, 2009, I published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that said President Barack Obama was making a mistake prosecuting some terrorism suspects in federal courts in the United States and others in military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. I got fired from my federal government job for criticizing the president, and I have spent the past five years in court in a protracted First Amendment battle with the Justice Department that is likely to go on for several more years.

It is five Veterans Days later, and Obama’s mistake continues. It has not gotten better with age.

Fourteen high-value detainees arrived at Guantánamo from Central Intelligence Agency black sites in September 2006. Since then, only one has been convicted and sentenced: Ahmed Ghailani got life without parole for his part in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. Ghailani, the only Guantánamo detainee ever transferred to the United States, was convicted in November 2010 in federal court in New York City. He is serving his sentence in the Supermax prison in Colorado.
Read more…

Categories: Guest Contributor, War/Military Tags: