Open Thread…………………………..November 1

October 31st, 2015 38 comments


November has become the harvest month.  Our climate is changing and we still bring in an abundant harvest well in to November.

We have had a freeze but the frost only took out the most sensitive of the plants.  My herbs are still going strong.  The next couple of weeks should finish things off.

Good bye to Daylight Saving Time.  It ends early this year.  Let my depression begin.


Categories: General Tags:

That’s a really crass calculation, Congressman

November 25th, 2015 2 comments

Rather than escaping a bloody civil war, a United States congressman suggested that Syrian refugees are coming to the U.S. for free vacations.

In an appearance on the Dale Jackson Show on Friday, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) discussed the Syrian crisis and President Obama’s pledge to shelter 10,000 refugees.
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HOV 2+ lanes…why bother?

November 24th, 2015 16 comments


I am not a commuter.  I rarely go down I-66 in rush hour.  In fact, I pretty much move heaven and earth to NOT go down I-66 during rush hour.   Today was an exception.   I got caught in the thick of it between 3:30 and 4:00 PM.  There was no escape.

So here I am, riding along in my rather elderly SUV, looking at all the cars in the HOV2+ lane and all of a sudden, it dawned on me–90% of the cars were occupied by just one person.  I looked at my clock, I looked at my cell phone, just to make sure that I had the right time.

They simply didn’t give a crap.  90% of the cars in an HOV2+ lane should not be single occupant cars!  Where is the state of Virginia?  Where are the cameras?  Where are the drones?  Why are people not being fined within an inch of their lives for this violation?

Traveling in an HOV lane is a moving violation on your record if you are caught.  These people didn’t seem to have a care in the world.  There were also a bunch of commercial trucks just tooling along.

Shame on the State of Virginia for allowing this flagrant violation.  Shame on them for not enforcing their own laws.  No wonder I-66 is such a mess.  I am shocked, stunned and disappointed.   A pox on the house of the HOV violator!


Categories: General Tags:

What happened to the GOP becoming more inclusive?

November 22nd, 2015 45 comments

gop inclusion

Poor Reince Priebus. After Mitt Romney’s loss to Barack Obama in 2012, Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee, touted his shiny new 100-page report on reinventing the GOP at the National Press Club in March 2013. It was called the “Growth and Opportunity Project.” Priebus’ message was earnest and direct: The GOP needed to practice inclusion, not exclusion, if it was to have any chance of winning the presidency. “We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian, and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too,” the report said. “We must recruit more candidates who come from minority communities. But it is not just tone that counts. Policy always matters.”

That was then. In the meantime, the GOP’s leading presidential contenders have serially and successfully thumbed their collective noses at the party establishment. Already Donald Trump and Ben Carson have upended the race with stands like castigating illegal immigrants. But amid widespread fear of terrorism triggered by the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, the GOP is now mired in its ugliest intra-party debate yet—about whether Muslims living in the United States constitute a potential Fifth Column.

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Categories: Elections, General Tags: ,

Freedom: what if…

November 21st, 2015 13 comments

american nazi

What if WWII had not been won by the allies?   Amazon prime tickles our imagination in a great series called “The Man in the High Castle.”  Season one is on Amazon prime now and I am addicted to the show.  I can’t come up for air.  I am watching the Tech game and watching and listening to “The Man in the High Castle.”  I am on episode 7.

What really comes to mind is freedom and how fragile freedom really is.  I can’t possibly not think about the sacrifices my parents’ generation made to guarantee our freedom.

This series really gives a good picture of how it all could have been.  What if America were divided into 2 nations?  What if Japan and Germany ruled?  How would our lives be different today, especially under the WWII regimes?

Addendum:  I am finished the series.  What a scary show.  Please note, the flag is from the series, not from me.

The point of the post, which obviously is not being picked up, is that our freedom is very fragile and often taken for granted by Americans–those of us who have it.  Were it not for the sacrifices of many, especially from the Greatest Generation, we would not have our freedom.  “The Man in the High Castle” is just one story of what our lives might be like were it not for those from the Greatest Generation.




Ben Carson: No Cujo analogies!!!

November 20th, 2015 12 comments

Ben Carson likened Syrian refugees fleeing the country’s bloody civil war and Islamic State violence to dogs on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters following a campaign stop in Mobile, Alabama, Carson stressed that the United States wants smart leaders who care about people, but noted there should always be a balance between safety and humanitarian concerns.

“For instance, you know, if there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog, and you’re probably gonna put your children out of the way,” Carson said. “Doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs by any stretch of the imagination.”

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Anti-refugee bill on house fast track

November 19th, 2015 38 comments

congress icon

The fallout from the Paris terrorist attacks will begin to play out on the House floor Thursday as the chamber is set to approve a bill to block any refugees from Syria or Iraq from entering the country unless they pass a strict background check and receive government certification.

The bill, which was crafted by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), is expected to pass with a big bipartisan margin. A sizable number of Democrats are likely to cross the aisle and vote for it, despite White House opposition, said lawmakers in both parties. Some rank-and-file Democrats are concerned about looking soft on national security even as French authorities continue to track down suspects from last week’s deadly attacks.

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NBC admonished for using “illegals”

November 19th, 2015 20 comments

Hispanic lawmakers hoped a meeting with top executives from MSNBC and NBC News Wednesday would smooth over hard feelings from Donald Trump’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” Instead, it had the opposite effect.

NBC News President Deborah Turness committed a major blunder — as far as the Hispanic lawmakers were concerned — when she described undocumented immigrants as “illegals,” a term that many in the Latino community find highly offensive.

Turness was describing NBC’s integration with their Spanish-language network Telemundo, which included coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. and his interaction with a young girl who was afraid her parents would be deported because they’re “illegals.”


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Categories: General Tags:

The Refugee situation: Changes in Attitude…Changes in Lattitude

November 18th, 2015 82 comments


1938 refugees


The results of the poll illustrated above by the useful Twitter account @HistOpinion were published in the pages of Fortune magazine in July 1938. Fewer than 5 percent of Americans surveyed at the time believed that the United States should raise its immigration quotas or encourage political refugees fleeing fascist states in Europe — the vast majority of whom were Jewish — to voyage across the Atlantic. Two-thirds of the respondents agreed with the proposition that “we should try to keep them out.”

To be sure, the United States was emerging from the Great Depression, hardly a climate in which ordinary folks would welcome immigrants and economic competition. The events of Kristallnacht — a wave of anti-Jewish pogroms in areas controlled by the Nazis — had yet to take place. And the poll’s use of the term “political refugees” could have conjured in the minds of the American public images of communists, anarchists and other perceived ideological threats.

But look at the next chart, also tweeted by @HistOpinion. Two-thirds of Americans polled by Gallup’s American Institute of Public Opinion in January 1939 — well after the events of Kristallnacht — said they would not take in 10,000 German Jewish refugee children.

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Categories: Immigration, World Events Tags:

Another government shutdown?

November 16th, 2015 34 comments

A cascade of Republicans on Monday implored the Obama administration to scrap plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States next year, saying they pose an unacceptable security risk in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

And, in a dramatic twist, the sudden standoff is raising the possibility of a government shutdown next month.

Throughout the day a host of Republican governors around the country, wary that refugees could end up in their home states, blasted President Barack Obama’s plans. But those governors lack real sway over the process, and some are asking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to insert a provision in the Dec. 11 spending bill that would bar more Syrian settlers.

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Virginia schools missing 11,000 teachers

November 15th, 2015 11 comments

Cash-strapped school districts across Virginia cut teaching and staff positions and crammed more students into classrooms during the Great Recession, as state and local funding fell off, leaving them with a huge deficit of teachers, according to a new report.

The Commonwealth Institute concluded that Virginia schools are now “missing” 11,200 staff members, including 4,600 teachers. That’s the number of additional staff members and teachers that would be working in Virginia schools if hiring had kept pace with student enrollment through the recession, when Virginia schools added more than 42,000 students to their rolls.

At the same time, the state has seen growth in the number of students who often need additional support. The report found a 39 percent rise in the number of students who are economically disadvantaged and a 33 percent increase in the number of students who enter school learning English. The homeless student population is up 73 percent, according to the institute’s report.

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Categories: General, Virginia Tags: