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Archive for December, 2008

Good-bye 2008, Hello 2009!

December 31st, 2008 75 comments

What a hell of a year. Prince William County, the nation, the election, the economy, April 30.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Not to sound like Billy Joel….but as we say good bye to the old year we can look at our accomplishments with a great deal of pride. Granted, some of them were baby steps, but we did stop a run-away locomotive. We didn’t always win, but we chinked away some armor.

Please use this thread to reminisce and enumerate events of the year. There are also some revisionists floating about on other blogs. Feel free to make any corrections here if you know of them. If you put up corrections on the dark screen, they will last all of five minutes.

Meanwhile, let’s hope that the new year brings peace, prosperity, safety, solutions and good will towards all men, women and children. The torch has been passed.

The Kenny G Millenium Auld Lang Syne will bring back some reminders, not of 2008, but of benchmarks in your lifetime, if you are older than 8. This video was made 8 years ago. In some ways it seems like a life time. Everything looks different through pre-9/11 glasses.

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Farewell to Raising Kaine

December 30th, 2008 33 comments

In just a few days the blog – Raising Kaine will cease to exist.  It’s definitely a very sad end to an era.  Often in my internet browsing, I have landed there and over time have been impressed by its content.  On a personal note, Lowell Feld has provided me with invaluable advice on several occassions.  I would like to express my sincere appreciation for his contributions to the online blogging community and wish him continued success in all his future endeavors.

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Seriously, “Obama the Magic Negro”, sent out by RNC committee member?

December 28th, 2008 80 comments

Really, the whole story should make any mature adult wonder, “Seriously, are these people in a position of power?”

Apparently, Chip Saltsman, RNC member hoping to gain RNC chairmanship, actually thought, hey, sending out an offensive CD is a good idea! If I recall correctly, this past election, demonstrated clearly, that the Republican Party, in order to thrive, must deviate from old habits and start enticing a more diverse population to join their party. Ahh, hint Chris, THIS, is NOT the way to draw a more diverse membership.

Even the current RNC Chairman, Robert Duncan was “shocked and appalled” that one of his possible successors had sent out a CD this Christmas with the 2007 parody ” Barack the Magic Negro”. It’s one thing when Rush Limbaugh does it, but when such insensitivity is codified by the RNC, not good, not good P.R. at all.

(CNN) — A candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship said Friday the CD he sent committee members for Christmas — which included a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro” — was clearly intended as a joke.

“I think most people recognize political satire when they see it,” Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman told CNN. “I think RNC members understand that.”

The song, set to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” was first played on conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in 2007.

Read more…

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Teenager, moved by plight of Sudanese women, raises money for fuel efficient stoves

December 27th, 2008 25 comments

Our discussion, from the last thread regarding the plight of Afghan women, led me to wonder, how DO we help women that are suffering in different parts of the world. Women, risk life and limb in Sudan, just to search out firewood in order to keep their families alive. Darfur, another place on Earth that more resembles Hell, than G-d’s earth, is another glaring example of women in danger.  Compelled to take action, seventeen year old Spencer Brodsky, deciding that he could not idly stand by while women lost their lives or were raped simply because they had to search out firewood, raised money to buy fuel efficient stoves. One person can make a difference in the lives of strangers.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In Sudan’s Darfur region, where violence and genocide are rampant, women risk their lives every day performing tasks as seemingly mundane as seeking out firewood.

But, from his suburban home, one Maryland teen has dedicated himself to making life a little safer for those women.

The United Nations estimates that 300,000 people have been slaughtered in the ongoing violence in the north African country. Countless others have been forced out of their homes and are living in refugee camps.

People living in the camps are relatively safe, but there is danger for the women and young girls who leave the compounds in search of firewood to cook meals. Firewood in the desert is scarce, and the women often have to walk up to seven hours to gather enough wood to bring back to their camps. Some women have been targeted, sexually assaulted and killed.

Spencer Brodsky, 17, learned about the violence and decided to raise money to purchase fuel-efficient stoves to send to Darfur. The stoves burn 75 percent less firewood.

Read more…

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John McCain, the Mack is Back!

December 27th, 2008 27 comments

Finding this article in the Yuma Sun, I was heartened to recognize the old John McCain being described. I am hopeful that he and Obama will be able to create the immigration reform this country desperately needs.

Remember the John McCain that many Arizonans grew to like over the years – the one who stuck by his principles but was not politically dogmatic or doctrinaire, and instead tried to represent the interests of people in general?

Well, that John McCain seems to be back after a long journey into the dark jungle of presidential politics where he seemed to veer from his familiar middle-of-the-road approach to politics – an approach that a lot of Arizonans prefer, based on their long support for him.

While here in Yuma he praised the work done on border security and fencing along the border, acknowledging the desire of many Arizonans and other Americans to have a secure, safe border as the top priority.

Yet he has not reduced his support for humane changes in our nation’s immigration policies. He wants reforms and better foreign worker programs so workers from Mexico and elsewhere who want to fill needed jobs in America can do so.

“These are God’s children, and there has to be a humane and compassionate approach to this issue (illegal immigration),” McCain told a Tucson newspaper.

Those words represent the McCain we have known for years, the one who could upset not only Democrats but also Republicans because he set his own agenda. The word “maverick” when it comes to politicians is probably over-used, but in the case of John McCain it fits.

Read more…

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Viagra, a new way to turn the tide in Afghanistan?

December 26th, 2008 45 comments

Is this what 21st century warfare looks like….handing out Viagra? Apparently, the U.S. military is using new and unusual tactics to win over Afghan Chiefs. In this latest article in the Washington Post, the idea is, in order to gain information and earn the trust of Afghan Chiefs, we, as in the U.S., must be willing to think of unique ideas to entice cooperation from tribal leaders. Hey, if it saves live of innocent Afghans and our soldiers, I say hand out as many little blue pills as it takes! As long as we are building schools for girls, in conjunction with happy pills, I am fine with this strategy. In the end, the way to “win” this war, is to “win” over the Afghan’s themselves and make the Taliban as unpopular as possible.

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

“Take one of these. You’ll love it,” the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes — followed by a request for more pills.

For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country’s roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

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A tangible way to help the Smith family, bring food for Jean and Jim’s wake!

December 25th, 2008 5 comments

On our thread, while discussing the tragedy of Jean and Jim Smith, many people shared their pain regarding this horrific event.  I wondered if there was a way we could help this family, whether we knew Jean or Jim, did not matter to me.  I received a call from someone today, that indeed, there is a way for us to help.  Apparently there may be up to 1,000 people attending the wake on Saturday.   Clearly, food is going to be in great need, along with many other items.  At this point, there is still a need for macaroni salad, potato salad, and hot casseroles.  For those who would like to help, here is a tangible way for us to show our respect for the lives of these two people.   I will post the parameters of the specific request below.  This thread is ONLY about helping this family, NOT about race, not about gun control, not about any political issue whatsoever.  Thank you in advance for respecting this request to keep the thread on topic and also for any help you can offer the Smith family.

Date:Saturday, December 27th

Place:Holy Family Catholic Church, 14160 Ferndale Road, Dale City

Time: between 11:00 and 2:00 p.m.

Request: macaroni salad, potato salad, hot casseroles (please bring in disposable tins to ensure easy clean up). Please LABEL on top what item you have brought.

Please bring food directly to Gym

I have been asked to keep track of who is bringing what, so please let me know via the blog thread or if you have my personal e-mail address

Thanks again :)

 

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Bonfadini Christmas Display-A Manassas Tradition

December 24th, 2008 6 comments

Christmas at the Bonfadini house is a time honored tradition for most people who have grown up in Manassas. Even if you missed growing up here, like I did, you immediately start taking your children past the house on Forrester Road the second weekend in December.

I hear rumors that this will be John Bonfadini’s last year. I don’t believe it for one minute. He took a little break about 8 years or so ago. It didn’t last. His grandchildren talked him back into it, from what I have been told. Now I expect his real children weren’t quite so enthusiastic since I feel certain they were commandeered into helping. What a task!

All of the Bonfadini displays are hand made. Snoopy, Baby Jesus, and the Little Mermaid all share the front yard. The theme? Icons and characters children love. John Bonfadini was an industrial arts teacher for many years in Prince William County before moving on the George Mason University. His talent is extremely evident and has been delighting children and adults for a good 30 years. It is a must-see if you are in Manassas over the holidays.

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Computerized Christmas Light Displays

December 24th, 2008 Comments off

Next, displays of a different type on the order of the Fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas. Computerized lights are quite the thing in some areas. Can you imagine what the electric bill is on this creation? Many HOAs have contests for the best Christmas/holiday decorations. That’s just too much pressure for me! To my knowledge, these displays are not in our area.

Has anyone seen anything locally like this? Where are the best displays? Are there any contests? Let the Anti readership know where the good stuff is!

A young elf left an elf hat at my house tonight. The night is getting ready to turn magical. So Merry Christmas everyone. Enjoy the holiday.

Amazing Grace

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Around the world with Santa

December 24th, 2008 17 comments

When I was a kid, you got your tail in bed at a respectable time because you didn’t want Santa Claus to catch you awake.  Now you can follow him all over the world.  Chris has left the link to NORAD tracking Santa around the world.  As I am posting, he is somewhere in Russia.

Some folks don’t want to sit around and watch Santa.  How will everyone spend Christmas eve?  Tell! Tell! Inquiring (and nosey) minds want to know.

http://www.noradsanta.org/en/home.html

 

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The Rick Warren controversy rages on

December 24th, 2008 41 comments

The latest flap seems to be over the Reverend Rick Warren.  Why?  He has been asked to give the Inaugural Invocation for President-Elect Barack Obama. 

 

So who all is flapping?  It seems like just about everyone if TV is to be believed.  The left is howling because they say that Reverend Warren is anti gay and is a speaker of hate.  The right is growling because they say the Reverend Warren is catering to the far left and should not be appearing with Barack Obama. 

 

Now I think I have the flap right.  I am not sure.  Supposedly lesbian pop singer Melissa Etheridge didn’t know Rick Warren, believed the rhetoric the gays were saying, and went on a rant about him.  She met with him, talked to him, understood him, and now they are buds. 

 

What does the readership know about all this?  This story seems to be carrying the week.  I know absolutely nothing about Rick Warren.  Good guy or bad guy and why?

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Cat Got Your Tongue?

December 22nd, 2008 63 comments

Just kidding.  Apparently the cat has no one’s tongue on this blog!  I have heard from all sorts of people who are itching to comment on various issues but there just doesn’t seem to be a thread for their topic. 

So here you go.  Another open thread.  Now I hope to see all those comments! 

M-H

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Couple who named child Adolf Hitler, denied custom birthday cake

December 22nd, 2008 48 comments

The most telling part of this story is when the father of little three year old Adolf Hitler, recounted,

“he was raised not to avoid people of other races but not to mix with them socially or romantically. But he said he would try to raise his children differently.”

To me, this story demonstrates, cleary, how mistrust of others is passed on through generations.  If this dad really watned to have an open circle of friends for his children, he would not have named them “pariah” names. 

 

EASTON, Pa. – The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child’s full name on it by one New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance. Heath Campbell and his wife, Deborah, are upset not only with the decision made by the Greenwich ShopRite, but with an outpouring of angry Internet postings in response to a local newspaper article over the weekend on their flare-up over frosting.

Deborah Campbell, 25, said she phoned in her order last week to the ShopRite. When she told the bakery department she wanted her son’s name spelled out, she was told to talk to a supervisor, who denied the request.

Karen Meleta, a spokeswoman for ShopRite, defended the supermarket. She said the Campbells had similar requests denied at the same store the last two years and said Heath Campbell previously had asked for a swastika to be included in the decoration.

“We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate,” Meleta said. “We considered this inappropriate.”

The Campbells ultimately got their cake decorated at a Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania, Deborah Campbell said.

The Campbells’ other two children also have unusual names: JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell turns 2 in a few months and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell will be 1 in April.

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Happy Chanukah at sundown tonight!

December 21st, 2008 11 comments

I just wanted to wish those celebrating Chanukah, a joyful holiday. I thought I would share the history of the holiday as many people don’t know all the details.

I have been making potato latkes for days now, about 150 total ! Potato latkes are made as a treat for this holiday as you cook them in oil, the oil representing the significance of Chanukah.  

Long ago in the land of Judea there was a Syrian king, Antiochus. The king ordered the Jewish people to reject their G-d, their religion, their customs and their beliefs and to worship the Greek gods. There were some who did as they were told, but many refused. One who refused was Judah Maccabee.

Judah and his four brothers formed an army and chose as their name the word “Maccabee”, which means hammer. After three years of fighting, the Maccabees were finally successful in driving the Syrians out of Israel and reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem. The Maccabees wanted to clean the building and to remove the hated Greek symbols and statues. On the 25th day of the month of Kislev, the job was finished and the temple was rededicated.

When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the temple, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N’er Tamid, which is present in every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil lamp should never be extinguished.

Only a tiny jug of oil was found with only enough for a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days.

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Happy Winter Solstice: The Shortest Day

December 21st, 2008 36 comments

Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year or the longest night of the year, depending on your perspective. The solstice also marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. 

The Winter Solstice Celebration goes back thousands of years in many different cultures. It was a special celebration of the Druids and Celts and centered on the yule log as part of pagan rituals. In ancient Rome, it was known as the Feast of Saturnalia.

Often, in ancient days, Winter Solstice marked a time of dread. Winter was harder on people in those days because of food shortages, long periods of darkness, illness, and cold. No flick of the switch or turning up the furnace. Those who were lucky lived through the hard winters.

Today we are more fortunate. Winter time marks more colds and flu, rain, snow, sleet and other nasty weather. Winter also can bring on SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder which can cause depression and general malaise in some people. Most of the time, however, these conditions are not life-threatening to modern man.

The good news about Winter Solstice is that the days will now get longer, at least until June 21 or whatever date the Summer Solstice falls on. This year, the shortest day of the year will have only 9 hours 27 minutes of daylight between sun up and sun down, in Manassas. To calculate this for yourself, you can go to the Naval Observatory website and find most locations.

Many people love winter time and say they would miss the seasons if they moved to Florida or Hawaii. Others hate it. How do you feel about this much maligned season? Is it as bad as people say?  Is it deadly to the poor?  How about in the Dakotas and other northern plains areas?

 

For 25 years the Paul Winter Winter Solstice has been celebrated in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Enjoy some scenes from this winter extravaganza. Winter Solstice is not just for pagans any more!

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