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Archive for September, 2009

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds–Dead at Age 46

September 30th, 2009 36 comments

The real Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds has died of the ravages of lupus at age 46.
Lucy Vodden died in London after a long battle with the chronic disease.

Many people have always thought that ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was a tribute to LSD. Actually Lucy, age 4, was a friend of John Lennon’s son, Julian, in pre-school. He came home one day from school with a drawing and told his dad that it was ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’ Thus, the song came in to being. John Lennon was gathering material for the Sgt. Pepper Album.

Julian and Lucy lost track of each other over the years. They reunited after Julian found out about her illness.

According to Huffington Post:

He sent her flowers and vouchers for use at a gardening center near her home in Surrey in southeast England, and frequently sent her text messages in an effort to buttress her spirits.

“I wasn’t sure at first how to approach her,” Julian Lennon told the Associated Press in June. “I wanted at least to get a note to her. Then I heard she had a great love of gardening, and I thought I’d help with something she’s passionate about, and I love gardening too. I wanted to do something to put a smile on her face.”

In recent months, Vodden was too ill to go out most of the time, except for hospital visits.

She enjoyed her link to the Beatles, but was not particularly fond of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

“I don’t relate to the song, to that type of song,” she told the Associated Press in June. “As a teenager, I made the mistake of telling a couple of friends at school that I was the Lucy in the song and they said, ‘No, it’s not you, my parents said it’s about drugs.’ And I didn’t know what LSD was at the time, so I just kept it quiet, to myself.”

Vodden is the latest in a long line of people connected to the Beatles who died at a relatively young age

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So the mystery is solved. Just as ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ was a kid’s song, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ was about a 4 year old playmate of Julian Lennon. 

R.I.P. Lucy. It is also wonderful to read of Julian’s kindness towards an old school mate. It shows there is still much decency in the world.

Full story is at:

 Huffington Post
Wall Street Journal

Mail Online  (includes pictures)

Enlarge picture

The video is from Cirque du Solei -Love- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Categories: Entertainment, General, History Tags:

Dead Dog Golf Courses

September 30th, 2009 19 comments

This is a dead dog,” said Chairman Corey Stewart, R-at large. “We need to put it out of its misery.”

Corey Stewart’s dead dog analogy describes how he feels about being in the golf course business. The Park Authority operates 3 public golf courses: Prince William Golf Course, Forest Greens and General’s Ridge. The courses lost a million dollars this year.

From insidenova.com:

Not one has ever turned a profit, Ellington said. The smallest reported loss was $25,000; the largest, which came this year, was $1 million.

“They’ve been an average $600,000 in the hole over three years,” he said.

It’s not the operations side of business to blame, Ellington said. Rather, debt service continuously eats into revenues.

“Operations has been on the green side,” Ellington said. “It’s been positive all these years. How much we took in for revenue and how much we spent, we’ve been healthy. But our ability to cover the debt is our problem.”

Just this month, the Park Authority took steps to recoup the losses and eliminated 12 full-time positions and cut operating costs by $150,000. Expected savings are $370,030 — but that’s a far cry from the $1.08 million needed to pay the debt balance on the three courses, Ellington admitted

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It sounds like Corey Stewart might be on the right track here. Who wants to buy some golf courses?

Categories: Budget, General, PWC Tags:

Deeds Endorsed by Former Governor Linwood Holton

September 29th, 2009 10 comments

The race between Deeds and McDonnell continues to be close. Most polls show McDonnell at 48%, Deeds at 43% with 8% of those interviewed undecided. The margin of error is about 4.

Former Governor Linwood Holton who was Virginia governor between 1970-1974 has endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor. Linwood Holton ran against the Byrd Machine in Virginia and also fought against welcoming the defecting conservative Democrats into the Republican Party. Holton’s governorship was a pivotal point during which time many Democrats and Republicans switched parties.

His daughter is Ann Holton Kaine and is married to current Governor Tim Kaine

Public Option Fails in Finance Committee

September 29th, 2009 19 comments

Yes, I will admit it, I watched/listened to several hours of debate on CSPAN. Anyone who really wants to understand the process of legislation should watch. First, almost all the members, whether a D or an R debated with professionalism and respect. It came down to a difference in ideology and not who was a “real” patriot and who was not. I was truly impressed. This is what I learned. The Rockefeller Amendment was the public option and it failed 8-15, click here to read more.
What that simply means is that people could buy into Medicare if they so chose. It was NOT the same as an entitlement because you had to pay the entire cost. Now, CBO, said that initially there would be approximately 8 million participants, but within a few years, the total estimated number would go to 6 million. What the public option would do, is guarantee real competition. It isn’t enough to have the “exchange” model that this package is promoting. One thing ALL members agreed upon was that there needed to be REAL competition. Over half the states had only a few providers that would compete against each other, THAT is not true competition.

What blew me away was that even a few Republicans agreed that a “non profit” insurance company would be the key to bringing down prices. I believe it was Senator Rockefeller who replied “well, if we could water a public option like grass, and have it grow, that would be great, but that is NOT going to happen.”

“We need a public option to create competition and bring down costs,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who will bring up a separate public option amendment later in the committee markup.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that by 2015, about 8 million people would sign up for Rockefeller’s plan, though that number would decline as pay rates to medical providers rise above what Medicare pays after two years. Over 10 years, Rockefeller’s public option would save the federal government $50 billion, the CBO projects.

Medicare is unsustainable because of waste and skyrocketing health care costs. Bring down health care and you resolve a majority of that problem. Private Insurance companies had a net profit almost 500 billion dollars last year. Enough is enough.

Categories: General Tags:

Target America–Jon Stewart

September 29th, 2009 9 comments
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
America: Target America
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Ron Paul Interview

The news with Jon Stewart somehow just levels the playing field after a day of vitriol.
There is just so much material out there.

Categories: General, Humor & Satire Tags:

PWC, MP Schools Receive Grant Money

September 29th, 2009 9 comments

Prince William County Schools and Manassas Park Schools will receive 1.7 million dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which will buy classroom time for an additional 216 head start children for 2 years.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will pay for 14 new Head Start teachers in the county and two teachers in Manassas Park, said Kathy Channell, the administrative coordinator for Head Start and the Virginia Preschool Initiative

This money will be used at Manassas Park, Westgate, Potomac View, Bel Air, Sinclair and Yorkshire elementary schools. It will also buy a bus for transportation. Students will be selected according to eligibility.

In order for a child to be eligible, she/he must turn 4 by Sept. 30, live in one of the districts listed, and live below the federal income guidelines of $22,050 for a family of four.

Additional information at Manassas News and Messenger.

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Ominous Anniversary

September 29th, 2009 9 comments

One year ago today, the Dow dropped 777 in one day, the most points in one day ever. Mouths dropped as the stock market plummets in what appeared to be a free fall.

The markets were to continue to fall after September 29, 2008. Even though we have been involved in a rather significant rally since March, we still haven’t recovered to the point where we were on 9/29/08. Stocks finished off around 10,365. Today we are just under 9800.

Events that led up to the free fall of 9/29/08 were the 2 week earlier failure of Lehman Bros and the failure of the House to pass Tarp. As soon as vote went through, the bottom fell out.

Now people want to know when the optomism Wall Street has experienced the past 6 months will move on over to Main Street.

Categories: General Tags:

Xavier Jamaal Pinckney Found Guilty

September 29th, 2009 2 comments

Prince William Circuit Court Judge Mary Grace O’Brien found Xavier Jamaal Pinckney, 18, guilty of robbery, two counts of capital murder and three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony for the double homicide.

“This case represents perhaps a family’s worst nightmare,” Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said in his closing argument.

In a written confession entered into evidence during the trial, Pinckney said he broke into the Smiths’ house on Langford Court that day, looking for things to steal.

Todays Manassas News and Messenger carries the story of how this dreadful day unfolded for a Dale City family who lost a mother and a son.

Categories: General Tags:

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea –A Film by Ken Burns

September 28th, 2009 26 comments

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea begins tonight. Ken Burns, film maker for 30 years has created the series. So I dedicate this weekend to film makers.

I am a huge proponent of the National Parks and I have waited for today with great anticipation. The series starts tonight at 8 pm on PBS.

National Parks preserve that which is best of our country for our posterity. They are a great source of national pride. They require protection and preservation. They can cause controversy. They protect us from ourselves and from our greed.

Ken Burns exposes the difficulties the national park system has had since its inception and gives us beautiful film footage of the wonders of our nation, along with a good dose of history. The previews are on now and will be repeated throughout the day. Each episode can be viewed online and will be repeated for about 2 weeks on PBS. You can create a scrapebook of pictures as well as other things. You will be able to buy the dvd and book at some point.

http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/

This series will probably renew a huge interest in our national park system. Plan to go soon, early and often, before the throngs get there. My wish is that we, the Anti crowd, will be able to put aside some of our rancor and discuss this series.

Categories: General, Nature Tags: , ,

Chicago Teen Attacked and Murdered

September 28th, 2009 15 comments

Chicago teen Derrion Albert was attacked and murdered by a street gang of thugs last Thursday as he walked home from school. In what appeared to be a wilding, other teens beat Derrion with 2 x 4’s until he lay senseless. He later died.

What motivated such senseless brutality? Derrion’s family has revealed that he was a good student, had certificates for outstanding attendance, played several sports and was the love of his family’s life. Police are reviewing a video of the beating and have told the media that it is too early to report any findings.

A make-shift memorial outside the community center where Derrion’s murder took place was burned in what police believe was further gang violence.   All of the momentos left by those wanting to pay their respects have been burned beyond recognition. 

 

There will be a vigil and march this afternoon, organized by the family of Derrion Albert, to honor his memory and to speak out against this kind of senseless violence. Security has been beefed up at Fenger High School today which has reopened today. Apparently school was closed on Friday. Many students are expressing their horror that someone could be murdered while others just stood around and watched. Is that the new sign of being cool?

There is speculation that Derrion refused to join a gang because he was very goal oriented. They made him pay. Is there a special hell for these killers? Why must kids who are doing the right thing penalized? What happens when parents cannot afford to move their kids away from the violence?

I am not posting the video. It is far too graphic and horrifying to be posted on Anti. It is very painful and uncomfortable to watch. I will provide a link for those with a strong stomach.

What possesses human beings to behave like this?

 

   WARNING

***Graphic Link***

[UPDATE: 4 men have been charged with murder in Chicago for the beating death of Derrion Albert. Police have determined that Derrion got caught in the cross fire between 2 rival gangs.]