The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy

Obviously many people living far outside of New York City feel that they have a dog in the Ground Zero/Mosque controversy.  Actually, they probably don’t.  Ground Zero doesn’t really belong to America–not yet. 

Rather than taking a position, how about our contributors weighing in on the subject.   Can New Yorkers legally prevent an Islamic center from being built in the shadow of Ground Zero?   Next question is obvously, should they try to prevent the center from being built at this location?

And how about that rascally first amendment?

Hats off to a few good supervisors

From News & Messenger:

Prince William County, Va. – Individual supervisor budgets have become a hot topic among the board since a 5-to-3 vote in favor of a $712,000 increase to the supervisors’ office budgets last week.

That breaks down to approximately $89,000 per office.

The budget item was passed as part of a much larger carryover budget, in which items from the previous fiscal year get carried over to the new fiscal year. According to county spokesman Jason Grant, the $712,000 increase should have been included in the fiscal 2011 budget process, but was accidentally omit-ted.

The intent of the additional money was to allow the supervisors the opportunity to hire a third full-time staffer. According to Grant, hiring a third assistant was “based on the growth of citizens being served by each magisterial district and the complexity of issues being resolved.”

“The supervisors have seen an 83 percent increase in the number of citizens served per district since 1990, from 30,812 per district to 56,497 today,” Grant said.

Supervisors Michael C. May, R-Occoquan, Martin Nohe, R-Coles and Maureen S. Caddigan, D-Dumfries, voted against the budget increase.  The three agreed that this wasn’t the time to add money to the budget when county employees haven’t received a cost of living adjustment the last two years.

Suerpvisors May, Nohe and Caddigan are aware of how things look.  When did regular county employees last receive a raise?  How much overtime to they all get when there is some emergency or when one of the supervisors makes demands?  

Meanwhile, the chairman, Corey Stewart has gone $7500 over budget.  He complains that one of his staffers needed a raise.  Probably everyone needs a raise who works for Prince William County.  Many county employees work long hours that extend beyond the regular day.  Those same employees often take work home over the weekend or go back in to the office to get things done. 

When everyone can get a little bit more of the pie, then the budget should increase to include the supervisors budgets.  Until then, everyone needs to make due with tightening their belts–even the chairman.

Enough of the S-Word

From the Huffington Post:

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) says he knows firsthand the risky business of refusing to call President Obama a “socialist” from his primary election defeat earlier this summer.

Inglis was quoted reflecting back on his loss by the New York Daily News on Monday.

“I figured out early in the race I was taking a risk by being unwilling to call the President a socialist,” explained the outgoing congressman. “I’d get asked a question and they’d all wait to see if I’d use the word – socialist – they were throwing around. I wouldn’t. Because I don’t think that’s what he is.”

Inglis elaborated, “To call him a socialist is to demean the office and stir up a passion that we need to be calming, rather than constantly stirring up.”

I have no idea if Bob Inglis is correct or not.  I don’t know if that is why he lost his bid for re-election in the primary held earlier in the summer.  He makes a good point though.  What I do know is that the word ‘socialist’ is mighty old and might tiresome.   I got tired of hearing Nazi and Hitler also.  I think I will add ‘socialist‘ to the ‘down the rabbit hole’ list of words that will get one thrown in to moderation so we can take a break.

It is just time to find another word.  Not everything you don’t like is socialist.  That is too 50’s for me.   Recycled politics.  Next thing we know we will slide into saying ‘communist.’  Then we will have to drag out McCarthy.  At least on this blog, please find another word.   It really is getting old, boring, and recycled.

Furthermore, calling someone a socialist is simply libelous and defamatory unless the individual has identified themselves as such.  Spreading rumors and lies and printing unsubstantiated material without identifying it as such is much the same.  Regardless of what is done on other blogs, it isn’t going to be done here.

It’s Finally Over –65 years later

Saturday there was a huge kiss-in in Times Square to commemorate the 65 anniversary of V-J Day which marked the end of WWII.  Couples came to the famous spot and recreated this special kiss seen below.  The kiss not only marked the end of the war with Japan but also signified the end of all hostilities in WWII since victory had been achieved in Europe several months early with the surrender of Germany. 


Perhaps the most famous picture of the end of The War, The Kiss, offers a glimpse into a world that the rest of us are closed off to.  It was a world that believed that total surrender was possible.  It was a world that didn’t know what an atomic blast did to others, And it was a world that knew nothing of the cold war that loomed on our horizon.  It was a world where the word ‘over’ meant OVER.

The lady in the kiss was Edith Shain who died at the age of 91 last June.  The couple didn’t know each other.  It was kiss to celebrate the past 4 years being over. Done.  The American people had suffered.  They had been rationed.  They had grown victory gardens.  They had done without.  They had lived with the constant fear that they could be invaded.  Their loved ones had been lost, maimed, killed. 

Approximately 417,000 American service men (and women) were killed in WWII.  That number is out of a national population of approximately 131 million.  


While our number killed looks staggering, other countries dwarf ours.  Japan lost over 2 million military men.  China 3-4 million.  The Soviet Union  lost as many as 10 million.  German lost 5.5 million.  After watching series like Pacific,  Flags of our Fathers and Wind Talkers  it is truly amazing that anyone survived.  There were 20,00 Americans casualties  in the battle of Iwo Jima alone which just looked like a rock pile to most folks.

A permanent statue 25 feet tall  of the kiss was erected in Times Square.  There are just some things that cannot be recreated.  And there will probably never be another time when Americans pull together towards a common cause like WWII.

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