Happy Halloween

Tonight is the night that the veil between the netherworlds is the thinnest.

According to Wikipedia:

The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family’s ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.[4][5] Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.[6] Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.


The holiday itself is a combination of the Celtic Samhaim and the Christian All Saints Day. Today Halloween is a huge retail boon, and only Christmas surpasses it. Costumes and Candy are what bring in the money. Legend has it that vamps and other undead don’t mess with people on Halloween. Perhaps they just see it as amateur night.





Click heregraphic1 

Spooky message

The Rally to Restore Sanity 12:00-3:00

Update:  9:15  AM


Roving Reporters calling in from the Metro Station–both north and south lots are filled.  One reporter is standing in a line 300 yards long to get to the trains.  Message is, if you are going, get dropped off or find another way in to town. 


If you watched the news yesterday, you could feel the presence of fear and that something was wrong.  We had planes being escorted into JFK by fighter jets.  The FBI and other spook groups were pouring all over places near Newark, Phillie, Portsmouth, Maine, looking for packages that might have contained explosives.  Uneasy times. 

It was impossible not to think of 9/11.  We need to be reminded periodically.

 The Daily Show feature is from September 20, 2001.  In trying to restore sanity, Jon Stewart had the following:

From the Huffington Post

Read More

Convicted Sex Offender Kevin Ricks Tells Court He is Not a Pedophile

Convicted sex offender Kevin Ricks who taught at Osbourn High School until his arrest told the court that he was not a pedophile.  According to the News & Messenger:

“I never have been. I am not a predator. I never have been,” he said.

Ricks, 50, pleaded guilty in July to taking indecent liberties with a minor for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy.

Thursday, Prince William Circuit Court Judge William D. Hamblen sentenced him to five years in prison, with four suspended. He will get credit for the eight months he has already served.

The sentence exceeds Virginia’s voluntary sentencing guidelines, which recommended between one and 90 days in jail.

Hamblen said he thought the guidelines were not appropriate because they did not “take into account the breech of trust” involved in the crime, he said.

Ricks was accused of having  two sexual encounters with the teen boy, who was a student in his English class during the 2008-2009 school year.

What part of predator and sex offender does this pervert not get?  He is 50.  His victim is 16 years old.  He rented a room from this boy’s father.  He was entrusted with teaching kids.  Ricks tried to explain that his indecent liberties were consensual.  He still doesn’t get it.  That doesn’t make it ok. He is 50.  If he were 19, maybe.  But 50? 

It looks like this sexual predator will spend 4 more MONTHS in jail.  Why is this person getting out of jail?  He lived in someone’s home and he molested the owner’s child.  Consensual my foot!  Sex between an adult that age and a minor is NEVER consensual.  He taught in a school system.  He taught this boy.  He betrayed the City of Manassas, the boy, the parents, the public.  And he spends 4 more months in jail, goes on the sex offenders list, and can’t work around kids.  UFB. 

I guess it is a good thing I am not a judge.  He would have gotten 20 years from me or until his urges to do this left him completely.  Our legal system as it relates to child molesters and all sexual predators needs to grow some major fangs and get these creeps out of society where they can no longer harm anyone. It sounds like Judge Hamblen’s hands were somewhat tied and he would have given him more time if he could have.  These predators are getting by with what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

Early Voting: Last Chance is Saturday October 30

If you are planning to be out of town or have a long day planned at work on Tuesday, it is possible to go in today or tomorrow to the Voter Registration Office and cast your ballot.  The office is open on Friday until 5 pm.  It is also open on Saturday from 9 – 5 pm.

The only hitch is you have to give your reason and tell where you will be, which is no big deal  I was allowed to list the state where I would be.  It is certainly important to vote and the early voting plan allows this to happen.  You will NOT be able to vote on Monday.

Prince William County Early/Absentee Voter Registration:

Office of Voter Registration and Elections
9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1 
Manassas, VA 20110

 City of Manassas.  

9025 Center Street
Manassas, VA  20108
Ph: 703-257-8230

The hours for Absentee Voting in person are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., and Saturday, October 23 and October 30, 2010  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., for the November 2, 2010 General Election.  The last day a paper Ballot can be mailed for this Election is October 26, 2010. (City)



If you need to know where to vote, go to the Virginia State Board of Elections Website and type in your address. Your precinct will be given.

The website is: http://www.sbe.virginia.gov

You can also get election returns on Tuesday night from that site at ELECTION RESULTS.

Flags of Many Colors

Very few people on this blog have been as critical of the antics of Guardencio Fernandez as I have.  Today I am happy to announce that has changed.   Earlier in the week  I got an email telling  me that 39 flag poles were being planted over at 9500 Liberty Street.   The possibilities were endless.  Then one of the roving reporters told me flags of many nations had gone up.  Our contributors wrote out descriptions of what had been erected. My curiosity was killing me.  Finally the rains were over and the sun was shining so I drifted on over to the City, stopping to vote first, visited KK’s and then rolled on around to 9500.

I love flags.  They are beautiful.  They provide lots and lots of color and texture without ever being gaudy.  They wave and float in the wind.  They catch the sun and they ride the wind, like a colorful seagull.  They own the skies around them.  Even at night, flags, if properly lit, still cast their color magic, perhaps with a little less gusto but they still let you know they are there.

If Mr. Fernandez planted all those flag poles and adorned them with flags of many nations, just to poke a stick in the eye of the City, it backfired.  The flags are truly beautiful and adorn that part of the historic district with a wonderful  splash of color.  The American flag is the crown jewel of his colonnade of flags. 

I am going to look at the better part of human nature and declare that the war is over.  Everyone wins.  Mr. F gets the final word but in such a wonderful way.  He has beautified the City and sent a reminder that we are really a people from everywhere.  I never thought I would say it but….Good Job, Mr. Fernandez.

Fimian, Pharmacies and Birth Control

For the past several days I have been seeing and hearing a Gerry Connolly campaign commercial that paints Candidate Keith Fimian as an extremist.  Most campaign ads are background noise to me so it went in one ear and out the other.  Besides, most campaign ads are full of hyperbole and exaggeration.  Then I perked up my ears.  The ad said that Fimian supported the rights of pharmacists to not dispense contraception.  Now THAT IS extremist. 

I have tried researching this allegation, without much luck.  I even went to the  Legatuswebsite.  Fimian is a member of Legatus, which is a Catholic organization, founded by Dominos Pizza Magnet Tom Monaghan for very wealthy Catholic business folks and their spouses.  I didn’t find out much there either.  Maybe it’s me.  However, I haven’t heard anything which disputes this claim.  This makes me nervous. 

There has been somewhat of an uproar the past several years about pharmacists with religious objections being forced to dispense contraception, in particular, the morning after pill.  NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia  has this to say:

In addition to lack of contraceptive equity, Virginia’s so-called “conscience clause” allows pharmacists to decide which prescriptions they will and will not provide. This means that a pharmacist could legally refuse to fill a doctor’s prescription for birth control or stock or distribute emergency contraception. Since when do pharmacists get to step inside the doctor-patient relationship and refuse to fill necessary prescriptions?


Conscience Clause?  Where did that come from?  Someone slipped that one by me.  The more I google, the more I unearth and the angrier I get.  This thread needs to be a work in progress.  First of all, anyone who has knowledge of Fimian’s position on allowing pharmacists to cherry pick what prescriptions they will fill, please let us know.  I don’t have a bone to pick with private pharmacies who post, in clear view on their door that they do not sell or dispense contraception.  However, other stores open to the public without disclaimers should really not be involved in type of exclusionary behavior.  I consider it equivalent to the Muslim cab driver who wouldn’t let bottles of liquor in his cab.  Find another job. 

Secondly, what kinds of legislation have been passed that allow ‘conscience clauses and require pharmacist counselling?  How offensive.  If one works for a pharmacy, the job is to fill prescriptions, not chime in with a moral opinion.  If that is an issue, go work for a private religious hospital or pharmacy. 

I would especially welcome and appreciate word from the Fimian campaign that this information is indeed false.  This is the year 2010, in the United States of America.  Griswald was decided 45 years ago. 





Virginia Thugs???

The above video is the cell phone footage taken by Jon Taylor’s son during his arrest in Louisa, Virginia. Something has made me uncomfortable about this video for the past 24 hours.

First off, we have to footage of what precipitated this scuffle. From what I can tell, Taylor, his wife and son went to the Solid Grounds Coffee Shop on Main Street in downtown Louisa. They had accepted an RSVP on the Cantor Website. Ms. Taylor was carrying a sign for Canter’s opponent.

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The car, parked at a meter directly in front of the restaurant, was Taylor’s. His wife sat inside. A poster for Democratic candidate Rick Waugh, calling Cantor a chicken, was taped to the car window facing the coffee shop.

Taylor said Cantor had promoted the event on his website, so he assumed it was a public event.

“We RSVP’d,” he said.

Read More

The Truth-o-meter on PolitiFact Virginia in the RTD

Want to know about the latest truth or lies Vrignia politicians have told while campaigning? 

The Richmond Times Dispatch features  PolitiFact Virginia.

Eric Canter registers in the Pants on Fire category when PolitiFact checks in to his statement “

Eric Cantor

In the past two years, Democrats have “spent more money than this country has spent in the last 200 years combined.

Several quotes from major Virginia races are featured.  Obviously the Truth-o-meter didn’t like Rep. Cantor’s statement. Check it out.


Rand Paul Supporter Curb-Stomps Moveon.org Woman’s Head: Don’t Tread on HER!

This unsavory, violent story has been developing for a few days now. 


This behavior is simply unacceptable and illegal. Several names surface here–Lauren Valle of Moveon.org was the victim. Tim Profitt, Bourbon County campaign coordinator (for Paul) has admitted to being the head stomper. Mike Pezzano of Frankfort, Kentucky was allegedly the man who threw Valle to the ground.

I had intended on just posted a 1 minute clip of what happened. It seems that those clips have been removed by youtube.com. That usually happens when a complaint has been filed.

Profitt issued the following statement:

“I’m sorry that it came to that, and I apologize if it appeared overly forceful, but I was concerned about Rand’s safety,” Tim Profitt told The Associated Press.

The Paul campaign has issued a series of statements, the latest being:

“The Paul for Senate campaign is extremely disappointed in, and condemns the actions of a supporter last night outside the KET debate. Whatever the perceived provocation, any level of aggression or violence is deplorable, and will not be tolerated by our campaign. The Paul campaign has disassociated itself from the volunteer who took part in this incident, and once again urges all activists — on both sides — to remember that their political passions should never manifest themselves in physical altercations of any kind.”

Hopefully, this violent incident will serve as a notice to all involved in the political process that thug behavior is totally and unequivocally unacceptable. Mr. Profitt and Mr. Pezzano need to be dealt with by the legal system. Ms. Valle needs to do what she needs to do.  There are times when throwing an individual posing a threat to a candidate might be acceptable–this is NOT one of those times.  There would never be a time when stomping someone’s head or back of the neck would be acceptable. 

The Gadsden Flag, “Don’t Tread on Me,”  which used to be one of my favorite historical flags, has suddenly taken on a new and much more literal meaning.   It doesn’t matter which ‘side’ any of the players were on or who was supporting whom.  Its an example of bad behavior–behavior that we, as Americans, disdain. 

Anti-Muslim Backlash in European Countries Worsening

Today’s Washington Post described the increase in unrest over Muslim immigration in European countries like France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The strong anti-Muslim backlash is influencing elections and putting leaders in a precarious position.

Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued her toughest line yet on immigrants. For weeks, Merkel has condemned Thilo Sarrazin, a former Central Bank board member turned folk hero in Germany who penned a shock bestseller arguing that Turkish and Kurdish immigrants are genetically inferior.

But the book also ignited a debate in Germany over the unwillingness of many immigrants – particularly Muslims – to integrate. Merkel on Sunday appeared to side with immigration critics, saying at a party conference that Germany’s experiment to build a “multicultural” nation had “failed, absolutely failed.”

In Scandanavia and Holland, the following is seen:

The long liberal lands of Scandinavia and the Netherlands are also seeing a nationalist party renaissance. Last week, a conservative Dutch government came to power with the support of the anti-Islamic party of Geert Wilders, who is standing trial for inciting racial hatred against Muslims. In exchange for his support, Wilders extracted promises that the new government would take dramatic steps to curb immigration and follow the French in banning full-length Muslim veils.

In recent months, right-wing and nationalist parties have also consolidated or are now poised to expand their power in Denmark, Norway and Finland.

In Italy there is an uprising over a proposed Mosque in Milan. All over Europe, little distinction is made between the debate over Islam and the debate over immigration. Many of the Muslim immigrants are from Somalia, Turkey, Kurdistan, Iraq, and other places in the middle east. Muslims from Malaysia were not mentioned.

Attitudes such as the one below are not unfamiliar:

“It isn’t racist to want to preserve your culture,” said Leif Johansson, a 64-year-old carpenter. “I’m open to immigration, but these people come without a thought to integration, no interest in learning Swedish or being part of Swedish society.”

Sweden, a country that has long prided itself on multiculturalism, is now apparently back-pedaling. 1 in every 9 people in Sweden are Muslim.

Unlike in the United States, where Latinos dominate the immigration debate, European angst is increasingly focused on waves of Muslims – Turks, Iraqis, Somalis and others – who have become the hottest-button issue in recent elections. In Austria this month, the far-right Freedom Party made massive gains in regional elections after an anti-immigrant campaign that included a “Bye Bye Mosque” Internet game. It allowed players to target virtual minarets in elegant Vienna and pastoral Alpine villages with a single word, “stop.”

I am not so sure that people in the United States aren’t every bit as vociferous over Muslims. What saves Muslims in this country, somewhat, is they have to get here by air or water. They can’t drive or swim. There are no common or connecting borders to the home country. However, anti-Muslim sentiments seen very alive here, and on this blog.

Is it possible to discuss this phenomena without sounding like we are European or without going back to the Crusades? Is it possible to discuss the problems without going into what the Koran does and does not say? I don’t believe any of us here are experts on the Koran and I would rather not get in to what it says or doesn’t say. Reason? There is no one really on top of the Koran game who can dispute statements people make.

This thread is not a feel-good thread.  Far from it.  Are Europeans over-reacting?  Do they sound like Americans sound about our illegal immigration?  People seem to be worried/angry over the same thing:  refusal to assimilate, not learning the language, living in ethnic communities, etc.  What advice would you give them?

–How well do you know your European countries?  Click the blue.  Below is your cheat sheet.

Interactive map

Jon Stewart Hits Washington, DC

Jon Stewart is here and preparing for the Rally. Life is good. The Daily Show is back and was great and well, homey, since it is staged out of DC. He naturally covered the firing of Juan Williams. Naturally, everyone caught hell. The best line of the week from Jon:

NPR–you just brought a totebag of David Sedaris books to a knife fight.

Stewart is referring, of course, to the hounds of hell being unleashed by Fox News onto NPR.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
NPR Staffing Decision 2010
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Jon takes a few pokes at getting around DC. The lead up to the big rally this weekend should be entertaining. Anything of interest such as great skits will be added to this post.

Tuesday’s Daily Show from Washington, DC:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 – Extreme Makeover DC Edition
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity