Old Town Merchants pt 2

Let’s see if this second post on the subject brings out the wrath of the christian right [lower case intentional]  like the first one did.  If that happens, we can always rename the thread “Greg Letiecq fights pornography with pornography.”  But I digress…..

News & Messenger  reporter Keith Walker has up-to-date coverage of the latest plan for the City of Manassas during Fall Festival, which is one of the city’s biggest events.  About 50 people are expected to gather in protest at City Hall sometime during the Fall Festival. 

Apparently the plan to coerce merchants into closing their doors between noon and 1 pm didn’t pan out.  I know of 1 merchant who ran off the visitor who came to garner support for her cause.  Picture a restaurant owner telling everyone to stop eating and to get up and leave right at noon.  Sort of makes one chuckle, if some idealistic person didn’t take it seriously.  What shopkeeper closes down during the busiest time of the biggest sale day of the year?

The leader of this pack was quoted in the News and Messenger:


Jennifer Basinger said she’s expecting about 50 people to show up at Manassas City Hall on Saturday to rally against an adult store set to open Oct. 20 on Battle Street in Old Town.

She said KK’s Temptations won’t fit in with the historic nature of the area.

“The shop I feel — and many do — is just not consistent with what Old Town is about,” Basinger said.

However, she doesn’t have anything against Kim and Kristina Skokan, the mother-and-daughter team who plan to open the store.

“It’s not a personal vendetta against the owner. It’s not an ugly, self-righteous march at all,” the 39-year-old Basinger said. “It’s really just wanting to keep Old Town the way it is.”
Basinger said the group will restrict itself to the area around City Hall between noon and 2 p.m. to avoid disrupting the Fall Jubilee that is also taking place Saturday.

“It’s peaceful. It’s non-confrontational. It’s not meant to take any thunder away from the fall festival,” she said. “It’s not going to be a bunch of people marching into Old Town.”

Reality check!  I saw an email or 2 and I don’t think you say some of that stuff to someone you don’t have a vendetta against.  Perhaps I just have different values.   Ms. Basinger needs to be more honest and forthright about that one. 

Another reality check involves the image you want to create for your city.  Do you want to stage a protest of any sort on your biggest tourism day of the year?  Why not just bring Mr. Fernandez back with a few native Americans to parade around.  I am sure he would be glad to accommodate.  Anything to embarrass the City.  How is this different?  At least if Mr. F paraded around with Native Americans you could tell the guests coming in from other areas that it was just the Tea Party, getting ready to dump a few barrels of tea overboard. 

Furthermore, what is it that these people want the City of Manassas to do?  The City  has caved in to every demand.  Many people I know are so disgusted with the City for acquiescing to this group of christian conservatives  [lower case intentional] that they are simply not going to spend money in the City.  In trying to please everyone, you please no one. 

Most of the City Councilpersons are nice people who take their elected position seriously.  They try to represent their constituents, rather than advance their own agendas.  What I don’t think they realize is that many people find KK Temptations a welcome addition to the City.  It breaks up the ho hum and the restaurants.  An even bigger number don’t care one way or the other. 

Kim Skokan and her daughter have postponed their grand opening out of deference to the City merchants who will be their new neighbors.  They didn’t want to draw attention away from a big sales day. They have dotted every i and crossed every t.  Perhaps they, too, have been just a little too accommodating to those who are all about control and bullying.  (and elections)


Another Bullying Story with a Bad Ending


The cable news channels are full of the sad story of Tyler Clementi.  Tyler was a freshman at Rutgers University and committed suicide last week by jumping off a bridge to his death in the Hudson River.  What caused this young man to go to such drastic measures to end his life?

Tyler had a sexual encounter in his dorm room.  Apparently he asked for the room until midnight.  Unbeknownst to him, the roommate left his computer open and the web cam streamed the entire episode onto the Internet.  The roommate and a friend tweeted the information.  Tyler’s encounter was with another man. 

One has to ask what kind of monsters would do something like this?  Recording this young man’s personal sexual encounter was just another form of bullying.  Bullying goes on all the time.  In fact, there is an epidemic going on in this country and it isn’t just against gays.  Phoebe Prince  of Massachusetts wasn’t gay.  She was basically tortured to death by her peers, who have been charged in her death.  Tyler’s bullies, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, have been charged with invasion of privacy.  They can receive punishment of up to five years in prison. 

People don’t send their children to public school or to college to have them bullied by others to the point they take their own lives. Suicide with gay youth is 4 times that of straight kids. Yet, is bullying just a phenomena with young people or can it happen with any group? Does it happen at the office, in the neighborhood, in our political dealings, on the blogs? Bullying can and does happen everywhere.

We all need to look to see if our behavior involves bullying. We also need to watch for bullying behavior with our kids. Some of the most serious bullying starts with older siblings. However, experts say that today’s technology allows bullying to be carried to new levels. No longer are kids just beaten up on the playground or jumped on the way home and their lunch money stolen like in the good old days. Now people can sit behind a computer, such as happened with Tyler Clementi, and create situations that make someone’s life no longer worth living. Some folks survive and laugh at their tormentors. Others, like Tyler, decide to end it all.

Another One Bites the Dust: Rick Sanchez

CNN  issued a statement today saying:  “Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his years of service and we wish him well.’   That sounds final.  Rick did not appear on the Rick’s List show today.  It was hosted by his fill in, Brooke Baldwin.  So, what happened?

According to Huffington Post, Sanchez had what can best be equated to hoof in mouth disease:

[He called]  Jon Stewart a “bigot” and saying that CNN and the other networks are all run by Jewish people.

Discussing Stewart with radio host Pete Dominick, Sanchez said that the “Daily Show” host has a limited worldview, and called him a “bigot.”

The conversation began with Sanchez decrying “elite, Northeast establishment liberals” who “deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.

“I think to some extent Jon Stewart and [Stephen] Colbert are the same way. I think Jon Stewart’s a bigot,” he said. “I think he looks at the world through, his mom, who was a school teacher, and his dad, who was a physicist or something like that. Great, I’m so happy that he grew up in a suburban middle class New Jersey home with everything you could ever imagine.”

Rick Sanchez was not the most loved CNN correspondent.  Who knows what set off his rant on Stewart.  It sounds like it might have had something to do with the Jon Stewart rally on the mall. 

Pete Dominick once worked for Stewart on the Daily Show.  To date, Stewart has not made public comment.  I am sure a good spoof is to come.  Jon Stewart often makes self- deprecating ethnic remarks. 

Will other networks pick up Rick Sanchez or will he go the way of the dinosaur?

Thanks to El Guapo for providing this audio.