Talking the Talk, Walking the Walk

It seems a lot of what  we hear on the Manassas blogs is a lot of bitching about Georgetown South, either implicitely or explicitely.  Some City residents have even suggesting bulldozing the place over every time there is an incident over there.  reports the flip side of all that negativity:


Shovels, post hole diggers, rakes, brooms, trash bags, gloves, garbage cans and wheel barrows were the tools for the day on Saturday in Georgetown South.

Volunteers, many from the Manassas Assembly of God, showed up for the inaugural Georgetown South Community Cleanup to help tidy up the townhouse community off Grant Avenue in Manassas.

Pastor Doug Dreesen said the Manassas Assembly of God had “kind of adopted Georgetown South as a neighborhood we want to help.”

Church member Rich Rosene said he came out to help clean up “out of obedience to my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”

This is what we call Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk.  Hats off to the Manassas Assembly of God as well as the many  other volunteers for Walking the Walk.  I bet Cindy was over there somewhere also.  Its just so refreshing to see and hear the folks with the solutions.   Neighbors got out and met each other and lent each other a hand.

Read More

The Conscience of a King, Act IV

The Conscience of a King, Act IV:     The Final Act?

As we enter act IV of our play, a few minor happenings in the wings are worth noting. Please consider these, as we make a few scenery changes behind the curtain, in preparation for act IV.

Late yesterday, we received reports from our ever vigilant roving ‘Howlings reporters. First one in was a report of hot pink flyers being delivered to homes and handed out at spots throughout the city. These flyers encouraged voters to “Write-In Sheryl  Bass” on the front, and gave a very detailed listing of her very impressive record of service to the citizens. No attacks on the other candidates. Just a positive plea by the campaign to consider Bass, as they head to the polls. We Howler ladies have to say, the way this campaign has been conducted reflects the grace and poise that Bass herself has exhibited over the years. Classy. Very Classy.  

Contrast this with a very nasty piece put out by some anonymous pitchfork bearer (or would that be pitchforker?)   that was delivered to other residents of the city. This nasty piece, full of errors and negative-spin, did nothing but attack Mark Wolfe. What we find downright hilarious is the flyer asked voters to pull the lever for Lovejoy, “Carnahan”, Way. (Is this like pull the joystick for the non-existent candidate?)

Last up, a flyer we assume was produced by Doug Brown, because it is being distributed by ABTF and linked to at bvbl, while better written, has its own bit o’ spin: Jerry Carman’s business experience has risen from that of middle management to the “corner office with a view”: He claims Carman “Managed a Fortune 500 Company”.  And what company might that be, that he was president or Chief Executive Officer of? But when you are nothing but the “Alleluia Chorus” for the House Aveni, credibility and intellectual honesty are minor considerations.

Read More

The Conscience of King: Act III

The Conscience of a King, Act III: The Campaign

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts….


In today’s act, we hope to bring you to present day. After all, We appreciate your rapt attention as we’ve recounted the events leading up to this act, and we held a brief intermission to let Saturday’s retail politicking occur. We’re glad we did! ‘Moonhowlings reporters delivered a trove of info, which shoned a fair bit more light upon the stage.  Just a little bit more recounting, and perhaps a flash-back or two and we promise you quite an entertaining Act 3 of this play. We think a line from Hamlet, Act II, Scene II best describes today’s performance: 

The Play’s the thing! Wherein we’ll catch the conscience of a King!

Flashback to the beginning of February.  Rewind time.  The Carman campaign explodes on the scene, and his signs are first to appear on the set. No one seemed to notice that his signs violated the “30 days prior to the general election” law, or that they lacked the “paid for any authorized by” statement required on each sign, both minor breaches of election law. (Do any rules matter to this crowd?) What people noticed was how many sprang up in a matter of days, like dandelions,  and in whose yards they were now prominently displayed. Reports flowed in to ‘Howlings from far afield. Many were in the yards of known uber-conservative activists,  most of whom we believe attended the convention. Of particular note, we had a report that Dan Arnold, founder of the Manassas Tea Party, had a sign in his yard. We know he attended the convention: he delivered candidate Ian Lovejoy’s nomination speech.  

The speed in which the Carman camp became organized was surprising, especially when you consider his complete lack of previous engagement in local city politics. He must have had one fine handler.  Was he provided very targeted lists? Were introductions and meet-and-greets being held? It certainly would appear so. Could this support be coming solely from the Tea Party, or was he receiving help from some members of the political nobility?  Perhaps his campaign was a joint effort of nobility and tea. 

Read More

The Conscience of the King, Act II: The Convention


“Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”







The Conscience of the King, Act II: The Convention

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes”.  MacBeth, Act IV, Scene I

Yesterday, we Howlets set the stage for what may well prove to be the greatest community (political) theater we’ve seen in years. Just to recap:

-Jerry Carman, Independent uber-conservative materializes out of the mist, and begins a shadow campaign.

-Doug Brown launches “A Bridge Too Far” (ABTF) and begins catapulting [Rhetorical and Theatrical license here] everything from “severed heads” to “diseased cattle” over the MGOP castle walls, and engages in verbal sword-play with GOP chairman Steve “By the Books”Thomas.

-Baroness Aveni,  inadvertently exposes her husband’s support of the usurper, Jerry Carman. (Out, out damn spot!)

So let us now take you back to the convention held on January 28th, 2012. Before doing so, we need to say that neither of us is a member of either party’s “machinery”.  Some of the “in’s and out’s” of convention politics are very difficult to decipher, and it took quite a bit of research to figure out just exactly what happened. That said, we feel pretty confident that our account is fairly accurate.   The up side is that, we have the scenarios from so many sources.

The way a convention works is people sign up to be “delegates,”  by filling out a form.  My dog Stoney used to get one in the mail each year.  Often those who want to run for office will get his or her supporters to fill out the  convention form so they can go vote for that person.  This form is returned by a specific date, and the MGOP checks the applicants to make sure they are eligible to vote in Manassas elections. That’s it.  Anyone who is an eligible City of Manassas voter can attend, according to the laws of Virginia. Once all the forms are collected and checked, a list is compiled and given to each campaign.

Read More

The Little City Theater in the Round: The Conscience of a King, Act I

There’s a city election on Tuesday, May, 1st, and it may well prove to be one of the most interesting city elections any of us can remember.  This one might even out-do the ill-fated Steve Chapman challenge to Rep. Harry Parrish, about 7 years ago, as far as high political drama goes.

We here at Moonhowlings have been watching the developing political drama from the audience, rather than leaping into what is proving to be “Theater in the Round”.   We did have a guest post, but that was not our observations, but theirs.  We chose to observe, gather facts and opinions and wait until we had a clear picture of not only what is playing out on the public stage, but a good understanding of the “backstage dynamics” that are driving this political theater….and theater it is:

Current Mayor Hal Parrish is running unopposed for reelection. All of the excitement in this race was settled at the GOP convention, when Hal held off a challenge for the nomination from Andy Harrover.  We like both of these public servants, as it is clear to us that they place the best interests of the entire community as priority, rather than bowing to the pressure of a very vocal few.   Neither one of them carry pitchforks or torches.

The real excitement is in the city council race. Much more so than may be apparent to the casual observer…or even to those who consider themselves “informed.”   We would like to present a clear picture of what appears to really be going on, and we promise that our dear (and not so dear) readers will not be disappointed.   This “play” has intrigue and double-dealing, willing and unwilling and even unknowing participants.  Basically, it’s a “play” about power and retribution, pure and simple.  We here at ‘Howlings will narrate this from stage right (or left, depending on where you sit in the audience). So let’s get to it, shall we?

Read More

Lavender Graduation at VCU

Richmond Times Dispatch:


In a sense, today’s Lavender Graduation at Virginia Commonwealth University is not so different from departmental ceremonies being held across campus this time of year.

But instead of a special pin or sash to add to their regalia at next month’s commencement, about 40 VCU students will receive a rainbow cord that reflects more than their academic achievements.

“We want to recognize students who are often rendered invisible or marginalized,” said Elizabeth Canfield, co-chair of the event and an assistant professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. “It’s important for people who are oppressed to have a venue to be visible, to be celebrated.”

For Morgan Krug of Glen Allen, the ceremony honoring gender- and sexual-minority students means “my identity that’s been very much treated as a liability is actually being celebrated by the university. I find that to be very moving.”

The graduation is new to VCU, but similar events have been held on other campuses since the mid-1990s. Next month, both Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia will hold their fourth annual ceremonies to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.

VCU’s event has been a long time coming, Canfield said. Efforts began nearly a decade ago to hold a ceremony as a way of raising awareness of diversity issues on campus.

I don’t care that this celebration is done but I am not sure why it is necessary.  Do we have graduation by departments or by our personal uniqueness?  How long will it take before our values politicians attack this practice because it is a state university?  How long before special graduations are forbidden?  I suppose I understand the rite of passage component of the Lavender graduation but it just seems a little strange to me.  Tech and UVA already recognize sexual minorities at their graduations.  Where have I been?  Living in a cave, I suppose.

No, you can’t have the baseball, BRAT!

This video went viral and has been on every news show for the past 24 hours.

The kid and his parents were just on Morning Joe  and he was still being an insufferable BRAT.  He talked over his parents, whined, and had to be the center of attention.  Someone has obviously told him that he is cute.  He wasn’t. 

In one of the videos I saw last night, the mother admitted that he had been crying before the baseball was thrown up to the stands.  The kid is a spoiled brat of the 12th magnitude.  He should not have gotten the baseball.  

No, the couple who kept the softball they caught should not have given it up for that kid who is 3.  People wonder why kids  are such monsters?  Take a look.  His parents were just as clueless this morning.  It was pathetic to see these two goofy adults being controlled by some little 3 year old who has obviously learned that he can get his own way by crying and being a pain in the tail.

Ok, well maybe the father was trying…. 

And while I am on the high horse, someone needs to tell Joe Scarborough that the word he is mangling is ET-cetera not EK-cetera.   ARRRRRGGHHH  Rough morning.


McDonnell signs EpiPen Bill into law


Seated beside the tearful mother of a girl who died in school of an allergic reaction to peanuts, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) signed legislation Thursday intended to help schools come to the aid of such students.

The two bills were inspired, in part, by the death of 7-year-old Amarria Johnson, who died at her Chesterfield County elementary school in January.

“Virginia must do everything it can to ensure the safety of our young people while they are in school,” McDonnell said at a bill-signing ceremony in Richmond. “This legislation and the money in the recently passed budget will help prevent another tragedy like Amarria Johnson’s from occurring in a public school in the commonwealth. Having a plan in place and access to epinephrine in schools, where children spend half their day, is critical.”

Commonly referred to as the “EpiPen bills,” the measures direct local school boards to establish policies for keeping epinephrine pens on hand at every school, so that a school nurse or other employee could administer it to any student thought to be having an anaphylactic reaction. Henceforth, it was announced, the legislation will be known as “Amarria’s Law.”

This is one bill I can sure support.  I have grandchildren with severe shellfish allergies and I had a colleague die from a hornet sting.  The death of my friend happened in less than 15 minutes.  His physician had told him he didn’t think he needed an EpiPen.  It was a nasty death.  Jack’s throat swelled shut.  He was dead before the rescue squad could get to his home in Marshall.

Peanuts, shellfish, and other etibles can do the same thing, depending on one’s tolerance.  It is also nothing to play with.  Allergies are strange.  One day you can just have swelling.  The next time it happens you can die.  Anything we can do to save people’s lives, so much the better.  This is one time I am going to say Good Job! to the legislators and governor.

Jan Brewer counts chickens before they hatch

She sure is giddy over this one.  Do you think they took the vote while she was still in there?  How bizarre. 

I expect some parts of the AZ  law will be upheld and other parts overturned.  There were about 10 parts. 
Whatever the outcome, it will not bode well for Republicans who are trying to capture a few Latino votes. 
Arizona’s  SB1070 is  a fairly hostile law to to most immigrants.

Mississippi Gov claims liberals exist to abortion children

Who is this blathering idiot?  Why its none other than the governor of Mississippi.   Such incendiary language.  I wonder what he would do with a class action lawsuit from “liberals” claiming defamation of character or slander? 

Governor Phil Bryant makes me ashamed to be a southerner.  Does anyone really sound like that? 

I wonder what nasty bill the underbelly of the south passed that the governor is referring to?

Ah ha!  According to Politico:

The governor was discussing a new state law requiring doctors who perform abortions at a clinic to be certified OB-GYNs with admitting privileges at a local hospital. He said opposition to the bill came from the political left.

The House Democratic leader says Bryant’s comments went “totally, totally too far,” especially because Mississippi voters rejected a personhood amendment declaring life begins at conception.

The owner of Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic plans legal action to block the law.

How can the new bill be legal?  Very often medical personnel are brought in, almost like riding the circuit for a miriad of reasons, especially in areas where there is a medical personnel shortage.  Unless Mississippi is planning on applying the same law to all medical doctors, I would say they might have a problem.

President Obama, Slow Jams on Importance of Affordable Student Loans!

Having been the recipient of both Pell Grants and Stafford loans, I can vouch for the critical importance of these programs.  Maybe for people whseo parents are in the 1% of wage earners and don’t rely on financial assistance to afford college, these programs don’t matter, but for me, and millions of others who have benefited, you bet they matter.

What is the future for America if we our next generation isn’t educated, if we reduce the number of young people that have an opportunity to become the next doctor, teacher, scientist, engineer, and a multitude of other careers.

College is not the only path for a successful life and career, but for young people who WANT to pursue a college degree, money should not be the ultimate decider.

More than 7 million students and their families rely on Subsidized Stafford Loans to help pay for college. The loans distributed by the U.S. Department of Education currently hold an interest rate of 3.4 percent. But that rate is set to double if Congress fails to act by July 1, 2012. If that occurs, millions of students will see their interest rates soar to 6.8 percent on the new loans they take in the next year thereby causing a steep rise in their loan burden and effectively increasing the cost of attaining a college degree. At a time when tuition is rising at 8.3 percent a year and median wages for young people are falling, young Americans and their families can ill afford more Washington inaction.


Fixing the “Jesus Ban”


Washington Post:

Though Christian ministers have often offered invocations before governmental meetings, the federal courts have consistently ruled that the prayers must be non-sectarian. In Dumfries, this led town leaders in 2010 to pass a resolution specifically advising anyone offering the invocation that “Prayers may not be addressed to ‘Jesus,’ ‘Christ,’ or any variation on those names. A prayer is ‘addressed’ to Jesus if it contains the phrase, ‘in Jesus’ name we pray’ or anything similar.”

Now some in Dumfries are having second thoughts, according to Uriah Kiser of Councilman Jerry Foreman has submitted a new resolution deleting the specific mentions of Jesus and Christ cited above. “By amending this language the resolution stays non-denominational. It doesn’t specifically call one religious leader or one religion out,” Foreman said in Kiser’s piece.

Prince William County also adopted a similar policy, reported last year, instructing speakers that “invocations should not include references to religious figures such as Jesus Christ, to images such as a crucifix, or to teaching from such sources as the Koran or the Book of Mormon.”

If Prince William County has a policy to not include references to specific religious deities, someone forgot to tell the BOCS about it.  I distinctly heard a specific deity this afternoon.  On the other hand, I hear that many of the ministers don’t want to be included in a mini invocation that forbids them to focus their worship on the very deity that they revere. I don’t blame them.  Obviously Christians pray to Jesus, Jews to God, Muslims to Allah, etc. 

So, we have a problem.  What is the best solution?  It seems to me that rather than invite visiting ministers to come pray but not dare mention their deity, why not have a moment of silence.  There is a remarkable idea.  Everyone can pray to whomever they want.  If they don’t pray, then those at public meetings can make up a grocery list in their heads.  No one will be the wiser. 

Moments of silence can be very personal and personally rewarding.  Perhaps the supervisor sitting 2 seats away gets on your last nerve.  Speak to your higher power about giving you patience.  It just might work.  Moments of silence take the focus off the individual.  There is less of a temptation to gawk around the room.  Not everyone prays by bowing their head.  Not everyone closes their eyes.  For those more contentious meetings, have a 2 minutes of silence.   Longer prayer, longer grocery list –no one has to know. 

Everyone will feel comfortable.  Visiting pastors won’t have to compromise themselves, “others” who aren’t part of mainstream religion won’t have to feel that awkward moment that every “other” feels at the start of the BOCS meeting.   I think that the PW County is big enough to handle this one.  It needs to be adopted at all levels of government and, unlike the school board, it needs to practice its own policy.  Adopting a moment of silence just takes the heat off of everyone.   Oh, and Dumfries can follow suit too.