Author Archive

Where were the thundering hordes?

March 4th, 2015 No comments

As I watched speaker after speaker go to the podium in the Supervisors chambers last night, requesting that the BOCS advertise a tax rate high enough to support the 5 year plan, I questioned my own sanity.  Where were the thundering hordes of people I had heard about?  You know, those people who wanted the tax rate frozen at some ridiculously low figure that would pretty much halt most progress in Prince William County.

Our house-mate suggested that I must have been listening to talking hand  sock puppets–that old propaganda trick of making people think that there were a lot more people out there than really exist.  Sometime after 9 pm, a lone man got up and asked for a 1.3% rise in taxes.  Actually, I think he thought that was even too much.  He was also plenty irate about the budget sheet that got sent home with each school kid.  I wonder if he got irate last year and the year before that?

Sending materials home with students is the main way the school system communicates between school and home.  It always has been.  Just because we live in an age of technology doesn’t mean that all parents have computers.  Even in households with computers, often the computers were bought for the kids to help them with their studies (forget enhancing their social life).  I don’t think some of our middle and upper middle class residents understand that everyone isn’t just like them.

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Netanyahu: Should he be speaking before Congress?

March 3rd, 2015 28 comments


Too late now.  Netanyahu is scheduled to speak before Congress at 11 a.m. today.  Many Democrats will not be in attendance.  President Obama will not meet with the Israeli prime minister while he is here.

Many Americans feel he broke protocol by accepting an invitation from Congress to speak.  In fact, many Israelis want him to cancel also.  The chart above gives the break down.

At the heart of the matter is talks with Iran.  Netanyahu doesn’t like our stance.  Perhaps there are two sides.  Who knows.  The issue has gotten all tangled up in American politics and probably in  Israeli politics also.  Israel has elections in 2 weeks. Could this visit have any bearing on those elections?


Lawson and Candland: F in diplomacy

March 3rd, 2015 24 comments

A weekend meeting between the Prince William Board of Supervisors and school board to discuss budget challenges devolved into bickering over a flier about the school division’s “current budget challenge,” sent home with students last week.

The meeting, held Saturday at the Buckhall Volunteer Fire Station in Manassas, was called ahead of Tuesday’s supervisors’ meeting, when the board will vote to advertise a tax rate for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1.

By law, once supervisors approve an advertised tax rate, they can vote to reduce the rate but cannot raise it.

The vote is important for Prince William County’s 95 public schools, which receive about 45 percent of their funding from local real-estate taxes.

Under controversial “budget guidance,” approved by supervisors in December, local tax bills would rise 1.3 percent next year – or the inflation rate as defined by the Consumer Price Index. The move would mean an $11 million reduction in expected revenue to the school division for the 2015-16 school year.

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House Dems try to halt Congressional pay

February 28th, 2015 110 comments

A potential Department of Homeland Security shutdown would directly affect lawmakers’ pocketbooks under a bill introduced in the House this week.

The Democratic measure, sponsored by Reps. Brad Ashford (Neb.), Gwen Graham (Fla.), Scott Peters (Calif.) and Ami Bera (Calif.), would halt pay for members of Congress if they don’t agree to a new round of funding for the agency by Friday, in which case DHS would partially close.

The legislation is similar to several bills that would have halted lawmakers’ salaries during the government-wide shutdown of 2013. Those measures never made it out of committee that year.

Federal statute only allows lawmakers to change the salaries of future members of Congress, so the new House bill would put their wages in an escrow account until the potential Homeland Security shutdown ends.

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Categories: Congress, DHS Tags: ,

Open Thread……………………………………..Saturday, February 28

February 28th, 2015 12 comments

pregnant rabbit

Areas that get too much snow also produce people with too much time on their hands.  I thought this picture was one of the cuter snow sculptures that has hit the internet.

Are we just about finished with snow for the season?  I seriously doubt it.  Even though today is the last day of February and I have daffodils trying to come up in my front yard, I don’t think we have seen the last of Old Man Winter.

For the record, next Sunday, March 8, marks the beginning of  Day Light Saving Time.  Let my winter depression life!  More day light!

Categories: General Tags:

A Vulcan salute good-bye to Leonard Nimoy

February 28th, 2015 4 comments


A Vulcan salute to Leonary Nimoy who died Friday at the age of 83.  Nimoy played half-Vulcan, half human Mr. Spock on Star Trek.  According to his obituary in the Washinton Post:

“Someday,” producer Gene Roddenberry said many decades ago, “I’m going to make a science-fiction series and put pointed ears on that guy.”

The series was “Star Trek,” and the guy was Leonard Nimoy, who died Feb. 27 at 83. A tall, taut-faced actor, he had been laboring in obscurity for 15 years before Roddenberry hired him in 1966 to play the half-human, half-alien space explorer Spock.

Those pointy ears — along with the upswept eyebrows and “five-point” Vidal Sassoon bob — brought Mr. Nimoy enduring stardom in an entertainment and merchandising empire equaled perhaps only by the James Bond, “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” franchises.

“Star Trek,” a drama about the adventures of the starship Enterprise as it explored “the final frontier” of space, was not a critical or popular hit during its initial run on NBC from 1966 to 1969.
In syndication, however, it became a phenomenon.

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” I feel confident the spirit of Leonard Nimoy continues.

Live long and prosper, Leonard Nimoy.  Live long and prosper, wherever your journey takes you, even if it is where no man has gone before.

Categories: Entertainment Tags:

Pre-election prognostications

February 25th, 2015 34 comments

This upcoming supervisors race is getting increasingly amusing.  Some of it is very predictable.  Some of it, not so much.

I hear things. I never tell names and tales in the same breath.  It cuts off your source of information.  Information is gold to a blogger.  You can use it wisely and prudently or you can shot-gun it all over the place and blow folks out of the water.  I have seen both.  I try to follow the former rather than the latter path.

I find it laughable that the same person ran his own strong-arm candidate acquisition scam.   I think about 20 people got strong armed.  Not many people have the stomach for this game so many just said no.

It appeared that there would be one Republican candidate and one Democratic candidate for the BOCS chair.  Then along came a rival, yapping at Corey heels.  I question the wisdom of  Candland support so early in the game.  That sends a clear message to the current chairman that Pete Candland is an adversary and doesn’t plan to work with Corey at all.  Candland might as well have declared war.  Why would you want to send that message, just out of curiosity?  Is that smart to show your cards that early in the game to someone of the same party, sitting on the same board?

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Categories: General, PWC Politics, PWCBOS, Stewart Tags:

The Plague: Black rats exonerated–blame the gerbils

February 25th, 2015 12 comments

black rat

Just when we found out that the hype about the Crusades was partially a myth, now we have another millennial myth blow up in our faces.  Rats have been exonerated for having killed a hundred   million people with the Black Plague.  Instead, scientists have discovered that this deadly recurring scourge was caused by rat cousins, the gerbils.  According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the  Washington Post reports:

After nearly eight centuries of accusing the black rat for spreading the bubonic plague, scientists say they have compelling evidence to exonerate the much-maligned rodent. In the process, they’ve identified a new culprit: gerbils.

It’s always the cute ones you have to watch out for, isn’t it?


According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, climate data dating back to the 14th century contradicts the commonly held notion that European plague outbreaks were caused by a reservoir of disease-carrying fleas hosted by the continent’s rat population.


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Budget work session part 2: untelevised at Buckhall Fire Department

February 24th, 2015 19 comments


The next budget work session will be this coming Saturday at the Buckhall Fire Department on Yates Ford Road.  It will probably be a  lot more comfortable and a lot more homelike for the supervisors and staff.  I am not so sure it will reach more people.  In fact, I am betting it reaches fewer.

The session cannot be broadcast.  The only possible broadcast must be from the board chambers.  The meeting cannot be changed back to the chambers because it has already been advertised for the Buckhall Fire Department.

I felt the session last Saturday was very informative.  Even though the session ended early because of the horrible weather, I felt like I was coming away with a lot better knowledge of how the county worked.  I am so sorry the decision was made to hold part 2 in another location.

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He’ll huff and he’ll puff and he’ll blow the House down

February 23rd, 2015 6 comments

Sesame Street, it seems, is just as excited for this Friday’s release of Season 3 of “House of Cards” as all of Washington.

The storied children’s show released a parody Monday called “House of Bricks” modeled after Netflix’s hit series. The video takes David Fincher’s theme music and anti-hero Frank Underwood’s Charleston-inflected accent in a version of the “Three Little Pigs” fairy tale adapted to Washington.

Frank Underwolf, a muppet version of the “House of Cards” protagonist, aims to huff and puff and blow down the straw and stick houses on the block so he can get to the White (Brick) House.

It’s almost here!  House of Cards!  Frank Underwood!  Don’t mess with me or talk to me on Friday.  I will be very busy–binge-watching.  I have waited all year.  Settle your own blog issues.  I will check in, once, half-heartedly.  If the blog blows up, settle it yourselves.

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Categories: Entertainment, Humor & Satire Tags: