Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Open Thread…………………………..Sunday, March 23

April 10th, 2014 91 comments

daffodilsWinter is over.  We have all decreed that it is over.  Think pansies, daffodils, and cowslips.  Anything but winter.  What are good flowers to plant now that won’t die if there is an overnight freeze?

How soon can you set out rosemary bushes and cypress from winter gifts?  Will they die if they go out now?

How about those cherry trees?  Will they bloom before Memorial Day?  (Just kidding)

Categories: General Tags:

Paycheck unfairness: Yes, Republicans, it’s real

April 10th, 2014 19 comments

 Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic bill Wednesday curbing paycheck discrimination against women, an effort that even in defeat Democrats hoped would pay political dividends in this fall’s congressional elections.

Wednesday’s vote was 53-44 to halt GOP tactics aimed at derailing the legislation, but that fell seven short of the 60 votes Democrats needed to prevail.

The outcome on the Senate floor was not a surprise, but Democrats were playing to a wider audience.

With public opinion polls showing Democratic voters less enthusiastic than Republicans this year, Democrats aimed the measure at women, who historically lean more toward their party than men. They were also casting the issue as a crucial one for the middle class because so many families rely on female wage-earners — and promised to revisit it before Election Day.

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McAuliffe vetoes school religious bill

April 7th, 2014 7 comments

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

A bill that would have codified the rights of students to pray, participate in religious activities or wear faith-themed clothing on public school property at public events was vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe Friday.

The school prayer-bill veto of Senate Bill 236, the third of McAuliffe’s term, followed a recent veto of a similarly themed bill governing prayer by chaplains in the Virginia National Guard.

Sponsored by state Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr., R-Grayson, the legislation would have required every school system to have a policy allowing students to make religious speeches at any school event in which students are allowed to speak. It also would have removed the liability of school systems for allowing religious speech by having administrators offer disclaimers that student views are not endorsed by the school division.

Supporters said the legislation would protect religious liberty. But the governor disagreed.

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Categories: Education/Schools, General, Religion Tags:

Is money the root of all evil in politics?

April 7th, 2014 20 comments

President Jimmy Carter blasted the role money has played in worsening the tone in Washington, and said the Supreme Court ruling last week has “exacerbated” the problems.

In a wide-ranging interview, Carter said Washington had experienced a “sea change” since when he was in office.

“There was a spirit of harmony there, friendship. … All of these things are gone, primarily due to a stupid decision that the Supreme Court made on Citizens United and that they exacerbated this past week with another ruling,” Carter said Friday. “And this massive infusion of almost unrestricted money going into the political campaign, a lot of it is spent just on negative commercials to tear down the reputation of your opponent and that polarization that occurs, that didn’t exist when I ran for office.”

Do we want rich people deciding the outcome of our elections?  Is this latest Supreme Court decision the ultimate in “money talks and bull sh!t walks?”  I have only seen politics become more rancorous and vicious since Citizens United was decided.  The acrimony is seen in local politics, state politics and nationally.

Jimmy Carter is right.  The comradery that used to exist when he was in office is no more.


Categories: General Tags:

POW flag made of bedsheets finally unfurled after 69 years

April 5th, 2014 6 comments

Richmond times Dispatch:

The makeshift American flag, made 69 years ago from bedsheets, was a symbol of defiance, perseverance and patriotism to the American prisoners of war who were beaten, tortured and starved by their Japanese captors at the Omori POW Camp during World War II.

Richmond native James “Denny” Landrum, an electrician’s mate first class who had just turned 20 when captured, was among them.

He and his fellow submariners of the USS Grenadier were taken prisoner after their ship was attacked and eventually scuttled on April 22, 1943, off Penang, Malaysia.

Landrum eventually made it home. But the flag he helped to secretly create and later waved in an iconic photograph taken as he and his fellow POWs were liberated on Aug. 29, 1945, vanished over time.

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Categories: General, War/Military Tags:

A brief look at PTSD

April 4th, 2014 16 comments

PTSD seems to have a lot of rumors flying around about it. This mini video sheds a little light on the topic. It obviously isn’t just a military “disease.”

Do you know anyone with PTSD? How do you relate to them differently or do you?

Categories: General Tags:

Some supervisors have a hell of a nerve….

April 4th, 2014 2 comments

lucy math

It appears that several of the BOCS took out after the Prince William County School Board with a vengeance. Jim Livingston, PWEA president, said it best when he  “suggested that supervisors are more concerned with political posturing than about the needs of the school system.”


Yet those stark numbers didn’t keep some supervisors from grilling Johns and David Cline, associate superintendent for finance and support services, about why the school system isn’t doing more to lower class sizes – a topic both boards discussed during three joint board meetings held over the summer and fall.

During those meetings, supervisors asked Superintendent Steve Walts to come up with a plan to begin lowering class sizes. Walts presented a $3.5 million plan to lower class numbers in kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades, but said the school system would need extra money from the county to fund the changes.

But when supervisors failed to offer any extra funds, the school board scaled back their plans to only sixth-grade. Supervisors offered no sign Tuesday that any extra money would be coming from the county to lower class sizes next year – but that didn’t keep them from hammering school board members for not doing more.

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Jim Livingston addresses the BOCS: No more operating on the cheap

April 3rd, 2014 7 comments

Get Microsoft Silverlight

Listen to Jim Livingston, president of the Prince William Education Association.  Jim knows that Prince William County has been operating on the cheap for years. He knows that he and his colleagues have not received competitive compensation for years.   Jim also knows that class size counts.   These issues must be addressed this year.   Will the advertised tax rate suffice in fixing PWCS’s operating on the cheap problem?  No.  Not even close but it is a start.

Prince William Education Association has been sounding the alarm about salaries and class size for quite some time.  This is not a new phenomena and the local association has been vigilant about asking for these measures to be corrected.    Yet, if one glances about the blogosphere, one would think that a certain blog from Gainesville discovered the problem, all by their lonesome.  Teachers have been insulted and accused of being led around by the school board.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Categories: General, PWC Schools Tags:

More killing at Fort Hood

April 2nd, 2014 15 comments

This video was recorded fairly soon after the incident. Much has been learned since then.

A shooting at the Fort Hood military installation in Texas has left at least four people dead, including the gunman, and more than a dozen were injured, according to authorities.

The gunman, identified by multiple government sources as Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, took his own life, officials said.

Lopez, 33, of Kileen, Tex., was wearing an Army uniform at the time of the shooting, Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told reporters.

Four people were taken to Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Tex., and another two are being brought there, said Glen Couchman, the facility’s chief medical officer. Their injuries that “range from stable to quite critical,” he said.

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Don’t lean in: Lean back, get married, have some kids….

March 31st, 2014 29 comments

Dana Milbank

Opinion Writer

Conservatives to women: Lean back

The conservative minds of the Heritage Foundation have found a way for Republicans to shrink the gender gap: They need to persuade more women to get their MRS degrees.

The advocacy group held a gathering of women of the right Monday afternoon to mark the final day of Women’s History Month — and the consensus was that women ought to go back in history. If Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s mantra is “lean in,” these women were proposing that women lean back: get married, take care of kids and let men earn the wages.

“We’re gathered to celebrate Women’s History Month but I don’t celebrate Women’s History Month,” announced writer Mona Charen, one of the panelists. “It doesn’t interest me whether a person who happens to share my chromosomes sits in the Oval Office. It doesn’t interest me how many women members of the Senate there are.”

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Categories: General, Women's Issues Tags:

Blogger’s Code of Conduct as a proposal–Good, bad, indifferent?

March 30th, 2014 7 comments

From Wikipedia:


The Blogger’s Code of Conduct is a proposal by Tim O’Reilly for bloggers to enforce civility on their blogs by being civil themselves and moderating comments on their blog. The code was proposed in 2007 due to threats made to blogger Kathy Sierra.[99] The idea of the code was first reported by BBC News, who quoted O’Reilly saying, “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation.”[100]

O’Reilly and others came up with a list of seven proposed ideas:[101][102][103][104]

  1. Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
  2. Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
  3. Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
  4. Ignore the trolls.
  5. Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
  6. If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
  7. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.

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Categories: General Tags:

Mudslide victim wanted to live anywhere he wanted

March 30th, 2014 7 comments

Thom  Satterlee, a local community activist, attempted to lead an effort to secede from Snohomish County.  He didn’t like the land use restrictions and many other things dished out by local government.  One has to wonder how that worked out for him in the past couple of days.  Thom and his wife are among the missing in the giant landslide in Washington State.

Among those missing in the landslide that devastated a small Washington community is the leader of a group that sought to secede from Snohomish County over land-rights issues, including whether government could restrict property owners from building in risky or environmentally sensitive areas like the one buried by the slide.

Thom Satterlee, 65, and his wife, Marlese, 61, both are missing from their home in the community of Oso in the wake of Saturday’s landslide, which spewed tons of mud and debris over homes scattered along the Stillaquamish River. A daughter, Andrea Hulme, did not respond to an interview request from NBC News, but a message on her answering machine said, “My parents are missing in the mudslide.”

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Jeremiah Denton: The death of an American hero

March 29th, 2014 8 comments

Jeremiah Denton

(Reuters) – Jeremiah Denton, a former U.S. senator who was held as a prisoner of war by North Vietnam for more than seven years and revealed his treatment by blinking the word “torture” in Morse code during a televised interview, died on Friday at age 89.

Denton died at a hospice facility in Virginia Beach, Virginia, from a heart ailment, his family said.

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Categories: General Tags:

GOP Reveals Alternatives to Obamacare

March 28th, 2014 88 comments
by Paul Fell

by Paul Fell

Apparently the GOP’s next magic trick just isn’t producing results.   Where is the alternative plan?  Repeal with no replacement is not a plan.


Categories: General Tags:

Va. House looks for any excuse regardless of how stupid…

March 26th, 2014 97 comments

From The editorial:

The Post’s View

Va. Republicans need to end their excuses for not expanding medicaid

REPUBLICANS IN Virginia’s House of Delegates are running out of excuses to refuse a huge pot of federal money for expanding health-care coverage to poor people. The legislature this week convened a special session, the product of House Republicans’ baseless refusal to compromise on the health-care expansion. Both Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the state Senate have offered compromise plans, responding to the House GOP’s proffered reasons for opposition with more seriousness than they deserve. If the Republicans’ opposition is anything beyond thoughtless or cynical, they should come to the negotiating table now.

The special session was called to agree on next year’s budget. But the battle is over one piece of the state’s financial plan: whether to accept federal funds to expand eligibility for Medicaid, the federal-state partnership that offers health-care coverage to people below and around the poverty line. The Affordable Care Act’s coverage plan depends on this expansion, but the Supreme Court ruled that states could opt out. Virginia is one of those that hasn’t made up its mind, even though the federal government has committed to pay nearly the whole tab, in perpetuity, with tax dollars it is already collecting from every state, including Virginia, whether they expand or not.

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Categories: General, health care, Republican Tags: