School board member threatens Godwin teachers: I’ll be looking at you


I would be remiss as a former Prince William County educator if I did not address the behavior of Neabsco School Board member Ms Diane Ralston who told the Godwin Middle School teachers that she would be watching them. She also suggested that those teachers who had spoken against the name change did not belong at that school.

You have to hear it for yourselves.

I have to say Ms. Raulston’s remarks were threatening and totally unacceptable. I heard some teachers had considered resigning.

Teachers: Don’t be fools. Do not resign. Hold your heads up high and continue to teach and inspire the boys and girls of Godwin Middle School. There are legal resources to handle these kinds of threats from your employer. I was approached tonight by someone who will represent you. Please contact me and I will pass along the information to you.

Ms. Raulston should consider resigning immediately. Her behavior makes her unsuited for any role of leadership in Prince William County Schools. We absolutely cannot have our teachers threatened in this way.

It’s one thing to threaten a colleague as she did Willie Deutsch, ordering him to stay out of her district. It’s quite another thing to threaten employees.

It is my greatest hope that Ms. Raulston will think about the liabilities associated with her actions and at least attempt to walk back her remarks. We cannot have teachers threatened and admonished for their thoughts and opinions.  The first amendment is still functioning in Prince William County.  Those Godwin teachers are the closest ones to the community and the children. We want happy teachers, not beaten down, scared, watched teachers.

We cannot have members of our school board bullying their colleagues or their employees.

Let’s set the record straight about Massive Resistance

I listened to the school board meeting tonight.  I hope I never have to endure doing that again.  I hate watching school board meetings.

Last night, supporters of George Hampton were out in force.   I don’t know Mr. Hampton.  I have nothing against him. I had never heard of him before.  He certainly has a lot of friends, even some who didn’t even know his name, but that’s ok.

I understand their dedication to someone they feel has made positive contributions to the community.  However, some of the speakers continued to throw out ‘facts’ that simply were not true.

Several speakers talked about the state of Virginia closing the schools for 5 years.  That did not happen.  The schools in Prince Edward County (near  Farmville) were closed for 5 years, but not by the state.  Prince Edward County closed their own schools.

The locations that were closed by the state were Front Royal,  Charlottesville, and Norfolk.  Those schools reopened the same school year.  Prince Edward County had a different situation.  According to the Virginia Historical Society:

“After Virginia’s school-closing law was ruled unconstitutional in January 1959, the General Assembly repealed the compulsory school attendance law and made the operation of public schools a local option for the state’s counties and cities. Schools that had been closed in Front Royal, Norfolk, and Charlottesville reopened because citizens there preferred integrated schools to none at all. It was not so Prince Edward County. Ordered on May 1, 1959, to integrate its schools, the county instead closed its entire public school system.

The Prince Edward Foundation created a series of private schools to educate the county’s white children. These schools were supported by tuition grants from the state and tax credits from the county. Prince Edward Academy became the prototype for all-white private schools formed to protest school integration.

No provision was made for educating the county’s black children. Some got schooling with relatives in nearby communities or at makeshift schools in church basements. Others were educated out of state by groups such as the Society of Friends. In 1963–64, the Prince Edward Free School picked up some of the slack. But some pupils missed part or all of their education for five years.”

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What’s in a Swiss handshake?


It’s widespread practice for schoolchildren in Switzerland to shake the hands of their teacher at the beginning and end of each day. Now, one school’s decision to exempt two children from this tradition – because the children are Muslim and their teacher is a woman – has caused a storm of controversy across the European state.

The two pupils at the school in the town of Therwil, near Basel, had requested an exemption from shaking a female teacher’s hand, citing their belief that it would go against Islamic teachings. The local school district later came up with what they felt was an acceptable compromise that could avoid discrimination: The pupils, who are aged 14 and 15, would not be required to shake any teacher’s’ hands, whether they were male or female.

However, the plan hit a hitch when the Schweiz am Sonntag reported on it, sparking a public debate about the compromise. “We cannot accept this in the name of religious freedom,” Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said in an interview with Swiss-German broadcaster SRF. “The handshake is part of our culture.”

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RIP, Joe Medicine Crow

According to Crow tradition, a man must fulfill certain requirements to become chief of the tribe: command a war party successfully, enter an enemy camp at night and steal a horse, wrestle a weapon away from his enemy and touch the first enemy fallen, without killing him.

Joe Medicine Crow was the last person to meet that code, though far from the windswept plains where his ancestors conceived it. During World War II, when he was a scout for the 103rd Infantry in Europe, he strode into battle wearing war paint beneath his uniform and a yellow eagle feather inside his helmet. So armed, he led a mission through German lines to procure ammunition. He helped capture a German village and disarmed — but didn’t kill — an enemy soldier. And, in the minutes before a planned attack, he set off a stampede of 50 horses from a Nazi stable, singing a traditional Crow honor song as he rode away.

“I never got a scratch,” he recalled to the Billings Gazette decades later.

Medicine Crow died Sunday at 102, according to the Gazette. He was the Crow’s last war chief, the sole surviving link to a long military tradition. But he was also an activist, an author, a Medal of Freedom recipient and a vital chronicler of the history of his tribe.

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Sarah Palin: April Fool or just a fool?

This speech is pathetic and embarrassing. Is she on drugs or does she drink too much? Every time she talks it gets worse. She is incoherent and doesn’t even make sense.

I heard the morning on TV that she is supposed to be fixing Trump’s woman problem. I don’t think that is possible and I sure wouldn’t use her to do it. I am not sure what she said nor do I think she did Trump any favors.

It’s time for Palin to go back to Alaska and stay there. The lights are on but nobody is home.

The Obamas rise above it all with dignity

Opinion by Petula Dvorak

The Obamas: Refusing to give in to the haters after years of threats and abuse

The most popular license in America now?

A license to hate.

And one of the most popular targets is President Obama, the country’s first African American commander-in-chief.

It’s no secret that America’s first family has received an unprecedented number of threats over the past seven years.

But the fever pitch of hate and bile toward the president and his family have taken an even sharper tone thanks to the primordial swamp that is the current presidential campaign.

It’s impossible to utter a single word about the White House, the first family or the president without a blast from the fire hose of haterade.

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Open Thread ………… April 1



Has spring really arrived?   It’s still questionable, even though the days are a little warmer and it is staying light longer.

The daffodils are long gone.  Tulips are slowly coming to life.  The one predictable thing has been pollen.

I hope to get up to the Skyline Drive to see the dogwoods.  There seem to be fewer and fewer each year.  Supposedly some dogwood disease is killing them off.


George Mason Law School to be renamed Antonin Scalia School of Law

The George Mason School of Law will be renamed in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year.

The university announced Thursday that it has received $30 million in combined gifts to the George Mason Foundation to support the law school, the largest gift in the university’s history. The donations make possible three new scholarship programs. Twenty million dollars came from an anonymous donor, and $10 million came from the Charles Koch Foundation, which has given millions of dollars to colleges in the United States. The family is well known for its support of conservative political groups, sometimes stirring controversy.

The Board of Visitors approved the renaming of the school to the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. “This is a milestone moment for the university,” Ángel Cabrera, the university’s president, said in a statement. “These gifts will create opportunities to attract and retain the best and brightest students, deliver on our mission of inclusive excellence, and continue our goal to make Mason one of the preeminent law schools in the country.”

Who says you can’t buy yourself a law school?  Is anyone else offended?  I certainly don’t want to clone Justice Scalia and make a whole bunch more little Scalias.   It appears that George Mason sold out to the highest bidder.

This “gift” seems to have a big caveat attached.

State Trooper killed in Richmond

trooper chad

RICHMOND, VA. — A Virginia State Trooper was killed Thursday in a Grayhound bus terminal by a man he was chatting with who suddenly opened fire in an apparently unprovoked attack before law enforcement shot him dead, Virginia State Police announced Thursday night.

Killed was Chad Dermyer, 37, a Marine Corps veteran and a native of Jackson, Michigan.

After shooting Dermyer, the man continued to fire until he was shot by two other troopers, police said. The suspect was taken to VCU Medical Center, where he died, police said.

Dermyer, who graduated from Virginia State Police Academy in 2014, was taken to VCU Medical Center, where he later died, police said.

Too many area police officers have died.  It sounds like Trooper Dermyer was simply talking to a man when that man turned around opened fire on the trooper.

We wonder why cops sometimes make mistakes.  It will be interesting to learn more about the perpetrator.  What would make him kill a cop?  Other people have been seriously maimed also.



Word to the wise on change school names: Involve the community


Sun Gazette editorial: A lesson for those eager to change school names


Before leaders of the Fairfax County school system rush higgledy-piggledy toward changing names of schools that don’t fit their definition of political correctness, they might want to glance just a few miles to the south to see what happens when ham-handedness goes awry.

There, the Prince William County School Board has come under fire both for changing the name of a middle school, and for doing so in a high-handed manner that avoided any semblance of community involvement.


It must have sounded like a good idea to some in Prince William: Mills Godwin, a late two-term governor but one with no direct connection to the community, seemed an odd choice for a school name from the beginning, so school officials recently decided to change it to honor George Hampton, an African-American leader in Prince William.

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Trump calls for punishment for women who have an abortion

Trump is totally unacceptable and overlooks the fact that abortion is legal in the United States as per the decision Roe v. Wade. A woman’s right to abortion is settled law. Fie on these stupid men who keep equivocating and pretending that this right is not legal.

end abortion

At some point,  women will have control of their own bodies.  It will be as accepted as women having the right to vote.

Full control of one’s own reproduction is the only way that women will have full economic autonomy.  Full control should include access to effective contraception and access to abortion if that is needed.

Donald Trump should be punished for not thinking about what comes out of his mouth.  The women of America will probably see to it that he pays….at the voting booth.

Trump campaign: lie and deny

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump defended his campaign manager as a “very decent man” Tuesday, hours after the staffer was charged with battery in Florida for allegedly grabbing a reporter and yanking her away from Trump.

Corey Lewandowski, 42, faces one misdemeanor count of battery as a result of the March 8 incident. He voluntarily went to police headquarters in Jupiter, Fla., and signed paperwork that ordered him to appear in court on May 4.

The police also released a new video of the event, taken from the security cameras at Trump’s own golf course. It directly contradicted what Trump and Lewandowski had both said about the incident in the past.

They had asserted that Lewandowski never touched the reporter, Michelle Fields.

In the video, he does — grabbing her hard enough to pull her backwards.

Who do you believe?  Trump or your own two eyes?

Ms Fields, the reporter in question, has stuck to her story and has since voluntarily left Breitbart, mainly because the organization failed to back her over Trump’s campaign manager.

To date, Trump denied there was a video.  When one was produced, the story changed.  Trump simply will not accept responsibility.  Life everything else, it is always someone else’s fault.

Trump needs to have a come to Jesus meeting with his campaign manager and be done with it.  Corey Lewandowski acted inappropriately.

Secret Service nixes firearms at the RNC

The Secret Service on Monday quashed the hopes of gun rights advocates who were pushing for the open carry of firearms to be allowed at this summer’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

An online petition in support of the effort rapidly gained signatures and attention in the past week, applying pressure to pro-gun Republican officials and presidential contenders to walk the walk when it comes to guns. But on Monday, the Secret Service said that only law enforcement personnel will be allowed to carry firearms at the event.

“Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752 provides the Secret Service authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states,” Secret Service spokesman Robert K. Hoback said in a statement. “Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.”

Ticket or not, any unauthorized person with a gun will not be allowed into the event, he said.

Why on earth would any of the candidates want guns inside the convention center?  There are enough fruits and nuts wandering around as it is.  Arming them would surely spell trouble for someone.

If the Secret Service says no, then that’s that.

Earl Hamner Jr.– A Virginia gentleman of great talent

Earl Hamner, Jr.
Earl Hamner, Jr.

Earl Hamner Jr., the versatile and prolific writer who drew upon his Depression-era upbringing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to create one of television’s most beloved family shows, “The Waltons,” has died. He was 92.

Hamner died in Los Angeles and had recently been battling pneumonia, said Ray Castro Jr., a friend of Hamner’s who produced a documentary, “Earl Hamner Storyteller,” about the writer. Castro said he learned about Hamner’s death from the writer’s daughter, Caroline. A Facebook post by Hamner’s son, Scott, stated his father died surrounded by family at Cedars Sinai Hospital while John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” was playing.
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Indiana: Abortion banned for fetal anomaly

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a controversial abortion bill Thursday that, among other things, would ban the procedure if it is sought because the fetus was diagnosed with a disability or defect such as Down syndrome.

Shortly before his deadline to act on the sweeping measure, Pence called the law “a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life,” according to the Associated Press.

The law, which was passed by the legislature earlier this month, would make Indiana the second state in the nation, after North Dakota, to ban abortion in cases where a fetal anomaly is detected. It also would bar the procedure in instances where the decision is based on the sex or race of the fetus. And it could make Indiana the first state in the country to require that fetal remains be buried or cremated, rather than treated like medical waste.

So this is where it is all going?  Fetal anomaly is certainly a compelling reason to have an abortion.  In fact, to me, it is  the most legitimate reason of all.  The cost and the wear and tear on families caring for a seriously disabled child is more than most people can bear.

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