Open Thread………………………………..May 1

Glastonbury Tor at sunrise on Beltane
Glastonbury Tor at sunrise on Beltane

May 1 is significant to people in and around the United Kingdom because  of Celtic folk lore.  Many people celebrate Beltane, or a spring fertility ritual.   Americans tend to celebrate May Day.  That custom has sort of gone the way of the high button shoes.

Regardless, May 1 is a time of great merry-making, especially among the young.

EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 30: Beltane Fire Society performers celebrate the coming of summer by participating in the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill April 30, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The event celebrates the ending of winter and is a revival of the ancient Celtic and Pagan festival of Beltane, the Gaelic name for the month of May. The festival was first organized in the mid 1980's. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images)
Young stags romp

Indiana: Home of the gay Doritos

Rainbow-Doritos

Huffingtonpost.com:

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Wednesday that bans what he called “gay colors” to be worn by boys in public elementary and secondary schools in the state

Pence referred to pink, chartreuse, teal and magenta, in particular, as “gateway colors” for young boys who might have an inclination toward homosexuality.

“Governor Pence believes that if boys wear clothes with colors traditionally worn by young girls, this can cause gender confusion for the boy,” said Hugh Strait, a spokesman for the governor.

Pence’s announcement comes as the state prepares for Tuesday’s presidential primary.

 

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Virginia Republican Convention: WTF?

corey2

Washingtonpost.com:

 Supporters of Ted Cruz dominated a slate of delegates that Virginia Republicans chose Saturday at their state convention, further demonstrating the Texas senator’s mastery of the delegate-selection process.

Of the 13 national delegates picked by party activists here, 10 are Cruz supporters and three support Donald Trump. The tally represents the biggest chunk up for grabs of the 49 total delegates who will represent the state at the national convention in Cleveland this summer.

Despite bruising primary ­losses around the country, Cruz is betting that Trump will not make it to the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the party’s nomination, and he is working to woo delegates who would be loyal to him at a brokered convention.

Cruz came in a distant third in Virginia in the March 1 primary but had enough supporters among the 2,610 party activists who filled an arena at James Madison University on Saturday to win critical delegates.

 

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Lucifer in the flesh

 

CNN.com:

Washington (CNN)Former House Speaker John Boehner called Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” in a withering interview at Stanford University published Thursday.

In it, he repeated many of the same attacks he used last month while calling on his successor, Paul Ryan, to seek the Republican nomination.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told Stanford’s David Kennedy, a history professor emeritus, according to the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Boehner also said he was “texting buddies” with GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and friends with former House colleague and fellow Ohioan, John Kasich.
Cruz was a thorn in Boehner’s side when Boehner was Speaker of the House. Between Cruz and  Tea Party Republicans, Boehner threw in the towel.  He is rumored to have called them all jackasses and probably a lot of other things.
How many mainstream Republicans feel like John Boehner does?  What exactly is a mainstream Republican?
I am of the mindset that those who feel betrayed really don’t understand the meaning of compromise.  No one party usually gets it own way on everything.
lucifer

Georgia O’Keefe, Michigan schools and vaginas

 

okeefe

Washingtonpost.com:

Any serious discussion of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work is bound to touch upon her provocative use of feminine imagery.

The great American painter is celebrated not only for her renditions of Southwestern landscapes and New York skyscrapers, but also for her iconic, colorful flowers. Despite repeated denials by the artist prior to her death 30 years ago, critics have long held that those flowers were overt allusions to female genitalia.

Allison Wint, a substitute teacher at a middle school in Battle Creek, Mich., told the Detroit Free Press that she was hoping to provoke a thoughtful dialogue about historical interpretations of O’Keeffe’s work on Friday when she used the word “vagina” during a discussion with eighth graders.

Now, Wint claims that the verbal reference to female anatomy — a word she freely admits to having used — has cost her a job at Harper Creek Middle School.

“Yes, I did say that word; however, I was saying it in the context of art history,” she told CBS affiliate WWMT. “I wasn’t being vulgar.”

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Skeptical justices hear McDonnell case

Washingtonpost.com:

Supreme Court justices on Wednesday seemed prepared to overturn the 2014 corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and perhaps make it harder for prosecutors to bring charges against politicians who provide favors for their benefactors.

Justices on both sides of the ideological divide expressed concern about federal corruption laws that could criminalize what they variously called “routine” or “everyday” actions that politicians perform for campaign contributors or supporters who have provided them with gifts.

“For better or for worse, it puts at risk behavior that is common,” said Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who along with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suggested that the federal corruption laws are so vague that they might be unconstitutional.

Aspergers man charged with child porn

 

 

NBCWashington.com:

A Virginia man who has Asperger’s syndrome spent four days in jail after being indicted for downloading child pornography, but his grandparents told News4 he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong.
The time 27-year-old Mikey Dejerolme spent in jail in Stafford County left him shell-shocked, his grandparents said, and he emerged acting like a 6-year-old.
“About the third night there, he did not think he was going to make it out,” said his grandmother, Nina Dejerolme. ”He’s not very forthcoming with emotion but that night he told me goodbye and I love you.”
Now he often won’t let go of his grandmother’s hand.

Nina and Tony Dejerolme, who raised Mikey Dejerolme since he was a toddler, think charges should not have been filed.
In April 2015, deputies knocked on their door. They found child porn on Mikey Dejerolme’s computer.

His grandparents said they’ve determined he followed a peer-to-peer link while downloading music. While he is intellectually bright, he is like a 12-year-old emotionally, his grandparents said.
“I explained to Mikey that was bad what he did and it’s illegal and he can’t do that,” Tony Dejerolme said.
Ohio Victim May Have Been Target of Facebook Threat
“I made a mistake in having those [pictures] on there,” Mikey Dejerolme told News4. “I didn’t like them.”

This situation is absurd.  Charges need to be dropped.   Sadly, this could happen to anyone.  Mikey is 12 emotionally.  12 year olds are curious.  How many pre-adolescents get into unsavory stuff on the internet and take a good look because they are curious?    Mikey should be treated as though he were 12.  Charges should be dropped and the grandparents will monitor his computer activities.

Why waste the tax payers money prosecuting this young man?

Speaking of Bob McDonnell….

Washingtonpost.com:

Along with the state officials and law professors who are happy that the Supreme Court this week is reviewing the corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, add inmate No. 24775-001 at the federal prison in Oakdale, La.

He is otherwise known as Don E. Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, whom many of those same people supported when the justices decided — twice — that his conviction did not warrant an extended review.

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McAuliffe restores voting rights to felons


 

In a nutshell:

Washingtonpost.com:

McAuliffe’s restoration of voting rights will apply to former nonviolent and violent offenders. Anyone who has been convicted of a felony and has completed his sentence and been released from supervised probation or parole is eligible. The new voting rights apply to felons convicted in another state and living in Virginia.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe will allow more than 200,000 ex-cons in Virginia to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election, one of the biggest actions taken by a state to instantly restore voting rights.

The change applies to all felons who have completed their sentences and been released from supervised probation or parole. The Democratic governor’s decision particularly affects black residents of Virginia: 1 in 4 African Americans in the state has been permanently banned from voting because of laws restricting the rights of those with convictions.

“Once you have served your time and you’ve finished up your supervised parole. . .I want you back as a full citizen of the commonwealth,” McAuliffe said. “I want you to have a job. I want you paying taxes, and you can’t be a second-class citizen.”

The governor called the instant restoration of rights to these Virginians the natural next step to his incremental streamlining of a process that has already given 18,000 nonviolent felons their rights back. With the signing of Friday’s executive order, McAuliffe eliminated the need for an application for violent felons who had completed their sentences up to that moment.

 

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“Damaged masculinity,” guns, and mass shootings

There were 374 mass shootings in 2015, according the crowd-sourced database Mass Shooting Tracker. Watch this motion graphic and hear the 911 calls to get a complete picture of the human toll. (Gillian Brockell,Julio Negron/The Washington Post)

What was Eric Harris of Columbine notoriety without his killing instruments?  His journals give us insight into his mind.

Washingtonpost.com:

Harris was born with a birth defect in his leg. He also had a chest deformity that required surgeries just before high school. He had a noticeable, sunken chest. His hopes to follow his father into the military — to be a tough guy, a Marine — were likely to be unrealized.

Guns, he reasoned, could give him power and control.

“I am (expletive) armed,” he wrote in his journal. “I feel more confident, stronger, more Godlike.”

What was he without guns?

“The weird looking Eric kid,” Harris wrote.

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School board to re-write school naming and renaming policy

Bristowbeat.com:

Prince William School Board members are considering a policy change to change how schools are named or renamed.

The agenda item is a response to the renaming of Godwin Middle School. There was no regulation to guide the board through that process as  regulation 854-1 does not mention anything about renaming schools.

It does dictates how to name a new school or facility, saying community committees must be formed. Those committees present their recommendations to the school board, and the school board then names the schools by majority vote.

Wednesday, Gainesville school board member Alyson Satterwhite asked the board to extend the regulation to include the renaming existing schools and facilities.

“I felt like we needed to put something into policy, so if a renaming came up again, we would have a policy to follow.”

School Board members all agreed with Satterwhite that the community should be involved in any future school renamings, but some went a step further, suggesting other changes to the regulation as well.

Good on the school board for having this discussion, even though it is too little too late.  Their ineptitude last March caused irreparable fractures and damage  in our community.  However, the time to move on upon us.  How do we go forward?

Several members suggested that schools should not be named after living people.  Good idea.  It becomes a popularity contest.  Ms. Jessie disagreed, saying that the school would have never been named for Fannie Fitzgerald had the rule been written policy  that only the deceased could be considered.  How nice that Ms. Fitzgerald knew she had been honored.  She and the other 3 black teachers who were the trailblazers when PWC schools integrated  absolutely should be remembered for their bravery.

Another board member suggested that schools not be named for people at all.  Still another strongly urged the board to consider people closely tied to the education community.

The discussion has begun.  The community needs to give the school board their thoughts and direction.  There was merit in most of the comments I read.

The topic that was omitted was how to decide to rename schools.  That should be an important consideration and I suspect it will become the 2000 pound  elephant in the room.  I say we do not rename schools.  Should a compelling need arise, we need to do it with dignity and honor.  There was no point in the dishonor that was heaped on Mills Godwin.  It was inexcusable.

Where do we go from here and how do we a avoid the Godwin debacle in the future?

 

Bathrooms: What’s all the hoopla about?

 

 

pee 2

Why do politicians involve themselves in these issues?

If a girl becomes a boy, unless he has had surgery, he can’t use the urinal.  Therefore, he goes into the stall.  The door is closed, what’s the issue?

If a boy becomes a girl,  then she goes into the girls’ room where there are stalls with doors.  There are no urinals.  Close the door, do your business and leave.  No politician needs to be involved.

If we are speaking of school environment, if the Moon-Howler solution doesn’t work, then build a unisex bathroom with a single stall.  One at a time.  Mission accomplished.

We don’t need 500 rules to govern bathrooms.

For people who want less government interference, the Republicans in North Carolina have really out-done themselves in the invasion department.

elephant pee

Confirmation: 25 years later

hill

Washingtonpost.com:

As assistant counsel to President George H.W. Bush, Mark Paoletta played a role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

But he’s taking on a new role when it comes to the upcoming HBO movie about the hearings starring Kerry Washington as Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexual harassment: Paoletta is now leading an effort to fact-check the flick. Today he launched confirmationbiased.com, a website he thinks will combat what he calls the pro-Hill “false narratives” in the movie, with documents, video footage and other content about the real-life hearings. (Washington and HBO brass say it’s not biased against Thomas.)

While some other Republicans involved in the hearings have preemptively bashed it, Paoletta says his complaint isn’t just a drive-by one — he plans to “devote himself” to correcting the record.

25 years later, the Thomas-Hill affair is still a “he said-she said.”  Will we ever know the real truth? Probably not.

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PG County firefighter shot and killed

Lowered PG County flag
Lowered PG County flag

Washingtonpost.com:

John E. Ulmschneider always wanted to be the first firefighter at the scene in an emergency. On Friday, his desire to help cost him his life.

Ulmschneider was among the Prince George’s County rescuers who rushed to a Temple Hills-Camp Springs-area house after a call from a man who had been unable to reach his diabetic brother. The caller told firefighters that he feared his brother had suffered a blackout or seizure.

When knocks on the door went unanswered and there was no response as rescuers announced that they were outside, the emergency workers decided to break through the door, officials said. As they did, gunshots erupted from inside, mortally wounding Ulmschneider and injuring another firefighter and the man’s brother.

Authorities said Saturday that they are still working to determine why the 61-year-old man allegedly opened fire. But a county fire spokesman said it may have been a tragic mistake — the man possibly thought that the rescuers were intruders seeking to break into his house.

The man was released from police custody Saturday evening, officials said, and no charges have been filed. Officials did not say whether the man had suffered a medical emergency.

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PWC Schools turf wars

From Prince William Times:

Issue leads to turf war among board members

Prince William County School board members fight over who calls the shots when it comes to visiting another member’s district.

Overstepping and a lack of interest by Prince William County School Board members regarding the Godwin Middle School name change were addressed at the board’s April 6 meeting.

Following the March 2 vote to rename Godwin after George M. Hampton, PWCS Chairman Ryan Sawyers, PWCS Occoquan Representative Lillie Jessie, and PWCS Neabsco Representative Diane Raulston met with Godwin faculty. The March 10 meeting focused on the name change and implementation. No information from that meeting has been released.

Godwin is in the Neabsco district and is represented by Raulston.

Community member Diana Allen spoke during the school board meeting’s Citizen’s Time on April 6. She said Raulston did not serve the Godwin community.

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