Supermoon 11.14.16

The moon was great tonight. I went to the Battlefield where I usually go for sunset and the sky put on quite a show. There were throngs of people out there.

West Sky
West Sky
Rising Moon over the Tree Line
Rising Moon over the Tree Line in the East

It may rain tomorrow and we simply won’t get to see the mega-moon.  I hope that is not the case.


Veterans Day November 11, 2016


To all our veterans–thank you for your service.   Any time someone signs his or her name on the dotted line and joins one of the branches of the US military, he or she puts his or herself in harms way.  We should never forget that sacrifice.


We can best honor our veterans by insisting that they receive decent medical services in a timely fashion.  Our nation has not always succeeded in this endeavor.  We also need to ensure that all our veterans have a place to live and enough food to eat.  Our efforts should be directed towards Congress.  But….

If we know of a veteran who is having a difficult time, we need to kick in and be resourceful.  Local community services and churches provide meals and often temporary shelter.  For that matter, if you know of a homeless veteran, how about packing a lunch for him a couple days a week.  Every little bit helps.  We can all do our part!

Meanwhile, to all our veterans in the family–Carpe Diem!  Today is your day.  Live it up!  Again, thank you for your service!


Did Hillary win the popular vote? Oh the irony!!!

Despite losing Tuesday’s presidential election, Hillary Clinton appears to be on pace to win the popular vote, an ironic twist in an election in which her opponent repeatedly said the system was rigged against him.

Just two days before Election Day, Republican businessman Donald Trump tweeted: “The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy.”

As it turns out, without the Electoral College, Trump probably wouldn’t be the president-elect.

A day after Election Day, Clinton held a narrow lead in the popular vote, according to unofficial results tallied by The Associated Press. With nearly 125 million votes counted, Clinton had 47.7 percent of the vote and Trump had 47.5 percent.

That’s a lead of about 236,000 votes.

Many states count votes after Election Day, so Clinton isn’t guaranteed to keep her lead. However, most of the outstanding votes appear to be in Democratic-leaning states, making it very likely she will become the second Democratic candidate for president this century to win the popular vote but lose the presidency.

Oh the irony!  Perhaps Donald Trump will now have an opportunity to grow up.

This is twice that the electoral college has deprived the real winner of the presidency.  Al Gore and Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps it’s time to change the Constitution so there is no electoral college.


The biggest chunk of uncounted votes is in California. Washington State, New York, Oregon and Maryland also have large numbers of uncounted votes. Clinton won all those states, and if the trends continue, she will pad her lead by more than 1 million votes.

The first woman president….

This baby will be able to vote
This baby will be able to vote!

I would be remiss not to  mention the significance of the woman issue on this blog.  Never before has a woman been one of the candidates from a mainstream political party.  Yes, it is a big deal.

I can remember when President Obama was first elected.  There in that park in Chicago, on election night, one could see famous blacks like Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey standing there listening to the newly elected first black president who addressing the huge crowd.  Tears were streaming down their faces.  It was then that I realized I would never understand how blacks, rich or poor, felt about seeing the election of a first black American president.

I thought about how I would feel if a woman were elected.  I didn’t think it would hit me quite as hard but it would hit me.  I guess I am now on the precipice of testing my theory.

This morning I though about my own personal history.  My grandmother was 30 years old before she could vote.  My mother was born just 4 months after the passage of the 19th amendment.    WWII began when women had only had the vote for  21 years.  Now on November 8, 2016, some 96 years after getting the right to vote, a woman could be elected president of the United States.

Yes, as a female, I am standing in awe.  I don’t think I will cry when it happens.  I am not that moved.  However, the special social  and political significance is not lost on me.  It’s about damn time!

Manassas City Endorsements: Parr, Sebesky and Wolfe


Let’s keep this short and to the point.  I have been very impressed with the Dream Team comprised of Pam Sebesky, Rex Parr and Mark Wolfe.  All three candidates have a long community service record.  All three candidates have run a great GOTV campaign.  I have been pleased with how they work with each other.  That tells me that they will attempt to work as well on the Manassas City Council.

Together they can accomplish great things.  Sometimes people’s political parties leave them.  I am happy to see my friend Mark Wolfe has found a new home with the Democrats.  I know that switching political parties isn’t easy.   However, Mark always looks to better the community, regardless of political party.  When pushing to buy a new fire truck, political party is just not important.

Good luck to all three candidates. endorses all three, Pam, Rex and Mark!  Vote Parr, Sebesky and Wolfe!




Voting early, Voting absentee, Voting by mail


First lady Dorothy McAuliffe cast an absentee ballot on Tuesday morning at the voter registrar’s office in Richmond, highlighting the opportunity to cast a vote in Virginia ahead of Election Day.

But her vote also demonstrated that Virginia is in the minority of states when it comes to early voting because it requires voters to offer an acceptable excuse as to why they can’t vote in person on Election Day.

In 37 states and the District of Columbia, some period of early voting is allowed and “no excuse or justification is required,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As of January, Virginia was one of 13 states that required an excuse for absentee voting before Election Day, along with Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.

In order to cast an early ballot in Virginia, a voter must cite one of 19 excuses deemed acceptable under state law, such as military service, illness, being away from home, pregnancy, and a long commute tacked on to a long workday.

The first lady of Virginia’s excuse was that she would be out of town on personal business.  Why is it necessary for any of us to provide an excuse?  Is this our paternalistic General Assembly once again deciding what is best for us or is this law more nefarious?  Is our Republican-controlled General Assembly attempting to suppress our votes?

If you vote early, vote absentee or vote by mail, Virginians must provide a reason.  There are 19.  Technically, Virginia does not have early voting which is sort of “no fault” voting.  In Virginia a citizen must always provide a reason if they don’t go to the official polling place on the official day.

I want a window of opportunity where I can vote early, vote by mail, or walk into a satellite office and cast my ballot.  I don’t want to stretch the truth or out and out lie in order to exercise my right to vote.

Virginians need to demand that the General Assembly change the laws to making voting easier.  Do not accept no for an answer.  There really is no acceptable reason not to open up this window of opportunity.

Rolling Stone and reporter found guilty of defamation

 A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape.

The 10-member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication. The jury also found the magazine and its parent company, Wenner Media, responsible for defaming Eramo, who has said her life’s work helping sexual assault victims was devastated as a result of Rolling Stone’s article and its aftermath.

The lawsuit centered on Erdely’s 9,000-word article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which appeared online in late November 2014 and on newsstands in the magazine’s December 2014 issue. Opening with a graphic depiction of a fraternity gang rape, the story caused an immediate sensation at a time of heightened awareness of campus sexual assault, going viral online and reverberating through the U-Va. community.

But within days of the article’s publication, key elements of the account fell apart under scrutiny, including the narrative’s shocking allegation of a fraternity gang rape. The magazine eventually retracted the story in April 2015, and Eramo’s lawsuit came a month later, alleging that the magazine’s portrayal of her as callous and dismissive of rape reports on campus was untrue and unfair.


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Open Thread……………………November, 2016


If you only see one astronomical event this year, make it the November supermoon, when the Moon will be the closest to Earth it’s been since January 1948.

During the event, which will happen on the eve of November 14, the Moon will appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an average full moon. This is the closest the Moon will get to Earth until 25 November 2034, so you really don’t want to miss this one.

There are also several meteor showers–in particular, the Leonids present themselves  on November 18.  November should be a great celestial month!

Lee High School administration: What were they thinking?



Principal Mark Rowicki greeted his students at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, Va., on Monday dressed as Donald Trump, a get-up that included a Trump campaign button pinned to his lapel and a “Make America Great Again” hat.

The school secretary also got in the spirit that day, donning a short blond wig, a chain belt and an orange jumpsuit — not unlike one worn by prisoners — with a “Hillary R. Clinton” name tag.

Their Halloween costumes have spurred criticism from some parents and school leaders. Some have accused the pair of pushing a political agenda on impressionable teenagers and bringing the ugliness generated by the presidential campaign into the school building.

Neither Rowicki nor the secretary, Stephanie Corbett, could be reached for comment Wednesday. Pictures of the pair in their costumes had appeared in a photo gallery on the school’s home page but were later taken down at the superintendent’s direction. The News Leader newspaper in Staunton first reported the story.

It is the latest example of the deeply polarizing presidential campaign cycle pushing its way into schools. Some teachers have avoided talking about the election altogether because it rouses too much anxiety and conflict among their students. Across the country, some students have repurposed campaign rhetoric to bully their classmates, targeting minority and immigrant students in particular.

Totally unacceptable.  Schools should be as free as possible from electioneering.  I question the wisdom of even having both candidates represented, given the contentiousness of this election cycle.  However, to have a school official as Hillary in jail garb?  I can’t stress the bad taste and poor judgement enough.  The mistake was Hillary in orange.

Both secretary and principal should be fired.  This lapse in judgement goes beyond the pale.   Unless the secretary was forced under duress to dress as “jail bird Hillary”, she needs to go also.  The principal must assume full responsibility.

I expect the community will call for both heads on a platter.

Apparently, I am not the only one.

Further reading

The War on Women now recognized by GOP women


A growing number of prominent Republican women are worried that as members of their male-dominated party step up to defend Donald Trump against accusations of sexual assault, they are causing irreparable damage to the GOP’s deteriorating relationship with female voters.

Trump has faced questions throughout his campaign about his crass comments about women, but concern escalated this month following the release of a 2005 video in which Trump boasted that he had sexually assaulted women and subsequent allegations by 11 women that Trump had inappropriately touched or kissed them. A series of mostly male Republicans have come to Trump’s defense — dismissing the accusers as liars and, some worry, further alienating the female voters that the party desperately needs to survive.

“For next-generation professional women, the party is going to have to do something very, very drastic to change the course of where this candidate has taken us,” said Katie Packer, a deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. “I think the leaders in our party are going to have to aggressively reject this. Come November 9, they better be prepared to make very strong statements condemning all of Trump’s behavior.”

This division within the Republican Party comes as polls suggest the nation is on the verge of electing its first female president even as misogyny remains a part of American life and culture. Ironically, it is Trump’s candidacy rather than Hillary Clinton’s that has brought sexism to the forefront of political debate.

Finally!  It’s about time the problem was seen by all women.  Non-GOP women have always recognized that there was a war on women.  This issue became very apparent when  various  issues involving reproductive rights were in the forefront.  There was great denial amongst Republican males.   “War on women?” they scoffed.  “Nonsense!”  Then numerous reasons were given to negate when we knew.

GOP women now see  instance after instance of disrespect shown to women, starting with the trashing of Megyn Kelly,and on to the  fat-shaming of Miss Universe.  They heard  the famous bus genital-grabbing remarks with their own two ears.  The bad behavior has been verified by  11 women who stepped forward so far to discuss in detail, their own personal experiences with Mr.  Trump.    They also see men who so far have refused to  denounce much of the personal behavior of the GOP candidate.  These same women also see  many other examples of creepy behavior   far too numerous to list  that just shouldn’t be acceptable in the year 2016.

Listening to leadership as well as Trump supporters minimize or deny allegations of sexism and misogyny has made GOP women nervous.  It has made them realize there really is a war on women.  In 2016, we shouldn’t even be having these conversations.  Yet alas, we still are.


Packing heat at the polls?


The Prince William County electoral board, wary of the heated atmosphere of the coming Election Day, considered seeking a one-day ban on weapons at polling places located on private property but was rebuked by a gun-friendly state legislator.

Late last week, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) sent a letter to the board pointing out that it has no power to ban guns from polling places except for schools and courthouses, where weapons are prohibited by state law.

Election officers across the state say they are worried about conflicts at the polls after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch” others at the voting booths, while also asserting that the election is “rigged.”

So go to your place and vote, and then go pick some other place, and go sit there with your friends and make sure it’s on the up and up,” Trump said at a recent rally in Michigan. “Because you know what? That’s a big, big problem in this country, and nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody has the guts to talk about it. So go and watch these polling places.”
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Bob Dylan wins 2016 Nobel Prize in literature

Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday for work that the Swedish Academy described as “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

He is the first American to win the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993, and a groundbreaking choice by the Nobel committee to select the first literature laureate whose career has primarily been as a musician.

Although long rumored as a contender for the prize, Dylan was far down the list of predicted winners, which included such renown writers as Haruki Murakami and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

This is the second year in a row that the academy has turned away from fiction writers for the literature prize. And it’s possibly the first year that the prize has gone to someone who is primarily a musician, not a writer.

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Consent is the magic key to the left?? Rushy gets it!!!

RUSH LIMBAUGH: You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.

Rush gets it!  Finally!!!  No one cares what consenting adults do.  Yes.  Consent is the key word.  Why has it taken Rush so long to figure this one out?

Donald Trump’s problem is that he is a sexual predator, if both he and his accusers are to be believed.   He doesn’t understand that people’s bodies aren’t there for the taking.  I have known people like this.  They are the vilest of pigs.  They never go quite far enough to break the law, in most cases.  However, they have the ability to make people’s lives miserable.

Trump had better watch out.  If many more violated women come forward, it might be he who is in jail.

It looks like Corey bet on the wrong horse, he got Trumped…errrr dumped

WOODBRIDGE, VA — Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign is ending its relationship with state chair Corey Stewart following a Monday afternoon protest event at the RNC headquarters.

Stewart was promoting his busy day just minutes before news broke that the campaign would replace him over the event.

“Tons of interviews today on behalf of Mr. Trump,” Stewart wrote on Facebook on Monday afternoon. “Then, I went to start a rebellion against GOP establishment pukes who betrayed Trump.”

It wasn’t long after that post that news broke of his exit from the campaign.

“He is being replaced, effective immediately,” said Trump Deputy Campaign Manager David Bossie in a campaign statement. “Corey made this decision when he staged a stunt in front of the RNC without the knowledge or approval of the Trump campaign.”

It sounds like Corey was being a good soldier and he got dumped.   I don’t feel sorry for him at all.

Now the Republicans should dump him for excusing horrible behavior and for staging a rebellion of sorts. What is going on here?  Stay tuned.

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