Thursday, November 30, 2006

At the Homestead for Republican Advance....

Beautiful surroundings perfect for Republican retreat

The Homestead (back view)

Arrived this afternoon at The Homestead for the Republican Advance taking place this weekend with the movers and shakers of the GOP. I'm looking forward to seeing electeds and fellow activists as we vote on a new RPV Chairman and hear from Senator George Allen as well as other prominent members of our Party. I'm also looking forward to meeting conservative bloggers who may be in attendance.

Bath County Stream (Rt. 39)

The Homestead is one of my favorite places ... a serene, beautiful setting in the Alleghany Mountains of Bath County, Virginia. Only 45 minutes from my front door, it's a traffic-free gorgeous drive over from Augusta County.

After checking in, we reacquainted ourselves with the hotel, a unique property with rambling hallways, elegant rooms, and the Great Hall featuring numerous fireplaces and gathering places. Outside we enjoyed the view from rocking chairs on the porch, and later walked into the village of Hot Springs for dinner. After dark we strolled throughout the darkened grounds looking at the Christmas lights on trees and shrubs.

Tomorrow everyone will begin arriving for the Advance and the fun will begin! But tonight it's quiet and peaceful, a respite from months of campaigning, running headquarters, hauling and putting up signs, working the phones, and working with other volunteers for the election/re-election of our representatives.

See you at the Advance....

(Photos by SWAC Girl)

Moderated blog comments....

I see where The Ward View had to censor a profanity-laced comment posted to his blog.

I've had that problem, United Conservatives of Virginia has had that problem, and I've heard several other conservative bloggers comment about receiving such trash.

Why can't the libs express themselves in decent, rational, debate-style language? Is it a generational thing? Is that type of language so common to liberal twenty-somethings that they don't even stop to think about what they're typing?

I am surrounded by conservative twenty-somethings ... including my own children ages 19 & 22 ... and that languge is not in their vocabulary. Thank goodness.

Perhaps it's the 60s again ... the conservative youth vs. the angry lefty youth. The angry lefty ones are the loudest so we hear them more than the ones who go about their business, attend school, and go to work everyday.

The way the lefty ones express themselves is often in trashy language ... such as the anti-Bush crowd in Richmond in October when President Bush attended a fund raiser with George Allen.

For more on that crowd check SWAC Girl's post, "President Bush visits Richmond."

"Unpleasant people"

Found this article by Emmett Tyrrell, American Spectator's editor-in-chief, who had an encounter with Jim Webb during the Reagan years. Even at that point, 20-plus years ago, Webb demonstrated boorish behavior. Tyrrell recounts having dinner with Webb at that time:

As it happens I did dine with Webb, sometime after his brief stint at the Department of the Navy. He is a pretty good novelist and in print at the time had expressed some ideas of which I approved, particularly his scruples against women in combat, though other of his references to women strike me as coarse. At any rate, I invited him to dinner for what turned out to be a gruesome evening.

Webb is one of those people of whom it is said he is uncomfortable in his skin. At first I thought his discomfort might come from the fear he was going to have to pay his way. It was a classy eatery. I reassured him that he was my guest. I went on to make clear I considered him a fine writer. Nothing I said reassured him, not even my insistence that he have dessert. I left baffled.

Most of the military men I have known are gents. Many writers are cads, but I thought a writer who had also served high up in the Reagan administration might be civilized. After that dinner I never made the mistake of inviting him anywhere again.

What I find interesting about this event is that the memory of Jim Webb's behavior stayed with Emmett Tyrrell all these years.

Tyrrell went on to comment about Webb's behavior during the recent senate campaign:

His campaign was a prolonged demonstration of his caddishness. He who had called President Bill Clinton's administration the most corrupt in modern history invited Clinton to campaign with him. He actually exploited his own son's present service in Iraq for political advancement. While campaigning he paraded around in his son's combat boots! There were others in the 2006 election with sons in Iraq. One is a leading opponent of the war. None put a son in such an embarrassing and potentially dangerous position. Once elected, Webb took his boorishness to the White House.

Tyrrell ends his article with these questions:

It makes me wonder why his stay at the Department of the Navy was so brief. Did the Reaganites shove him out? Did one of them make the mistake of taking him to dinner? Or did they catch him acting up at a White House reception that has gone unreported? Some reporters should have looked into this.

I agree that some reporters should have looked into a lot of things during the recent senate campaign. Due to a lack of investigative journalism and a willingness of the mainstream media to cover up or ignore the truth, Virginians are stuck with this man for six years.

Or ... maybe not. Will he last that long? His track record isn't promising. Which brings up another question.

Did the dems purposely choose Webb thinking, in the unlikely case he was elected, and knowing his track record of not sticking with things, that if he quit he could be replaced by someone of their choosing?

The senate seat replacement would be chosen by the Governor ... DEMOCRAT Tim Kaine ... so the dems could put whomever they wanted in that seat.

Six years is a long time for a hothead like Webb. This is going to be interesting to watch.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Baby congrats to Shaun Kenney

Congratulations to Shaun Kenney and family with the arrival of Marie Grace Kenney!

Little ones make us reevaluate ourselves and we suddenly realize there is someone in this world we care about more than ourselves in a way no one will ever know who has never had a child. I can't even describe the feeling of holding that tiny newborn baby in your arms for the first time and being overcome with an overwhelming sense of love.

It will be busy in the Kenney household now ... but take it from someone whose "baby" is now 19 years old ... it's true what they say about the years passing quickly. They will be young adults before you know it!


ACLU attacks Christmas

Illegal acts? Unconstitutional? Singing Christmas songs in school?

If the ACLU has its way, it will be. The rights of Christians to celebrate the holiday are being chipped away, little by little.

Jay Alan Sekulow, who is Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, has a column today titled The ACLU Targets Christians outlining how the ACLU has gone after schools in Tennessee.

The ACLU is absolutely determined to censor Christmas. They have sued the Wilson County School System outside of Nashville, TN. We represent several school officials and teachers who have been charged with engaging in what the ACLU calls “illegal acts.” The ACLU claims that the plaintiffs have been harmed, injured and “suffered irreparable damage” through the Christmas program because of its “Christian themes and songs.” The ACLU will then ask for these actions be declared “unconstitutional and illegal.”

It gets even worse. The plaintiffs and the ACLU allege that several kindergarten students role-played a nativity scene of the birth of Jesus—and had the audacity to sing “Away in the Manger” and “Joy to the World.” According to the ACLU, these songs are exclusively Christian in nature because they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and are, therefore, inappropriate. School programs that include a live nativity scene and the singing of songs like “Away in a Manger” are common throughout the United States and, indeed, around the world. Thousands of school students will be participating in similar programs this year. The ACLU has, once again, shown its desire to engage in censorship.

Of course, if the ACLU wins this case, it would set a precedent from across the nation. This is precisely why we have engaged some of our most senior lawyers to defend school officials in this important case. Make no mistake about it—the ACLU will not stop with this lawsuit. They may come to your town and target your school. Their continued attempts to loosen the threads of our religious heritage and chip away at the foundation of our freedom is never-ending.

Why is everyone so anxious to be offended these days? And why don't more people stand up to these ridiculous claims?

Go here to read the rest of the column.


(Photo by SWAC Girl)
Spent Saturday in Williamsburg with my family and, on an incredibly gorgeous late-Fall day, we strolled Duke of Gloucester Street and bought gingerbread from the bakery and did all the things that make a trip to Williamsburg fun.

Growing up an hour's drive away, I have known the place all my life. I can remember when free shuttle buses drove up and down the streets. As middle schoolers, we were allowed to roam on our own away from the parents, hopping on and off the shuttle bus at will around the colonial area. My sister's boyfriend attended William and Mary so we spent our post-high school weekends hanging out on campus and Duke of Gloucester Street.

It's where my family was vacationing on 9/11/01 ... we heard about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers from an historical interpreter ... and I frantically made phone calls to my parents in Richmond and sister in D.C. to be sure everyone was safe.

While some things have changed - a ticket is required to enter almost any historical building now - some things will always remain the same. The gingerbread is still good. Christiana Campbell's Tavern is still pricey for my wallet. The ambiance is still wonderful. And the little kids always want their pictures taken in the stockades. I obliged for my 11-year-old nieces.

I get lost in the history of Virginia ... of America ... as I take in the Capitol and imagine spirited debates amongst our forefathers as they fought for freedom from Great Britain and set up the foundation of government for the Commonwealth.

I admit I'm a history nerd ... always have been, always will be.

I love being a Virginian.

Oh brother ... will Webb embarrass Virginia?

It's called "good manners" and "protocol," Sen.-Elect Webb

I keep wondering when Jim Webb is going to realize he has just signed on to a six-year term as senator. This man has a reputation the past 30 years of having a short fuse, quitting, not sticking with things ... so how's he going to last six years in a stuffy senator's seat in Washington, D.C. where protocol and seniority is everything to life-long politicians?

Today's Washington Post has a report about Webb being rude to the President at the White House.

At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

Well ... isn't that just cozy and friendly of our new senator-elect? "That's between me and my boy"? What's that all about? The President simply asked a polite question ... so why did Webb become defensive?

But that's not the end of it. It's gets better ... er ... worse. Webb refused to have his photo taken with President Bush along with the other newly-electeds from around the country.

"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall," Webb said in an interview yesterday in which he confirmed the exchange between him and Bush. "No offense to the institution of the presidency, and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him and his administration. [But] leaders do some symbolic things to try to convey who they are and what the message is."

You know what? I have a photo of President George W. Bush with my daughter and me in the Oval Office that is hanging on my wall ... and I would wrestle Jim Webb to the ground if he tried to remove it. I am proud of my President and that I had the honor - the honor - to be invited into the Oval Office to visit and have that photo taken.

I have something to say to Jim Webb who will be representing me in D.C. As my representative ... and, like it or not, he's going to have to represent Republicans as well as dems ... I want him to be respectful to the President of the United States. I don't want an ass representing me in the Senate! Oh - I forgot that's the Party to which he currently resides. Okay, that may explain some of the postings I read from the lefty bloggers....

Jim Webb, this is no way to start out in your new job. My parents taught me to put your best foot forward in a new situation, don't rock the boat, and be a team player. You, Jim Webb, are not a team player.

I respectfully ask that you straighten out your act before meeting the President the next time.

h/t to The Ward View for alerting me to this WaPo article

Dishonest mainstream media....

Bloggers uncover truth behind false MSM headlines out of Iraq

Well, well, well. The mainstream media has been caught red-handed again ... spreading rumors and inuendos worldwide which, of course, put Iraq in a bad light. But when called on it, they became deathly silent with no retractions or corrections. How many times have we been down this path over the years?

Michelle Malkin reports in The Rumor-Mongering Media (Townhall, 11/29/06) about this latest dishonesty from the MSM.

You will not read one of the most significant stories of the week out of Iraq on the front page of The New York Times. CNN will not make it headline news. The Associated Press has yet to touch it. That's because the story exposes the media's own widespread malfeasance in reporting on the war on terror -- and its refusal to be held accountable when challenged by "amateur" bloggers investigating fishy sources and claims recycled recklessly by "professional" journalists.

The following story was widely circulated around the world:

One of the most sensational news items over the Thanksgiving holiday came from the Associated Press, which reported on six Sunni civilians burned alive as they left Friday mosque services. The shocking dispatch received global coverage.

Thanks to amateur bloggers, the truth began unraveling beginning with the following facts:

1) "Police Capt. Jamil Hussein" [the person who "reported" the incident] is an unreliable, unauthorized spokesperson whom the military has warned the Associated Press about before.

2) The incident cannot be verified.

Even faced with those facts, mainstream media outlets around the world have not printed corrections to the story they blared out the previous week.

Newspaper readers around the world who carried the story have not been informed of any of this by the Associated Press or any other mainstream media outlet. But those who follow the blogosphere have been unraveling the story over the past week at lightning pace. Curt at the Flopping Aces blog ( has led the way, first raising questions on Saturday morning about "police Capt. Jamil Hussein's" account. He noted an official Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) statement in response to the AP report that "neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story."

Hurray for "Flopping Aces" and his sleuthing skills and determination to uncover the truth. This is the beauty of the blogs ... it gives a voice to the other side of what is presented by the mainstream media as truth when, very often, it is not!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All together now ... one, two, three ... post!

I can see from reading the blog headlines that, like good little lemmings, the lefty bloggers have taken their marching orders and are all posting about Jim Webb meeting the President at the White House and acting like a jerk.

Oh ... that's not what they wrote. They wrote that he met the President, the President asked about his son who is currently stationed in Iraq (a polite and sincere thing to do), and Jim Webb proceeded to say he wanted his son home soon. The President, from their reports, said that was not what he asked; he asked how he was doing ... and, reportedly from the lefty blogs, Webb wanted to "deck" the President but didn't.

Here's the link to The Hill. But it's all hear-say ... gossip ... an unreliable source's word. And, to me, a crock because that's not the way George W. Bush handles himself.

But the lefties keep spinning and spinning....

Ed Gillespie as RPV Chairman

As the Republican Party of Virginia makes important decisions on the direction of the Party, a new leader will take the helm going into 2007. After speculation that there was interest from various members of the Party including 1st District Chairman Russ Moulton, Virginia Beach Chairman Chuck Smith, and former Lt. Governor John Hager, all have pulled together to back Ed Gillespie as the best person to move us forward to maintain our majority in the Commonwealth.

Ed did his homework, worked the phones talking with State Central members and elected officials, and convinced the majority that he was the man for the job. He has the backing of prominent elected Republicans in the state including Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Atty. General Bob McDonnell, Rep. Tom Davis (R-11th District), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-6th District), and others.

One of my concerns is the grassroots ... and Ed believes in a bottom-up Party. Here are the points he outlined in his email to State Central members. He believes in:

1) A BOTTOM-UP PARTY. Having worked in campaigns for more than 20 years (starting as a phoner!), I understand the critical importance of grassroots. Someone who makes 10,000 phone calls in the course of an election is as important as – if not more than – someone who writes a check for $10,000.

As RNC Chairman, I relied heavily on the advice and input of state party chairs and RNC members. If elected RPV chair, I would rely heavily on District Chairs and Central Committee members.

2) A PARTY THAT FOSTERS UNITY. We can accommodate differences within our party, but not divisions. While standing strong for the principles that distinguish us from liberal Democrats, we must also recognize that a Republican who gets elected in Fairfax County may not agree 100% of the time with a Republican who gets elected in Lynchburg, but electing Republicans everywhere is essential to a majority party.

3) A PARTY WITH RESOURCES. We have vast untapped financial resources in the Commonwealth that should be helping to support the pro-growth party. We need to reconnect with the business community and reach out to potential individual donors in the Commonwealth and across the country.

4) A PARTY WITH A POSITIVE MESSAGE. When it comes to issues that affect the quality of life of Virginians, our policies are better than those of our Democrat opponents. We have to convey them in a way that resonates with voters. On countless news programs, talk shows and debate panels, I’ve tried to advocate our policies and highlight our differences with the other side without driving away our friends in the middle.

This weekend, as we all converge on The Homestead and the Republican Advance, we have work to do. Discussions at and following the Advance, and the election of Ed Gillespie, I believe, will take us in the right direction, allowing us the opportunity to analyze our past mistakes and determine how to correct those mistakes in the future.

All the Republican doom and gloom that has been projected the past weeks since the election are way overrated, in my opinion. Shaun Kenny had an excellent post recently saying the same thing. All is not lost ... but we do have miles to go before we rest.

Virginia is not turning blue but will remain a vibrant red for years to come if we roll up our sleeves and continue to work for what we believe in. I, for one, am willing to do that.

The Party pulls together....

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling endorses Ed Gillespie for RPV Chairman

November 27, 2006

Dear Friend:

As you know, Kate Obenshain Griffin recently announced her resignation as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.Kate served our Party well for the past three years, and I am most appreciative of her service. She is a dear friend, and I wish her well as she assumes her new duties as Senator George Allen’s Chief of Staff.

In light of Kate’s resignation, the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Virginia must select a successor to fill the unexpired portion of her term. I am writing to advise you of my decision to support Ed Gillespie for Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Ed Gillespie lives in Alexandria. He is founder and co-chairman of Quinn, Gillespie and Associates, a bipartisan public affairs firm that provides strategic counsel and government relations/communications services to corporations, trade associations and issue based coalitions.

Ed served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2003 to 2005. As Chairman of the Republican National Committee Ed did a great job helping lead our Party at the national level.

You may not know that Ed Gillespie was a principal drafter of the Contract With America, a document that clearly set forth what Republicans would do if given the opportunity lead the United States Congress. In response to that positive vision for the future of our country, our Party became the majority Party in Congress in 1994.

In addition, Ed was the general strategist for Senator Elizabeth Dole’s 2002 campaign for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, and he was a top aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas and former RNC Chairman Hailey Barbour, who is now Governor of Mississippi.

Ed Gillespie has the background, knowledge and experience to help lead our Party into the future.

Ed will bring stature to the position of Party Chairman, he will be a good spokesman for our Party and our conservative values, and he has the contacts to help our Party raise the money we need to win future political campaigns.

Ed understands that we need to rebuild and reenergize the grassroots organization of our Party and he has the political and campaign experience to do that.

More importantly, Ed shares my belief about what we must to rebuild our Party.

To remain the majority Party in Virginia we must recommit ourselves to our conservative principles and values, we must offer a positive vision for the future of our state, we must once again become the Party of issues and ideas, we must reconnect with voters in the Northern Virginia suburbs and we must reach out to the changing face of Virginia.

I have spent a great deal of time in recent weeks talking with Ed about the future of our Party, and I am convinced that he is the right person to help lead our Party into the future. I am confident that Ed Gillespie will make a great Chairman for the Republican Party of Virginia.

When the State Central Committee meets on December 2nd at the 23rd Annual Donald W. Huffman Advance, I will encourage them to elect Ed Gillespie to serve as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. I hope you will join me in supporting Ed’s candidacy for this important position.

Thanks for considering my views on this important issue.

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Others saw hidden agenda in "Happy Feet"....

Since reading the Liberal Progressive's rant about my post on the movie "Happy Feet" which stated my opinion that it was pushing a politically correct message, I've done more research to see if others felt as I did.


I wish I had seen these reviews before plunking down money for ten family members and wasting time on this film that some have compared to an animated "Inconvenient Truth."

Here are excerpts from what I found:

The Washington Times
Out of nowhere, "Happy Feet" drops a conservationist anchor about preserving penguin habitat, and the movie starts to feel heavy, without having any real weight to it. The dancing-penguin-saves-the-world sermon is a pronounced shift in tenor that feels abrupt to this adult, although children may love the animal star enough to follow him wherever he goes.

Michael Medved, Movie Critic
This politically correct pastiche is visually dazzling but painfully unpleasant to watch with its penguin protagonist experiencing pain and danger through nearly all of its running time.

Michael Medved's blog
Hollywood produces plenty of lousy movies but the releases that bother me most are those that feature false and misleading advertising. The new animated extravaganza “Happy Feet” features some of the most dishonest marketing of 2006, and deserves special condemnation for it mendacious mediocrity. ...

The propagandistic theme suggests that the biggest menace for the lovable penguins is the human race --- stealing the fish on which the birds depend, or ruining planet earth through pollution and global warming. There’s also scenes of a penguin captured for a zoo and tormented to the point of mental incapacity by unfeeling people Many classic animated films (even “Bambi," or the recent “Open Season” and “Over the Hedge") featured the equation animals = good/humans = bad but no movie for kids has gone so far in trying to induce guilt for membership in species homo sapiens.

Christian Spotlight on the Movies
So it goes that Mumble and his friends discover the secrets of the “aliens” (humans) who are responsible for the fish shortage, but also play a pivotal role in bringing the penguin population together once more.

It is at this point that things get a little heavy. “Happy Feet” tries to take on a lot in the final third of the story. Love, music, environmental issues, comedy, drama, spirituality, individualism, Robin Williams comedy—it’s all there folks.

Neil Cavuto, Fox News Channel
Neil Cavuto suggested the movie may have a hidden agenda and compared it to an animated "Inconvenient Truth," the Al Gore environmental movie (see earlier SWAC Girl post).

To post ... or not to post....?

I'm relatively new to the blogosphere so I'm still learning the ins and outs and the protocol of this alternative communication tool.

The main thing I've learned is that apparently the blogging world is populated by mostly 20-something liberals (the same age as my, thankfully, conservative children) with time on their hands to blog, blog, blog. They troll (I think that's the term) conservative sites and then attack with comments and raging attacks and curse words. It's interesting the limited vocabulary of many of those bloggers since they have to resort to curse words so often and so liberally.

It's also interesting that many conservative bloggers are family-oriented so they have a life other than blogging.

Soon after starting SWAC Girl I had to begin moderating comments because of the sea of sewage that began drifting my way. It's still going on so I'm nowhere near being able to unmoderate.

There was recently an EXCELLENT post on United Conservatives that I totally agreed with concerning this subject:

Ok, listen-up TROLLS!

This web site is not a Democracy, it’s a benevolent dictatorship. I think we’ve demonstrated over the last few weeks an extraordinary amount of patience with your foul language and your name-calling.

You have no right to freedom of speech here. We ALLOW you to come here and express your opinion, but you don’t have a RIGHT to be heard. I will allow most left-wing comments to pass because they are instructional on what crazy opinions the left has.

However, there is no law saying I have to let you sit back and verbally abuse the posters to this site, especially swearing personal ones. So comments are now moderated.

Read the rest here. All I can say is "ditto."

"Happy Feet" an animated "Inconvenient Truth"?

Leftie blogger points out others saw hidden agenda in movie

Ever notice how supposedly "inclusive" left wing liberal bloggers can't stand an opinion that is different from their own?

My post about "Happy Feet" including a politically correct message seems to have sent one leftie Richmond blogger right over the edge. Terry at the Liberal Progressive blog site has a problem with me having an opinion about this movie ... and now calls me out about it.

Apparently I'm not the only one who saw the "hidden agenda" within the movie, something I was totally unaware of until I read Terry's post ranting about my suggestion that we could give political correctness a rest for an hour during a children's animated movie.

It now seems that Neil Cavuto of Fox News Channel also saw a hidden agenda in "Happy Feet," according to News Hound, some left wing site that says it "watches Fox so you don't have to."

News Hound posted:

Half an hour later, during Fox's alleged "business news" program, Your World w/Neil Cavuto, ... [was] a segment bashing the new movie Happy Feet. He said he thought it was "like an animated Inconvenient Truth." He wondered if Hollywood was trying to "sneak one by us," and he claimed the movie has a "hidden agenda" that is "pretty far left."

Thank you, Terry, for letting me realize I'm not alone in my opinion ... which I stand by.

But you don't have to bash me for it. It is, after all, just my opinion.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Politically correct "Happy Feet"

Since the family was together for Thanksgiving, the whole crew went to the movie threater, including the two 11-year-old nieces and my 19- and 22-year old kids, to see the newly released Warner Brothers movie, "Happy Feet."

The animation was terrific especially of the baby penguins with their baby-blue eyes, and the music had us tapping our fingers and toes.

From is this description of the movie:

Truly a film for all ages, Happy Feet is set deep in Antarctica. Into the land of the Emperor penguins where each needs a Heartsong to attract a soul mate, a penguin is born who cannot sing. Our hero Mumble, son of Memphis and Norma Jean, is the worst singer in the world… however, as it happens, he is a brilliant tap dancer! The story of a misfit who finds a beat all his own.

Cute story, cute idea ... and then the political correctness crept in. At the point where I thought the story was almost over, it turned in another direction and went on for another 30 minutes. The fish population is dwindling and the penguins can't figure out why ... so Mumble the hero heads off to the "land of the aliens" to see if he can discover why there aren't enough fish. Along the way he finds a penguin ("Lovelace" with the voice of Robin Williams) who has a plastic six-pack "necklace" he acquired from the trashy waters ... and discovers humans are, of course, responsible for fishing and diminishing the fish population for the penguins. I truly expected the "Greenpeace" ship to show up at anytime to save the day!

Do I want to poison the water and kill the penguins? Of course not. Do I want clean water? Of course I do. But I'm tired of supposed "kids' movies" having some "pro-social issue/anti-human" propaganda woven through them when all I wanted to do was watch a cute animated movie!

Food for thought....

Spank That Donkey has a provocative post that has some interesting thoughts about George Allen's loss of the U.S. Senate seat and his relationship to blocks of voters in the Commonwealth. It raises the question of why elected officials forsake their base and cozy up with groups that do not support them ... and how realistic the end results will be. Never one to mince words, Spank That Donkey asks some hard-hitting questions about the future of Virginia Republicans.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanks for family at Thanksgiving and all year....

The pies are ready ... the turkey is cooked ... the table is set for 18. I had a few moments before time for the big meal to check the blogs and see how everyone's Thanksgiving was going.

Yesterday my two sisters and our spouses and I were in the kitchen peeling potatoes, cracking pecans, chopping celery ... while the radio rocked to the oldies ... and we sang along and laughed ... and it reminded me of something - but I couldn't think what - as I washed another dish to use again. And then it came to me.

"The Big Chill."

It reminded me of the scene in the movie "The Big Chill" where all the friends were in the kitchen preparing dinner with music going and everyone singing and dancing.

It has been so much fun spending time with my parents, sisters, their spouses, the two 11-year-old nieces, and my husband and kids. In a little while the cousins will arrive and the house will be rollicking again as we unstuff the turkey and stuff ourselves instead.

I'm blessed by the family and friends in my life. I think I've touched base with most of them this holiday to wish them a blessed Thanksgiving.

And, Nate ... be well as you work through the night in Iraq to keep us safe here in America. You're in our thoughts and prayers today. Be well and God bless....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Proclamation from President George W. Bush

Thanksgiving Day 2006
by President George W. Bush

As Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks for the many ways that our Nation and our people have been blessed.

The Thanksgiving tradition dates back … nearly four centuries … since early settlers … enjoyed a harvest feast to thank God for allowing them to survive a harsh winter in the New World. General George Washington observed Thanksgiving during the Revolutionary War, and in his first proclamation after becoming President, he declared November 26, 1789, a national day of "thanksgiving and prayer." During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, reminding a divided Nation of its founding ideals.

At this time of great promise for America, we are grateful for the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and defended by our Armed Forces throughout the generations. On this Thanksgiving Day, … I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Our President

Received this from several military families today ... and it's being circulated around the Armory. That says a lot.

Happy Thanksgiving, Nate

Don't forget our troops!

Lance Cpl. Nate Salatin, USMC....
As I prepare for Thanksgiving with my family, my thoughts turn to Nate, the 21-year-old who was a major influence in my home school teen group. Nate joined the Marine Reserves after graduating high school, went through boot camp, then completed his freshman (Rat) year at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) before his Unit was activated and deployed to Iraq two months ago. See more about Nate here.

Nate and his fellow Marines are mine sweepers ... they patrol for IEDs - Improvised Explosive Devices - that are planted by terrorists on roadways throughout Iraq. They are working the area between Al Assad, which is just outside Baghdad on the Euphrates River, and the city of Al Qaim which is located where the Euphrates crosses from Syria into Iraq. This is a major point of entry for insurgent terrorists.

Nate is a driver of one of the armored vehicles that regularly patrol the area looking for IEDs and clearing them to make way for supply caravans and other military vehicles to drive safely through the desert. The roads are in bad shape with many IED craters so the recon vehicles can only make 15-20 miles per hour. Lately, the insurgent terrorists have begun planting IEDs in the bottom of old craters thinking Nate and his crew won't look there ... and the bombs are becoming larger and larger.

Recently, a huge IED went off in front of the vehicle in line ahead of Nate. No one was hurt but the lead gunner had his Kevlar (helmet) chewed up by frag (came about half-an-inch from his forehead).

These guys are on all the time watching for and disassembling bombs. They have long days with little sleep as they work diligently doing their jobs. They do it because they want to do it. They volunteered to join the military.

Nate joined the Marines after 9/11 so he was pretty sure he would end up in Iraq.

He was a leader in my teen group, he was a leader in 4-H where he served as Virginia State President, he was a leader once he got into the Marines, and he was a leader at VMI where he excelled at his studies. And he's a mentor to me, teaching me public speaking five years ago, something that had eluded me all my life.

So when your family gathers around the dining room table on Thursday, please remember Nate and all our other brave Marines and military personnel, both overseas and at home, who are there to keep us safe from other 9/11 attacks. These are true American heroes.

Thank You Troops
by A. M. Smith

The occupation of a soldier has meaning beyond comprehension
The job that they do without contention,
The lives of our soldiers' is a lifelong test
And the lives of their families one would never guess.

To protestors, think of them as you stand in the streets and jeer
Think about who and what has given you the freedom to be here,
It is our soldiers who stand up and fight -
The heroes that gave you the voice to say "it's wrong" or "it's right."

Through deployments and war our soldiers go
Into situations that we will never really see or know,
The military family sits in fear and they wait -
Waiting to hear of their hero's fate.

Why do we send our soldiers to strange lands to fight?
So, we, as Americans can speak freely by day and sleep safely at night,
The soldiers and their families live life, sometimes hard to bear -
But they do it for the good of their country and people everywhere.

As you stand in the streets holding your signs
Think of those soldiers approaching enemy lines,
Think of the dedication that keeps you free
So that even you will never be subjected to what he can now see.

He is ensuring your freedom and your right
To a voice and a sky that is not lit up at night,
I think we should take time to give thanks everyday
To the men and the women who have given us the freedom to live our own way.

I choose to support our soldiers who endanger their lives to fight
And to protestors, it was soldiers who gave you that right!

May God bless our troops, our President, and our Country. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I miss George Allen already....

Loss by one-third of 1% not contested by Senator Allen
"I'm aware this contest is so close that I have the legal right to ask for a recount at the taxpayers' expense.... I see no good purpose being served by continuously and needlessly expending money and causing any more personal animosity."
- Senator George Allen, 11/9/06

I already miss Senator George Allen.

Yes, I know, he has a few more months in office before Jim Webb steps in ... but I am already having a difficult time imagining Virginia without this good man in the ranks of the Commonwealth's leadership.

My heart hurts for him ... and it's been difficult to think through it all during the past two weeks. One side of me feels as if I didn't work hard enough for him ... another side wants to blame unaware voters who didn't bother to go to the polls, expecting the Senator to easily win reelection again ... and then I wonder at those who cast a vote of "yes" for the Marriage Amendment but voted for Webb - did they not realize they were canceling out their Marriage vote since Webb made it clear it did not approve of it?

The Marriage Amendment received 160,000 more votes than Allen. All we needed was another 9,000 votes to send him back to D.C. I'm still pouring over Electoral Board figures and analyzing election data and will have a post on that at a later time.

It boggles the mind that the overwhelming majority of Virginia localities voted for George Allen and, yet, it wasn't enough against the heavily populated Northern Virginia and Tidewater areas.

I'm still shaking my head at the nasty campaign of personal destruction that was hurled out by the lib bloggers led by a blogger on the Webb payroll ... and apparently condoned by Jim Webb himself since he never reined them in or criticized their tactics.

And I'm still shaking my head at the Washington Post's outright support of Jim Webb in publishing 100 negative articles about George Allen between August and November ... is it any wonder Northern Virginia went with Webb?

My realistic side realizes politics have changed and will never be the same again. The dynamics of Virginia's voters are changing and those of us who are conservative have our work cut out for us.

My newspaper hero Ross Mackenzie, editor of the editorial page at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, has "A Disconnect in Virginia's Voting?" in today's Op-Ed section in which he asks:
- How could Jim Webb win by only 49.59% while the Marriage Amendment passed by 57%?

- How could anti-Marriage Amendment voters, presumably most of them Webb supporters, point fingers at pro-Marriage Amendment voters ... calling them bigoted, stupid, narrow-minded ... when a number of them obviously voted for Webb, too?
As Mackenzie puts it, "Could Virginia's voters be at once brilliant and stupid?"

There will be more analyzing by many. I think this election was a wake-up call for Republicans. Next time ... we'll know better what we will be up against.

I like family holidays....

Predictions in the news say travel will be higher this year as folks head home for Thanksgiving.

I like family holidays. I know they're always the butt of jokes ... but I enjoy getting together with my sisters and parents and extended kin. No, we're not the Brady Bunch. But my family is, after all, my family.

My sisters and I have always been extremely close even though one sister lives in Texas. That doesn't matter. We keep in touch through phone calls and emails ... and when we actually physically get together - it's a blast! My middle sister is flying in from Austin with her family so we'll all be together on Thursday with my youngest sister and her family, my parents, my husband and kids, and my cousins.

Already the turkey is thawing and recipes have been selected through phone calls about who is bringing what. We'll cook and laugh, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and football, and play board games. At some point we'll gather around the piano for the first run through Christmas carols ... and we'll just enjoy the fun of all being together.

It's a chance to slow down ... and it offers a respite from politics even though politics will be discussed around the dining room table amongst my all-Republican family.

Yep. I like family holidays....

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bear attack in Augusta County

Hunter wounded by 600-pound black bear

One of the things I enjoy about living in this part of the state is the lack of development and the variety of wildlife I see in my yard - deer, bears, turkeys, foxes, even the detested coyotes. Black bears come through occasionally but we've never had a problem with them ... and they're usually in the 150- to 200-pound range.

A 600-pound black bear is huge for these parts!

Today's Staunton News Leader has this article about four hunters in the eastern part of Augusta County who shot a 600-pound bear with a muzzle loader, and then tracked it to where it fell. When they walked up on the bear, thinking it was dead, the bear attacked one of the hunters, injuring him severely enough to be airlifted to UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville where he was listed in fair condition.

Even the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries expressed surprise at the size ... and those folks have seen lots of black bears. I hope to catch up with a couple of friends later today who work for Game and Inland Fisheries to hear their take on this bear story.

Friday, November 17, 2006

More speculation on Ed Gillespie as RPV Chairman....

Riley, Not O'Reilly speculated recently about Ed Gillespie taking the helm at RPV. He had this to say:

Of all the recent RNC Chairmen, Gillespie is tops in my book -- probably the best since Haley Barbour if not Lee Atwater. Not only does he know fundraising from top to bottom (he began his political career as a nighttime telephone solicitor in the basement of the RNC headquarters in 1985), but he instituted the GOP's eCampaign project and was a principal drafter of the "Contract With America" while working for Rep. Dick Armey. He was also the pointman for the Bush Administration in getting Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

That's a pretty impressive endorsement. Stay tuned....

Happy Blogoversary, Spank That Donkey!

Blog was started on November 17, 2005

Just got off the phone with Chris at Spank That Donkey (we had a lively conversation about politics, blogs, the George Allen campaign, and cooking beef stew - Chris was a cook in the Marines).

I discovered today is the anniversary of the beginning of his blog. I could have sworn Spank That Donkey had been around longer than just a year! Check his site later tonight ... he said he may put up highlights of his first year if the beef stew goes as planned and he's able to get out of the kitchen and on the computer.

Happy Blogoversary, Chris! Here's to many more!

Media bias and its role in politics....

Mainstream media got its man elected

So now we hear about how S. R. Sidarth was really treated by the Allen camp?


Barely a week after the election that took down one of the hardest-working public servants for Virginia conservatives ... we are finally reading the rest of the "macaca" story.

In a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, I Am Macaca, Sidarth wrote, "Everywhere I went, though I was identifiably working on behalf of Allen's opponent, people treated me with dignity, respect and kindness. I cannot recall one event where food was served and I was not invited to join in the meal."

Scripps Howard News has a related story. So two news outlets have picked up on this already ... why not before the election?

Stay tuned for more great news from the MSM ... they will probably now discover the economy is great, unemployment is the lowest in five years, yada yada yada.

Media bias ... don't preach to me about fair and balanced and how Fox News is right-wing. This is a subject I intend to pursue.

Western Augusta County on a fall afternoon....

The thing I like about my Magisterial District is that it covers territory west of Staunton all the way to Bath and Highland Counties. There's National Forest in there as well as farms, hunting camps, lots of undeveloped land, and mountains.

In those mountains there are backroads that I enjoy checking out from time to time.

Today, as I rode out that way to remove political signs, I couldn't help but take a detour up Old Parkersburg Turnpike, one of my favorites. This is a gravel road that crosses the mountains ... it's the old road that was there before the present Rt. 42 was blasted open at Buffalo Gap decades ago. As one of the older residents told me five years ago, when he was a young boy the trip from Craigsville to Staunton took two days because of those backroads ... a trip that takes 30 minutes today.

The Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains received torrents of rain yesterday which now has the mountains seeping and the streams at full-bank. On Parkersburg Turnpike the creek overflowed its banks and washed out areas of the road.

I wasn't able to make it to my usual quiet spot because of mud and water ... and my desire not to get stuck so far from help. A road grader was spreading gravel onto the roadway where the edges had been chiseled out by rushing water. A resident was working on his driveway; a "high water" sign warned motorists that the road ahead was closed.

Still ... there was serenity in listening to the rushing water and the wind through the trees....

Media bias and its role in elections....

Mainstream media got its man elected

So now we hear about how S. R. Sidarth was really treated by the Allen camp?


Barely a week after the election that took down one of the hardest-working public servants for Virginia conservatives ... we are finally reading the rest of the "macaca" story.

In a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, I Am Macaca, Sidarth wrote, "Everywhere I went, though I was identifiably working on behalf of Allen's opponent, people treated me with dignity, respect and kindness. I cannot recall one event where food was served and I was not invited to join in the meal."

Scripps Howard News has a related story. So two news outlets have picked up on this already ... why not before the election?

Stay tuned for more great news from the MSM ... they will probably now discover the economy is great, unemployment is the lowest in five years, yada yada yada.

Media bias ... don't preach to me about fair and balanced and how Fox News is right-wing. This is a subject I intend to pursue.

Voter Registration by Party ... let's do it!

Grassroots need Party registration

In today's Washington Times is this article by Seth McLaughlin - Virginia GOP seeks partisan primaries - which discusses voter registration in Virginia by political party. Under those rules I would register as a Republican, someone else would register as a Democrat, others may register as Independents.

As a hard-working grassroots volunteer, I say it's about time!

Every election cycle the Party expects volunteers to make hundreds of voter ID phone calls to identify Republicans, Democrats, and Independents ... something that could be stopped if we had registration by Party. Volunteers aren't enthusiastic about making the calls ... and from the response in the community, voters don't like receiving them.

And ... it would stop those who are not otherwise involved in the political process from having a say in the Primary outcome of who is to represent the Party on the ballot. As one who works hard for our candidates, I find it insulting to think a group of Democrats can vote in a Republican Primary to try and sabotage the results.

Why should a Democrat be able to decide who will run as my Republican candidate?

This battle is being led by Republican State Senator Ken Cuccinelli representing the 11th Congressional District.

I say, "Thank you, Senator Cuccinelli!"

Will other Republican delegates and state senators take up the fight?

This is a position the 6th District took up two years ago, and I know many around the Commonwealth feel the same. Other states have voter registration by Party and it has worked well. Why not Virginia?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ed Gillespie as RPV Chairman?

Many names have been bantered about the past few days as possible candidates to fill the RPV Chairman vacancy left by Kate Obenshain Griffin. When considering a replacement, several things come into play for me.

Who is leading the Virginia Democrats? Dickie Cranwell, a hard-nosed partisan Dem who takes no prisoners and plays hard-ball.

We need the same at RPV. We can take the high road ... but after dealing with the nasty Jim Webb campaign, I feel it's time to put the gloves on.

What have been our problems at RPV? One ... the lawsuit. Two ... the money we had to pay to settle the lawsuit. Three ... losing statewide elections. Four ... rallying the grassroots. Five ... losing Northern Virginia voters.

It stands to reason that we need someone who can raise money (which is absolutely necessary in order to win elections), grow the Party, reclaim Northern Virginia voters, and has the background to prove it. It also helps if that person is conservative and accessible to the grassroots.

Ed Gillespie? He seems to fill the bill on all these needs. As head of the Republican National Committee, he raised millions of dollars. For last week's election he raised millions for Michael Steele's run at U.S. Senate in Maryland ... and I hear he returns phone calls.

I haven't made any decisions yet but the field is narrowing. Stay tuned....

Campaign aftermath....

Work doesn't end on Election Day

Election Day and the work of the campaign is over, right? Wrong.

It's a week later and I'm still at it ... moving equipment and furniture out of GOP headquarters, returning borrowed items to their owners, vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning toilets, hauling trash ... my basement looks like an office-supply explosion with boxes, signs, chairs, posters, American flags. I will need to clear it out pronto with the holidays coming up. And then there's the paper work ... records to organize and file and store ... volunteer names to categorize, sign location lists to keep.

And the emails! I had 650 in my "in" box ... I simply didn't have time in the rush of the election to read through so many. I've whittled them down to 93 that need my prompt attention. If someone wrote and hadn't heard from me, your email probably got buried in the pile ... please resend it. Thank you notes are being written to volunteers; plans for a party to thank our hard-working folks is in the works.

The toil of a campaign doesn't end on Election Day, even for volunteers....

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shawn Smith resigns from RPV

Executive Director moving on....

After being gone all day, I returned home late this afternoon to find an email from Shawn Smith, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia, stating he was resigning from his position effective December 15, 2006.

In the wake of George Allen's loss last week, the shake-up continues within the Virginia Republican Party. Kate Obenshain Griffin resigned as Chairman of RPV effective tomorrow.

Our State Central meeting in December will be interesting ... very interesting, indeed.

Thanks, Shawn, for your leadership the past four years. We wish you well as you move to the next phase of your life.

Last of Fall....

Fall in the Shenandoah Valley....
This Bradford Pear tree in my yard has the last autumn leaves of Fall 2006....

Post-election analysis....

I received a comment on SWAC Girl analyzing George Allen's loss, and I found it insightful and worthy of further discussion. It was posted under "Anonymous" but I discovered who the author was from a third party during the C*PAC Convention last weekend in Richmond. The commentator is a young man in his 30s who grew up in a politically-involved family and is now carrying on that legacy, someone I worked with during the 2004 BUSH campaign, and again this year for Allen and Goodlatte. Below are his thoughts on Election 2006 ... he raises some viable points.

I agree that our country is somewhat polarized, but at the same time, specifically with the Allen campaign, I see some major missteps.

The biggest misstep, and the one that I am most curious about, is why Allen was not tied into or vice-versa. The marriage amendment received 160,000 plus more votes than Allen did. The total votes for the marriage amendment and the senate race were within 40,000 votes. Since Webb was opposed to the marriage amendment, how in the world did we let 160,000 plus votes swing to the other side?

Also, why wasn't Allen tied in more closely with our local representatives who easily won re-election? Example, Bob Goodlatte received 700 more votes in the city of Waynesboro than Allen did.

I think that there was a lot of complacency on behalf of Allen supporters, myself included. Not suiting up until the fourth quarter will no longer cut it in politics.

The overwhelming majority of the state localities actually favored Allen. Obviously, Northern Virginia and all of the people who migrate there from other locales, mostly northern ones, carried Webb. If the rest of Virginia can rally together and send the message that NoVa does not speak for the rest of the state, which I strongly feel it doesn't, then there will no longer be election results carried out longer than 10 pm on Tuesday night each year in our wonderful Commonwealth of Virginia.

Nationally speaking, most of the races that went to the Dems went to so-called conservative Democrats that were recruited, like Webb, because our country is a conservative one. You could argue that the Representatives who lost to so-called conservative Dems like Heath Shuler paid the price for Iraq and Bush. Elevan of the races that the Dems won were split evenly. Take into account that these even splits were between a Republican and a so-called conservative Democrat, and I don't see too much polarization.

The Dems misrepresented themselves to the local constituents. Since seniority seems to rule in Washington, these so-called conservative Dems will never see the agendas that they ran on come to fruition. When you pit conservatism versus liberalism, conservatism wins every time.

It is our job as conservatives, conservative activists, and Americans to convey our message to all people and help educate those who are not informed, and let them know how all of these items are tied in together. For instance, does anyone who voted for the marriage amendment and for Webb realize that Webb was against the marriage amendment? Since the majority of those who were adamant on passing the marriage amendment are Christians, do they realize that Webb is pro-choice, another issue near and dear to conservatives, specifically Christian Conservatives?

Political conservatives and Christian conservatives need be on the same side when it comes to elections. We all need to recognize that we may not agree 100% of the time on 100% of the issues.

In George Allen, Virginians and Americans lost a Senator who has always been consistent with what he says and what he does. This is an anomaly in politics these days. He has been a public servant who has always fought to protect his constituents when it comes to taxes, crime, commerce, etc. In addition, he has always been a solid vote for the rights of the unborn and for the stabilities of our families. Due to underestimating our opponents, we not only let Virginia down, but we let our great U.S. Senator down.

Kate is leaving....

Kate Obenshain Griffin leaving as RPV Chairman

I like Kate Griffin ... always have. I was impressed the first time I heard her speak at a Sixth District meeting some years ago ... her enthusiasm, her way of holding an audience's interest, her common sense ideas, her conservative values.

So it was with sadness that I read her letter of resignation as RPV's Chairman. But it wasn't unexpected.

Last year the blogosphere had gone ballistic speculating about her stepping down. It had all proved to be nothing more than rumors ... and at the time I wrote an email to Kate to let her know I supported her.

This year, however, after our loss of George Allen, it seems logical to find a new "boss."

Kate came on board when RPV had much baggage ... lawsuit issues, financial issues ... but she rolled up her sleeves and plugged away at putting RPV back together again ... and we are now almost out of debt, thanks to Kate's hard work. Her finesse at managing members during animated State Central Committee meetings was much like herding cats ... but she managed it.

Those meetings were held in RPV headquarters which is named The Obenshain Building in honor of her father, Dick Obenshain, who was killed in 1978 at the age of 42 in an airplane crash while campaigning for the U.S. Senate (the seat that was later won by John Warner). Ironically, her father was Chairman of RPV in 1972. Her brother is State Senator Mark Obenshain from Harrisonburg. What a family of public servants!

Thanks, Kate, for all the hard work on behalf of Virginia Republicans. It was a pleasure working with you ... and I wish you well in your transition role with George Allen ... and whatever you aspire to do in the future.

For Jason ... Semper Fi

"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended."
President George W. Bush, 9/11/01

On his 21st birthday....
In Memory of

Lance Corporal Jason Redifer
First Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Alpha Company
November 14, 1985 - January 31, 2005
Killed in Action in Iraq
during Operation Iraqi Freedom
We will not forget.
Semper Fi.

"If our country does not lead the cause for freedom it will not be led."
President George W. Bush

Monday, November 13, 2006

Blue Ridge winter woods....

Blue Ridge winter woods on a fall day....
The mountains were calling me today....
After months of an intense election season, I had to escape to the hills ... where it was good to be outdoors along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I love the winter woods ... trees are bare and you can see the forest floor. This time of year there are few people on the Parkway so it offers solitude with only the sound of the wind and the dry, rustly leaves on the ground to keep you company.
Afton offers a refuge from the world and is a great place to be alone with your thoughts while looking out over the Shenandoah (western view) or Rockfish (eastern view) Valleys.

Today was cool, overcast, and a little foggy so a view of the Shenandoah Valley was not possible ... but the view was still priceless.

Howardsville Turnpike as it heads down the mountain toward Lyndhurst.

An old split rail fence along Howardsville Turnpike is a reminder of earlier times.

(Photos by SWAC Girl)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mainstream media's help in defeating George Allen

Jerry Fuhrman over at "From On High" has an excellent post titled "A Macaca Postmortem" which backs up allegations that the mainstream media had a huge hand in the defeat of Senator George Allen, something I wrote about several days ago on SWAC Girl. He opined:

But the Post found it acceptable to run 100 articles and editorials on the subject of macaca and its implications of racism and bigotry. Anyone who thinks the active effort on the part of the Post and most every other newspaper connected to the commonwealth to promote the macaca story, to blow it completely out of proportion (it wasn't even a word prior to Allen's utterance), and, in doing so, to derail the Allen campaign, didn't in itself bring about Allen's defeat, is blind.

Our battle is not with our democrat opponents ... our battle is with the mainstream media. It's time for us to realize that once and for all ... and act - or react - accordingly.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day

"For those who have fought for it ...
Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."

Thanks, Dad

Today is Veterans Day ... so thank a veteran for your freedom.

Thanks, Dad.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

That radical ultra-liberal group is celebrating Tuesday's nationwide wins for the democrats. Since 2000 they have succeeded in organizing thousands of extreme left-leaning libs in anti-war protests, political campaigns, and hate-Bush protests. Their fingerprints were all over the anti-Bush protest in Richmond several weeks ago ... too bad they don't offer lessons in manners and civil language.... is hosting a celebration party in Washington, D.C. and inviting all their radicals to "celebrate the end of the Bush era." They are gloating big-time: "Victories this big don't come every decade," they emailed to their supporters. The victory party offers "a chance for local progressives to meet each other and celebrate what we all just did. Bring your friends."

Conservatives ... now is not the time to quit. Now is the time to strategize and prepare for upcoming elections to move this country in a conservative direction with conservative leadership. Stay strong for freedom!

Here's to the Marines!

Happy Birthday to the Corps

Birthday wishes don't come more sincere ... happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps.

Semper Fi.

Veterans Day: We Salute Our Military

A humble thank you to all our military men and women who serve stateside and overseas to protect the freedoms we love. You are loved and appreciated by a grateful Nation.

May I also add a thanks to our military families - the parents, spouses, children - left behind while their loved ones are deployed.

May God bless our troops, our President, and our Country.

Friday, November 10, 2006

America ... what have you done?

Our country and military now more vulnerable

I place what happened Tuesday squarely on the shoulders of the mainstream media. They sold a bill of goods ... and gullible Americans bought it with the help of liberal democrats. Suppress the good news, pump up the bad news, and you will have a public that catches the 30-second sound bite and misses the rest.

Think about it....

- We're in the best economy in years even after we were slammed on 9/11 and faced the possibility of our country spiraling into a Depression. However, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, we pulled it out and rose to new heights. But are you reading or hearing about it in the news?

- After 9/11 we feared for the safety of our country and our families. Security was our number one priority. It still is in my book ... but many have forgotten those dark days when we lost 3,000 innocent souls to Muslim extremists on a jihad to kill Americans ... a jihad that is still in existence to this day.

- Unemployment is the lowest in five years ... but are you reading or hearing about it in the news?

- The stock market has hit several new records by going over 12,000 the past weeks but there's been barely a whimper on the front pages of national newspapers (yet, remember when it surpassed 10,000 during the Clinton years and we rightly heard it ballyhooed?);

- President George W. Bush is an honorable Christian man who has the welfare of the American people as the driving force behind his Presidency ... yet the press hardly mentions him in a positive light. They constantly pound on the negatives.

- Our military men and women are under fire in Iraq and Afghanistan ... yet there's no news of all the good that they are accomplishing. We hear it from the soldiers when they return ... but we don't hear it from the media.

Prepare yourself for the following: higher taxes, higher unemployment, terrorism on our shores again, and two years of dems battling amongst themselves to be at the top of the heap. I hope I'm wrong ... time will tell.

So the 30-second sound bites and mud-slinging by the democrat liberals worked.

The casualty that bothers me the most is ... Senator George Allen. After years in public service ... after all the good he has done for the Commonwealth of Virginia as an honorable servant of the people ... he ends up catching the brunt of the lib mud-slinging that now defines their campaigns. To this day I still ask people ... what does Jim Webb stand for? And most shrug their shoulders and don't know. They just wanted "a change." To the unknown?

America ... what have you done?

From the battlefield comes a letter from one of our soldiers after hearing Tuesday's election results. He, too, is asking what happened ... and addresses Americans in general.

"I hope you are satisfied with what you have done...

Today in the mess hall, where there is usually jovial conversation, there was silence, long faces, and broken spirits... Everyone, to include all American soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, Iraqi Nationals, Bulgarian Soldiers, etc, etc... was speechless, tired, demoralized and stunned.... all ate in eerie silence.....

Last night, while we watched the press conference with the President, there was utter disgust, and the common feeling amongst us all that we soldiers are now the loneliest people on Earth.... we fight an enemy over here, and we have a country full of enemies to go home to that are our countrymen. We watched President Bush say his own political funeral, our commander and chief.. as well as ours..... He tried so hard to spin it, but... well.. there is no way to soften such a morale blow.

While you sit and Monday morning quarterback what we work so hard to do for you out here, just know that the spirit of your team is wounded..... YOU liberals, you America have done a great job of demoralizing us... Thank you.

Do us a favor though, when we do come home, spare us the ceremony....... We all now know that it is a bunch of crap, and what you think of us.......

I have to say that right now, I would rather be a pussy ass Frenchman, even though they have no will to fight, at least they have the balls to make a decision and stick with it...... They stuck to their guns about staying out of this war, even if it was the wrong decision......America on the other hand, goes off half cocked, and when the decision appears to be a hard one, or something that might cost a little bit, they turn tail and run.....


This week I am NOT proud to say that I am an American..........I think it is obvious why... See, we just have told the world that we are not a nation of people who are tough, and will fight for what we believe in... We have told the world that we are a giant coward that will shy away from any difficult challenge...

So, while you eat your cheetos, and sit there and watch your lazy ass get fatter, dumber and happier Joe Citizen.. Just remember this, I, and all my comrades paid a dear price to come this far and have you decide that we should fail...

Realize this, because of your action this week America.... do not expect so many men to be so willing to stand up for your next little whim just to be cut down in the middle of it all............

Realize this also.. you have just put a heavy price on the heads of us all...... Now that we are branded as cowards, we are an easy target, oh so inviting for the taking....... I swore to protect your children in your beds.... yet you fling the door wide open in spite of me to invite the scourge.... Well.... have it your way then.

Because of this, September 11th will soon be overshadowed by these same enemies.. my advice to you is get your lazy, self centered ass up and make peace with your God, and your family.. cause, time will come when they may not be there for you................Because you kicked me in the teeth, and so many others, I know I won't any more.. "

May God bless our military, our President, and our Country. I will continue to thank and honor them on the street against the anti-war protestors who want to take this country down the same road as they did during Vietnam.

Stay strong for freedom!


Elections going into overtime are trend since 2000

You've spent your spring gathering petition signatures for your candidate. You go through an early-summer primary to get his name on the ballot. You work all summer and fall to get him elected. The final weeks are long and tiring but the finish line looms closer as Election Day approaches....

And then there's an election and no clear-cut winner and you go into overtime.

Since 2000 this seems to be happening more and more. Will we finally get to the point where we won't know the winner for days or weeks? Is our country that evenly divided? As a grassroots volunteer, it's something I'm wondering about....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Letter

Rhonda Winfield's open letter to Cindy Sheehan....

Rhonda Winfield and Cindy Sheehan - November 6, 2006
Vienna, VA (Photo by SWAC Girl)

Gold Star mom Rhonda Winfield met Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan this past Monday (see previous posting). At that time Rhonda gave a copy of her book to Cindy and asked her to read an open letter she had written to her.

Here is that letter from When Johnny Doesn't Come Marching Home: The Story of a Mother's Price for Freedom, p. 127, by Rhonda Winfield:
August 2005

Dear Cindy,

I am Rhonda Winfield, mother of LCPL Jason C. Redifer, USMC, who bravely and proudly gave his life for this country on January 31, 2005. I am still very much in the raw stages of my grief and have been extremely affected by the message you are sending out to our fellow Americans, as well as the rest of the world. I have watched, day by day, as you have continued to camp outside of our President's home in Crawford, Texas. I have listened to you explain to the media that you are the moral voice of America because yours is one of a mother who has lost a child. You present yourself as the true voice of those who have paid the most significant price of war and indicated that you are the spokeswoman for the broken souls of all grieving mothers. You were not, however, the recipient of the next of kin notice delivered to my household and while we perhaps share many emotions at this time, you do not speak for me.

While I defend a democratic system that allows our citizens to freely speak our minds, question our leaders when we disagree with their representation and hold those same individuals accountable for the decisions they make, I feel you have crossed the line. The final moment of tolerance came when you participated in erecting a display of crosses bearing the names of each felled service member whose lives have been given in Iraq to pay the price for such a freedom. You exercise the rights, which they have purchased for you, only to disrespect what you value so little as to exploit. While casualty numbers are facts, you have crossed a moral boundary in using the name of my son, as well as many others, to promote an agenda that he would be no part of. It is more than enough that his life was given to continue your ability to do just that very thing, if as an American you saw fit to do so. Must you further the pain of that fact for our family by soliciting his sacrifice for your purpose? He believed in nothing you stand for and it saddens my heart beyond words to know that he is, in death, being used as a pawn to empower your message.

My son was only 19 years old but knew what a precious gift freedom was and valued it enough to lay his young life down for that very thing. He volunteered for his duty knowing that there is always a human cost of war. He also was wise enough to understand that there would ultimately be a far greater human cost to avoiding this war. Let me remind you that Americans were attacked on our soil. Innocent countrymen whose only crimes were going about their daily lives were murdered that September morning and the evil forces that orchestrated and supported those horrific events, as well as the others that yet await us, must not be allowed to prevail. Jason knew that these terrorists must be engaged on their soil before we were forced to defend ourselves against them again on our own. He valiantly served to keep this from the doorsteps of our children.

We may not agree on the reasons that we are engaged in Iraq but we are there fighting nonetheless. Anti-American sentiment cannot be perpetuated by insisting on the rapid withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. The message that would be sent to the entire globe would have ramifications of a magnitude too severe for us to even comprehend as we sit here in our free, comfortable homes pontificating the current state of things. American troops have a job to finish there and they must remain until they do.

Cindy, I have spent many hours with the survivors of the incident that took my son, as well as many other brave young men whom I've met while visiting Bethesda Naval Hospital and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I have watched the tears roll down their faces as they have watched the coverage of events that they have lived depicted in the media. My son's unit fought for six months in the "triangle of death," just south of Baghdad. Nine days before they were to return home, and on the final patrol of their mission, they were killed by an IED. The only two survivors of this brutal attack were not even aware of the details for weeks. They awakened after many surgeries and difficult medical procedures to be informed that they were the only survivors. They were obviously unable to even attend the funerals of the three men that had become such an important part of their lives. They remain hospitalized to this day. They will not only struggle with their physical disabilities but the emotional demons that will haunt them for the rest of their days. They do not understand why their lives were spared when their brothers were taken. They know only one thing for certain. They know this is not something that can ever be allowed to come to our streets. Please don't cheapen that degree of sacrifice, patriotism and selflessness by insinuating to America that you speak for us.

Without dispute, our sons were part of the price paid for our freedom to speak our minds. We both honor them by exercising those rights. Let's make sure we further honor them by speaking a message they would be proud of. We don't have to agree to be right in doing so. We all want our nation's children removed safely from harm's way. Let us unite in encouraging America to pray for a speedy victory, not a rapid withdrawal. Let us together remind our country that we are the Land of the Free, Because of the Brave and let us strive to remember that we are "one nation, under God." Freedom is never free. As it is said, "For those who have fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know." Jason and Casey know.

I am sincerely,

Rhonda L. Winfield

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Congressman Bob Goodlatte wins another term!

Sixth District Congressman win re-election

Congratulations to Congressman Bob Goodlatte for his re-election as representative of the Sixth District of Virginia ... the "reddest" part of the Commonwealth. Good job, Bob! Many thanks for your dedication and hard work for the Sixth!

SWAC is still ALLEN Country!

Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County turn out strong for Senator George Allen


Recount hell....

Been there, done that for last year's Bob McDonnell recount for Virginia's Attorney General's race. Now the George Allen Senatorial race has come down to the same. Here we go again....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"F*ck Republicans...."

Message left at Republican headquarters....

The Mary Baldwin College Republicans have been energized during this election and have been helping out at Staunton/Augusta Republican headquarters. Yesterday they took a comparison piece about the differences between George Allen and Jim Webb and distributed it on vehicles in the shopping center where headquarters is located.

Last night we found one of the flyers on the front door with the following message written across it in pink highlight marker:


Pre-dawn check of voting precincts

Rolled into headquarters just as the sun was rising this morning.... After spending the night working at headquarters, we headed out at 4:00 a.m. to put signs up at several precincts in Staunton and Augusta County. Observations showed no Webb signs anywhere as late at 5:45 a.m. As I rolled into Cedar Green at 5:50 for the second time of the morning, the Webbies were out putting up signs ... but they didn't have many. Supplies appear to be skimpy.

Please do me a favor.


This is it! It all comes down to turnout ... whichever candidate can turn out the most voters will win this election.

We need each and everyone of you so don't think your one little vote doesn't count.


Please ... take the time to vote for:

- ALLEN for Senate
- GOODLATTE for Congress
- YES on # 1
- YES on # 2
- YES on # 3

Stay strong for freedom ... and let's re-elect GEORGE ALLEN!!

The War Room ... Republican headquarters overnighters....

Election Eve ... local Republican activists work into the night for George Allen

It's 1:30 a.m. and I'm blogging at Republican headquarters in Staunton. A group of activists have been working all night on last-minute details for Election Day, ending the evening partying together and blogging the night away.

This is it! All the months, weeks, days, and hours of time spent on the campaign are behind us ... and we now do the final prep of putting up signs and heading out to the polls at 6 a.m.

Our sign guys are working throughout the night in the city and Augusta County getting precinct signs in place. Here at headquarters, besides blogging, we're rearranging furniture for the Victory Party as music blares from the boom box.

It's Show Time! Election 2006.

Final instructions....

- Tell 10 friends to go vote.

- Drive someone to the polls.

- Work the polls - it's fun! Meet and greet your neighbors.

- Vote!

- Party afterwards at the Victory Party!

Stay strong for freedom ... let's put George Allen over the top and back into office for six more years!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rhonda Winfield and Cindy Sheehan ... two Gold Star moms meet

Military mothers with opposite political views

At long last Rhonda Winfield received the opportunity to meet Cindy Sheehan. Winfield, 39, of Stuarts Draft, has wanted to meet Cindy Sheehan since the summer of 2005 when Sheehan erected crosses in Crawford, TX, with the names of fallen military from Operation Iraqi Freedom including the name of Rhonda's son, Jason Redifer. The two have opposite political views and Winfield wanted to let Sheehan know she didn't speak for her family.

Winfield, who is a supporter of Senator George Allen, met Cindy Sheehan this morning at the Vienna Metro Station.

Winfield, whose son, Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Redifer, 19, was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom on January 31, 2005, was able to give a copy of her book, "When Johnny Doesn't Come Marching Home: A Mother's Story of the Price for Freedom," to Sheehan which included an open letter to Sheehan. In the letter she expressed the opinion that Cindy Sheehan was not the voice of all Gold Star mothers and certainly not the voice of Virginians.

When Winfield met Sheehan, she said: "Cindy, I'm Rhonda Winfield and I lost my son in Iraq, too. You and I share completely different political beliefs and I don't understand how you believe some of the things you do, but we share grief as mothers and I've written my son's story in this book. I included a letter for you in it, and I'd like very much for you to read it and call me so we can sit down and talk about it."

Cindy Sheehan asked Winfield if she was a resident of Virginia to which Winfield responded, "Yes, this is my state and this is my Senator."


Breaking ... Rhonda Winfield meets Cindy Sheehan....

Two military moms meet this morning in Vienna

It's been a long time coming ... this meeting of two military moms who are on opposite sides of the political fence.

The journey began in the summer of 2005 when Cindy Sheehan camped out in Crawford, TX, to protest President Bush and the war in Iraq. The news covered it on a daily basis. Then Sheehan erected crosses with the names of those killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In August I was working the Augusta County Fair along with GOP Chairman Kurt Michael when Rhonda Winfield, her husband Scott, and sons Courtland and Carter stopped by the Republican booth to say hello. I asked Rhonda what she thought about the Sheehan debacle and she was ready to fly to Crawford to take down the cross with her son's name ... Marine Lance Cpl. Jason Redifer. I told her I'd fly with her ... just let me know! At that time she had written an open letter to Cindy Sheehan - "You don't represent me, Cindy" - and wanted to get it to her. She ended up calling the Crawford Sheriff's office who removed the cross with Jason's name.

Two weeks after the fair I called Rhonda to let her know we were planning a Support the Troops rally in downtown Staunton, and asked if she was serious about getting her message out to Cindy Sheehan. She didn't hesitate one minute; she said yes, and I asked if she would be the keynote speaker at the rally which she readily agreed to do.

We had a great rally with 200 people and Rhonda spoke from her heart, touching those in the crowd. As a result of the press release that was sent out, Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace called and asked that Rhonda appear on their nationwide program with a Cindy Sheehan supporter. Rhonda was able to appear and stood up for President Bush and his leadership in the war in Iraq.

Fast forward to today ... Vienna, Virginia ... meet-and-greet with Senator George Allen at the Metro Station as folks were heading to work.

Two moms ... one supporting George Allen, one supporting Jim Webb.

Rhonda Winfield and Cindy Sheehan met today ... 14 months after Rhonda originally wrote her Open Letter to Cindy.

There will be more story and photos as soon as I return to Staunton....

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lowest employment in five years thanks to Bush leadership

Mainstream media ignore good news

Bush Buoyed by Good Employment News, Fires Away at Dems, Pelosi
Friday , November 03, 2006

President Bush, energized by news that U.S. unemployment was at a five-year low, tried to focus the Battle for Congress on the economy Friday, hammering away at Democrats — in particular, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — who he says will do away with tax cuts.

"People are working in the United States, the tax cuts have worked," Bush told a Republican rally in Springfield, Mo., where the president was stumping for incumbent Sen. Jim Talent.

"If these tax cuts are not extended or made permanent, your taxes are going up," Bush warned, charging that Pelosi already had asked "the man who would be chairman of Ways and Means [Charles Rangel, D-NY]" whether he would preserve the cuts.

"Not a one, not a tax cut," Bush said Pelosi was told.

Rangel, later appearing on FOX News, when asked whether he would roll back tax cuts, said: "That's bad tax policy and bad politics."

Read the rest of the story here.