Friday, August 31, 2007

Pfc. Thomas R. Wilson ... a grateful nation mourns a fallen hero

Pfc Thomas R. Wilson, 21, U.S. Army
1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team

Shenandoah County, Virginia
KIA in Afghanistan - August 27, 2007

Patriot Guard to stand in honor of young man's supreme sacrifice

Funeral Arrangements:

Sunday, Sept. 2 - 1-7:00 pm: Viewing at Dellinger Funeral Home, 159 N. Main Street, Woodstock, VA

Monday, Sept. 3 - 11:00 am: Funeral Service at Central High School, 1147 Susan Avenue, Woodstock, VA

Procession: After funeral the prossession will move to Pfc. Wilson's grandfather's farm located at 6173 Back Road, Woodstock, VA

Pfc. Thomas Wilson, a young man from Shenandoah County, died Monday from wounds suffered in an ambush while on patrol in Afghanistan. He was 10 days away from returning home from combat duty. After graduating from Central High School in Woodstock in 2004, where he was active on the track team, he attended West Virginia University before joining the Army.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Pfc. Wilson's family at this difficult time. A grateful nation thanks them for their sacrifice.

Related articles:
* Washington Post: Soldier Lived What He Believed
* Department of Defense press release
* Patriot Guard to honor Pfc. Thomas R. Wilson
* Military Times: Honor the Fallen ... Pfc. Thomas R. Wilson
* Richmond Times Dispatch
* PilotOnline.com
* Pfc. Thomas R. Wilson

DeLay smacks down Matt Lauer on media hypocrisy

Finally! A Republican with a backbone to stand up to the media and call them to account for their hypocritical actions. Thank you, Tom DeLay!

DeLay was a guest on NBC's "Today" show Thursday to discuss the incident surrounding Sen. Larry Craig. Lauer began his question by listing a number of controversies involving Republicans.

DeLay responded, “I hate to say this, Matt, but you just showed the problem, the double standard, and you just participated in it. You listed a whole lot of scandals that involve the Republicans, but you didn't mention one Democrat… I think in your premise, if you had listed all the Democrats that are having problems right now, it would have been different. You see, the Democrats re-elect the people with their problems. Republicans kick them out.”

To which Lauer protested but DeLay would not let him get away with defending the double standard. He listed several Democrat scandals including Congressman Alan Mollohan of West Virginia who is under investigation by the FBI yet retains his chairmanship of the FBI budget oversight committee.

He tried to mention William Jefferson of Louisiana who is currently serving his ninth term as congressman. But Lauer cut him off and said, “So, you're saying it's a positive thing. Is it a positive thing that the Republicans do this, they weed out immediately?”

DeLay was insistant and replied, “You don't want me to finish it? Because you don't want me to…” Lauer relented and said, “No, no go ahead.”

DeLay continued, “You have William Jefferson caught with $90,000 of marked bills in a freezer. And they did put him off the Ways and Means Committee, but they put him on a highly sensitive Homeland Security Committee. You have Barney Frank, who was caught with a homosexual prostitute who was reelected over and over again ... Gerry Studds who was caught in a bathroom with an under-aged page and he was re-elected.”

Woo-hoo! A Republican with a backbone....

DeLay explained to Lauer that, when Republicans see that one of their own is guilty, they take care of it which often leads to the a resignation. DeLay continued, "On the other hand, the Democrats don't. And the media, the double standard in the media is amazing. The feeding frenzy, the sharks in the water that's going on right now because of a Republican. Where is the frenzy on Alan Mollohan from West Virginia or William Jefferson from Louisiana?”

Yep. I posted on that double standard today.

Lauer protested, “I think you mentioned William Jefferson. There was an awful lot of coverage of William Jefferson when that story broke, Congressman.”

DeLay retorted, "Yeah, for just a couple of days and then we went on. In the case of a Republican, believe me, I've experienced this, it's day in and day out in the media, and they write this story over and over and over again. We all know the double standard in the media. It's amazing.”

DeLay hit the ball out of the park when he told Lauer, “There are scandals that need to be addressed. Republicans address them; Democrats reelect them.”

We need more Republicans to stand together against the double standard of the media and the Democrats. The dems circle the wagons and protect the guilty, no matter what. When it's a Republican, the dems howl and scream, and Republicans kowtow and boot-out the guilty party.

It is time for Republicans to realize we are at war with MoveOn.org politics. We must fight fire with fire ... or we will not survive.

Double standard from the Dems? Yes ... and from the MSM

Thank you, Bearing Drift, for the post Republicans Resign; Democrats Don't. Republicans get caught in scandal ... and resign almost immediately. Democrats circle the wagons and protect the guilty no matter what.

So what is the difference between the political Parties?

The difference is the double standard of the mainstream media who zoom in like a bunch of vultures when it involves a Republican ... but are amazingly MIA when it involves a Democrat.

Diana remembered through the eyes of her sons....

To lose a parent at any age is an emotional journey ... to lose a parent while still a child is even more so. Ten years after her death, Princess Diana was remembered at a Thanksgiving service in London today by the high and powerful of Great Britain ... but the most touching was to hear her remembered by her sons.

Through the eyes of her children, Prince Harry spoke on behalf of himself and his brother, Prince William, in a remembrance of their mother....

She was our guardian, our friend, and our protector ... she encouraged us when we were nervous or unsure. ... To lose a parent so suddently at such a young age ... was shocking inside. It was an event that changed our lives forever.

We think of her every day and laugh together at all the memories ... she was fun-loving, generous, and down-to-earth. ... she was, quite simply, the best mother in the world.


--Prince Harry, son of Princess Diana
August 31, 2007

Tragic car wreck kills three in Nelson County

The Lord is my Shepherd....

A tragic traffic accident has caused the deaths of Laura Cavedo, 48, and her daughters who were nine and 12, in the Afton area of neighboring Nelson County. Stopped on Rt. 151 to make a left turn, Mrs. Cavedo's vehicle was hit from behind and spun into oncoming traffic and hit again. The accident took place around 1:00 Thursday afternoon.

Details of the accident can be found at the Waynesboro News Virginian and NBC-29.

One of the Old Dominion Blog Alliance members was related to the victims and has a heart-felt post on her blog Cathouse Chat. To lose one loved one is difficult ... to lose three family members would be overwhelming. Our prayers are with Cat and her family at this difficult time.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pfc Thomas R. Wilson ... in memory of a fallen hero from Shenandoah County....

Pfc Thomas R. Wilson, 21, U.S. Army
1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment
173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
From Shenandoah County, Virginia
KIA in Afghanistan - August 27, 2007

Updated funeral arrangements

Thomas Wilson, a young man from Shenandoah County, died Monday from wounds suffered in an ambush while on patrol in Afghanistan. He was 10 days away from returning home from combat duty. After graduating from Central High School in Woodstock in 2004, where he was active on the track team, he attended West Virginia University before joining the Army.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Pfc. Wilson's family at this difficult time. A grateful nation thanks them for their sacrifice.

Update: Funeral services are tentatively planned for Monday at Central High School in Woodstock.

More at the Richmond Times Dispatch and PilotOnline.com.

Roscoe Reynolds voted against illegal immigration legislation....

Perhaps Sen. Roscoe Reynolds needed to hire Yellow Dog Joe Stanley because of his image as being soft on illegal immigration since he has voted time and time again to kill any type of legislation to help with that problem. For example....

The Bill: HB 2322....
Criminal procedure; admission to bail. Adds a presumption, subject to rebuttal, against admitting to bail any person charged with a felony who is identified as being present in the United States illegally.

The Vote: Passed overwhelmingly in the House (92 to 5), it was killed in the Senate with Reynolds voting to kill it.

The Bill: HB 1618....
Immigration laws. Governor to enter into agreement with federal immigration regarding. States that it is the responsibility of the Governor to enter into an agreement with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would allow the Department of State Police to enforce civil immigration laws.

The Vote: Passed in the House after Democrats tried to spike it by passing it off to committee. Killed in the Senate with Reynolds voting to kill it.

The Bill: HB 2448....
Verification of citizen status. Requires that a jailer shall reasonably attempt to verify the citizen status of certain persons who are confined in jail and that the Department of Corrections shall issue guidelines for such verifications. The bill also requires the Virginia State Bar to investigate the practice of providing legal advice to illegal immigrants and to establish related guidelines on unauthorized practice of law.

The Vote: Passed overwhelmingly in the House (90 to 6). Killed in Senate with Reynolds voting to kill it.

Reynolds also believes ILLEGAL immigrants should receive instate college tuition.

Roscoe Reynolds ... soft on illegal immigration?

Report: "9 guns for every 10 Americans"

Reports say there are nine guns for every 10 Americans. Most folks up this way have that covered ... and then some. Heh. Looks as if we're above the average....

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Freedom's Watch: "Surrender is NOT an option!"

Thank you, Freedom's Watch, for the radio ads urging Americans to contact their representatives in D.C. and tell them, "Surrender in Iraq is NOT an option. Win the war! Victory in Iraq!"

From Freedom's Watch website:
Welcome to Freedom’s Watch, an organization dedicated to fighting to protect the ideals and issues that keep America strong and prosperous.

Our mission is to ensure a strong national defense and a powerful fight against terror, especially in Iraq. On the domestic front, our mission is to give hope, lift people up, and achieve prosperity through free enterprise.

Those who want to quit while victory is possible have dominated the public debate about terror and Iraq since the 2004 election.

Our group will give a voice to those who believe that victory is America's only choice. For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry is coming.

Our goal, as we await General Petraeus' report, is to make sure our elected leaders do not abandon our nation's mission in Iraq and that they do not cave in to the demands of those who want to cut and run.
To the American homefront ... the Calvary is coming! Freedom's Watch is working for Victory!

Rockingham Mennonite farm fatalities caused by hydrogen sulfide

The Mennonite family of four and farm hand who were killed on their farm in Rockingham County in July died from hydrogen sulfide, not methane as originally thought. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that typically smells like rotten eggs and builds up in manure pits. Methane is an odorless gas that builds up in corn silos.

The tragic event occurred when Scott Showalter, 34, went into a manure holding tank to clear a clogged pipe. He passed out and the others died trying to rescue him: his wife Phyllis, 33, their daughters Shayla, 11, and Christina, 9; and farm worker Amous Stoltzfus, 24.

Sadly, this type of farm accident is not uncommon. Lives are lost because of the buildup of hydrogen sulfide in manure holding tanks, and each accident usually involves more than one person because rescuers try to help and are overcome by the extremely toxic gas. A couple of breaths can cause unconsciousness.

Also known as hydrosulfuric acid or sewer gas, hydrogen sulfide can cause eye irritation, headache, and fatigue; unconsciousness and death can occur after just a few breaths.

In the case of the Showalter accident hydrogen sulfide was caused by the breakdown of animal wastes but it can also occur in crude petroleum, natural gas, volcanic gases, hot springs, and the breakdown of human waste. Any manure holding tank is considered a hazardous confined space, and it is recommended that entry for whatever reason should be considered dangerous.

Manure holding tanks on farms are required under the Chespeake Bay Act that enacted numerous regulations to protect the Bay.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sweet Virginia Breeze Ranch....


I jokingly call our place the Sweet Virginia Breeze Ranch ... you know ... like the Robbin Thompson/Steve Bassett song (Richmond-based songwriters/performers who got their start in the 1970s).

We catch strong winds here coming through the Gap and down the mountain slopes ... and looking out over the mountains I'll ask, "How do you spell 'heaven'? V-i-r-g-i-n-i-a."

I love this place.

This evening I sat on the deck and watched the deer family that took up residence in our back yard a month or so ago. What is unusual about this group -- at least different from what I've seen in the past -- is the buck that hangs out with them. He's a 10-pointer, a nice looking thing ... and there are three does and four fawns to round out the group. Sometimes they will graze right on up into the yard toward the back of the house but most of the time they are at the edge of the woods.

The deer are overpopulating out this way ... but they are pretty to watch while sitting in the Sweet Virginia Breeze....

Ted Kennedy who left scene of 1969 fatal car accident says AG needed to "respect our laws"

"I strongly urge President Bush to nominate a new attorney general who will respect our laws and restore the integrity of the office." —Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass

I have three words for you, Ted Kennedy ... "Mary ... Jo ... Kopechne."

You want a new AG who will respect our laws and restore integrity to the office? Look in a mirror, Senator:

* Senator Ted Kennedy partied at Chappaquiddick in 1969.
* Kennedy, with Mary Jo Kopechne as a passenger, drove vehicle off bridge.
* Kennedy walked (swam) away from the accident leaving Ms. Kopechne in vehicle.
* Kennedy waited approximately nine hours before reporting accident and, then, only after the vehicle had been discovered in the water by a passerby.
* Kennedy could possibly have saved Ms. Kopechne's life if he hadn't left the scene of an accident ... it is estimated she lived up to two hours after the crash in an air pocket in the overturned, submerged vehicle.

Respect our laws?

Restore integrity to the office?


Sir, the man you vilified -- Alberto Gonzales -- was respectful of our laws and brought a great deal of respect to the office. You, Sir, on the other hand....

For a complete timeline and rundown of the Chappaquiddick accident check out Chappaquiddick: A Profile in Cowardice at YTedK.com.

Ross Mackenzie, retired from RTD, best editor out there....

Ross Mackenzie, who retired earlier this year from the Richmond Times Dispatch, is my favorite newspaper editor, as I've stated before. He speaks plain truth and common sense in a sea of media liberalism and, therefore, comes under attack from the lefties. He is the best part of the TD's Sunday edition ... I go immediately to his column before reading anything else.

Yesterday was another common sense column about the war, the libs, their outrage, the facts, their ignoring of the facts, and how we can and will win this war with no help from the anti-war protesters. He wrote:
The September debate over Iraq, more likely to resemble a raging, primal scream on the part of the left than a lilting September song, could lead to loss of the war - just as, not on the battlefield but in Washington, we lost the war in Vietnam.

You can't possibly mean that.

Oh, but I do. We had it won, even with the Communists operating from their privileged sanctuaries in Cambodia and the North. We won it in the Tet offensive, written by the media elite (too many of them hotel barflies trying to sound like Socrates) as a defeat for our side and sold as such in D.C. and - via television - in the nation's living rooms.
Read the entire article here.

I hope Mr. Mackenzie is around for a long, long time....

Alberto Gonzales hounded by dems and resigns ... Clinton's Reno gave permission for attacks that killed 76 Americans ... not a peep from libs


Clinton administration ordered attack on Waco that killed 76 Americans.

Are the dems happy now? They've hounded and vilified Alberto Gonzales so much he has finally resigned. What was his crime? Firing eight U.S. attorneys, a political process that goes on administration after administrion, and Bill Clinton ordered his attorney general, Janet Reno, to fire 93 attorneys during his administration.

Where was the outrage from the left and demands for Reno's resignation?

Then on April 19, 1993, Attorney General Janet Reno gave the FBI permission to attack a religious group called the Branch Davidians who had a compound in Waco, Texas. According to the Cato Institute:
FBI agents used tanks to smash holes in the walls of the building and then sprayed tear gas into the residence. Agents also used hand-held grenade launchers to fire more than 350 "ferret" rounds into the windows of the building, but none of the Davidians obeyed the FBI's command to exit the residence. A fire then broke out, and 76 Davidians, including 27 children, perished.
Was Janet Reno fired for ordering a raid that resulted in the deaths of 76 Americans? No.

Where was the outrage from the left and demands for Reno's resignation?

Attorney General Janet Reno gave approval at Easter of 2000 for federal agents to seize, at gun point, six-year-old Elian Gonzales from his family in Florida and sent to rejoin his father in Communist Cuba. It didn't make sense at the time ... the little boy was terrified ... and it doesn't make sense now.

Where was the outrage from the leftand demands for Reno's resignation?

There was no outrage ... because those dastardly deeds were done under a democrat president's administration.

The hypocrisy of the left is unbelievable.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Update: 9/11/01 ... 9:03 a.m. "There is no longer any doubt America is under attack"....


Watching "Inside 9/11: Zero Hour" on the National Georgraphic Channel tonight. Those who oppose the war ... those who think we're too hard on the terrorists ... those who question it all -- THEY are the ones who should be watching this program....

Update: That was emotional to watch. It brought back many memories -- not that those memories are that far beneath the surface -- but it saddens me in this post 9/11 world that there appear to be so many who have forgotten the angst, the terror, the disbelief of that day ... followed by an overwhelming love of country and our fellow man.

My life changed that day. My sister was in danger's path ... and escaped. Everything became more intense to me ... every task was that much more important to complete and do well ... family and friends were even more precious.

They still want to kill us. They are here ... they are plotting. And if we aren't careful our political correctness is going to get us killed....

Waynesboro councilwoman refuses to recuse herself from stormwater vote


Husband of councilwoman Lori Smith works for stormwater division ... conflict of interest?

Today's Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Waynesboro businesses opposed to proposed stormwater fees are considering whether to take city councilwoman Lori Smith to court over conflict-of-interest claims. Smith's husband, Bert Smith, is the head of the city's stormwater division.

After lawyer Lucy Ivanoff requested that Smith recuse herself from the vote, a decision was sought from Commonwealth's Attorney Charles P. Ajemian who ruled there was no conflict because her husband was employed with the city before her election onto city council. This has caused a controversy in Waynesboro that appears to be growing.

Council is set to take up the matter at their Sept. 4 work session and hopes to have guidelines established by October. Local businesses are opposed to the proposed fee now in place because it could cost them thousands of dollars. A homeowner would pay less than $48 a year, a Pizza Hut would pay $384 a year; WalMart would pay $6,300 annually but the city's largest employer, Invista, would owe $92,700. Costs like that raise the question of possible layoffs, according to union officials. Mayor Tom Reynolds has asked for feedback from the community.

Illegal aliens and crime ... a growing problem in America

A fatal car crash caused by an illegal alien kills teenagers in Virginia Beach. In New Jersey three college students returning to school are lined up and executed with gunshots to the head by two illegal aliens. In Boulder, Colorado, eight illegals rape eight women and then escape back to Mexico.

Drugs, gangs, robberies, rape, murder ... these are crimes committed by some of the 14 million undocumented people who are illegally in our country ... and our government has done little to combat it, leaving all Americans vulnerable. Many don't speak up because of politcal correctness and, yet, people are dying because of our silence.

If you care about this subject you must read Forbidden Subject: Illegal Aliens and Crime by Chet Dembeck at the Last Reporter blog.

H/T: Delmarva Dealings

Liberal college professors and our kids....

Cato at Delmarva Dealings posted how his college son was ready to transfer after only a week at school because of extremely liberal professors who spent half their time spouting off liberal politics and bashing President Bush. Thank you, Cato, for bringing attention to a huge problem in higher education ... the liberal profs who try to indoctrinate our kids.

I hear from students all the time who have to deal with that type of nonsense and it is frustrating to them. Most are able to hold their own but some parents are dismayed to find they are paying tremendous amounts of money only to find their child, in the words of Cato, "... comes back for Christmas break a raving Marxist or feeling that he or she is being harassed for being anything less than a full blown leftist."

Higher education and the MSM ... hotbeds of liberalism. Conservatives are making inroads in those fields but it will be years before we can balance the scales with a goal of having unbiased teachers and reporters.

Another dirty trick from the dems ... Google bombing

"You dropped a bomb on me, baby," may have a whole new meaning.

Flora at United Conservatives of Virginia points out how the left uses domain names to defame Republicans, and certainly the ODBA's outrage at the Joe Stanley/Roscoe Reynolds dirty trick of redirecting ODBA traffic to a pedophile site that is currently taking place in the Virginia political blogosphere backs that up.

But another dirty trick used by the left to intimidate conservatives is Google bombing. And it may just be a matter of time before it becomes ground zero.

The far left bloggers have perfected the art of intimidation by engaging in a stunt called Google bombing. Google bombing works by asking a large number of like-minded bloggers to post links that point to a specific Web site so that the targeted site will appear near the top of a Google search when a particular word search is typed.

The act of Google bombing artificially inflates the relevance of the targeted site by giving the search engines a false impression of the site's importance. The best known cases are on a national level even though it has happened at the local level.

In the heat of the 2004 presidential campaign, when the words miserable failure were entered into the Google search engine, it took the user to the official George W. Bush website. When the first Google bombs showed up, complaints were filed with Google. However, while admitting the practice was offensive to some, Google proclaimed they had little or no control over it and did not act.

Google finally issued a statement saying, “We don’t condone the practice of Google bombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we’re also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up."

Members of the liberal blog umbrella Daily Kos actively encourage participation in this behavior. For example, Chris Bowers, a contributor to the Kos, posted, “Call to Action: Google-Bombing the Election.” In his post, he provides instructions on how to participate in the Google bombing on a nationwide basis during the 2006 elections.

This is a must read for all Republicans to understand the extreme tactics of the left.

Updated: Powerful storms rip through SWAC area....

For the third day in a row powerful thunderstorms ripped through the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County area after experiencing high temperatures each day in the mid- to upper 90s. Destructive winds, wicked lightning, torrential rain, hail, downed trees, and power outages have been the norm since Thursday.

Yesterday's storms continued for hours. In Waynesboro downed trees caused power outages that affected businesses and the Waynesboro News Virginian newspaper. Arriving at 8:30 this morning, the condensed smaller-than-usual Sunday edition covered the storm on the front page and explained how they were affected by the weather:

Today's edition of The News Virginian is a condensed version of our usual four-section Sunday layout. We apologize to our readers and advertisers for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Due to the series of thunderstorms that hit the Waynesboro area on Saturday, The News Virginian suffered a power outage that left our offices in the dark until late last night. In an effort to ensure that the paper would be published and available to readers today, News Virginian staffers worked to coordinate and produce the paper at an alternate location.

We were unable to publish several sections of the paper that are normally available in our Sunday edition, including the Perspectives page and the Buzz section. Letters to the editor slated for publication in today's newspaper will be published in the following days. Weddings, engagements and other announcements scheduled for publication in today's Buzz section will be featured in the Sept. 2 edition.

Readers may also notice a change in the fonts and other elements implemented during The News Virginian's recent redesign. These changes are limited only to today's edition.

We also apologize for any delay in newspaper delivery to our subscribers as a result of this setback.
These things happen so I was happy to have the News Virginian and the Richmond Times Dispatch delivered this morning even if they were a little late.

The storms Friday and Saturday at my home west of Staunton were some of the fiercest I have seen in quite a while. The wind was extremely forceful, and it was the first time this year I had seen hail in a storm. In my area of the county tree tops were wrenched off ... other trees were downed ... leaves were plastered on the road ... several inches of rain have fallen in storms the past three days. The moisture was welcomed by my garden, flowers, and parched lawn.

Last night my husband and I were driving in the torrential downpours that accompanied those storms. It was difficult to see the roadway after dark ... and the storms never completely ended. As one would pass another would be coming behind it so that the lightning and thunder continued for hours ... zigzag, jagged lightning that lit up the sky. It was an impressive display of nature's power.

Update: Scott at Scott's Morning Brew wrote Thunderboomers, SWAC Girl, and Dead Police Cars ... a hilarious account of his family's reaction to the same storms that hit SWAC and worked their way across the state, eventually hitting his area near the coast. The "dead police car" wasn't so funny but his account of falling over the furniture as he raced through the house ... well, let's just say I got my laugh of the day! A police officer with a sense of humor ... I like it! Be safe out there.

Follow-up article by Bob Stuart in today's (August 27) Waynesboro News Virginia ... Thunderstorms leave an impact across the Valley.

Yellow Dog roundup by ODBA members....

As the Yellow Dog scandal continues to unfold, many ODBA members (and others in the blogosphere) are commenting.

Greg at Black Velvet Bruce Li has a complete recap of the events from the past several days at Roscoe Reynolds Steps In It.

Grumpy's Gripes writes that Baby Benny makes a threat… LOL you crack me up.

The Ward View rounds up all the Democrat response to the ODBA press release and then adds Sing along with Roscoe: Oh where oh where did that Yellow Dog go?

Jim at Deo Vindice says Dems and libs should step away from the Yellow Dog.

Jason at J's Notes writes Joe Stanley, Ben Tribbett, and lowering the bar and wants to know where Joe Stanley's clients stand now?

Flora at United Conservatives of Virginia posts Joe Stanley, NAMBLA, and Democrats.

Carl at Spark It Up!!! asks Hey Roscoe! Where did the Yellow Dog go?

Leslie Carbone also has a very complete roundup ... Stupid Yellow Dog Tricks.

Isophorone has the ODBA press release and then takes the whole Yellow Dog crew to the wood shed.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Top 10 Lies of the Left ... # 4: "Bush stole the 2000 election"

Every individual recount concluded that Bush was the winner in Florida.

Although the left leaning Florida Supreme Court improperly attempted, to aid Gore in illegally recounting votes in select Democrat precincts, their judicial activist ruling was overturned 7-2 by the Supreme Court and nullified. Bush got more votes on election night, following the automatic recount, and after all absentee ballots were counted.

Seven media publications including USA Today (hardly a rightward leaning newspaper) sponsored recounts and concluded that, under any proposed standard of methodology, Bush won every recount.

It was Al Gore and the liberal media who attempted to "steal" the election by prematurely calling the election for Gore on election night before the polls closed in the heavily GOP populated Florida panhandle and attempting to nullify overseas military votes from being counted.

Top 10 Lies of the Left ... # 1: "Bush Is Stupid"
Top 10 Lies of the Left ... # 2: "The Republican Party is Racist"
Top 10 Lies of the Left ... # 3: "Bush exaggerated the case for war in Iraq by lying about WMDs"

Gregg Jackson is the nationally best selling author of "Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies: Issue by Issue Responses to the Most Common Claims of the Left from A to Z" (JAJ Publishing Aug 2006) and talk radio show host heard on Boston's Talk Station WRKO.

Winston Churchill: "Never give in...."

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

-- Winston Churchill

SWAC area to get Target & Kohl's


The westend of Waynesboro has become quite the retail center with lots of stores that have located there the past 2-3 years: WalMart, Lowe's, Home Depot, Starbucks, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday's, Cracker Barrell, Best Western Conference Center, and of course my favorite, South River Restaurant, plus many other stores and restaurants.

Former Waynesboro City Council member Reo Hatfield had much to do with building up that end of town and helping to lure in "box store" businesses which, apparently, are appreciated by shoppers in the area. That area bustles and adds nicely to the tax base for the city.

What I am waiting for is the new Target and Kohl's being built at the old Outlet Mall site across I-64 from the other stores. Took a drive by there this evening to check it out and the Target is coming right along as well as Michael's Crafts and PetSmart. Rumors are there may be an Olive Garden Restaurant ... time will tell.

WalMart in Staunton must be worried about Target because they recently began a huge interior renovation that one clerk said would be finished in March. It is a mess right now but I suppose the end product will be good. It looked to me that their business fell off when the WalMart opened in Waynesboro.

Meanwhile, ever since the Waynesboro Lowe's opened the one in Staunton seems to be lagging in customers. Maybe I don't shop at the busy times; perhaps they are doing fine. But that huge store just does not seem as busy as in the past.

Retail continues to build in Waynesboro while Staunton concentrates on the arts. They are losing the tax base retail would bring in ... but they are concentrating on tourist dollars to make up the difference.

The good news is both cities are rejuvenated and doing well.

ODBA Press Release

Live By “Macaca,” Die By “NAMBLA”
Top Virginia Democratic Strategist Linked To Pedophile Web Site

Richmond, Virginia. (August 25, 2007)- The Old Dominion Blog Alliance (“ODBA”), an organization of approximately 25 conservative Virginia bloggers founded on December 9, 2005, discovered on August 21 that someone registered the domain name of “olddominionblogalliance.com” on August 16 via GoDaddy.com’s Domains by Proxy service in order to conceal their identity. The domain was then set to forward to the web site for the North American Man-Boy Love Association ("NAMBLA"), an organization that promotes illegal activity between adults and children, including pedophilia.

Following this disclosure, the parties behind it were subsequently discovered to be Joe Stanley of Yellow Dog Strategy, a Democratic consultant who manufactured last year’s “macaca” gaffe by U.S. Sen. George Allen into an ex post facto racial slur and produced the controversial anti-Harris Miller mailing, and Ben Tribbett who runs the Northern Virginian blog “Not Larry Sabato.”

Evidence in hand and a confession by Mr. Stanley show that he was the one who purchased the domain name and then set it to forward to the NAMBLA web site. Mr. Tribbett, who is close to Mr. Stanley, proceeded to peddle the story to another blog and then feigned outrage at this action apparently in order to further raise the story’s visibility while maintaining deniability over it. Mr. Stanley undertook this action just two days after members of the ODBA began a concerted effort against state Sen. Roscoe Reynolds (D-20th Dist.), a candidate for whom Mr. Stanley has done work and who is locked in a tight reelection battle with Republican Jeff Evans. Sen. Reynolds advertises on “Not Larry Sabato.”

“Child sexual abuse is not a joke and certainly not a political tactic to be used in order to silence your political enemies,” said Kathryn Wilton of the blog CatHouse Chat, a member of the ODBA, the wife of a Navy veteran and mother. “Pedophilia is a morally repugnant behavior and how Mr. Stanley or Mr. Tribbett could think this is humorous or fair game politically is beyond my comprehension.”

“Senator Reynolds needs to go on the record whether or not he agrees with these abhorrent tactics used on his behalf,” added Greg Letiecq of Black Velvet Bruce Li, one of the most widely read blogs in Virginia. “Joe Stanley did this to benefit him. Reynolds must either expressly condone or renounce these tactics used for his gain.”

Members of the ODBA are currently considering whether to bring any civil legal claims stemming from this defamatory act perpetrated upon them. Should a case be brought and damages awarded, any proceeds will be donated to organizations that fight child abuse.

ODBA Member Postings of Press Release:
* Virginia Virtucon
* Spark It Up!!!
* From On High
* Cathouse Chat
* Scott's Morning Brew
* Good Sense
* Ward View
* J's Notes

Friday, August 24, 2007

NY Times afraid of the truth? Refuses to print Iraqi vets' op-ed response....

Iraq Vets Respond ... to the New York Times seven

Op-Ed written by: David Bellavia, Pete Hegseth, Michael Baumann, Carl Hartmann, David Thul, Knox Nunnally and Joe Worley - August 24, 2007

ON SUNDAY, seven soldiers from the 2nd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Iraq penned a passionate opinion piece in the New York Times that further illustrates the complexity of what is "really" happening in Iraq.

Of the almost 3,000 soldiers from the Army's storied 82nd Airborne Division currently serving in the hottest of Iraqi neighborhoods, seven felt confident enough in their misgivings to sign an opinion piece. They should not be surprised that many of their comrades--including the seven undersigned here--find their work to be misguided.

The 2nd Brigade is responsible for two dangerous areas of Baghdad: Adihamiyah and Sadr City. Airborne troopers there have seen the worst al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army can throw at them and the Iraqi people. But the whole story is that the Iraqis and soldiers in their sector have not yet been fully affected by the surge of troops and operations, which have barely been in place two months.

Currently, American and Iraqi Forces are clearing sections of southern Baghdad before turning north to the 82nd Airborne's neighborhoods. As such, the portrait these soldiers painted, while surely accurate and honest, is more representative of pre-surge Baghdad: sectarian strife, lawlessness, and indiscriminate slaughter. This is not, however, the picture elsewhere in Iraq, or even most of Baghdad.

Additional American combat brigades first surged to the outlying areas around the capital, disrupting the flow of suicide bombers and car bombs and denying haven to al Qaeda. The result? Attacks against civilians are at a six-month low and large al Qaeda-style truck and suicide bombings have dropped 50 percent in Baghdad.

With additional troops and a sound strategy, the same results can occur in even the worst areas of Baghdad, including the 82nd Airborne's sector. Take Anbar Province. In 2006, al Qaeda controlled the capital of Ramadi and Marine intelligence officers declared the province effectively lost. A leaked Marine Corps report concluded, "The prospects for securing western Anbar province are dim and there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there."

Today Ramadi is peaceful and Anbar no longer a haven for al Qaeda. The tribal awakening that brought about political reconciliation and stability in Ramadi and Anbar primarily resulted from an improved security environment provided by American forces.

Americans not only cleared Ramadi, they also held it by occupying over 65 outposts. This security environment allowed local tribal leaders to stand up to their former al Qaeda occupiers, and now American and Iraqi forces are improving security beyond Anbar in places like Diyala and Babil Provinces.

The 82nd Airborne soldiers quoted an Iraqi saying, "We need security, not free food." We could not agree more, and what American and Iraqi forces are doing now--for the first time in this war--is providing lasting security at the neighborhood level after driving insurgents out.

It's true that political reconciliation has not suited so-called "benchmarks," but political progress will only happen when the battlefield and political realities are congruent. We know that street level security is a necessary precondition for real political progress, and as such, the preconditions are finally being fulfilled. And as we've seen, Iraqi leaders--whether Sunni or Shia--will stand up for moderation and stability only when provided with a secure environment in which to do so.

We understand the frustration our fellow soldiers feel. All of us were in Iraq before the "surge" and lament never seeing a coherent, security-based counterinsurgency strategy. In truth, we were only clearing--not holding. But we also know what's possible when even small portions of counterinsurgency strategy are applied. Insurgents are exposed, leaders stand up, and stability occurs.

General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker understand the principles of counterinsurgency and are applying them up and down the chain of command. It's unfortunate that soldiers in the 82nd Airborne have not yet benefited from the new strategy, but it will ensure that their actions, and those of their fallen brethren, will not have been in vain.

Meanwhile, we applaud our brothers in the 82nd Airborne for their courage under fire, thank them for their commitment to our nation, and pray for the recovery of their injured co-author.

Note: David Bellavia, Pete Hegseth, Michael Baumann, Carl Hartmann, David Thul, Knox Nunnally, and Joe Dan Worley all served with either the Army or Marine Corps in Iraq, and are all members of Vets for Freedom.

This Op-Ed was originally submitted to the New York Times, which declined to publish it.

Click here for more information on Vets for Freedom.

Fallen aviators remembered ... Lt. Cameron Hall, Lt. Ryan Betton, Lt. j.g. Jerry Smith

Three young men, three bright futures ... lost in a tragic plane crash in the Atlantic Ocean. One leaves behind a wife and two-year-old son; all leave behind family and friends.

A memorial service was held yesterday at the Navy base in Norfolk ... a time to remember fallen heroes.

As bagpipes played in the background - with heavy hearts - they exited the chapel. There were tributes and then silence interrupted by the familiar sound of jets flying overhead. As the breeze picked up below, it was almost as though three fallen heroes were waving goodbye from above.
Read the entire tribute here.

Information is available here for donations toward a memorial scholarship fund for Lt. Ryan Betton's son.

A grateful nation mourns three fallen heroes....

Related posts:
-- In Memory of Lt. Cameron N. Hall, U.S. Navy
-- Lt. Cameron Hall, we are thankful for your service
-- Memorial Service Information
-- KSLA-TV 12 news video about Lt. Cameron Hall

From FreedomsWatch.org: Pro-mission ads



For the past few months, Vets for Freedom has been on the front lines of the Iraq war debate in America, with only a few allies.

But this morning, in a very real sense, the cavalry appeared on the horizon in the form of a new organization called Freedom's Watch. Freedom's Watch has launched a multi-state advertising campaign featuring powerful stories from veterans and families that every household in America should hear.

It's time that the rest of America heard the words of soldiers who have served (and been wounded) in Iraq and the stories of families who have lost loved ones there.

The new commercials can be watched here.

If these videos speak to you - and we believe they will - call our representatives and tell them defeat is not an option.

Senator John Warner (R-Virginia) -- 540-857-2676
Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) -- 540-772-4236
Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia 6th District) -- 540-885-3861

Thank you for joining us at this ever critical time.

Regards,
Pete Hegseth
Iraq War Veteran 2005-2006
Executive Director, Vets for Freedom

Click here for more information on Vets for Freedom.

A little Westie named Olivia ... victim of Chinese dog food poisoning

Olivia was a victim of pet food poisoned by Chinese additives.

A little dog named Olivia, a petite 13-year-old Westie who lived in Roanoke, died as a result of eating dog food poisoned by Chinese additives. She puts a face to the contaminated pet food news story.

This week Wal-Mart announced they were pulling Chinese-made doggie treats off the shelves after receiving complaints from customers that the products had sickened their pets. This followed the ban of other dog food products over the past several months due to poisonous additives from China that caused the deaths of an estimated 2,000 dogs nationwide. Other products have been pulled including toothpaste and mouthwash because of unsafe and potentially hazardous additives from China, and now the government is looking at unsafe imported Chinese seafood.

Everyone knew Olivia because she campaigned with her owner -- stumping for George W. Bush, Jim Gilmore, Mark Earley, George Allen, and lots of local candidates throughout the state.

Sometime in March 2007 Olivia became lethargic, stopped eating, and began drinking lots of water. It was the first sign something was not right ... and she was taken to the vet's office where two blood panels showed kidney problems.

It's one thing to hear about the recall of dog food ... it's quite another to put a face to the tragedy when it happens to a friend.

Olivia's owner was notified by PetSmart, the store where she bought the dog food, that Nutro Ultra canned food -- Senior and Weight Management 3 -- had been recalled due to the deaths of animals nationwide. Because she had a PetPerks card they were able to trace owners to directly notify them that they had purchased the tainted food.

However, the warning was several weeks too late for Olivia who was already showing signs of kidney failure and had been placed on a special diet.

Faced with kidney disease but still not aware of the recall, Olivia's owner was informed that many people and pets can live a long time with it and this was, they thought, in the beginning stages.


This was one dog who didn't know she was a "d-o-g" ... she truly was part of the family and a constant companion throughout the years as she traveled up and down the Shenandoah Valley going about her Republican activist work.

However, she got progressively worse day by day so that, by the time the recall came out, she could barely move and her blood count was off the chart. The vet said she had progressed rapidly and was now in kidney failure ... and there was nothing else to do but take her home and wait for her to die.

This little munchkin ruled the roost at her Roanoke home, feeling it was her job to chase and tree as many squirrels as possible in the yard. She policed the cats, always getting in the middle of any fracas between them and making them behave. She knew each by name ... she gave her favorite cat friend, Gilmore, a "cat bath" every day, licking him from head to paw.

Not willing to give up, Olivia's owner drove to her brother-in-law's veterinarian clinic in Marietta, Georgia, for a second opinion. He did an ultrasound and sent it off to a lab in California. They called back immediately. Had this dog, they asked, eaten the contaminated food? Her kidneys were poisoned and consistent with all the other recall dogs they had seen. Even with last-minute IVs and trying everything possible, Olivia could not be saved.


Olivia never said a cross word to anyone and was happiest on her owner's lap. She only tolerated riding in the car but would rather go than stay at home ... and go they did! It was nothing to see them pull up for a candidate's appearance, have Olivia jump out, and off they would go ... usually with Olivia sporting the candidate's lapel sticker on her doggie coat.

"We wanted to wait to 'cross the bridge' until Monday morning when we could go to our regular vet, but Sunday morning at 1:00 a.m. she was so bad, with violent vomiting and diarrhea and obvious pain (she hadn't been in pain before) and just looking at us begging for help, and we knew we couldn't wait so we went back to the ER and by 2 a.m. on May 20, 2007, she had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my whole life, but she definitely let us know that she was ready."

She was truly loved ... and she is just one face of the thousands of dogs that died after eating dog food poisoned with additives from China.

Jim Gilmore ... another run at public office?

Jim Gilmore, former attorney general and governor, conservative leader, UVa law school grad, former RNC Chairman, and author of the Virginia Patriot blog, has been traveling Virginia and talking about his political future, and he shared his thoughts Wednesday during a stop in Culpeper.

Speaking with the Culpeper Star Exponent, Gilmore explained why he was on his own listening tour of the state:
“This is an opportunity for me to get around the state and just listen a little bit about what we need to do to hold our Republican majority,” he said. “I want to get out here and re-establish the Republican philosophy.”
It's a surprisingly indepth article that offers a glimpse into Jim Gilmore's thoughts on a variety of issues including another run at public office. Read the entire article here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

SWAC united behind Hanger ... did Graham forget to fact-check?

Today's article about an interview with George Allen by Chris Graham at the Augusta Free Press/New Dominion caught my eye. Graham had talked with the senator last week at a fundraiser in Harrisonburg/ Rockingham. This jumped out at me:
Allen didn’t take sides in that dustup between the moderate incumbent Hanger and the conservative challenger Sayre over the 24th Senate District Republican nomination.

“Both outstanding people, just great people - and I know both of them. But it’s important, though, that once the intrasquad scrimmages are over, everyone unites behind your team and whomever is selected to be your starter for that position. That’s important,” Allen said.
Has Chris Graham forgotten he wrote an article about George Allen's endorsement of Emmett Hanger? On June 8, 2007, just four days before the Republican Primary, Graham wrote in The New Dominion:
Also weighing in with endorsements for Hanger were former Republican governor and U.S. senator George Allen, Fifth District Republican Congressman Virgil Goode, Republican state Del. Terry Kilgore, the chair of the House Republican Caucus, and the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund. ...

“Emmett has been a friend since our time together in the House of Delegates. He is a solid conservative, no question,” said Allen, who served as governor from 1994 to 1998 and served a term in the U.S. Senate from 2001-2007, in a statement released on Thursday. ...

“Susan and I both are supporting his re-election and encourage everyone to join us in helping him return to Richmond,” Allen said.
The June 8 article also included endorsements by House Speaker Howell and Majority Leader Griffith:
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell and Majority Leader Morgan Griffith offered their endorsements to Hanger in his bid for the Republican Party nomination in next week’s party primary.
The Hanger campaign also sent mailers with George Allen's endorsement.

This "intrasquad scrimmage" was about taxes. In the Valley many of us are Reagan Republicans who believe, like Reagan, that lowering taxes stimulates growth which brings in revenue.

Before the Primary we stated that we would all swing behind the winner; after the Primary we stated our endorsement of Emmett Hanger in newspaper and TV interviews and the blogs. Augusta Chairman Kurt Michael reemphasized it at the SWAC-GOP Breakfast on August 11th in front of RPV Chairman John Hager, local electeds, state delegates, and 50 Republican voters attending the meeting.

Let me make it clear: the SWAC grassroots leadership endorses and backs Emmett Hanger in the November election.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Spanky: "Chile is hot for snowboarding fun!"

The Andes in Chile must be beautiful this time of year ... all that snow! Chris from Spank That Donkey is on his annual trek south of the border to the land of llamas and 10,000-foot mountains, hitting the slopes and finding excellent snowboarding conditions. Check out his gorgeous photos and posts from Chile here and here.

Fall election lineup in Augusta County

State Senate (24th District):
Emmett Hanger (R)
Arin Sime (L)
David Cox (D)
Delegate:
Steve Landes (R - 25th House) - unopposed
Chris Saxman (R - 20th House) - unopposed
Ben Cline (R - 24th House) - unopposed
Constitutional:
Lee Ervin, Commonwealth's Attorney (D) - unopposed
John B. Davis, Clerk of Court (R) - unopposed
Jean Shrewsbury, Commissioner of Revenue (R) - unopposed
Richard Homes, Treasurer (R) - unopposed
Randy Fisher, Sheriff (R) - unopposed

Board of Supervisors:
Beverley Manor [Incumbent Jim Bailey (R) retiring]
-- Jeremy Shifflett (R)
-- Lee Godfrey (D)
Middle River
-- Gerald Garber (R) - unopposed
North River
-- Larry Howdyshell (R)
-- Charles Curry (I)
Pastures
-- Travis Smithdeal (R)
-- Tracy Pyles (D)
Riverheads
-- Michael Shull (R)
-- Nancy Sorrells (I)
South River
-- David Beyeler (R) - unopposed
Wayne
-- Wendell Coleman (I) - unopposed

In Augusta County the elections to watch are the State Senate seat (currently held by Emmett Hanger) and the Board of Supervisors districts of North River, Pastures, Beverley Manor, and Riverheads. More about those in follow-up posts....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Making the case for teaching children at home....

Test scores prove that children educated at home can not only keep up with public school students but often surpass them in standardized test scores. This editorial makes the case.

Green Valley Book Fair....

Green Valley Book Fair selections picked up over the weekend to read and add to the research shelves....

A Call to Prayer for a Nation at War: Prayers of Blessing and Protection for Those Who Serve; yet another copy of The Right Man by David Frum (I give them away to George W. Bush Republicans); Blood Sport by James B. Stewart; Blog by Hugh Hewitt; Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite by Bernie Goldberg; If It's Not Close They Can't Cheat by Hugh Hewitt; Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Architect of George W. Bush's Remarkable Political Triumphs by Carl M. Cannon, Lou Dubose, and Jan Reid.

That should keep me busy for a little while....

Lt. Cameron Hall ... KSLA-TV 12 news video on Navy aviator's crash

News video from KSLA-TV 12 out of Shreveport, LA, about Lt. Cameron Hall, 30, from Natchitoches, LA, who was killed when his plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after leaving the deck of the USS Harry S. Truman. A memorial service will be held Thursday, August 23, 2007.

Many thanks to Cameron's aunt, Shannon Taylor of Virginia, for passing it along.

Related posts:
-- In Memory of Lt. Cameron N. Hall, U.S. Navy
-- Lt. Cameron Hall, we are thankful for your service
-- Memorial Service Information

Monday, August 20, 2007

Augusta Springs Wetlands ... the tour

Augusta County Wetlands is a natural area located along Rt. 42 South of Buffalo Gap in Augusta County. The location of a long-gone hotel in the late 1800s, it is now an area to stop and enjoy what nature has to offer.

The two-thirds mile easy loop trail is fully accessible for wheelchairs and strollers and leads you through meadows, forests, and wetlands. You can look at a beaver's handiwork, smell pine needles baking in the sun, hear a songbird, and dip your hand in a cool mountain spring. For generations, the Springs have drawn people to these wonderful wetlands. Look for historic reminders as you walk the trail.
Picnic tables (2) are available under the shade of the 100+ -year-old maple trees. The grass is maintained -- mowed and trimmed -- with a grassy area for romping kids. A pit toilet is on the grounds as well as bear-proof trash cans. Open year-round, trail brochures are located at the beginning of the boardwalk.


Stop 1: A Grocery Store for Wildlife

Habitat is a home for wildlife. Here they find food, water, shelter, and space. As the seasons change, so must the food animals eat. The plants in this field are changing constantly. What animals do you think are attracted to these plants growing now in this wildlife grocery store?

Stop 2: Augusta White Lithia Springs

Millionaire E. G. Pendleton bought this land in 1900 and converted the Augusta Springs Resort into his home. A cement slab is all that remains of a once active bottling plant. The remains are now used by male woodcocks as a platform for their fascinating ritual mating display.

Stop 3: Living on the Edge

The unique area between two different habitats is called an ecotone or edge. It has a rich diversity of plants and animals. As you walk to the next stop, note the difference in smell and temperature. How do the pine needles feel under your feet?


Stop 4: Water! A Natural Magnet!

Feel the cool and refreshing water? Water is necessary for all life. It provides food and shelter for many plants, aquatic insects, and animals. Some insects even live under the rocks in the stream! What might happen to these insects if this stream dried up or flooded?


Stop 5: Entering Quiet Zone

Ssssh! Babies could be sleeping! The wood duck uses a hollow tree on the edge of water to raise young ducklings. The box in the pond provides a substitute nesting habitat for the wood stuck. What other animals might raise their young here along the water's edge?


Stop 6: Baffling Nature's Engineers!

Beavers love a wetland habitat! They spend most of their lives in water, eat the bark off trees, and cut trees and shrubs to build their dams and lodges. Sometimes this causes an area to flood, which can damage people's houses and properties. The Forest Service is attempting to baffle the beavers by placing plastic tubes through the dam and allowing the water to continue down the stream so the beavers can live here, too.


Stop 7: Too Soggy for Trees

The plants growing here have adapted to life in constantly wet soil. Can you smell the water? If this meadow dried up, it would eventually become a forest. Why aren't there very many trees here now? Trees need sun, space, nutrients, and water -- but not too much water, or their roots will drown.


Stop 8: Water, Water Everywhere!

From this point you can see the variety of life that exists in and around a wetland. As you move uphill, there is less water in the soil. This means larger trees are better able to grow. Here we may find walnut, oak, and maple trees. What would happen to all these different habitats if water wasn't there?


Stop 9: Life Around A Pond

This pond was built in cooperation with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Ducks Unlimited, and the Forest Service. Designed to provide essential habitat for ducks and other wildlife, this pond attracts a variety of animals. Can you hear or see any of the pond inhabitants?


Stop 10: Remnants of the Past

This spring runs year-round. Over time it has attracted not only animals but people as well. These bridge were rebuilt near the site of an old hotel. Across the trail you can see the remains of a smokehouse used during the 1900s. This is a protected area. Please view the archaeological remains from a distance and leave all artifacts where you find them.

Stop 11: Augusta Springs Resort Hotel

Today all that remains of the resort are a few stone walls and the memories of old-timers who visited the hotel to enjoy the springs. This is the spot of the original pond. Can you imagine the horse-drawn carriages riding through the tree-lined lane to the front door of the resort? How might the area have looked 100 years ago?
Photos by SWAC Girl

Back roads of the Shenandoah Valley ... Augusta Springs Wetlands


Original tree-lined hotel driveway from days gone by....

Looking across wetlands to mountains in distance on a hazy day....

Remains of old hotel fountain on right....

"Leaves of three, let them be" ... poison ivy is abundant.

Original spring....

Starting point of trail....

Creek where SWAC Niece discovered hundreds of tadpoles.

The shady areas were appreciated on a muggy humid day.

Seeing everything through the eyes of a child is seeing the world differently. Today my sister, 11-year-old niece, and I drove the back roads, picnicking along the way at Augusta Springs Wetlands. The world around me, as seen through my niece's eyes, made for a fun adventure....

We set up lunch at the picnic table while she made a bee-line for the pond and creek. This is our little science-oriented girl who has turtles, gerbels, and cats for pets ... as well as aquariums containing bugs and tadpoles raised into frogs.

When I heard her gasp from the vicinity of the creek I knew she had discovered something and meandered over to see what it was. There were literally hundreds of tadpoles swimming around in one area. She had never seen anything like that and I hadn't either. It was amazing and we watched them piled on top of one another squirming around in the deep pool. That was good for an hour of entertainment as she watched and observed and leaned far down to reach into the water ... doing everything short of actually falling in.

She grabbed a quick lunch and was back at the pond as my sister and I talked and watched her checking out frogs and water bugs and other aquatic life. Finally we decided to take the nature walk around the wetlands. I had seen this walk through the eyes of my own children when they were young.

Today it was fun to once again see the wetlands through the eyes of another child ... the catepillar hiding under the leaf ... the moss on the rocks in the creek ... the cicada that had died and was perfectly intact on the walkway (she collected it to take home to Richmond) ... the inch worm that swung down from the overhead branch....

She jumped down into the creek, climbed over rocks, skipped along the boardwalk, sat alongside the spring, smelled the wildflowers....

Childhood. It's wonderful and something to be savored ... and together we continued to explore in these waning days of summer....

Photos by SWAC Girl

Memorial Service for Lt. Cameron Hall, Lt. Ryan Betton, Lt. Jr. Grade Jerry Smith

Memorial Service for

Lt. Cameron Hall

Lt. Ryan Betton

Lt. Jr. Grade Jerry Smith

Thursday, August 23, 2007
1:00 p.m.

David Adams Chapel (Building C7)
Norfolk Naval Station
Norfolk, Virginia


AG McDonnell campaigns for GOP ... what's at stake in 2007

From Attorney General Bob McDonnell - August 20, 2007:

As you read this email I am enjoying my first day back in Richmond in over a week! I have spent the past 9 days traveling Virginia in support of our Republican candidates. I attended events in Gate City, Wise, Breaks, Richlands, Pearisburg, Hillsville, Floyd, Blacksburg, Franklin County and Roanoke. And this is just the beginning.

This year is critical for the success of our Republican Party. Races for the House and Senate are important for many reasons. Among them, the majority party in the General Assembly will affect the redistricting process for future elections and dictate policies that will determine whether Virginia will remain prosperous.

It is the Republican Party that has brought policies fostering historic economic growth and competitiveness in Virginia, allowing the entrepreneurial spirit of our Commonwealth's citizens to flourish; it is the Republican Party that reformed welfare and promoted policies punishing violent criminals and protecting our childrenfrom sexual predators; and it is the Republican Party that has protected the institution of marriage and right to life.

A Democrat majority would surely mean a reversal of many of the gains we've made over the last fifteen years.

For this reason I will continue to work from now through Election Day, raising money, giving speeches, talking about our record of accomplishment and our vision for Virginia and doing everything I can to reelect our Republican friends and elect new Republicans like Jeff Evans in Southside, Marc Cadin in Northern Virginia and Admiral Hank Giffin in Hampton Roads.

From now till the end of October, I will be attending more than 75 events in support of Virginia Republican candidates on the state and local level.

The 2007 midterm elections are vital to the future of Virginia. The ideas of our Republican Party have helped to transform our Commonwealth into what President Reagan called "a shining city on a hill." Now, its time to open a new chapter in the Republican Revolution in Virginia -- and that all starts this November.

I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail!

Bob McDonnell
info@bobmcdonnell.com

McDonnell for Virginia
P.O. Box 438
Richmond, VA 23218

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lt. Cameron Hall, USN: We are thankful for your service

A tribute from a friend or coworker tells much about a person ... and this comment left in memory of Lt. Cameron Hall who was killed in the Navy plane crash Wednesday bears that out. Written as a comment for the post, "In memory of Lt. Cameron N Hall, U.S. Navy," Maura said:

I'm so sorry, so very sorry. It's unfair. I'm a physiologist at the Naval Air Systems Command, currently in Norfolk but based out of Patuxent River NAS. I knew Cameron and am still shocked at the news. I worked with him for a short time at the end of 2005, while he was still at VAW-117. What a memorable, vibrant, feisty, funny, and likable guy! He helped make my work at Pt. Mugu worthwhile; he showed me around, made the introductions, made plenty of jokes, and made sure I was able to get things done. I wish his family and friends peace, and I hope they find some comfort in the fact that Cameron touched many others with his energy and kindness. He had a smile that lit up a room. He made me and others laugh a lot. His life was not in vain. He won't be forgotten. Regards, Maura Rudy
Cameron's family will find comfort in Maura's words. He sounded like an extraordinary young man, and we are thankful for his service to our country....

In memory of Lt. Cameron N. Hall, U.S. Navy

In Memory
Lt. Cameron N. Hall, 30
United States Navy
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron
ONE TWENTY (VAW 120)
USS Harry S. Truman
Killed in Hawkeye plane crash
August 15, 2007

Nephew of our Military Mom, USAF veteran Shannon Taylor
and cousin to her daughter Brandi Taylor, USAF

I received sad news from Military Mom Shannon Taylor. Her nephew, Lt. Cameron Hall, 30, from Natchitoches, LA, was killed Wednesday in the Navy plane that crashed into the ocean after taking off from the USS Harry S. Truman. Cameron, who was unmarried, was a Naval Flight Officer and an instructor, and had been with the squadron since April 2006. They were training to deploy to the Middle East. Shannon said he was a great all-around guy and you couldn't ask for a better military guy.
Also killed in the crash were Lieutenant Ryan K. Betton, 31, of Collinsville, Va, who was married with a two-year-old son; and Lieutenant Junior Grade Jerry R. Smith, 25, of Greenville, Me, who also was single.
A memorial service will be held at the Navy base in Norfolk on Thursday, August 23, at 1:00 p.m.
Cameron's dad, Evan, is Shannon's brother, part of a proud military family. He served as a warrant officer in the U.S. Army. Shannon is an Air Force veteran; her daughter, Brandi, is a SSgt. in the Air Force stationed at Beale AFB in California.
Shannon became known as "Military Mom" in Augusta County because her daugher, Brandi, was stationed with the United States Air Force in South Korea four years ago when the first anti-war protesters hit the streets of Staunton. Brandi, stationed half a world away, wondered what was going on ... and thus began the Support the Troops rallies in the SWAC area.
Today Shannon signed herself as a Proud Military Aunt.
Our prayers go to Shannon, Brandi, and their family at this sad time. Our thanks to them all for their service to our country. We are grateful.
May God bless them all.

USS Harry S. Truman

KSLA-TV 12 (Shreveport, LA) news video about Lt. Cameron Hall

Lt. Cameron Hall, we are grateful for your service