Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shenandoah Valley tea party ... Front Royal patriots

They turned out in force ... patriots attending the Front Royal Tea Party on Saturday. Many American and "Don't Tread On Me" flags waved in the strong breeze.

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
31 October 2009

Halloween 2009: Meem's Bottom covered bridge in the Shenandoah Valley

Meem's Bottom Covered Bridge in the Shenandoah Valley as dusk began to fall on Halloween 2009. It was almost destroyed by arsonists on Halloween 1976 but restored and reopened in 1979.

A brass plaque inside says:
"The longest remaining covered bridge in Virginia, 200 feet in a single span supported by the Burr Arch, was biult by Franklin H. Wissler in 1892-93. It is Virginia's only covered bridge open to vehicular traffic. Placed on the Virginia Landmark Register as well as the National Historic Register in 1975."

A look at the architecture inside the covered bridge. It reminded me of the story of Sleepy Hollow and, as I stood inside the bridge, I could hear doves cooing in the rafters. Or ... was it spooky voices....?

The road continues at the far end of the bridge.

The road leading to the covered bridge with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background is a reminder that this was once a private lane on Mr. Wissler's farm.

Shenandoah River, North Fork, flows beneath.

The fire set by vandals in 1976 almost destroyed the bridge. The under-pinning no longer looks as the original did but inside is the same. Still, it is an amazing structure.

Planks on the roadway surface ... one direction at a time ... and all who use it are courteous and wait at one end or the other for traffic to clear.

Brass plaque tells about the Meem's Bottom Covered Bridge.

Picnic tables beside the covered bridge overlook the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Meem's Bottom Covered Bridge is a beautiful structure and reminiscent of those we had seen in years past in New England. Almost destroyed by vandals who set fire to it on Halloween 1976, the bridge is a treasure in Shenandoah County and, hopefully, will not fall under the stupidity of such reckless behavior again. Virginia is for lovers of covered bridges.

A nearby historical marker on U.S. 11 alerts motorists of the bridge's existence:
Built in 1892 by Franklin Hiser Wissler to provide access to his apple orchards at Strathmore Farms, this is the longest remaining covered bridge in Virginia. A 200-foot single span, located one-half mile northwest, the bridge is a Burr Truss design, a combination of arch with vertical and diagonal supports. All construction materials were obtained locally. Damaged by arsonists in 1976, the bridge was restored and reopened in 1979.
Meem's Bottom covered bridge is well worth the trip and another reason to love the Shenandoah Valley ... a place many of us are fortunate enough to call "home."

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
31 October 2009

Halloween 2009 ... take a walk on the spooky side

The pumpkins were glowing ... the spooky music was playing ... candy was waiting for the little goblins to arrive.

SWAC Daughter donned her ladybug wings
and headed out to join friends.

Halloween 2009....

After spending the day in Front Royal at a rally with fellow American patriots, SWAC Husband and I arrived home at 6:10 just as the first two trick-or-treaters were heading to the front door. We pulled into the driveway and I called over to them, "We've got candy in the car."

Even though we had candy at the house, we had picked up an extra couple of bags to be sure we didn't run out. The pirate and wrangler who looked to be around 12 years old were properly treated and wished a Happy Halloween as they headed back toward the street.

Before we could unload the flags from the rally, two more trick-or-treaters headed to the door. This time it was two girls who looked to be around 11 years old dressed as a soccer player and a cheerleader. I called out to them and they, too, came over to the car to receive treats before heading on their way.

Quickly we unloaded the flags, turned on the porch twinkle lights, set up the jack-o-lanterns and spooky music, and got ready for the next visitors ... who showed up around 6:45. The angel and the princess, both around 12 years old, received their treats and headed out into the night.

Our last trick-or-treaters, a wizard and a pirate, were a neighbor's grandchildren who showed up a few minutes later with Grandma in tow. Six and eight years old, they were well mannered and thanked us for their candy and, wishing us a Happy Halloween as they left, went on their way.

And then the rain came ... and we had no more ghostly visitors. There were a number of neighborhood children who didn't show up this year ... perhaps, since it's Saturday night, they had harvest parties to attend. Perhaps the weather deterred them. Of course, since we live in a rural area, we do not have the large numbers of trick-or-treaters that others do.

Meanwhile, SWAC Daughter headed out to join friends, and now SWAC Husband and I plan to join friends for a fun evening.


H-a-p-p-y H-a-l-l-o-w-e-e-n!

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
31 October 2009

Reps. Eric Cantor, Joe Wilson introduce resolution honoring 9/12 March on Washington participants

We learn from David Sessions at Politics Daily that a resolution proposed earlier this week would honor the 9/12 March on Washington participants. Introduced by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Joe Wilson (R-SC), here is the text of the resolution:
Expressing gratitude and appreciation to the individuals and families who participated in the Taxpayer March on Washington on September 12, 2009.

Whereas, on September 12, 2009, hundreds of thousands of American patriots, who refuse to sit idly by as the Federal Government advances skyrocketing deficits, taxpayer-funded bailouts, pork-barrel projects, burdensome taxes, unaccountable policy czars, command-and-control energy policy, and a government takeover of health care, came to Washington, DC, to show their disapproval;

Whereas individuals also wanted to convey their displeasure with the future tax increases that will be required to pay for deficit-financed spending;

Whereas these individuals understand that the fundamental American principles of limited government and personal liberty are under direct assault;

Whereas this dedicated group of freedom-loving Americans believe in open, accountable, responsible, constitutionally based government;

Whereas hundreds of buses, multiple caravans of cars from across the country, and many individually chartered flights, as well as thousands of lone-traveling cars and trucks, brought these patriots to Washington, DC, solely for this event;

Whereas these individuals endured considerable personal expense to get to the march, including transportation and lodging expenses, as well as lost wages in many instances;

Whereas estimates of the number of people who peacefully marched from Freedom Plaza to the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on September 12, 2009, range as high as 1,700,000 marchers;

Whereas all 50 States were represented in the march;

Whereas this event is considered to be the largest ever gathering of fiscal conservatives in Washington, DC;

Whereas special accolades are due to the grassroots citizens organizations across the country who helped individuals exercise their constitutionally protected First Amendment rights in the Nation's capital; and

Whereas when the current trends of government expansion and freedom retrenchment are reversed, it will be due in large part to the efforts of the hundreds of thousands who marched on Washington, DC, on September 12, 2009: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives expresses its gratitude and appreciation to the hundreds of thousands of people who marched on Washington, DC, on September 12, 2009, to show their love of liberty and their grievance with recent government actions.
9/12/09 ... together we WILL make a difference!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gov. Gilmore: "America's Financial Crisis: What Needs to be Done"

Governor Jim Gilmore has posted his remarks on America's financial crisis at his Virginia Patriot blog. Check them out here: Governor Gilmore’s remarks on America’s Financial Crisis.

McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli at Weyers Cave Airport Sunday

Sunday, November 1, 2009
Bob McDonnell ~ Bill Bolling ~ Ken Cuccinelli
Weyers Cave Airpot
5:00 p.m.
Come out and cheer on our winning Republican team!

A Tea Party "Call for Action" Rally in Front Royal October 31st

Calling all American Patriots!

Join us

October 31, 2009

Warren County Government Center

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
A Call to Action Tea Party Rally

in Front Royal, Virginia!

This is an opportunity to let your voice be heard!

We the People...
Those three simple words really say a lot about this country. For over 233 years this country was ruled by We the People ... not by a King or a dictator ... but by We the People.

The time for Tea Parties is over. It is time for action. That is why Front Royal is holding Virginia's first Call To Action Rally.

Take Virginia Back!

One state at a time ... putting this Country back on Track!

Warren County Government Center on Commerce Avenue across from the Warren County Fire Department. (NOT THE COURT HOUSE)

Bob McDonnell on Sean Hannity tonight

Look for Bob McDonnell, Virginia's Republican gubernatorial candidate, on Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity show tonight at 9:00 p.m.

Reagan: "If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to"

"Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are."

And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had some place to escape to."

And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth."

Ronald Reagan, 45 years ago

H/T to Lyn

McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli in Chesterfield Saturday with Haley Barbour

Chesterfield Rally for the GOP Ticket 2009
Saturday, October 31
1:15-2:00 pm - Chesterfield GOP HQs
9503 Hull Street Road, Suite D
Richmond, VA 23236

Come out and cheer the candidates!

Obama visit backfiring in NJ?

From Real Clear Politics comes news of the latest poll showing voters breaking for Chris Christie in New Jersey after a temporary surge earlier this week by Jon Corzine. The poll has Christie +7 points.

The report says:
Neighborhood Research's Rick Shaftan states in his polling memo that a visit by President Obama is not having the intended result.

"Christie's lead grew in each of the three days of the survey and could grow bigger if the Obama visit for Corzine, as we expect, backfires and galvanizes conservative support for Christie," he writes.
Keep an eye on this race....

H/T to Dave


Norm at Tertium Quids writes what I have noticed while reading the headlines going through the BNN aggregator today: It's an all-out liberal attack against Ken Cuccinelli in these last few days of the 2009 campaign season. It's obvious the Democrat memo went out.

They have given up on governor and lieutenant governor. They are walking in lockstep to try and take down Cuccinelli. One by one by one, the libs are trotting out blog posts with all kinds of wild charges trying to win at least one spot for their team.

Stand strong, Cooch.

Back in the home school classroom: Autumn & Halloween poetry

I had the pleasure of educating my children at home for sixteen years until they both graduated from home school high school. One has graduated from James Madison University with a computer science degree, and the other is currently at Blue Ridge Community College pursuing a degree in business.

Autumn was one of our favorite times of the year and we would decorate the house with hand-made pumpkins, ghosts, and leaves. Outside we would hang decorations on a small tree. Carving a pumpkin was always a special event that took place on the front porch in the cool October weather.

In the classroom, I would make a tree trunk about four feet tall and tape it to the wall, and the kids would decorate cut-out autumn leaves to put on the tree. Each day as I read out loud from a favorite book, they would decorate a few more leaves and tape them to the autumn tree.

I probably miss reading out loud with my young children more than anything else. We devoured books of all kinds and poetry. One of our favorite poets was Robert Frost and every season we would read his words describing spring, winter, fall, or summer.

Their favorite fall poem from Robert Frost was "The Last Word of a Bluebird (As told to a child)" ... SWAC Daughter memorized it and still recites it when prompted:
As I went out a Crow
In a low voice said, "Oh,
I was looking for you.
How do you do?
I just came to tell you
To tell Lesley (will you?)

That her little Bluebird
Wanted me to bring word
That the north wind last night
That made the stars bright
And made ice on the trough
Almost made him cough
His tail feathers off.

He just had to fly!
But he sent her Good-by,
And said to be good,
And wear her red hood,
And look for skunk tracks
In the snow with an ax--
And do everything!
And perhaps in the spring
He would come back and sing."
In our Calvert 2nd or 3rd grade curriculum, we found a Halloween poem that became a tradition right through 12th grade. "Little Orphant Annie" was written in 1885 by James Whitcomb Riley and later inspired the "Little Orphan Annie" comic.

Even now it's fun to pull out that poem and read it out loud, complete with the rising and lowering voice and spooky overtones that I used for 16 years. It's like riding a bicycle ... one never forgets. While reading, we would all join in together at the end of each verse with, "An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you ef you don't watch out!"
Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you ef you don't watch out!

Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wasn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an' roundabout--
An' the Gobble-uns'll git you ef you don't watch out!

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever'one, an' all her blood an' kin;
An' onc't, when they was "company," an' ole folks was there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns'll git you ef you don't watch out!

An' little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parents, an' yer teachers fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns'll git you ef you don't watch out!
This year the pumpkins are on the front porch ... the decorations are throughout the house ... but there's no fall tree on the wall or reading out loud as in the past or decorations on an outside tree put there by little hands. But I pulled out the poems today and remembered ... and read "Little Orphant Annie" out loud just as I did for so many years.

Ah, memories. Happy Halloween!

Hundreds turn out for Shenandoah Co. assessment meeting

"What do you do with all this money that y'all are taking from us?"
--Fred Parker, Shenandoah County resident, addressing Board of Supervisors (10/29/09)
Hundreds of Shenandoah County residents angry at huge increases in their real estate assessments turned out Thursday night for a meeting with supervisors in the high school gymnasium. From the Northern Virginia Daily:
At the largest supervisors meeting in years -- perhaps in history -- several hundred people filled Central High School's gymnasium seeking answers on the increased reassessments and likelihood of a tax increase as a result.
This takes place six months after Augusta County supervisors saw the largest crowd in history -- 1,000 strong -- turn out to protest their high real estate assessments. The paper continued:
With hundreds of people angry about the recent real estate reassessments present, the chairman of the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors conceded Thursday night that a meeting with the appraisal group to get justification of its findings was needed.
County Administrator Vince Poling offered a presentation to explain the reassessments:
In the presentation, [Poling] noted that the new reassessment does not necessarily mean a person's taxes will go up, which elicited laughter from the crowd and one person yelling, "Tell us another one."
Thursday's meeting was in place of the scheduled Tuesday meeting that was cancelled after residents showed up at the Government Center.

What is occurring in Shenandoah County happened earlier this year in Augusta County as landowners fear that higher taxes and out-of-control spending by electeds will cause them to lose their homes.

We have been involved with the Augusta assessment issue since the beginning in February 2009 when an overflow crowd of 600 people turned out on a snowy February night for a planning meeting of Augusta Citizens Against Unfair Assessments to hear from attorney Francis Chester and Supervisor Tracy Pyles.

Petitions were circulated throughout the county ... 30+ businesses allowed them in their stores including Tractor Supply, that farm equipment store that has a finger on the pulse of the rural community.

Signatures were collected from more than 10,500 residents and taken to Augusta supervisors ... over 1,000 residents turned out for the supervisor meeting in March, the largest crowd ever in the county's history ... over 50 speakers addressed supervisors at the meeting. In March 2009 this blog reported:

There is a groundswell of discontent among those who pay taxes and feel those taxes are increasingly being squandered by the government. Tough times have hit Americans, something that is evident in the SWAC area of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County after local companies laid off hundreds of employees ... Invista, Mohawk Carpet, American Safety Razor, Gem Ply, Unifi, Hershey ... as home prices dropped 18% the last quarter of 2008, as housing starts dropped to their lowest level since 1959. Baby boomers have seen half their retirement savings disappear as the Stock Market dropped ... others lost their investments. Unemployment in Augusta County has been reported at over 9%.

Nothing has improved since that time ... in fact, the financial and job situation has become worse. Mohawk Carpet announced they will close down in December. Layoffs have been announced for McQuay in Verona as well as Western State in Staunton.

Yet there is a disconnect between the supervisors and the general population.

Instead of dealing with the assessment issue, Augusta County sued Churchville attorney Francis Chester asking for financial sanctions against him for having the audacity to represent pro bono 10,500 county residents in a lawsuit against the county.

Taking a cue from Augusta, Shenandoah County filed a lawsuit earlier this month against a county resident who is currently a supervisor candidate for having the audacity to ask questions of the board.

The electeds are there to serve the community ... they are paid by citizens ... they are not there to intimidate and humiliate those same taxpaying residents who ask questions and want answers and a transparent government. At what point do they realize Americans cannot shoulder much more of the government's debt?

Lord Monckton, John Bolton on Glenn Beck's TV show today

Tune into Fox News Channel at 5:00 this afternoon for the Glenn Beck show to hear Lord Christopher Monckton, former advisor to Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, along with former American U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. The entire hour show will be spent with these two guests as they talk about all aspects of the global warming scare and the push for a "new world order" to deal with it.

Hard-hitting news and investigative reporting is coming from Fox News and Glenn Beck as they connect the dots and research the backgrounds of ACORN and White House insiders including Rober McChesney who said:
"Any serious effort to reform the media system would have to be necessarily part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself. Also, there is no real answer, but to remove, brick by brick, the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles."
He is a backer of Hugo Chavez, the crackdown on the media, and even suggested that owners of a TV station that was critical of Chavez should be arrested for treason.
What? Wake up, America ... please.

When young, I was in awe of investigative journalism ... it inspired me to participate in debate and communication and research. What happened to those wordsmiths who presented objective reporting of what they found free of a personal agenda? Many have become zombies of the liberal left, indoctrinated through higher education and insulated in a bubble of like-thinking peers.

Check out Glenn Beck who, with the help of the great research team at Fox News Channel, is finding alarming information and passing it on to the viewers of his TV show and listeners of his radio program. He is breaking news the mainstream media is ignoring ... ignoring at the peril of our country's future.

Today ... 5 pm ... Fox News Channel. Lord Monckton and John Bolton. It will be a powerful hour of TV journalism.

IBD: "A 1,990 page monstrosity"

The health care debate in America is yet the latest reason citizens should be paying attention to their government. Every man, woman, and child is about to be slammed with the most horrendous piece of legislation ever seen in this country ... yet, many are still oblivious to it.

Take into consideration these government-run programs: U.S. Post Office, Medicare, Cash for Clunkers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Amtrak ... do I need to go on? All are deep in financial trouble.

Now consider the government taking over health care for the entire country ... and imagine the debt, mismanagement, and fraud that will come with it.

Today's Investor's Business Daily looks at the 1,990 page monstrosity that is the health care plan ... and they are not impressed:
Just as most congressional Democrats refused to listen to the angry public at town halls in the summer, Speaker Pelosi was not interested in ordinary Americans attending the outdoor rally on the West Front of the Capitol, where she and her fellow House Democrats rolled out their 1,990-page monster health reform bill on Thursday.

YouTube recorded someone not on the RSVP list being refused entry and asking a staffer why the announcement of legislation that will radically affect the lives of all Americans isn't open to the public. "Because that's how we're handling this event," she told him.

Truth be told, most lawmakers are excluded too. As the Hudson Institute's Hanns Kuttner noted on the National Review Web site, you would have to devour 221 pages a day to have read this life-changing legislation in its entirety before it comes to a vote, promised for before Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Democrats are not listening. Barack Obama is not listening. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are not listening. They are poised to jam nationalized health care down the throats of the majority of Americans who do not want it.

Contact Mark Warner and Jim Webb and tell them you do not want it passed. I contacted their Richmond offices and asked that they vote NO.

Senator Jim Webb
RICHMOND - 804-771-2221 / Fax: 804-771-8313

WASHINGTON - 202-224-4024 / Fax: 202-228-6363
Toll Free Number: 1-866-507-1570

Senator Mark Warner
RICHMOND - 804-775-2314 / Fax Number: 804-739-3478

WASHINGTON - 202-224-2023 / Fax: 202-224-6295

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hiker, 19, killed by coyotes -- UPDATED

~Two coyotes attack Canadian singer/songwriter~

[Update: To leave memorials and photos, go to Updated links are below.]

From Chart Attack:
Taylor Mitchell, a Toronto-based singer/songwriter, died earlier Wednesday (Oct. 28) in Halifax after being attacked by a coyote in Cape Breton during a Maritime tour. She was 19. The Cape Breton Post reports Mitchell succumbed to her injuries....
It goes on to say:
...received a 911 call on Tuesday (Oct. 27) from a hiker who saw Mitchell — who apparently had been hiking alone — attacked by two coyotes on the Skyline Trail, a favorite hiking trail located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Reports indicated she had bite wounds all over her body.One of the coyotes was shot, but its body has not been found. A second coyote escaped into the woods.
We have had problems with coyotes in this part of Virginia for years. I saw one last week in western Augusta County in the broad daylight of afternoon running in a field beside the road. They are fearless but it is rather rare for humans to be attacked and killed.

Such a sad ending to a young, promising life full of music....

- Cape Breton Post: She had a real joy of life
- National Post: She loved 'beauty, serenity' of woods
- Blog: Taylor Mitchell's living legacy
- North By East West Blog: Taylor Mitchell remembered

The eyes of America are on Virginia's gubernatorial race

The eyes of America are on Virginia in these closing days of Election 2009, watching to see if the Commonwealth that voted for Barack Obama in November 2008 will vote in the Republicans for the top three leadership spots in 2009.

Karl Rove's Wall Street Journal column today talks about the importance of the races in Virginia and New Jersey ... and how a win in either or both could spook Congress:
Democratic enthusiasm for President Barack Obama's liberal domestic agenda—particularly for a government-run health insurance program—could wane after the results of the gubernatorial elections next Tuesday in Virginia and New Jersey. GOP victories in either state will tell Democrats in red states and districts that support for Obama's policies is risky to their political health.

The more significant is the open race for governor in Virginia, a purple state. The Washington Post poll released Monday showed 55% support for Republican Attorney General Bob McDonnell and 44% for Democratic State Senator Creigh Deeds. The president is trying to reverse these numbers by stumping the state for Mr. Deeds.

Mr. McDonnell has relentlessly focused on the economy, transportation and education. Mr. Deeds tried to make the race about abortion and his opponent's supposed animus toward working women. But Mr. McDonnell understood that anti-Obama, anti-Washington sentiment was not enough to win and bent the contest back to jobs, roads and schools. He also has a good ground game to turn out the vote, which the GOP hasn't done for too many years in Virginia.
He goes on to say that a win by Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli, along with pickups in the General Assembly, could be a big smack up-side the head to national Democrats.

Not one single person I know has slowed down in light of all the positive polls for our GOP team. Everyone is running until they are across the finish line and, when we cross that, all hope to look around and find that Republicans won big in Virginia. Losses in recent years are too vivid for anyone to take it for granted that we will win.

November 3 ... let's make it Victory Day for the Virginia GOP!

Obama "dithers" as terrorists kill troops and U.N. employees

Cartoon by William Warren.
Printed with permission from

Under the "leadership" of Barack Obama, the Taliban are emboldened and attacks are on the rise in the Middle East. Now the United Nations has been affected and Donald covers it at American Power:
The deaths of five U.N. employees in a Taliban assault on a Kabul guesthouse Wednesday is forcing the world body and humanitarian agencies to reevaluate the way they operate in Afghanistan, officials said, putting at risk programs aimed at helping millions of people and stabilizing the war-torn country.
I hope the U.N. is taking notice of the empty suit sitting in the White House ... the man many world leaders fawned over and flaunted in the face of former President George W. Bush. As Donald noted:
There's a horrible irony here for the Obama administration. The election of Barack Obama to the presidency lifted the hopes of liberal internationalists, seeing the Democratic victory as a validation of Obama's call for "a new era of global partnership" and of building "bridges of cooperation with the U.N. and other nations." Of course, now the president - who is stalling a decision on U.S. General Stanley McChrystal's request for troop reinforcements - is himself destroying that very vision of a new era in international relations.
Ironic, indeed. October is the bloodiest month ever in the war in Afghanistan (following three previous bloody months during the Obama administration). For two months a recommendation has sat on the president's desk requesting additional American troops to support those already in place ... for two months this president has had time for everything else except a decision on the war.

Because we are still at war. Remember Operation Enduring Freedom?

While our brave Marines and soldiers sacrifice to protect our freedoms and safety, their hands are tied with insufficient backup and restrictive Rules of Engagement ... and they are dying.

Dying, Mr. President. No amount of photo ops in the middle of the night as bodies arrive home from Afghanistan will change it. But your response by providing the requested troops -- pronto! -- could help.

While our president jets off to Coppenhagen to pick up his "peace prize," our troops are dying.

While Obama golfs with buddies, our troops are dying.

While the Democrats declare war on Fox News Channel (an act that is totally unpresidential and beneath the dignity of the White House), our troops are dying.

A result of this president's actions will be a drop in morale with the troops and the countries who have depended on our help. Many are calling for a decision from the president. Others have demanded that Congress read the McKrystal report.

Meanwhile, our troops are fighting. May God bless them and keep them safe while their Commander-in-Chief dithers away his time.

Fishersville Mike's first year

I missed Mike's blogoversary yesterday but here's a belated, "We're glad you joined us," shout-out to fellow SWAC blogger and friend Fishersville Mike. Has it been a year already?

Mike has livened up the blogosphere with humor, music parodies, quips, and introductions to his national blogger buddies. He's a former newspaper reporter (who kept his journalistic abilities intact while preserving his conservative beliefs), a husband and dad, and someone who has become a friend in our merry SWAC Corps of bloggers.

Congratulations, Mike ... and here's to many more years of blogging on the right side!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hiker killed in coyote attack -- UPDATED

~Two coyotes attack Canadian singer/songwriter~

[Update: To leave memorials and photos, go to Updated links are below.]

From Chart Attack:
Taylor Mitchell, a Toronto-based singer/songwriter, died earlier Wednesday (Oct. 28) in Halifax after being attacked by a coyote in Cape Breton during a Maritime tour. She was 19. The Cape Breton Post reports Mitchell succumbed to her injuries....
It goes on to say:
...received a 911 call on Tuesday (Oct. 27) from a hiker who saw Mitchell — who apparently had been hiking alone — attacked by two coyotes on the Skyline Trail, a favorite hiking trail located in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Reports indicated she had bite wounds all over her body.One of the coyotes was shot, but its body has not been found. A second coyote escaped into the woods.
We have had problems with coyotes in this part of Virginia for years. I saw a one last week in western Augusta County in broad daylight in the afternoon running in the field beside the road. They are fearless but it is rather rare for humans to be attacked and killed.

Such a sad ending to a young, promising life full of music....

- Cape Breton Post: She had a real joy of life
- National Post: She loved 'beauty, serenity' of woods
- Blog: Taylor Mitchell's living legacy
- North By East West Blog: Taylor Mitchell remembered

200 turn out for Shenandoah BOS meeting ... BOS postpones meeting

We the People were out in force Tuesday night at the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The supervisors were set to meet at 7:00 pm. Citizens held a rally last Friday that brought out 100 residents upset about their outrageous real estate assessments and planned to turn out in force to the meeting. Citizens for Honest Government teamed up with rally organizer Phil Hunt to encourage people to attend.

They did!

Our boots-on-the-ground reported that over 200 people turned out for the meeting on a rainy and messy night. Many carried signs and "pink slips" saying "You're fired!"

The first 100 chairs filled quickly. More chairs were carried in; they filled. People stood in every square inch of standing room and the crowd overflowed into the hallway.

At 7:00, BOS chairman Ferguson showed up long enough to say there was a problem because they had exceeded the number of people allowed by the fire marshall, and postponed the meeting until Thursday at 7:00 pm at the Central school campus to have room for all residents. He also announced he would have a "presentation" first to tell about the reassessments. (My boots-on-the-ground said, "He is known for 1 1/2-hour dissertations so he will try to run out the clock so people will have to leave.")

By 7:11 pm, it was over.

All those people traveled out on a cold, rainy night only to be sent home. One would think the supervisors would allow the maximum number of people allowed in the building by the fire marshall and carry on.

What happened in Augusta County is now happening in Shenandoah County. Real estate assessments that are skyrocketing have hit landowners at a time of financial depression.

All residents are now being urged to turn out for the meeting on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, at 7:00 pm at Central school campus.

Residents denied the opportunity to speak on Tuesday said they would be back on Thursday with more people so look for the crowd to grow. According to the Northern Virginia Daily:
Barbara McDonald, of Strasburg, said she'll be there Thursday "with bells on." She said she and her brother own identical tracts of land, and his assessment went up $1,700, and hers went up $45,000.

Fort Valley resident Dan Knapp's assessment went up 125 percent, he said, which he can't afford in this economy. He's in the construction business, and hasn't had much work lately.

"We haven't had beef in my house in 10 months," Knapp said. "We eat deer, and we eat vegetables from the garden."

He's coming out Thursday night, "and I will be bringing more people. It's just ridiculous."
DIRECTIONS: Take Woodstock exit and turn east. Go through first traffic light and past CVS Pharmacy. On right will be a driveway that runs beside the ballfield for the Central school campus; follow drive to area of school where meeting is held (look for cars).

Thomas Sowell: "Dismantling America"

Will America wake up before it's too late?
Nothing so epitomizes President Obama's own contempt for American values and traditions like trying to ram two bills through Congress in his first year-- each bill more than a thousand pages long-- too fast for either of them to be read, much less discussed. That he succeeded only the first time says that some people are starting to wake up. Whether enough people will wake up in time to keep America from being dismantled, piece by piece, is another question-- and the biggest question for this generation. --Thomas Sowell
Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers-- that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?

Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?

Does any of this sound like America?

How about a federal agency giving school children material to enlist them on the side of the president? Merely being assigned to sing his praises in class is apparently not enough.

How much of America would be left if the federal government continued on this path? President Obama has already floated the idea of a national police force, something we have done without for more than two centuries.

We already have local police forces all across the country and military forces for national defense, as well as the FBI for federal crimes and the National Guard for local emergencies. What would be the role of a national police force created by Barack Obama, with all its leaders appointed by him? It would seem more like the brown shirts of dictators than like anything American.

How far the President will go depends of course on how much resistance he meets. But the direction in which he is trying to go tells us more than all his rhetoric or media spin.

Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to "change the United States of America," the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles and the people of this country.

Jeremiah Wright said it with words: "God damn America!"

Bill Ayers said it with bombs that he planted.

Community activist goons have said it with their contempt for the rights of other people.

Among the people appointed as czars by President Obama have been people who have praised enemy dictators like Mao, who have seen the public schools as places to promote sexual practices contrary to the values of most Americans, to a captive audience of children.

Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn't know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House?

Nothing is more consistent with his lifelong patterns than putting such people in government-- people who reject American values, resent Americans in general and successful Americans in particular, as well as resenting America's influence in the world.

Any miscalculation on his part would be in not thinking that others would discover what these stealth appointees were like. Had it not been for the Fox News Channel, these stealth appointees might have remained unexposed for what they are. Fox News is now high on the administration's enemies list.

Nothing so epitomizes President Obama's own contempt for American values and traditions like trying to ram two bills through Congress in his first year -- each bill more than a thousand pages long -- too fast for either of them to be read, much less discussed. That he succeeded only the first time says that some people are starting to wake up. Whether enough people will wake up in time to keep America from being dismantled, piece by piece, is another question -- and the biggest question for this generation.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.

Glenn Beck and Fox News recognized by Thomas Sowell for exposing Obama appointees

Thomas Sowell said it in his column, "Dismantling America":
Any miscalculation on his [Barack Obama's] part would be in not thinking that others would discover what these stealth appointees were like. Had it not been for the Fox News Channel, these stealth appointees might have remained unexposed for what they are. Fox News is now high on the administration's enemies list.
Glenn Beck has been connecting the dots and exposing the ugly underbelly of the Barack Obama administration.

For that he is vilified not only by the liberals, the White House, Democrats, and moonbats but also by some conservatives and others who seem more content on bashing rather than listening.

Watch Glenn Beck at 5:00 weekday afternoons on Fox News. You may learn something ... and you may even become alarmed at what is being discovered.

Barack Obama said to judge him by the people who surround him. Glenn Beck and Fox News did that. They began researching those people around this president and what they found was disturbing. Wake up, America.

Dr. Alan Keyes addresses SWAC conservatives

Dr. Alan Keyes at Tuesday's ComfortCare banquet.

Del. Chris Saxman (R-House 20) and his daughter, Mary.

A sold-out crowd of 240 listened as Dr. Keyes spoke. He had addressed a crowd of 275 in the same room the night before.

Bob Stuart with the Waynesboro News Virginian talks with Dr. Keyes.

Many tables were sponsored by groups. The Blue Ridge Church of Christ table included Mr. and Mrs. Bev Cundiff, Mr. and Mrs. Craig Smith, and Dr. and Mrs. Kurt Michael.

Tuesday was an evening for SWAC area conservatives to gather in support of the Comfort Care Women's Health Center (formerly the Pregnancy Crisis Center) at the annual fundraising banquet that featured Dr. Alan Keyes as its speaker.

A Harvard graduate who is conservative, he is a long-time leader in the conservative movement and well-known as a staunch pro-life champion. He received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in government affairs from Harvard, and has run on the Republican ticket for U.S. Senate (in 2004 he challenged Barack Obama in Illinois) and U.S. President.

In 2008 Dr. Keyes severed his Republican Party affiliation and has worked with America's Independent Party to build an effective vehicle for citizen-led grassroots political action.

Dr. Keyes did not disappoint Tuesday night. Though he has been part of the political scene since the days of Ronald Reagan when he served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, he shifted to his pastor's cap to address the pro-life crowd.

With his voice rising and falling as he made a point, he emphasized that politics and the very existence and survival of a nation depended on its foundation. Years of legal abortions, he said, have been just one step in the process and America is about to take the next step (never specifically mentioning the "death panels" of Barack Obama's nationalized health care but it was clearly understood).

He compared the 9/11/01 terrorism attacks on America when innocent lives were disregarded with the "wholesale" terrorism already in place due to abortions which he called child murder ... "licensing the murder of children."

This country, Dr. Keyes declared, has been blessed beyond imagination but has turned its back on God. Like the Twin Towers, it is crumbling as our liberty, elections, and dreams are now under threat. What judgment, he asked, is there for a nation that allows abortion? He was speaking to a receptive audience that responded with applause throughout the 30-plus minutes of remarks.

Touching personal testimonies were provided by two women who took separate paths when confronted with the life-alternating news that they were pregnant. One who had contemplated abortion decided instead on giving her child up for adoption ... the other kept her little girl who was born six months ago and accompanied her mom to the banquet.

Bob Stuart with the Waynesboro News Virginian was at the banquet to talk with Dr. Keyes afterwards about some political issues that were not mentioned during his formal remarks:
[Dr. Keyes] said the current unrest could be "the greatest crisis ever in the history of the American Republica."

"People are angry and dismayed and don't know where to go," Keyes said.

Keyes does not just blame the administration of President Barack Obama, but what he described as a group of American elites, ruling the country.

"There are czars, bureaucrats and a handful of politicians who are deciding health care," Keyes said. Generations will be "enslaved" by the debt Washington is accumulating, he said.
Sponsors for the event were from throughout the SWAC area including Philip and Kathie Zodhiates with Response Unlimited (and who hosted Dr. Keyes at their home for this event), Cornerstone Construction of Augusta, Gary Eavers with Eavers Tire, Michael and SallyAnn Gowen with Shenandoah Eye Care, and Gary Lee Eavers with The Cheese Shop.

Many volunteers including a number of home school parents and their teen children helped with food service, registration, set-up and clean-up, and everything that goes into such a production.

ComfortCare Women's Health provides all services free of charge for every patient regardless of income level, race, or religion. Lay persons and medical professionals donate over 4,000 hours of time annually to provide pregnancy confirmation, counseling, nurse's consultation, and STD testing.

Patient demographics for the SWAC area show the average patient is 22 years old, 70% are single, 50% are still in school, the average income if $14,000 or below or still a dependent, with service distribution divided up with 42% Staunton, 29% Waynesboro, and 25% Augusta County.

The annual fundraising banquet raises 25% of the annual operating budget and is sustained by over 2,000 individuals, 100 churches, and 100 businesses. ComfortCare is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization ... contributions are tax-deductible.

I had the pleasure of being introduced to Dr. Keyes which provided the opportunity to thank him for his work throughout the years. I also had the opportunity to hug my friend Chris Saxman and his daughter, Mary, who has grown into a beautiful young lady. Chris and I talked football (we were texting back and forth during the Steelers-Vikings game Sunday) and politics (imagine that!), and about Dr. Keyes.

It was a good evening of fellowship spent with many friends from throughout the SWAC conservative community for a good cause that has been growing for years.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SWAC conservatives welcome Dr. Alan Keyes

A Harvard graduate who is conservative ... can't miss that! I'm heading out shortly to spend the evening with conservative friends as we fellowship and listen to Dr. Alan Keyes at a fundraiser for Comfort Care, a local women's health care facility run by volunteers.

Last night's dinner in Waynesboro had 275 people in attendance ... tonight will see another 240 or so as they listen to this former presidential candidate who ran for the senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.

More later....

Home schoolers also need H1N1 vaccine

Letter to the editor written by a Staunton home school mom....

Dear Editor:

I have three children - two home schooled and one in private school. We live in Staunton. One of my home schoolers is a type 1 diabetic. Because of his compromised immune system he cannot have the H1N1 mist (which is live virus). Instead he needs the syringe version which is killed virus. I got the mist for my other two children at my pediatrician's office and since they did not have the syringe version my doctor suggested I call the Staunton-Augusta Health Department to get it for my diabetic son.

After initially being told we had to go through the public school system and being refused by the school system because my child is not enrolled in public school, I was very concerned about where to find the vaccine.

I called the Health Department again and spoke with one of their nurses... she asked me who had told me I had to go through the school system and said my son should get his vaccine at the health department - which we did that afternoon. I was told that he received one of the last five syringes they had.

I was upset about the whole experience but thought it was more of a person-to-person misunderstanding than a state-wide problem. Today when I got a message from HSLDA I realized the issue is bigger than that.

While I'm grateful that our situation was resolved in a positive way, I'm deeply troubled by the idea that the health department/school system or anyone else in authority in Virginia would take it upon themselves to decide that some Virginia children are not eligable for state-wide health care services.

I'm copying this message to my local home school support networks, my pediatrician's office, my school board, the health department, and my local newspaper.

Heather Farrell Bernard
Staunton, VA

Fred Thompson TV ad for Hoffman (C-NY 23)

Fred Thompson has put his money where his mouth is. After earlier endorsing NY-23 conservative candidate Doug Hoffman for Congress, Sen. Thompson has released a TV commercial for Mr. Hoffman. From an email from the Thompson folks:
As you know, Senator Thompson has been actively backing Conservative Republican candidate Doug Hoffman for Congress in a Special Election in New York.

Just moments ago, a TV commercial was released featuring Senator Thompson. The Hoffman campaign is airing the spot throughout the district in the final days!

See the commercial here. This ad will help “seal the deal” – it sets out clearly what is at stake in this election.

Your support of Fred PAC is making it possible for real, conservatives dedicated to First Principles to advance throughout the country. But there is still so much more to do.

A victory in New York next week will be a resounding call to arms for all conservatives in America. Please do all you can to help spread the message to return our nation to the Founding Principles.
Sen. Thompson has widespread support from many who supported him for president in 2008.

Meanwhile, at Real Clear Politics we see that Mr. Hoffman has taken the lead over the Republican and Democrat candidates, a change that has occurred since last Friday when he was in third place.

It would appear that endorsements from such conservative heavy weights as Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Dick Armey, Rick Santorum, Steve Forbes, and James Dobson have helped.

Michelle Malkin even provided her space for a guest post from Mr. Hoffman.

Keep an eye on NY-23 because it could be an indication of what is to come.

Virginia to Obama ... "Can you hear us now?"

Virginia Republicans up double digits in two more polls

Public Policy Polling:
Bob McDonnell +15
Bill Bolling +12
Ken Cuccinelli +16

SurveyUSA Poll:
Bob McDonnell +17
Bill Bolling +14
Ken Cuccinelli +16

Previous posts:
- Virginia: Could McDonnell lead first GOP sweet since Gilmore's '97 victory?
- Are Virginians sending a message to Obama?


The Washington Post "Macaca Alert" System ... thanks to Mike for the chortle of the day.

More bad news for Creigh Deeds

The new Public Policy Poll for the Virginia governor's race will be out later today ... and they are warning it's more bad news for Creigh Deeds:
One thing I find interesting looking back over our last four polls is that the percentage of likely voters who are Democrats has fallen every time. This is the first race we've polled regularly in the last few years where I've noticed this happening- this is also the first race we've polled regularly in the last few years that's so lopsided. Does anyone know if it's normal for supporters of a particular candidate to finally just decide they're not going to vote if they think he's going to lose? The more inevitable Deeds' loss has seemed the fewer Democrats we've found planning to vote.

Go Bob McDonnell!

H/T to Dave

Monday, October 26, 2009

Augusta Board of Supervisors ... leave no dollar unspent

Got home around 10:30 tonight from an Augusta County Board of Supervisors meeting that was still going when I left. Four public hearings in one night ... how ridiculous is that? That on top of a staff briefing at 1:30 this afternoon that lasted two hours. I actually took the title line from Supervisor Tracy Pyles during the staff briefing. He has been totally disgusted at the hand-over-fist spending of this board.

Tonight the BOS and Planning Commission were there for a public hearing about the 5,000 zoning change proposals that will affect everything from livestock to paving parking lots to lighting to what kind of trees a business can plant.

Probably 30-40 people addressed the board in the first hearing that lasted from 7-9:15 pm. I talked to a bunch of people afterwards who were ticked off. Plant a certain type of tree? One business owner said he would rather hire an unemployed person.

More on this update Tuesday. I surely hope they didn't vote for that colossal pile of red tape tonight....


SWAC Conservative Round Table Breakfast ... 50+ turn out to discuss issues

Many requests were made over the months by local folks who wanted to see a return of the SWAC breakfasts. A coalition of conservatives met Saturday, led by local conservative leader Kurt Michael. See previous post.

David Karaffa, Augusta Board of Supervisor candidate who plans to run in 2011.

Dean Welty of the Valley Forum passed out Voter Guides from the Virginia Family Foundation.

Sisters Lyn and Sue organized the Tea Party's 9/12 bus to the March on Washington.

Francis Chester updates about Augusta County real estate assessments and their financial sanctions against him for filing a lawsuit on behalf of 10,500 residents.

David Karaffa speaks as overflow crowd listens inside and outside the door.

Alex hands out materials.

Photos by SWAC Daughter
24 October 2009

Virginia Dems disenfranchise soldiers

Virginia's active military were disenfranchised in the 2008 elections while voter fraud occurred in the Commonwealth under Democrat Gov. Tim Kaine's watch.

Tom White at Virginia Right exposes voter fraud arrests in Louisa County:
While felons were voting illegally, Virginia’s active duty military were being disenfranchised because their requested absentee ballots were mailed out too late. Hundreds of our Service men and women saw their ballots tossed aside.

Unbelievably, the Virginia State Board of Elections Chairwoman Jean Cunningham, who was appointed by Governor Tim Kaine, feels it is not her duty to mail the absentee ballots out in a timely manner, and she can refuse to count them if they are received late.

Last week, the courts disagreed and ordered that the votes be counted. (See post.)
Democrat hypocrites....

Shenandoah Valley Victory Rally

~GOP Ticket Victory Rally at Shenandoah Valley Airport~

Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, Ken Cuccinelli, and our local candidates will be at a rally at the Weyers Cave Shenandoah Valley Airport on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, at 5:00 pm.

Cheer them on to victory!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

'Tis the season ... "County Fair" harvest festival

"Welcome" to the County Fair harvest party! The annual church event is a hit every year. The parking lot was filled to capacity as kids of all ages enjoyed this year's festivities.

Come right in ... it's lots of fun! Be sure to sidle up to the barn and rake in some of those good eats ... chili, chicken nuggets, fries, and nachos. Don't forget your goodie bag of candy treats!

Now that's a hay wagon where little ones can't bail over the side! As the hayride drove past with laughing children ...

... Mr. Scarecrow kept a watchful eye over the parking lot and the autumn-colored hills beyond.

Kurt found an alpaca friend ...

... one of those miniatures that mirror llamas.

Look out, Partner ... Jason was helping the kids take their turn on the climbing wall ...

... while his better half was at the bottom to help little ones find their way safely off the slide. What a cute buckaroo!

Our own little ladybug and the gun slinger prepare to head out to the harvest party.

Cotton candy clouds ... the perfect ending to the day looking out from Waynesboro at the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Photo by SWAC Daughter.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
25 October 2009

Breakfast! SWAC Conservative Round Table has standing room only

SWAC Conservative Round Table breakfast was led by conservative leader Kurt Michael. An opening prayer by Alex Davis was followed with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Jason Bibeau. Photo by SWAC Daughter.

Fishersville Mike listens to speakers.

Dean Welty of the Family Forum brought non-partisan Voter Guides to distribute.

It was standing room only with over 50 people in attendance.

David Karaffa stressed the importance of having conservative candidates to run for local office.

Suzanne Curran, Tea Party Patriot, informed the crowd of the real estate assessment fight that has begun in Shenandoah County where outrageous assessments were received last week, and tied it in with the assessment battle currently going on locally in Augusta County.

It was nice to see young children, middle school-aged students, and college Republicans out so early on a Saturday morning. One CR came home from school to attend the breakfast with her mom and to cast an in-person absentee ballot before heading back to school.

Dave Mason, Chairman of Augusta County's Constitution Party.

Mike Shull, who ran for Augusta Board of Supervisors in 2007, will again seek office as the Republican nominee in 2011.

On a rainy Saturday morning, over 50 SWAC (Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta County) area residents who considered themselves Independents, Tea Party Patriots, conservative Republicans, Constitution Party, and more met at the Staunton Shoney's for fellowship, to contribute to the conversation, and learn how to become more active in local conservative politics.

Breakfast was led by local conservative leader Kurt Michael who emphasized that the SWAC Conservative Round Table is not a political party or organization but rather a gathering of like-minded conservatives who care more about their country and community than they do about political labels. He emphasized:
"We are a loose group of individuals held together by conservative beliefs and we sit at a metaphorical round table ... all are equal, all share a mutual respect for one another's beliefs and talents ... we do not need to agree on everything. However, what we do agree on is too important to let slip through our fingers. We must work together when possible and allow our bonds of friendship to grow and our alliances to be strengthened. Only then will our conservative values prevail."
Kurt laid out the three goals of SWAC Breakfast which are:
1) Social ... a place for networking with like-minded individuals and groups.

2) Educational ... a place to educate each other on current conservative thought, to keep each other informed of current events and issues.

3) Political Action ... encourage conservative individuals to become politically active.
A variety of conservative leaders briefly addressed the crowd.

Churchville attorney Francis Chester updated about the Augusta County real estate assessment battle ... and his battle with the County of Augusta, the board of supervisors, and Commissioner of the Revenue Jean Shrewsbury who have asked the court to levy financial sanctions on him for having the audacity to sue Augusta County on behalf of 10,500 county residents.

Shenandoah County Tea Party activist Suzanne Curran informed of an anti-real estate assessment rally Friday morning in Woodstock that saw 100 angry residents upset about their outrageous real estate assessments. Together, she said, citizens of the two counties can keep one another informed of the issues including that her BOS is out of control, spending $100 million the past year in a county with only 43,000 residents. She also told everyone about the Front Royal Tea Party to be held next Saturday, October 31, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Courthouse.

Conservative candidate David Karaffa plans to run for the Augusta County Board of Supervisors in 2011 in the Beverley Manor District. David, who has a young family, showed the willingness of those who will step to the plate to run for elected office, and he was warmly greeted by the crowd.

Michael Shull discussed his plans to run for the Republican nominee for the Augusta County Board of Supervisors in 2011 in the Riverheads District. Accompanied by his two children, he has emphasized in the past that the future is theirs and that is why he is running.

Dave Mason, chairman of the Augusta County Constitution Party, talked about his belief in that group, and Party member Steve Bright passed out copies of the U.S. Constitution.

Valley Family Forum director Dean Welty provided Voter Guides distributed by the Virginia Family Foundation, a non-partisan grading of all candidates for the 2009 election season. Available for churches, civic groups, and political organizations, the guides cover the top three state offices of governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Email for more info about how to obtain guides.

Local Republican Party of Virginia State Central representative Lynn Mitchell spoke on behalf of the GOP with news of the latest Survey USA poll that has Bob McDonnell up +19, Bill Bolling up +15, and Ken Cuccinelli up +16 ... and that we have the opportunity to sweep the top three positions for the first time since 1997, and urged everyone to vote on Election Day. Informing that the GOP ticket will be at Weyers Cave and Waynesboro, she also said she had yard signs and literature with her for those who needed them after the breakfast.

Temporary Acting Director of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Richard Armstrong updated about the organization of his group electing officers and recruiting people. The group has grown tremendously over the months since its beginning in April.

SWAC bloggers Yankee Phil, Augusta Water Cooler, Fishersville Mike, Augusta Conservative, and SWAC Girl were there. Check out Phil's post about breakfast.

Our thanks to all who came out Saturday. Also ... Shoney's Restaurant could not have been more accommodating or friendly. The wait staff was excellent as they took care of us, and we would like to thank them for their hospitality.
More photos of SWAC Breakfast

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
24 October 2009

SWAC Conservative Round Table Breakfast ... 50+ turn out to discuss issues

Many requests were made over the months by local folks who wanted to see a return of the SWAC breakfasts. A coalition of conservatives met today, led by local conservative leader Kurt Michael. See previous post.

David Karaffa, Augusta Board of Supervisor candidate who plans to run in 2011.

Dean Welty of the Valley Forum passed out Voter Guides from the Virginia Family Foundation.

Constitution Party chairman Dave Mason.

Sisters Lyn and Sue organized the Tea Party's 9/12 bus to the March on Washington.

Francis Chester updates about Augusta County real estate assessments and their financial sanctions against him for filing a lawsuit on behalf of 10,500 residents.

David Karaffa speaks as overflow crowd listens inside and outside the door.

Alex helped hand out materials.

Photos by SWAC Daughter
24 October 2009