Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Happy treats to all!

Halloween 2010 ... the tradition continues. We were prepared Saturday night for anyone who did not want to go out on Sunday night, but had no one show up.

5:00 pm ... this afternoon before darkness fell we were visited by our first trick-or-treater who was dressed as a soccer player. Since his older brother didn't accompany him this year, extra treats were dropped in his bag to share when he returned home.

6:45 pm ... it's dark outside and five neighbor children, pleasant and polite, stopped by to pick up treats. They were siblings accompanied by their older sister ... a cowgirl, a princess, a soccer player, a cat, and a fairy. Extra treats for all!

9:30 ... we finally put out the jack-o-lanterns and turned off the porch light. Only six little trick-or-treaters visited this year, down from our usual eight. It was fun to see the ones who made the journey. Halloween 2010 is over.

It's hard to believe October is finished ... it always passes too quickly ... and tomorrow marks the first day of November. Autumn has once again been beautiful ... spending time with family and friends has been especially meaningful this year.

Autumn continues in the Shenandoah Valley....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oprah's partisan slip is showing (again)

Recently I did something I haven't done in years. While channel surfing, I came across Susan Boyle on the TV screen singing and I paused to listen to her magical voice. Then Oprah's voice-over told that Susan was a guest on the show. Uh-oh. I had been pulled in to watch Oprah after years of just saying no.

Oprah used to be on my regular play list when I was much younger. I have no reason to think she's not a nice person, and she has certainly been generous with her money. The disconnect began when she got more and more into discovering her inner self, having guests who were there to tell how they had discovered their inner selves or how the viewers could discover their inner selves, and on and on for show after show.

That was when Oprah and I parted ways which was long before the days when she openly campaigned for Barack Obama. Her demeanor -- her bias -- between liberal and conservative guests seemed to be noticeable even though she never outwardly did anything to be rude to the guests she disagreed with politically.

As I watched the show, listening to Susan Boyle sing and then the adorable and gifted 10-year-old opera singing sensation Jackie Evancho from "America's Got Talent" followed by 1970s "You Light Up My Life" singer Debby Boone, I had a warm fuzzy feeling about Oprah's show.

Should have known better than to let my guard down. Near the end of the show, Oprah appeared live by video feed on Jon Stewart's show to tell him she was in total support of his upcoming "Restore Sanity" rally to be held on the National Mall in Washington, DC, on October 30. As they laughed and talked about the rally, it sounded like it was supposed to be something of an anti-Glenn Beck "Restore Honor" rally.

Oprah was almost giddy as she told Jon that someone from her show had slipped into his studio earlier that day before anyone arrived for the show. Then with great drama and fanfare, she told everyone in Jon Stewart's audience to look under their seats. Squeals of delight could be heard as red envelopes appeared containing airplane tickets inside along with overnight accommodations for two nights in Washington, DC. She was sending the entire audience to the "Restore Sanity" rally.

Oprah's partisan slip is showing again ... but I won't be around to watch.

Will Obama campaign stop in Cville today help or hurt Perriello?

Remember last year's gubernatorial election when Democratic President Barack Obama campaigned in Virginia for Republican Bob McDonnell's Democrat opponent? McDonnell went on to win that historic gubernatorial election, helping to lead a Top 3 sweep of the GOP

Remember last year's gubernatorial election when Obama campaigned in NJ for the Democratic opponent against Republican Chris Christie? Christie went on to win that gubernatorial election.

Obama returns to Virginia today to work his magic in Charlottesville for Democratic freshman Rep. Tom Perriello as they try to rally voters for Tuesday's election. Will this be the nail in Perriello's campaign coffin? My latest at the Washington Examiner....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

VA-08: Vote Republican Patrick Murray

From the Patrick Murray for Congress campaign in VA-08 ...
I wanted to let you know that early voting ends this Saturday, October 30th. If you will be out of town on Election Day it is critical that you vote early to ensure victory for the GOP. To find your nearest in-person absentee polling location, please click below:


I also wanted to make you aware of the three Virginia Constitutional Amendments that will be on the ballot. All three amendments address taxation and revenue issues. They have passed in the General Assembly, and now must be voted on for final approval. 

The first ballot question reads: "Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize the legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently disabled?" Currently, localities are only authorized to make exemptions for those who bear an "extraordinary tax burden", or with the express approval of the General Assembly, which occassionally passes legislation authorizing specific localities to afford local property tax to senior citizens or the disabled. This amendment, if approved, would allow local governments to make the decision on their own, without going to the General Assembly for approval.

The second ballot question asks: "Shall the Constitution be amended to require the General Assembly to provide real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability?" If approved, this amendment would require a statewide exemption from local property taxes for the primary residence of any 100% disabled veteran, provided that the veteran's disability is service-related. A surviving spouse could continue to claim the exemption so long as the same home remains his or her primary residence, and s/he does not remarry.

Finally, the third ballot question says: "Shall Section 8 of Article X of the constitution of Virginia be amended to increase the permissible size of the Revenue Stabilization Fund (also known as the "rainy day fund") from 10 percent to 15 percent of the Commonwealth's average tax revenues derived from income and retail sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years?" In other words, should we expand the allowable size of Virginia's "rainy day fund," to which state government contributes in good years, to provide resources for lean years? Currently, the maximum size of the fund (which is almost empty at present) is 10 percent of the Commonwealth's average annual tax revenues from income and sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years. This amendment would increase the maximum allowed amount to 15 percent.

If you have any questions about these three ballot items, do not hesitate to contact our campaign office at 703-888-6625.

Virginia GOP Victory Tour 2010

Governor Bob McDonnell, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins will be attending VICTORY 2010 Get Out The Vote rallies across the Commonwealth on Sunday, Oct. 31, and Monday, Nov. 1. All events are open to the public.

Sunday, October 31, 2010
Northern Virginia Rally
1:30 p.m.
Additional Guests:
Congressional candidates Keith Fimian (VA-11) and Patrick Murray (VA-08)
Fairfax County Republican Committee HQs
4246 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA

Charlottesville Victory Rally
5:00 pm
Additional guest: Congressional candidate Robert Hurt (VA-05)
Charlottesville Victory Office
455 Albemarle Square
Charlottesville, VA

Victory Rally in Blacksburg
7:30 pm
Additional Guests:
Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Congressional candidate Morgan Griffith (VA-09)
VA Tech/Montgomery Airport
1601 Tech Center Drive
Blacksburg, VA

Monday, November 1
Victory Rally in Abingdon
8:00 a.m.
Additional Guest: Congressional candidate Morgan Griffith (VA-09)

Virginia Highlands Airport
18521 Lee Highway
Abingdon, VA

Victory Rally in Lynchburg
11:00 a.m.
Lynchburg Victory Office
Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Congressional candidate Robert Hurt (VA-05)
3700 Candler's Mountain Road - Unit #2
Lynchburg, VA

Victory Rally in Danville
2:00 p.m.
Additional guest: Congressional candidate Robert Hurt (VA-05)
Danville Victory Office
625 Piney Forest Road - Suite 207
Danville, VA

Victory Rally in Virginia Beach
5:15 p.m.
Additional guest: Congressional candidate Scott Rigell (VA-02)
Crowne Plaza Hotel
4453 Bonney Road
Virginia Beach, VA

AFP rally Friday in Charlottesville ... tell Obama & Perriello "no"

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Rally
Friday, October 29 -- Charlottesville

President Barack Obama will be in Charlottesville Friday tell folks to vote for his liberal sidekick, Tom Perriello. Talk about out of touch!

Come out to an "I am AFP" rally tomorrow at Lee Park to tell President Obama that November Is Coming- and Virginians don't want more of the same big government spend-crazed politicians.

But Obama has repeatedly insulted Americans for Prosperity, calling you "controlled by foreign interests and big corporations."

Will you join me on Friday in Charlottesville and show Barack Obama that you are REAL taxpayers, fed up with his liberal policies? We'll be rallying at 4pm at Lee Park, located downtown at the intersection of 2nd Street NE and Market Street.

I'm happy to say that AFP President Tim Phillips will be joining us in my hometown of Charlottesville. Be sure to show up early as parking is limited. If you are not able to attend the rally, please help me spread the word. Pass along this email and be sure to invite your friends and neighbors. Or consider making a donation to help fund our efforts.

Your help has gotten us this far. Will you help us finish what we've started?

See you in Charlottesville,

Ben Marchi
State Director
Americans for Prosperity

P.S. Help us show President Obama that grassroots is the heart and soul of AFP.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The passing of former Va. Rep. Owen Pickett ... 1930-2010

Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Passing of Former Congressman Owen Pickett

CHICAGO – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement this evening regarding the passing of former Virginia congressman Owen Pickett. Pickett represented the 2nd Congressional District from 1987-2001.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend Owen Pickett. Owen dedicated his life to public service. He was a patriot. He served the Commonwealth in the House of Delegates and our nation in the House of Representatives. That was his passion: service. That passion was evident when in August he accepted my offer to Co-Chair our Commission on Military and National Security Facilities. Even in his final months, knowing that his health was failing, Owen volunteered to once again serve the people of Virginia. I will miss Owen Pickett, we all will. He knew what he believed in and he was committed to his ideals. He loved the Second District, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United States of America. On behalf of all Virginians I offer my deepest sympathies to his family and his many, many friends during this tough time. Owen Pickett will be missed.”

Gov. McDonnell announces more new jobs for Virginia

Governor McDonnell Announces 213 New Jobs in the City of Richmond
~Health Diagnostic Laboratory to invest $4.2 million to expand operation~

RICHMOND- Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc. (HDL, Inc.) will invest $4.2 million in its operation in the City of Richmond. HDL, Inc., located in the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, to expand its clinical laboratory, diagnostics and clinical trial services, as well as its physician/patient consulting. The project will create 213 new jobs.

“HDL, Inc. is a unique company and a great asset to the City of Richmond and Virginia,” said Governor McDonnell. “The company’s clinical lab and testing options enable physicians to work on an individual level with patients to understand chronic disease and treatment and each personal disease state. This kind of attention to detail truly can help to identify and reverse health risks, as well as provide education and support to the patient. HDL’s investment and expansion of its lab and services will continue to better the lives of those suffering from chronic disease.”

            “HDL, Inc. is on the forefront of a combination of unique scientific and technical disciplines,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “I am confident in the company’s continued growth in Richmond, and welcome this investment and 213 new jobs for the region.”

Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc., a CAP accredited leader in health management, offers a comprehensive test menu of risk factors and biomarkers for cardiovascular and related diseases. The company’s systematic approach identifies factors contributing to disease and provides a basis for effective treatment, allowing physicians to more effectively manage patients.  As an added value, patients receive a personalized overview of their risk factors along with intensive counseling from expert health coaches at no additional cost, improving compliance and enhancing satisfaction.

“Stories of people surprised by sudden heart attacks are far too common,” said Tonya Mallory, CEO and co-founder of HDL, Inc. “There’s good news, however. By growing HDL, Inc. we are in a position to move the medical community far beyond total cholesterol and outdated measurement techniques, and instead provide physicians with comprehensive and accurate information that surpasses the reach of conventional HDL and LDL analysis. Physicians therefore can do more than just diagnose disease; they can focus on all of the cholesterol components and residual risk factors, and their impact on overall heath.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond to secure the project for Virginia. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance (VDBA) will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment and training activities. 

 “I am pleased that Health Diagnostics Lab (HDL) has been able to successfully grow its critical laboratory operations in the City of Richmond in a short timeframe,” said City of Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “Companies like HDL are major life science industry targets for the City. HDL’s announcement to expand is very positive news for the economy and the City’s competitiveness in attracting and retaining quality health services companies.”

The Virginia BioTechnology Research Park is home to more than 58 public and private bioscience companies, research institutes affiliated with the VCU Medical Center, and major state and national medical laboratories. These companies are housed in nine buildings totaling more than 1.1 million square feet of space, representing an employee base that exceeds 2,000. The Park’s nationally recognized biosciences business incubation program, the Virginia Biosciences Development Center (VBDC), has successfully graduated more than 40 client companies that have attracted more than $400 million in equity, grant and strategic capital.  The Park’s Virginia Biosciences Commercialization Center was created to assist international life sciences companies locating at the Park with commercialization activities. The Commercialization Center is working with 12 bioscience companies with technologies ranging from medical devices to diagnostics and therapeutics. 

"HDL is a prime example of the type of bioscience company that the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park was designed to attract," said Robert T. Skunda, President and CEO of the Park. "The exciting and exceptional growth of HDL will take the Park's employment base to over 2,000 individuals, adding to our ability to recruit more life science companies and building on the Park's growing national and international reputation."

Louisiana Democratic Lt. Gov. switches to Republican Party

A Louisiana state leader has switched his party affiliation to Republican after watching the Democratic response and handling of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Tuesday, Lt. Governor Scott Angelle revealed at the Republican Leadership Summit that he and his wife have left the Democratic Party and joined the GOP.

According to WBRZ:
Angelle told the Summit the energy industry is important to Louisiana and he's "convinced that the national Democrats see the oil and gas companies as bad for America" and that the Democratic Party is "intent on ending an industry."
Angelle has worked closely with Republican Governor Bobby Jindal with the Department of Natural Resources.

How does a home schooler change a light bulb?

[This is an old joke amongst home schooling families....]

How does a home schooler change a light bulb? First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library; then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison, and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Then, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five-dollar bill.

On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five-dollar bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.

- Author Unknown


George Allen, American Energy Freedom Center, and the Willis Report

On Tuesday, October 26, 2010, George Allen – Chairman of the American Energy Freedom Center – was on the Fox Business Network’s The Willis Report, where he discussed EPA’s regulation of CO2 and the impact on the economy and jobs, including the manufacturing sector and coal industry.

In case you missed it, here is a transcript of the appearance:

George Allen on The Willis Report
Fox Business Network
October 25, 2010

HOST GERRI WILLIS: President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency
under more fire. That is because its regulations are expected to come
out in rapid fire succession over the next two years. They are aimed
squarely at business. Joining me is former senator and governor of
Virginia, George Allen. He is also chairman of the American Energy
Freedom Center. Governor, welcome, great to see you again.

GEORGE ALLEN: Good to be with you, Gerri.

WILLIS: You say the EPA is out of control that it is making one of the
biggest power grabs in Americans history. What are you so upset about?

ALLEN: I'm upset, just as a matter of we the people, our energy policy
ought to be decided by elected representatives, not unelected
bureaucrats with EPA. We know what their draconian regulations of CO2
will result in, skyrocketing electricity costs, higher fuel costs and
higher food costs. Meanwhile it is a real job killer, if you increase
the job of energy in our country it makes it less competitive for jobs
and they will go elsewhere where the costs are not as high.

WILLIS: Sir, we've done reporting on this, and we talked to people
about this. I'm curious, what regulation and what program are you
specifically concerned about? Is it controlling dust on farms? Is it
something else? What part of their new regulatory regime do you
consider a problem?

ALLEN: All right. Well the dust on farms is one. But the bigger one
that is going to affect everyone, not that we don't all eat, however,
the ones of regulation of co2, which is odorless, colorless,
substance. 96% of it occurs naturally in our environment. Mostly
coming from the ocean. 4% is manmade. They want to regulate that. It
is a direct attack on our most plentiful resource in our country,
which is coal. By every measurement, clean coal technology is the best
source available all across our country for affordable electricity.
And, if they're going to drive up the electricity costs in our
country, throw manufacturers, out of work, people related in the
coal-related businesses and all of us who use electricity, that hurts
us all at our kitchen table. This is the last time we want to be doing
something like that. Any other country in the world would consider our
coal resources a blessing. Unfortunately EPA looks at it as a curse.

WILLIS: You know, it is interesting that this is something you're
focusing on because we just talked to a representative from West
Virginia, where they're starting to deny some of these permits that
had already been approved.

ALLEN: Right.

WILLIS: and there is a big concern over that. Have you made a
headcount? Do you know how many jobs might be lost as a result of
these new rules that the EPA wants to put forward?

ALLEN: well there's all sorts of estimates, as far as the costs. In
fact the small business administration said the costs would be $1.75
trillion. And that would mean 1,500, excuse me, $15,500 per household.
So, you just got to figure, all right, how many people will be in
worse shape. Then if you're a business, particularly technology
businesses that need perfect power, no sags, no surges, needs to be
affordable, are they going to move their data storage facilities or
some of their other manufacturing to other countries where the
government is trying to get them, in that country, affordable
electricity contrary to what's happening here.

WILLIS: well, you know, this is interesting; this goes to operation of
boilers, which are in every business and every facility, across the
country. I mean, what is interesting about this is that just not coal.
It is not just farming. It really covers the breadth of American
business and public facilities and institutions. My question for you,
does the EPA operate in its own universe? Do they have to put anything
in front of congress? Or do they just implement the wishes and
directives of the administration here?

ALLEN: well, they do the latter, unfortunately, Gerri. However, the
Senate, actually had an opportunity to withdraw this authority in EPA
to set energy policy in our country. It was a 53 vote. There were some
Democrats who joined with all the Republicans but, in effect what they
did is abdicate their responsibility, their constitutional
responsibility and ceded that authority to unelected bureaucrats. So I
think one of the first things the new congress needs to do in addition
to preventing tax increases on a variety of is withdraw that authority
from EPA. We the people, through our representatives, should determine
policies, not these unelected bureaucrats. Folks can't vote these
people out of office.

WILLIS: all right.

ALLEN: in fact what they're doing, is, in my view, in effect, economic
unilateral disarmament. No other countries can impose these burdens on
their citizens.

WILLIS: Lisa Jackson is saying your arguments are all wet. Here is a
quote from her you can respond to. Today’s forecasts of economic doom
are almost identical to the doomsday predictions over last 40 years.
She is saying we heard it before. It is not true. How do you respond?

ALLEN: I will quote her. All of this is supposedly to change the
temperature of the earth by a fraction of one degree 50 years from
now. And the climate changes on our planet, it will be hotter and it
will be colder. The impact of the United States going alone, and
putting this burden on American businesses and jobs and citizens, she
even said if we're only ones doing it will have no impact on global
temperatures because china, India, Brazil, Russia, none of these
countries are going to do it. So it makes no sense whatsoever.

WILLIS: Governor, thank you for your time.

ALLEN: obviously, counterproductive. You're welcome, Gerri.

Fox News leads cable networks ... again

The rankings are out for the cable news networks and, once again, Fox News Channel led with the top six show: O'Reilly, Hannity, Greta Van Sustern, Bret Baier, Shep, and Beck in that order. Following them are the other networks ... and at the very bottom is Joy Behar. Heh. NPR ... are you listening?

TUES. OCT. 26, 2010

FOXNEWS SHEP 2,244,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,154,000

MSNBC MADDOW 1,087,000

CNN COOPER 591,000
CNN KING 560,000

Halloween "Creepy Tales" ... candlelight tours of Staunton's Frontier Culture Museum

It's Halloween and that means "Creepy Tales" at Staunton's Frontier Culture Museum in the Shenandoah Valley. Join guides for candlelight tours Thursday through Saturday, October 28-30 ... if you dare! Walk the darkened pathways through the farmsteads of Ireland, England, Germany, Africa, and America ... you never know what you will find ... or who will find you!

Call (540) 332-7850 to make reservations. Space is limited! Admission is $6 per person. Ages 4 and under are free. Tours begin at 7:00 pm and run until 9:00, each tour leaving on the half-hour. Some time slots are filling quickly. Hurry ... you don't want to miss your "Creepy Tales."

“The Terrifying Trail” – A witch will great the group and warn them that danger lies ahead and to turn back before it is too late.

“Mungo Park’s Mistake” – "Mungo Park, and his brother-in-law, exploring the course of the Niger River are lost in Igboland. They are in need of food and rest, the rest of the party is sick with a fever, and have come upon an empty Igbo compound.

“The Oak Tree Pond Monster” – A Yeoman farmer is being tormented by a monster that is leading the farm family into lunacy.

“John Lewis and the Murder of Mungo Campbell” – This creepy tale is based on a true story. John Lewis was a real person who was a successful tenet farmer who murdered his landlord Mungo Campbell over a rent issue.

“A Hördt Carol” – You will be met on the German farm by two spirits from the village of Hördt. A difficult decision needs to be made and the spirits need help or the group will suffer sever and painful consequences.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Republican Griffith pulls ahead in 9th District Survey USA poll

Good news out of the 9th Congressional District where the new Survey USA poll has Republican Morgan Griffith up by one point a week from election day:

47% Morgan Griffith (R)
46% Rick Boucher (D)
4% Jeremiah Heaton (I)
3% Undecided

Monday, October 25, 2010

VA-08: Republican Murray works to retire incumbent Moran

Cross-posted at the Washington Examiner....

"Retire Jim Moran."

That's the message from a new website in Virginia's 8th Congressional District called Retire Jim as Republicans go after the Democratic congressman who was first elected in 1990. Twenty years later, many want a new face representing their district.

That effort was stepped up after Moran was videotaped earlier this month speaking before a group of Democrats making a controversial comment that was reported by the Washington Examiner:
“What [Republicans] do is find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that haven’t been in office, haven’t served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent is typical, frankly.”
Oh, really?

Jim Moran's Republican opponent is Col. Patrick Murray (US Army-Ret), an Army veteran with 24 years of service. According to Barbara Hollingsworth with the Washington Examiner, he "was deployed to four different combat zones, including Baghdad, as part of the 2007 troop surge under Gen. David Petraeus, and was even shot at by foreign combatants. If that isn’t public service, I don’t know what is."


Moran reportedly also accused Col. Murray of being a hypocrite for demanding more responsible spending by the U.S. government. That is an interesting accusation considering the 8th District is made up of many military veterans who, along with their families, have made sacrifices to defend the freedoms of America.

The comment showing lack of respect for the military is not the first time Jim Moran has said something that raised eyebrows and caused outrage from his conservative constituents, as can be found from this list of his misstatements.

The media are paying attention. The Weekly StandardNational Review's Campaign Spot, The Other McCain, the Washington Examiner, and others have written about the antics of Moran.

In fact, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard said, "If donors step up, and if GOP leaders and committees and independent groups come forward to support the troops and do a good deed for the country--and if there are therefore resources for TV, radio and mail making Moran's slander as infamous as it deserves to be--then we can look forward to lifting a glass to our troops as we bid farewell on Nov. 2 to Jim Moran."

Despite the negatives against Moran throughout the years, the voters of the 8th District continue to send him back to Congress in election after election.

Barbara Hollingsworth reported that Moran was chastised two weeks ago by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) for wrongly implying in campaign literature that he had been endorsed by that group. She wrote:
On October 11th, the Military Officers Association of America sent a letter to the Moran campaign requesting that the congressman stop distributing a flyer clearly implying that MOAA had endorsed Moran for reelection.

“As a not-for-profit organization governed by the Internal Revenue Code, the Military Officers Association of America is barred by law from participating or intervening, either directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office,” wrote Maj. Gen. Joseph Lynch (USAF-Ret.), MOAA’s general counsel.

“MOAA did recognize Rep. Moran in 1999 with our Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award. But the campaign flyer implies a more recent and more explicit MOAA rating/endorsement in connection with this campaign that did not occur.”
Patrick Murray responded to Moran's most recent comments ... and Murray supporters are standing up to educate voters in the 8th District about the man they have representing them in Washington, DC.

Leaf peepers can still catch autumn colors in Shenandoah Valley

Western Augusta County.

It's windy and raining today in the Shenandoah Valley ... leaves will be falling to the ground even as some trees are already bare and still others are just beginning to turn.

It's been an interesting leaf color season but there's still plenty of beauty to be found at the lower elevations but mountain tops are finishing. A trip last week to points west of Augusta County had many trees finished with this year's color.

It's autumn in the Shenandoah Valley ... get out and enjoy it!

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
October 2010

Did NPR prove its intolerance by firing Juan Williams?

Michael Barone, the Washington Examiner's senior political analyst, said it all in the title of his Friday op-ed: NPR's intolerant firing of Juan Williams.

On Wednesday National Public Radio (NPR) proved their intolerance by turning on one of their own when they fired Juan Williams for comments made on Fox News' "The Factor" with Bill O'Reilly. Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) called the firing "overreaching political correctness."

NPR is that bastion of liberal thinking subsidized by taxpayer money, not just those who listen. Many Americans have complained for years about their tax money buoying public radio in a free market system. Some are now calling for NPR to be defunded.

Juan Williams landed on his feet in record time after this dust-up. Fox News Channel's president Roger Ailes wasted no time in hiring him, offering a three-year contract and a salary increase.

NPR, however, is suffering serious PR issues in the wake of this unfortunate situation that was handled in a less-than-diplomatic way followed by CEO Vivian Schiller publicly suggesting Williams should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and "his psychiatrist or his publicist."

The Weekly Standard suggested it was a bogus firing for a bogus reason. When a highly visible 10-year employee is not even given the courtesy of sitting down with the bosses to discuss an issue important enough to result in termination, the employer often suffers the consequences. This is no exception.

Juan Williams has come out swinging against NPR, speaking at many media appearances since being fired, and Friday night saw him hosting the Fox News Bill O'Reilly show where he had a platform to further question NPR's decision during the Factor's trademark "talking points" segment. His surprising opinion was that NPR had no use for diversity, something many already suspected.

NPR is also being accused of hypocrisy because of its knee-jerk dismissal of Williams while tolerating comments from other employees that many considered to be far worse. J.P. Freire, the Washington Examiner's associate commentary editor, wondered about NPR's Nina Totenberg's 1995 comment seeming to wish for North Carolina's then-Senator Jesse Helms or his grandchildren to get AIDS. She still works at NPR.

Mr. Barone points out the hypocrisy:
An interesting contrast: while many NPR listeners apparently could not stomach that Williams also appeared on Fox News. But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience.
Tell me again who has the big tent?

Even Democratic political analyst Susan Estrich was incredulous of NPR's decision, saying Williams was no bigot and adding, "Juan and I have been contributors to Fox News for more than a decade. We're part of the 'balance' in 'fair and balanced.' "

I'm sure there will be times in the future as there have been in the past when I won't agree with Juan Williams' left-of-center opinions but isn't that what debate and a two-way dialogue is all about? Fox News, by offering both sides of an issue, continues to attract viewers and to grow its ratings. Juan Williams' firing has turned into a win-win for both him and Fox.

Other voices on this subject:
- Brit Hume "Excoriates NPR's 'Howling Double Standard' and Intolerance for a 'Bill Cosby Liberal' " 
- Charles Krauthammer Directly Challenges Totenberg on NPR's 'Hypocrisy' in Firing Juan Williams While Letting Her Opine Freely

VMI fall parade

Nate ... this Marine is in his final year at VMI after two tours of Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Jack the rat ... another home schooled cadet.
Heidi watches her big brother Nate and friend Jack on parade ground.

VMI's celtic band.

Son/brother with sister and mom.

Nate's company. Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
October 2010

Yancey Fire Department opens its doors to the community

Members of the community turned out Saturday for the Yancey Fire Department open house as children and parents toured the facility, climbed into fire trucks, and ate hotdogs provided by the station. Kids also checked out the children's fire house to teach safety in fire emergencies, stood in line for face painting, and squealed with delight in the bouncy-bounce.

Fire Chief Robert Gomez and Assistant Chief John Kingsley, along with other volunteer fire fighters, were on hand to talk with friends and neighbors about the need for more volunteers.

WHSV TV-3 covered the event and talked with Chief Gomez along with Emerald Hills Homeowners Association president Kurt Michael about the importance of the community rallying around its fire department. (Video)

Yancey came under criticism recently when insurance rankings rated them with the worst possible score causing local home owners' insurance to rise and, in some instances, almost double in cost. After an outcry from the community and several meetings between the presidents of Fishersville-area neighborhoods, fire officials and the county, Yancey is on its way to fixing the problem cited by the ISO rating which cited too few firemen responding to emergencies.

Fire departments throughout the nation have suffered from a lack of volunteers in recent years including those in Augusta County. Hopefully, events such as Saturday's open house will help alert the public to the need for their help in providing for all to stay safe.

Dig deeper into the polling numbers....

The Other McCain warns to beware of the polls. Internals often show they aren't what they appear on the surface. Just keep working hard for Republican candidates and run like your tail is on fire!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A former president with class ...

"I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor."
-- President George W. Bush, 10/21/10

With his book, "Decision Points," set for release on November 9, former President George W. Bush spoke at the Commercial Finance Association convention in Chicago on Thursday. It was trademark GWB, poking fun at himself, answering questions, and joking with the crowd of hundreds with the same class that marks the Bush family.

At no time was that more evident than when he made the comment, "I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president criticize his successor."

Jimmy Carter, are you listening?

It's a good read from Becky Schlikerman.

What's on your bucket list?

Young, old, middle-aged ... what's on your "bucket list"? Check out this Richmond couple's adventure that is fulfilling much of what was on their bucket list....

Pledge of Allegiance: League of Women Voters official thinks it's "phony patriotism"

It was a candidate's debate in Illinois. A military veteran asked if the Pledge of Allegiance would lead the proceedings ... the League of Women Voters said it was not part of the program.

What followed was an Americana moment when almost the entire crowd of more than 350 citizens rose to its feet and spontaneously recited the Pledge of Allegiance:
[Debate moderator] Tate-Bradish was asked whether the Pledge of Allegiance would be recited after she went over some ground rules and directed the candidates to make opening statements. The query came from a man in the audience.

As Tate-Bradish explained the debate was not scheduled to start with the pledge, almost all in the crowd of more than 300 stood and enthusiastically recited it anyway. Tate-Bradish, who joined in the pledge, issued a scolding when the crowd finished.

Walsh campaign manager Nick Provenzano said he still did not understand why Tate-Bradish did not appear to welcome the Pledge of Allegiance suggestion. He said it was spontaneous and not orchestrated by Walsh's campaign.
Illinois' top League of Women Voters official went on to call it "phony patriotism."

By way of Gateway Pundit, here's the email from the man who requested the Pledge be recited:
My name is Joe Ptak and I live in Island Lake, Illinois. I attended the Joe Walsh-Melissa Bean “forum” and I WAS THE INDIVIDUAL who stood up and wanted to know why the pledge of allegiance was not going to be recited…I thought it might have been an oversight. I was flabbergasted and stunned to hear the LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS moderator say to me, and the audience, that it was never part of their program at these events and will not allowed.

Please keep in mind that this “forum” was organized in Grayslake High School for the benefit of the students, who were asking the questions. Furthermore, there were numerous students present (gaining extra credit) as well as 350 adults and media who packed the auditorium.

I served in the USAFR’s for ten (10) years and there were many veterans in attendance. I was so proud when the audience rose up one by one, then in mass to recite the pledge of allegiance with loud and heavy emphasis on the words LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. The moderator then had the gall to admonish the audience and for “disrespecting her”…my wife told me if that woman did not shut up she was going to get her “Brooklyn up” (being from NY).

I happen to be an Hispanic immigrant from Peru, South America, who was brought to this great country by my parents, along with three other siblings in 1960, when I was eight years old. I was raised in Chicago, have seen, and experienced a lot in this world. People are literary dying each day for just the OPPORTUNITY to live in this great land I call my home. [emphasis added]

There are ignorant people in this land who do not have the slightest idea, nor understand, what it means to be an AMERICAN. Our Liberty, Freedom of Speech and the Press are never guaranteed and we must always fight to maintain them. I think our students in attendance witnessed that first hand and gained a lot of extra credit for themselves.

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE FOLKS ... guard against those that would take it away from us!
So often it is those who legally immigrated to our country who speak out ... the ones who see what we have and truly appreciate that we must guard our freedoms.

Is the League of Women Voters trying to be so fair that they actually end up being unfair to those who are proud at being Americans?

Perhaps the League of Women Voters needs to listen to Red Skelton's sincere explanation of the Pledge of Allegiance to remember why it is important.

More on the subject by way of Memeorandum ...
- Donald Douglas at American Power
- Publius at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government
- Weasel Zippers

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tonight! VA-08 ... BBQ with Republican Patrick Murray!

[Editor's Note: If you cannot attend, please consider donating $10 or $20 to support this U.S. Army veteran.]

“This is absolutely a winnable race.”
- Governor Bob McDonnell, 10/5/2010

When a last minute opportunity falls into your lap, you grab it. We did and we hope you do too. Join us
Saturday night at Murray HQ in Old Town for a BBQ and fun.

Volunteers and Friends
Rally in the Alley*
Susan Allen
Former First Lady of Virginia
Patrick Murray
Free for volunteers
who have worked 4 or more hours
$25 suggested contribution for all others
*Murray for Congress Headquarters
801 North Fairfax / Old Town

Saturday October 23, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Please RSVP to Events at – or -
To Diana Haberstick: / (703) 888-6625
Paid for and Authorized by Murray for Congress

Today: Yancey Fire Department Community Open House

Members of the Fishersville community will be participating in an open house at the Yancey Fire Department today from 10 am until 2 pm in a move to better familiarize folks with the fire station.

The open house includes tours of the fire house and fire equipment, fire safety house for the kids to learn how to react in an emergency, fire-costumed characters to greet the children, bouncy-bounce house, and free hotdogs, chips, and beverages while they last.

Neighborhood communities in the area have been working with Yancey's volunteers after the station received the lowest rating for fire response, citing a lack of volunteer fire fighters.

From today's Waynesboro News Virginian, Emerald Hills Homeowners Association president Kurt Michael, who has been working with other homeowner presidents in the area and Yancey volunteers, was quoted: “In order to build a strong volunteer fire department, the community needs to be involved,’’ said Michael, who represents 187 homeowners in Fishersville. “By having this open house, the volunteers are bringing an awareness to their role in the community.”

If you're going:

Preston Yancey Fire Department Community Open House
Saturday, October 23, 2010
10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Yancey Volunteer Fire Department
2015 Jefferson Hwy. (Rt. 250)
Fishersville, VA  22939
(540) 943-8878

Friday, October 22, 2010

VA-08 ... "Retire Jim Moran"

In Virginia's 8th Congressional District, Democrat Jim Moran is a 20-year incumbent who has made many missteps along the way but the voters return him time after time.

This election he is being challenged by retired Col. Patrick Murray, an Army veteran with 24 years of service who is the Republican candidate. My latest at the Washington Examiner ... VA-08 Republican Murray works to retire incumbent Moran. Vote on November 2.

Where are the jobs?

By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
Republican - VA 6th Congressional District

Just two weeks ago the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest unemployment numbers and once again it was more bad news. The national unemployment rate is at 9.6 percent, with 95,000 jobs lost in the month of September alone.

With joblessness topping 9.5 percent for the past fourteen months in a row, it is the longest such stretch since the Great Depression. Despite this alarming announcement, the Congress continues to pursue an agenda that will further threaten the American economy.

While Americans are asking “Where are the jobs?”, the Majority in Congress continues to demonstrate that they do not appreciate how private sector jobs are created.

Twenty months ago President Obama signed into law the trillion dollar “stimulus” bill on the promise that it would create jobs immediately and keep unemployment below eight percent. The “stimulus” bill has failed to create robust private sector jobs. It certainly proves that the Democrats policies of higher taxes, runaway spending, government takeovers and record debt are having a chilling effect on the nation’s small businesses, the economic engine of our economy.

I am committed to finding real solutions to address our nation’s unemployment crisis. The first thing we must do is remove barriers to employment including the threat of higher taxes, new government regulations and costly mandates. It is common-sense that you should not raise costs and taxes on employers at a time when unemployment is at record levels.

By stopping the looming tax increases it would allow working families to keep more money in their pockets, encourage investment and provide financial relief for America’s small businesses. It would also provide immediate certainty for American job creators so they can hire new workers with the confidence that a higher tax bill is not on the way.

In addition, we must restore confidence in America’s economic future by restraining federal spending. This would allow banks who are financing the debt to invest in more productive activities, like small business growth to help turn our economy around.

Other common-sense solutions for job-growth including reforming the unemployment system to help those out of work find jobs, increasing the education and training of our workforce, and removing unnecessary barriers to domestic energy production.

Energy independence by itself could create millions of American jobs with a national goal of reaching energy independence from foreign oil. The American people want to see an end to the economic uncertainty and a plan to create jobs. Congress must abandon its job-killing, tax-and-spend policies and instead focus on real solutions that will grow our economy, create jobs and get Americans back to work.

To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at

Here's how to contact NPR....

From Brigitte Gabriel's ACT for America....

Our email yesterday focused on how sharia law’s prohibition against any critique or criticism of Islam or Mohammed is negatively impacting our nation’s ability to publicly discuss and debate the issue of radical Islam.

Almost as if on cue, National Public Radio (NPR) sacked commentator Juan Williams because of remarks he made on The O’Reilly Factor Monday.

This goes beyond political correctness. This is a media company, partially financed with our tax dollars, in effect doing the bidding of sharia law. American newspapers that refused to publish the satirical Mohammed cartoons did the same thing.

With these actions they betrayed the first amendment while capitulating to the demands of sharia law.

Particularly disturbing is that there is the appearance that NPR was kowtowing to CAIR, the Council-on American Islamic Relations, which quickly organized a public relations effort demanding NPR “address” Juan Williams’ remarks. (To see the CAIR media release, click here.)

CAIR is the organization whose co-founder, Omar Ahmad, is on record declaring “the Qur’an should be the highest authority in America,” and whose chief spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, has said he would like the government of America to be Islamic sometime in the future.

We urge you to contact NPR and express your outrage, in a firm but civil tone, at this politically correct assault on freedom of speech.

NPR “Listener Care” phone number: 202.513.3232.

Or, click here to send an email.

Let NPR know the American people will not sit idly by while a taxpayer-funded media company runs roughshod over the First Amendment.


ACT for America
P.O. Box 12765
Pensacola, FL 32591

ACT for America is an issues advocacy organization dedicated to effectively organizing and mobilizing the most powerful grassroots citizen action network in America, a grassroots network committed to informed and coordinated civic action that will lead to public policies that promote America’s national security and the defense of American democratic values against the assault of radical Islam. We are only as strong as our supporters, and your volunteer and financial support is essential to our success. Thank you for helping us make America safer and more secure.

Take the George Allen poll on Congressional priorities

From former Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Allen....

October 21, 2010

If you could decide, what would you want the top two priorities for the next Congress to be?

It's an important question which I hope you will answer. Please click on the link below and share this email with friends across the nation.

I've been reading the comments from the responses we've received so far and as always there are some great and creative suggestions. So I hope you will respond. On Monday, I will email you the results of my poll along with some of the great comments we've received.

Standing Strong for Freedom, I remain

George Allen

Use this link to choose your priorities for the next Congress:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Juan Williams terminated by NPR for remarks on Fox News

Message to news commentators: Don't be honest in your opinions.

That seems to be what National Public Radio (NPR) is saying in their termination of long-time associate Juan Williams after his comments on Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly show.

I was watching O'Reilly's "The Factor" and O'Reilly had been discussing his appearance on ABC's "The View" last week when hosts Whoopie Goldberg and Joy Behar walked out after comments about Muslims being responsible for the 9/11 terrorism acts in America.

When Juan Willams came on "The Factor," before Mr. O'Reilly got into the interview with him, he asked Williams' opinion about what had happened on "The View." Juan Williams replied:
"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
Williams, who cannot be considered a smoozing conservative, went on to caution O'Reilly about lumping all Muslims together. According to NPR:
Williams also warned O'Reilly against blaming all Muslims for "extremists," saying Christians shouldn't be blamed for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

But strong criticism followed Williams' comments.

Late Wednesday night, NPR issued a statement praising Williams as a valuable contributor but saying it had given him notice that it is severing his contract. "His remarks on The O'Reilly Factor this past Monday were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR," the statement read.

Williams' presence on the largely conservative and often contentious prime-time talk shows of Fox News has long been a sore point with NPR News executives.
So NPR has given Juan Williams the boot.

Was there discussion amongst the NPR governing board about this seemingly knee-jerk reaction? Was there a meeting called with Mr. Williams to discuss NPR's concerns? So is NPR saying they aren't fair and balanced? They want only one side of an issue? They aren't interested in a two-sided debate?

Apparently, according to NPR's press release, the fact Mr. Williams even appeared on Fox News as a commenter was a sore subject for the heads that rule the NPR network. This, folks, is our tax money at work.

Question: How long do you think it will be before Fox News Channel picks up Juan Williams as a permanent part of their network?

H/T to JW

Va. Frontier Culture Museum: Calling all home schoolers TODAY!

Cross-posted at the Washington Examiner....

This Thursday, October 21, over 500 home schoolers from throughout Virginia will travel to the central Shenandoah Valley for the Frontier Culture Museum's Home School Day in Staunton. Sponsored by the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV), a statewide home school organization based in Richmond, this unique outdoor hands-on museum offers authentic buildings and reproductions of farms from England, Ireland, Germany, West Africa, and America.

The day-long field trip provides living history demonstrations showing the rural life and culture of Old World residents who became immigrants to America, traveling far from their homelands in search of a better life, bringing their unique skills with them, to become part of a new country.

Costumed interpreters invite young and old alike to explore the farms that include houses, barns, and animals such as sheep, goats, cows, chickens, and the pigs, Pork and Chop, who live on the Irish farm. They can see vegetable gardens being harvested at the end of the growing season, practice pioneer skills such as chinking mud between the logs of a frontier cabin, and take part in special activities set up especially for Home School Day.

The American farm exhibit, consisting of houses, barns, outbuildings, and a one-room school house, shows the life style of many colonists who lived in the colonial back country, how their lives changed over more than a century, and how life in the United States today is shaped by its frontier past. It is an amazing testament to the hard work and ingenuity of early Americans. 

All home schoolers are invited to participate in this unique field trip. Join the fun of taking the classroom outside on a beautiful October day with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background and temperatures predicted to be in the 60s. Picnic tables are located on the grounds of this family-friendly museum.

If you would like to attend:

Location: Frontier Culture Museum, 1290 Richmond Road, Staunton, VA 24401
Thursday, October 21
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  Special rates for home school families are $5/student and $7/adult if purchased at the door; free for children 5 and under.
(540) 332-7850

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A chance to interview George W. Bush?

My latest at the Washington Examiner tells it all ... the chance for someone to win the opportunity to fly to Dallas and interview former President George W. Bush about his new book, "Decision Points." 

Bob Goodatte's Sixth District family picnic

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-6th CD) will host a family picnic this Saturday, October 23, at 12:00 noon at the Augusta County Government Center (farmer's market/loading dock area). This free event will provide BBQ picnic fare including beverages. Guests are invited to bring desserts to share. RSVP at (540) 389-1170 or email by October 20th.  

Directions to Augusta County Government Center: 18 Government Center Lane, Verona, Va. 24482.

Two lovable TV parents pass this week

News of the passing of Tom Bosley, 83, who was best known as Mr. Cunningham, the crusty dad with a marshmallow inside, on TV's "Happy Days" during the 1970s is being reported on the radio. This comes on the heels of the death earlier this week of Barbara Billingsley, 94, forever known as June Cleaver, the perfect mom on "Leave It To Beaver." Two lovable TV parents that were part of this Boomer's growing-up years ... gone but certainly not be forgotten.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Contest on Facebook offers chance to talk "Decision Points" with George W. Bush

Cross-posted at the Washington Examiner....

Checking Facebook a few days ago, the familiar face of former President George W. Bush in a blue shirt -- his Facebook profile photo -- popped up with the words, "Opportunity to interview President George W. Bush."

Vaguely curious but thinking the title referred to mainstream journalists, I scanned the first sentence. "President Bush will invite one Facebook fan to Dallas for an in-person interview about his upcoming memoir, Decision Points, which hits the shelves on November 9, 2010."

What? There was an opportunity for anyone reading this, including me, to interview GWB? My excitement grew as I quickly read the remaining details and realized I had to leave five questions in the comments section. Out of those, 100 would be chosen as finalists, and they would submit a two-minute video to be judged and voted on by Facebook fans. The winner would then be flown to Dallas to interview President Bush about his book, and receive a personalized signed copy of Decision Points.

"Oh, boy!" I thought to myself. This would be my chance! I would love to interview someone I admired while in office, someone whose leadership during a time of war was inspiring and humbling, someone I still respected for the class he brought to the highest office of the land.

Then I read the fine details, the rules and  regulations. I also realized almost 2,500 people had already left questions hoping for the opportunity to win this contest.

The eligibility part was what concerned me the most. It read:

1) Contest open only to legal residents of U.S. ... check.

2) Must be at least 18 or age of majority for your state ... check. Definitely no problem there!

3) This was the one that could disqualify me. "Employees of the Office of George W. Bush and its affiliate companies and suppliers, as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible."

Hmm. My sister was an employee of Governor and then President George W. Bush ... were siblings not eligible? I re-read the rule and wondered if that meant all who had worked for him, or just those currently on his payroll.

That, however, did not stop me from coming up with five questions that I would like to ask of the former President of the United States. You'd probably like to know what they are but I'm not sharing ... at least, not yet. I'm still working on that "eligibility" rule.

Irregardless, this contest offers a wonderful opportunity to any Tom, Dick, or Harry (or Susan, Mary, Brenda) to sit down with GWB in a one-of-a-kind interview and, if given the opportunity, I would end the interview with my most grateful thanks to this President for keeping terrorism away from our shores.

With over 7,000 "likes" already on the page, some commenters are not asking questions but are, instead, leaving remarks for the President such as the one that said, "If given the opportunity would you run for the presidency again and straighten this country out?"

Then there was the gentleman who wrote, " I would love the opportunity to break bread with a great president! Keep smiling, Mr President ... you did a fabulous job."

Another commenter added humor to his comment, "I'm ready for the trip, can we get in some fishing or hunting time?" 

One lady left five "thank yous" instead of five questions. There are detractors, too, but most have followed the rules, and many have very interesting and in-depth questions such as, "Who, besides Mrs. Bush, was your most loyal and trusted confidant during your presidency?" Another asked, "How have you changed as a person after being President?"

How in the world will they decide on finalists with so many good questions? 

If you're interested in entering the contest, go to George W. Bush's Facebook page and read the entire list of rules. Better hurry because the contest ends today, October 21, 2010.  If you're so moved, leave your five questions and, who knows? You may be the lucky winner chosen to fly to Dallas as thousands of other Facebook fans look on in envy as you sit down with George W. Bush and talk about his memoirs, "Decision Points."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chesapeake Bay battle in Shenandoah Valley?

Reporter Bob Stuart with the Waynesboro News Virginian has triple front page articles today concerning the Chesapeake Bay and the Shenandoah Valley ... and the EPA's pollution regulations that threaten to break the financial backs of farmers and communities.

The in-depth look includes an editorial also questioning the Environmental Protection Agency's newest proposed regulations. This is a subject that has been talked about at meetings, at gatherings of farmers, and with politicians as citizens try to understand the latest wave of overreaching government.

The following articles are worth reading for everyone:

- Bay battle brewing: EPA pollution regulations raise cost questions
- Ag industry balks at proposal
- Fishermen lament their losses
- Editorial: Hide! It's the EPA! - p. A4 hard copy (couldn't find online)

Kudos to Mr. Stuart and the News Virginian for looking into an issue that is being talked about by many.

Shenandoah Pizza owners to open Shenandoah Hops & Gourmet Shoppe

John and Cheryl Huggins are well-known as the owners of Shenandoah Pizza located on Beverley Street in the historic downtown area of Staunton. Their reputation has grown because of the wide variety of pizzas offered providing an eclectic choice of flavors other than the usual pepperoni, sausage, and cheese.

The Huggins will be opening a new store called  Shenandoah Hops and Gourmet Shoppe at 9 N. New Street with a celebration on Friday, October 22, 2010. According to the  Staunton News Leader:
The store will offer more than 100 varieties of beer and ale from around the world and Virginia brews and a gourmet foods section with unique Virginia-made products, including Virginia Diner peanuts, hot and barbecue sauces, local cheeses and Wade's Mill grits and dry mixes for bread and pancakes. Cutting boards and utensils also will be available.
The new store will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 5-8 pm. For more information, call (540) 245-0084.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wild and wonderful West Virginia in autumn

 Damned South Fork of the Potomac River in West Virginia.

 Looking back at the mountains where we had been....

Looking across West Virginia from Rt. 33.

Looking over West Virginia from Rt. 33 west of Harrisonburg.

Once back in Virginia, we took the back roads from Rt. 33. We passed Silver Lake in Dayton, Virginia, and picked up Rt. 42 South back to Churchville. It was the perfect autumn day, cool and sunny, spent with friends. Doesn't get much better than that.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
13 October 2010

Back roads, trails, and horseback riding in George Washington National Forest

Bridge crosses stream at Braley Pond.

Many creeks are almost dry.

Horseback riding on dusty roadways.

Back roads slow the pace down a bit....

The trail around Braley Pond.

Braley Pond on an autumn afternoon.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
13 October 2010