Monday, December 31, 2007

The historic homes and buildings of Victorian Bon Air....

Bon Air water tower in the Village.

Growing up in Bon Air was an adventure for a child who walked to church, biked to school, enjoyed sleigh riding on Snead's Hill where Ukrop's is now located at the corner of Stony Point and Huguenot Roads, and rode bikes with friends to the James River. I have happy memories of friends and family gatherings and swim parties and dances at Bon Air Community Center.

While visiting family this Christmas I drove through Bon Air and took some photos of the various historic houses and buildings that show a variety of architecture and serve as a reminder of the Victorian days when Bon Air was an escape from the summer heat in Richmond for the upper class beginning in the 1870s.

Old Bon Air library known as Hazen Memorial Library.

Original Bon Air Post Office.

Original Bon Air Hotel

Photos by SWAC Girl

Anti-war lawyer keys Marine's car....

Big H/T to Jerry at From on High

This story from Black Five is getting out there for all to read about a young Marine sergeant, Mike McNulty, heading to Iraq, who had his car "keyed," allegedly by an anti-war lawyer in Chicago, Jay R. Grodner, who owns a law firm in the city and has offices in the suburbs. The lawyer is refusing to pay the $2400 cost to repair SGT McNulty's vehicle.

Please help by publicizing this story as the court date is TODAY at which time the lawyer will more than likely ask for a continuance ... and this young Marine has to report to his base Thursday.

Black Five has the entire story. Read the comments, too, for contact info and ideas from others on how to publicize this case.

Black Five's post begins ...

Marine Sgt Mike McNulty is on activation orders to Iraq (second tour). On December 1st, 2007, Mike went to visit a friend in Chicago before deploying to say goodbye. In order to get to his friend's residence, and keep in mind that Chicago is a myriad of diagonal and one-way streets, the front entrance (right way) to the one-way street was blocked. Mike, being a Marine, overcame and adapted by driving around the block to the other end of the street and backing up all the way to his friend's place.

While saying goodbye, at about 11am, he noticed a man leaning up against his car. Mike left his friend's apartment and caught the man keying his car on multiple sides.

After caught in the process, the man told Mike, "you think you can do whatever you want with Department of Defense license plates and tags". (In Illinois you can purchase veteran, Marine, or medal plates. Mike has Illinois Marine Corps license plates.) During the exchange, he made additional anti-military comments.

Mike called the Chicago police and had the man arrested. A citation against the man was issued for misdemeanor criminal damage to private property.
It gets better ... read the entire post here.

Contact info from Mr. Grodner's website:
Jay R. Grodner
Law Offices of Jay R. Grodner

Principal Office-Deerfield
625 Deerfield Road –Suite 406
Deerfield, IL 60015
Phone: (847) 444-1500
Fax: (847) 444-0663

Downtown Chicago
30 N. LaSalle St. - Suite 1210
Chicago, IL 60602
Phone: (312) 236-1142
Fax: (312) 236-6036


I have 30 years experience in handling paternity cases in Illinois in Public & Private Practice starting as a prosecutor prior to the admissibility of parental blood testing.
Semper Fi, Sgt. McNulty.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Redskins beat Cowboys 27-6

The Washington Redskins won against the Dallas Cowboys, 27-6. Go, Skins!!

Redskins game to be soggy and cold today....

The Washington Redskins play at home today at 4:15 against the Cowboys ... and the weather is not looking good. The forecast is for rain with temps in the low 40s ... and pouring rain by the end of the game. Should make for an interesting day....

From On High # 1 on BNN this week....

Congrats, Jerry!

It's all about freedom....

Bhutto's 19-year-old son to head People's Party

Breaking news out of Pakistan this morning is that Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son, Bilawal Zardari, has been chosen to head the People's Party....

Amy Kellogg is a Fox News Correspondent and has an interesting read on Benazir Bhutto here ... the woman behind the leader.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Congrats, Chaz ... new Harrisonburg-Rockingham Clerk of Court

Charles Haywood Evans was sworn in Friday as the new Clerk of Court for Harrisonburg-Rockingham County in a ceremony that had Congressman Bob Goodlatte introducing him to the court.

Congratulations, Chaz.

Old Dominion Peanut Company ... a Christmas hit

SWAC Daughter did a lot of Christmas shopping in Williamsburg this year, and one of the gift items she found was Old Dominion Peanut Company peanut brittle for her brittle-loving granddad. She discovered it at the candy shop in Merchant's Square on Duke of Gloucester Street ... and it was a hit! He loves the peanut brittle from the Dayton Farmers Market but this apparently is just as good.

That's high praise from someone who used to make the stuff himself when he was younger....

Speak English on the job....

Under a bill being introduced in the Senate, businesses requiring workers to speak English on the job would be protected.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is sponsoring the bill. The Washington Times reports:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would be blocked from filing lawsuits against businesses that require workers to speak English on the job as part of legislation introduced recently in the Senate.

"In America, requiring English in the workplace is not discrimination, it's common sense," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican and sponsor of the Protecting English in the Workplace Act of 2007.
It is a shame this has to be made into law to protect employers ... it seems common sense ... but push came to shove when the government threatened to sue the Salvation Army for requiring their employees to speak English while on the job. It is a bill that needs to pass.

My laugh of the day....

H/T: Jerry at From On High

Thanks, Jerry, for the laugh of the day which I shared with the entire household!

Holocaust victim Esther Kutner of Richmond dies....

"Appreciate what you've got. You never know when it will change." --Holocaust survivor Esther Kutner
Holocaust survivor Esther Kutner of Richmond has died. I did not know this remarkable lady ... but her death is yet another reminder that the Holocaust tragedy did indeed happen during World War II, something history revisionists have tried to deny in recent years.

Read the moving tribute to her in today's Richmond Times Dispatch ... the horrible conditions she survived in the death camps, the rebound in her spirit throughout life, and her lessons passed on to her children and grandchildren so no one would forget. It is an amazing story.

Heh ... must be all that global warming

From The
The snow that fell on Fort Collins on Thursday pushed December snowfall to more than double the 30-year average, making it the eighth-snowiest December in 119 years.
Must be all that global warming....

Friday, December 28, 2007

President Bush: Much more popular worldwide than libs would have you believe

DJ does it again over at Right-Wing Liberal with this post that proves libs and the MSM ignore President Bush's popularity around the world but most especially in India, the largest democracy out there.

Bhutto wrote in October: "I survived an assassination attempt...."

The Wall Street Journal republished a piece by Benazir Bhutto that was written in October. She knew the danger and understood the threat she presented to terrorists and others in the Pakistani government.

The piece, reprinted in yesterday's paper, begins:
(Editor's note: This article appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Oct. 23. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.)

I survived an assassination attempt last week, but 140 of my supporters and security didn't.

This mass murder was particularly sinister, since it targeted not just me and my party leadership, but the hundreds of thousands (some estimate up to three million) of our citizens who came out to welcome me and demonstrate their support for democracy and the democratic process. Their deaths weigh heavily on my heart.
Stating that she knew the risks because they had received credible evidence that an attack may take place, she continued:
We had tried to take precautions. We requested permission to import a bulletproof vehicle. We asked to be provided technology that would detect and disarm IEDs. We had demanded that I receive the level of security to which I'm entitled as a former prime minister.

Now, after the carnage, the fact that the street lights around the assassination site--Shahra e Faisal--had been turned off, allowing the suicide bombers to gain access near to my truck, is very suspicious. I am so discomfited that the bomb investigation has been assigned to Deputy Inspector General Manzoor Mughal, who was present when my husband was almost murdered under torture some years back.
And yet she persevered in her sense of duty to lead the Pakistan Peoples Party to try and preserve democracy in that part of the Middle East.

She ended the piece with this:
The sanctity of the political process must not be allowed to be destroyed by the terrorists. Democracy and moderation must be restored to Pakistan, and the way to do that is through free and fair elections establishing a legitimate government with a popular mandate--leaders supported by the people. Intimidation by murdering cowards will not be allowed to derail Pakistan's transition to democracy. [my emphasis]
I admire that she knew the risks but felt a pull and love of her country that made her move forward anyway ... and she may have been betrayed by some closest to her.

How sad for Pakistan and the world....

Angry backlash from Oprah fans over Obama support

Oprah is experiencing an angry backlash from her fans because of her public support and campaigning for democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama.

According to the LA Times:
Winfrey's website has been buzzing for weeks with angry postings about her involvement in the Illinois senator's campaign, something Hollywood, which always keeps its eye on the public mood, is bound to notice -- this is a town, after all, that measures success by weekly grosses and daily TV ratings.

One posting on her site,, accused the talk diva of being a traitor. (By Thursday, that message string had attracted more than 12,000 views.) Another poster told Winfrey to "stop pushing Obama down our throats." (There were 3,000 hits logged on that one.)

Another said: "Do you really know Barack Hussein Obama? Scary & something we have to take into consideration!" (There were more than 4,000 views for that.)

"First of all I want to say that I am a HUGE Oprah fan," one poster wrote. "I love what she stands for. She is a strong woman changing the world. However, I have been extremely disappointed with her recent touring with Barack Obama. It is a manipulation and an abuse of her power and influence on the American culture.

"Let the American people form their own opinion, Oprah."

Since Winfrey announced over the summer that she was supporting Obama, more than 25,000 views of more than 345 separate discussions -- almost all of them centering on the campaign -- have been roiling along in the local and world news section of her website. By comparison, there were eight discussions going in recent weeks on the issue of global warming, which had generated about 1,100 views.
Oprah is discovering politics is a polarizing activity.

Food for thought....

Yankee Philip has a post that makes one pause to reflect on history....

Oliver North's persons of the year 2007

Oliver North's Persons of the Year. I concur.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

RWL: "On the late Benazir Bhutto, and Pakistan’s future"

DJ McGuire at The Right-Wing Liberal is very knowledgeable about the Middle East, its history, and people. He has posted about today's assassination of Benazir Bhutto ... read it for some insight into this Middle Eastern hotspot.

President Bush condemns cowardly act

President and Mrs. Bush Extend Condolences Regarding Assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Condemn Violence
From Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas

The President made the following statement regarding the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan:
Laura and I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Benazir Bhutto, to her friends, to her supporters. We send our condolences to the families of the others who were killed in today's violence. And we send our condolences to all the people of Pakistan on this tragic occasion.

The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. Mrs. Bhutto served her nation twice as Prime Minister and she knew that her return to Pakistan earlier this year put her life at risk. Yet she refused to allow assassins to dictate the course of her country.

We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism. We urge them to honor Benazir Bhutto's memory by continuing with the democratic process for which she so bravely gave her life.

Who was Benazir Bhutto?

"They tried and failed when she returned to Pakistan in October. They tried and failed with a baby suicide bomber. Yesterday, they stopped a 15-year-old with a bomb packed full of nails trying to kill her. Today, they succeeded. Dammit, dammit, dammit." --Michelle Malkin
The news this morning of the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, 54, may cause some to wonder who was this woman who headed the Pakistan Peoples Party.

I remember when she was sworn in in 1988 as the first woman elected to head an Islamic country, a strong woman from a family of politically active leaders ... two brothers who were assassinated and her father was executed. Educated at Harvard and Oxford Universities, she served as Prime Minister from 1988-90 and 1993-96.

In the strife-torn country of Pakistan, Mrs. Bhutto had been imprisoned and banished from the country but had recently returned to lead the Peoples Party in the upcoming elections in January 2008.

I emailed my ODBA friend DJ McGuire this morning to ask his thoughts because he is very knowledgeable about that part of the world, the history, and the people. He will probably have a post about this later today.

Fox News report: "Bush Administration condemns assassination of Benazir Bhutto"

Fox News is reporting that the Bush Administration has condemned the assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto:
"We have seen the press reports. We're seeking confirmation, but we do not have any definitive word one way or the other about former Prime Minister Bhutto's condition," deputy State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.
U.S. intelligence officials were mobilized on the reports, but the CIA would not immediately offer confirmation of Bhutto's assassination. "We're still looking into it, to make sure we have all the facts," said CIA spokeswoman Michele Ness.

In Washington, Casey said: "Certainly, we condemn the attack on this rally. It demonstrates that there are still those in Pakistan who want to subvert reconciliation and efforts to advance democracy."
What will this do to Pakistan? Fox News goes on to report:
The United States has for months been encouraging President Pervez Musharraf to reach some kind of political accommodation with the opposition, particularly Bhutto, a former prime minister who is seen as having a wide base of support in the Southwest Asian nation. Her party has been widely expected to do well in parliamentary elections set for next month.

U.S. relations with Pakistan, a close ally in the war on terrorism, have been strained since Musharraf late last year declared emergency rule. President Bush and leading administration foreign policy figures repeatedly urged a return to normalcy, and Musharraf ultimately gave up his position as head of the army.
In choosing emergency rule, Musharraf purged the judiciary, jailed thousands of opponents and silenced television news channels after he suspended the constitution on Nov. 3.
This story is still unfolding....

Save the Old Dominion featured in Waynesboro News Virginian

Save the Old Dominion, the group organized by blogger Black Velvet Bruce Li's Greg Letiecq, was featured on the front page of the Waynesboro News Virginian Thursday as well as coverage on Richmond's TV-6 newscast at noon on Wednesday.

The newspaper story started out:
Forces opposed to illegal immigration are laying plans to increase the heat on Virginia lawmakers who shot down a raft of immigration-related bills last session.

Part of the 2008 push will be driven by a coalition of seven primarily northern Virginia groups that previously limited their activism to their own back yards.

Greg Letiecq, president of Help Save Manassas and an organizer of Save the Old Dominion, said the coalition is intent on improving the 2007 session, which he said only saw one of 50 immigration bills emerge from the General Assembly.

“We have good coverage of several localities in northern Virginia and down in Hampton Roads. But someone concerned about this issue in Henry County, where do they turn?” he asked.

Coalition members include: Help Save Loudoun, Vienna Citizens Group, Help Save Hampton Roads, Centreville Citizens Coalition, Help Protect Culpeper, Save Stafford and Letiecq’s Manassas group.
Greg's group has received much positive press as they get the word out and grow as more groups join them.

Bhutto assassinated ... how will it affect Pakistan?

Breaking through Fox News and the AP this morning:
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide bombing that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, a party aide and a military official said.
Mrs. Bhutto, Pakistan's former prime minister, was seriously injured and rushed to the hospital where she died in surgery. She had only recently returned to the area where she had a large following. Previous attacks on her life had been unsuccessful.

What will this do to Pakistan and politics in the Middle East?

"12 Days of Christmas" from John Denver & the Muppets

I am still in the Christmas frame of mind for at least another week. One of my favorite singers was John Denver ... and I remember watching this Christmas special in whatever year it was ... a long time ago. Since we now entering the 12 days of Christmas ... enjoy this adorable version of the song.

"White Christmas" ... the movie

One of my all-time favorite Christmas movies would have to be "White Christmas," the 1954 musical. The movie opens with a scene in December 1944 during World War II, and continues the story line with two of the Army buddies after the war, now in the entertainment business, who meet sisters and become romantically involved with them.

I love this movie ... and Christmas is not complete until I have seen it each year. I was busy and did not get a chance to watch it until tonight with the entire family ... grandparents, parents, siblings, children ... as we sang along, laughed out loud at the funny lines, clapped after songs....

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye absolutely made this movie work along with Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. It is a light-hearted romance comedy that weaves a Christmas/winter theme into it and is set mostly at the fictional Columbia Inn Ski Lodge in Pine Tree, Vermont, during the holidays.

For this snow/Christmas/winter lover, it does not get much better!

Many songs are unforgettable ... "White Christmas," of course ... but also the "Sisters" tune sung by Clooney and Ellen is something my sisters and I have jokingly done for years ... not to mention the spoof of that number by Crosby and Kaye.

"Snow" is the tune sung in four-part harmony on the train as the four travel from Florida to Vermont.

And there is "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," a simple little Irving Berlin song that hits reality right between the eyes...
When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
The basis of the whole story is the two Army buddies (Crosby and Kaye), successful in the music industry, who take their stage show to their WW II General's failing Vermont inn as gratitude to the "old" man...
Crosby's character, looking at the General across the room: "We ate ... and then he ate. We slept ... and then he slept."

To which Kaye's character quipped, "And then he woke up and
no one slept for 48 hours!"
The movie is about friendship, gratitude, and love ... and it is one of my "must sees" every year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tribute to military wives....

Elle has a tribute up to military wives that is well worth the read. Thank you, ladies, for your sacrifice to our nation.

Far-left horror stories....

John Gibson on Fox News' "The Big Story" had the following as today's "My Word":
The producer of my radio shows calls these four stories "far-left horror":

First, Gen. Barry McCaffrey returns from Iraq and tells his employers at NBC that the surge is awesome and couldn’t be going better. This is bad for the far left, because NBC was so reliably on the side of people who said the surge was a failure before it began.

Second, Iraq has disappeared as a campaign issue. The left was counting on sweeping the GOP into the dustbin of history over the Iraq war and all of a sudden, because it's going fairly well, nobody wants to talk about it because nobody wants to hear about it.

Third, Iraqis crowded Christian churches yesterday, on Jesus's birthday. The secularists in this country are uncomfortable learning that when people are free they sometimes go to churches... And, just by the way, prominent Shia and Sunni clerics showed up to support the Christians on their important holiday.

Fourth, a new Gallup poll: President Bush is the most admired man of 2007. Gallup must not do any polling in homes that watch NBC. Everybody on the left knows that George Bush is the devil. —Hugo Chavez said so. So how did this happen? Oops! Maybe the mood of the country isn't as the far left would wish it.

The lesson out of all of this is that being sure of yourself is essential to good political debate, but going out on a limb, even if you're certain of your own judgment, is often a loser.

If you paid any attention to the media over the last few months, or the year, you'd know that all these stories were played opposite: the war is going badly — in fact we're losing — the Dems will ride into office on a wave of anti-war feeling, Iraqis of different faiths just want to kill each other, and Bush is hated. So now that the truth is known, will the media that peddled these lies take it all back?

Don't hold your breath.

That's My Word.
It is so good to have a media source to get the news out that the mainstream media sits on....

Proudly defending the Bush presidency

Citizens United is an organization dedicated to defending President George W. Bush's presidency by presenting the issues not covered by the mainstream media. It is made up of folks who are proud of our President.

From Citizens United:
Thank You, President Bush! Shortly after taking office in January 2001, 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush navigated America through the aftermath of the most devastating terrorist attack ever committed on U.S. soil. His leadership in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks restored hope to a shocked nation ... rekindled our American pride ... and strengthened our resolve to once again be a model of democracy and peace for the world to emulate.

For two terms, George W. Bush has led our nation with determination, honor, and optimism. He has deployed U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure that the War on Terror is fought where the terrorists live and train ... instead of here at home. He has presided over a time of unprecedented prosperity, ushered in by his sweeping tax cuts for the middle class. He has fought to strengthen the American family. And he has defended the precious lives of the unborn. Our nation is stronger because of the leadership of Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush. We here at Citizens United for the Bush Agenda salute and thank him for eight years of distinguished service to the United States of America.
Thank you, Mr. President.

President George W. Bush most admired American

For the sixth year in a row, President George W. Bush topped the Gallup poll's list of most admired Americans in a poll conducted each December. See the poll numbers here.

Conspiracy to hide global warming facts?

DJ McGuire at The Right-Wing Liberal published an eye-opening post about the difficulty global warming skeptics are having getting their research printed in scientific publications. He concluded A Desperately Needed Jolt of Reality to the Global Warming Debate with this:
Even more telling (and troubling) was this comment from Hebrew University of Jerusalem Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography Professor Nathan Paldor (emphasis added):

“Many of my colleagues with whom I spoke share these views and report on their inability to publish their skepticism in the scientific or public media.

Now, MSM is one thing, but if scientific publications are no longer willing to accept research that challenges political sacred cows, whole sets of disciplines are in big trouble. This is nothing short of green-tinged McCarthyism.
Interesting. And unacceptable. When will the mainstream media and the scientific community expose Al Gore and his global warming conspiracy for what they are ... merely someone's opinion? Thirty years ago the big "sky is falling" claim by global conspiratists was that we were heading into an ice age.

The truth of the matter is no one knows for certain what the worldwide climate is doing because we are but a speck of time in the history of this planet. For someone like Al Gore to receive mostly unquestioned acceptance -- publicly -- of the theory he is promoting is tragic. To subvert any questioning of that theory is even more tragic.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thank You, President Bush....

Thank You, President Bush....

Merry Christmas To Our Troops ... videos

Merry Christmas To Our Troops

Merry Christmas From Baghdad

Man Sends Christmas Trees to Iraq: "Operation Christmas Tree"

I'll Be Going Home For Christmas

Freedom's Watch: "Thank You" to the troops

Freedom's Watch ran TV ads thanking our troops for their service to our country. Watch it here.

Christmas ... a tribute to our U.S. Troops worldwide

It is Christmas ... and we are remembering our troops worldwide who are away from home on this Christmas night. A tribute to show our thanks for their sacrifice.

Christmas Day ... the Reason for the Season

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
~ Luke 2: 8-11

Spc. Ted Dickson in Middle East ... Merry Christmas and thank you

Cathy Dickson's son, Ted, is currently deployed to Kuwait. Cathy blogs at United Conservatives of Virginia and Powhantan Life, and is a proud Marine mom.

Here is an email from her that was read on the Lee Brothers' show today. Our thanks to Cathy and her family for their sacrifice while Ted is away at war, and to Ted for being one of our heroes. Merry Christmas!

Cathy wrote:
We would like to send our love and Christmas blessings to our son, Spc. Ted Dickson, 23, of Powhatan, Virginia.

Ted graduated from Powhatan High School in June of 2002. Two weeks later he was in Marine boot camp in Paris Island, SC. During his four years with the United States Marine Corps, he served in Security Forces and the Infantry. Despite almost losing an eye and with scar tissue on the cornea, his scores on the rifle range actually improved.

He was determined to get to Iraq (we suspect he memorized the eye chart) and was deployed in time to participate in several operations in Anbar Province, including Operation Iron Fist and Operation Steel Curtain in 2005 - 2006.

After he finished his enlistment, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University. He joined the Army National Guard a year ago in December and is currently deployed in Kuwait with Delta Company of the 3-116th out of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Ted, may God bless and keep you safe always. May you and the men of Delta Company have a blessed Christmas and know that we love and miss you so very much.

All of our love,
Mom, Dad and Carrie
Semper Fi.

Monday, December 24, 2007

To President Bush: Thank you for your leadership at a time of war

It is Christmas Eve and the Christian world pauses to celebrate the birth of Christ. This is a good time to thank President George W. Bush for his leadership at a time of war ... after the largest attack ever against the U.S. six years ago, we have been safe from terrorism while our Armed Forces fight over there and not here on the homefront.

Thank you, Mr. President. We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here's to a great 2008!

President makes Christmas Eve phone calls to U.S. Armed Forces

President George W. Bush made Christmas Eve telephone calls to members of the Armed Forces while at Camp David today.

In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "America is blessed to have men and women willing to step forward to defend our freedoms and keep us safe from our enemies. We are thankful for their courage and their dedication to duty. We pray for their safety. And we wish them a Merry Christmas, wherever they serve."


Christmas message from President George W. Bush

Presidential Message from the White House
Christmas 2007

"But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High...his kingdom will never end.'" --Luke 1:30-33

During the Christmas season, our thoughts turn to the source of joy and hope born in a humble manger on a holy night more than 2,000 years ago. Each year, Christians everywhere celebrate this single life that changed the world and continues to change hearts today. The simple and inspiring story of the birth of Jesus fills our souls with gratitude for the many blessings in our lives and promises that God's purpose is justice and His plan is peace.

At this special time of year, we give thanks for Christ's message of love and mercy, and we are reminded of our responsibility to serve. America is blessed to have fine citizens who reach out with a compassionate hand to help brothers and sisters in need. We also remember our brave men and women in uniform who have volunteered to defend us in distant lands. Many of those who have answered the call of duty will spend Christmas far from home and separated from family. We honor their sacrifice, ask God to watch over them and their families, and pray for their safe return.

Christmas is a time to rejoice and remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Laura and I pray your Christmas will be blessed with family and fellowship, and we wish you a day of glad tidings. Merry Christmas.


SWAC-GOP Christmas Greetings

May you have a blessed
with family and friends.

If you are traveling, have a safe trip.

To President George W. Bush ...
your leadership has kept us safe at a time of war.
Thank you.

To our Armed Forces ...
you have sacrificed to protect America.
Thank you.

To our Military Families ...
you have sacrificed with your loved ones at war.
Thank you.

To our Electeds ...
we are appreciative of your public service to the citizens.

To our Volunteers ...
you are the heart of the Republican party.

To our Grassroots Leaders ...
we are grateful for your selfless service.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas ... from Jim Gilmore

Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

I want to take a moment during this season to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. This is the time of year when we all give thanks for the many blessings we have received and we reflect on how grateful we are for our friendships.

I am grateful and thankful for your friendship and support.


James S. Gilmore

Merry Christmas and thank you to U.S. Armed Forces overseas....

My dad, who passed away in 1975, was a Navy veteran from World War II. He was 19 years old when he joined the Navy and went to war.

When I was growing up he was a Sunday School teacher for 12-year-olds in our Baptist church.

Dad's favorite Christmas hymn was "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" ... the words had touched him because of his service during war. I've missed him terribly the past 32 years and think of him every Christmas when I hear this song.

Our military men and women are working this Christmas, many far from home and away from their families. Let us remember those currently deployed or who have served to protect our freedoms and to keep us safe.

This is for Dad ... and for all our military members, past and present.

I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in the Shenandoah Valley ... Staunton's Stonewall Jackson Hotel

Main lobby of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton.

Decorated for Christmas, the hotel is elegant in an old Southern way....

Doors invite guests to enter....

Balcony decorations....

Cozy fireplace in Stonewall Jackson's lounge area....

Had family staying at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel this weekend while in town visiting so I took the opportunity to photograph their Christmas decor....

Photos by SWAC Girl

Christmas in the Shenandoah Valley ... the doors and windows of historic downtown Staunton

Zelma's vintage clothing store on Beverley Street is owned by a conservative young lady whose military husband has served in Iraq. Check out the "Win the War" sign in the shop.

Zelma's front window ... "We have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him." -- Matthew 2:2, KJV
Celebrate! party and card shop.
Beverley Street looking east early in the morning....
Zynodoa ... stop in for a drink with friends.

Grandma's Bait and Pampered Palate Restaurant....
Beverley Street looking east....
Pen & Paper....
Beverley Street looking east....

Staunton City Hall anchors the western end of downtown....
Back In Thyme's holiday window....
The Clock Tower Restaurant and Bar festively decorated for the holidays ... and will be open on Christmas Day.

Window display on Beverley Street....
Photos by SWAC Girl

We threw a party ... and Santa showed up!!

We threw a big Christmas party for family and friends ... and Santa showed up on a big red fire truck decorated with Christmas lights and fireman "elves" handing out candy canes!

It was a hoot as word spread throughout the house that Santa was outside on a fire truck -- yeah, right, I said -- but they assured me that he really was outside -- so I wandered into the front yard and, sure enough, there on the road was a huge fire truck! It hit its siren, the colorful decorative lights were festive and twinkling, and Santa was sitting up on the back of the truck waving and "ho-ho-ho-ing" to all! What a treat and a surprise ... and it was great to know that Santa knew where my house was just in case we ever needed him for an emergency!

Fun was had by all and it was great to visit with friends into the wee hours of the morning. My parents joined us in the festivities ... the twenty-somethings rollicked (all 20 of them) ... the others ate, drank, and were merry (all 40 of them) ... the walls of the house widened out to accommodate holiday cheer at Christmas time.

And we were reassured that, if needed, Santa was right down the road.... :)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Busch Gardens continues free admission for military in 2008

Anheuser-Busch will continue to give free admission to members of the United States military and their families at the nine amusement parks nationwide, a program that has benefitted nearly 4 million since first implemented in 2005.

I applaud Anheuser-Busch for their patriotism. Busch Gardens in Williamsburg sees a large number of military because of its proximity to the Beach area bases.

Military personnel who qualify for free admission include U.S. active duty, active reserve, ready reserve service members, and National Guardsmen. They may bring up to three direct dependents who all receive one day's free admission.

Also included are members of foreign military forces serving in Iraq or Afghanistan or attached to American units in the U.S. for training.

My hat is off to Anheuser-Busch for their patriotism in providing free entertainment for military families who sacrifice so much in the service of our country.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Goodlatte instrumental in obtaining funds to fight coyotes in Valley

Coyotes are overpopulating in the Shenandoah Valley and Congressman Bob Goodlatte has heard the concerns of farmers and citizens and has taken action. Federal funds in the amount of $150,000 have been allocated to help rid the Valley and other Western Virginia localities of a pest that kills sheep, cattle, goats ... and even deer and domestic animals.

We had plenty of coyotes in my western Augusta area until a nearby neighbor took it upon himself to rid us of the nuisance animals two years ago. The critters had been breeding on the ridge behind the house so we checked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on ways to remove/kill coyotes.

There had been a cat killed and gutted in my backyard, and a full-grown deer was killed and gutted nearby. Coyotes will often kill their prey and then eat the internal organs, leaving the rest of the carcass. After receiving extremely helpful tips from the USDA representative, we printed up flyers and distributed them to all the neighbors with suggestions on how to protect their pets from a roaming coyote.

At my house we fenced in the immediate backyard area around the back door several years ago, partially as a desire to not open the back door and find a coyote facing us, and partly to help keep them from our garbage cans. It worked.

However, coyotes continue to be a major problem for many areas of the county. Our thanks to Congressman Goodlatte for his help in advocating funding to deal with the coyote problem.

Christmas in the Shenandoah Valley ... the Bethlehem Village at Afton

Discover the true meaning of Christmas ... the birth of Christ ... when you enter the Bethlehem Project presented by Hebron Baptist Church in the Blue Ridge foothills of Nelson County.

A recreated village of Bethlehem, you are absorbed into the time and place in a way that is unique and presents a moving experience for young and old alike. Watch out for the Roman soldiers! They may stop you to inquire as to why you are there ... they are suspicious of strangers. Check out the animals and the houses ... talk with the shop keepers and village dwellers ... sit by the fire and warm up.

This is the last weekend ... tonight, Saturday, and Sunday (Dec. 21-23) from 6-9:00 p.m. It is cold ... wear appropriate clothing. It is dark ... follow the torches and bonfires. It is reverent ... appropriate behavior should be observed.

It is well worth the trip which is about 30 minutes east of the SWAC area. There is no cost but they take donations. The members of the church have done this for a number of years.

From the Bethlehem Project webside:
There are just three nights left to experience Bethlehem for 2007. We will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights thru December 23rd from 6 to 9 PM. Be aware that there is the possibility of rain on Sunday in our area.

What to expect when you visit....

Imagine a little village that existed long before colored lights, reindeer, or Santa Claus. Roman Soldiers walk the streets, Wise Men appear with their camels, shop keepers are going about their everyday lives yet this village is on the brink of something immense, the birth of one who would forever change the course of human history. Experience this village as it really was. Come to Bethlehem and see for yourself the magic and wonder of the first Christmas.

Step back in time as you enter the gates of Bethlehem of Judea. The Roman emperor has issued an order that a census be taken throughout the Empire and every citizen must register. On a cold winter’s night you are traveling streets illuminated by torchlight, wandering deeper into the heart of a village where cautious Roman soldiers patrol the crowd, Wise men, shepherds, livestock are among the many passersby, shops and shopkeepers inhabit a bustling marketplace, and welcoming cheer abounds. Now, far away from the tinseled trees and crowded malls that most commonly usher in the Christmas holiday season, this is an event no one should miss.
Directions: Hebron Baptist Church is located minutes from I-64 and I-81. Click here for a map.

Hebron Baptist Church
66 Tanbark Drive
Afton, Va. 22920
(540) 456-6868

Merry Christmas!

Ukrop's not HAMpered by last-minute Christmas request....

My brother-in-law is a general contractor with a large commercial builder currently working on a job in Charlottesville which causes him to commute daily from Chesterfield. This morning his Christmas cheer was almost sidelined but Ukrop's Supermarkets came to the rescue....

This post is not a slam on Kroger but, rather, a tribute to Ukrop's because they go over and beyond the call of duty. They also prove that shopping the local "mom-and-pop" stores often provides better service than the chain stores whose employees may not be invested in the company.

My brother-in-law ordered 30 hams ($900) from Kroger last week with instructions that they were to be picked up at 7:00 this morning. These were Christmas gifts for his employees on this last day of work before the long Christmas weekend.

When he arrived at Kroger's this morning there were no hams ready and no manager available (the manager was supposed to be there at 7:00). Crunched and needing to hit the road to Charlottesville, he sat in his company truck in the parking lot and called Ukrop's ... yes, they had 30 hams. He arrived 20-30 minutes later to pick them up.

Ukrop's not only had the hams boxed and the ticket written up ... but he was given an unasked-for discount at the register.

Service. That is what is often missing in today's society ... but service has always been a priority at Ukrop's, a store my family has shopped at since the 1960s.

My sister emailed to tell the story, adding that she told him to drive safely to Charlottesville or he would be on the news ... can you see the headline?
"Breaking News! Hams spilled all over I-64 are creating a 2-mile backup."
Thanks, Sis, for my laugh-out-loud of the day!

Ukrop's ... a family-owned business that is still owned and run by the family ... and it shows in their service and commitment to the community.

Paid liberal bloggers....

H/T to Jerry at From On High for alerting me to this article at Captain's Quarters about paid bloggers on the left. Apparently George Soros has placed layers between himself and bloggers who are paid by way of his money ... but the results are the same.

This has been a sticking point with me for a while because of the uneven playing field it presents between volunteer bloggers who find time between work, family, and other life happenings to write in defense of their candidates ... and the paid bloggers who earn thousands to sit behind a keyboard to pound out the talking points that are researched and forwarded to them from the dems.

Which candidate will receive more coverage?

If a conservative blogger was paid "x" amount of money he could legitimately spend hours working on the computer. However, it is sometimes difficult to explain the time spent on a "hobby" when there are other obligations waiting....

It is difficult for volunteers to compete with paid liberal bloggers who make a living working behind the keyboard with financial support from dem candidates, lib organizations, and George Soros.

Read Captain's Quarters for more background on this.

Christmas cooking & shopping & friends....

It has been a busy week for this elf trying to tie up loose ends before Christmas ... mailing out-of-town packages ... searching for last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers ... grocery shopping ... cleaning ... making wreaths....

I have been in the kitchen often the past few days preparing for the weekend when family and friends will gather to eat, drink, and be merry! Christmas homemade goodies that we enjoy year-to-year include fudge, toffee, forgotten cookies, coconut macaroons, gingerbread men, a mocha fudge tort, and more.

This year we are having a casual Christmas supper get-together with chili, Brunswick stew, ham biscuits, tortilla wraps, salad, and all kinds of fixings. Forget the fancy stuff -- we get plenty of that at other gatherings!

If you hear a ruckus it will be the guitar hero "band" as a room full of twenty-somethings rock out downstairs! Meanwhile, the rest of us will be listening to Mannheim Steamroller play Christmas tunes on the stereo as we enjoy the company of family and friends. The walls of a house always "widen out" when friends and family are there ... and ours will definitely need to widen out this weekend!

Christmas is almost here....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome, Smyth County Conservative!

The ODBA has a new member. Adam at the Smyth County Conservative has joined our ranks. Welcome, Adam ... we look forward to blogging with you!

"Faith, family, friends...."

Those were the words of Frederick Dominguez who was lost in the mountains of Northern California with his three children for three days during a snowstorm that dropped up to two feet of snow.

According to Fox News:
A California Highway Patrol helicopter crew spotted Dominguez atop a small bridge and landed nearby, sinking into 2 feet of snow, flight officer David White said. The family had taken shelter in a culvert beneath the bridge and stomped "help" in the snow, White said.

White said it was the last opportunity for the helicopter, with snow falling heavily as it descended.
David White is one of the thousands of First Responders nationwide who are there when we need them. Because of his bravery and dedication, the Dominguez family is safe and home for Christmas.

Frederick Dominguez said huddling with his three children in a culvert for three days to keep warm made him even more grateful of what is important in life ...

... "faith, family, friends."

Shenandoah National Park ice damage....

Some sections of Shenandoah National Park were closed due to ice damage from last weekend's storm with many downed trees and limbs. Most areas were expected to be reopened by this weekend but calling ahead may avoid disappointment.

Contemporary Conservative joins Bloggers 4 Gilmore

And then there were nine.... Jody at The Contemporary Conservative joined Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore today.

Jody's reason for joining is ...
... to support former Governor Gilmore in his bid to retain the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Warner. Bloggers 4 Gilmore is a collection of the most influential and accomplished political minds in Virginia and like these bloggers, Jim Gilmore, is the voice of our times and for our times.

As a fiscal Conservative, Jim Gilmore’s record on taxes and common sense spending is a big reason why the Contemporary Conservative endorses his run for Senate. While Governor, Jim Gilmore cut 16 different taxes totaling $1.5 billion and championed effective spending by our state legislature over the course of his governorship and will bring this same fiscal responsibility to the Senate.

Jim Gilmore will be an instant influence on Washington and will bring some direction to an obviously chaotic time in Congress with real solutions for real issues that are facing our country and state.
We welcome the Contemporary Conservative to our growing group working to elect Jim Gilmore as our next U.S. Senator of Virginia.

Cross posted at Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore

Veterans outraged at Jim Moran's "ethnically cleansed" accusation

"Sure there's less violence, but that's because we've ethnically cleansed most of Baghdad." - Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA)
Jim Moran is a walking example of "open mouth ... insert foot" ... and he is an embarrassment for Virginia. Vets for Freedom is outraged that he has made a statement that insinuates that our soldiers are war criminals.

The following is from Vets for Freedom....

Vets for Freedom condemns the recent comments by Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) on the floor of the House of Representatives in which he stated that American troops "ethnically cleansed Baghdad." The United Nations, along with the rest of the civilized world, commonly refers to ethnic cleansing as genocide.

"Once again, Congressman Moran demonstrates how far from reality he has fallen," said Executive Director of Vets for Freedom and Iraq Army veteran, Pete Hegseth. "Jim Moran has a long history of putting his foot in his mouth, but this time he has gone too far. The men and women who make up our nation's military are decent and honorable citizens who bravely serve to fight our enemies who threaten our national security. Insinuating that they are war criminals is outright despicable."

He continued, "I call on all Members of Congress to follow Vets for Freedom in our condemnation of these irresponsible accusations, as well as on the constituents of the 8th District of Virginia to stand up to such nonsense and support the men and women whose very sacrifice allows Moran to run his mouth."

Vets for Freedom is a nonpartisan organization established by combat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its mission is to educate the American public about the importance of achieving success in these conflicts by applying our first-hand knowledge to issues of American military strategy.

Help us fight back against these baseless charges: Go here and sign up six of your friends to join Vets for Freedom and make our voices heard.
It's Christmas, our troops are far from home away from family and friends, their families are here without them ... and an elected representative from Virginia makes a blanket accusation against them.


I-81: It needs fixing NOW

H/T to Jerry at From On High....

A group of conservationists filed a lawsuit to prevent the widening of I-81 due to loss of farmland, loss of scenery, and other reasons. I posted on this Tuesday.

Look. I live in the Valley and I appreciate farmland and scenery as much or more than the next person.

However, I-81 is congested and growing more so everyday. Human lives are more important to me than the loss of farmland along this north-south interstate. Rail may help but it is not the answer. My husband is a trucker ... time is money, money is time in the trucking industry ... and it is driven by consumers who want their goods now. Retail outlets want and need their orders as soon as possible and rail for trucks will cause bottlenecks at both ends of the line ... but that is another post for another day.

And this highway should not have tolls ... do you see tolls at the Mixing Bowl in NoVA?

Jerry at From On High tackles this subject, linking to a Roanoke Times op-ed piece, and concludes with:
Look, we need to widen I-81. Now. Lives are being lost. The longer we wait to do it, the longer we allow self-interest groups like these "conservationists" to block progress, the more stories we'll read about death and destruction on this vital thoroughfare.

So quit screwing around.

Bloggers and their role in politics

H/T to Shaun Kenney on his insightful post pointing out the WaPo article on liberal bloggers, the fact they did not pick up wins in GOP areas (example: Forgit), and the possibility that they hurt their dem candidates. He points out:
That's not a momentum that has merely been slowed.That's a momentum that has been checked.
He then uses an example of a GOP win in a usually-dem area:
On the other hand, conservative bloggers -- specifically the Old Dominion Bloggers Alliance -- can point to at least one pickup in 2007: the Ferguson/Poindexter race. Republican bloggers forcibly stripped away what was considered a relatively safe Democratic seat by refusing to allow a despicable act from Ferguson's campaign manager (or as the Roanoke Times reports, "political prankster") to go unnoticed, and the electorate responded to the low shot.
The political blogosphere may be going through change as the general public becomes more aware of the venue, reading and searching for information on political candidates and recoiling from blatant name-calling, mud-slinging, and dirty tricks such as the ODBA/Joe Stanley/ Yellow Dog scandal earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

House GOP to restore $180 million in transportation funding raided by Kaine budget

Transportation Chair Joe May Says Kaine Budget “Built at the Expense of Roads”

RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Joe T. May (R-Loudoun), incoming Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, today decried the proposed reduction of funding dedicated to transportation in the budget proposed by the administration of Governor Timothy M. Kaine. The budget unveiled by the Kaine Administration on Monday diverts $180 million currently appropriated for transportation.

“Governor Kaine has introduced a budget that moves transportation a little closer to the back burner, where it sat for far too long,” declared Delegate May. “House Republicans fought aggressively for years to make transportation a top priority of the Commonwealth, and we’re not going to pass a budget that is built at the expense of roads and to the detriment of Virginians who depend on them.

“The Governor’s plan takes $180 million we committed to transportation in the current fiscal year budget. Money designated, allocated, and committed to transportation needs to stay there. The Administration has proposed using these funds for other budgetary purposes – not other transportation projects – and has replaced them with a promise to put the money back when revenues are more robust. Virginians have been stuck in traffic for years waiting in vain for promises ‘to put the money back’ to be kept before. They recognize what this plan is, and they know it will likely keep them stuck in traffic longer.

“The funding dedicated to transportation in 2007 is critical to the construction of key projects across the Commonwealth, including improvements to Route 50 in Northern Virginia, portions of Route 58 across Southside and Southwest Virginia, and improvements to Interstate 64/264 in Hampton Roads. The schedules for these projects are predicated on the availability of the funding appropriated for them in the current budget. Under the Governor’s proposal, if revenue growth doesn’t double in 2010, money will not be available to proceed on schedule.”

May also wondered when the Kaine Administration would fully explain the effects on the regional transportation plans – which include a $10 annual inspection fee designated for the regional transportation authorities – of its proposal to increase the fee for state vehicle inspections while reducing the frequency of those inspections. “The Governor has yet to explain how Northern Virginia will make up more than $16 million and Hampton Roads more than $12 million in regional transportation revenues every other year because of his change to the state vehicle inspection policy,” noted May. “It was no easy thing getting these plans approved in the first place, and now Governor Kaine and his allies are endangering regional transportation funding with scant notice and little explanation. Our commuters deserve better.”

House Republicans spearheaded the landmark Transportation Funding and Reform Act of 2007, the largest transportation initiative since the General Assembly held a special session on the core service in 1986.

“The Governor tries to claim that these funds remain in his budget, only now they’re not available until 2010 – when he leaves office,” remarked Delegate Lacey E. Putney, incoming Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “Even more cynical is the Governor’s promise to restore these funds in 2010 based on exceedingly optimistic revenue assumptions. Fiscal responsibility dictates that we cannot count on such windfalls, and a responsible budget should never be constructed assuming them. The fact that the Governor broke his promise and takes the $180 million now does not lend any comfort that he will keep his promise to restore the money later.

“Regardless of how the Administration characterizes it, the facts remain the same. The current budget has $180 million dedicated to transportation funding this year that will not be available for that purpose until at least 2010 should the Administration’s proposal be approved. And, repayment at that time is contingent upon robust revenue growth when the Commonwealth is facing uncertain economic times. House Republicans remain steadfast not only in our belief that transportation is a core service of government but in our commitment to keep transportation as a top priority. I am confident that the budget crafted by the House Appropriations Committee will restore the $180 million to transportation.”

Ken Cuccinelli wins recount

Congratulations to Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax) for actually picking up 10 votes and winning the recount by 101 votes over Democrat Janet Oleszek. He can finally relax after going through the hassle of a recount (been there, done that with Bob McDonnell two years ago) and enjoy Christmas with his family and newborn son. Riley has it all here. moves to the comics page

From Freedom's Watch....

Who says the New York Times doesn’t have a comic section?

NY Times readers were this morning (Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007) greeted to a full page cartoon masquerading as a serious issue advertisement courtesy of After previously playing schoolyard name games with General Patraeus, MoveOn spent tens of thousands of dollars (assuming the Times didn’t give it another friendly “discount”) to make a mockery of the situation in Iran. Titled “The Washington Follies,” MoveOn’s latest embarrassment features President Bush and Karl Rove as cartoon characters plotting to start a war with Iran.

What’s next, MoveOn whoopee cushions to raise awareness of global warming?

More to the point, the issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons program is far from settled. The NIE itself makes clear that Iran could quickly restart its weapons program (provided, of course, that it really has stopped it). Additionally, both Israel and the British strongly disagree with the NIE’s assessment that Iran has ceased its pursuit of nuclear weapons. In short, it would be foolish to risk American security by taking the pressure off Iran based on this one report.

Maybe MoveOn could do another cartoon depicting Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad going on about a world without America, denying the Holocaust, or threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Oh wait, that wouldn’t be a cartoon – that would be real life.

This sophomoric rant from MoveOn is another example why reasonable Americans reject its far-left message – and why both the U.S. House and Senate voted to condemn it!

Hey, MoveOn: See you in the funny papers!

America: Requiring English in workplace is not discrimination ... it is common sense

“In America, requiring English in the workplace is not discrimination; it's common sense.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

$55 Billion Spending Bill Stalled Over Amendment to Prevent New Lawsuits Against Companies that Require English on the Job

November 15th, 2007 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today said on the Senate floor that he wants to “make clear that it is not against federal law for an employer to require employees to speak English on the job.”

“Our greatest accomplishment as a country has been uniting our magnificent diversity, and one way we have done that is by all speaking a common language, English,” Alexander said. “A federal agency says it is illegal for an employer to require employees to speak in English, which, in plain English, means that thousands of small businesses in America would have to hire a lawyer and be prepared to make their case to a federal agency that there is some special reason to justify speaking English on the job. I believe this is a gross distortion of the Civil Rights Act and a complete misunderstanding of what it means to be an American.”

Earlier this year, Alexander offered an amendment to stop the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from filing lawsuits against employers requiring employees to speak English while working.

That Alexander amendment was added to the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2008 on June 28th during committee deliberations on the annual spending measure by a vote of 15 to 14. The full Senate on October 16th supported the provision when the CJS Appropriations bill passed the Senate by a vote of 75 to 19. The Senate version of the bill included the Alexander provision with no amendment offered to change it.

On November 8th, the House voted to instruct its conferees to agree to Alexander’s amendment during negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the CJS Appropriations bill, which includes annual funding for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

But the meeting of Senate and House negotiators has been indefinitely postponed, and Democratic leaders have stripped Alexander’s provision. They also refused to convene any meeting of House and Senate negotiators unless Alexander agrees to not re-offer his amendment. Alexander, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is calling on House and Senate negotiators to adopt his amendment and make certain the federal law is clear.

“Becoming American cannot be based upon race or where your grandparents were born or your native language or religion,” Alexander said. “It is based upon swearing allegiance to our country, learning American history and learning our common language, English, so we can speak to one another, live together more easily and do business with one another. One way to create unity is to value, not devalue, our common language, English.”

Alexander’s amendment was prompted by a lawsuit filed in April by the EEOC against the Salvation Army for allegedly discriminating against two of the Army's employees in a Framingham, Mass., thrift store for requiring them to speak English on the job. The Salvation Army in Massachusetts clearly posted the rule, and the employees were given a year to learn. The EEOC is a federal agency funded by Congress with a current backlog of approximately 56,000 cases.

Citing a recent media report, Alexander said English lawsuits are on the rise. The number of charges filed with the EEOC alleging discrimination based on such English-only policies is six times larger that it was 10 years ago, Alexander said, growing from 32 charges in 1996 to about 200 in 2006.

At a Senate hearing on the matter in May, Alexander told EEOC Chair Naomi Earp, “I find this to be an astonishing waste of your time and taxpayer money to … by your lawsuit – require every single employer in America to worry that they will face litigation if they require English to be spoken in the workplace.”

Alexander, a former U.S. Secretary of Education, is a longtime advocate of policies to encourage immigrant assimilation and to help prospective citizens learn English.

“In America, requiring English in the workplace is not discrimination; it's common sense,” Alexander said.