Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Autumn in the Shenandoah Valley: The maple tree beside my deck....

September 29, 2007: This is the maple tree beside the deck on the back of my house. I noticed today that the tip of one branch had a few leaves that were beginning to change color ... so decided to follow its progress by taking photos of it as the days of autumn pass....

A friend giveth....

If I had not already been convinced of the importance of those around me, today would have sealed it. I drove home tonight thinking how grateful I am for those I consider "friend."

In politics there is always something to be done: signs to be lugged somewhere, booths to set up, materials to gather, campaigns to run ... and today I had help from several sources with various campaign-related tasks.

But the one that was bugging me the most was that I had bogged down on a candidate's literature ... my creative juices were dried up ... so tonight I met with a friend who worked with me to put together a campaign flyer.

It was something that had been hanging over my head for a while ... but after several hours of work, it was finished. While driving home I looked at the full moon over the mountains and gave thanks for this place I call home ... and for my friends.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pornography issue taken to Augusta Board of Supervisors

Travis Smithdeal approached the Augusta County Board of Supervisors at Wednesday night's meeting and asked that they put strict ordinances in place to restrict "adult" businesses from moving into the county and to avoid a circumstance such as the city of Staunton now faces with the imminent opening of such a business.

To neighbors of the proposed Staunton adult store, this is no laughing matter. It is literally in their backyards and they want something done about it. Because no zoning ordinances are on the books -- such as limiting them from being near schools, playgrounds, churches, neighborhoods, historic places -- there is nothing to keep an "adult" business from setting up shop anywhere in the city.

If restrictions are placed on Staunton businesses, the next place for them to move is Augusta County. Some would like to ignore the issue but the demographics of the SWAC area are changing as more people move to the Shenandoah Valley.

There are some who laugh at citizens who are against a porn shop as if they were nothing more than a bunch of illiterate hicks. "What?" they ask. "Have you never heard of people enjoying sex?"

But they have not talked with those citizens who are taking this seriously. It is not a church issue or a political issue ... it is a community issue that affects neighbors and property values, and results in spin-off secondary concerns such as increased crime, increased drug use, increased crimes against women and children, and more.

Henrico and Chesterfield Counties are hardly prudish areas of the Commonwealth and, yet, they considered the issue important enough to set in place permit requirements and restrictive ordinances.

Hoping for proactive legislation, Mr. Smithdeal, the Republican candidate for Pastures District Supervisor, addressed the Board:
Thank you for being present tonight to hear our issues and concerns.

I am here tonight representing a substantial number of Augusta County residents, including 20 churches, concerning the unsavory topic of pornography. We have all seen how Staunton was blindsided by this porn shop and the citizens of Augusta County want to work with the Board to ensure the protection of families, children, and property from this menace.

Porn hurts families, increases crime, decreases properpty values, and has no redeeming value.

This is not, nor should it become, a political issue. Pornography offends both Democratic and Republican values. It undermines the morals which all of us were raised with.

I would humbly request from the Board of Supervisors that they write and enact strict ordinances which will help to protect our community from porn brokers' easy access to our neighborhoods.
There was no reaction from the Board at that time but when "Matters To Be Presented By the Board" came around, North River Supervisor Larry Howdyshell spoke up.

Mr. Howdyshell said, "Pornography is a concern," and then proposed that the Board send this issue to the Planning Commission and then take it up at their October 22 work session. He made a motion that they draft ordinances to restrict pornography or adult businesses in the county.

That was when an interesting discussion began between the supervisors.

Riverheads Supervisor Nancy Sorrells immediately brought up the 1st Amendment rights of the adult businesses, and deferred to county attorney Steve Rosenburg.

Mr. Rosenburg reiterated the 1st Amendment rights, and mentioned the secondary effects and studies, then outlined three regulations for this issue:

1) Planning Commission could amend zoning ordinances to restrict them to acceptable locations by restricting proximity to things like playgrounds, schools, etc.;
2) Require an "adult business" permit which would be issued through the sheriff's office;
3) Pass ordinances to prohibit public nudity.

The Board had ordinances in hand passed by Henrico County, some of the strictest in the state, which have been challenged in court and have been upheld each time.

Wayne Supervisor Wendell Coleman, while saying he wanted to be proactive instead of reactive, encouraged Mr. Howdyshell to withdraw his motion to give more time to research the matter before sending it to the Planning Commission.

Mr. Howdyshell reiterated that he wanted to do whatever it took to protect our youth, and to do whatever gave the best protection against these types of things.

Pastures Supervisor Tracy Pyles weighed in by saying the county had been in existence since 1798 and had not had a problem with this before, and commented that any kid with a computer could access pornography. He then said, "To think we're going to stop this vice with some ordinance is silly," and commented that it would just move it on down the road.

South River Supervisor David Beyeler suggested the supervisors didn't need to move so fast on this but should, instead study it and make recommendations. He then joked about locating a porn shop between two churches and filming its customers.

Mr. Coleman again requested that Mr. Howdyshell withdraw his motion.

Mr. Howdyshell again said that something needed to be done to restrict pornography outlets in the county.

Coleman: "Are you willing to withdraw your motion?"

Mr. Howdyshell, having no second on his motion, withdrew it. The issue has been scheduled for the October 22 work session.

Mr. Coleman said by phone that he needed to hear from county residents to know if they wanted something done about this issue so contact your supervisor if you want zoning ordinances to limit where adult businesses can locate in Augusta County.

New 1st District Chairman

Congratulations to James Atticus Bowden who was elected as Chairman of the 1st Congressional District in a special election to fill out the term of Russ Moulton. Jim is the blog author of Deo Vindice as well as a contributor to Bacon's Rebellion. A gentleman and friend, Jim works hard for the conservative principles we believe in, and is a proven leader in Republican politics. It will be a pleasure to continue to work with him in that endeavour.

Congratulations, JAB!

John Berthoud ... 1960-2007

Freedom's inevitable victory will suffer a significant delay due to the passing yesterday of John Berthoud, president of the National Taxpayers Union. John was that all-too-rare combination--a philosophically committed, intellectually powerful, all-around great guy.
And thus begins Leslie Carbone's tribute to her friend, John Berthoud. The conservative lower-taxes movement has lost a champion.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gilmore's possible senate candidacy continues to gather steam....

Jim Gilmore, former governor on his way to a run at the senate seat being vacated by John Warner, has the financial support of Harrisonburg businessman/ entrepreneur Walter Curt. To the tune of $50,000, Mr. Curt has placed his bets behind the conservative Republican. Check out Jim Gilmore's Virginia Patriot blog.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

House condemns's NYT "General Petraeus" ad....

Last week the U.S. Senate voted 72-25 to condemn's full-page New York Times ad calling Gen. David Petraeus a traitor (click here to see who voted for and against). Today the House of Representatives also voted to condemn the ad. In a stunning 341-79 vote, the House passed a Resolution that praised Gen. Petraeus' patriotism.'s response?
"With every passing day, more American soldiers and Iraqi civilians lose their lives in this unwinnable civil war," said Eli Pariser, executive director of Political Action. "It is unconscionable and outrageous that instead of doing the people's work and ending this war, Congress chooses meaningless and distracting gestures."
Does he consider it "outrageous" that Hillary is wasting time trying to obtain $1 million for a meaningless hippie "Woodstock" museum? Just asking....

Congressman Bob Goodlatte of the Shenandoah Valley: Unveiling the portrait

Congressman Bob Goodlatte and his wife, Maryellen,
with Sixth District Chairman Fred Anderson and his wife, Ann.

I was honored to be invited to a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for the unveiling of a portrait of Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-6th District) to commemorate his chairmanship of the Agriculture Committee during the 108th and 109th Congress sessions. It was held in the Agriculture Room so the crowd of over 300 was able to mingle on the balcony overlooking the Capitol as well as inside.

The Sixth District was represented by Chairman Fred Anderson and his wife, Ann; Delegate Ben Cline; Trixie Averill of State Central Committee; Chaz Evans Haywood who is candidate for Clerk of Court in Harrisonburg-Rockingham; Mollie Koon from the Goodlatte staff; Lynn Mitchell of State Central Committee.

Congressman Goodlatte and Maryellen
with House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Sixth District Chairman Fred Anderson and
Chaz Evans Haywood, candidate for Clerk of Court, Harrisonburg-Rockingham County

Trixie Averill on Agriculture Committee Room balcony
Trixie Averill, Sixth District State Central Representative

Reception on balcony
Delegate Ben Cline
The crowd listens as the portrait is unveiled.
Mollie Koon and Chaz Evans Haywood
Trixie Averill and Mollie Koon talk with
Maryellen Goodlatte during reception.

The portrait is amazing in several ways. First, it is an extremely life-like portrayal of Congressman Goodlatte. Second, the artist actually painted two portraits because there is a portrait within a portrait ... a photo of Maryellen is sitting on the desk in the portrait. Third, the picture hanging on the wall behind the Congressman is a Shenandoah Valley farm scene ... rural and serene. The artist, Dean Paules, did a remarkable job.

The site of the U.S. Capitol stirs me everytime I see it....
It was an enjoyable evening and I thank the Congressman for the opportunity to be a part of his special day. As Trixie Averill and I drove back to the Valley we shared memories of the event and, of course, talked politics all the way up and all the way back.

Master of Ceremony
The Honorable Roy Blunt
Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin
Presentation of Portrait
The Honorable Collin C. Peterson
Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture
The Honorable John Boehner
The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
The Honorable Dick Armey
The Honorable Bob Goodlatte
Unveiling of Portrait
Mrs. Maryellen Goodlatte
Acceptance of Portrait
The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer
Majority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
Introduction of Artist
Mr. Dean Paules
Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin

Photos by SWAC Girl

Waynesboro: Sonic Drive-In to open near Wal-Mart

Waynesboro's newest food entry will be a Sonic Drive-In which will build on an out-parcel at the Wal-Mart. Sonic's, the nation's largest drive-in chain with 3,200 locations, should open in October or November and will add to the growing retail area in Waynesboro's west end. More info in the Waynsboro News Virginian.

Trip to the Nation's Capital

Made a trip Tuesday with Trixie Averill, fellow Sixth District representative, to Washington, D.C., for a great event. The sight of the Capitol was stirring and reminded me of why I am involved in politics. More to come....

Photo by SWAC Girl

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

McDonnell: "Project SafetyNet VA"

[From the AG's office]

This September has been quite busy for Attorney General Bob McDonnell. In addition to traveling the state supporting our Republican team and running the Commonwealth's law firm, the Attorney General has also raised public awareness about a critical issue facing Virginians: Internet Safety.

On September 4th the Attorney General launched "Project SafetyNet VA" a multi-faceted and innovative public awareness campaign designed to inform students, parents, and teachers about how to stay safe online. The effort includes distribution of a creative Internet safety book for third-graders -- The "Faux Paw's" Internet Safety Book for Virginia Students. This book will be available to every public, private, parochial and home schooled third grader in the state and it teaches students how to stay safe online. The Attorney General also took his message to older students by rolling out a major contest for 6-12th graders in the state. Students will compete to make their own 30 second television ads about online safety, with the winning team seeing their ad aired on Virginia television next year and winning an X-Box 360.

The Office of the Attorney General has placed ads about the Internet safety contest in publications such as The Washington Post, Virginia Living Magazine, the Bristol Herald-Courier, and Richmond Parents Monthly. The Attorney General has read the "Faux Paw's" book to students in Danville, Amherst, Falls Church, Henrico, and Chesapeake and staff members from the Office of the Attorney General have made "Safety Net" presentations about Internet safety to parents and students from Roanoke to Arlington.

This September, Virginia students teachers and parents are learning important lessons about how to stay safe online. They are simple lessons but they can make all the difference in the world. It's all part of Attorney General Bob McDonnell's continuing work to build a safer and stronger Virginia.

Citizens Task Force to Ban Pornography in Staunton

First there was the successful "Stop Porn" Forum last week that brought out 120 citizens to educate those in the SWAC area about an adult video store planning to open in Staunton. At that meeting folks were asked to sign up if willing to be part of a task force to help ban pornography.

Last night 50 citizens turned out for an organizational meeting of the Citizens Task Force to Ban Pornography which was headed up by former Staunton School Board member Andrea Oakes. Additional information came from Travis Smithdeal, candidate for the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, and Dr. Kurt Michael representing the Virginia Family Foundation. The meeting presented a Call to Action to those who attended.

Councilman Dickie Bell was there with a report from the Planning Commission and to offer guidance in the wording of ordinances, using those from other localities including Chesterfield and Henrico Counties.

Staunton Police Chief Jim Williams was able to answer questions about what citizens can legally do to protest or picket the business.

This issue has caused more backlash in the community than I saw for Weekday Religious Education or the Marriage Amendment, both of which were strongly backed by local citizens. The idea of an "adult" business coming into the neighborhood has stirred up folks who are willing to step to the plate and be leaders in the fight.

This is not a religious or political issue ... it is a moral issue ... and it has struck a nerve in Staunton.

Residents from Augusta County and Waynesboro also attended the meeting to learn what they could do in their localities. Waynesboro has a law on the books that some say is not restrictive enough; Augusta County has none.

Travis Smithdeal plans to take this issue to the Augusta County Board of Supervisors. When adult businesses are pushed out of Staunton they will move into the county.

NBC-29 interviewed Andrea Oakes and Travis Smithdeal and plans to have a report on today's newscast.

Citizen volunteers left the meeting with a Plan of Action to fight to ban pornography in the Valley.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Columbia University: This is what is wrong with higher education....

The powers that be at Columbia University ...
... will not allow ROTC or American military representatives on campus -- those very people who protect the liberties and safety of Columbia ...

... but will allow terrorist Iran President Ahmadinejad to be a guest and had the audacity to say Columbia is all about free speech and would have invited Hitler.
Free speech? While barring American military from their campus? Wonder if they would allow a chaplain to pray in the name of Jesus?

Freedom's Watch has been watching ... and has a new print advertisement in the New York Times protesting Ahmadinejad's visit.

Freedom's Watch President Bradley A. Blakeman said of the visit:
"Freedom's Watch could not sit back and allow a terrorist to come to America masquerading as a world leader. We have an obligation to warn the world of the dangers of a nuclear Iran and to uncover the true intent, that being, the destruction of the United States and the State of Israel. Let's be clear, Iran today kills American soldiers in Iraq and they will not stop there."
Thank goodness someone is watching out for America.

Autumn in the Valley ... Apple Days at Christ UMC in Staunton

Apple Days
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007
7 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Breakfast Buffet
Apples, pies, dumplings, apple butter, crafts

I drove by Christ United Methodist Church this morning and the Methodist Men were out in force preparing for Saturday's "Apple Days" which is always a huge event for them.

Christ United Methodist Church is located on Rt. 250 (Churchville Avenue) west of Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton.

From I-81 take Exit 225 and go west on Rt. 262 bypass until you reach Rt. 250 exit; turn left and go for about one mile. The church will be on the right.

RK: Throwing verbal bombs ... again

"Just because Bush and the right-wing Republicans in Congress hate the environment doesn't mean the rest of us have to." -- Lowell at Raising Kaine Blog, 9/24/07

A statement like that discredits the writer, in my book. Those kinds of blanket statements are what made me become involved in politics and, sadly, what make me realize we are nowhere near working together on issues such as the environment. When one political party thinks they have a lock on it, and that the other political party wants to "poison the water and kill children," then we're in a sad state of affairs.

Bob McDonnell at Good Sense today at 5:00....

Drop your questions for Attorney General Bob McDonnell off at Good Sense for a 5:00 p.m. live blogging appearance today.

Chaz for Clerk of Court in Harrisonburg-Rockingham

Update letter from Chaz Evans Haywood who is running for Clerk of Court for Harrisonburg/Rockingham County:

Dear Friends:

The Summer was busy and enjoyable and it was great to see so much enthusiasm at all the lawn parties, parades and summer bbq's. With only 45 days left we are on a roll, but still have a lot to do.

I encourage you to write a Letter to the Editor in support of my campaign to be your next Clerk of Court for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. A link at my Chaz for Clerk website will put you directly in contact with the Daily News Record.

If you are interested in hosting a small gathering at your home just email or give me a call on my cell phone at (540) 421-0052.

I have over 550 yard signs across the City and County. I appreciate your willingness to show your support with one in your yard. There is a link on my website to receive a sign.

With November 6th right around the corner, your friends, family and co-workers need to hear about my PROVEN experience and PROVEN record of service.

Sharing this letter is a great way to inform the constituents of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.


I have truly appreciated the financial support and help from so many of you. As we reach the final days I need your financial assistance as I reach out in the media and mail to many more voters in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. I am honored to have your support and with your help we will celebrate VICTORY on November 6th.

Just email and we can discuss the details of your help, or click on the "DONATE NOW" image on the website and you can donate by CREDIT CARD, CHECK, DEBIT CARD OR CASH.

Veteran POW-MIA ride for Camp Still Meadows

In remembrance of National MIA-POW Day, I was pleased to join the Valley Chapter of Veteran POW-MIA riders for a ride to benefit Camp Sill Meadows and the great work they do for those with disabilities. It was great to ride with my military brothers and sisters for such a great cause.

Thursday afternoon I joined with my fellow Veterans on Court Square in Harrisonburg to hear Delegate Matt Lohr and others offer their respect and thanks to those that have served and are now serving.

All My Best,

Chaz Evans-Haywood
Chaz For Clerk
(540) 421-0052

Republicans: Unite!

The Washington Post reported:
[] told its 3 million members by e-mail that some might think "the language went too far [in the NY Times' General Petraeus ad]. . . . But make no mistake: this is much bigger than one ad."
What jumps out to me in that statement is this: 3 million members.

Republicans ... where is our equivalent to It is time to organize the netroots and unite!

New York Times: Busted! got a huge ad discount ... and now the NY Times is admitting it ... but only after two weeks of questions and controversy surrounding the "General Petraeus" ad that bolted into the mainstream of some Americans who were unaware of the radical left-wing group that includes those who are anti-war and anti-America.

For more check out Scott's Morning Brew, From On High, and The Ward View.

Hillary's been avoiding answering questions for years....

... and the Virginian Federalist nails her on it here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Blood is thicker than water.... It was a quick overnight trip Saturday to visit family in the Richmond area. All the cousins and their families gathered at a cousin's place for an evening cookout and grand old time of visiting, laughing, and enjoying strengthening those ties that make us family.

We are a large family ... my maternal grandparents raised 10 children ... so there are cousins all over the Richmond area (and throughout Virginia). We grew up together, we married and raised families, and we've stayed close throughout the years even though a couple of us have moved from that area.

I'm one of the younger cousins since my mom was the youngest child of that brood of kids ... all her siblings are now gone ... so these are the memories we cherish. We lost one of us two years ago ... he was the first of my generation to die after fighting cancer ... so we take nothing for granted.

It was a quick trip -- over yesterday and back today -- with some observations along the way....

The kitchen is the heart of a home ... it's proven over and over ... and it was no different last night. Although folks were scattered throughout the house and on the patio, the kitchen remained crowded as we clustered together to help the cook and visit and catch up with goings-on since the last time we were all together....

The next generation was represented by my 11-year-old niece and my two kids, ages 19 and 23. The others couldn't be there but will be at the Christmas gathering, some with children of their own....

Since I was in Flora McDonnell's part of the world I gave her a quick call ... there were many candidate signs along Rt. 60 and I was anxious to talk with her about the ones she's volunteering for and the state races in general. God bless her Marine son who just deployed for his second trip to the Middle East....

There were renegade leaves changing color in the Richmond area, too. Fall is definitely on the way although the weather there today was hot and muggy....

Like mother ... like daughter ... like daughter.... I remember as a little girl visiting my grandmother, and she and my mother would go out into the yard to walk and look at the flowers, bushes, fruit trees, and the garden. I tagged along on those rambling walks those many years ago ... and today I flashed back to that memory when Mom said, "Let's walk around the yard and look at things...."

So we strolled around looking at elephant begonias that have returned in the same spot for years, red buds, towering river birches ... the corkscrew willow, the rose garden full of magnificent bushes of various names tenderly cared for by my step-dad ... the garden swing with wisteria growing across its arbor, butterfly bushes, huge boxwoods and smaller ones being nurtured in the "nursery" area, and many flowers I don't know the names of.

And as my daughter joined us mid-way through our journey there was yet another generation walking the property ... surveying the grounds ... looking over what had been grown and cultivated by hard work. And I realized it must be in our blood ... from the great-great-great-grandparents on down through the generations, those who had been farmers, ending with my grandfather who was the last to farm ... but the love and pride of working the land has continued, not in crops, but in flowers, shrubs, and trees.

It was a quick trip home to see family ... and was fulfilling in more ways than one.

Give me 5 minutes of your day....

Just give me five minutes of your day*....

*Lance Cpl. Nate Salatin, USMC, Augusta County, VA

First day of fall....

September 23, 2007 ... first day of Fall!
This one's for you, Scott ... my fellow ODBA member who loves autumn, too ...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Congressman Bob Goodlatte!

Happy Birthday

Congressman Bob Goodlatte!

We celebrated his special day with a red, white, and blue birthday cake and ice cream at today's Sixth District meeting in Lexington ... and the entire Sixth District Committee sang Happy Birthday!

Thanks for your leadership, Congressman.

Happy Birthday ... and here's to many more!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Grand Opening Today of Harrisonburg-Rockingham GOP HQs

Chaz Evans Haywood, candidate for Clerk of Court
and Rep. Tom Davis

Harrisonburg and Rockingham County opened their joint Republican Headquarters today at Town Center behind the Valley Mall. After lunch at the Wood Grill, the crowd gathered at HQs which is nice and spacious and decorated in patriotic bunting and candidate signs.

Electeds who attended were Rep. Tom Davis, Sen. Mark Obenshain, Sen. Emmett Hanger, Del. Chris Saxman, Dayton Mayor Judy Way, Rockingham Commissioner of Revenue Richard Connelle, and Rockingham Treasurer Todd Garber.

RPV Chairman and former Lt. Governor John Hager attended as did Rockingham County GOP Chairman Mike Meredith, Harrisonburg GOP Chairman Kerri Wilson, and Page County GOP Chairman J.J. McCourt.

Chaz Evans Haywood, candidate for Rockingham-Harrisonburg Clerk of Court, was also there. Del. Steve Landes, Ben Cline, Matt Loehr, and Todd Gilbert were invited but had previous engagements.

Chaz and Mike Meredith, Chairman of Rockingham County GOP
Sen. Emmett Hanger and RPV Chairman John Hager
Sen. Mark Obenshain

GOP Chairman John Hager

Thanks to GOP Rock for photos

Backroads of the Shenandoah Valley ... Pastures District

At last week's Win the War rally in Staunton, a gentleman approached me about a Win the War sign. Turned out he lives several miles from me so I drove by today to get a photo of the sign which is posted in the middle of God's Country.

Took a drive today through Pastures District in western Augusta County. The sun was shining, it was mid-70s, and the backroads were calling me. I usually have my camera with me when out driving so was able to take some photos of the gorgeous place I call home.

The green of the fields against the clouds that were moving in over the mountains intrigued me....

The clouds were so unusual in the blue sky with the green pastures....
This maple tree with scarlet leaves in the middle of the field caught my eye because it had fully changed colors and had even begun to lose leaves.
I never met a backroad I didn't want to explore....

Leaves on the locust trees (right) are turning....
Beautiful homestead of the gentleman whose Win the War sign is in the first photo....
What is it about fence rows? I love the flowers that grow along there and this one has the beautiful Alleghany Range behind it.
The road less traveled....
Goldenrod wild flowers

I finally got a photo of a butterfly after trying for a week. This butterfly bush was loaded with the orange monarchs stopping on their migration south....

Home Sweet Home with my very own Win the War sign.

One reason I like living in the western part of the county is the wildlife we see on a regular basis. Today a fox ran up the fence line beside me ... a flock of Canada geese flew directly over our heads while I was standing talking with BOS candidate Travis Smithdeal (and I ducked, afraid they would unload on us). Beside the road were four wild turkeys but I didn't dare try to get a photo knowing they would take off ... the deer are always here ... the squirrels are really busy and they have extra-bushy tails this fall. Haven't seen a bear yet but there were indications of them in the woods behind the house.

This time of year in the Valley is beautiful ... but, then I think it's beautiful in all seasons. I'll be back on the road soon checking more out-of-the-way places with my camera ... and again giving thanks for living in such a place as this. I love the Valley....

Remembering the past: Waynesboro heritage museum reopens

Memories of the past fill the walls and space at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum ... books, toys, tools, photographs, uniforms ... in a newly-renovated building that is also from the past.

A grand re-opening celebration will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the historical building that houses the museum which is located on the corner of Wayne and Main Streets in downtown Waynesboro. The $2.3 million makeover of the building included updating, painting, and carpeting with plans to add more exhibits and a media room. A gift shop has been added with items including coffee mugs, books, postcards, and more.

Beginning Tuesday, October 2, regular museum hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Senate vote to condemn ad ... who voted for and who voted against?

Here is a listing of how each state's senators voted -- for or against -- on the bill to condemn's ad, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"

Who did not vote to condemn MoveOn's ad? Hillary Clinton, Obama Barack, Barbara Boxer, Byrd & Rockefeller of West Virginia, Diane Feingold, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer ... here is the complete list of those not voting to condemn MoveOn's ad slandering Gen. David Petraeus:

Nay Votes -- 25:
Akaka (D-HI), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Byrd (D-WV), Clinton (D-NY), Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Levin (D-MI), Menendez (D-NJ), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Rockefeller (D-WV), Sanders (I-VT), Schumer (D-NY), Stabenow (D-MI), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - 3
Biden (D-DE), Cantwell (D-WA), Obama (D-IL)

Votes as cast by state:

- Sessions (R-AL), Yea
- Shelby (R-AL), Yea
- Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
- Stevens (R-AK), Yea
- Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
- McCain (R-AZ), Yea
- Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
- Pryor (D-AR), Yea
- Boxer (D-CA), Nay
- Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
- Allard (R-CO), Yea
- Salazar (D-CO), Yea
- Dodd (D-CT), Nay
- Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
- Biden (D-DE), Not Voting
- Carper (D-DE), Yea
- Martinez (R-FL), Yea
- Nelson (D-FL), Yea
- Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
- Isakson (R-GA), Yea
- Akaka (D-HI), Nay
- Inouye (D-HI), Nay
- Craig (R-ID), Yea
- Crapo (R-ID), Yea
- Durbin (D-IL), Nay
- Obama (D-IL), Not Voting
- Bayh (D-IN), Yea
- Lugar (R-IN), Yea
- Grassley (R-IA), Yea
- Harkin (D-IA), Nay
- Brownback (R-KS), Yea
- Roberts (R-KS), Yea
- Bunning (R-KY), Yea
- McConnell (R-KY), Yea
- Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
- Vitter (R-LA), Yea
- Collins (R-ME), Yea
- Snowe (R-ME), Yea
- Cardin (D-MD), Yea
- Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
- Kennedy (D-MA), Nay
- Kerry (D-MA), Nay
- Levin (D-MI), Nay
- Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
- Coleman (R-MN), Yea
- Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
- Cochran (R-MS), Yea
- Lott (R-MS), Yea
- Bond (R-MO), Yea
- McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
- Baucus (D-MT), Yea
- Tester (D-MT), Yea
- Hagel (R-NE), Yea
- Nelson (D-NE), Yea
- Ensign (R-NV), Yea
- Reid (D-NV), Nay
New Hampshire:
- Gregg (R-NH), Yea
- Sununu (R-NH), Yea
New Jersey:
- Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay
- Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
New Mexico:
- Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
- Domenici (R-NM), Yea
New York:
- Clinton (D-NY), Nay
- Schumer (D-NY), Nay
North Carolina:
- Burr (R-NC), Yea
- Dole (R-NC), Yea
North Dakota:
- Conrad (D-ND), Yea
- Dorgan (D-ND), Yea
- Brown (D-OH), Nay
- Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
- Coburn (R-OK), Yea
- Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
- Smith (R-OR), Yea
- Wyden (D-OR), Nay
- Casey (D-PA), Yea
- Specter (R-PA), Yea
Rhode Island:
- Reed (D-RI), Nay
- Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
South Carolina:
- DeMint (R-SC), Yea
- Graham (R-SC), Yea
South Dakota:
- Johnson (D-SD), Yea
- Thune (R-SD), Yea
- Alexander (R-TN), Yea
- Corker (R-TN), Yea
- Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
- Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
- Bennett (R-UT), Yea
- Hatch (R-UT), Yea
- Leahy (D-VT), Yea
- Sanders (I-VT), Nay
- Warner (R-VA), Yea
- Webb (D-VA), Yea
- Cantwell (D-WA), Not Voting
- Murray (D-WA), Nay
West Virginia:
- Byrd (D-WV), Nay
- Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay
- Feingold (D-WI), Nay
- Kohl (D-WI), Yea
- Barrasso (R-WY), Yea
- Enzi (R-WY), Yea

Thoughts on a late-summer day in the Valley....

There's something cathargic about driving a riding lawn mower on a sunny mid-70s day with the wind blowing and the smell of freshly-cut grass and the mountains clear in the distance.

While mowing, my brain whirred as I planned dinner, mentally sorted out correspondence that needed to be answered, noted tree branches to be trimmed, watched the deer grazing on the edge of the woods, and just enjoyed being outdoors with my thoughts....

Autumn officially starts Sunday....

The grass is growing fast with the warm days and cool nights....

The coldest night so far has been 37 degrees. Our flowers made it through that and I'm hoping to get a few more weeks of enjoyment before the cold freezes them....

We've enjoyed eating dinner on the deck in the warm temps knowing full well it is a matter of time before it's too cold to do so....

The woodstove is cleaned and ready to go. Firewood has been chopped and stacked and seasoned; kindling is stored under cover....

The squirrels are coming out of the woods into the yard carrying walnuts to bury for retrieval throughout the winter....

Deer are wandering up to the house to graze ... had to run them off yesterday and today ... counted 11 at woods' edge which is too many. Hunting season is around the corner....

The skunks are busy ... have smelled their fragrance several nights the past couple of weeks....

Washed comforters and blankets and hung out to dry ... am using these waning warm days to use the clothes line before being forced to turn to the clothes dryer again....

The garden has just about played out with only a few remaining vegetables to be harvested. For tonight's dinner we enjoyed potatoes, tomatoes, green peppers, and the last picking of green beans. I'm going to miss those homegrown tomatoes when the last ones are picked....

Some of the leaves on the sassafras trees have already turned scarlet as well as leaves on the Virginia creeper growing up the wild cherry tree....

There's an urgency about preparing for cold weather even as we look forward to the leaves turning colors and the crisp days of October....

Fall is on its way....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hundreds of Vets for Freedom converge on Congress...

Did you hear about the Vets for Freedom rally that brought out hundreds of veterans and their families to encourage and urge Congress to support victory in Iraq? I didn't think so ... because the mainstream media has been silent on the issue. Josh over at Win the War they has a post about it that you really should check out.

Also ... welcome to Michael Volpe, new editor at Win the War. Josh Levy has done a wonderful job; I'm sure Michael will do the same. Glad to have you on board!

Senate votes to condemn's Petraeus ad; Hillary votes for

In a vote today of 72-25, the Senate voted to denounce the ad that ran last week and said, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" All Democrat presidential candidates voted against it or missed the vote.

Barack Obama, although in the room for a vote 20 minutes earlier, was absent along with Joe Biden. Hillary Clinton and Joe Dodd voted against condemning

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell drew the line to basically say, "You're either with us ... or against us" when he asked:
"Who would have ever expected anybody to go after a general in the field at a time of war, launch a smear campaign against a man we've entrusted with our mission in Iraq? Any group that does this sort of thing ought to be condemned. Let's take sides. General Petraeus or Which one are we going to believe? Which one are we going to condemn?"
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romeny said:
"Hillary Clinton had a choice. She could stand with our troop commander in Iraq, or she could stand with the libelous left wing of her party. She chose the latter. The idea that she would be a credible commander-in-chief of our Armed Forces requires the willing suspension of disbelief."
President George W. Bush held a press conference earlier at the White House and declared:
"I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democrat party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad, and that leads me to come to this kind of conclusion: That most Democrats are afraid of irritating a left-wing group like — are more afraid of irritating them — than they are of irritating the United States military. That was a sorry deal. "And (it's) one thing to attack me. It's another thing to attack somebody like Gen. Petraeus." struck back by saying they would take out ads against Republicans who voted against the troop amendment yesterday causing its defeat, and they attacked the President with the same tired claim that he lied about Iraq.

"Stop Porn" forum ... more about Tuesday's meeting in Staunton

Gen. Bruce Grover, Vice Chairman of Staunton Republican Committee, welcomes those who attended Tuesday night's "Stop Porn" forum at City Hall.

It was standing-room only at Staunton City Hall Tuesday night when over 120 concerned citizens turned out to participate in a Stop Porn Forum presented by the Staunton Republican Committee. The meeting was in response to the community's concern over an adult book store that is planning to locate in a neighborhood adjacent to Gypsy Hill Park.

A panel of speakers consisted of Councilman Dickie Bell, Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Robertson (D-Staunton), Dr. Kurt Michael, Chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee, former School Board member Andrea Oakes, and Chris Freund (pronounced "Friend") of the Family Foundation in Richmond.

The Family Foundation said the following after Tuesday night's meeting:
For several years The Family Foundation has worked with concerned citizens across Virginia in an effort to make our Commonwealth as inhospitable as possible to sexually oriented businesses (SOBs). Citizens in several localities have successfully lobbied their local governments to improve local zoning ordinances to restrict opportunities for these shops to open.

Last night, Chris Freund, our Vice President, Policy and Communications was at a public forum in Staunton speaking to over 100 people who oppose the establishment of a SOB in their community. Because the local zoning ordinance does not address these businesses, they are vulnerable. As a result, am "Adult" business has applied for license to open in the city of Staunton.

Citizens were informed last night that it is absolutely appropriate and Constitutionally allowable to pass strict zoning ordinances that restrict the "time, place and manner" of operation of SOBs. Localities can restrict when these shops can be open, where in the community they are allowed, and what type of behaviors are allowed inside.

Despite the usual cries of "first amendment rights" and "imposing morality" by a few, the fact is that the vast majority of people do not want these businesses opening up in their communities. And the courts have made it clear that citizens have a right to restrict these businesses.

In addition, the distribution of "obscenity" is illegal in Virginia. The Supreme Court has defined obscenity, but it leaves it up to "community standards" to decide if material in these businesses meets that definition. In other words, the community determines what is and what isn't obscene. That happens when someone who distributes this material is arrested and goes to court. A judge or jury then determines if the material meets the courts definition of obscenity.

Ultimately, what is going to be allowed in a community is up to the citizens.

A majority of localities in Virginia have passed or are considering strict zoning ordinances already. This leaves those cities and counties that have not addressed this issue open to these businesses setting up shop.

If your city or county has not addressed this issue, please work with like-minded citizens in your community to lobby your local government to get this done soon. The Family Foundation is here to help you! We have the materials you need to make a difference in your community. Click Here to see a news story regarding last night's public forum in Staunton.
A Pornography Task Force is being formed to work with City Council and Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Robertson on setting up zoning ordinances to address this issue in the future. The current business cannot be stopped but the city can be pro-active about those that may follow. Headed up by Andrea Oakes, a meeting has been scheduled for Monday, September 24, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Staunton. Click here for more information.

For more check out these sources:
- Waynesboro News Virginian: Staunton prosecutor vows to oppose adult video store
- NBC-29 video footage

LTE: "Don't Leave Iraq As Tide Begins To Turn"

[Today's Richmond Times-Dispatch published a letter to the editor from Josh Levy. Josh blogs at Win the War and led the Win the War rally against Cindy Sheehan in Charlottesville in June.]

Don't Leave Iraq As Tide Begins to Turn

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The article, "Study: U.S. Should Lower Profile in Iraq," notes Democratic calls for a firm deadline for "withdrawal" (otherwise known as "retreat"). It is ironic that these calls come when even Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama admit that there has been significant military success. Moreover, Katie Couric just reported recently on the "real progress" in Iraq.

Things are turning around. The Iraqis are working more than ever with us to defeat the militias and jihadists. Only three months after the new strategy was fully implemented, large areas of Iraq have been pacified. Just because Iraq is not yet a complete success in all ways hardly justifies abandoning our efforts.

Josh Levy

Webb amendment defeated ... John Warner voted against it

Stating concern from senior military officials, Sen. John Warner led the charge in defeating Jim Webb's amendment that would have required more rest time for troops between deployments. In a vote of 56-44, less than the 60 votes needed, Sen. John McCain vigorously argued for its defeat stating it was unconstitutional and would "emasculate this surge" in Iraq. While Webb's heart may have been in the right place, the general consensus was the issue needed to be in the hands of the military, not in the hands of legislators.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Webb amendment would cripple troop surge in Iraq

[Tell Jim Webb "no" to amendment: (202) 224-4024. Tell John Warner to vote "no" to Webb amendment: (202) 224-2023.]

The opening paragraph of the Washington Times editorial says it all:
When the Senate resumes debate later this week on the defense authorization bill, one of the first issues on the agenda will be an amendment by Sen. Jim Webb that would effectively cripple the troop surge in Iraq — even as it is demonstrating real success. The real goal of this legislation is to embarrass President Bush and score propaganda points with the antiwar crowd. But it would be a mistake to gloss over the destructive nature of what Mr. Webb's amendment would do to the military and the National Guard.
Touted as the "anti-war bill," it demands troops who have been previously deployed must spend as least as much time at home before being deployed again. Mr. Webb continues to disappoint as a representative in Washington.

The amendment looks to have the necessary democrat votes to avoid a Republican filibuster and, thereby, be passed. If that happens I say ...

... veto, Mr. President.

Over 120 attend "Stop Porn" Forum in Staunton....

It was standing-room only at Staunton City Hall Tuesday night when over 120 concerned citizens turned out to participate in a Stop Porn Forum presented by the Staunton Republican Committee. The meeting was in response to the community's concern over an adult book store that is planning to locate in a neighborhood adjacent to Gypsy Hill Park.

A panel of speakers consisted of Councilman Dickie Bell, Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Robertson (D-Staunton), Dr. Kurt Michael of the Valley Family Forum and Chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee, former School Board member Andrea Oakes, and Chris Freund (pronounced "Friend") of the Family Foundation in Richmond.

WHSV TV-3, NBC-29, and Bob Stuart of the Waynesboro News Virginian were there to cover the event.

It's late tonight so will have more tomorrow about the details of the meeting.

For more check out these sources:
- Waynesboro News Virginian: Staunton prosecutor vows to oppose adult video store
- NBC-29 video footage

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Urge John Warner to vote against Webb's amendment....

Please contact Sen. John Warner (540 857-2676) and ask him to vote against Jim Webb's pro-troop "dwell time" amendment. A vote is scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday). And while you're at it you may want to call Webb's office (540 772-4236) and tell him you do not agree with his amendment. gives marching orders to Democrat Party....

On Friday, warned Democrat presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama not to support funding for the troops:
"Eli Pariser, ['s] Executive Director, told ABC News ... that will expect Clinton and Obama to once again vote against any Iraq War funding that does not include a timeline for withdrawal. ...

What's more ... wants the top Democratic Presidential contenders to speak out 'sooner and more vocally.' " (Teddy Davis, "MoveOn's Challenge To Clinton And Obama,", Accessed 9/17/07)
Then, on Monday, Clinton and Obama responded to's pressure by promising not to fund the troops:
Seventy-two hours later, Hillary and Obama quickly responded to's demand not to support funding for the troops.

"Seventy-two hours after threw down the gauntlet, telling ABC News that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., needed to speak out 'sooner and more vocally' in opposition to voting for an Iraq funding measure that does not include a timetable for withdrawal, both Democratic presidential contenders have done exactly that." (Teddy Davis, Jonathan Greenberger, and Donna Hunter, "Clinton, Obama Take No Funding Pledge,", Accessed 9/17/07)
What did Hillary say about it?
"I have voted against funding this war and I will vote against funding this war as long as it takes ..." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Service Employees International Union Member Political Action Conference, Washington, DC, 9/17/07)
Obama's response was:
"If there is a funding bill that does not have a timetable for when we begin withdrawal, and the completion -- a plan for how that withdrawal will proceed -- I will not support it." (Teddy Davis, Jonathan Greenberger, and Donna Hunter, "Clinton, Obama Take No Funding Pledge,", Accessed 9/17/07)
Now, other Democrats are delaying funding for the troops while they "calculate" their next move to force an arbitrary withdrawal from Iraq:
"Democrats are not expected to take up President Bush's war spending request until November, giving them time to calculate their next move and see if Republican support for his policies deteriorates." (Anne Flaherty, "Democrats To Wait On War Funding Debate," The Associated Press, 9/17/07)
FLASHBACK: Hillary and Obama refused to denounce ad attacking the top military commander in Iraq:
"Democratic Congressional leaders and the Party's presidential candidates ... refused to repudiate a liberal group's ad questioning Gen. David H. Petraeus' character." (Sean Lengell, "No Democratic Censure For Moveon Ad," The Washington Times, 9/12/07)
The Washington Post wrote:
"When...Gen. David Petraeus was slimed as 'General Betray Us,' Hillary Clinton looked the other way. This was the politics of personal expediency." (Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, "...What She Ducked," The Washington Post, 9/18/07)
Hillary pandered to instead of defending Gen. Petraeus.
"[W]hen Clinton herself was asked to repudiate the abuse of Petraeus, she either saw no reason to do so or, much more likely, was afraid to alienate an important constituency, the 3.3 million members of, who stand symbolically at the frontiers of New Hampshire and Iowa. She would, it seems, rather be president than be right." (Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, "...What She Ducked," The Washington Post, 9/18/07)
"Sen. Barack Obama wouldn't talk about this ad but suggested Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are team players for the White House." (Editorial, "Over The Line," The Oklahoman, 9/14/07)

FLASHBACK: Hillary and Obama previously pandered to by voting against funding for the troops:
Obama and Clinton voted against the Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill. (H.R. 2206, CQ Vote #181: Passed 80-14: R 42-3; D 37-10; I 1-1, 5/24/07, Obama and Clinton Voted Nay) threatened Democrats who did not vote against the war funding bill.
", a leading antiwar group, rallied its 3.2 million members in an e-mail alert ... that declared that 'every single Democrat must oppose this bill.' The group warned that it would consider backing primary challengers to Democrats who vote yes. Other organizations issued similar angry threats." (Shailagh Murray, "Antiwar Groups Press Democrats To Vote Against Iraq Bill," The Washington Post, 5/24/07) is today's Democrat Party.

H/T: Thanks to RNC Research for information

"But they support our troops. No, really!!!"

Whether in a boxing match or a military confrontation, there is one guiding principle that transcends time, culture and language: the first one to leave the theater of conflict before it is concluded, loses. -- From JonQuixoteWorld

Jon Quixote at JonQuixoteWorld blog has researched and written an indepth two-part post titled "But they support our troops. No, really!!!" He opens with:
This is a two-part blogpost that documents how key figures in the Democratic Party, and the leftist anti-war groups who claim they now “own” it, have been subverting America’s war on Islamist terror – and the U.S. soldiers who are fighting it – despite their continued protestations that they “support our troops.”

The mainstream media (MSM) has failed (some would say refused) to hold Democrats accountable for their subversive actions and blatant hypocrisy. Therefore, it is up to individual bloggers (like me) to do the MSM’s job.
He further describes how he broke down the research into two parts:
Part I (this essay) provides a narrative background and summary of the Democratic Party’s subversions since soon after the start of the Iraq war.

Part II provides a detailed, sourced chronology and background of the statements of (a) leading Democrats, (b) America’s military and intelligence agency leaders, and (c) al Qaeda and other militant Islamist groups – all in a timeline that enables the reader to instantly see the relationships between them.
All the valuable information and research make this a post to earmark, copy, and return to time and time again. Great work, Jon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Chaplain fired for praying in Jesus' name....

"My Jesus, My Freedom, My Stand"

In Florida, a hospital chaplain was fired for praying in Jesus' name. It has now become more common to forbid praying in Jesus' name ... they have forbidden Staunton City Council and Augusta Board of Supervisors from doing so ... a Navy chaplain was fired for doing it ... now a hospital chaplain.
Clergy and citizens from over 30 churches [gathered] ... to march around the hospital ... on Saturday, September 15, starting from the steps of Leesburg City Hall. The marchers [walked] in silent prayer for two-miles around the South Campus of the hospital, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the rallying cry, "My Jesus, My Freedom, My Stand."

Public outcry in support of Chaplain Harvey has already resulted in the sudden resignation of hospital CEO Louis Bremer, the same man who publicly supported Human Resource director Darlene Stone who fired Chaplain Harvey for praying in Jesus name.
Others joined in the march.
Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, who made national headlines after facing court-martial for praying in Jesus name in uniform, [joined] the march. "We want Chaplain Harvey reinstated," Kingenschmitt said, "The fact CEO Louis Bremer resigned in the face of public scandal should serve as a warning to employers everywhere, that the American public will not tolerate religious discrimination against chaplains or any employees who pray in Jesus name, or share their faith in public."
It is time to stand up for you believe in, America.

Ward View: Jesus Said There Would Be Days Like This

SWAC Gathering of Eagles ... Win the War!

The Gathering of Eagles had a great Support the Troops ... Win the War rally Saturday in Staunton. Check out the photos of patriotic Americans publicly standing up to say Win the War!

SWAC Eagles soared today ... Win the War!
Cross-posted at Win the War!

SWAC Eagles soared today ... The photos, part 1
SWAC Eagles soared today ... The photos, part 2
SWAC Eagles soared today ... The photos, part 3

NBC-29 News Coverage

Cross-posted at Gathering of Eagles

Butterflies, wildflowers, and the coming of fall in the Shenandoah Valley ... Part 3

American flag flies from deck in honor of our military.

More photos from roaming around the Sweet Virginia Breeze homestead ... the dozens of butterflies passing through were elusive and in a hurry and I wasn't able to get a photo of them in mid-flight. Last weekend we saw mostly blue swallowtails but this week most of them were orange monarchs.

Aspen tree from a cousin's home in Idaho.

Deer graze under the trees in the back yard on a daily basis....

Two lone blackberries were left on the vine hidden behind this bush ... all the rest had been eaten by birds and critters.

Chicory, found along roadsides and in fields, has been blooming since June. This one is in the sedum flower garden.

Low temps over the weekend were in the upper 30s with daytime highs in the low 60s. Autumn is definitely in the air ... it officially begins Sunday. Some leaves are changing early but usually the height of color season comes in mid- to late-October.

Fall is on its way....