Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fox News continues to crush opposition

Competing cable news outlets continue to bottom out while Fox News continues to soar. NewsMax has the latest:
MSNBC and CNN’s primetime news programs have suffered an incredible nosedive in ratings since Barack Obama was elected president, Newsmax has learned.

Ratings for “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” on MSNBC at 8 p.m. have plunged a dizzying 42 percent since October, shortly before the election. CNN’s 8 p.m. show, now being hosted by Roland Martin, has seen a 49 percent plunge over that time period, while “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News has dipped only 15 percent, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Bill O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. show remains the top-rated cable news program, averaging 2,650,000 million households per night in April, more than the combined totals for Olbermann’s program (938,000) and CNN’s 8 p.m. offering (613,000) — with more than a million households to spare.

In the key demographic of viewers 25 to 54 years old, Olbermann has lost 53 percent of his average nightly audience, a precipitous plunge. Rachel Maddow, who follows him at 9 p.m. on MSNBC, has lost an astounding 65 percent of her 25-to-54 audience since October, and her 819,000 households in April compare poorly to Sean Hannity’s 1,953,000 households on Fox.
Check out The Fox Nation for the latest news.

Nationalized health care ... only for the young?

Three questions, stunning in their implications. Three answers which should make the skin of all lovers of liberty crawl. I’m again left imagining Jefferson, Madison and Monroe listening in on this with unbelieving looks of horror on their faces. The irony is, their opposition to this incredible power grab by government would again leave them in the category of “radical”.

So ends this post from McQ over at QandO with questions asked of President Barack Obama ... and disturbing responses from him concerning end-of-life decisions for the elderly in this country and the consequences of nationalized health care. Would government be the final decider as to who lives and who dies ... who receives treatment and who does not?

Read and ponder ... the Obama administration is going places some never imagined and others thought they would never see.

This post was passed on by a young twenty-something who was alarmed at what he read. We should be, too.

H/T to "Yoda"

Obama's bluff called by tea party patriots

Doug Powers posted on Michelle Malkin's blog today about Barack Obama's "call-out" to tea party patriots on Wednesday:
President Obama said the following at a town hall meeting/100th day in office sermon:
“Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around," Obama said, “let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”
Strange that Obama could so easily reference something he was unaware of, but nonetheless, tea party organizers are taking the president up on the offer (they say “accepted his offer” because “called his bluff” sounds too harsh for hope):
The National Leadership Team of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition today accepted President Obama's invitation “to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”
You’ll notice how the entire tea party movement is being dismissed as a Fox News stunt, which anyone who’s followed this since the beginning knows is a complete pile of Pelosi. As a matter of fact, didn’t this whole thing, at least in part, get rolling because of Santelli’s “rant” on CNBC?
Thanks though to the president for helping boost attendance on July 4th even higher than it would have otherwise been.
Read the entire post here.

H/T to Connie

Obama 2nd least popular president in 40 years

"Obama is second least popular president in 40 years."

You won't see that headline on NBC or CNN or the New York Times. The only president less popular? Bill Clinton.

Barack Obama's lap-dogs, the mainstream media, are a protective bunch of the man they helped put into office. They praise him and cover for him and avoid printing the negatives about him.

If George W. Bush had mangled a teleprompter the way Obama does on a continuous basis, the MSM would have howled with glee and run belittling headlines day after day. However, Obama regularly loses his place and repeats names or information without even realizing he has just mentioned them -- all because he is tethered to the teleprompter while his brain appears to be disengaged from its surroundings.

The latest coverup by the MSM is Obama's in-the-tank approval ratings at the 100-day mark of his administration. Lower than Richard Nixon. Lower than Jimmy Carter. Even lower than George W. Bush.

An editorial in the Washington Times says it all:
President Obama's media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is. But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years. [emphasis added]

According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969. The only new president less popular was Bill Clinton, who got off to a notoriously bad start after trying to force homosexuals on the military and a federal raid in Waco, Texas, that killed 86. Mr. Obama's current approval rating of 56 percent is only one tick higher than the 55-percent approval Mr. Clinton had during those crises.

As the attached chart shows, five presidents rated higher than Mr. Obama after 100 days in office. Ronald Reagan topped the charts in April 1981 with 67 percent approval. Following the Gipper, in order of popularity, were: Jimmy Carter with 63 percent in 1977; George W. Bush with 62 percent in 2001; Richard Nixon with 61 percent in 1969; and George H.W. Bush with 58 percent in 1989.

It's no surprise the liberal media aren't anxious to point out that their darling is less popular than George W. Bush. But given the Gallup numbers, their hurrahs could be more subdued. USA Today's front page touted the April poll results as positive, with the headline: "Public thinks highly of Obama." The current cover of Newsweek magazine ponders "The Secret of His [Mr. Obama's] Success." The comparison with previous presidents is useful because they are usually popular during their first few months in office - and most presidents have been more popular than Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama's popularity after 100 days is the second-lowest for a simple reason: He is more partisan and divisive than his predecessors - including Richard Nixon.
Read the entire editorial here.

H/T to mcs

GOP donors demand money back from Specter

"They gave that money to elect a Republican. They did not give that money to strengthen [Democratic Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid's majority," NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh said. "I expect a lot of people will be looking to have their money returned."
Uh-oh. One thing politicians never like is having to hand back the money ... and it looks as if Republican turncoat Arlen Specter is going to be returning tens of thousands of dollars demanded by angry Republicans after his switch to the Democrat side of the aisle.

How much is he looking at? A quick glance shows:
$5,000 - Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
$5,000 - Lamar Alexander's (R-TN) Tenn PAC
$5,000 - Sen. John Cornyn's (R-TX) Alamo PAC
$5,000 - Sen. Bob Corker's (R-TN) Rock City PAC
$10,000 - Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-K) Bluegrass Committee
One Republican is even demanding that Specter return all campaign donations:
Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Robert A. Gleason Jr. isn't satisfied with Mr. Specter returning campaign contributions on request. He wants the senator to return all of his campaign loot voluntarily.

Mr. Gleason told CNN that the new Democrat should "do the right thing and proactively return any and all campaign contributions he has received in recent months to run as a Republican in the upcoming election."

He also wants Mr. Specter to apologize to the state's Republicans for misleading them.

Mr. Specter, long considered among the more liberal Republicans in Congress, said he switched parities in part to avoid a formidable challenge from staunch fiscal conservative Pat Toomey in the Republican primary for the 2010 election.
Specter surveyed the landscape ... saw he couldn't win ... and he defected.

Loyalty ... betrayal ... turncoat ... there aren't even enough adjectives to describe someone like that.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


That White House photo op with NYC landmarks? It cost $328,835 ... at a time when Americans are tightening their belts more than ever.

Who is paying for this? I hope it's not my tax money.

The Gateway Pundit writes:
After asking for ideas to cut federal spending this past weekend in his weekly YouTube Address, the Obama White House freaked out New York City residents by sending two fighter jets and Air Force One to buzz Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty on Monday morning for a photo-op.

The cost of the morning photo-shoot was $328,835. It's really getting hard to take this administration seriously.

Barack Obama will quadruple the national deficit this year.
Did this White House not see tens of thousands of Americans take to the streets on Tax Day to protest wasteful spending?

H/T to Connie

Chris Saxman lauded in Gingrich speech for "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less"

Del. Chris Saxman (R-20th House District) has been a proponent for drilling off the coast of Virginia since 2004 in an effort to make the U.S. energy independent.

On April 24, 2009, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich addressed a House Energy Commerce subcommittee in which he lauded Del. Saxman for his stand on drilling off the coast. In his remarks that were carried on Real Clear Politics, Mr. Gingrich testified about the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

In the midst of ideas and concerns about energy, Mr. Gingrich addressed the legislative work of Del. Saxman:
Create public/private partnerships in coastal states to fast track the ability of oil and natural gas companies to develop offshore oil and gas resources. If Congress were to lift the ban on offshore oil and gas development (or at least grant coastal states the right to develop the resources with a plan to share revenue with them), states would move swiftly to set up partnerships that will maximize the best use of oil and gas revenues.

Efforts in Virginia provide a good example. In 2004, two Virginia legislators, Delegate Chris Saxman and Senator Frank Wagner, learned that Virginia manufacturers were warning of the rising costs of energy because of tightening energy supplies. Once they discovered that oil and gas resources exist off Virginia's shores, and that the state could experience rapid economic development from the actual business of energy exploration and development, Saxman and Wagner immediately designed legislation that would have Virginia petition the federal government for permits to drill offshore. In addition, the legislation specified that a significant portion of oil and gas royalties, state fees, and licenses collected by the state would go to improve Virginia's transportation infrastructure, clean up the Chesapeake Bay, and invest in technologies related to new energy production.

The economic potential for Virginia is significant. The oil and natural gas revenue estimated to accrue to Virginia is $13.53 billion dollars over thirty years, or $451 million annually. This is a conservative estimate that could increase with technological advances.

But these are not all the economic benefits that Virginia would reap. In just the Hampton Roads area near Norfolk, it is estimated -- based on experience with the oil and gas industry in Nova Scotia and Louisiana -- that oil and natural gas development would result in around $8 billion in capital investment and 2,600 new, high paying jobs. These new jobs would have an estimated payroll close to $650 million annually. Virginia would thus see $271 million more flow into the state treasury in the form of state and local taxes as a result of this increased economic activity.

This new tax revenue could then be used to fund transportation projects in the Hampton Roads area and throughout the state.

Imagine funding new roads, cleaning up the environment, and making investments in basic research and development science to promote new energy sources - all without raising taxes. How many coastal states besides Virginia would like to achieve that combination of benefits? Coastal states could lower energy costs for their residents as well as the energy costs of fellow citizens across the country, while relieving congestion and cleaning up the environment.
Read Speaker Gingrich's entire remarks here.

Byron York: "In time of victory, why is the left so angry?"

Byron York has noted the anger from Democrats over the Tax Day tea parties and over the Silent Majority speaking out about taxes and overspending. In the Washington Examiner he remarks:
These should be happy times for liberals and the Democratic party as a whole. They control the White House and both houses of Congress, while opposition Republicans are leaderless and lost. So why do some Democrats, particularly those farther to the left, appear so angry?

If you doubt it, just watch a few minutes of MSNBC, where the recent nationwide series of "tea parties" to protest federal spending and taxes set off an angry, almost manic response. The most telling came on Keith Olbermann's program, during which the actress Janeane Garofalo, who plays an FBI computer geek on “24,” denounced the tea parties as "racism straight up."
Read the entire article here.

Benedict Specter ... fair weather friend

He betrayed his principles ... he betrayed his team ... he saw the Democrats had the upper hand and decided to save his hide and join them. Many are now calling him Benedict Specter.

Investors Business Daily called it like they saw it:
No one is falling for Specter's hand-wringing rationale that "since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right." He was just as uncomfortable with Reaganism back then as he is now, all along relishing his role as RINO — Republican In Name Only — whose vote was up for sale.
There has never been a more important time to temper the power being wielded in Washington, never a time when putting country before political ambition was so consequential. The system of economic freedom that built and sustains America is at stake, as are the fortunes of our children and grandchildren.

Thanks to Arlen Specter, that destructive power may now be absolute. Reserve a space for a new addition to history's Rogues' Gallery.
No checks-and-balances ... one Party will rule D.C. ... Benedict Specter....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yankee Phil: "I was an NYPD cop"

Phil lives in the Valley ... he is a retired NYPD cop who was working on September 11, 2001. He vividly remembers 9/11.

He thinks the photo op carried out by the White House -- the one that terrified New Yorkers who still have memories of 9/11 seared in their brains -- was stupid. As a former cop, he asks weren't they concerned about public safety? Valid question. He also calculates the carbon footprint of this "photo op."

Phil knows how we feel about him and his fellow police officers who were there that day.

We will never forget....

The power of the ring....

Power. Arlen Specter cannot let go ... self-serving rather than a servant of the people.
"Let us remember that a traitor may betray himself and do good that he does not intend. It can be so, sometimes."

Gandalf, "The Siege of Gondor," Lord of the Rings

Get your hands in the dirt....

Plants from Milmont Nursery wait to be potted ...

Quince bushes are in full bloom ...

Hanging baskets look skimpy now but will be overflowing in a couple of months ...

Working in the potting shed under the deck ...
Lawn furniture is in place along with the hammock for summer lounging ...
Terra cotta pots wait for flowers ...
Redbud ...
Wisteria ...

Dirt ... spring ... planting ... sunshine ... outdoors.

The past two days in the Valley have been hot with a stiff southerly breeze ... perfect for planting and working in the yard.

The flowers bought last week at Milmont Nursery have been planted in terra cotta pots and window boxes even as shrubs and flowers in the yard are in full bloom.

This is the time to get your hands in the dirt, smell the clean air and green grass, and enjoy spring.

It's spring in the Shenandoah Valley....

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
April 28, 2009


Video of Air Force One flying over NYC for "photo op."

H/T to Riley

Mexico City: closed until further notice

Movie theaters, restaurants, schools, museums, bars ... all shut down by decree of the Mexican government. Swine flu has claimed almost 200 lives and hundreds more are known to be infected as the epidemic continues and health officials scramble. Americans are watching news reports as cases of the flu are found in this country. This news is just beginning....

Could this be true?

Human Events is reporting that Arlen Specter is changing parties today. Could this be true? Apparently ... yes.

Rockfish Gap Visitor Center "moving on up"?

Current location of tourism office (right) in midst of run-down buildings....

Afton Mountain's crumbling buildings ... an area that could be a crown jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains but is an eyesore for visitors and locals ... seems destined for the wrecking ball. Owner Phil Dulaney apparently has plans to demolish the burned-out structures which will take out the current visitor center location at the same time, according to the Waynesboro News Virginian.

As a result, the visitor center has purchased a modular trailer from a Winchester school to use as the "new" visitor center which will be moved a short distance away near the slightly-higher-altitude old Holiday Inn.

Question: Could a modular trailer be made to be aesthetically pleasing with stone foundation, walkways, flowers? Maybe volunteers would be willing to add their talents to the project?

That area is aching for some upgrades and, in these financially strapped times, maybe a group could be pulled together, not just the volunteers who work inside, but others who would be willing to help spruce up the outside.

You know ... curb appeal ... for the millions of visitors passing through the area every year as they travel the Blue Ridge Parkway which is the most visited national park averaging 20 million travelers annually, as well as the Skyline Drive and I-64.

I would love to see a nice cafe at Afton with views of the Shenandoah and/or Rockfish Valleys ... outdoor seating ... something casual that could be used by hikers, bikers, travelers, and locals. It could be a "go-to" place for friends to meet and watch the sunset over the Alleghany Mountains.

When I lived in NC, we were near Blowing Rock and Boone, places that utilized their mountain views with restaurants, B&Bs, and parks with the Blue Ridge Parkway passing through their communities. They were "go-to" destinations for anyone within an hour's drive.

Would Afton be financially successful with lodging, a cafe, and shops?

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell

National Tea Party March on D.C. ... 9.12.2009

Ready to stand up and be heard?

9/11 scare was photo op for White House?

What idiots.

The scare this sent throughout NYC makes it obvious some still remember 9/11 vividly:
John Leitner, a trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, told the Associated Press that about 1,000 people "went into a total panic" and ran outside after seeing the planes nearby about 10 a.m.

"We were informed after we cleared out of there," he said. "I kind of think heads should roll a little bit on that."

Kathleen Seagriff, a staff assistant at the Wall Street Journal, said workers were startled by the roar of the engines.

The planes "went down the Hudson, turned around and came back by the building. It was a scary scene, especially for those of us who were there on 9/11."
Videos uploaded to YouTube of the flyover had a common theme: scared New Yorkers gasping and saying, "Oh my God," "run" and "It's a hijacking, I know it because it's been going around."

Others were angry when they learned it was a photo op involving the Statue of Liberty, asking on blogs and via Twitter why the military did not just use photo editing software instead.

Mr. Bloomberg - an Obama ally - said he would have stopped the exercise had he personally known, adding that he would address the communication breakdown within his administration.

He told reporters that he learned about the scare from angry citizen e-mails during the flyover and was "incredulous" that the Defense Department had shown such "poor judgment."

"They should know how sensitive people would be if they had low-flying planes down by the World Trade Center site," the mayor said.
All this for a "photo op"? Why not save the fuel, the red tape, and money by computer-enhancing the scene you want with Air Force One? This was utterly ridiculous ... and a huge waste of taxpayer money all the way around.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waynesboro: Grand Prix through a biker's eyes

UVA's Dr. Mark Robbins raced in Sunday's Grand Prix bike race in Waynesboro.

What do you get when you mix a Grand Prix bike race and a physician from UVA?

You get a first-hand account ... and that's what was provided by 48-year-old Mark Robbins of Charlottesville, a participant in Sunday's race held in downtown Waynesboro.

Mark was known to me because we corresponded about a post I wrote a while back describing the blight of Afton Mountain and how beautiful it could be and the economic benefits to the area if it was restored. He wrote to say he agreed, and that he had biked to Afton and along the Parkway.

This is one athletic guy. He started running 33 years ago, and has participated in races from 5k to marathons, then began competing in triathlon contests 22 years ago -- sprint to Ironman. He has traveled the mid-Atlantic region competing in 100+ events.

Keep in mind this is what he does for fun.

Mark Robbins' day job finds him at the University of Virginia Hospital as a pulmonary attending physician, and a teacher in the medical school.

This native of Morgantown, WV, took up running while still in his teens. But Sunday found him taking to the streets with 150 other bikers in the Grand Prix race in Waynesboro under sunny skies with temperatures hovering at 93 degrees, and he graciously offered some observations:
A criterium circuit race is not like the other competitions. It is a bike race on a closed city course -- many laps at high speed.

We raced in Waynesboro, VA. The course was up the hill on Main Street -- up another hill to Fishburn Military Academy -- a long descent -- two sharp lefts and repeat. And repeat … and repeat....

In contrast to a running race, the bike circuit pace begins like a cannonball shot from a cannon ... all-out …pedal to the floor. The leader drives the pace … everyone else hangs on and hopes to avoid crashing.

On this course the long climb fractured the field and I soon found myself in a group (not the lead group). Every lap we lost people and gained on riders dropped off the front.

It was hot and sunny. 90 degrees +. I was breathing hard ... working hard.

After the organizers check the speed, they set the number of laps. After 12 minutes of racing it was eight laps to go (8 laps!!). I tried to push the pace but stay alive for eight laps.

I finished well behind the winner but ahead of others. And didn’t crash.

A couple other differences from foot races:

1- There are many races all afternoon, each starting about an hour apart. Riders came then left. No big post-race party.

2- Downtown Waynesboro was DEAD. The tattoo parlor was open. Why?

3- No stores, cafes, etc., open. There was no place on Main Street to buy a drink and sandwich after the race. I had to hike about 6 blocks to a Subway.

4- The fine policeman blocked all the intersections -- they did great. But NO ONE goes downtown in Waynesboro after Sunday church. Really -- looks like a town with no people. A Boy Scout Troop could have staffed the barricades. Just kidding- the police were great.

5- No expo. Not many fans. No cowbell.

6- No awards ceremony.

7- Funny announcer.

8- CRASHES ... there were crashes! The rescue squad was appreciated.

It was an intense workout … not fun … more just incredible work.
Mark added that the organizers, volunteers, and police were wonderful and a great help to race participants.

Some thoughts about this race if Waynesboro hosts it again ... and these are just thoughts, not criticisms.

Publicity may bring out more people although the 90+ degree heat may have helped keep some folks away.

A cowbell is often heard in the background while watching bike races on TV ... seems to add to the fun of it all and perhaps is a rallying sound for the bikers.

Local eateries may want to be sure they have some kind of representation at the sign-up area (ads, people handing out coupons, directions to restaurants) so bikers from out of the area have an idea where to eat afterwards.

The news reported that local businesses were concerned because the closed streets caused them to lose business. Perhaps the organizers and businesses could work together on that problem. Another thought would be sidewalk tables for restaurants along the bike route so folks can get a bite to eat while watching the race, and bikers would have somewhere close to eat afterwards.

Was there ample parking near the course for observers? Was it publicized where to park, and where to have a good view? What I saw on TV showed empty streets.

Even though bikers are racing at different times in different races, an ending ceremony by the biking association would be nice after such an intense workout and a nice way to end the day for friends or relatives who may have accompanied the bikers.

All-in-all it presented a wonderful opportunity to bring people and revenue to the Waynesboro area.

Del. Chris Saxman ... VSDB begins construction in Staunton

When word first leaked out that Richmond was looking to close Staunton's Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (VSDB), Del. Chris Saxman sprang into action.

The beautiful columned buildings on a hill with a commanding view of the city and surrounding mountains had been part of the landscape for 170 years. A picturesque campus of towering trees, grassy areas, walkways, and stately white buildings, the thought of it no longer being a living, breathing part of the city was not a future anyone wanted to see.

Del. Saxman began to lobby on behalf of keeping VSDB in its present location, arguing that it would be more cost-effective to renovate and build onto the existing facility. When the discussion turned to location in another area, Del. Saxman persevered with research and facts on why it should remain in Staunton which would save money for the state and save a landmark for the city.

Standing on the grounds of the school on Tuesday, surrounded by VSDB teachers and staff, Del. Saxman was excited at the work being done.

“We are witnessing the rehabilitation of the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind for all of Virginia,” said Saxman, standing in front of construction on a new maintenance facility at VSDB.

The delegate said the new VSDB will be “a first-class facility,” with new buildings and refurbished older ones.

VSDB also has a place in the pages of history ... it was turned into a Civil War hospital in the 1860s. Its soccer fields are used by local teams for games and tournaments and its gym for basketball tournaments. It has been a part of the Staunton community for all these years and, thanks to help from Del. Saxman, it will continue to thrive as part of the community.

The view from the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) looks across the Shenandoah Valley at the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
April 16, 2009

Glenn Beck Common Sense Comedy Tour in Richmond on June 6

Laugh ... or Die.

Tickets go on sale this morning at 10 am for Glenn Beck's Common Sense Comedy Tour. Appearing across the nation, he will be in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, June 6, at the Richmond Coliseum.

From Glenn:
I've got a brand new stage show that's all comedy about common sense (seems it's not so common these days). Look, the headlines have you and me crying--we might as well laugh a little before Comrade Obama has us all wearing fur hats and waiting in line to buy toilet paper. My comedy tour will be traveling all over the country, and I want you and your family to come out and have some fun. It's going to be a great time and I'd love to say hello (though forgive me if I sweat on you a little while I'm doing it). --glenn
Ticket prices are $35 and $45, available through Ticketmaster. For all the details, go to Glenn's website.

Wool Fair a success

Did you miss the Wool Fair that was held over the weekend at Churchville's Cestari-Chester Farm? Read about it in today Waynesboro News Virginian.

"I'm tired of providing assistance to those who hate me"

Where is John Galt?

H/T From On High

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Passing through....

Cominius over at The Virginian Federalist passed through this area over the weekend on his way to be with family in Roanoke. His words about a firm family foundation are very true....

Tea Party Americans

Don't you just love the way some liberals are trying to rewrite history as far as the Tax Day Tea Parties go? A greater success has never been seen from Americans -- Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent -- who took to the streets in the largest tax protest ever in the history of the U.S.A.

That leaves liberals with the job of spinning the story to try and make others believe the highly successful tea parties were a bust and a bad PR move.

Instead, Americans' eyes have been opened. More nationwide tea parties are planned for the Fourth of July ... a national tea party is being talked about in Washington, DC, in September.

Here is how SWAC blogger Bob at The Journey described the tea party movement while joking that his teleprompter did not tell him to say this:
With terrorism redefined as a 'man-caused disaster' and G-d fearing Patriots redefined as 'right wing extremists' the Grassroots has their work cut out for them. Not that they aren't up to the task if the recent Tea Parties are any indication.

And here's the real beauty of it. Fox DIDN'T cause it. Michael Steele COULDN'T. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Mark Levin can only feed it. It is a movement of, by and for THE PEOPLE!
Read more here.

Note to libs: We're not going anywhere. The Silent Majority ... is silent no more.

Grand Prix bike race in Waynesboro TODAY

It's going to be a hot day in the Shenandoah Valley with temps topping out around 90 so bring your water bottles as you watch the Grand Prix bike race in downtown Waynesboro. See you there!

Hypocritical media

The hypocrisy of the left continues today:
The Federal Communications Commission will review complaints it receives over the on-camera gutter talk of anchors for CNN and MSNBC that came as they condemned the tea party movement in which hundreds of thousands of Americans met on Tax Day to protest not just taxes but a runaway government digging the nation into trillions of dollars in debt.
WND reported earlier on a series of vile comments from CNN's Anderson Cooper, who made repeated "teabagging" references, and MSNBC's David Shuster, who said, "Teabagging day for the right wing and they are going nuts for it."

"Tea-bagging" is known in the homosexual subculture as a practice involving a particular form of oral sex.
Several liberal bloggers have professed "outrage" over Shepherd Smith's slip of the "f" word ... yet join in or ignore the gutter talk from their own media ranks surrounding the tea party comments.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell released a statement asserting the coverage of the tea parties was biased and the language egregious. He also called on CNN – and fellow news station MSNBC, whose hosts made "tea-bagging" jokes even more explicit – to apologize.

"Now the news isn't just biased, it's R-rated," said Bozell. "MSNBC and CNN both allow this vulgar attack-journalism to go out on their airwaves without blinking an eye and without any sign of guilt. It appears neither woeful bias nor lowly crassness on their airwaves bothers them a bit."
Double standards and hypocrisy ... the media continue to denigrate Americans.

Congrats, Guys

Yankee Phil comes in at # 1 on this week's BlogNetNews rankings, and Fishersville Mike is # 4. Both have good, positive writing and contribute to the dialogue in the blogosphere ... and both are fellow SWAC bloggers. Congrats, Guys!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

VA business leaders speak up, thank Republicans

Speaker Bill Howell addressed a news conference earlier this week with remarks about Virginia's unemployment benefits. He was joined by business leaders from throughout Virginia including Donnie Caffrey, owner and president of Good Foods Groceries; John Nicholson, co-owner of Company Flowers; Debra Girvin, president of Lochlyn Company; and James Hatcher, president of Pleasant Hardware.

In a press release:
Standing united in support of policies that help people in need, encourage job creation and promote sustainable economic growth, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and House Republican Majority Caucus Chairman Samuel A. “Sam” Nixon, Jr. (R-Chesterfield) today joined with business owners and employers from across Virginia to detail the positive impact on job retention and creation of Virginia Republicans’ recent actions on unemployment insurance. At the April 8 reconvened session of the 2009 General Assembly, the House of Delegates approved a temporary 13-week extension in unemployment benefits, lowered health insurance costs for laid-off workers and small business, and rejected amendments by Governor Kaine to SB 1495 that would have permanently expanded state unemployment insurance benefits resulting in higher per-employee taxes for Virginia businesses.

“Republicans know that a robust, growing economy is key to helping laid-off workers, families and taxpayers who are hurting, thereby freeing businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in job creation and expand opportunities,” remarked Speaker Howell. “Virginia businesses that will create the jobs necessary to return our economy to prosperity understand that permanently expanding our state unemployment insurance system will result in higher taxes on jobs, creating a disincentive for new hires and business investment. Acting in a caring and responsible manner, Republicans have taken appropriate steps to assist unemployed Virginians during this economic recession. But, we also recognize that the goal of a laid-off worker is not a short-term government check, but rather a full-time job in a thriving business. I appreciate the support of so many Virginia business owners and leaders. Together, we are going to continue working to create jobs for Virginians and revitalize our state’s economy for the long-term. That’s the top priority for Republicans.”
Republicans are looking out for the long-term interests of Virginians.

Lt. Col. Jeff White memorial service today ... Harrisonburg

Lt. Col. Jeff White ... "A Mighty Warrior for Family, Faith, and Freedom"
Saturday, April 25 ... 7 pm

From Dean Welty with the Valley Family Forum....

On March 1, Lt. Col. Jeff White, a close friend and strong supporter of the Forum, died of a massive heart attack while singing in the church choir where his family had been attending. Jeff had just been reunited with his wife Jocelyn and their three children after an 18-month tour in Iraq.

You are invited to attend a special memorial service for Lt. Col. White at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, at the People’s Baptist Church, which is located on U.S. 33 approximately one mile east of the Valley Mall in Harrisonburg.

As we noted at the time of his death, Jeff’s contribution of service to his Lord, his country, and to all who knew him exceeds our ability to measure or to fully appreciate. He was a devoted husband, father, and loyal friend whose bold and uncompromising commitment to biblical values and to the enduring principles of our nation’s founding was an inspiration and a challenge to us all.

Jocelyn and the children continue to reside in the Valley.

In continued sorrow for our loss but with deepest gratitude for a race well run, for battles well fought, for a life well lived, and for a rich legacy of service for us all.

Grand Prix bike race in Waynesboro on Sunday

More than 150 bicyclists are expected on the streets of downtown Waynesboro tomorrow on what forecasters are predicting should be a beautiful spring Shenandoah Valley day. With temps in the 80s and sunny, hundreds will turn out to watch as bikers speed down city streets. Register here.

Swine flu outbreak in Mexico

Health officials are scrambling....

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cestari Wool Fair this weekend in Augusta County

Cestari Wool Fair will be this weekend, Saturday and Sunday (April 25-56), from 9 am-5 pm both days. Head out to Churchville in Augusta County, a beautiful part of the central Shenandoah Valley, and join in the fun.

Free admission and free parking ... great food ... sheep shearing ... spinning demonstrations ... lots of craft vendors ... pony rides, wagon rides, sheep-go round ... tours of the wool mill.

Cestari will be sponsoring the Scarf project to knit a portion of the world's longest scarf as a part of the Keep the Fleece program to raise money for Heifer International.

Linda Cortwright of Wildfibers Magazine and Mr. Umaru Sule of Heifer International will be here both days.

The Wool Fair is located at Cestari-Chester Farm, 3581 Churchville Avenue, Churchville, VA 24421.

Directions: I-81 to Exit 225. Take bypass south to Rt. 250. Turn right at bottom of exit ramp (west) toward Churchville and go 4 miles. Cestari-Chester Farm will be on the right as you enter the village of Churchville. Info: (540) 337-7282.

10th annual Grace Christian School Auction

Don your your boots, tie a bandana around your neck, and head out for a fun evening with friends and neighbors for the 10th annual Boots & Bandana Benefit Auction at Grace Christian School in Staunton.

A favorite year after year, the proceeds benefit the school while providing bargains, live music, silent auction, fellowship with friends, and a BBQ supper followed by the live auction that runs into the evening.

I stopped by GCS today to say hello to everyone and pick up our auction booklet with listings of everything available so we could mark and circle items of interest.

Saturday will find hundreds of folks in attendance at the Grace Christian Activities Center on Middlebrook Road. Registration begins at 3:00 ... $15 per person for those 18 and older which buys you ticket into the event and a BBQ supper ... and the Silent Auction opens for browsing and bidding.

Beginning at 4:00 and for every 15 minutes until 5:00, silent auction tables will be shut down; i.e., 4:00 signals the end of bidding for the RED tables, 4:15 WHITE tables, 4:30 BLUE tables, 4:45 GREEN & ART tables, 5:00 YELLOW tables which contain the Super Silent Items.

At 5:00 they begin serving the BBQ supper and Heaven's Mountain Band will provide entertainment.

At 6:00 the Live Auction begins ... and that's when the fun begins. Be ready with your bidding skills ... there are some sharp shoppers ready to bid you down on an item they have their eye on!
Don't leave early ... door prizes are drawn before the live auction and you have to be there to win.

Some items of interest this year includes gift certificates to Mill Street Grill plus Blackfriar's Playhouse and Coffee on the Corner; 20 bales of straw; camping outfit including tent and other camping necessities and two nights at Natural Chimneys; Gold's Gym 6-month membership; trampoline; antiques; Homestead Getaway Package; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Getaway; landscaping package; bathroom renovation; Wintergreen Ski Package for Two; one day rental on a Moon Bounce Castle; Parker "Buckbuster" model crossbow; Peachtree sliding doors; antique stained glass window; Outer Banks Getaway; Hotel Roanoke Getaway; Oak Island, NC Getaway; a day of golf at Spottswood Country Club; Inn at Old Virginia Getaway; Osceola Mill B&B Getaway; Shenandoah Valley tour from the air; UVA vs VT end-of-season game football game; much more.

Come on out to the auction and be prepared to have a good time.

Milmont flowers and spring

Entrance to Milmont Greenhouses

Milmont entrance to outdoor garden area

Perennials, trees, and shrubs with Blue Ridge Mountains in background.

Front drive into Milmont. These flowers will be overflowing their borders soon.
We are still three weeks from our last frost date in the Shenandoah Valley because, traditionally, May 15th signals that it is safe to plant outdoors. But many buy annuals early for planting in pots and flower boxes so that, if frost or a cold snap comes, they can be set inside. Meanwhile, the plants get a jump on growing and we have mature plants faster.

Today I met a friend at McAlister's Deli in Waynesboro where we ate lunch on the patio in the warmth of a Valley spring day overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, and then we headed 10 minutes south to Milmont Nursery in Stuarts Draft. I buy my flowers from them every year ... they have a gazillion varieties, they guarantee the health of the plants, and the greenhouses are clean, neat, and enjoyable for shopping. Everyone is friendly and helpful, and the view of the Blue Ridge is astounding.

I stocked up on annuals and picked up the first of the garden veggies requested by SWAC Husband. These will be covered on cold nights and will be fine, and then I'll go back to pick up other fill-in annuals and veggies.

It was low 80s today and sunny, and should be even warmer over the weekend. Everyone was out in shorts and t-shirts ... Milmont was hopping with gardners ready to get a jump on the season and get their hands in the dirt.

It's spring in the Shenandoah Valley....

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
April 24, 2009

The spring view out the dentist's window....

This is the view I see from the dentist chair ... soothing.

Red buds are in full bloom and can be seen everywhere.

The pond caught my attention because of the grass that has greened up the past couple of weeks.

Imagine looking at nature while in the dentist chair, something that many find extremely soothing, and I'm no exception. I love looking out the oversized window at the bird feeder, trees, and flowers at all seasons of the year. Yesterday was no exception as I took my camera to snap a photo of serenity.

Just a short distance down the street I took pictures of a color burst of red buds near a pond. We are blessed to live in this beautiful area of Virginia....

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
April 23, 2009

It's a Milmont day in the Valley ...

It's late April and time to head to Milmont Nursery in Stuarts Draft to buy annuals and garden veggies for this year. Just as I've done every year -- I posted photos of this family-owned plant nursery last year -- I'm heading there with a friend to peruse the greenhouses and find the tried-and-trues as well as some new flowering plants. Today should be mid- to upper-70s in the Valley ... a great day to celebrate spring at Milmont!

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thanks for the welcome, Virginia Conservative

“The Jeffersoniad” was an early 19th century series of columns printed in Boston’s Columbian Sentinel during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. Today, the Jeffersoniad is a group of respectful yet ideologically separated Virginia bloggers seeking a genuine contest of ideas.
Last week I accepted an invitation to join the merry band of Jeffersoniad bloggers. Virginia Conservative blog north of Augusta County in the Shenandoah Valley posted to say hello and welcome me to the group. Many thanks, and I look forward to writing with some old blogging friends while meeting new ones.

The Jeffersoniad Bloggers are statewide:
Bearing Drift
Below the Beltway
CatHouse Chat
Crystal Clear Conservative
Deo Vindice
Good Sense
J’s Notes
Leslie Carbone
On the Spot
Rappahnnock Red
Reagan’s GOP
Red Virginia
Rick Sincere News & Thoughts
Right-wing Liberal
Scott’s Morning Brew
Shaun Kenney
Skeptical Observer
Tertium Quids
The Contemporary Conservative
The right-wing liberal
The Write Side of My Brain
Virginia Conservative
Virginia Virtucon

Augusta GOP officers resign in protest of 56 purged members

As many know, I have been very concerned about the actions of Augusta County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Shirley in illegally kicking off 56 members of the committee, and have tried a variety of avenues to resolve this issue. Now long-time volunteers who are friends, neighbors, and solid Republicans have been purged.

I am sad to say that at our last committee meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2009, Chairman Bill Shirley would not allow anyone to speak to the issue even to the extend that he refused to recognize RPV Acting Chairman Mike Thomas who had driven up from Richmond, and did not even acknowledge Mr. Thomas' presence at the start of the meeting.

Committee members tried to speak but Bill Shirley threatened them with a Sergeant of Arms and a local deputy, a tactic that has become all too familiar to intimidate and shut down discussion. This kind of harassment is not how Republicans act.

In solidarity with the 56 members who were removed from the committee, I will stand with them and, in protest of their dismissal, have formally resigned from the Augusta County Republican Committee along with the majority of the Executive Committee who left for the same reason.

I apologize to RPV Acting Chairman Mike Thomas for his poor treatment, and to the 56 purged volunteers who have been there for us throughout the years.

It is a sad day to realize that the Party that was so vibrant and strong in Augusta County has fallen to such depths with no hope of the majority of the banished 56 returning anytime soon. My conscience will not allow me to associate with the type of behavior displayed by Bill Shirley and others. I will help the GOP in other more productive ways rather than fight members of the Party.

It is said that Virginians traditionally have a sense of civility in politics ... but we seem to have lost that in the Augusta County Republican Party under the chairmanship of Bill Shirley.

Some civil voices on this subject:

New - Too Conservative: What a mess in Augusta County
New - Yankee Phil: VA Bloggers asks a question about Augusta County....

- Yankee Phil: A letter from Swacgirl to local Republicans
- Augusta Conservative: Augusta County Republican Committee purges 56 members
- Yankee Phil: Majority of the Augusta County Board resigned
- Augusta Free Press: Local GOP committee splintering over ... what, exactly?
- Fishersville Mike: Something bothering me
- Augusta Conservative: Augusta County GOP Committee Falls Apart
- Yankee Phil: Time to print new brochures
- Fishersville Mike: It's the internet age, settle it
- The Augusta Water Cooler: Augusta axes hardworking grassroots volunteers

From Too Conservative blog with comments:

What A Mess In Augusta County

By Loudoun Insider Purges, RINO Hunting, etc.  Sound familiar?  The Augusta County Republican Committee sounds like a total trainwreck, with the Frederick types taking over.  SWAC Girl has a rundown with lots of links.


  • Apparently there are two sides to this, even in the blogosphere. Personally, I always come down on the side of inclusion, not exclusion.
    I can’t speak expertly to the legality of the explusions, or the procedure that was done to execute them, but I do question those who are standing behind it (like Spank That Donkey, a noted Frederick supporter) what they gain by purging their rolls? Especially in the case of many members who may have missed three County meetings but by all accounts attended other party functions and have been hard-working volunteers.
  • I could see the legitimacy of this if there were three regularly scheduled meetings. From what I’ve read some of these meetings were called on short notice at odd times to set up this purge.
    This is entirely symptomatic of the Puritan wing – they want to cast out any who do not fall in lock step with their version of “conservative principles”. Soon they’ll have a monolithic cabal running the show any of which couldn’t get elected dog catcher. But, to paraphrase the Protic Principle, at least they’ll be “pure”. A sure recipe for electoral failure, no matter how pure they may think they may be.
  • kelley in virginia
    though i was never chairperson of a large county, we were able to craft a cohesive group of individuals with very diverse reasons for being Republican in a small county.
    why is this such a damn problem?
    and mike thomas has more campaign sense in his little finger than most will ever have in their entire body.
  • LI, even if it is legitimate, my question still stands: what do you gain by kicking out 56 people?
  • Absolutely nothing, VAB. I hope you didn’t get the impression I was for this purge. it is an incredibly stupid move. brought to you by the Frederick Fanatics and their style of Puritanism.
    Mike Thomas drove all the way out there to try to mediate this mess and was refused an opportunity to speak. Nice.
  • It’s clear to me that the village idiot down there thinks that he can bump Frederick’s numbers by trying to purge the delegates as well. Thankfully, he got called on that part–and they were reinstated.
    Unfortunately–watching from the outside…and remembering our very own struggle here- makes me reflective. Glen Caroline is in charge here in Loudoun, and I think I appreciate him all the much more because I’ve seen just how bad a unit can go with the wrong leadership.
    So, looking at Augusta’s disenfranchised members…the sun will come out, and you will be included, because the jag-off who thinks he’s in charge down there is probably near the top of the list of first order of business on a new RPV Chairman’s gavel….not to mention the Congressional District Chair’s last nerve.
  • RichmondDem
    Augusta was, what? One of the four or so counties to vote for Gilmore over Warner last year? Not a shock to hear this.
  • NoVA Scout
    I love these bright sparks (“love” in the sense that they provide me with endless amusement) who think that political success comes from appealing to an ever-narrowing universe of voters.
  • VA Blogger comments….I can’t speak expertly to the legality of the explusions, or the procedure that was done to execute them, but I do question those who are standing behind it (like Spank That Donkey, a noted Frederick supporter) what they gain by purging their rolls?
    If you read my post that the Vice Chairs of Communications and the Vice Chair of Precincts resigned. You might ask Spank the Donkey and Rightside Va who got those 2 posts.
    I am not saying that they did not have a totally different motivation in their support. I am sure they felt that they were doing the right thing, but you can ask them that question.
  • As far as I know, those two got those two positions. And Lynn Mitchell, a fine Republican, is out. It’s utterly ridiculous.
  • So much for Jeff Frederick’s claims, and those of his people, that they represent the grassroots. It sounds more like they consider those grassroots to be a threat to them.
    Frederick is proving more and more that he is the ideal poster boy for what’s wrong with the Republican Party.
  • I have never understood the meetings requirements for the Republican Committees. For anyone who works, goes to school, or isn’t retired, making a monthly meeting isn’t always possible, and I don’t know many Republicans who would be willing to go on my behalf who aren’t already members.
    If I were cynical, I’d say that the primary reason for the rule is to enable purges like this – not to control party purity, but simply to require those who want to participate to pay the fee over and over again as a means of raising funds. Otherwise, I can’t see the benefit of removing people when the Committees are rarely, if ever, 100% full.

Happy Anniversary ...

... to SWAC Husband on this glorious 23rd day of April. Wishing us many more years together! And thanks for the song.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More backroads of Augusta County ...

Polyface Farm is owned by Joel Salatin, a friend and fellow home school parent. They raise natural products that are sold on the farm and in outlets in Richmond, hold seminars on the property, mentor apprentices, and host the home schoolers every October for a hayride and cookout.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
April 22, 2009