Sunday, May 31, 2009

More on RPV convention to come ...

My head is full of stories about the weekend's RPV Convention and I want to write, write, write ... but I'm putting them on hold and going to spend the rest of the day with SWAC Niece. The computer will be here later ... but time with a child is always precious and fleeting. Today we play....

DJ McGuire ... blogger ... candidate

So I was sitting at my laptop Saturday on Bloggers Row before the start of the Virginia Republican Convention when someone slipped into the seat beside me and gave me a big old hug.


What an exciting week for him as he transitioned from activist/blogger writing about less taxes and responsible spending ... to candidate running for less taxes and responsible spending! Receiving the Republican nomination from his fellow Republicans Thursday night after first announcing his candidacy in February, DJ's supervisor race is on.

It is wonderful to see a fellow blogger running for public office. DJ is a strong fiscal conservative who is taking that message to the people. He is willing to put the time, money, and energy into the effort to try and make a difference and get local government back on the right track.

But for Saturday he was just a friend and fellow conservative blogger hanging out with his friends and colleagues on Bloggers Row.

Come Monday, though ... he will hit the ground running for Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors. The blogger-turned-candidate will be racing toward the finish line in November ... and we wish him all the best.

Best bumper sticker of the RPV Convention

"Raise my taxes - Lose my vote!"
Compliments of
Tertium Quids

Media gives Obamas pass to spend, spend, spend

"As President Obama prepares to wing into Manhattan’s theater district on Air Force One to take in a Broadway show, GM is preparing to file bankruptcy and families across America continue to struggle to pay their bills. ... Have a great Saturday evening – even if you’re not jetting off somewhere at taxpayer expense." - Republican National Committee

Does this president consider how these extravagant acts look to the public? Hope he enjoyed his night out in New York City on my nickel. More from Politico.

GOP candidates to stop at Weyers Cave June 1

~McDonnell ~ Bolling ~ Cuccinelli~
Governor ~ Lt. Governor ~ Attorney General

Valley Republicans will have the opportunity to greet Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli, along with House Speaker Bill Howell, on Monday, June 1, when they fly into Weyers Cave Airport at 12:00 Noon.

Come on out and join in the excitement as Virginia Republicans march toward victory in November. Questions may be directed to Craig Orndorff, Harrisonburg Victory Field Director, at (804) 814-0926 or (540) 335-9428.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

McDonnell - Bolling - Cuccinelli - Mullins

Congratulations to Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli -- our Republican candidates for 2009. We have much work to do leading into the general election to hold back the Democrats from winning a third term in the Governor's Mansion.

Congratulations also to RPV Chairman Pat Mullins. The longer I am around him, the more impressed I become with Pat's leadership abilities. I truly feel he will bring the stability and leadership RPV has been sadly lacking, and his fundraising abilities will help our candidates in the fall.

I have much more to blog about from the convention -- photos and notes to go through once I return home to the Shenandoah Valley -- but tonight while at my parents' home, I am going to relax and visit with them. At the ages of 82 and 83, they attended the convention as delegates from Chesterfield County.

Up-to-the-minute coverage is at Bob McDonnell's campaign website. More photos are at Bill Bolling's website, and there is lots of coverage from the bloggers in attendance.

I have to say it was absolutely a fun-filled weekend to spend time with such a group of dedicated volunteers as the conservative bloggers who were seated on Bloggers Row. What a blast to have visits from Congressman Eric Cantor, Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and candidates from local races throughout the state. They all took the time to talk with each blogger and answer questions. I will have more to write about all that after my thoughts settle and I process the past two days.

For now, I am going to prop my feet up and enjoy spending the evening with my folks.

Eric Cantor on Bloggers Row

Congressman and Republican Whip Eric Cantor stopped by Bloggers Row, speaking with each and every one of the bloggers, and then went to the New Media studio set up by Greg Letiecq for an interview by Krystle Weeks of Crystal Clear Conservative. He represents the 7th Congressional District of Virginia.

Congressman, welcome to Bloggers Row ... and thank you for stopping by.

Sean Hannity: "I love the Commonwealth of Virginia"

His speech is rallying the troops as Virginia delegates continue to respond with cheers, shouts, enthusiasm ... he is now quoting Ronald Reagan....

"We can do better, America ... and it starts right here in Virginia"

Sean Hannity spoke those words ... and the Richmond Coliseum went wild with enthusiasm. The energy in this place right now is unbelievable as the message is getting out from a well respected conservative Fox News talk show host and radio commentator. Sean is definitely rallying the crowd....

Bloggers Row packed as convention continues

We are making history today during the Republican Party of Virginia convention as 30+ bloggers are on Bloggers Row covering the speakers, the delegates, and anything else that occurs today. The house is packed as Bob McDonnell gives his Governor's speech. Bloggers are catching it with cameras, tweets, texts, and blogs ... check out these:

- Too Conservative
- Bearing Drift
- Project Virginia
- I'm Not Emeril
- Shaun Kenney
- Jason Kenney
- Spank That Donkey
- Spark It Up!!
- Black Velvet Bruce Li
- Yankee Phil
- Right-Wing Liberal
- At the Point of a Gun
- Family Foundation
- Rick Sincere
- Red NOVA
- I'm Surrounded by Idiots
- Crystal Clear Conservative
- United Conservatives of Virginia
- With Bias / Smart Girl Politics
- Virginia Conservative
- SWAC Girl

They are covering with photos, blogs, video, live streaming, and texting. We thank the new media talent within the Virginia Republicans for their time and energy as the New Media Committee worked for weeks preparing for this convention.

"My son Kenneth was killed on the USS Cole...."

The gentleman now speaking touched me last night as he went through his sound check. His son was killed on the USS Cole in what is now known as the War on Terrorism. God bless this gentleman and his family....

Jeffersoniad-RPV New Media hospitality suite

The New Media Hospitality suite was hopping when I left at 11:30 Friday night. Bloggers, convention goers, friends, the curious dropped by to visit ... and the noise level built up as well as the temperature. With a hot day in Richmond, air conditioning was at capacity everywhere with all the people.

This weekend has offered a wonderful opportunity to meet other bloggers, ones I knew by name but now I have a face to put with it. Photos will follow on that. In the suite tonight we saw Vince Harris, Jim Hoeft, Shaun Kenney, Jason Kenney, Jim Bowden, Krystle Weeks, Jay Hughes, Scott Hirons, Phil Lynch, Keith Drake, Tom Whitmore, Steve Albertson, Cortland Putbrese, Barb Tillett, Josh of Virginia Conservative, Andrew Vehorn, Ben Tribbet, Cargosquid of United Conservatives of Virginia, and I'm sure I'm forgetting others. The place was packed! Earlier in the day I saw Cathy Dickson formerly of UCV who said she will soon have another blog up and going. She was passing out buttons to the bloggers that said, "I am so blogging this."

Over in the Coliseum, Bloggers Row was absolutely awesome. With 30+ bloggers expected on Saturday, the tables are to the left of the stage with a fantastic view of the stage and all the coliseum. It is about six feet above the floor level so offers better viewing. Photos will be later.

The RPV Gala was packed with 1,200 people -- an unbelievable event that was sold out weeks ago. Mitt Romney was the guest speaker but there were others ... will blog photos later.

Tomorrow there should be thousands of delegates in Richmond to participate in voting for our Lt. Governor, AG, and Party Chairman ... and to confirm Bob McDonnell for governor. Should be an action-packed day. I have time for about five hours sleep before heading back to the Coliseum....

Friday, May 29, 2009

First session of RPV convention over

No controversy, no fights ... smooth sailing today as the opening day of the Republican Party of Virginia convention comes to a close. We will reconvene Saturday morning at 10:00 am with Sean Hannity as special guest speaker.

Republican Convention 2009 about to convene

We are 15 minutes away from the 2009 Republican Party of Virginia Convention at the Richmond Coliseum, and excitement is building as delegates file in to their seats. Music is playing, media is milling around the floor as well as candidates. John Brownlee and David Foster have been here since 10:00 this morning, meeting and greeting folks throughout the Coliseum.

Rumors are of a fight on the floor for the rules as soon as the convention opens. We will wait to see if any drama unfolds at that time.

Bloggers Row is fantastic! We are left of the stage ... perfect seating to cover our Republican candidates. Jim Hoeft has a birds-eye view of the stage with his camera, microphone,and set-up. Greg Letiecq who blogs as Black Velvet Bruce Li has a stage set-up for interviews that is being utilized by candidates and others. O.P. Ditch and Tom Whitmore are on Bloggers Row doing last-minute touches.

We're about ready to begin....

30+ bloggers to cover VA GOP Convention

With over 30 bloggers signed up to cover the Virginia Republican Convention this weekend, there should not be a second that goes undocumented. Mix into that the dozens of mainstream media also signed up to join in the reporting, and that makes for a lot of news coming out of the Richmond Coliseum.

Everything is set up and ready to go. There is an excitement in the air as well as uncertainty as a rumor circulates of battles on the floor of the convention for rules changes and maybe other upsets. We will know when the Convention officially convenes this afternoon at 2:00.

Meanwhile, watch for coverage from numerous Virginia bloggers including:

- The Bearing Drift team of Jim Hoeft, Jason Kenney, Jane Dudley, Brian Kirwin, Shaun Kenney, Amit Singh, DCH, and Georgie Gale
- The Lee Brothers from WRVA 1140 radio
- Too Conservative's four contributors including Vince Harris
- Family Foundation
- Spark It Up!!
- At the Point of a Gun
- With Bias
- Spank That Donkey
- Crystal Clear Conservative
- J's Notes
- Right-Wing Liberal
- Black Velvet Bruce Li
- Red NOVA
- I'm Not Emeril
- Sincere Thoughts
- Im Surrounded by Idiots
- Yankee Phil
- SWAC Girl

The Republican Party's New Media Committee has worked hard to make this the most accessible convention ever in Republican history so everyone can join in the action, either in person or from outside the venue.

Sean Hannity, conservative radio talk show host and Fox News personality, will open Saturday's session with rousing remarks that are sure to have the crowd on their feet. Everyone I know is planning to be there in plenty of time to hear him speak shortly after 10:00 am.

Virginia Republican Convention 2009 ... all the action begins at 2:00 this afternoon. Let the Party begin!

Together, Virginia Republicans ... we can make a difference!

DJ McGuire wins GOP nomination for Spotsylvania BOS

"It is time the Board and county staff stop asking the citizens of Spotsylvania to give a little more and do with a little less. It is time for the Board to make hard decisions on the county budget, not force homeowners to make harder decisions with their budgets."
DJ Mcguire
GOP candidate for Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors

He's known throughout the Virginia political blogosphere as the Right-Wing Liberal but in November he hopes to be known as Supervisor DJ McGuire.

The announcement in February of his candidacy started the race toward his win of the nomination last night as the Republican candidate for the Lee Hill District supervisor on the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors.

A no-nonsense fiscal conservative, DJ's decision to run came after a sitting supervisor agreed to help relieve the tax burden on residents ... and then reneged when it came down to the vote.

Here is DJ's announcement to the Jeffersoniad bloggers after last night's nomination vote:
This evening, I had the honor of receiving the Republican nomination for Lee Hill Supervisor. I am deeply humbled by the confidence the Spotsylvania Republicans placed in me to bring limited government back to Spotstylvania.

I can take the message of limited government to the voters in November, in the one place where I would submit it has the hardest time ... local government.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of the support from you, my fellow bloggers, over the last few months. Odds are I'll be slowing down over at RWL and C e-L as the campaign heats up....
To make a contribution to DJ's campaign, go here. To read more about DJ, go to DJ

His campaign will have to be put on hold for a couple of days because this Jeffersoniad blogger will be joining Bloggers Row at the Virginia Republican Convention the next two days ... and we look forward to congratulating him on his nomination. Look for him at the Jeffersoniad Hospitality Suite Friday night from 9-11 at the Marriott Hotel and congratulate him ... and maybe leave a contribution, too.

DJ Mcguire for Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors 2009.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Renovate Afton Mountain

Courtesy of Kirchman Studio.

Renovate Afton Mountain! Bob at The Journey has the scoop.

Memorial Day 2009 ... Spanish-American War (1898)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 2,446

In January 1898, a riot by Cuban volunteers, most of who were Spanish loyalists, broke out in Havana and led to the destruction of the printing presses of three local newspapers.

These riots prompted the presence of an American Marine force on the island of Cuba although there had been no attack on Americans during the rioting ... but there were still fears for the lives of Americans living in Havana. Concern focused on the pro-Spanish Cubans who harbored resentment of the growing support in the United States for Cuban independence.

Washington informed the Consul-General in Havana, Fitzhugh Lee, a nephew of Robert E. Lee, that the USS Maine would be sent to protect United States interests should tensions escalate further.

The USS Maine arrived in Havana on January 25, 1898. Her stay was uneventful until the following month. On February 15, 1898, at 9:40 pm, the Maine sank in Havana Harbor after an explosion, resulting in the deaths of 266 men.

HONOR: The 266 Men who died on the USS Maine

Memorial Day ... Vietnam/Southeast Asia (1964-1973)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 48,209

He served as an ammunition bearer with the weapons platoon during a reconnaissance mission. As the patrol was moving through a dense jungle area, it was caught in an intense crossfire from heavily fortified and concealed ambush positions. As the patrol reacted, it became evident that the heavy weapons could not be used in the cramped fighting area.

This soldier dropped his recoilless rifle ammunition, and ran forward to join his commander in an assault on the enemy bunkers. The assaulting force moved forward until it was pinned down directly in front of the heavily fortified bunkers by machine gun fire. He stood up to draw enemy fire on himself and to place suppressive fire on the enemy positions while his commander attempted to destroy the machine gun positions with grenades.

Before the officer could throw a grenade, a grenade landed in the position. He alerted his comrades and his commander hurled the grenade from the position. When a second enemy grenade landed in the position, he again shouted a warning to his fellow soldiers.

Seeing that no one could reach the grenade and realizing that it was about to explode, he with complete disregard for his safety, threw himself on the grenade.

HONOR: Corporal Michael Flemming Folland, U.S. Army

Memorial Day ... Korean War (1950-1953)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 36,574

He served as a member of an antitank assault squad during a nighttime enemy attack against a motorized column. Acting instantly when a grenade landed in his truck as he and his squad prepared to repulse an enemy force delivering intense automatic-weapons and grenade fire from deeply entrenched and well-concealed roadside positions, he quickly shouted a warning to the other men in the vehicle. Unmindful of his personal safety, he hurled himself upon the grenade, thereby saving his comrades from serious injury or possible death. Sustaining severe wounds, he died a short time afterwards.

HONOR: Private First Class William B. Baugh, U.S. Marine Corps

Memorial Day 2009 ... World War II (1937-1946)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 409,399

While in England, this soldier earned the Air Medal award and Distinguished Flying Cross.

Then a telegram arrived at the Baldridge house, where 16-year-old Billy was home alone. He read the telegram stating that his brother, a Lieutenant, was missing in action. Unable to give the horrible news to his mother, young Billy gave the telegram to his father that night.

For months, the family waited and hoped for the soldier's safe return. Then on January 26, 1945, another telegram arrived with the news the family had been dreading. The government reported the Lieutenant as killed in action on May 21, 1944.

After years of searching, including a trip to Bad Doberan, the family finally felt that they found the truth behind Dick's death. After his plane went down, the Lieutenant managed to land safely and jump out of the burning airplane. He tried to run from the plane, but a German soldier cut off his escape route. A Military Policeman and an SS man arrived and took him to a German jail, where he was tortured. The soldiers shot Dick in the heart, broke his arm and knocked out his teeth. He was buried at first in a local cemetery in Bad Doberan.

HONOR: Lt. Arlen Richard Baldridge, hero of World War II

Republican Party of Virginia Convention

Heading to Richmond this afternoon for the Republican Convention to be held at the Coliseum. It will be an opportunity to visit with my folks as well as participate and blog during the proceedings on Friday and Saturday.

Over 10,000 delegates have registered to attend making this the largest Virginia GOP Convention since 1994. By Saturday night we will know our candidates and our RPV Chairman ... and then we will be on a race for the November elections.

Memorial Day 2009 ... World War I (1914-1918)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks, May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 116,516

Enemy forces were on both flanks when this soldier made the decision that the position should be “put out of action” in order to spare the remaining men. His sergeant stated that it was “sure death to show yourself” and related how his Lieutenant “jumped up on the top himself” while firing a rifle and "loaded down with bombs" in an effort to lead his men to a safer position.

At this time, the lieutenant was wounded by machine gun bullets. Various accounts were given to his family as to the exact manner of his death. By some accounts he died shortly after, but other reports state he was captured and died in a German prison. His official date of death is September 7, 1918.

HONOR: Lieutenant Lane Schofield Anderson, hero of World War I

SWAC home schooler advances in National Spelling Bee in D.C.

~ One of only two Virginia students left in competition ~

Congratulations to SWAC area home schooler Andrew Traylor, 14, who advanced in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in D.C. Out of 292 spellers, he is one of the 41 who made it to the next level along with one other Virginia student.

A member of Parent Educators of Augusta County Homes (PEACH), the local home school organization, Andrew is making his fellow students proud. The complete story is at the Waynesboro News Virginian. We wish Andrew the best.

Memorial Day 2009 ... War of 1812 (1812-1815)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 2,260

One crewman aboard the privateer Schooner General Tompkins was killed when a twenty-four pound shot struck him in the hip, and took away all the lower part of his body.

Before he died, even in this state, the poor brave fellow lay on the deck, and several times exclaimed to his shipmates, "Fire away, my boys ... no haul a color down."

HONOR: John Johnson, a black man who died a hero in the War of 1812

Memorial Day 2009 ... The Mexican War (1846-1848)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 1,733

The Colonel from Fayetteville, Arkansas, served in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, was a federal judge, a U.S. Representative from Arkansas, and Governor of Arkansas. He was killed at the Battle of Buena Vista, Mexico, on February 22, 1847.

HONOR: Arkansas Governor Archibald Yell, hero of the Mexican War

Memorial Day ... American Civil War (1861-1865)

By Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Number of deaths: 509,332

He was from Warrenton, Virginia, a member of Virginia state House of Delegates. He was delegate to Virginia State Constitutional Convention, delegate to Virginia Secession Convention, and delegate from Virginia to the Confederate Provisional Congress. He was killed in a skirmish with a band of Union deserters in Fauquier County, Va.

HONOR: Confederate soldier Robert Eden Scott, hero of the Southern Army

He was from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ... a lawyer, colonel in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War, and a candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania. He served as justice of Nebraska territorial supreme court and Governor of Nebraska Territory. He was killed in battle at Gaines Mill, Hanover County, Va., June 27, 1862.

HONOR: Union Army Colonel Samuel Watson Black, hero of the Northern Army

Memorial Day 2009 ... American Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

By Commander Tom Nelson, U.S. Naval Reserves (Ret)
Memorial Day Remarks - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo, Staunton, Virginia

Those who died during the American Revolution: 4,435

On the eve of the American Revolution, at 3:00 am on December 26, 1776, George Washington's colonial army was in Pennsylvania and crossed the Delaware River to attack the British at Trenton, New Jersey.

Washington's groomsman, a 12-year-old servant boy, stayed on the Pennsylvania shore taking care of Washington's horses and holding up a lantern to mark the location.

There were no colonial army deaths in the Battle of Trenton, which as you may know was a significant victory in the Revolution. But there was a one tragic casualty ... the servant boy who was found frozen to death on the Pennsylvania shore while still holding the lantern when Washington returned at noon on December 26, 1776.

Upon George Washington’s return to his Mount Vernon, he was so inspired by the boy’s heroism that he commissioned a cast iron statue of the boy holding a lantern, and called it the "Faithful Groomsman."

HONOR: Jocko Graves, a hero in the American Revolution

U.S. Navy Commander Tom Nelson (Ret) ... rich Virginia history

Commander Tom Nelson (Ret), U.S. Naval Reserves

The keynote speaker at Monday's Memorial Day ceremony in Gypsy Hill Park was Tom Nelson, someone well known to those in the SWAC area. Many know his son is active duty with the U.S. Army and has been to Iraq.

Few know Tom is a military veteran and has a rich Virginia background going back to the Revolutionary War. His fourth great-grandfather, Thomas Nelson, Jr., was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, governor of Virginia after Thomas Jefferson, and Brigadier General of the Virginia Militia defeating Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. Tom often reenacts in Williamsburg, Yorktown, and other historical events, helping to bring American history to life dressed as Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Tom was born in Charlottesville, Va. He graduated from LaGrange College in Georgia and the U.S. Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Floria.

He and his wife, Poppet, live in Middlebrook in southern Augusta County. They have three grown children ... Major Tom Nelson, U.S. Army, Elizabeth of Purceville, and Jennifer living in Wales ... and have five grandchildren.

A retired U.S. Naval Air Reserves Commander with 27 years service, including six years active duty with one tour in Viet Nam, Tom went on to spend many years in public service with the U.S. Government until his retirment in 2002 from the Department of Defense.

His assignments included the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Office of the Secretary Defense (OSD), and the National Ground Intelligence Agency (NGIC). He has extensive travels throughout the world including Western and Eastern Europe, Far East, and a number of Middle East countries including Iraq. Noteworthy is his work with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inspections.

He has worked for government contractors Battelle, BAE System, and now Knowledge Continuity Consultants (KCC) at NGIC.

He continues to be active as a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), the Page-Nelson Society of Virginia, the Middlebrook Ruritan Club, Kairos Prison Ministry, and as a chaplain in the Industrial Commercial Ministries (ICM).

His past activities include Civil Air Patrol, Episcopal church vestryman, Rotary club, the Historic Commission of Prince William County, and a Boy Scout leader.

Tom and Poppet Nelson attend Oak Hill Baptist Church in Newport, and are the owners/operators of the Middlebrook General Store.

On Memorial Day, Tom remembered American military members who had lost their lives in wars throughout the years.

Gun owners urged to crash Democrat Primary?

Interesting concept ... H/T to Jim Riley.

Augusta BOS gives green light to new shopping center

In a meeting that lasted more than two hours, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors voted 7-0 to pursue the Augusta Marketplace shopping center to be located on the corner of I-81 and Rt. 262. More than a dozen local residents attended the meeting to speak for or against the project.

Bob Stuart with the Waynesboro News Virginian wrote:
A major hurdle for the largest commercial development ever in Augusta County was cleared Wednesday when supervisors voted 7-0 to approve rezoning from agriculture to business for Augusta Marketplace.

The 135-acre development, when built starting in 2011 by the Northern Virginia firm of Pence Friedel, would contribute nearly a million square feet of retail development, a 180-room hotel and amenities such as big box stores and a movie theater off Interstate 81 and Route 262 near Verona.
Board chairman Larry Howdyshell said, "It's the right place, it's the right time, and it's the right project."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sean Hannity at Virginia Republican Convention this weekend

I'm listening to Sean Hannity on his conservative radio show this afternoon and he's talking about appearing at the Virginia Republican Convention this weekend.

Mr. Hannity is scheduled to address the delegates at 10:00 am, and he gave a hint in the last 30 minutes of the show today of what he plans to talk about:
What do we stand for, what do they stand for, and if we stand up for what we believe in, will we win elections?
I think Sean Hannity will add excitement to the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday as he rallies us to win elections this fall.

Tribute to a grandfather....

Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of the death of Bob Davis, a well-known radio personality in Staunton from bygone years who first introduced the Statler Brothers on local radio.

Bob Davis died before knowing his grandson, Alex, who was born and raised in Staunton. His family roots go deep into the community ... his appreciation of history is profound. Entertainment coarses through the veins of the Davis family and has been passed from generation to generation. Alex remembered his grandfather last year and I am repeating it because it is a touching tribute for a man who tragically died too young at the age of 36.

A young man remembers his grandfather....

American Power: Huckabee to endorse Rubio in Florida GOP Primary

Donald Douglas at California's American Power blog just sent an email with his latest post: Huckabee to Endorse Rubio in Florida GOP Primary. This is good news for conservative Republicans.

Had an email last week from Erick Erickson at RedState raising funds for Rubio, and another email from my friend, Josh Levy, urging those who could to contribute even if it was $10. That successful drive by RedState raised $10,000 in one day for Marco Rubio.

Check out all the details at American Power.

The Korean crisis deepens

Korea has nuclear weapons and is thumping its chest at the rest of the world. Check out Jim Riley's post at Virginia Virtucon. Radar, Klinger, Col. Potter, Hot Lips anyone?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mullins interview

Shaun Kenney had the opportuntiy to sit down with Pat Mullins, interim Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, in which Mr. Mullins talks about his past experiences in the GOP, what the Party needs to do right away, and his vision for the future of the Party. Good interview.

Memorial Day 2009 ... Home school friends, cookout, military family

Driveway to friends' home disappears into the trees...

Looking toward the Alleghanies ...

Rain clouds over the Alleghanies.

Memorial Day 2009 began with a ceremony in Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park with the Veterans of Foreign War and American Legion honoring America's heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Memorial Day 2009 ended with a cookout surrounded by home school friends hosted by one family whose Marine son, Nate, is currently on his second deployment to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The blessing before the meal expressed thankfulness for good friends and the opportunity to fellowship together ... and thankfulness for our troops who protect America's freedoms.

There was an abundance of young people home from college or off from work for the day, food brought by all the families, games, and conversation. Even when the rain moved in, it didn't dampen the gathering of friends.

Memorial Day 2009. We in America ... are blessed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 ... "No greater love ..."

"Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13

Memorial Day 2009 ... NASCAR stopped race to honor America's heroes

At 3:00 pm NASCAR, racing on Memorial Day for the first time in 50 years caused when a rain delay postponed the race, paused to remember America's heroes during the national moment of silence.

Cars stopped on the track ... spectators were silent ... America's heroes were remembered.

Memorial Day 2009 ... Americans remember....

Memorial Day 2009 ...Small town honors as Food Lion pauses for moment of silence

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is Memorial Day and the store will shut down for the next 60 seconds as we observe a moment of silence in honor of America's fallen heroes."

Manager Dan Pritchett's voice came over the intercom at Staunton's Food Lion grocery store located on Coalter Street as he addressed employees and customers. Perhaps this is one of the things I love most about living in a small town.

It was 3:00 pm ... time for a national moment of silence. The cashiers stopped checking out customers ... the Muzak was shut off ... customers paused in the aisles ... employees ceased working ... the store was essentially shut down ... and for the next 60 seconds everyone observed a moment of silence for America.

Thank you, Mr. Pritchett.

Memorial Day 2009 ... Honoring America and fallen heroes

Tom Nelson's lapel sported an American flag pin and a red poppy.

Augusta County Honor Guard waits for ceremony to begin.

Honoring America and fallen heroes.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 ... "Freedom itself was attacked"

"Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended."
President George W. Bush
September 11, 2001

We honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom in the war on terrorism.
Memorial Day 2009
~ We will not forget ~

Memorial Day 2009 ... three generations of military veterans

Three generations of military veterans.
(left to right)
Operation Iraqi Freedom, post-Vietnam, World War II

Three generations of military veterans stood talking in Gypsy Hill Park after the Memorial Day service today representing Operation Iraqi Freedom (National Guard) ... post-Vietnam years (U.S. Navy) ... World War II (Army Air Corps later known as the U.S. Air Force). The tradition of military service continues....

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 ... Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park

One of the memorial wreaths in honor of fallen heroes.

Augusta County Honor Guard

Keynote speaker Tom Nelson of Augusta County.

As the rain drizzled, the crowd honored the fallen ...

Wreaths of honor and POW-MIA flag.

Memorial Day Service
May 25, 2009
10:00 am
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo - Staunton, Virginia

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 ... the little patriot

Patriotism is alive and well in the next generations.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 ... a neighbor remembers

Memorial Day 2009 ... a veteran remembers those who did not come home

Taps ...
A prayer in remembrance and honor ...

Memorial Day Service - May 25, 2009
Gypsy Hill Park Gazebo
Staunton, Virginia
Sponsored by
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2216 & Ladies Auxiliary
American Legion Post 13 & Ladies Auxiliary

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
May 25, 2009

Breaking ... N. Korea conducts overnight nuclear test

Last week's successful launch of an Iranian long-range missile caused many to catch their collective breath.

Today North Korea is claiming they have successfully conducted an underground nuclear test.

Dan at Liberty Boy blog notes that the actions by North Korea will more than likely cause a nuclear race in Asia as other countries scramble to catch up.

Chilling words ... terrorism is still a very real threat

"We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us."
Osama bin Laden, Muslim terrorist

Is DC getting the message over "tax-and-spend" outrage?

Property tax revolts in Augusta County, other Virginia counties, and other states ... nationwide tea parties protesting rising taxes ... California voters soundly defeating new taxes even in the face of bankruptcy.

Is D.C. getting the message over "tax-and-spend" outrage?

Apparently not.

The Obama administration is drunk with power and out of control even as the anger over higher taxes is going national. A fawning media give a pass as the country sinks deeper into debt.

Neil Cavuto's Friday "Common Sense" makes much sense in the face of a White House that is gobbling up auto companies, banks, and directing cred card companies in what they can and cannot do:
My boss has a great line that I’ve often repeated and just love: We all live in our own heads.

But with respect to my boss, it just seems in Washington, their heads are lodged in a very dark place — no need to be graphic, but time to get real.

Because what else could explain a nation's capital that totally ignores the revolution unfolding in California’s capital? Where they're cutting spending like crazy after voters in that state went crazy and told them to stop spending, stop taxing, stop playing the same old games.

But looking around in Washington, nothing's stopped. Not the taxing, or the spending, or the ignoring, or the thinking, "We know better than our clueless subjects know."

So they merrily go on thinking in their heads that they're doing just fine. Clinging to election results from half a year ago. And insisting they've got a mandate — totally ignoring election results in California half a week ago and forgetting what they've got now is a manhole... and they're sinking into it.

It's one thing to be half-baked. But another to push spending that's proven half-ass.

But you wouldn't know that, would you, Washington? Your big head just doesn't fathom half-ass. No wonder. It's not that your head can't see it. The darn thing's just wedged too far up it.
Neil Cavuto, Fox News Channel's business guru, is a man who is measured in his blame ... and, thus, his words carry even more weight.

Your World With Neil Cavuto is on Fox News weekdays at 4:00 pm.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


The haunting sadness of Trace Adkins' song, "Arlington," is almost overwhelming especially as sung with Mr. Adkins' deep voice. Fishersville Mike has the video.

The song was inspired when lyricist Dave Turnbull heard the story of a young soldier killed in Iraq. Teaming up with Jerry Spillman who wrote the melody, they put the story to music to honor those who had died to protect America. A successful lyricist in Nashville, Mr. Turnbull is, interestingly enough, the cousin of former Augusta County Republican Committee chairman Kurt Michael.

On this Memorial Day, the song "Arlington" clearly is appropriate.

Memorial Day 2009 ... moment of silence nationwide at 3 pm

A nationwide moment of silence to honor and remember America's fallen heroes will be observed Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, at 3:00 pm local time. The freedoms we take for granted each day are reminders of their ultimate sacrifice and our ongoing debt to them.

Memorial Day ... honoring those who sacrifice and remembering those who serve.

9/11 documentaries on National Geographic

"Osama bin Laden declared a war with no front lines,
no uniforms, and no mercy."
-- "Inside 9/11: War on America" documentary

The series of 9/11 documentaries are being shown on the National Geographic Channel tonight. Beginning at 7 pm was "Inside 9/11: War on America," to be followed at 9 pm with "Inside 9/11: Zero Hour" which will repeat again at midnight.

If documentaries and film footage of 9/11 were shown on a regular basis, would more Americans and students be aware of the danger?

On this Memorial Day, it's a somber reminder of the military members we have lost in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's a reminder to pause and be thankful to those who died to preserve our freedoms ... and to their families who were left behind.

It's also a somber reminder of the police officer and firemen who sacrificed their lives especially in New York when the World Trade Centers were hit. Heroes were born that day.

9/11 ... may we never forget.

Fox Nation salues America's troops

The Fox Nation has a site to leave a comments for our American troops as we pause on this Memorial Day weekend and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

Cheney Speech ... top 10 lines

From the Fox Forum ... Former Vice President Dick Cheney spoke Thursday on national security at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Read the top ten lines in the speech, as compiled by the editors of FOX Nation.

Google ... invading privacy of millions?

Paul McCartney felt his privacy had been invaded and complained to Google who removed him from their "Street View" mapping system. Remember ... fellow Beatle John Lennon was murdered by a deraged fan in 1980.

How many other celebrities will follow in demanding removal of their homes? What about politicians?

And will Google listen to ordinary citizens who may not wish to have their privacy invaded?

The Sun reports:
Last night a Google spokesman said anyone could now remove their house from the site by clicking a button.
Good luck.

"Money is the root of all evil"

Fox News reported this morning that Buckingham Palace's security had been breached when a reporter paid off one of the queen's chauffeurs to sit in her vehicle and gain entry to the residence ... all for around $1,600.

If this journalist has been a terrorist posing as a journalist, the queen ... indeed, the entire royal family ... could be dead today.

That made me think back to the saying, "Money is the root to all evil," and it certainly seems to be true in almost every case I can think of including this one. The saying is a variation of Timothy 6:10 from the King James Bible:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
For a mere $1,600, a member of the queen's staff was willing to compromise lives and national treasures. Is anyone safe?

"A Celebration of Freedom" in Harrisonburg

The Valley Family Forum's "Celebration of Freedom" dinner is this Thursday, May 28, at 6:30 pm, at James Madison University with guest speaker Janet Parshall. Family Forum director Dean Welty said there is still room for those who wish to join in this celebration of our freedom.

From Dean:
Only five more days to our 8th annual Shenandoah Valley “Salute to the Family” dinner at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 28. It will be at the JMU Festival Conference and Student Center, and seats are going fast, so get your reservations in now if you have not yet done so.

The theme is freedom!

Why freedom? It’s simple. We have fought to defend our freedoms on foreign lands, and now we must fight to defend them at home from groups like the ACLU that want to purge all references to God from the public square. For the sake of our children and of the land that we love, we must not let that happen.

Our keynote speaker is Janet Parshall, a great champion of freedom as the host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show called “Janet Parshall’s America” and winner of the National Religious Broadcasters’ “On-Air Personality of the Year” award for 2008. She is also the narrator of a 14-part TV series called “Speechless: Silencing the Christians”. We will give away 30 copies of her best books as “door prizes” to some lucky guests.

In addition, we are delighted to welcome WHSV-TV executive producer Kay Norred for the first time as our program Emcee. Our co-host, The Family Foundation of Virginia, will also provide an update on the state of freedom in Virginia, and then we will honor some special champions of liberty. Finally, we are pleased to have “The Faithful Men” and pianist Miriam Clark back with us again to provide a great medley of inspiring musical selections.

Tables are filling up fast so it is important to get your reservations in now by return e-mail or by calling (540) 438-8966. Seats for the dinner are only $25 per person, and checks should be made out to the “Valley Family Forum” and sent to the Forum at 3465 Izaak Walton Dr., Harrisonburg, VA, 22801.

I sincerely hope you can join us for a great program, delicious food, inspiring music, and a wonderful evening with hundreds of like-minded friends. Working together, we can make a difference -- for faith, for family, and for freedom.
The Forum dinners are always patriotic, entertaining, and informative.

Cheney receiving kudos for standing his ground

It is about time a Republican stood his ground. Americans are responding positively to former Vice President Dick Cheney as he stands up for terrorism policies implemented after 9/11 by the Bush administration that have kept this country safe since that time.

Mr. Cheney, coming under withering attacks from Democrats, is being lauded by others including the American public, according to the Washington Times:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney's sweeping indictment of administration policy changes on the handling of terrorism-suspect detainees has thrown President Obama on the defensive and scored points for the vice president and his party, according to pollsters and political analysts.

While Mr. Cheney has come under increasing fire from Democrats for charging that Mr. Obama's policies have made the country more vulnerable to future terrorist attacks, polls show a majority of Americans side with him on using aggressive interrogation methods on high value al Qaeda prisoners and are against moving them from the detention facility at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to maximum-security facilities in the U.S.
It's not Republican ... it's not Democrat ... it's American.

Staunton's Art in the Park continues today

Pottery, oil paintings, hand-crafted jewelry and flutes ... Art in the Park continues today in Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park as dozens of artists display their handiwork with a natural backdrop of grass, trees, and spring flowers.

Art in the Park is an annual event that will be held from 10 am until 6 pm today. There is no charge. Info: 885-2028 or check the Staunton-Augusta Art Center website. Click here for a list of participating artists.

Memorial Day remembered in Goshen

D.E. Hite, a young 90-something and affectionately known to Augusta County residents as "Speedy," is a military veteran and patriot. A career Army officer who served through three wars, he honors his country and those who served her along with those who died for her.

Saturday found Mr. Hite in Goshen, a small town west of Staunton, as the community gathered to honor American heroes during this Memorial Day weekend:

On Saturday, after the singing of the national anthem, residents spoke of the sacrifices veterans have made, then placed a wreath at the site of the plaque, which lists the more than 150 Goshen residents who served in World War II.

"The men and women on this memorial readily and willingly gave a sacrifice to this nation," said D.E. Hite, who chaired the committee that helped bring the memorial to Goshen in 2005. "They proved this town and this nation is worth fighting for and even dying for."
May we never forget to honor those who died....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Phil's old blog appears to be terminal so he has scrapped it and restarted as He's back in the saddle again so watch for lots of posts to begin coming from his area of the blogosphere again.

Yankee Phil blog in distress

Got a phone call a while ago from Phil and was distressed to hear his blog, after having problems earlier in the week, is having more serious difficulties than I realized. He was working on a couple of things with two of the other SWAC bloggers and called to ask about something. I certainly hope his blog is up and going before long because he has been prolific in getting information into the blogosphere.

Get well soon, Yankee Phil blog!

Dick Cheney: "The United States Has Never Lost Its Moral Bearings"

The entire content of Dick Cheney's remarks on May 21, 2009, can be found at ... "The United States Has Never Lost Its Moral Bearings."

Released journalist: "Nice to be back in the Land of the Free"

"Singing the National Anthem every day kept me going. And it may sound corny but it's nice to be back home in the Land of the Free."

Roxana Saberi
, 32,
American journalist freed after four months in Iranian jail

Charles Krauthammer: "Obama's deeds vindicate Bush"

In 2008 Democrat Barack Obama campaigned against the war policies of President George W. Bush. Now that Obama is in the Oval Office, the leftwing of his Party wants him to follow through.

In Charles Krauthammer's latest column, he notes the Democrat leftwingers are not happy, beginning the column with a May 21 New York Times quote from an "unnamed and dismayed human rights advocate, on legalizing indefinite detention of alleged terrorists:"
"We were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning."
The problem for them is that Candidate Barack Obama is now President Barack Obama with access to intelligence only available at the highest ranks. Knowledge of that type of information puts a difference face on issues of national security.

Armed with that knowledge makes it easier to act on behalf of defending the American people. Mr. Krauthammer writes:
On Guantanamo, it's Obama's fellow Democrats who have suddenly discovered the wisdom of Bush's choice. In open rebellion against Obama's pledge to shut it down, the Senate voted 90 to 6 to reject appropriating a single penny until the president explains where he intends to put the inmates.
That doesn't leave a lot of places. The home countries won't take them. Europe is recalcitrant. Saint Helena needs refurbishing. Elba didn't work out too well the first time. And Devil's Island is now a tourist destination. Gitmo is starting to look good again.

Observers of all political stripes are stunned by how much of the Bush national security agenda is being adopted by this new Democratic government. Victor Davis Hanson (National Review) offers a partial list: "The Patriot Act, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals, Predator drone attacks, Iraq (i.e. slowing the withdrawal), Afghanistan (i.e. the surge) -- and now Guantanamo."
What does it all mean? Democratic hypocrisy and demagoguery? Sure, but in Washington, opportunism and cynicism are hardly news.

There is something much larger at play -- an undeniable, irresistible national interest that, in the end, beyond the cheap politics, asserts itself. The urgencies and necessities of the actual post-9/11 world, as opposed to the fanciful world of the opposition politician, present a rather narrow range of acceptable alternatives.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney is speaking out in defense of the Bush policies and against the constant criticism from Obama himself.

The war policies of the Bush administration have kept America safe since 9/11. The fact that the Obama administration is retaining so many of those policies vindicates President Bush's national security decisions.

Memories on Memorial Day

Cominius at the Virginian Federalist reminds us of what Memorial Day is all about as he spends time Communing with heroes.

Colin Powell

Jerry's post today ... Just go away:
Look. Colin Powell had his way. The Republican Party nominated a mooshy, moderate Republican for president in 2008. Just as he and the press demanded. And the GOP got its ass kicked. (Oh, wait, Powell stabbed McCain in the back and supported radically liberal Obama instead; there's a lesson to be learned there somewhere).
Read the entire post at From On High.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vice President Loose Lips in the Balkans

Exiled? Or just a getaway? Joe Biden revealed the "undisclosed location" ... the secure area for the safety of the Vice President of the United States in the event of danger. When confronted about it, the story changed and it became a room upstairs at the VP residence that had been turned into a bedroom.


Then Joe Biden found himself in the Balkans.

Rush Limbaugh referred to an article by Eleanor Clift in the Detroit Free Press:
"If Eleanor Clift reported it accurately, if the referenced undisclosed location was indeed classified, then I am told that Joe Biden, the vice president, may be subject to 37 United States Code section 793 which says that "such an action shall" -- not the usual "may," but "such an action SHALL" -- "be punishable by a fine or up to ten years in prison." Now, admittedly this is going to have to be fact checked, but if indeed...

"The reaction to getting Biden out of town and the quick re-characterizing of what he said here -- and we know that he flaps his gums off and says the most uncontrolled, undisciplined things.

"But all this talk about how stupid Sarah Palin is, how risky she would be in office, and here's Biden potentially violating a federal law punishable by ten years in jail, by revealing the secret bunker where any vice president is taken. Not just Cheney, where any vice president is taken during an attack, and now, "No, no, no, no! It wasn't underground. It was upstairs bedroom." An upstairs bedroom with electronic equipment on the hallway with a steel door? It's hard to believe. So that's why, among many other things, the vice president is in the Balkans."
If America comes under attack, Joe Biden may have compromised his own safety.

Unstable political affiliations

Interesting article from Real Clear Politics by way of Reason & Revelation.

Obama: 9/10 mentality in a 9/11 world?

While listening to Barack Obama's speech yesterday and comparing it with former Vice President Dick Cheney's remarks, the difference between the two administrations could not be more stark.

Barack Obama appears to have a 9/10 mentality which, sadly, is shared by many Americans who have either forgotten the terror of 9/11, were too young at the time, or who feel America was to blame.

Dick Cheney lived through 9/11 and was an active party to efforts to protect Ameicans from another deadly terrorist attack, efforts that paid off with no further terrorism on American soil since that September day in 2001.

However, Muslim extremists have continued their reign of terror around the world. How long before that terror returns to our homeland?

Rush Limbaugh compared the two speeches on Thursday. Among his remarks:
"You cannot win wars with apologies. One of the things that Cheney said in his speech is, when terrorists see us divided, debating whether they should have constitutional rights, they don't stand back and reassess their opinion of us and say, "You know what, maybe we're wrong about the United States." What they see is weakness. Obama was all over the notion that Guantanamo Bay led to the creation and recruitment of more terrorists, ignoring the fact that we were repeatedly attacked by terrorists long before Guantanamo Bay was opened as a terrorist prison, ignoring the fact that, as Andy McCarthy pointed out to me in an e-mail, the number one terrorist recruitment tool is a successful terror attack. And there has not been a successful terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11, eight years, and the terrorists, we could say, suffered a defeat in Iraq."
From Dick Cheney's remarks:
"You've heard endlessly about waterboarding. It happened to three terrorists. One of them was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11, who has also boasted about his beheading of Daniel Pearl. We had a lot of blind spots after the attacks on our country, things we didn't know about Al-Qaeda. We didn't know about Al-Qaeda's plans, but Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a few others did know. And with many thousands of innocent lives potentially in the balance, we did not think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all."
"Intelligence officers of the United States were not trying to rough up some terrorists simply to avenge the dead of 9/11. We know the difference in this country between justice and vengeance. Intelligence officers were not trying to get terrorists to confess to past killings. They were trying to prevent future killings. To call this a program of torture is to libel the dedicated professionals who have saved American lives and to cast terrorists and murderers as innocent victims. What's more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future is unwise in the extreme. It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness and would make the American people less safe."
Read Rush's monologue which includes remarks from Dick Cheney and Barack Obama, and decide for yourself which administration's plans best protect the American people. Perhaps this administration needs the banner:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Alleghany Mountains on a Shenandoah Valley spring day

View of the Alleghany Mountains
on a beautiful Shenandoah Valley spring day.

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
May 21, 2009

There's a storm across the Valley ...

Saturday night's storm approached from the west. This was taken from a friend's house at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Augusta County. When the rain began, it stalled and poured for two hours.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
May 16, 2009

Fishing at the rivah....

Croakers ... some good eating.

Sunset on the Rappahannock from the pier ...

Oops! SWAC Daughter's surprise catch.

SWAC Daughter's prize croaker ...

Sunset on the Rappahannock....

Peaceful ...

Photos by SWAC Daughter
May 2009

Coldplay at Virginia Beach....

SWAC Kids at Virginia Beach Ampitheater for Wednesday night's Coldplay concert under the stars in the sweet Virginia breeze....

Photos by SWAC Daughter

Karl Rove: Obama the Candidate vs Obama the President

While on the campaign trail, Barack Obama bashed the Bush administration for their national security policies. As President, he apparently realizes the importance of those policies in protecting the American people from terrorism.

In a Wall Street Journal article, Karl Rove points out what he calls a "stunning and welcome about-face" by the Obama administration:
For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush's military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an "enormous failure" and a "legal black hole." His campaign claimed last summer that "court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists." Upon entering office, he found out they aren't.

He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate "consequences" for "a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones" on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now's he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush's counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a "quagmire" and ordered more troops to that country. He isn't calling it a "surge" but that's what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.
Mr. Rove, who was President George W. Bush's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, showed the difference in being President of the United States and being a candidate by remarking:
These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning. [emphasis added]
Good article, good points made by Karl Rove ... read it all here.

Bob McDonnel coming to Weyer's Cave Airport Monday

Bob McDonnell, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, will be at Weyers Cave Airport as part of a statewide fly-around on Monday, June 1, at 12:00 Noon. He will have guests with him including House Speaker Bill Howell.

Questions may be directed to Craig Orndorff, Harrisonburg Field Director, at (804) 814-0926 or (540) 335-9428.

Directions from the north (Woodstock down):
Take I-81 South to Exit 235. Take Exit 235 (Weyers Cave). At the top of the off-ramp, turn left across Interstate, onto Route 256. Follow the signs to the traffic light at Weyers Cave. Cross Keezletown Road and continue on Route 256 to signs indicating a right turn onto Airport Road, into the SVRA parking area and terminals.
From the south (Waynesboro up):
Take I-64 to I-81 South to Exit 235. Take Exit 235 East toward Weyers Cave. At the end of the off-ramp, turn right onto Route 256. Follow the signs to the traffic light at Weyers Cave. Cross Keezletown Road and continue on Route 256 to signs indicating a right turn onto Airport Road, into the SVRA parking area and terminals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

THE GOVERNMENT does not reward responsible spending

As if THE GOVERNMENT has not caused enough damage already ... now THE GOVERNMENT is legislating what credit card companies can and cannot do ... and they are punishing responsible spenders who pay on time. Leslie Carbone has the latest.

THE GOVERNMENT is telling us that personal responsibility is not necessary because THE GOVERNMENT will be there to take care of us.

Don't quit your day job....

RIP Newt Heisley ... designer of POW/MIA flag

The black-and-white flag is familiar to most ... a stark reminder of Vietnam and those who were left behind. Most know the flag ... but few know the man who designed it.

His name was Newt Heisley, he was a World War II veteran, and he died last week at the age of 88.

As reported by Fox News:
Heisley's image sketched in pencil in 1971 during the Vietnam War shows the silhouette of a gaunt man, a strand of barbed wire and a watchtower in the background with the words POW/MIA "You are not forgotten."
The flag is flown on federal buildings including the White House and Capitol on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and other national holidays.

Because of Mr. Heisley's pencil sketch from 1971, he will not be forgotten.

H/T Shak

DJ: "Tax increase rejected by voters in San Francisco"

Even Californians don't want tax increases. Is THE GOVERNMENT listening?

Real estate assessment lawsuit to be heard Oct. 1

Augusta County property owners will have their day in court.

Judge Victor Ludwig of the Augusta Circuit Court handed down a date of Thursday, October 1, 2009, at 2 pm, to decide whether to hear the lawsuit brought by Churchville attorney Francis Chester against Augusta County. Augusta County has made a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

The lawsuit asked that the 2009 real estate assessments be rolled back to 2005 values and included questions about assessments performed by Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal Company, contracted by the county.

In January, Francis Chester responded to citizens upset about huge real estate assessments at a time when the economy turned downward, hundreds of jobs had been lost in the Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta County area, and real estate prices crashed.

A townhall meeting was held in February with a packed crowd of 600 attending, the beginning of Augusta Citizens Against Unfair Assessments. Petitions were circulated and 10,500 signatures were collected.

In March, 1,000 citizens turned out for a Board of Supervisors meeting to express their concern over assessments.

There is a townhall meeting on June 2, 2009, at 7:00 pm, at Memorial Baptist Church in Staunton. Francis Chester will be there to update residents about the lawsuit and other information.

Together, Augusta ... we can make a difference!

Staunton's Betsy Bell & Mary Gray mountains ... take a hike!

Staunton is unique in that it is dominated by two small side-by-side mountains within the city limits that have not been developed. Named Betsy Bell and Mary Gray after two Irish women from the 1600s, Betsy Bell offers a natural area that overlooks the immediate area (Wal-Mart, Lowe's, restaurants and businesses) and beyond to the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east.

Even if they are small (elevation 1,195 ft), the road up the mountain is steep and can be difficult.

Take a hike during your lunch hour or check it out if you're in the area. Map.

Bob at The Journey has more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Michael Steele: "End to era of Republican apologizing"

I caught RNC Chairman Michael Steele's remarks today on Fox News as he addressed GOP leaders from across the nation. He was positive and upbeat, emphasizing that the time is now for this Party to move forward.

About Obama he said:
This popular politician who is our president is engaged in the most massive expansion of the old industrial age model of government that our country has ever seen. This popular politician is spending America into debt of such mammoth proportions that none of us can even begin to calculate it or really understand it. The numbers are so big that they seem impossible.

If we have the courage of our convictions, and we do, then we will and we must stand against these disastrous policies ... This is the future of our country that is at stake.

The guy who campaigned in favor of bottom-up style of governing is presiding over the most massive top down expansion of government bureaucracy and spending our country has ever seen or even contemplated.

Candidate Obama was very moderate in his views, but President Obama could not possibly be further to the far left.
The content of his entire remarks is here.

When the auto industry is down ... kick them again

I am shaking my head this morning reading about the new auto emission requirements imposed by THE GOVERNMENT on struggling auto industries that have been taken over by THE GOVERNMENT.

At a time when Americans are financially struggling in the wake of lost jobs and higher taxes, THE GOVERNMENT has decided to burden companies that are already down by kicking them again.

As with most environmental "improvements," the increased cost will be passed on to consumers:
But cars will be more expensive because of the new regulations by up to 600 dollars per vehicle, above the 700 dollar price hike expected with the latest Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules already passed by Congress.
That's $1,300 added to the cost of vehicles that will be passed on to consumers because of requirements by THE GOVERNMENT.

Check out Dan Spencer's post at RedState ... Automakers succumb - embrace tougher emissions and mileage standards ... where he expands on this subject.

Mike puts a slightly different spin on it.

Staunton on NY Post's list of weekend destinations

Want a weekend destination that has historic sites, great restaurants, ample and varied lodging, recreation, and entertainment? The New York Post ranked the top 100 sites in America for New Yorkers to visit ... and Staunton came in at #42.

The secret of Staunton's charm is becoming well known to those in the travel industry, according to the Staunton News Leader:
Calling Staunton, "One of Virginia's many handsome small cities," the Post cited the dining scene, local shops and cultural attractions, including the American Shakespeare Center and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, as why Staunton deserved to be among the top destinations for New Yorkers to visit this summer within a six-hour drive or one-hour airplane ride. Alexandria, which came in at No. 65 on the Post's list, was the only other Virginia destination the paper included in its rankings.
That's good news for historic downtown Staunton.

"It's a good time to be George W. Bush"

From Commentary Magazine:
Let's face it, this is shaping up as George W. Bush's best month in years. The last time the 43rd president enjoyed this kind of vindication was when a bedraggled Saddam Hussein was pulled from a hole in the ground by American soldiers in 2003. All of Barack Obama's efforts to cast the Bush administration as an immoral stain on American history have not merely collapsed, but collapsed on the heads of Bush's most public and vocal critics.

Here's a non-stammering Nancy Pelosi talking about Bush last July: "God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States -- a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject."

Don't mind if I do. How about national security? It turns out that support for a criminal investigation of Bush policies yielded an important finding after all: Pelosi's own long-standing agreement with the Bush administration's toughest measures. On that point she's in sync with the rest of the country.
You have to read the rest of the article. Good stuff.

H/T to Fishersville Mike

Frost warning in the Shenandoah Valley

Here it is May 19 and we have an overnight frost warning. Our usual safe date is May 15. Plants have been covered or moved indoors and, hopefully, this will be the last time this season. It's 12:30 am and the temperature is down to upper 30s. Hope it doesn't get too much colder....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Did NYT kill ACORN story to protect Obama campaign?

As more investigate ACORN, the story unravels as those inside the organization come forward asking questions, as ACORN fires and pushes out whistle-blowers, and as others including conservative Fox News talk show hosts Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck ask questions.

There are claims that, just as the ACORN story was coming to the surface before the November 2008 election, it was suppressed to protect the election chances of Barack Obama.

Powerline reports today on the New York Times' denial in killing the story to protect Obama ... and how the denial appears to help prove the point that they possibly did have a hand in being sure a "game-changer" situation did not occur:
In today's New York Times, Public Editor Clark Hoyt reveals the result of his investigation into the charge that the paper killed a story during the 2008 Presidential campaign in order to help Barack Obama. Hoyt concludes that the claim is "nonsense."
But the facts as related by Hoyt don't rebut the charge; they support it.
There are many questions about ACORN and it is a story waiting for an investigative reporter to pursue. Glenn Beck has been talking with ACORN insiders who have asked questions of their own and been thrown out ... people who were brave to come forward after beating their heads against a wall trying to find answers.

The many layers of ACORN ... stay tuned.

"Free Range Trout" ... Houston music scene

Bill Aspinwall offers us an album that crosses a number of Texas musical styles including folk, pop and blues. He has brought together a talented set of friends to produce an album that highlights their versatility and creativity including Gibson, the dog and Satchmo, the cat (highlighted in “Mister Crippen’s Banjo”). This is the first of two albums that we will be reviewing that were recorded by Lloyd Daniel at his Songbrush Sound studios near Houston.

Aspinwall was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, but has been a traveler most of his life, having lived in Ohio, Illinois, California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Now residing in Austin and Houston, his music is a corollary to the historical development of Texas music. He combines the experiences of many places and different musical styles to express a musical statement that is truly his own.
So begins the Texas Music Journal of Bill Aspinwall's new solo endeavor, "Free Range Trout."

Bill is my brother-in-law so forgive me if I'm a little biased in my opinion ... but the Houston music scene agreed when they gave him the 2005 Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year awards.

I wrote my own review of his new CD a few weeks ago ... Aspinwall & Friends ... Houston acoustic music at its best. If you like the laid-back musical style of James Taylor and the story-telling style of Jimmy Buffet, you will like "Free Range Trout" in which Mr. Aspinwall calls on family and friends to join him on a pleasant musical ride.

Read the Texas Music Journal review ... read my review ... and then listen. I think you'll be pleased.

Vice President Blabber-Mouth

A shining example of the Obama Administration ... yet another gaffe.

Update: Check out the photo of Joe Biden at Yankee Philip.

H/T to Glenn Beck

Health care ... a right or a privilege?

Krystle at Crystal Clear Conservative asks a pertinent question: "Is health care a right or a privilege?" As we edge closer to universal health care, her reasoning is rational and, more importantly, is common sense.

David at Augusta Conservative is in the health care field and has a post about the pros and cons of universal health care. He says, "Like any other service driven industry there is a balance between cost, availability, and quality."

The debate about government-provided health care should continue.