Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Republican Advance is this weekend in Williamsburg

The Grand Illumination ... Busch Garden's Christmas Town ... and the Republican Advance will make it a busy weekend in Williamsburg this weekend. We have much to celebrate even as we roll up our sleeves preparing to get to work for the future.

Friday night's reception honoring the Virginia GOP Congressional delegation will feature Governor George Allen. Saturday's breakfast will feature Virginia's former First Lady Susan Allen along with Mike Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. Saturday's luncheon features Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Atty. General-elect Ken Cuccinelli with a keynote address by Governor-elect Bob McDonnell. Saturday night's banquet will feature a keynote address by Congressman Eric Cantor.

Hospitality suites will be held Friday and Saurday nights, and I received a hospitality suite invitation today from state Sen. Mark Obenshain.

The RPV New Media Committee has five workshops planned on Saturday and will have bloggers covering the event throughout the weekend.

I will be blogging the event as well as moderating a new media workshop. It should be a fun-filled weekend, and I'm looking forward to catching up with fellow bloggers from around the state.

Palin's "Going Rogue" is #1 NYT best seller

Heh. For all those naysayers ... read it and weep.

Staunton 2009 Christmas parade is a GO

There has been rain on and off all day in the SWAC area but as of 3:30 the Staunton Christmas parade was a go as folks scramble to decorate floats and be in the lineup for tonight's 7:00 start time.

According to the Staunton News Leader:
Even after rain continued throughout the afternoon, as of 3:30 p.m., the Staunton Downtown Development Association said the Christmas parade will go on as planned.

According to a hour-by-hour forcast from, there is only a 10 percent chance of rain from 6 to 9 p.m.

The theme for the 2009 Downtown Staunton Christmas Parade, which will be at 7 p.m. today, is Christmas classics.
The parade lineup is on North Augusta Street behind Hardee's and Domino's Pizza. It will turn left onto Frederick Street for a block, turn right in front of Mary Baldwin College onto New Street for a block, and then take a right onto Beverley Street where it will continue through downtown and out the west end of town. Shops are decorated and miniature Christmas lights always make a festive atmosphere.

Dress warmly. The temperature has been dropping all day, from a high of 54 this morning to 40 degrees as I type this with a brisk wind blowing. Bundle up, enjoy the warmth of the crowd, and hit one of the downtown restaurants afterwards for hot chocolate to warm up.

It's the Christmas parade in Staunton....

A look back at a Virginia family Thanksgiving 2009

My sisters and I were together for Thanksgiving 2009 with our families and our parents. We all pitched in on Thanksgiving dinner ... homemade cranberry sauce, homemade baked macaroni and cheese, homemade stuffing, homemade gravy, homemade mashed potatoes ... we all enjoy cooking.

The youngest cousins were there ...

... as well as the teenage ones including Texas Niece.

The driveway filled as family arrived.

We played games ...

... and more games ...

... and even more games.

A Wednesday morning run to Ukrop's for last-minute items led to a relaxed stop for coffee and bagels at Cafe Caturra.

While we cleaned up in the kitchen ...

... we enticed brother-in-law Bill Aspinwall to join us with his guitar as we sang along to his Houston-style music. The Free Range Trout was in the house.

Bill and SWAC Son had dueling guitars in the family room ... Christmas carols, Coldplay, James Taylor....

The guys had a beer tasting after dinner, trying a variety of locally-brewed beers as they sat around the dining room table.

SWAC Niece opened birthday gifts and we celebrated her special day with the traditional Ukrop's chocolate-covered turkey cake.

There was a Christmas carol sing-along at the piano ...

... and then we helped decorate Mom's Christmas tree and set out this adorable snowman to greet visitors.

My grandmother's candle-lit wreath hangs on the mirror with the poinsettia welcoming visitors to the front hallway.

All too soon the week was over and the Aspinwall family's luggage including Bill's guitar was packed into the car to head to the airport. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving and, though we packed as much as we could into the week, there was still more we wanted to do. It will have to wait until next time. Family ... it was a special time.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
Thanksgiving 2009

Autumn in Virginia

The American flag in my parents' yard on Thanksgiving Day.
Chesterfield County autumn woods Thanksgiving weekend.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
Thanksgiving 2009

Rainy day in Shenandoah Valley

A front worked it way into the area Sunday afternoon and could be seen along the Alleghany Mountain range. Rain is in the forecast for Monday, rain that stretches up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Tonight is the Staunton Christmas parade so we will have to wait to see if it's a go.

RedState's Erickson subject of DNC oppo research

Way to go, Erick!

Erick Erickson of has the Democratic National Committee after him which means he's been pretty darn effective. Noting that the DNC sent oppositional research about him to a young journalist who was a Berkley graduate, he wrote:
I was a bit annoyed that the reporter working the DNC hit job on me didn’t bother calling me first, but then I read the dude’s bio and just felt sorry for him — the guy’s got the career trajectory of an anvil tossed out of a hot air balloon.

In any event, the Democratic National Committee sent out oppo research on me (!!!) to join Jim DeMint and me at the hip in South Carolina. This is, by the way, the same DNC that accused Eric Cantor of stoking nazism.
What is really flattering about all of this though is that I am a thirty-four year old guy in Macon, Georgia with a laptop and the Democratic National Committee is so terrified of me it has to release oppo research on me to a sympathetic Berkeley grad. That’s not just flattering, that’s awesome.
Be sure to read the comments ... many interesting observations.

Conservative new media have arrived.

Mike laughs at Al Gore and the faux climate crisis

A "ClimateGate Carol" from Fishersville Mike is his latest parody. Funny stuff to the tune of "Winter Wonderland"....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Video: "A Different Kind of High School"

Follow a day in the life of a Richmond area home school high schooler, Josiah Robertson, who directed this 3-minute video for Project New School. Watch it and consider voting for him to win. He has 139 votes so far ... let's push him over the top! Good job, Josiah!

H/T Chesterfield Mike

Sending cookies to the troops

Sending cookies to the troops? This website has absolutely the best cookies to ship to Iraq and Afghanistan (and anywhere else) ... along with packing suggestions and everything you need to know about sending homemade goodies to our soldiers and Marines.

H/T to Tea Party Sue

Home schoolers thrive at bees

Op-Ed in Washington Times
by J. Michael Smith
HSLDA President

It is well-known that homeschoolers excel in competitions like the Scripps National Spelling Bee and the National Geographic Bee. Homeschoolers regularly comprise 15 percent of the entrants to these competitions despite being about 3 percent of the school-age population. In the past 10 years, four homeschoolers have won the spelling bee, and in the past 11 years, five homeschoolers have won the geography bee.

Earlier this month, the finals of another competition—the National Bible Bee—were held. Patterned after the spelling and geography bees, the Bible bee encourages students to learn more about the Bible.

Mark Rasche, executive director of the event, had this to say about this year's contest:

“We were overjoyed with the way the 2009 National Bible Bee turned out as God blessed this inaugural event far beyond anyone’s expectations. There were countless blessings and testimonies, but the most encouraging phenomenon was the way God used the National Bible Bee to unite entire families around the Word of God throughout this entire year as children and youth invested hundreds of thousands of hours memorizing Bible passages in homes across the nation.”
The 300 national qualifiers who competed in the District were chosen from among the 17,000 entrants. Eighty-nine percent of the qualifiers were homeschoolers, and all nine of the finalists were homeschooled.

It's not surprising that homeschoolers dominated the Bible bee. One of the two top reasons for homeschooling is the ability to teach from a religious perspective, and about two-thirds of homeschoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians. This, however, doesn’t explain why so many homeschoolers succeeded in the Bible bee.

In a homeschool, parents tailor the education to suit the individual needs of the child. Consequently, the child isn’t forced into a one-size-fits-all approach. The home environment also has far fewer distractions, which enables children to freely ask questions and absorb the answers.

Another top reason for homeschooling is the negative peer environment of public school. If the environment is not conducive for children to learn, their education will suffer.

While competitions do not prove the efficacy of home education, these events do provide a window into what a homeschooler can achieve.

Sometimes the objection is raised that homeschoolers have an unfair advantage in national competitions because they are not constrained by the public school schedule. These competitions, however, mandate that the child must also pursue a range of subjects and not exclusively focus on the competition.

The Bible bee is no different. The manual covering the competition material was released on May 1, and the early rounds were held during the summer. Participants, therefore, were largely preparing and competing during a time when public schools were not in session.

We look forward to more homeschoolers excelling in national competitions and continuing to show what can be achieved. Continued success in national competitions is just one way homeschoolers are proving the academic potential of homeschooling.

The Home School Legal Defense Association welcomes the Bible bee as an excellent program that allows the next generation to learn about a book that, whether one agrees with the message or not, has been tremendously influential on Western Civilization and still has a profound effect on our world today. We hope homeschoolers continue to participate and that the Bible Bee will play a key role in establishing the firm foundation that will be absolutely necessary for confronting the inevitable challenges and opportunities that will be faced by the next generation.

Michael Smith is the president of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

ObamaCare could cost billions and billions and billions of $$$

This is getting more depressing every day. Our country is sinking further into depth under an inexperienced Democrat president and an agenda-driven liberal Democrat Congress enabled by cowering Blue Dog Democrats and "Make me a deal ... I'm for sale" Mary Landrieu-types ... so the news that ObamaCare could cost $6 trillion (and probably more) is even more shocking ... but not necessarily a surprise.

For those who are penny pinchers like my family, to see our tax money carelessly thrown around is difficult to watch especially for the older generation who lived through the Great Depression. They are truly alarmed at what is occurring under Barack Obama's watch.

CyberMonday shopping deals

Fox & Friends was talking about CyberMonday, November 30, when 90% of businesses will have online deals looking to lure in their share of the 68 million online shopers. Here are some places to find the best deals:

- - helps find honest deals online
- - coupons and codes to save
- - uses price comparison to find deals
- - uses alert system for consumers

Happy shopping!

MSM ignoring Climate-Gate?

This is a huge controversy ... a huge lie that has been ongoing for years ... the "global warming" hoax that is being disproved ... but the mainstream media are ignoring it. The hypocrisy continues as they wrap their arms tighter around a liberal agenda....

Meanwhile, DJ has been all over this story, exposing the fabrication at Virginia Virtucon with additional posts here, here, and here.

Also covering this is TidewaterLiberty who writes:
Not that you would know it from the mainstream press, but the largest economic fraud in history, greatly dwarfing the housing bubble, has just been revealed. The press on this side of the Atlantic is carefully avoiding it, but in Britain, where there is still a free press, Climategate is big news. Thousands of Emails between prominent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change partisans were hacked from a university computer and posted online. They reveal a pervasive system of fraud, cover-ups, obstruction and conspiracy to conceal, and even destroy, contrary data, which has been held in secret for a decade.
Meanwhile, the question continues as to why Al Gore won't talk about this issue with Lord Monckton who is a climate global specialist.

This explosive issue is just beginning....

H/T to Greg the Fifer

Eric Holder is dangerous

"I'm not an attorney."

So begins Eric Hill in Townhall as he writes:
For better or worse I didn’t go to law school, but rather, I instead went to graduate school to study philosophy.

But you don’t need to be an attorney – or a philosopher – or the Attorney General or the President of the United States or a Representative or a Senator you don’t even need to be a community organizer to understand what I understand.

In fact, if you are one of “those” that I just listed, there’s a good chance that your station in life will blind you from seeing and understanding the reality that is intuitively obvious to “the rest of us.” And the reality is that as President Obama and Attorney General Holder seek to award five Sept. 11 conspirators, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, with the full rights of American citizens in a civilian trial, the United States is being undermined.
Common sense article.

It's called "t-e-r-r-o-r-i-s-m"

Terrorism. War on terror. Terrorists.

The Democrats and Barack Obama have eliminated the word "terrorism" from their politically correct vocabulary ... but that does not eliminate the danger to Americans. Just ask the Russians who had terrorists attack a train on Saturday that left dozens dead and dozens more injured.

(When will our Democrat president find it politically correct to protect We the People?)

Robin Beres writes in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch:
No Americans old enough to remember will soon forget where they were and what they were doing when four airplanes were used on a late summer day in 2001 to murder nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens. Americans demanded swift retribution be visited upon those who had planned the massacre. The determination to end the ongoing terror attacks that had been perpetrated against the U.S. since the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon was sincere and strong.

Sept. 11, 2001, happened more than eight years ago. Most of us recall the terror and the pain of that day. But it is fast fading into the recesses of memory. Already, more than 20 percent of Americans were either not yet born or were too young to remember those events. Life has moved on.

But the forces behind the horrific attacks are still here. They are not finished with their work. And the threat of another event -- perhaps something far worse -- is just as real as it was on Sept. 12, 2001. In fact, the danger of a second attack continues to grow, and America has much to do to stop the countdown toward what could be our Armageddon.
Our enemies are still plotting against us....

RT-D looks at McDonnell's disciplined campaign

The analyzing of Virginia's 2009 gubernatorial campaign continues as today's Richmond Times-Dispatch take a look back at what they consider a "competent versus incompetent" campaign between Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds:
The McDonnell effort never faltered. The candidate and his team stayed on message. If someone were to ask aides who would win the Notre Dame game, the snap answer would say, "Bob's for jobs." "Honey, what's for breakfast?" "Bob's for jobs." And so on. McDonnell arrived early at breakfasts, lunches, and dinners -- and lingered. He did not rehash old stories about setting out for college with $80 in his pocket but would address issues of immediate concern to his audience. He explained the state implications of Obama's far-out agenda. His staff promptly returned calls and e-mails.
What many found interesting was the Washington Post's endorsement of Mr. Deeds prior to the Democrat Primary in June ... did it help him? Or was he just the lesser of three evils, so to speak, in the Democrat field? Because many credited the Post with his win, the Post's endorsement of Mr. Deeds for the general election caused some to wonder if he could be pushed over the finish line again ... but it was not to be.

So was the Democrat loss in Virginia also a loss to the Washington Post ... perhaps poetic justice for their 2006 "macaca" massacre of George Allen?

Powhatan wins high school Group AA, Division 4 football

Powhatan High School has won the Group AA, Division 4, Region I football championship....

Former speaker of VA House John Warren Cooke dies

Virginia has lost a long-time Byrd Machine Democrat House leader:
John Warren Cooke, a former speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and the last son of a Confederate veteran to sit in the General Assembly, died Saturday at Palace Green, his home on Put In Creek in Mathews.

The 94-year-old Mathews native, born when his father was 76, was the son of the Rev. Giles Buckner Cooke, an Episcopal priest who had served on the personal staff of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee during the Civil War, and Katharine Grosh Cooke.
Mr. Cooke served as House majority leader and speaker of the House during his years in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly:
In a House dominated by Democrats, Mr. Cooke, a pillar of the Byrd organization, did the unheard-of: He named a Republican, Del. Arthur R. "Pete" Giesen Jr. of Waynesboro, to the powerful team of House budget negotiators, which he termed "a matter of fairness."
Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

Green Valley Book Fair open through Dec. 13

Those of us in the Shenandoah Valley take for granted the Green Valley Book Fair is at our back doors ... so it took me by surprise to see that Bill Lohmann had written about it for the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Point your car away from Interstate 81 and drive into the fertile farmland of the Shenandoah Valley, past cows standing in fields and silos rising like monuments to rural America.

Turn off a country road onto the driveway of a family farm, park behind an old barn and you will come upon a most unlikely sight:

The world's biggest bookstore. Sort of.

Green Valley Book Fair, south of Harrisonburg, can be found behind the walls of nondescript warehouses stacked with about a half-million books at discounted prices. If you like books, you can lose yourself in here for hours. The book fair is open to the public only a half-dozen times a year for a couple of weeks per session. The final session of the year began Friday and concludes Dec. 13.
If you are patient and don't need to have the latest book as soon as it hits the book store shelves, you may find it discounted 60-90% at Green Valley. My political library is full of book fair purchases ... all those little gems I wanted immediately but held out until they were more affordable.

Green Valley is open daily 9-7 now through December 13 in Mt. Crawford. (800) 385-0099 and is about 2 1/2 hours from Richmond.

While in the vicinity, be sure to check out the Dayton Farmers Market on Rt. 42 about 10 minutes away from the book fair, open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm through the holidays. Besides unique gift items, they offer those big, soft pretzels ... yum. Or grab something to eat at Hank's and sit at the table and people-watch. (The rest of the year they are open Thursday through Saturday.)

VA Tech 42 ... UVA 13

Saturday ... 3:30 pm ... time to head to the airport with the Texas sister and family who were heading home after Thanksgiving week in Virginia. But one member of the family had his TV tray set up in front of his chair in the den to eat a late lunch and watch his alma mater play in the big rivalry game of the year ... Virginia Tech against the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

And while it was a close game at half-time, the final score was much more definitive with Virginia Tech 42 to UVA's 13 ... which made a very happy Hokie in the house.

Christmas decorations beginning to show up in SWAC area....

Snowmen and penguins and nativity scenes and lights ... some SWAC bloggers were busy this weekend and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the central Shenandoah Valley....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The vilification of Rush Limbaugh

Kenneth Hutcherson is a former NFL linebacker, pastor at Antioch Bible Church in Washington state, and a friend of Rush Limbaugh. He defends him in an article in today's American Thinker, and concludes:
This is extremely personal to me. It's about a friend. When I look at Rush, I don't see a white man; I see a friend. I don't see a talk show host (a very famous talk show host); I see a friend, and friendship overrides color and political stances. I don't see a controversial figure, but a man whose heart and thoughts I know, and a man who is not a racist.

I believe with all my heart that minorities, especially African-Americans, will never be free until they stop allowing people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to insist they adopt the mentality of victims. Likewise, they will not be free until they take the next bold step: start thanking God for America, and stop condemning the white male.

It is time for America to reject the Minority Thought Pattern and the hateful campaign against Rush Limbaugh.
H/T to Peggy

Friday, November 27, 2009

UVA med student dies spelunking in Utah cave

[UPDATE: The body of John Jones will remain entombed in the cave, according to Utah authorities: "The popular Utah cave where a 26-year-old medical student died earlier in the week will be closed permanently and his body will not be removed, state and county officials said Friday."]

A University of Virginia medical student and his wife were home in Utah visiting family when he and his brothers went spelunking and he became lodged in a tiny portion of the cave. Rescuers were not able to pull him from the tiny space and he died 28 hours later.
John Jones, 26, of Stansbury Park, died early Thursday morning nearly 28 hours after he got stuck in Nutty Putty Cave, a popular spelunking site south of Salt Lake City. It was the first known fatality since cavers began exploring the 1,500-foot cave's narrow passageways in the 1960s, cave access manager Michael Leavitt said.
The 6-foot-tall, 190-pound Jones got stuck with his head at an angle below his feet about 9 p.m. Tuesday in an L-shaped area of the cave known as "Bob's Push." The area is only about 18 inches wide and 10 inches high.
On Wednesday, teams used drilling equipment, rope and a pulley system to try to free Jones.

At one point, they had moved him roughly 12 feet out of the tight crevice, far enough to give him some food and water. But he slipped back into the space when an anchor in the cave roof that supported the pulley system failed, Cannon said.

"We all were very optimistic and hopeful. But it became increasingly clear last night after he got re-stuck that there weren't very many options left," Jones' brother, Spencer Jones, 30, of San Francisco, told The Associated Press.

After he succumbed early Thursday, rescuers suspended efforts to recover his body as they considered the options to do so, Cannon said.

He said the cause of death would be released later by the medical examiner. A memorial service is planned for Saturday.

Snow in Highland County....

Twitter from Del. Chris Saxman in Highland County this morning....
It's snowing in Highland County. Not much accumulation....but the stores out here don't open at 4am. So...another log on the fire.
Could you send some to Augusta, Mr. Delegate?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fog lights upgraded to make Afton Mountain's I-64 safer

Afton Mountain is a danger in fog and even more so in ice and/or snow. The runway lights, in place since the 1990s, have been upgraded, according to the Waynesboro News Virginian:
VDOT has upgraded the fog light system on Afton Mountain and a 5-mile stretch of Interstate 64 to a system of LED lamps that have a longer life, require less maintenance and are 75 percent more energy efficient.

Dean Gustafson, regional operations director for VDOT’s Staunton and Culpeper districts, said Tuesday that the project took about 10 months to accomplish and cost about $1.3 million in maintenance funds.
The new LED system replaces incandescent lights in operation since the mid 1990s.

The 841-lamp fog light system serves a 5-mile stretch of the interstate roadway edge from milemarker 98 to milemarker 104.

The light system’s purpose is to help drivers see the roadway edges and avoid running off.

Happy Thanksgiving from Ross Mackenzie

My all-time favorite newspaper editor, Ross Mackenzie offers up a Thanksgiving column that brings it all home....

Boomer Generation: Top Ten reasons to be thankful

John W. Martin wrote in Thursday's Richmond Times-Dispatch his list of the Boomers' top ten reasons to be thankful:
1) Family
2) Health
3) Home
4) Pesonal Time
5) A paycheck
6) End of wretched excess
7) The sound of music
8) The freedom to be
9) The written word
10) The possibility of remaining relevant until the end.

Thanksgiving 2009 ... much to be thankful for

I'm taking a brief break from the kitchen ... sister and brother-in-law put the bird in the oven at 5:30 this morning and the house smells good. We're aiming for a 1:00 dinner time which leaves the afternoon for a walk, playing board games, working over the annual zillion-piece jigsaw puzzle, and jamming guitars as music fills the air on this Virginia Thanksgiving.

Greetings from friends have come from around the country, and we are grateful to celebrate this day together with family and friends ... Thanksgiving 2009.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good guys can finish first

ABC Good Morning America ... Donnie Osmond wins "Dancing With the Stars."

RPV Network Thanksgiving greetings

From Tom and O.P. who run the Republican Party of Virginia Network....

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we celebrate and give thanks with family and friends, we remember and honor those who came before to make our celebrations possible and those who could not make the journey this year.

It is a time to thank the Lord for all of our blessings, family, friends and Country. A time to reflect on our Pilgrim forefathers who made the long and arduous journey across the sea, bringing their values, principles and faith as they founded this new Country and the Founding Fathers who later gave us our great Republic and our Freedom.

Give thanks to God for being so lucky, but don’t forget to remain ever grateful for those blessings and remember that with Freedom comes the responsibility to protect it.

Rejoice, reflect and recommit to honor, protect and preserve our values, principles, faith and freedom for as another great American once said:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free”.
Ronald Reagan, 40th president of US (1911 - 2004)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Tom and O.P.

Chesterfield County School Board okays Bible classes

From Victoria Cobb and the Family Foundation....

Last week, the Chesterfield County School Board voted in a unanimous way to allow their high schools, as one supporter said, “ teach the Bible as an elective from an academic perspective.”

Any real student of history is aware of the accurate accounting of events that the Bible provides, as well as the multicultural point of view it makes available to it’s reader. Therefore, it deserves its rightful place in educating young minds, and influencing tomorrow’s great thinkers. It is all too easy to assume that because its relevance is obvious that its educational use is appreciated. Yet we have seen time again that this is not the case.

We are pleased that the Chesterfield County School Board has made such a wise decision. Students that choose this course will benefit from not just a more complete education, but exposure to the living Word of God!

We believe it is our responsibility as citizen advocates to publicly and privately thank each of them, and to also encourage Chesterfield High School Principles to make good use of this educational tool. Please let the Chesterfield County School Board know that you are pleased with and appreciate their decision by clicking the link at the bottom of this email and sending them a note of thanks.

Also if you live in the Chesterfield County School district, please also take the time at to click on "Schools" and then "High." Here you will find the various high schools in your district and the proper way to contact their corresponding principals. Please, take a moment to write them a kind letter requesting that this already determined curriculum be implemented as an educational elective opportunity for their students.

Too often such victories are too few in our public school systems. Please go out of your way to appropriately thank the Chesterfield School Board for this great opportunity, and let’s please not see this opportunity be taken for granted. Your encouragement will go a long way in seeing future victories come to pass.

Thanksgiving 2009 ... remembering and giving thanks for our military

Thanksgiving 2009 ... remembering and giving thanks for our military men and women around the world, stateside, and especially those in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. May God keep them safe ... just as they keep us safe here at home. That's all I ask for anymore.

Thanksgiving "Fun with taters" from Hoops & Yoyo

Fun Thanksgiving time from Hoops & Yoyo....

WKRP "Turkeys Away" ... was it really 31 years ago?

WKRP ... Thanksgiving 1978 ... "As God is my witness ... I thought turkeys could fly." -- Mr. Carlson

"Not since the Hindenburg has there been a tragedy like this! The turkeys are hitting the pavement like bags of wet cement!" -- Les Nessman

H/T to Fishersville Mike

Turkeys of the Year

Tea party bashers ... the stimulus bill ... Green Job Czar Van Jones ... these are among the "Turkeys of the Year" from Michelle Malkin in honor of Thanksgiving 2009.

"Are We Really Thankful?" by Chris Klicka

Long-time home school advocate Chris Klicka passed away on October 12, 2009, after a lengthy battle with Multiple Sclerosis. This is a reprint of his column "Are We Really Thankful?" passed along in this week's newsletter from Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV). He reminds us that the trials we face in life are preparing us for the future.

Once again we are enjoying our annual celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. We spend time with family and friends, take time off work, decorate the house, and eat a great feast. As a family we traditionally write notes and slip them in a homemade mailbox and then hand them out to be read out aloud at the Thanksgiving dinner table. It is a beautiful warm time of meditating on God’s bountiful blessings.

But we all need to analyze our hearts that we do not only limit our thanks to the GOOD THINGS or only give thanks at certain times. Instead we need to get in the habit of giving thanks all the time and faithfully thank God for the “NOT SO GOOD THINGS.” God makes it very clear in I Thess. 5:18, “In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you through Christ Jesus.” Does this really mean we should thank God for everything? Even thank God for my gradually deteriorating multiple sclerosis---losing my legs little by little and even my right hand ?

Yes, I must because this is God’s will for me at this time. Although my flesh is hurting so much, I cannot deny how I have seen God work through the MS to change many people’s lives. He has simultaneously been doing a continual and awesome work in my heart to conform me to the image of his Son. Nor has my MS been in vain for my children, as they learn that the Christian life isn’t always a smooth road but Jesus will still sustain them--and they are learning to be true servants in the process. God is blessing me with “power" that "is perfected in weakness.” II Cor. 12:9. In fact, Paul says that he would rather “boast about his weakness that Christ may be seen in him.” II Cor. 12:10. I have seen God's promises come true in my life as I daily find that “His grace is sufficient for me.” He is and will enable me to fulfill His calling to me (to be a father to my 7 children, husband, homeschool lawyer author and speaker) through His Holy Spirit's power.

I am thankful for MS!

Remember when the disciples joyfully celebrated being persecuted like their Master Jesus had been persecuted? They were thankful to be counted worthy?

Yes, we are to give thanks for everything, even the “not so good things.”

I heard Pastor Tony Evans on the radio one day, and he explained that there are three types of thanksgiving and praise; the "cum laude" praise, the "magna cum laude," and the "summa cum laude." He said the "cum laude" praise and thanksgiving is when we thank God for our clothes, our marriage, our children, our job------- for the good things in life. Certainly it is important that we live thankful lives. I know that if we have a thankful heart every day we’re going to have a better attitude no matter the circumstances and be an overcomer of obstacles in our way. Jesus will shine brighter through us too.

Then Tony Evans said the "magna cum laude" thanksgiving and praise is when we’re delivered from some bad situation, much like when the ten lepers were healed by Jesus. The one leper came back and was blessed because he thanked God for delivering him from leprosy. How often do we expect the healing when we take the medicine or expect our next paycheck to take care of the problem and don’t lean on Jesus and thank Him for his deliverance?

Finally, Tony Evans said there is the "summa cum laude" praise and thanksgiving. He believes that type of thanksgiving and praise is the most blest of all. God loves to hear us give Him praise and thanksgiving even in the midst of the suffering. When Paul and Silas were in prison, chained up, tortured and beaten, and facing a death sentence, the Bible says that they gave praises to God in the "midnight hour". It must have been some testimony to the other prisoners and the guards in the prison, to hear them praising and thanking God. Did they feel like doing it? Not on your life. Yet they did it, because God deserved the thanks and praise.

The Bible says that we are to glory in our tribulation and count it all joy when we experience diverse suffering.Rom. 5:3-5 and James 1:2-4. Are we being thankful in our "midnight hour?"

This Thanksgiving, let us be truly and wholly thankful, because we are saved by the blood of Jesus, the Son, and are going to heaven, and nothing can change that. Scripture says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Rom. 8:38-39. Let us be thankful this holiday season because “all things work together for good to those that love god and Are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. A polio victim who crawled around on her hands in Ghana always had a smile on her face. When Joni Erickson asked her how she could be so happy when she had nothing, and her health was so bad and she didn’t even have a wheelchair. The lady who had a close relationship with her Father God had a puzzled look on her face why Joni would ask her such a question . Then she responded, “Well* I have Jesus!”

I do not have the faith yet of that poor girl in Ghana------but God will complete His good work He has begun in me!

If homeschooling is rough this year, the finances are tight, your health is shaky, or your friends are forsaking you, we still need to be thankful. God is using each and every circumstance to bring us closer to Him, and make us more like Jesus. That is what we want and we have much to be thankful for. Most of all we can be thankful that we have a God who gives Himself to us--His comfort, never-ending love, sustaining strength, wisdom, guidance, and overcoming power! He is there with us and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Newsweak ... newest magazine from The Journey

First we had THYME Magazine ... now we have Newsweak Magazine from Bob at The Journey ... and he's tweaking some liberal noses that have been knocked out of joint by Gov. Sarah Palin, the wildly popular conservative leader currently on a nationwide book tour touting her best selling novel, "Going Rogue: An American Life."

Citizen journalism at its best....

Donnie Osmond wins Dancing With the Stars!

Growing up Osmond ... this is the way it's done. First Marie two years ago ... now Donnie as a competitor on Dancing With the Stars ... and Donnie won the finale last night. Love those Osmonds!

Del. Saxman receives recognition

Retiring Delegate Chris Saxman (R-20th House) has been recognized by the Mental Health America of Augusta organization for his help in saving a local agency during the financial crunch of last year's state budget crisis:
The Mental Health America of Augusta presented awards to area agencies and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to those with mental illness or addictions during the association's 55th annual meeting and silent auction at the Holiday Inn Golf and Conference Center.
A.R. "Pete" Giesen Legislator of the Year Award: Del. Christopher B. Saxman, R-Staunton, for his work to preserve Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents in the governor's budget and upon his retirement from the General Assembly.
Del. Saxman, retiring after eight years in the General Assembly, worked tirelessly for the 20th House District which includes Staunton, Highland, and parts of Augusta and Rockingham.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Inaugural website for Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell

The inaugural website for Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell's January 16, 2010, inauguration as Governor of Virginia....

Sarah Palin video arriving in NC to visit Billy Graham

Thanks to Conservatives 4 Palin ... we have video of Sarah Palin arriving at the Asheville, NC, airport earlier this week to visit with Billy Graham at his mountain home. She is met by Rev. Graham's son, Franklin, and others who show up to welcome her to the Tarheel State. Meanwhile, Gov. Palin has sold almost a million books in the past seven days on her book tour.

THYME Magazine ... Nanny State Government

The newest issue of THYME Magazine from Bob over at The Journey. Conservative citizen journalism at its best.

Cantor-sponsored job fair in Culpeper turns out 700

Congressional Whip Eric Cantor (R-7th CD) sponsored a job fair Monday in Culpeper ... and more than 700 unemployed Virginians turned out to take advantage of the opportunity to talk with 50 employers looking for new employees. WVIR NBC-29 was there to cover the event and has details as well as video.

This is the Congressman's second job fair. The first, held earlier this year in Chesterfield, also attracted thousands.

Life's journey ... savor the gusto!

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body; but rather a journey into God's arms, skidding in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'WOW! What a ride!!' "
-- From home school friend Leah

Hope Michael is enjoying his time off from blogging

Does anyone else miss Mike and his writings at The Write Side of My Brain? I know, I know ... he's busy with a number of things during the holiday season ... but that doesn't change the fact that his absence is noted in the Virginia blogosphere. I especially miss his bantering quick wit. Have a blessed Thanksgiving Mike ... wherever you are....

Deen Brothers "making it easy" to cook

It's Thanksgiving and all those who love to cook are planning and shopping and preparing for the big meal with family and friends.

It was fun to see Paula Deen's sons, Jamie and Bobby, on Fox and Friends this morning as they offered up recipes that are not as cumbersome ... something easier to whip up and serve. "The Deen Bros. Take It Easy: Quick and Affordable Meals the Whole Family Will Love" ... the sons learned well from their mom.

ACORN parody has me tapping my feet

OK, I've got to admit I checked out Smitty's parody -- by way of Mike -- because it was a Barry Manilow tune. Sure enough, my foot started tapping as I worked my way through the lyrics of ACORN shenanigans to the tune of Copacabana.

Now I'm ready to rumba back into the kitchen to work on that Thanksgiving meal ... "At the Copa, Copacabana...." Enjoy your Tuesday!

Climate-gate ... global warming is a hoax and now there's proof

For years many prominent scientists raised the alarm that global warming was a hoax and pointed out that Al Gore was not a scientist and was incorrect in promoting global warming. How could the climate turn on a dime from the fear of global cooling just a short 30 years ago to global warming?

Climate-gate has broken and exposed the fraud associated with this hoax. It's about time.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Virginia budget 2010 ... ouch

Twitter from Bill Bolling....
I attended a meeting of the Governor's Advisory Council On Revenue Estimates today in Richmond. The budget outlook is not good for 2010.
The budget is going to be a challenge for the Republican team as they inherit a huge deficit after eight years of Democrat gubernatorial leadership....

H/T Tim

George Allen on Fox News

Got a text message this afternoon from David over at the Augusta Conservative telling me to turn on Fox News because George Allen was on Neil Cavuto's show (although Mr. Cavuto had a fill-in host).

Ten minutes earlier would have found me still out and about on a rainy day but I was back so grabbed the remote to tune in. David said in his post that Gov. Allen was addressing the economy and added, "He wasted no time in making policy points and showing that he has been keeping his finger on the pulse of current events."

Yep. He's paying attention....

August 28, 2010 ... conservatives to meet at Lincoln Memorial in D.C.

Uh-oh. Looks like Washington, DC, is going to be inundated with more than a million conservatives once again on August 28, 2010, because when Glenn Beck invites folks to join him, they come out big-time. Over the weekend 35,000 turned out to hear The Plan at The Villages in Florida ... and in April thousands throughout the country met for We Surround Them parties hosted by Glenn Beck through his Fox News television show.

Now the call has gone out from Mr. Beck for Americans to meet at the feet of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to reveal a conservative platform to elected officials in both political parties.

Then he said something I do not agree with. He suggests that a third party be considered if those leaders do not listen.

I do not believe in a third party. I lived through 1992 and Ross Perot's splitting of the Republican Party that allowed Bill Clinton into office with less than 50% of the vote.

If we split that vote in 2012, it will allow Barack Obama a second term in the White House ... and I'm not sure America can survive a second term of Barack Obama.

I agree with much of what Mr. Beck says ... but not this.

25,000 turn out to hear Glenn Beck in FL

Why are conservative leaders turning people out by the thousands at events around the country? Sarah Palin had 10,000 turn out for one of her book signings last week ... tea parties have seen thousands upon thousands of concerned Americans speaking up about their government ... 1.2 million Americans marched on Washington on 9/12 ... and now Glenn Beck has turned out 25,000 folks -- some have said it was closer to 35,000 -- on Saturday at The Villages in Florida.

Think about it ... 35,000. That is a HUGE mass of people who are sick and tired of not being listened to ... they are sick and tired of being taxed to death ... they are sick and tired of being silent and are now speaking out. A sleeping giant has been awakened.

Glenn Beck announced The Plan on Saturday. Looks like that giant is not going back to sleep anytime soon.

Rev. Graham, Sarah, and Trig

Two of the three individuals in this photo would be at risk from under nationalized health care as proposed by Democrats and Barack Obama ... Rev. Graham for being elderly ... and Trig for having Down's Syndrome. Photo from USA Today.

I saw the photo above in the USA Today showing Gov. Sarah Palin and her son, Trig, visiting with Rev. Billy Graham at his Montreat home in North Carolina ... and I couldn't help but think about what has been revealed in the nationalized health care bill now before the U.S. Senate. If "death panels" is too harsh a term to hear, how about "lack of compassion for those outside the mainstream"?

Rev. Graham, who turned 91 years old earlier this month, keeps a low profile these days ... but his son Franklin arranged the visit. As reported in USA Today:
After a book signing in Roanoke, Va., the former Alaska governor headed to Graham's retreat in the western North Carolina mountains for some spiritual and culinary sustenance. It was an "unusual" visit for Graham, who turned 91 on Nov. 7 and has mostly been restricting his company to family, said spokesman A. Larry Ross. Ross said the visit was arranged by Graham's son and fellow-minister, Franklin. The younger Graham, who owns a home in Alaska and became friends with Palin when she invited him to speak at a prayer breakfast several years ago, joined his father for the dinner.
I would love to have been a guest at that dinner table ... Rev. Graham, Franklin Graham (I very much respect his Samaritan's Purse ministry in Boone, NC), and Gov. Palin. Just think of the conversation with such a gathering of conservative minds!

Climate Depot looks at ClimateGate

Thanks to Mark Morano at Climate Depot for the continuous updates....

Statement by Marc Morano of Climate Depot: 'The ClimateGate scandal exposes man-made global warming fears as quite simply the best science that agenda driven activists can manufacture. Claims that the UN IPCC is the 'gold standard' of scientific research have been forever tarnished.'

For latest info on the unfolding ClimateGate issue, go to

WSJ: ClimateGate tarnishes UN IPCC: Reveals 'questionable scientific practices' -- Attempts 'to present a 'unified' view; 'beef up' conclusions to present a 'big public splash'

Fox News: Climate Skeptics See 'Smoking Gun' Evidence of Collusion Among Climatologists and Manipulation of Data'

Warmist Death Star has been destroyed? 'The Death Blow to Climate Science': Climatologist says scandal reveals 'deliberate fraud'

UK Telegraph: 'For links to all the latest updates on this, I recommend Marc Morano's invaluable Climate Depot site'

Global warming alarmists act like a gang of co-conspirators rather than respectable scientists'

Associated Press: ClimateGate is 'stoking debate over whether some scientists have overstated the case for man-made climate change'

UPI: 'Climate change scientists falsified information to prove their case, skeptics of global warming say'

CBS News: 'At the center of the story is the claim that scientists were attempting to fudge temperature data to help bolster the theory that humans are to blame for global warming'

'Credibility of the UN IPCC took a serious hit when email exchanges between some of its senior authors'

Climate Fear Promoters: 'Morano and his site Climate Depot has become the climate conspiracy hub'

ClimateGate 'makes an utter mockery of the alarmists' claim that the science of global warming is settled in their favor'

Claim: Gore Now Wishes He Never Invented The Internet

ClimateGate reveals 'desperate push to pump global warming up' -- 'A political imperative pushed scientists into making ever more desperate professional choices'

'The UN IPCC gatekeepers have lost all credibility'

'The Amazing Revkin': 'Presto! Alarmist Emails Not Such a Big Deal' to NYT reporter

Update: 'CRU director admits emails seem to be genuine' -- Climatic Research Unit Hacked? 'Warmist conspiracy exposed?'

'The warmist conspiracy: The emails that most damn Phil Jones'

Update: CRU Emails - Searchable Database Set Up

Hypocritical Kennedy barred from Catholic communion

Probably the number one issue in the Catholic church is its stand on abortion and protecting the life of the unborn ... so it always amazed me how many high-profile Democrat Catholics were abortion proponents. Now the Catholic church has taken a stand on principle by refusing to allow Patrick Kennedy to partake of communion. The Hill has details.

Politico ... "Forecast for Dem primaries: Ugly"

“It’s going to be beyond ugly,” said Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin and Marshall College poll, speaking to the tone of the May primary. “I think it’s going to be at a level that’s virtually unprecedented.”
The race Madonna was speaking to about is in Pennsylvania where Republican turncoat Arlen Specter has stiff competition from a fellow Democrat.

It's turbulent political waters out there ... and Democrats are facing a "sweep them out" mentality across the nation after passing financially backbreaking legislation in the first nine months of Barack Obama's administration.

However, they are also faced with challenges from within the Party as cash-cow raises its head:
Some in the party privately worry that it might come to that in several states, including one that isn’t even on the radar at the moment. In what was widely perceived as a warning shot to Sen. Blanche Lincoln, an Arkansas Democrat facing a difficult 2010 reelection, the progressive group announced earlier this month that it has raised $3.5 million to fund a primary to any Senate Democrat who votes against the health care bill.
Asked if MoveOn’s threat was a problem for the party, [a senior Democratic] strategist responded: “[Expletive] yes.”
Republicans had better roll up their sleeves and get to work because 2010 going to be a long and rocky campaign season.

"We Must Take America Back"

This song was originally written by Steve Vaus in 1992 ... the words are hauntingly accurate 17 years later as we gather forces to fight a new round of battles against the Democrats and Barack Obama's administration jamming through programs to veer America sharply off in a socialist direction. We Must Take America Back!

Get involved ... join us.

Young National Guardsman: "Thank you for your service"

He's 20 years old ... his blood runs red, white, and blue ... and he's a proud member of the Virginia National Guard. He's my cousin's son who carries the family's trademark long eyelashes that remind me of my dad ... he is another of those everyday heroes around us who are proud members of America's military force.

He had spent the past year as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Not sure if he would be home in time for our family gathering on Sunday or for the holidays, my cousin got the call Saturday to pick him up at the airport that afternoon ... less than 24 hours before we all gathered together to celebrate God, country, family ... and another year together.

He was a young soldier amongst us ... everyone thanked him for his service and talked with him about Afghanistan ... and the proud American military member shone through as he spoke of fellow brother-soldiers and his experiences halfway around the world. Not one complaint was uttered ... though the temperature got to 120 degrees during the summer ... though the winter was brutally cold ... though he was called on to go over and beyond the normal demands of the human body. It was his duty to his God, to America, and to his family.

We owe our freedom to these unsung heroes who walk among us. Please ... remember our active military and veterans in your Thanksgiving prayers and, if you see one on the street, please thank him or her for their service.

We are grateful.

Waynesboro receives visit from mama bear and cubs

Waynesboro, Virginia, is a quiet little city whose eastern edges touch the Shenandoah National Park of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One would think a black bear or two in town would not come as a surprise ... but when residents saw a mama black bear and her two cubs meandering down Main Street on Saturday, it caused much excitement.

Several hundred people ended up watching as the bears climbed a tree for safety ... and then as rescuers moved in to tranquilize and move the bears. It was the second bear sighting in Waynesboro this year but there have been many throughout the central Shenandoah Valley area as the black bear population grows in the nearby national forests.

We haven't seen any at SWAC House yet this year but fellow SWACer Barb had a black bear swat her bird feeder to the ground one night and then sprawled on the ground dining on every single morsel. When he returned the next night he was disappointed because she did not refill the feeder.

SWAC Husband was driving north of Crimora recently when he saw numerous vehicles pulled over to the side of the road and people standing around looking up in a big tree where a mother bear and her cubs had taken refuge. He was surprised that some people were directly under the tree ... kind of in the line of fire if the mother bear decided to scamper down and charge.

Part of the beauty of living in western Virginia is the opportunity to observe nature that surrounds us and that includes bears, deer, wild turkeys, bobcats, and every other manner of wild critter native to these parts.

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

Sarah! fever hits the Roanoke Valley

"These people adore her. They love her. She's one of us. She's not this policy wonk who talks down to us and talks over us. She's a regular person." --Alyssa Cordova, 23, from Northern Virginia
Who says good old Ronald Reagan conservatism is dead? Just follow former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin around for a day and it becomes clear there are plenty of Americans who want a strong, principled, conservative leader ... and Gov. Palin fills that bill.

She was in Roanoke Sunday to promote her new book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," and thousands turned out to see her including about 500 who camped out in line overnight. They were not disappointed ... they received a surprise visit at midnight when Gov. Palin arrived in the Star City and stopped by Barnes and Noble to thank everyone for coming out.

A couple of my Republican colleagues from the 6th District weighed in on Gov. Palin's visit to their city:
"What's crazy is you walk up and down these lines, and a lot of these people aren't members of the Republican committees," Salem Republican Party Chairman Greg Habeeb said. "She brings out a different crowd. She taps into something that the Republican Party really needs to tap into."

Virginia House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, saw that enthusiasm last year, too: "This is the energy that she brought to the ticket last year. ... We weren't giving out any [John] McCain signs at my office -- because no one was asking for them -- until she was on the ticket. And then we couldn't keep them in. People were getting upset because we didn't have enough."
Is it because many identify with the down-to-earth mom who believes and sticks to principles and conservative beliefs? The Roanoke Times goes on to describe her arrival at the bookstore:
Palin arrived at the bookstore to a chorus of cheers and screams, moving quickly with family members from her tour bus to the music-and-movies section of the store for the signing. Small groups were ushered in, where they stood in a line that wound between shelves before stopping at her table.
Even Tito the Builder stopped by to see his old 2008 campaign buddy:
Tito "The Builder" Munoz, whom Palin referred to in some of her campaign speeches last year, traveled to the event from Northern Virginia and was rewarded with a personalized signature in his book."I'm in the book! I'm right here, page 305," Munoz said as he pointed to a passage in "Going Rogue."
Everyone left with signed books and Gov. Palin, herself a military mom, left Roanoke on her way to Ft. Bragg.

Be sure to check out Roanoke area blogger Jerry Fuhrman who made note of Gov. Palin's visit with a trademark quip.

Monday morning fog delays on Afton Mountain

Foggy conditions on I-64 over Afton Mountain this morning so be careful out there.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Free Range Trout is in the house....

Free Range Trout is in the house ... and it's a mellow, laid-back listening experience as old favorites and new are offered up for all to hear. Family and good music ... doesn't get much better than that....

Diamond Rio ... "God Is There"

The country band Diamond Rio appeared on Fox News Channel's "Huckabee" show Saturday night playing with the Little Rockers band. They sang "God Is There," an uplifting inspirational song that lets folks know that God is present even in the darkest hour. Truly inspiring....

God Is There

Surrounded by the darkness
It all came down too soon
Longing for redemption in this cold hospital room,
God is There.

What will she tell her family
Still her daddy’s little girl
She can’t believe she’s showing
Carrying the weight of the world
God is there.

Where you think he won't come to
That’s where he’ll be
Waiting for you
God is there.

In the middle of your night
In every single moment
In every single light
He’s reaching for you
Right where you are.

The God of the impossible is never very far
Oh, imagine a place He would never be
No height no depth
Not life nor death separate you,
Ever separate you, ever separate you.
God is there.

In the middle of your night
In every single moment
In every single light
He’s reaching for you right where you are
The God of the impossible is never very far
Oh, imagine a place where He would never be,
God is there.
God is there.

Will Obama sink the U.S.S. America?

What are Democrats doing to our country? Their latest attempt to break America's back is the federalized health care bill that moved forward in the Senate on Saturday ... perhaps a giant step toward sinking the U.S.S. America?

Yankee Phil notes:
Blanche Lincoln Like other Democratic moderates who knew a single vote could kill the bill, she took a streetcar named Opportunism, transferred to one called Wavering and made off with concessions of her own.
Fishersville Mike adds:
... if the Democrats don't see the danger, they're marching blind to their own destruction.
David at the Augusta Conservative takes notice that both of Virginia's Democrat senators, Webb and Warner, voted to move the bill forward.

Bob at The Journey posts about the impending economic disaster awaiting the U.S.S. America if the Democrats get their way:
The bill protects trial lawyers. The bill gives money (authorized at "such sums") to states that enact "certificate of merit" (a document signed by a medical professional that says there is a probability that the standard of care was violated) and / or a certificate of "early offer" (an early, confidential apology) laws, as long as the states don't limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages.
SWAC Corps ... keeping an eye on Washington....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Wallbuilders' David Barton

The tradition of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on God and thank Him for His blessings dates back almost four centuries in America. Colonists held Thanksgiving services in Texas in 1541, in Florida in 1565, and in Virginia in 1607 and 1619, but it is from the Pilgrims that we derive the current tradition of a Thanksgiving that includes prayers to God, a meal with friends, and a time of athletic competition.

The Pilgrims arrived in America in December 1620 and experienced a harsh winter of extreme hunger and starvation in which half of them died. The following summer, the Pilgrims reaped a bountiful harvest. As Pilgrim Edward Winslow (who later became their governor) affirmed, "God be praised, we had a good increase of corn. . . . [and] by the goodness of God, we are far from want."

The grateful Pilgrims therefore declared a three-day feast in December 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their friends. Ninety Wampanoag Indians joined the fifty Pilgrims for three days of food (which included shellfish, lobsters, turkey, corn bread, berries, deer, and other foods), of athletic games (the young Pilgrim and Wampanoag men engaged in races, wrestling matches, and other athletic events), and of prayer. This celebration – America's first Thanksgiving Festival – was the origin of the holiday that Americans now celebrate each November.

The first national Thanksgiving was proclaimed in 1789 by President George Washington, but after Washington, national Thanksgiving proclamations were sporadic; most official Thanksgiving observances occurred at the state level. In fact, by 1815, state governments had issued no less than 1,400 official prayer proclamations, almost half of which were for days of thanksgiving and prayer.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book (a popular lady's books containing poetry, art work, and articles by America's leading authors) began to lobby for a national Day of Thanksgiving. For nearly three decades, she contacted president after president until Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of that November. Over the next seventy-five years, presidents faithfully followed Lincoln's precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day, but the date of the celebrations varied widely from proclamation to proclamation.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrated Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November and maintained that date year by year throughout his presidency. In 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving holiday.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, there are several ways in which you can enhance the celebration of America's oldest holiday:

Review the full HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING and share that history with others. View ORIGINAL THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATIONS.

We have posted a number of famous Thanksgiving Proclamations, including the first national Thanksgiving Proclamation by President George Washington in 1789, the 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln that started the modern Thanksgiving tradition, the 1933 Thanksgiving Proclamation of President Roosevelt that established the tradition, and a number of Thanksgiving Proclamations by Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration or Constitution.

Read a famous THANKSGIVING SERMON – the notable sermon preached by the Rev. Thomas Baldwin of Boston in response to President George Washington's 1795 Thanksgiving Proclamation. Have a blessed and God-filled Thanksgiving!

David Barton

November SWAC breakfast ... another standing-room only crowd

Dr. Keith Drake addressed Saturday's SWAC Conservative Round Table breakfast as Tom, Alex, and Kurt look on.

Dean Welty with the Valley Family Forum made announcements about his organization.

Keith emphasized a point about fighting government spending at the local level.

Check out Yankee Phil's posts on Saturday's breakfast:
- November SWAC Conservative Round Table Breakfast
- SWAC Conservative Round Table attended by 67 people

Fishersville Mike has also posted about breakfast:
- They're gonna need a bigger restaurant

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
21 November 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Will Mark Warner vote anti-business and create unneeded federal agency?

Call Sen. Mark Warner (804.775-2314 or 202.224-2023) and tell him NO new federal agencies.

While most eyes are on the massive federalized government health care bill now making its way through the Senate, Congress is secretly working on other legislation to broaden and expand government even more. We cannot afford this continued spending ... America's back is breaking under the burden of debt.

Maximus at The Contemporary Conservative summed it up very well: Will Senator Mark Warner vote to create a new Frankenstein Federal Agency designed to strangle business recovery?

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced a wide-ranging piece of legislation last week that combines some of the worse anti-business provisions of securities "reform" legislation that was floating around.

Known as “Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2009," the bill would create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency and promote what is referred to as "scheme liability."

There are business impacts that are direct to certain kinds of businesses, those that are indirect (such as to realtors, small banks, and auto dealers who will be harmed further if people can't get home loans or car loans) and those that hit all of us as end consumers either through reduced or eliminated access to certain kinds of loans or through higher prices for products and services (as the increased cost of doing business is passed along).

This thing is massive ... and creates another bureaucratic agency with more layers in government resulting in more taxpayer costs at a time when the federal debt has TRIPLED in the past six months.

One sentence in this massive Senate financial regulatory legislation would leave small businesses, banks, and accountants as well as virtually any other business subject to a flood of new securities class action lawsuits. Class action lawyers, who support the bill, would be allowed to sue virtually anyone who did business with a public company alleged to have engaged in fraud even if they didn't know anything about the alleged fraud.

This guilt-by-association provision would hurt innocent companies by forcing them into extortionate settlements. Because securities class action lawsuits tend to seek massive damage awards, many bystander businesses -- even those bearing no culpability whatsoever -- would feel compelled to settle the lawsuits rather than go to trial and risk losing a "bet-the-company" case.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice are already in place and authorized to prosecute those who aid and abet violations of securities laws so why is another newly-created agency necessary?

There have been news reports in many states of securities class action lawyers engaging in pay-to-play with public pension fund officials, contributing large amounts to their campaigns in return for contracts to represent the pension fund in lawsuits in which the lawyers are likely to make tens of millions of dollars in legal fees.

Aside from specific concerns that certain businesses have because of the direct impact coming from this legislation, it is a given that consumers will be adversely impacted by anything that drives up the cost of doing business.

So whether it is because of increased legal costs in defending against lawsuits, increased costs of complying with regulations or artificial determinations about the cost of products, these new increased costs of doing will will be passed on to the consumer. And that is everyone.

The Heritage Foundation agrees there is absolutely no rationale for creating such an agency:
During last year's presidential campaign, Barack Obama noted that "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

This phrase neatly sums up the ongoing ... Financial Services Committee markup of .... the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) Act of 2009. Despite honest attempts to improve the bill, the overall concept is still badly flawed, and any result that comes close to the original concept will be a major mistake. There is simply no rationale for creating such an agency that a coordinating council of state and federal financial regulators cannot accomplish easier and at a lower cost.
Sen. Mark Warner is a member of the committee and, as a businessman, should be pulling back in horror at the thought of this overreaching government bureaucracy. Calls and letters are urgently needed to ask Sen. Warner to vote NO on creating another bureaucratic agency. He can be contacted by letter, FAX, or phone call:
The Honorable Sen. Mark Warner
919 East Main Street, Suite 630
Richmond, VA 23219

FAX: (804) 775-2319
PHONE - Richmond Office: (804) 775-2314
PHONE - Washington Office: (202) 224-2023
Congress should rely on legislation already in place, such as the SEC and Department of Justice, to enforce the laws on the books rather than create new bureaucracy, more debt, and more opportunity for ACORN to have access in this Obama administration.

Prayers for blogger warrior Concrete Bob

Shock this morning reading Concrete Bob's post at United Conservatives of Virginia. In his light-hearted way and after quoting W.C. Fields, he wrote:
Short and sweet, I had a serious heart attack on Wednesday night. I'm in the hospital, hooked up to a bunch of tubes. I have had a catheterization done and a stint put in, but there is still some blockage. So next Wednesday the doctors are going to do a little carving and install some new parts. No big deal.
Talk about being an optimist! I'm sure Bob's positive attitude will go a long way toward his complete recovery ... along with the skilled hands of his doctors. It shows how life can turn on a dime ... and it also shows how the Virginia political blogosphere has become a community of caring individuals.

Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive took it a little more seriously than Bob:
Boy I hate writing this, but it's what we do. A great friend of many of ours and a magnificent patriot can use our help. "Concrete Bob" Miller had a heart attack and is in the hospital. His wife called this afternoon and asked if we could keep him in our prayers. I am not much for praying, but God will hear from me. They put a stent in today, but it looks like they are going to do a multiple bypass operation because of some blockages on a couple of arteries.
His wife was a little worried he might be mad about her telling us about this. I say, let him get up off his butt and do something about it. See you soon Bob.
As we approach the upcoming holidays, our prayers go out for Bob's recovery and for the doctors who will have his heart in their hands.

And thank goodness the hospital has wireless internet! On top of a heart attack, we wouldn't want Bob to go through internet withdrawal!

Get well, CB! We have battles to fight....

Mark Warner set to vote for cloture?

Is his mind already made up?

Should Palin fan cross-examine MSNBC reporter Norah O'Donnell?

Condescending liberal reporter alert ... MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell staked out the line of supporters waiting for Sarah Palin's Thursday book signing and zeroed in on a young lady to tackle and blindside. Interesting recap and video at Media Research Center.

News Virginian: Augusta County supervisors ignored warning

The Waynesboro News Virginian was a champion of the people of Augusta County throughout the 2009 real estate assessment issue when outrageously high assessments were loudly protested by residents by the hundreds and even as warnings were issued by Supervisor Tracy Pyles.

The NV's Wednesday editorial talked about that very issue which is looming after supervisors ignored Mr. Pyles' warnings that began a year ago about the coming financial abyss.

Writing in "Index nips now, chomps later," the editoral sounds off:
A fireplug of a fellow, Tracy Pyles is accustomed to playing the part of a yapping hound on a tight leash. Having ignored his barks about a bureaucratic bedevilment known as the composite index, Augusta County supervisors now are feeling the bite of the thing at their backsides, and so the people’s.

Somewhere in the smoky mist of his mostly lonely and entirely futile campaign against a massive property reassessment earlier this year, Pyles admonished his colleagues on the supervisors board that heightened values now would cost the county state money later. How? State aid for schools is based on the composite index, which is based on property values, the aim of it all being to ensure that poorer districts get a larger state share. Wealth being defined by property, increased values frequently translate to a smaller helping of state money.

This is one of the reasons Pyles contended, and we agreed with him, that the supervisors ought not assume that simply lowering tax rates would solve the problem of a reassessment that drove up values by roughly a fourth at a time when elsewhere appraisals were plunging. In fact, to Pyles’ particular point, leveling tax revenues by lowering the rate – a move we are almost always inclined to support – opens deeper fiscal wounds when values have soared and the economy is stalled: it means not equal money but less.

Already, Augusta is losing $750,000 in state education aid next year under recently released composite index recalculations. Almost three-fourths of the state’s 134 districts – including Waynesboro and Staunton – face similar predicaments.
It goes on to say the financial hit has not even been factored in yet so worse days are yet to come, as predicted nine months ago by Mr. Pyles.

Just as private citizens in America, Virginia, and Augusta County have had to tighten their belts and decrease spending, so should our government officials at all levels decrease spending of our taxpayer money. As Augusta County continues to reel from lost jobs and a sluggish economy, residents should demand supervisors put a moratorium on new projects until the economic outlook brightens.