Category Archives: time

I’ll Never Say “Never Trump” by Waverly Woods

Houston, “we have an umpire problem,” all right. It’s from top to bottom and everywhere in between.

By Waverly Woods

Even though I am a Cruz supporter and candidate for delegate to the RNC Convention in Ohio, I would support Donald Trump if he should become our nominee. As someone who has been a Tea Party leader for 5 years, I know how grassroots activists feel and why so many are divided between the Cruz and Trump campaigns.

All are disgusted with how the Republican Party is run and the representation from elected officials with an R following their names. Both sides want our country restored. Both feel their voices have not been heard. They want to know where the accountability is.

The Republican Party just doesn’t get it.

We all believe the system is rigged and what “We The People” choose is being ignored. We continue to vote for those candidates we think represent our principles and values, but when the candidate gets in office and start drinking the Kool-Aid, they do the exact opposite of what they campaigned on.

Everyone should be aware of their representatives’ voting histories. Why send the same legislators back to do the same job? People have had enough! They are now ready to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.

Trump supporters see him as a disrupter; someone who doesn’t need the Party Elite and can’t be controlled. Trumpsters want him to burn it to the ground, taking down all the RINOs at once.  Cruz supporters see him standing up to people like McConnell and Reid (one and the same). Yet Cruz may salvage what’s left of our Constitution without all the destruction.

So how did we get here? How did we become so deceived?

It’s about the process. People don’t understand the process: how candidates are selected. In Virginia we only had conventions until 2000. That process hasn’t changed, but the addition of the primary confused everyone. This presidential race is a perfect example of how useless primaries are and how they are a total waste of the taxpayers’ dollars. The nomination will be decided not by primary votes, but at the Republican National Convention, just like it always has been.

What the “Party” really doesn’t want you to know… is how to work the same system in your favor.

Oh, they’ll post the Official Calls and the Party Plan, but you are left to figure it out from there. It’s more than just showing up. It’s anticipating how the rules and Party Plan are manipulated.   The “keep it small and control it all” group are banking on you staying home, being too lazy to get involved, and not wanting the confrontation.

Now, more than ever, is the time to engage in how your country is being run. It’s time to take our country back by starting with our Party. How can we “Stop the Washington Cartel” or “Make America Great Again” if we can’t even restore the integrity of our own Republican Party? Do we actually believe in the Creed?

We Believe,

That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,

That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,

That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,

That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,

That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense, That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.

This isn’t just an idea or a passing thought, it’s our creed. Do we want to hold the “R’s” accountable to it or not? When we see a Party Chairman conducting himself like some out-of-control narcissistic tyrant, should we sweep it under the rug?

I say, HELL NO! The ugly fact of the matter is that this behavior is so common that it’s perceived as business as usual.

Houston, “we have an ‘umpire’ problem,” all right. It’s from top to bottom and everywhere in between.

The shenanigans are rampant throughout Virginia. It is pathetic to watch elected officials combine forces against the very people they serve in an attempt to control everything. This is either “slating” you out of your vote, or abusing the power of their office to control election outcomes in their favor. Then they come back and ask for you to vote for them again. Huh?! That’s a lot of nerve and arrogance. Moreover, it’s a lot of disrespect to the people who should matter the most.

Don’t be a part of the problem by staying home. Be a part of the solution by engaging. That’ll really tick them off! Watch VPAP.org and the Federal Election Commission to see where the money comes from for each incumbent (and who really owns them). Engage in the convention process and watch how many politicians call you on the phone and want to meet with you. You won’t get that in a primary. This is the absolute best way to force the will of the people and hold our elected officials accountable to everyone they serve.


Article written by: Tom White

Virginia GOP Chairman Whitbeck’s Partisanship Forces Haley Back into Chariman’s Race

I have known for some time that Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck wasn’t going to work out. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and ended up falling for his story about the removal of former State Delegate Mark Berg from the party. I initially backed Whitbeck based on his story of what happened, only to read overwhelming evidence that Whitbeck’s account was malarkey.

And then there was the loyalty pledge that the Republican Party tossed out for anyone who would vote in the primary to sign, or you could not vote. Ostensibly this “pledge” was designed to prevent Democrats from voting in the Republican Primary – we don’t register by party in the Commonwealth. The problem with that logic is that if Democrats cross party in a ploy to elect the weakest candidate so the Democrat will win, why would anyone believe the pledge will stop them? These people are Democrats and plan to support the Democrat. They only want to throw a monkey wrench into the GOP process. So they walk in and ask for a GOP ballot in an act of deception. Would a pledge stop them? Hardly.

This pledge only comes up when a Libertarian like Ron Paul runs. Or this year, Donald Trump.

The GOP has done everything they possibly can to rig the playing field to the advantage of the Republican establishment. Eric Cantor and his Young Guns were behind the slating that caused the party to implode and lose big time a couple of years back. And they have left such a bad taste in the mouths of people who normally vote Republican that most are hard pressed to vote Republican. But there is no choice. The Democrats are worse. Many hold their noses and vote Republican, but a loyalty oath is a bridge too far. And just one more obstacle to toss in the way of the voters actually having a voice in the process.

And now we find out that the loyalty oath is a sham anyway. The voters don’t pick the candidates, the Party does. It is all rigged. So your vote doesn’t matter anyway.

Yet John Whitbeck happily planned to force Virginians to sign such an oath. Right up until Vince Haley filed papers to run against Whitbeck for State Party Chairman. Then he dropped the idea like a hot potato behind closed doors. And that being the biggest club in Haley’s campaign arsenal, and the single most important issue, with that off the table, the reasons to run were diminished.

But leave it to Whitbeck. The guy is supposed to be the Chairman, but has injected himself into several races even going so far as to pay the filing fees for his chosen people in the Henrico County Republican Committee Chairman race. The Chairman stacked the deck in a County he doesn’t even live in. And this just happens to be the County fired Congressman Eric Cantor lived in.

Whitbeck thought he was home free when Haley suspended his campaign for Whitbeck’s job. Let the shenanigans begin!

But what Whitbeck has done is so egregious that Haley was urged by a lot of people to reenter the race.

And Vince Haley agreed. This is not how the Chairman of the Republican Party behaves. It is time to fire John Whitbeck! I am all in for Vince Haley!

From the Vince Haley Campaign:

Vince Haley

Dear Friends,

You are the lifeblood of the Republican Party — the keepers of the Republican Creed. You do the hard work needed to win: staff the polls; knock the doors; make the phone calls; and have your voice heard at conventions.

It is in the spirit of service to you that I have made the decision to re-enter the race for RPV State Party Chairman. I humbly ask for your support. 

When I suspended my campaign in February, I had hoped that the Republican Party of Virginia would take steps to become an organization that was laser focused on victory in November and the fair management of party races across the Commonwealth. This hope was misplaced, which is why I am reactivating my campaign for Chairman.

We have an umpire problem at RPV.

How are we supposed to trust that the RPV organization will play a fair role in party races anywhere in the Commonwealth when the RPV Chairman and his Executive Director have inserted themselves in local party elections in an attempt to defeat their disfavored candidates?

This is not the fair calling of balls and strikes by a neutral umpire.

This is picking a side. It’s an abuse of trust.

Who would want to get involved in a local party race if all the time and hard work of grassroots candidates can simply be neutralized by shadow money allocated by the RPV Chairman and his Executive Director?

If this is business as usual for those running a state party organization that we the party faithful are supposed to accept – then count me out. I oppose such a practice, I pledge to never engage in such behavior if elected Chairman, and I hope to rally a majority of those attending the state party convention to join me in doing so.

How can RPV be laser focused on victory in November if it is so busy trying to enforce loyalty to RPV leadership?

The RPV should not try to control the direction of local parties. RPV should instead let the will of the grassroots play out in their local jurisdictions.

In order to be prepared for victory in November, we must have a Party that is competent and totally dedicated to fighting for the Republican Creed. We are in desperate need for an autonomous state party — an honest broker above any suspicion that it is tipping the scales for or against certain candidates in party races.

You deserve not just a better RPV, but an excellent Republican Party of Virginia. You deserve leadership that represents you with honor and never forgets that leadership in our Party is a sacred trust. The principles of the Republican Creed are not secondary considerations. I’ve devoted the last 14 years of my life to that cause. I am proudly 100% pro-life, pro traditional marriage, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-Veteran, and anti-tax-and-spend. As RPV Chairman, I will not compromise our Republican Creed nor kowtow to those who would undermine it.  I will not take marching orders from anyone else but you. I will fight for our common values and I’ll make sure national Republicans hear your voice loud and clear this summer in Cleveland.

The time to restore our identity and trust in our Republican Party is right here and now. Let’s elect a Chairman who is unafraid and unapologetic to stand with those who honor the very principles for which our Founding Fathers sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

You deserve a Chairman that keeps his promises. You deserve a Chairman who will raise money for the Party to use for victory. You deserve a Chairman who works to make sure the Party processes are fair, professionally, and efficiently run. You deserve a Chairman who uses his bully pulpit to promote the values espoused by the Republican Creed and you deserve an RPV staff that will be effective, efficient, experienced, and totally devoted towards assisting the grassroots and servicing their needs.

With a Republican Party that guards its principles and keeps its promises, we can save our Republic, bring greater prosperity and freedom to the Citizens of the Commonwealth, and bring the Republican Party of Virginia into a new era of principle, efficiency, service, and victory.

I earnestly look forward to your support, our conversation, and engaging with so many new friends over the next few weeks. Thank you for this tremendous opportunity to keep the promise. Let’s build a party worthy of our creed and of you, the grassroots.

I look forward to seeing you in Harrisonburg at the James Madison University Convocation Center on April 29th and 30th and I humbly ask for your vote.

In Service,

Vince Haley


Article written by: Tom White

Are the Oligarchs shoes too tight?

By Bob Shannon   Central Garage

Nice to see the Oligarchs now concerned about spending.  Mr. Campbell last year for the first time  spoke on items he thought could be eliminated from the 2014/15 budget. The timing of his comments were oddly coincidental since  Land Use Tax Exemptions were on the chopping block. Watch how fast local spending gets reined in should the Land Use Tax Exemption program be eliminated.  The whiners writing letters now with a furious pace could never find the time to attend a BOS budget meeting and or crusade with us on cutting spending …..until now.

Mr. Campbell offers beleaguered homeowners a .01 reduction in the real estate tax rate while  advocating for self-serving tax exemptions & subsidies . Mr. Campbell’s new found budget frugality might suggest which one of the exemptions /subsidies would he be willing to let go of, since he wants to keep these superior County services he touts as necessary. Cato and other institutions have labelled Federal Farm Subsidies “corporate welfare”, maybe he is willing to start there ? Campbell defends Land Use Tax exemptions, which are  “tax shifting  Stop calling it Tax Exemptions—-it is tax shifting. Stop calling it ( if  ended) a  “tax increase”.  It would be an end to an EXEMPTION.  The runaway development nonsense is beginning to sound like a parrot. Amend the Comprehensive Plan to allow for minimum 10 acre lots ….if that is their real concern.

As for the KWTP and the tactics of intimidation ?   When you can’t win the argument on the facts smear the other side.   KWTP holds elected officials accountable, a necessity if we are to correct the problems facing both our communities and our nation. For too long we allowed politicians to make campaign pledges, only to watch them morph afterwards into mouth pieces for local power brokers.  Mr. Campbell labels that intimidation, voters disagreed. Beneficiaries    of the status quo simply refuse to accept their agenda was defeated. The average Joe/Jane had had enough. We have some Supervisors who now are pushing the voters agenda.

Supervisor Hansen  coined the phrase “ homeowners in KW county are not sharecroppers”, and  that  sentiment was reflected in comments last Monday night when one of the folks benefitting by these schemes said “ some of us are from  here’s & some of you are come here’s”  Does this man understand the form of government we have in the U.S , or know that half or more of the citizens of King William  today are “ come here’s” . Is he suggesting a different class of citizenship for these folks ?

Homeowners and small business owners want the tax policy field leveled & spending cut.  Stop the name calling and respect the voters will.

 


Article written by: Tom White

“Eddie the Eagle” Shows the Bankruptcy of the Sports Imperialists!

There are so many movies out today I can’t even find time to blog about them.  But I have to say a few words about this one.  For Eddie the Eagle, although like many movies, is a semi-fictionalized version of a true story:  Michael “Eddie” Edwards is a real person who competed for Great Britain in the real Olympics.  Back when the sports imperialists didn’t rule the roost.

Here’s the Wikipedia account of Eddie the Eagle.  A brief bio:

Michael Edwards (born 5 December 1963), better known as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, is a British skier who in 1988 became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping. At the time, he was the British ski jumping record holder (a record later broken by others[1][2]), the world number nine in amateur speed skiing, (106.8 mph (171.9 km/h)) and the stunt jumping world record holder (10 cars/6 buses).[3] Finishing last in the 70m and 90m events, he became famous as an example of an underdog or “heroic failure”, and of perseverance and achievement without funding. In 2016, he was portrayed by Taron Egerton in the biographical film Eddie the Eagle, co-starring Hugh Jackman as fictional coach Bronson Peary.

Well, now it is a movie!  Here is info on that from the official Fox site:

Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. From producers of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die attitude.

Now the IOC was so furious at the idea they changed the rules to make it harder to compete.

Shortly after the 1988 Olympic Games, the requirements to compete were significantly strengthened. Instead of anyone making the cut so that a country had a representative, the International Olympic Committee instituted the Eddie the Eagle Rule, which stated that all Olympic hopefuls need to place either in the top 50 competitors or in the top 30 percentile in internal competition. The aim, of course, was to keep the Eddie the Eagles of the world out of the Olympics.

This was the precursor to sports imperialism.  Today it is virtually impossible for an Eddie the Eagle to represent their nation at the Games.

Now the movie will not make anyone (especially me and I have not yet seen it) forget Chariots of Fire or Miracle but it did earn sixth place at the box office and presently about 7.7 million dollars.  So perhaps (at ten bucks a pop) about 750,000 persons went to see it.

I hope each of them will remember how far the Olympics have fallen.  Today Eddie would have no chance in basketball, golf, tennis, soccer and now probably boxing.  All for ratings and money.  Probably by the time of the Games in Rio, I’ll have Eddie the Eagle on DVD and it’ll be added to the movies I can watch instead of pro basketballers and other consequences of sports imperialism.  I’ll root instead for non-inperialistic sports such as fencing and nations who have not won a medal or never won a gold medal.  And remember:  NOT ONE DIME for the IOC or the USOC until they renounce this madness.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Another Storied Olympic Sports is About to Fall to the Sports Imperialists: Boxing!

It looks like another sport is about to join the list of sports captured by the sports imperialists: Boxing.   Breitbart has reported that Manny Pacquiao, Philippine congressman and former championship boxer, would be interested in boxing for his native land if the boxing federation allowed pro athletes in the Olympics.

Pro boxers in the Olympic Games?    Terrible idea.  Kevin McRae at Bleacher Report says it’s dangerous.  And the IOC (no surprise) is pushing it (from an ESPN article):

AIBA [The world federation governing boxing]say they have been working on broadening their eligibility criteria for Rio for some time, but were given implicit encouragement to fast-track the process by the publication of the IOC’s Agenda 2020 document in 2014, whose Recommendation 9 declares the intention of “ensuring participation by the best athletes”.

I suggest this is not a desire to have the “best athletes” but is governed by television and ratings and money.  The little nations will have to fend for themselves I suppose.

Yet the little nations seem to be, Stockholm syndrome style, going along to their own destruction and marginalization:

[The head of AIBA, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu is quoted] “We certainly consult with all the national federations. We had a survey. In this survey’s feedback more than 90% of the national federations all confirmed their support.”

Here is the rest of the story from The Boxing News website.  And the boxing federation appears to be fast tracking it:

Speaking in an exclusive interview in next week’s Boxing News magazine, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, president of AIBA, the governing body of the Olympic sport, explained how the process could work. Currently the proposal to make professional boxers eligible for the Olympic Games is a recommendation to come out of last week’s AIBA Commissions meeting. To allow pro boxers into the Olympics, AIBA would have to ratify this recommendation by changing its rules and statutes. It is possible for that to take place ahead of the Rio Olympic Games. AIBA will call an Extraordinary Congress, expected for June 1, to vote on the change.

This is a distressing development that could mean, according to Breitbart, that several amateur boxers who have already qualified for their Olympic teams might be replaced with pro athletes.

The IBA votes in May. The Olympics start in August. Although the three months would provide Pacquiao time for a full training camp, it’s unclear whether that short period would give the participating nations enough time to sort out their teams. The Olympic boxing trials for many nations, including the United States, took place months ago. Granting accomplished professionals spots might mean taking some away from amateurs believing that they had already fought their way into the games.

Seems to me the attitude is:  To heck with the amateurs!  Or the small nations! Maybe some crying young amateur boxer on national TV who got his place on the Olympic team pulled by the sports imperialists for a rich pro athlete will show the American people how terrible this policy is. Would a young Cassius Clay get a start to represent his nation today?

No one should give the IOC or the USOC a DIME until our nation takes the right stand.   Give to a local Olympic hopeful or a sport like fencing or curling that has been been captured by sports imperialism.

I think it is time for an alternative Olympic Games.  No pros allowed.  Where is Donald Trump when you really need him…


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Forum: Dogs, Cats Or ? What’s Your Favorite Pet?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Dogs, Cats Or ? What’s Your Favorite Pet?

Fausta’s Blog: I’m very allergic to cats, so I can’t have any contact with them.

Dogs are nice, but at this point in my life I don’t want the responsibility, so I visit my sister and hang out with her dog, who enthusiastically greets me at the door.

The Daley Gator : Dogs, no contest! They are called man’s best friend for very good reasons. Mainly the closeness you can get with a dog that just is not there with a cat, at least to me. I recall being 18, and heart-broken over a girl. As I sat on my bed, head hanging down, here came my dog. He just laid his head on my knee, and looked at me, as if to say it is OK.

The Razor : The older I get the more I like animals and the less I like people. As for cats vs dogs, both have their charms. I have 7 of each, the eldest being a 20 year old cat I raised from a kitten in Japan, down to a 6 month old Rottweiler mix puppy who bangs the kitchen cabinets like a drum when he wags his tail. All are rescues – the 20 year old cat from a plastic bag in a dumpster in Kyoto, the Rottie puppy running under parked cars as a 5 week old puppy at the local WalMart.

Cats vs Dogs… Cats are independent and perfect when you are young and relatively carefree. They aren’t needy the way dogs are, but it’s nice when one decides to curl up on you uninvited. Dogs, on the other hand, require a lot of effort. They are pack animals and can’t be ignored. The other day an early Spring storm rolled through and I had all 7 dogs either on me or within a few inches of me. They are also underfoot which can make them dangerous some times, because they always want to do what you are doing or see what you are seeing. Cats really don’t care – although the 20 year old cat like an elderly old lady has a nightly routine you could almost set your watch by where she curls up first with the Wife and then with me.

When one animal passes another inevitably finds the open niche in our hearts, transforming it into his or her own. When I cross the Rainbow Bridge I only hope that I have a multitude of hands to pet them all.

Bookworm Room : Pat Shipman, an anthropologist, believes that dogs helped humans become the earth’s dominant species, giving humans the edge over Neanderthals and dominance over animal predators. Dogs and humans were natural hunting partners, since dogs could sniff and chase, while humans, using weapons, could do a long distance kill. (Dogs could only do close kills, which put them at risk.) When humans transitioned to farm life, dogs protected them against predators, both human and animal.

In other words, where would we be without dogs? And can anyone say the same thing about the human/cat relationship?

I also believe that our ability to form bonds across species is part of the necessary empathy development humans need to be civilized. Societies that cut themselves off from dogs (and I’m naming no names here) miss that developmental phase and it damages them, leading to cultures of unusual cruelty. They have less empathy because they’ve had less natural scope to develop it.

Finally, at a personal, rather than intellectual level, I just love dogs. I love that they wear their hearts on their sleeves, I love that that we’re so important to them, I love that they can be (and want to be) trained so as to live in more harmony with us, and I love their playfulness, cuddliness, affection, and loyalty. As far as I can tell, the only real advantage cats have over dogs is that cats make for funnier videos.

The aged lady on the left is my Chihuahua/Australian Heeler mix; the feisty lad on right is my mostly Chihuahua, a little bit Fox Terrier mutt. The latter, especially, is my darling, loving me with a passion unique to Chihuahuas.

Laura Rambeau Lee,Right Reason :With my lifestyle and personality I have always had an affinity for cats. I have taken in many feral kittens in my life and there is no better feeling than winning the trust of a wild cat. I suppose I relate to that initial hesitation to trust people too until they have proven they are worthy of my trust. Cats are independent, they can be aloof or playful depending on their mood, and do very well when left to themselves. With both myself and my husband working odd hours and going away for long weekends a cat is the perfect pet. Having a dog would be unfair as we are not at home enough to give the attention and time needed to walk and play with them. We have talked about getting a dog when we retire. Both bring so much joy into our lives in their unique ways and I can’t imagine not having a cat or dog, or both, in our home.

I think the meme of the cat and dog sums up their differences perfectly. The dog thinks “Wow, this human takes care of my every need, he must be a God” while the cat thinks “This human takes care of my every need, I must be a God.”

The Glittering Eye : Over the course of my adult life I’ve had rabbits, cats, and dogs as pets. They’re all great and which you prefer depends on what you want in a pet.

Cats are beautiful and don’t much care whether you’re there or not as long as you give them food and water. If they want to play, they might seek you out or they might not. Cats are nocturnal which means that they’re predisposed to be most active when you’re the least active.

Rabbits have a lot more personality than you might think and otherwise they’re not unlike cats without the claws and sharp teeth. They’re relatively easy to keep and tend. They might reward you with a little companionship if they’re so inclined.

Dogs are needier than cats or rabbits. Food and water and a place to eliminate aren’t enough for them. They need to be part of a family. Like rabbits dogs are crepuscular; most active at dawn and dusk. That’s convenient if you work an ordinary 9 to 5 job because they’re most active when you’re getting ready for work and when you get home and are quite content to sleep while you’re at work or asleep.

Virginia Right!: My family are all dog lovers. I have 2 siblings and they have a few dogs each. Can’t really keep them straight, but I think they both presently have 3 dogs.

We have just two at my house, both are large dogs. I am not a fan of the little “yappy” dogs, but I have nothing against them. Just prefer the larger breeds.

Both of my dogs are mixed breeds and both are rescues.

Layla is a sweet natured girl that is somewhere around 60 – 65 pounds. She is part yellow Lab and part Boxer. She is very laid back and has a unique greeting when anyone comes in the house. She grabs a stuffed toy in her mouth and goes up to the person yelling “woo hoo”. Just a happy 8 year old puppy.

The newest addition is also part Lab – we think chocolate Lab and part Irish Setter. We have had him for about 3 months now and he is around 8 months old. But he is already over 50 pounds of solid muscle. HE has eaten a sofa and several pillows and blankets. And 4 or 5 dog beds. I now wrap the beds in canvas tarps. But he has chewed through that too.

Layla is a house dog and Marley loves outside. He is a house dog too, but will spend as much time as he can in our yard. (Fenced in.)

We got a couple feet of snow last month and the drifts were higher. He was a bit skeptical at first when he saw the snow. But within a minute, he accepted it and decided he likes it. He REALLY likes snow. The snow was almost as tall as he is but he ran through the yars as fast as he could and reminded me of a dolphin following a boat. He had a smooth up and down running motion and looked like a blur. He does not feel the cold and his coat keeps him dry. I had to yell at him several times to make him come in. It was pretty cold and you don’t want to leave pets out in that weather, but he was having a ball.

Yea, both of my dogs have music names. Layla from the Clapton song and Marley is, of course, Nesta, also known as Bob Marley.

I had not seen the film Marley and Me before I named him. My wife and I watched it a couple of weeks ago and I think another name would have been better.

If you have not seen the movie, it is absolutely hilarious. But at the end of the movie, we turned the movie off. So I opted for the funny movie with the happy ending. By turning off the last few minutes.

Marley and Layla act like siblings. They love each other, but get into wrestling matches. Unfortunately, in the house as well as outside. Sounds like two bear cubs fighting.

But my dogs are a part of the family. Our daily routine includes my pups. I have had a lot of dogs in my life, and a few periods without.

I like the “with” times far better than the “without” times.

Anybody have a couch for sale? Make that two!

Puma By Design : Growing up, we had two dogs and no imagination. Both dogs were named Boots.

Boots #1 arrived on the scene after my parents took a trip to Harlem one evening. She was a tiny thing, a mutt of mixed breeds but what Boots # 1 lacked in weight and bloodline, as she grew up, she made up for in spirit.

I recall Boots #1 was such in ill health when she arrived that my mother had to cook a special diet of eggs and beef as instructed to boost Boots #1’s immune system.

Since we lived in a dangerous neighborhood and in an equally dangerous apartment building, Boots was not allowed to mingle with anyone but immediate family members. Even our friends were off limits.

It was not long before Boots had the junkies down the hall and on the second floor on the run.

You see, it was because of the junkies that my parents decided to get a dog.

We would hear the junkies down the hall playing with their key in the apartment door lock from time to time and since my parents knew that it was just a matter of time before their keys worked and ours did not, my parents decided to beat them to the punch by getting a dog.

By the time Boots #1 was five months old, the junkies decided to go elsewhere. When they would come anywhere near our apartment door, Boots #1 would let out a bark so ferocious that people refused to believe that such a bark came from this little dog who also had the strength and might to rip a junkie to shreds.

Then there was the male Alaskan Husky down the hall named, Oliver. Oliver was four times Boots’ side and a coward.

If Miss Ludell was walking Oliver at the same time that my brother was walking, Boots, the moment they made eye contact, poor Oliver would run for his life up three flights of stairs and back into his house with Boots not far behind.

My mother would always hear Boots barking, us screaming and catch Boots just in time. As for Miss Ludell, by the time she climbed three flights of stairs and entered the apartment, the whole building could hear her shouting at poor Oliver, “I can’t believe you’re afraid of that little dog.

Hmmm, such is life in the ghetto.

Finally, Boots became an even bigger hit with my parents once their daughters began courting. The boys would told to sit on the sofa, the girls in a chair opposite them with Boots in the middle staring hard at the boy, letting out this low growl and blocking any type of physical contact.

There was no hand holding, no nothing and the boy had better not blink or fidget. So where were my parents, cheerfully in the other room relaxed, reading the newspaper or watching the evening news.

While I love cats, what cat could compare?

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

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Forum: Dogs, Cats Or ? What’s Your Favorite Pet?


Article written by: Tom White

When Did Ted Cruz Become an Anti-Republican Anti-Establishment ‘Outsider’? March 23, 2015!

I just love hearing the stories about how Ted Cruz has always been a Washington outsider. How he has always bucked the Washington establishment – especially his own party! And when you mention how much Cruz’ fellow Senators hate him, to the Cruz followers, that is a badge of honor. And so it is with many who have grown frustrated and angry with the hapless Republican leadership, especially since the grassroots saw fit to give the GOP the House and Senate.

So anyone that bucks the “leadership” of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and his current feckless successor Paul Ryan instantly becomes an item to all Republicans living outside the RINO pen.

And Ted Cruz has said the right things and voted against the establishment as far back as anyone remembers. Right?

Well, it depends on how far back your memory goes. If it starts on March 23, 2015, the day Ted Cruz announced his bid for President, then you would be correct. But if your memory goes back to January 21, 2013, you will have to say Cruz started out as an establishment GOP lap dog. And it was only after he decided to run for President that he suddenly embraced his current anti-Establishment positions.

Let’s go back to the beginning of 2015. Ted Cruz was just another Republican Senator that followed the party voting lines and did as he was told.

There was that time in 2013, his first year in the Senate, where he joined in on a filibuster to stop our military from killing our enemies on US soil with drones. What? Cruz would be opposed to a drone moving in on the fleeing San Bernardino terrorists and blasting them to Allah? Yep. It is hard to figure, but Cruz was trying to find his way to Senate stardom. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it. And even Rand Paul, who also spoke against drone use to kill terrorists in the US admitted it wasn’t going to do anything. Ultimately he would be shut down. And he was.

And then there was the Obamacare filibuster later in 2013. With absolutely no hope success, Cruz spoke for 21 hours and Obamacare was fully funded anyway. But at least Cruz established himself as long winded. And a sucker for lost causes. But it played well to the Conservatives.

But with only those two exceptions, Ted Cruz was an establishment lackey until he decided to run for president.

“But he votes against his own party,” you say! Well, that is true but only since announcing his presidential bid. Before that, Cruz was as establishment as it gets.

Ted Cruz Voting Recors With / Against GOP 2013-2016

So between January 2013 and March 2015 Ted Cruz voted with the GOP 84% of the time. (Source OpenCongress.org) And for comparison, Lindsey Graham, who is just about as establishment as you can get only votes the party line 79% of the time. So from 2013 until he announced his bid for president, Ted Cruz voting record marks him as more of an establishment Republican than Lindsey Graham.

But Ted Cruz has undergone a metamorphosis since March 23, 2015. He has been solidly against the Establishment voting against the party line 46% of the time.

This is simply stunning and shows why Cruz is not the Conservative anti-Establishment “outsider” he is now claiming to be. Nor is he the staunch Conservative he is pretending to be, either. This graph is proof that Cruz has made a conscious effort to remold himself to fit the demographic that was untapped by the expected GOP presidential field in March 2015.

There was a decided absence of Conservatives and Evangelicals in the race, especially after Utah Senator Mike Lee announced in late January that he would not run for President. That opened the gate for a solid Conservative and someone to tap the evangelical vote. And the country had grown sick of the lack of ability of Republican establishment types to get anything done. And another Washington insider wasn’t going to stand out. But Cruz voting record was anything but “outsider” in March 2015.

But since becoming a presidential candidate, Cruz has tried very hard to reinvent himself as a Conservative. He has voted against the party 46% of the time and on July 24, 2015 he went into a rant on the Senate floor actually calling Majority Leader McConnell a liar. Yes, McConnell is a liar and Cruz was correct. But why did he wait until he was running for President to speak up? McConnell has been a liar as long as anyone can remember. He has stabbed Republicans and Conservatives in the back so many times we have lost count. He was probably worse at caving in and lying about it when he was Minority Leader.

So why July 24?

When Cruz entered the race on March 23, his “bump” in the polls saw him rise to 16%. But in mid to late June 2015 his numbers began to seriously decline. Scott Walker was drawing interest as were a couple of others at that time. Cruz went as low as 3%. So on July 24, 2015, he called McConnell a liar and his numbers rose after that to 10% by mid August before they started back down. By September 24, 2015 his numbers were down to 5% again.

And that is when he decided to filibuster Obamacare. So was the move anti Obamacare? Or pro Ted Cruz? I believe the latter. It set the Conservatives hearts into a collective pitter-patter and his numbers began to rise again back into the double digits he was longing for. Ted Cruz managed to fool a lot of people. And as other potential Conservative or conservative-ish candidates began to fizzle, and Carson and Trump were sucking the air out of the race, Cruz little attention gimmick did what he planned. It took some attention off of Trump and as Carson went into freefall, some landed on Cruz.

And now Cruz is laying claim to the “outsider” label as the guy who bucks the Washington establishment. Except that he only became that “guy” after putting his finger in the air and reinventing himself.

Cruz is not the life long anti-Establishment candidate his followers pretend he is. And want him to be. He is a a guy that is too slick by half that has maneuvered himself into contention by reinventing himself and fooling his supporters. The entire Cruz persona is a carefully manipulated facade designed to pull in voters who fall for his deception.

Cruz is willing to do anything to win. And his record and the timeline show he is not who his supporters think he is. He is a carefully crafted manipulator who is very good at the art of deception.

Follow the polls. Follow his votes. Follow the timeline. And you will see that the Ted Cruz you think you see is nothing but a mirage.

A very dangerous mirage.


Article written by: Tom White

Status of Ballot Access and Similar Bills in Virginia – It Depends on YOU!

The status of better ballot access in the Commonwealth depends on YOU!  But here’s the leading bills you can help with:

HB 82 – introduced by Sandy’s new hero – Del. Sam Rasoul – would lower the threshold for a political party to reach the ballot without signatures from ten to five percent based on the last two statewide elections.

HB 1040 – This is Del. Rasoul’s “open primary” bill.  I am still not sold on it but I do admit he made a good case for it at the Crusade for Voters meeting Tuesday night.  It would or at least could open up the political system in a county like Hanover.  Rasoul thinks a primary like this would encourage the candidates to reach to the center rather than extremes.  I think its strength is that groups such as African-Americans who might in a county like Hanover feel disenfranchised or marginalized due to the GOP primary being the effective election would be encouraged to vote and candidates would be encouraged to reach out to these groups to win one of those top two spots and then expand that electoral coalition in the general election.  Political parties could endorse candidates but not have conventions to elect candidates.  (This also might do away with the need for the “incumbent protection bill” – see below – where an incumbent office-holder chooses his or her method for running – primary or convention – and also it does away with unethical interference in the party primary.)  Maybe I am warmer to it already…

Alas, there is no other bills (There are related issues such as political party registration and this interesting bill introduced by Del. Freitas that would abolish the “incumbent protection act” allowing office-holders in the General Assembly to decide if they want to run in a primary or convention) on ballot access.  No one introduced the Sanders proposal in Style last November.  No one introduced a bill to reduce number of signatures for statewide office, either.  Ought to be reduced to 5000.

If you want to help provide better ballot access in Virginia, both of these bill go to the Elections subcommittee and here’s who sits on this subcommittee:

House Privileges and Elections
Sub-Committee: Elections

MEMBERSHIP

Ransone (Chairman), Landes, Fowler, Adams, Sickles, Torian, Cole

So, if one of these is YOUR delegate, you know what to do!  (Again, click on the delegate’s name and you’ll find his or her email address.)  This committee is scheduled to meet at 730 am (yes that’s right!) on Thursdays!  There is perhaps something a bit ironic about such as meeting time to get more transparent government but there is only a limited amount of time in session to get these meetings conducted.  Check the dockets carefully here.  I’ll try to make it for both.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

7th District Saturday Afternoon Meeting Cancelled!

The meeting that was scheduled Saturday January 8th at 4:30 PM for the 7th District has been cancelled due to the court redistricting decision.

Several of the voting members are no longer in the 7th and there was not enough time to give the required notice due to the change ordered by the courts.

This was confirmed with 7th District Chairman Fred Gruber.

Pleas spread this notice around to avoid inconveniencing anyone.

 


Article written by: Tom White

Come Help Dave Brat Fight Off the RINO’s Saturday Afternoon 1-9-2016 at 4:30 PM

Please come out and help put a stop to the shenanigans the RINO’s are planning on Saturday afternoon. I know, who does meetings at 4:30 PM on a Saturday? Well, that is a very inconvenient time, and that is the point. So don’t let the bitter Cantor clingers screw up the district again.

Details:

 

Please come support Dave at the 7th District Committee meeting this Saturday, Jan. 9th at 4:30 PM at the Henrico County Government Complex. The Committee will be meeting to choose the method of nomination for the upcoming election and it’s important that the committee sees Dave’s support.

Dave will be there to address the committee about his preference and logic for a convention. Please note that during the meeting there is no time provided for public comment.

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 9th, 4:30 PM
WHERE: Henrico County Government Complex
Board of Supervisors Meeting Room
4301 East Parham Road, Henrico, VA

When Dave ran for Congress in 2014, he pledged to follow the Virginia Republican Creed, to go to Washington to try to change it rather than become a part of it, and to be accessible and transparent to the citizens of the 7th District. He has followed through on this pledge in every way.

From being in every one of the district’s nine counties and the City of Richmond once a month meeting with constituents, to refusing to accept the status quo from Washington insiders on vote after vote — including votes against leadership when they departed from Republican principles — he has kept his word.

Hope to see you Saturday!


Article written by: Tom White