Monday, November 12, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
J. M. Devolites Davis: 48 Winner
J. C. "Chap" Petersen: 36
Ken Cuccinelli: 72 Winner
Janet Oleszek: 12
John T. Frey: 59 Winner
Joseph Oddo: 14
Dale Evans: 10
Patrick McDade: 49 Winner
Ray Morrough: 35
Gary Baise: 61 Winner
Gerry Connelly: 23
Total number of possible students to vote: 94
Total number of ballots cast: 84
Remaining number not cast due to absence: 10
The time is 342pm.
J. M. Devolites Davis vs. Chap Petersen. I expect this one to come down to the last vote. I will not be surprised whatsoever if there is a recount done. At this point, I am saying this is a toss up election as I have no idea who will win. Will the recent issue of Chap's address push him into the Senate? It might, but only time will tell.
Ken Cuccinelli vs. Janet Oleszek. Cuccinelli is going to win this one all the way. Odds are it will be a close margin, but considering everything I have seen with Oleszek, I am sure she is a very nice woman and good at doing things on the school board level, but she is not as impressive a candidate for state senate. Perhaps she should try again as a delegate candidate.
Gerry Connelly vs. Gary Baise. Considering the way in which Connelly has acted and not listened to the people of the county, expect Baise to win.
Ray Morrough vs. Patrick McDade. It is youth vs. experience. I think McDade is going to win this one due to the fact that he is giving statistics and is showing how the Commonwealth Attorney is not doing his job for this particular area. I have met McDade and find him to be very personable and also very sincere. Expect big things from him in the state level of politics. If he can get a good following, he could make the jump into the national scene.
John Frey vs. Dale Evans vs. Joseph Oddo. Considering the real lack of signs for Oddo and Evans, I think Frey is going to win this one. Considering the number of married couples who got John Frey to sign their marriage license, I would image he will get their votes.
Joe Morrisey. "Fightin Joe" is back. I expect him to win his Delegate seat without too much trouble, especially since he is, as far as I can see, running unoppossed.
Control fo the House fo Delegates. I think the Republicans are going to maintain control of the House.
Control fo the Senate. This is going to be a close one. I am calling it a Republican controlled Senate, BUT at a 20-20 split with the Lt. Gov. being the tie breaker.
What is going to happen to Ben Tribbett? Depending on hwo the Davis Petersen race goes, I fully expect Ben to blow his lid on this one. Considering how he has become so ingrained with the election, I think the life lesson to be learned here to is to always have avenues of escape in your life to be able to let off steam instead of letting it build up.
Thos are my predictions. Further commentary to come. The time is 815.
Monday, November 05, 2007
"All bad politicians were elected by people who chose not to vote."
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Recently, I got an opportunity to interview General George Washington for my show, Virginia Time Travel. As such, the half hour spent with the General was certainly a very enjoyable and educating experience, as it allowed me to speak with the man himself in his own words and thougts. If ever there was a reason to find that first person interviews are important to understanding history, this would be one of the ways in whih to prove that it is such a good idea. The episode is expected to be on the air in February, around the time of General Washington's birthday.
Monday, October 15, 2007
However, in light of this recent positive turn of events, one has to think a more negative series is bound to unfold. Low and behold, IT HAS! Drudge Report is coming out stating that the Turkish government is looking for authorization to enter into Northern Iraq. Fox News is also reporting this particular set of circumstances as well.
What could have been the cause of all of this. well, as many have noted, Democrats recently pushed through a non binding resolution condemning the killings of Armenians in Turkey after World War I. While it can be speculated that Turkey will not sever all ties with us, they could certainly do some damage.
Let us think about it. When the United States initially planned on getting rid of Saddam, we could not use Turkey as a stagin location. Today, we are able to use the country to send supplies into Iraq. If it gets cut off, what does that mean for us? Answer: we can either look for another route to get our supplies to our troops or we are forced to pull them out of Iraq.
So how does this deal with the Democrats? Answer: they have foubnd a way in which they cna not only hurt the international scene for us and another nation, but also endanger the lives of the troops, force them to be brought home prematurely, and permanently destabilize the region once and for all. It is no secret that the Democrats want us out of Iraq. That is all fine and good, but if a few member of Congress feel this is the way to do it, then there is a real probelm here.
Yes, genocide is bad. However, now we are opening up ourselves to a NEW onslaught from the international community. How long do you think it will be before other nations pass non binding resolution against us for treatment of certain peoples? Blacks, Hispanics, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Italians, Eastern Europeans, Catholics, Indians, this list goes on and on.
We do need a change, that is obvious. If ever we need to change the leadership of power in Congress, this might be a really good reason for it.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
As hard as it is to believe, there are two major groups on involved with this: League of the South and the Middlebury Institute. Both groups deal with the far extremes of politics and do not wish to be part of the country anymore due to the positions the present United States and possible future government have taken.
Will this bear any fruit to become a real threat? Probably not, but at least I got your attention for this post.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Performing in the concert were three groups: The Daughters of Miriam from Meade Memorial Episcopal Church, the Heritage Signature Chorale, and Seasons. The position of Mistress of Ceremony was given to Roslyn McCallister Brock, Vice Chairman of the NAACP. The songs which were sung included: Steady Soldier, Jesus is a Rock, The Last Words of David, and Wade In The Water.
As a whole, I am very hopeful that this concert will become a yearly tradition for Alexandria and more popularity will come from it. The performances that were given this evening were stellar and could rival any that are seen at other venues in the Washington DC Metro area.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Once known as Little Bastard, Hornswoggle is currently the Cruiserweight Champion on Smackdown! In addition to that, it was announced tonight that he is the illegitimate son of Vince McMahon. Who would have thought it could have been him? I guess Vince likes it when Irish eyes are smiling.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
So what has been making all of this happen? Well, it seems that Ben Tribbett has taken issue with the Old Dominion Blog Alliance. A lot of this stems from how the ODBA had a site named for them and it was linked to NAMBLA. Now, I for one think NAMBLA has no right to exist under any circumstance, but that is beside the point.
The point here is that Ben is under the impression that the ODBA, which is overwhelmingly conservative, is much like NAMBLA in trying to protect their own views under the First Amendment. In his own view, Ben has stated “A majority of that group has either made outright racist or jew-baiting comments in just the last year- it is a sick, out of control group that deserves to be compared to other sick and out of control groups.”
What makes this comment rather ironic is how if a person were to read a number of the comments on his own blog, quite a number of insensitive, racist, and extremely bating type comments have been said. Needless to say, other blogs have fired shots at NLS and now we find ourselves in a good old fashioned pissing match.
In one corner, we have NLS. In the other, we have Virginia Virtucon. These are the two big time combatants. It got really bad when Joe Stanley was revealed as the person who link ODBA to NAMBLA. Now fingers point to Ben as a possible accomplice. I don’t know for sure if this is true or not, but I have to think some of the evidence does mount to one thinking that it is true.
Reason? NLS has admitted he can track IP Addresses on his comments section and is able to track down the location of where the comments come from. Personally, I think this falls pretty darn close to stalking, however; this does fall close into a gray area. If you track a person like that, then it is possible to help another person try to do something so blatantly horrible as linking a group with NAMBLA.
So what is the difference between the dribble that comes out of NLS and the dribble that comes out of blogs from ODBA? Answer: NOTHING. Everyone can say what they wish in this country. That is the beauty of the First Amendment. Can you go out into the middle of a public square and say anything that is racist, sexist, cruel, and evil? You can bet your bottom dollar on it. Is it a wise thing to do? No, because common sense says so.
As a writer on a blog, responsibility is needed for what you write. Think before it happens. If you are going to make claims, then back it up. More importantly, everyone is entitled to their opinion. The biggest thing I have found is that when a person make a poignant point that makes sense, those who in principal should disagree with the comment will look for ways to belittle it or just ignore it in general.
My final thoughts on this topic is rather simple: grow up! Grow up Ben. Grow up Virtucon. Grow up Joe Stanley. Grow up to everyone who is in the pissing match that is going on over the web. It was noted last year that blogs get a bad wrap because of the petty bickering which can occur on them. This proves it all the more. What is next? Is a comment on a blog going to lead to a death here in NOVA. Ask Mary Washington University about that. A student was killed because he post on MySpace his loyalty to the Republican party.
So in the end, to everyone, grow up and get a life that does not involve politics in any way, shape, or form. It isn’t that hard and who knows, maybe you will like it.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
The show has Audrey Davis and Carlton Funn Sr. discussing their respective organizations and how they impact black history in Alexandria. Ms. Davis is the Assistant Director and Curator for the Alexandria Black History Museum. Mr. Funn is the Chairman of the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage.
During the interview, both gave a great deal of stories and information pertaining to the history of Alexandria for African Americans. It is a truly inspiring episode that was taped and I am happy that it went off as well as it did. So I have a trivia question for my readers: Who was the first black basketball player in the NBA?
What is rather interesting is some of the stories around this man and how so very few people know about him. In addition to that, we discussed a man by the name of Charles Hamilton Houston. Not a lot of folks will know he is, but I promise you, when you see the show, you will be amazed at the new information you receive about this man.
Overall, I think this will be one of the best episodes that we have ever taped. For those who are out of the area, I highly recommend working to get local television stations to contact Channel 10 studios here in Merrifield, Virginia, and have a copy of the show sent to your stations to be aired.
For those in the viewing area, Virginia Time Travel aires on Channel 10 and this episode will have their aire dates: August 23 at 600pm, August 24 at 900pm, and August 27 at 600am. I hope you all watch and I think you will be greatly impressed by what you will see.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Barney Gumble says is Lord Palmerston. Wade Bogss thinks it is Pitt the Elder. So what do you all think? I know who my choice is: Francis Urquhart!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
As a result, some books have to be pulled in order to help make room. It would seem though that libraries have decided that the opinion of Oprah Winfrey and her book club is more important than having such titles as The Aeneid, Jane Eyre, The Sound and the Fury, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
While not every book is going to necessarily be read, there are occassions where one may need an old title from a library. According to some folks, patrons of a library can do an ILL (Inter Library Loan) and the title they want can be found within a week. Problem with a county ILL is that if the entire county gets rid of a book, then you got to go elsewhere in the state, then surrounding states, and then the country.
There is always the option of buying a book, but students are not going to go out of their way to buy a book they are suppossed to read. They would sooner spend their money on Cliffnotes and "read" their books that way.
I think the real problem we are facing now with a situation like this is that a generation of lazy students, who in turn into a generation of lazy adults, is beyond the beginning stages and moving into full fledge motion. Sources like the internet, and especially Wikipedia, have made some people believe that if you cannot find the information online, then it must not exist.
There is something to be said about the old, look it up, mentality. If you research a project by doing the investigation and reading a book, you discover there is more than meets the eye. A research paper can take on a new direction simply by reading an extra paragraph or two in a book.
So how do we save classic books fro disappearing and other books which have social relavance from going to the wind? I for one think it is high time libraries be used for the purpose of education once agian and rid themselves of books which can otherwise be found at a local bookstore.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Recently I got involved with the Alexandria Colonial Tour company based, obviously, in Alexandria. Wednesday through Sunday, the company will take you out and walk the streets of Alexandria telling a variety of stories about those who died and decided not to leave the area.
There is lots of fun to be had and you get to meet some great personalities while out on the tours. I highly suggest coming out to taking a a tour and when October rolles around it is even better because Halloween is just around the corner!
Sunday, July 08, 2007
As I look at this situation, I have to admit being a government teacher does give me a little bit of insight as to what the problems of this situation is. First, lets look at this from Pelosi's point of view. For the Speaker, she has to not only act as the head of her party in Congress, but needs to keep things moving forward in the country. She claims that July will be a month of action when it comes to Iraq, but considering the track record of a Democratically controlled Congress thus far, one has to wonder. As near as I can tell, Congress has YET to have a five day work week. In addition to that, the amount of pork barrel legislation that has gone through Congress does not appear to have slowed down at all. Finally, we have the debacle of the Immigration Reform bill. In addition to this, we have a new problem for Democrats: grassroot supporters with their own agendas.
Let's be honest here, there were a lot of people here in Virginia who tried to rally to break a number of Republican strongholds. Once the Democrats who got elected into office were seen, it was very notable to discover that CONSERVATIVE Democrats got elected overwhelmingly compared to LIBERAL Democrats. Reason? Because this country is a lot more conservative than I think some folks out there are willing to admit to. While it is clear that there are those who fall on one side of the track or the other, the fact still remains that the middle of the country has some areas of conservatism that runs deeper than other areas. Once the Democrats showed that they were going to have to work with Republicans, or that not every Democrats was going to march in line behind the others, the grassroots movement folks decided to complain and take issue with their former figureheads.
Now we get to Sheehan. For the mother of a fallen soldier, her story is one that a number of families have suffered through over the years. However, I think the problem here is that she doesn't quite understand the ways in which politics work. She is flat out saying that unless something is done, she is going to take action against those who did not do as she said. Sound familiar? Terrorists like to make demands of us and then threaten to attack.
Now, I am not comparing Sheehan to terrorists, so please do not accuse me of that. I am trying to draw a parallel. The problem Sheehan has is that she is literally a one trick pony. If placed in a debate against Pelosi and Republican challenger, she will get destroyed in the debate. In addition to that, President Bush will not be much of a whipping horse to deal with. Democrats will likely have either Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama as their standard bearer in 2008. Depending on the support that Democrats can get from their potential presidential leader, I think Pelosi will not have any problems getting re-elected.
Sheehan's primary issue, Iraq, will need to remain an area of contention and something she can exploit for over a year. While San Fransisco is exceptionally liberal, I think voters are not going to vote for Sheehan because her lack of experience and knowledge as to what to do in a political realm will be exposed very quickly. In addition to this, an Independent candidate has the biggest mountain to climb. Unless Sheehan can get enough monetary and popular support early and sustain it, the odds are against her in making even the biggest of ripples in a political pool.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
World Heavyweight Champion
4 time Intercontinental Champion
3 time WWE World Tag Team Champion
3 time WWE United States Champion
WWE Tag Team Champion
WCW World Heavyweight Champion
3 time WCW Television Champion
2 time WCW Tag Team Champion
2 time WCW United States Champion
Universal Wrestling Association Light Heavyweight Champion
4 time Stampede British Commonwealth Mid Heavyweight Champion
4 time Stampede International Tag Team Champion
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
Chris Benoit held 30 titles in a 22 year career. If you do the averages, there wasn't a single year of his career then where he did not hold a title belt. Even if he were to have another title for 8 more years, he could say upon retirement that every year of his career would have one title based off of the number of belts he wore around hsi waist. His career screams Hall of Fame bound.
Sadly, this will not be the case. It has been announced Chris Benoit strangled his wife, smothered his son, and then hung himself. Like many people around the world who love wrestling, I am STUNNED by this. Usually when I hear about a wrestler who dies, it comes with them having died in their hotel room due to previous years abuse of drugs. This set of circumstances surrounding Chris Benoit is nothing short of mind bending. The investigation is looking into whether or not Benoit took steroids before the murders had occured. If that is the case, this could be chalked up towards roid rage, but it is still an embarrassing and difficult situation for WWE officials to deal with as this will undoubtedly call into question the legitimacy of their wellness policy in regards to wrestlers not using drugs.
WWE has already begun distancing themselves from Chris Benoit. His name is being removed from virtually everything and it will be very interesting to see how their storylines will be developed following this tragic incident. While Chris Benoit may never end up in the Hall of Fame, his career is one which will certainly be very impressive, at least in terms of athletics. Sadly, I fer Chris Benoit now must join the ranks of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Pete Rose. This isn't the way his career should of ended.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
1. "Citizen Kane," 1941.
2. "The Godfather," 1972.
3. "Casablanca," 1942.
4. "Raging Bull," 1980.
5. "Singin' in the Rain," 1952.
6. "Gone With the Wind," 1939.
7. "Lawrence of Arabia," 1962.
8. "Schindler's List," 1993.
9. "Vertigo," 1958.
10. "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
11. "City Lights," 1931.
12. "The Searchers," 1956.
13. "Star Wars," 1977.
14. "Psycho," 1960.
15. "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.
16. "Sunset Blvd.", 1950.
17. "The Graduate," 1967.
18. "The General," 1927.
19. "On the Waterfront," 1954.
20. "It's a Wonderful Life," 1946.
21. "Chinatown," 1974.
22. "Some Like It Hot," 1959.
23. "The Grapes of Wrath," 1940.
24. "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," 1982.
25. "To Kill a Mockingbird," 1962.
26. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," 1939.
27. "High Noon," 1952.
28. "All About Eve," 1950.
29. "Double Indemnity," 1944.
30. "Apocalypse Now," 1979.
31. "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.
32. "The Godfather Part II," 1974.
33. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," 1975.
34. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1937.
35. "Annie Hall," 1977.
36. "The Bridge on the River Kwai," 1957.
37. "The Best Years of Our Lives," 1946.
38. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.
39. "Dr. Strangelove," 1964.
40. "The Sound of Music," 1965.
41. "King Kong," 1933.
42. "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967.
43. "Midnight Cowboy," 1969.
44. "The Philadelphia Story," 1940.
45. "Shane," 1953.
46. "It Happened One Night," 1934.
47. "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.
48. "Rear Window," 1954.
49. "Intolerance," 1916.
50. "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," 2001.
51. "West Side Story," 1961.
52. "Taxi Driver," 1976.
53. "The Deer Hunter," 1978.
54. "M-A-S-H," 1970.
55. "North by Northwest," 1959.
56. "Jaws," 1975.
57. "Rocky," 1976.
58. "The Gold Rush," 1925.
59. "Nashville," 1975.
60. "Duck Soup," 1933.
61. "Sullivan's Travels," 1941.
62. "American Graffiti," 1973.
63. "Cabaret," 1972.
64. "Network," 1976.
65. "The African Queen," 1951.
66. "Raiders of the Lost Ark," 1981.
67. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", 1966.
68. "Unforgiven," 1992.
69. "Tootsie," 1982.
70. "A Clockwork Orange," 1971.
71. "Saving Private Ryan," 1998.
72. "The Shawshank Redemption," 1994.
73. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," 1969.
74. "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991.
75. "In the Heat of the Night," 1967.
76. "Forrest Gump," 1994.
77. "All the President's Men," 1976.
78. "Modern Times," 1936.
79. "The Wild Bunch," 1969.
80. "The Apartment, 1960.
81. "Spartacus," 1960.
82. "Sunrise," 1927.
83. "Titanic," 1997.
84. "Easy Rider," 1969.
85. "A Night at the Opera," 1935.
86. "Platoon," 1986.
87. "12 Angry Men," 1957.
88. "Bringing Up Baby," 1938.
89. "The Sixth Sense," 1999.
90. "Swing Time," 1936.
91. "Sophie's Choice," 1982.
92. "Goodfellas," 1990.
93. "The French Connection," 1971.
94. "Pulp Fiction," 1994.
95. "The Last Picture Show," 1971.
96. "Do the Right Thing," 1989.
97. "Blade Runner," 1982.
98. "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942.
99. "Toy Story," 1995.
100. "Ben-Hur," 1959.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Hat tip to Riley over at Virtucon.
"Because we remained strong, the Soviets came back to the table." -Ronald Reagan.
Words which say it all. It meant a lot then and in today's world, I think those words mean more now. As long as we remain strong, the terrorists will never win.
Monday, June 11, 2007
1. Require members of Congress to work out on the Total Gym 15 minutes each day – or else they can't vote on anything.
2. Cut spending by dismissing the Secret Service, at least for my eight years in office (why would I need them?).
3. Resurrect Bruce Lee and appoint him head of homeland security (OK, the CIA and FBI too).
4. Give a presidential pardon to … no one, ever. Baretta was right in the '70s, "Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time. Don't do it!"
5. Turn the Rose Garden into a new fighting ring for the World Combat League, in which liberals and conservatives will fight for legislative leadership and priority. (For fun, Saturday night fights will feature a recurring bout between Hannity and Colmes). "American Idol" already told me they will provide the entertainment.
6. Require Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to personally pay for national, comprehensive medical coverage for every American (or meet me in the Rose Garden).
7. Increase jobs in America by sending ninja teams to sabotage and steal them back from other countries.
8. Tattoo an American flag with the words, "In God we trust," on the forehead of every atheist.
9. Give a tax credit to anyone naming their children Walker or Texas Ranger (excluding Will Farrell).
10. Resolve the Iraq war by bringing all of our military personnel home immediately, then going over there by myself for "martial arts negotiations."
11. Hang Saddam Hussein (Whoops – scratch that – already did it undercover).
11. Convey my plan for world peace to the United Nations: taking the governor of California with me on our "kick butt and ask questions later" USO world tour.
12. Give every new military enlistee abroad a copy of my upcoming new book, "The Threat of Justice," with the words, "Arnold and I will be back to pump you up!" above my autograph.
13. Bring on Donald Trump as my apprentice. When my presidential term is complete and he has obtained his black belt, or whichever comes first, he can buy the White House and of course rename it (to, what else, "The Trump House").
14. Create new immigration legislation: to deport all liberals (then force them to listen to Bill O' Reilly every day for five years, at which point they may return).
15. Ask producer Mark Barnett to film "Survivor – Camp David," where world leaders will meet annually, for an all-out cage-fighting championship. The winner will take home $1,000,000 in Disney Dollars, good in Europe or America.
16. Send an autographed photo of me and my horse (no dogs in my White House) to everyone who commits to read my new WorldNetDaily "presidential column" and blast a blog who dares to disagree with me.
17. Complete the plan to bring Tony Blair to the U.S. as my vice president.
18. Expose the real WMDs – my fists and feet.
19. Replace Letterman, Leno or Conan once monthly, since stand-up comedy is what most governmental officials do anyway.
20. Ask Al Gore to provide me with a special governmental study on the connection between spotted owl extinction and global warming. (I'm pretty sure Michael Moore will film the docudrama).
21. Help Rosie transition from "The View" to the pew – it might help her get over that anger problem. If the pew doesn't work, she can spar Trump in the Rose Garden.
First and foremost, however, his greatest priorities will be to …
Personally smoke out bin Laden by myself and round-house kick him all the way back to America, where my United Fighting Arts Federation will handle the justice issues.
Make all Chuck Norris facts come true (well, not quite all of them – I'm a happily, married man!)
I for one, LOVE this platform. I could easily get behind this one 100%. Sadly, I don't think Chuck is going to run. While he puts his support behind Newt Gingrich, I think I might have to risk facing a possible round house kick by backing Fred Thompson.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Here is the point Kane made: why is it the school says some kids can't ride in a limo, but they can be dropped off in their parents Mercedes of BMW's?
In all honesty, I do think getting a limo for a 6th grader is going over board. When I graduated from 6th grade, I think my parents just gave out a big sigh of relief that I graduated.
So why is it parents do something like this? Listening to the radio, you get the impression that a number of parents just want to spoil their children. Others see this as a reward for their children doing good work throughout the year. I think it is a mixture of both. There ARE a lot of parents who like to spoil their children now a days. In fact, even on the radio, the discussion on this went into the area of rights of passage.
It seems that in this area the age for getting certain things like a limo, cell phones, earings, etc. is getting younger and younger. By the time a child reaches the natural age of passage for something, the event that is suppossed to be special in their life has already occurred. So what are they to do?
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Monday, May 07, 2007
That is a lot of people to deal with on the planet; however, the article does go on to note that the increase of population on the planet would be found primarily in developing nations. Meanwhile, those nations which are seen as developed will remain as they are. The problem is that the developed nations should have fewer children. In addition to that, if a couple is going to get married, they should be informed of the hazards having lots of kids will have on the environment.
If you think that one was weird, I do have another one for you. Paul Watson, who is the founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is calling humanity a virus on Earth. Specifically, he sees humanity being like the AIDS virus. His own ideas for how to fix the world’s problems are also rather interesting.
• “No human community should be larger than 20,000 people and separated from other communities by wilderness areas.” New York, London, Paris, Moscow are all too big. Then again, so are Moose Jaw, Timbuktu and even Annapolis, Md.
• “We need vast areas of the planet where humans do not live at all and where other species are free to evolve without human interference.”
• “We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion.”
• “Sea transportation should be by sail. The big clippers were the finest ships ever built and sufficient to our needs. Air transportation should be by solar powered blimps when air transportation is necessary.”
• At least Watson was generous and said people could still talk with one another across great distances. “Communication systems can link the communities,” he proclaimed from on high.
Hmm. “Radically and intelligently reduce human populations.” Am I the only one who finds that this sounds a little familiar?
The only part of this plan I like it returning sailing ships to the sea. For me, that doesn’t seem like too bad of an option, but we could certainly keep airplanes and other transport items for larger goods.
The question which comes to my mind is how willing are some of the people to put their plans into effect. For instance, is Paul Watson going to allow himself to die in the mass extermination of humanity that he wants? Will members of the Optimum Population Trust really limit themselves to having only two children? Thoughts?
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Yesterday, 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech. A lot of students at where I work apply to VT and always hope to get in. I hope and pray they are all safe and pray for the families of those who lost loved ones. God will welcome them into heaven with open arms and they will enjoy eternal happiness.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Last night, Scrubs decided to do an amazing episode which took two weeks to play out. It dealt with Nurse Laverne Roberts who is a long time veteran nurse with lots of sass and a devotion to Jesus which is absolutely amazing. Last week, Laverne and Doctor Cox had argument on the existence of God. As Laverne pointed out, everything happens for a reason. While Cox tried to prove her wrong, everything he gave as an example proved that there was something worse which could have happened. Eventually, Laverne tells Cox that without her faith, she could never work in a hospital. Unfortunately, Laverne got into a car crash and was placed in intensive care.
Part II of the show had everyone in the hospital say goodbye to Laverene as they discovered she was brain dead. After Carla said goodbye, Laverne died. Scrubs has had a number of people on the show die before, but I think what makes this one different is that Laverne was one of those characters who you kind of figured would always be around. The scenes she had were ones which always gave you a laugh.
In the end, I think the lesson to be learned here, especially during this Easter season, is that everything happens for a reason. Life can be very interesting. In the end, if we trust in God and know that what He wants for us will come to pass, it will happen.
Each reader can make up their mind based off of this article, but one can't help but wonder how "truthful" Iran was when President Ahmadinejad told Great Britain not to ask their own people about what really happened to them.
Am I wrong to question the "sincerity" of Iran with everything they have been saying as late? I don't think so.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
This is the new single from their newest album, the first in four years. A totally different type of song from Linkin Park, but so awesome. One great thing about this band, they never curse in their songs. I can't wait to hear the rest of their album. This should be REALLY good.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Scary pictures, right? Well, these are kids with toy guns in Palestine who could grow up to be suicide bombers. What is worse is that their textbooks teach them to hate Israel. If I have said it before, I will say it again: education is important. Do not stunt the education of children by teaching one side. Is there anyone out there who can justify these pictures? Turning children into soldiers is just wrong. If the children are our future, then what point is there to having a future if their parents want them to grow up, fight, and die?
I believe it is a sad day when history cannot be taught the way it had actually happened. Yes, there are perspectives and interpretations on it, but the fundamental facts are the same. If students are not given the opportunity to learn about all different points of view, then what is the point of education? Why bother teaching? Students should be challenged. They should be able to defend their beliefs, but at the same time be open to new ideas. Is that too much to ask?
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Undeniably one of the greatest actors of all time is Errol Flynn. He was the King of the Swashbucklers and could use his charm and presence on screen to make a scene fantastic. A while back the Errol Flynn Signature Collection was released and now the Errol Flynn Signature Collection Volume 2 has been released.
In looking at his filmography, he certainly did a lot. Add that to his life, this was a man who did things most of us can only dream about. Although some folks say maybe only half of the things he did in his early years are true, it is still impressive. I don't want to give too much away, as I think people should learn more about the man on their own. You can learn more about Flynn through the website set up by his daughter.
If you are going to go rent a movie, check out The Adventures of Robin Hood. It is an all time classic and something your kids, especially the younger ones, will remember for the rest of their lives.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Sure enough, colleges and universities have been finding themselves with this problem too. It almost begs the question of what is wrong with our education system, but the answer, half the time, is right in front of us. Students don’t want to learn and teachers don’t want to teach. Keep in mind, this is NOT an ironclad rule, but it is one that is popping up more and more often.
As schools across the country enter into the fourth quarter, the amount of tension and frustration that both students and teachers are facing are beginning to boil over and both sides do not plan on giving up any ground in the classroom. An example comes from my own classes. It is now becoming almost a daily struggle of having to listen to my own students say to me, “It’s the fourth quarter! We don’t need notes anymore. Let’s just coast into summer.”
Students seem to forget that in a few years, coasting into summer will no longer be an option. The workforce has no summer vacation. If they do, it tends to be referred to as unemployment. While I digress from the original point, in some ways, the two connect. I remind my students that they cannot slack off in the final quarter and if they do, their grades will suffer. Their response falls along the lines of “Well, then you will be seen as a bad teacher because all of us failed.”
My logic is that if you don’t do the work, you get a zero. Would any parent complain about that? You better believe it. There is always one who will complain, which no brings me back to grade inflation. Schools are finding themselves being placed under increasing pressure to either get good marks for federal funding, show students with high marks to get them into college, or school want to protect the self esteem of the students by not giving them low marks.
There is the famous “Gentleman’s C,” where if a student has a hard time in the class, but tries and is not a problem student, the teacher will give that person a C. Is it fair?
Some school districts are eliminating certain grades because the value of it has no meaning. For instance, if a student gets a D in my class, they know they came pretty close to failing. In addition to that, parents will see that and want to know what is going on. However, in a number of schools, students will shrug their shoulders and not care. Simply getting by is not the answer for our education system.
Instead, we need to make sure students are challenged and made to push themselves to the limits. If a teacher is tough, but fair, then they should be that way. If the student doesn’t like having to do work in the class, then tough. The students need to get over it, plain and simple. In reading two articles on the subject, it is clear something needs to be done. The first talks about grade inflation in general and is quite informative on the subject. The second discusses a teacher who was told to change her grades and get into trouble.
So how do we fix this problem? If it were up to me, I would use the model my parents used on me: Get home, change, homework till 7, dinner, if homework hasn’t been finished yet, then finish it. If the work was done, then I could enjoy the rest of the night until 10 when it was time to go to bed.
Was it tough? A little, but I am better for it. A system like that creates more self discipline and makes you understand that if you don’t get your work done, there will be consequences.
As for teachers, there shouldn’t be a fear of hurting anyone’s feelings in the classroom. If a student fails, they fail. There are no two ways about it. If the teacher can hold the line in the classroom, then the students will learn to follow those rules and perform better for their classes. While education is a two way street, there still needs to be an understanding that when you are in the classroom, the teacher is in charge and what they say goes.
At the moment, over a dozen episodes of the show have been taped. Slowly, but surely, more information about both the company and show is being spread across Northern Virginia. Recently, an interview was conducted with the Mount Vernon Gazette regarding the show.
As the second season of tapings moves forward, Time Travel 21 is working to branch out into more avenues of interest to people throughout Northern Virginia. For those who are interested in getting Virginia Time Travel to air in their local community, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. We can work towards making sure everyone in your part of the state can be part of what is most likely the first and only state history program ever in Virginia.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Now that I have your attention, let me continue. When we think of getting an e-card, it is usually on a happy note, but there are occasions where it might be sympathy and the only way we can actually let the person know we are sorry for something is to send the e-card. However, do we really need to send an e-card for abortions?
Already, the greeting card industry has created cards for different events such as potty training, half birthdays, and divorce. Must we add abortions to the list? I, for one, say no. As you can see here, there are six e-cards to choose from. The themes are designed to speak to different perspectives depending on how you feel.
What I find truly disturbing and also disgusting is that one card says you “did the right thing.” So killing a life is a good thing? It is not only killing a life, it is killing a life whose only crime was being created. Do we really want a card that acknowledges this?
Exhale claims to be open to all views, but one does have to wonder how serious they are in that statement. Considering that the majority of the women who founded the organization are both pro choice and had abortions, their mission statement says abortion CAN be a natural part of a woman or girl’s life, and the majority of contributors to the organization are pro choice as well, I cannot help but feel that their slant is directed towards saying abortion is the best option out there.
The fact of the matter is that abortion, in my opinion, is nothing more than a social irresponsibility. The reason why I say that is because let us think about what this says to people. For women, they are about to enter into a new stage of their life. But wait! Abortion means she can go ahead and put off having the family so she can go out partying or what ever. For men, the responsibility of being a father is no longer there. Why should they take responsibility and be a parent when they can simply say, “Hey babe, get an abortion. I will stay with you then.”
I can already sense and hear what is coming up from the reader: what about cases of rape and incest? Certainly circumstances like that are tough and a difficult choice must be made. However, is it the child’s fault for being created? No. So why then must the child’s life end? Why not put the baby up for adoption? Why not give the child a chance for life?
Well, certainly there are economic concerns to worry about. Pregnancy can cost a lot of money. But so does a lot of other things in life. While this might not be the best comparison out there, consider this question: does the amount of money it costs to have a baby exceed the amount of money you waste in the same span of nine months on frivolous expenses which you do not really need? To answer a question like that, you really need to think long and hard about everything you buy and where some things could be cut out of your life. In effect, that is what is being done with an abortion: a life is being cut out of your body.
Back to my words on irresponsibility, it seems that a lot of times people only want to think of themselves. When there is a baby in the middle, your concerns are no longer important. The only concern which is important is that of the child. It is rather interesting to note that a lot of parents talk about how they want to give every possible chance to their children when it comes to schools, resources, everything you can think of. So why is it then there are parents who will not give their children the most basic chance of all to their unborn children: life.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
And so I ask: do we truly appreciate our freedom? The automatic answer from everyone is yes, but I sometimes wonder. I sat in my classroom and listened to students debate. When one student said that freedom wasn’t free, a response which was given to him was “Freedom isn’t free and what is the cost of life?” Under normal circumstances, I would not think twice about it, but it was the tone of voice which the statement had going behind it which upset me. It sounded as if this student did not care or take it seriously. Just a flip comment that would otherwise be forgotten, but one which I cannot help but hear echo in my mind.
In looking back at history, I found that some of the events we live in today are reminiscent of another time period: Reconstruction. After the end of the Civil War, the nation was placed at the heart of a very difficult position. The entire South was ruined an 4 million people were now free. Does the Union protect all the free slaves on the plantation, or protect their own? There was a development of a strong insurgency which threatened the “peaceful” balance of the South and prevent all the freed slaves from enjoying the benefits of a free society. There was also an imbalance in the government: would the Republican version of Southern government take hold or would the old order, or a semblance of it, come back into power?
These questions were very prevalent then, as many of the questions we face today in Iraq are prevalent in our minds. We hear a lot about how people on the home front talk about what is and is not going on in Iraq, but do they know what they are talking about? Just recently a reporter wrote a false story about soldiers raping and pillaging towns in Northern Iraq. Why is it then folks here in the states grab on to those stories and proclaim them to be true? Is there justice there? Is there honesty?
Recently, my history students were watching the film "Heaven and Hell: North and South Book III". This film looks at Reconstruction from multiple angles. One view point that is looked at is from Isaac Cano, a former slave who now works on the plantation he was born into servitude to. When he was attending a meeting for freed slaves near his home, he admitted that while he was yet to be paid, his boss gave him something more than just money: pride. The question was asked to Isaac why he should keep on working at a plantation which would not pay him. The response Isaac gave shows great integrity when he said:
You can’t see how it is down here cause you’re from up North. But you best take a long hard look and listen. What we do, now, what we give, we do and give cause we wanna, it ain’t like it was before the war. It’s different now. We’s free, now. And free men choose. What the point is there in being free if you can’t choose.
The point Isaac is making is that he chose to stay at this plantation to work there. In the end, his employer not only gave him pride for the work he has done, but also showed that he was truly a valued member of the community that was being created around the plantation.
If we take these words to the present with Iraq, many people will argue a great deal of rhetoric and basically tear about many of the things I am trying to say here, but lets not forget one thing about the Iraqi people: they are free. At any time, the people there could have voted the opposite way and denied the creation of a new government, the creation of their constitution, the creation of the new Iraqi state we see before us. Democracy in the Middle East will never be like democracy in America. There are too many cultural difficulties to over come in order to make that kind of transition.
But even with those differences, there are many similarities between ourselves and the Iraqis. The desire to be free and treated with respect is something that can never be denied by anyone. Even in this country, we see politicians speaking about two or three Americas and others about how immigration is destroying our country. The lack of respect that is given to the people of this world is appalling in all stretches of the imagination.
Once again, I go back to North and South and the words of Isaac Cano, where he is joined by Francis Cardozo, a free black from South Carolina, who would become the Secretary of State for South Carolina and eventually work in the Treasury Department in Washington DC.
These words are very powerful and spoke to the students in my history class:
Isaac: I ain’t by no right some kind of speaker. But, uh, I’ve been doing me some thinking real recent like. I was thinking a lot about bein free man, something I never knowed as a child. Now as a married man, thinking a lot about having a family, I’ve been thinking about the rest of my life. I’ve been thinking some about dying too. Well, I…I reckon this here proclamation ought to show some of them white folks that we just like them. Not different. Know why we’s feel like the. We love like them. Bare babies like them, Lord knows a lot of their daddy’s give some of us their blood and, uh, a lot of our mamas done fed a whole lot of them with their milk and I’ve been figuring somebody ought to tell some of them white folks that when they dies and when we die we alls gets put into the same dirt and how when we get to heaven, we all gonna share the same good Lord. I reckon…I reckon enough has said about all them differences. I thank you.
(Thunderous Applause and Cheering)
Cardozo: Listen to them Mr. Cano! Listen!
Isaac: I just said what I thoughts.
Cardozo: So pure and simple. Every man’s heart soared. God bless you Mr. Cano.
Isaac: Thank you…
Cardozo: For what?
Isaac: You called me mister. It ain’t ever been done before.
Dignity and respect. Two words which have seemingly lost all meaning in our society. Enough HAS been said about the differences that exist among all of us. What is not said are the similarities and the commonalities which can be used to help all of us work together. People are so embroiled in their own petty and twisted sense of political rhetoric that there is no more sense to the world what so ever.
Reports indicate the Hillary Clinton, if elected president, would want to pull us out of Iraq and leave that country to the mercy of terrorists and anyone wishing to destroy a Middle East democracy. While I cannot say this is either true or false, abandoning those people in Iraq need our help.
Have we not learned anything from the lessons of the past? Do we not remember what happened after Reconstruction. African Americans found themselves in a state of virtual slavery. Jim Crowe laws were passed and it took almost one hundred years about the problems were addressed and corrected. If we abandon Iraq, must we wait another hundred years for the injustice committed by terrorists to be pointed out and then eliminated? Or shall we close our eyes and be blind to the fact that the here and now is when these problems must be address and these problems must be faced not only to help our selves, but our children, our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children.
So I ask you: do we still know what it is to be free? Do we even care? Have we learned nothing from the past? I fear this new generation growing up does not know what it is to be free, cares for what it means to be free, and might not have learned anything from the past. I do not condemn all young people that are in school today, but there are those who I feel fall into the category I just described.
As for Isaac Cano, after giving his speech in Charleston, South Carolina, he and another man were riding home. On the way, members of the Ku Klux Klan stopped them. Isaac was hung only a short distance from his home. His final words were, “Jesus…watch over Jane.” (Jane was his wife) After that, he let go of the rope around his neck and choked to death. We cannot allow the noose of tyranny to strangle the emerging freedom and democracy that people in Iraq are enjoying. It may not be perfect, but neither was our when it all began. There are bumps in the road and more than likely many more will come. However, to turn our backs on what is going on over there is just like what happened when the North ended Reconstruction. Can we truly allow something like this to happen again? I pray we don’t, but I fear we will.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
In addition to this, sometimes it is a wise idea to see if anyone else agrees with that particular number. So, what I did was look at a number of polls and here is what we got:
CBS News: 28% Approve 64% Disapprove
ABC News: 33% Approve 65% Disapprove
NBC News: 35% Approve 60% Disapprove
Fox News: 35% Approve 58% Disapprove
Gallup: 36% Approve 61% Disapprove
Rasmussen: 39% Approve 60% Disapprove
AP: 36% Approve 61% Disapprove
CNN: 34% Approve 64% Disapprove
Newsweek: 31% Approve 62% Disapprove
Average: 34% Approve 62% Disapprove
So what does this prove? Well, for starters, the President's numbers aren't the greatest in the world. Anyone could easily tell you that. What this does show is that basing your information off of one source is never a good diea. Yes, poll data does change from week to week, but these numbers are all the most recent polling numbers that have come out.
In addition to this, the Average number I came up with off of those nine polls are identical to Real Clear Politics and their poll average. So my advice for everyone is that before you start saying whatever poll number you find is the greatest thing since sliced bread, be sure to double check on the numbers and make sure it isn't a fluke.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
So it looks like Zeus is back, or at least that is what some folks are trying to do as reported from CNN. By my calculations, the last time Zeus was ever really seen as big news was about 1614 years ago. After all pagan religions were banned in Greece and replaced by Christianity, what few "pagans" that were left tried to keep their old ways alive, but could only make it to the ninth century.
I can't help but think we could be looking at the dawn of a "new" or return of an old, religion here. Now, before everyone thinks I am offmy rocker, lets be honest here for a second. Most religions, in fact all, have been seen as strange and hokie in their own rights. In addition to that, once the message was spread, there were some folks who found that it wasn't as bad as others made it out to be.
How long ago was it that people thought Wicca was just a fad. From what I know, a lot of folks consider themselves in it through one way or another. How about Scientology? Everyone likes to poke fun at Tom Cruise, but even that has a pretty big following.
I suppose the point here is that sometimes folks look for some kind of stability in the crazy world we have now found ourselves in. Religion has always been a very stable place to be. What kind of religion we follow is up to the individual and is one that each of us need to consider carefully. Does this mean Zeus and the other Olympian gods will return? I don't know, but I bet there might be a small following in Greece before we know it.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Chuck Norris is a Republican! Now, we all know how awesome he is. I am sure a lot of us have heard facts about him, but now we can all learn what he thinkg about the world. WorldNetDaily has a link where he will write columns for the website. Truth be told, I think this is rather interesting as he applies a great deal of Eastern philosophy into everyday situations.
In addition to that, lets be honest: there is something to admire about a guy who knows how to be a gentleman and walk away from a possible bad situation than just go in and roundhouse kick everyone in sight. On a personal note though, I don't think I would want to disagree with Chuck Norris. I mean, the man's chief export is pain!
"That's wrong," Stia, 83, said Thursday from his Hamilton home, where he flies an American flag at half-staff to honor fallen soldiers. "We're just giving our flag away and our patriotism away."
Stia and other veterans are steamed about the proposal, which the state lawmakers unanimously passed last month and now awaits action by the governor. It was included as part of a larger measure designed to help control property taxes, mostly by abolishing some laws on school purchasing and public hearings.
Other holidays about which schools no longer would be required to teach include Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Arbor Day and Commodore Barry Day, which commemorates Revolutionary War hero John Barry.
New Jersey schools must observe the holidays under a 1967 law designed to promote "the development of a higher spirit of patriotism." Florida, Nebraska and Washington are among states with similar laws.
New Jersey American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars groups have asked Governor Jon S. Corzine to veto the bill so schools still have to teach about Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
"It's not right. They're not going to know the sacrifices that were made so they can enjoy the protections that they have," said Hank Adams, New Jersey VFW adjutant and an Army and Coast Guard veteran.
The governor hasn't decided how to proceed. "We're reviewing that bill," Corzine spokesman Anthony Coley said.
The law wouldn't ban schools from holding holiday commemorations. But requiring schools to honor the days guarantees children would learn about veterans, said Ray Zawacki, department adjutant for the American Legion of New Jersey.
"If it wasn't for veterans, we wouldn't have been able to maintain the freedoms the Constitution provided to us," said Zawacki, a Vietnam War Navy veteran.
Zawacki said schools frequently ask his and other veterans groups to send speakers into schools before the holidays.
But state Senator John Adler, a sponsor of the bill, cited a 2004 report by a state commission that recommended giving schools more flexibility to decide holiday observations. He questioned whether schools even bother to recognize the holidays.
"I don't believe that most schools fulfill the spirit of the law and the mandate," he said.
Adler said he understood and respected the veterans' concerns, but argued curriculum, not state mandates, should drive instruction.
"I don't think the state should be in the business of telling districts to do every single thing," he said.
New Jersey school officials support the bill.
"It's simply time and flexibility," said Mike Yaple, spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association. "There's nothing in the legislation that can undermine the amount of pride and honor a community feels toward their veterans."
While I agree with Mr. Yaple that the amount of pride and honor a community gives towards their veterans will not be threatened, the knowledge of what these veterans have done for the country DOES seem to be at stake here.
As a history teacher, there does seem to be a notable concern here. More often than not, I will ask my students a rather basic question regarding US History. The blank stare that I get back is frightening. Imagine students who don't know who Christopher Columbus is. Imagine the shock I get when students tell me the Civil War was in 1923 or that the Battle of Manassas was fought in Vermont and started when the Monitor was fired on by the Merrimac. How about when a student asks whether or not Stonewall Jackson was actually Andrew Jackson.
As a teacher, there is an obligation to give all students a strong knowledge of United States history. The fear veterans groups have when it comes to not having these days taught about or observed is well founded. The students may forget about what those who came before them died for. Even worse, if a teacher is not going to teach what happened on these days or who these people were, it is possible that the teacher could use their own classroom as a bully pulpit to tell children whatever they want.
Is this right? Must we sacrifice our history for the sake of political correctness? Am I just so old fashioned that teaching history should in the end give kids a sense of pride in who they are as Americans?
The First Wrestling War ended in 2001 right before Wrestlemania X7. It was certainly a momentous moment because the WWF finally defeated WCW and drove them out of business.
Truth be told, Time Warner put the death knoll on WCW, but Vince McMahon likes to take credit for it.
On September 24, 2006, the Second Wrestling War began. It was on this date that the announcement was made which showed Kurt Angle jumped to TNA.
Now, we mark a new date for the Second Wrestling War: January 8, 2007. If you watch this clip closely, you will see the awful match of two impersonators trying to be Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump.
Listen to the crowd chants. After a long run of boring chants, at the 7:45 minute marker, there is a VERY clear and audible chant of T-N-A being made by the crowd. There is even a shot of Vince McMahon and the look on his face from hearing the chant.
Even in the worst days of the original Wrestling War, there were never chants for the opposition done on WWF television.
This is a VERY notable moment for Vince McMahon as it shows his company is in danger of some hard competition. If he doesn't wake up, smell the roses, and realize the fans want more than this, He may have to be ready to find out that the markets which he once controlled will fall out of his grasp and he could once again be the Number 2 company.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Today is Lee Jackson Day. While some folks might have a problem with Virginia having a state holiday remembering two of Virginia’s most famous sons who fought for the Confederacy, the legacy of this date has been around for well over a hundred years.
The story of the day began in 1889 when Virginia decided to commemorate Robert E. Lee’s birthday, January 19. The person who passed this date into law was Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee and also governor of Virginia at the time. Like his uncle, Lee had served in the Confederate army as a general in the Army of Northern Virginia. Fitzhugh Lee would become one of many a string of Democrat governors in Virginia after Reconstruction.
In 1904, the decision was made to add Thomas Jonathon “Stonewall” Jackson to the day since his birthday was on January 21. This addition occurred under the watch of Andrew Jackson Montague.
In 1978, Virginia began to celebrate and remember Martin Luther King Jr. for his work in the Civil Rights movement. The problem that had occurred for Virginia, though, was when should the state remember the man. The decision was made to celebrate and remember Martin Luther King Jr. on New Year’s Day. The governor at the time was John Nichols Dalton.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan approved an act by Congress which set January 15 as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For Virginia, this date fell very close to Lee Jackson Day. As a result, it was decided to combine the two days together. This would occur during Chuck Robb’s tenure as governor. Needless to say, a number of lawmakers could not help but notice the contrast of having a single day celebrating both extremes of the spectrum when it came to southern history.
In 2000, Jim Gilmore separated the two holidays by moving Lee Jackson Day to the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
What is really interesting to note is that this is the first time in recent memory that I can think of that MLK Day actually falls on the date Congress said it was to fall on. As far back as I can remember, MLK Day was always on the third Monday of January. In looking up the history behind the day, MLK Day certainly was met with a great deal of opposition. Jesse Helms had argued that King was not worthy of having a national holiday named after him citing King’s opposition to the Vietnam War and possible Communist leanings. After Congress showed an overwhelming support for a national holiday for King, President Reagan signed it into law. It wouldn’t be until 1986 for the nation to take hold of it, but Virginia still was able to lead the nation by having the holiday on the books first.
As for Lee Jackson Day, this seems to be a day which has pretty much fallen into obscurity for the people of Virginia. Interestingly enough though, not everyone seems to have forgotten it. The DMV hasn’t as its offices are closed in observance of the day. In addition to this, I know for a fact that it is impossible for a person to get a parking ticket on Lee Jackson Day in Alexandria. It is actually a law on the city books. While I am sure there are a few other laws pertaining to Lee Jackson Day throughout the state, we should use this date as a way to remember all of Virginia’s sons and daughters who have made an impact on our state’s history.
For better of for worse, the legacy of the Civil War in Virginia can be seen throughout the majority of the state. However a person may view the South and the Confederacy, it is still impossible for anyone to deny the valor of those who stepped onto the battlefield and were willing to stare into the face of death and refuse to blink.
Ensuring that we remember this date is something that is important to Virginia. By acknowledging this aspect of American and Southern history, we as a people will never forget the lessons of the past when it comes to government, equality, courage, valor, honor, dignity, and respect. So on this day, let us remember these words:
“In spite of failures which I lament, of errors which I now see and acknowledge, or of the present aspect of affairs, do I despair the future? The truth is this: the march of Providence is so slow, our desires so impatient, the work of progress is so immense, and our means of aiding it so feeble, the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.”-Robert E. Lee
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The major change in history is when Special Orders 191 is not lost by a Confederate courier and discovered by the Army of the Potomac. Instead, Robert E. Lee leads the Army of Northern Virgnia into Pennsylvania and defeats the Union at Camp Hill, captures Philadelphia, and threatens to take Washington DC. The end result is the victory and independence of the South.
In How Few Remain, the CSA buys the Mexican provinces of Sonora and Chihuahua in order to expand to the Pacific. The United States is not thrilled by the plan and President James G. Blaine decides war is the only option. The end result of the Second Mexican War is another defeat for the United States and the loss of half of the state of Maine.
Turtledove then moves on the series. In the Great War Series, the books The American Front, A Walk In Hell, and Breakthroughs look at the American continent in relation to how the USA and CSA fight Word War I. In the end, the United States and Germany find themselves victorious over the Entente (UK, France, Russia, CSA) and decide to impose harsh terms on their defeated foes. This will lead to the next series...
American Empire, which also has three books: Blood and Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and The Victorious Opposition. This series looks at the time after WWI and the Depression. We see the USA in a state of jubilation as they are winners, but the CSA goes through hyper inflation and the rise of radical political parties. The party focused heavily on is the Freedom Party. This party will rise up like the Nazis and will take over the Confederate government. The series will end on June 22, 1941. If you know your history, you might be able to figure out what is rather unique about this date.
And now we enter into the final series: Settling Accounts. Return Engagement, Drive to the East, and The Grapple show how World War II is waged between the USA and CSA. Early in the war, the CSA is doing a surprisingly good job at beating the USA, but as time goes on, the CSA find itself on the losing end of the stick and are being pushed back faster than they realize.
Now we enter the last chapter of the saga. The book is entitled In At The Death. It is clear to me that the Confederacy is going to be annexed back into the United States of America. The real question is how everything will look in the end. While I have to wait a few more months to find out the answers to my questions, I at least now know the cover of the book. Here it is. Any thoughts on the series. I think people might find it interesting. Enjoy!
Monday, January 08, 2007
To "pluto" is "to demote or devalue someone or something," much like what happened to the former planet last year when the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union decided Pluto didn't meet its definition of a planet.
"Our members believe the great emotional reaction of the public to the demotion of Pluto shows the importance of Pluto as a name," said society president Cleveland Evans. "We may no longer believe in the Roman god Pluto, but we still have a sense of personal connection with the former planet."
This comes from Yahoo News. I got to admit, the planet didn't get any respect, but now it will be remembered. I can't help but wonder if it would be a bit of an irony if someone were to pluto the International Astronomical Union one day by showing Pluto really IS a planet. Only time will tell.