Monday, November 30, 2009

Chapman's Mill on Broad Run

This Mill Operated in Three Centuries!

Chapman's Mill
The stone walls are all that remain today...

In 1742 Jonathan and Nathaniel Chapman built this mill. Located between the great valley of Virginia and the Port of Alexandria, the business thrived. The Manassas Gap Railroad was completed in 1852 and flour from the mill was exported to places as far away as Europe and South America.

In 1858 the mill was raised to seven stories. The mill ground flour and corn meal for the armies who fought in seven wars: French and Indian, Revolutionary, 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. During the Civil War the mill was used for meat storage and the Beverly family restored the mill and began operating it again in 1876.

The mill operated until 1951. A fire gutted the structure in 1998 leaving only the walls.

Chapman's Mill
...of a mill that ground flour and corn meal for the armies of seven of our wars.

Chapman's Mill
The mill's water wheel.

Ruins of Chapman's Mill

The Large Stone Mill Beside Interstate 66

Chapman's Mill
Only the stone walls remain.

Dulles Airport, 5:30am

Catching the Red-Eye to Chicago...

Dulles Airport, Very AM
My Son returned to school today. He left very early in the morning.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

From Staunton to Bedford Falls...

By Way of Berry's Natural Way

Bailey Brothers
Jimmy Stewart fans will feel right at home...

I had to stop by Berry's Natural Way in Staunton on an errand and found myself transported to Bedford Falls in It's a Wonderful Life. I almost addressed Alex as "Mr. Gower." Those who know the movie will especially enjoy the window display's references to specific scenes.

Alex asks me if I know Mr. Gower's first name? No, I don't but the answer is in the telegraph [which is part of the display]! Also reproduced are the National Geographic young George showed Mary, Mama and Papa dollar and the first edition of Tom Sawyer that Clarence gave George.

Bailey Brothers's been transformed into the old building and loan!

Bailey Brothers
From a friend.

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume I, Issue XIV

Our PARENTS Lived Through the 'Decade from Hell'

The 'other' weekly news magazine came out proclaiming the first decadeof the 21st Century as the "Decade from Hell." Too bad most of our parents who lived through the 1930's aren't around anymore to set us straight.

The 1930's saw a massive meltdown of the world's economy prolonged by government policies.

In Great Myths of the Great Depression [click to read] Lawrence Reed gives a lot of insight in a brief work to enlighten us on this periodin history. Here also is sound advice on how to prevent the current situation from becoming a repeat of the thirties.

FDR's Folly [click to read] offers more insight.

Some Perscriptions for Avoiding a Repeat...

Pro-Market, Not Pro-Business

Here is a sound bit of advice for the Conservative Movement [click to read]. Big business is subject to many of the same foibles as big government. My example of the Tucker Automobile Company shows how innovation [which we desperately need right now] is squashed by an approach that simply favors business and not necessarily the dynamics of the free market.

Take note how big business, often seen as the fair-haired child of the Republican Party [not without reason, I might add] actually makes hefty donations to the Democrats. This 'protection money' often assures that regulations that harm 'big business' are written so as to harm the one making the donation less. In a sense, they are using regulations meant to improve business responsibility to stifle competition.

The problem is that the ensuing regulatory structure works against creative alternatives entering the marketplace. Innovation, which we desperately need right now, is what is stifled.

Real Healthcare Reform

Which brings me to the Trial Lawyers. Here the Democrats fair-haired child and many in the legislature hail from this overrepresented group.

Charles Krauthammer [click to read] offers a straight up perscription for really fixing Healthcare financial matters in Jewish World Review. It is no surprise that he starts with Tort Reform.

Energy Independence

Finally, we need to develop our energy self-sufficiency as a nation NOW! We need to do now what we had not the will to do in the 1970's when we should have had a serious wake up call to develop every energy source we had.

Europe and developed Asia use far more nuclear energy to provide electric power than we do. It's time for us to get a jump on things.We need to build every reactor planned at North Anna yesterday. Natural gas needs to be exploited quickly. Our freight system needs to be refitted to run on natural gas, biodiesel and where there are catinary wires nuclear generated electricity. Multiple sources and methodologies are to be encouraged. Ethanol can be part of the mix too, with the following condition...

Switchgrass and Cane Ethanol should be grown. Corn is the most overproduced American crop right now and USDA and Monsanto need to stop their love affair with this soil depleting one-crop shopping. Ever hear of the Irish Potato Famine? That, my friend is another 'decade from hell' we dare not forget.

Newsweak Magazine

Citizen Journalism with Substance

Michelle Cover Shot
Volume I, Issue II

Newsweek Cover

Newsweek's 'Palin Problem'

Obviously Newsweek isn't familiar with the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson on Citizen involvement in the legislature. This earlier Palin cover explains everything.

At university someone first explained to me the concept of a wise elite governing the masses. He thought it was a great thing. Something inside me revolted at the idea. The founders of our nation spent muchtime crafting a Representative Republic. Yes, straight democracy has it's perils, and our system addresses that, but a ruling elite becomes a totalitarian state all too easily.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Common Course and Condition

America's First Experiment with Socialism

When the Pilgrims first set up their economic system in Plymouth they opted for a system where all the results of their labor were held in common. All of the colonists then drew from the common store what they lived on. The Common Course and Condition, as this system was called, resulted in some bad feelings on the part of those who produced effectively and some lack of initiative on the part of those who were happy to have the food without the work.

The system produced constant shortages and a man who rose early and worked diligently came quite naturally to resent his neighbor who slept in and contributed less effort. Friction was high among the colonists and in 1623 Governor William Bradford declared the common course a failure.

The colonists were next assigned plots by families. Larger families were given larger plots. Everyone was responsible for the production of his own land and growing food for his own family. The results were noteable. Far more crops were planted and tended. There was plenty instead of shortage and all in response to this new sense of ownership.

Thanksgiving Past

Spanish Monks, a Man Named Squanto and Their Story

He was a hard man who dwelled alone in the forest. In his buckskin clothes the Native American man must have been an imposing sight. He walked toward the Pilgrim settlement and said "good morning" in fine proper English! Thus came Squanto into the Pilgrim story.

Squanto, the Patuxet Indian, who aided the struggling Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock thus paving the way for the first Thanksgiving in America, had at one time been captured and enslaved by English merchants. These merchants had taken Squanto to Malaga, Spain to sell him. In Malaga some local priests got wind of what was happening and stepped in to free Squanto, who would then spend the next four years of his life living in Southern Spain, learning about Christianity and the Spanish language.

After these years, Squanto spent seven years in England (also learning English) waiting for a ship to take him back to America, where he made his historic meeting with the Pilgrims, who were more than thankful (and quite surprised also) to find an Indian fluent in English and familiar with European customs.

When Squanto finally returned to these shores he found that his people were no more. Disease had killed everyone in his village. Squanto lived alone in the woods until one day a man from another tribe told him of some new people living in his old village. The new people turned out to be the Pilgrims, who had fared badly through their first Winter. About half of them had died.

Squanto must have found great empathy for the settlers and he taught them how to improve their farming. He showed them how to make corn grow better by planting the seed with a bit of fish to fertilize it. He helped the Pilgrims and the local Native people interact and thus facilitated the first Thanksgiving that they shared.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Around the World

A Day Shared with Family and Friends, Some Far Away

Bradford Pear leaves on Thanksgiving day.

This morning I received an email greeting from missionary friends who live in India near the Nepal border. While I was writing back I thought of another couple serving G-d in Chaingmai, Thailand. I decided to share with them some details of our Thanksgiving eve service that might be a blessing.

Several folks had shared how they had learned to be grateful in the hard times as well as the good. One of our former youth... now a youth Pastor in Lexington, North Carolina, gave the meditation. Thanksgiving, he pointed out, is the natural outpouring of a heart that is filled with G-d's love.

Lynn Had Shared These Thoughts from Chris Klicka [click to read] in her blog and they fit right in with what we were sharing.

We had a nice dinner with family. Gratitude is one celebration we cannot have enough of.

More Great thanksgiving Stories [click to read] from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Truth that's... 'Really Inconvenient'

The 'Global Warming' Emails Come to Light

Michelle Malkin Has This [click to read].

Now tell me again who the 'Flat Earth Society' members are?

Passamaquoddy Trail
October 19th, Skyland. Leaves in the snow.

Passamaquoddy Trail
The Passamaquoddy Trail in mid-October.

Study Model

Making an Addition/Renovation Understandable

Model House
This model was constructed to show how some interesting use will be made of the interior spaces.

Raven's Roost

Rock Outcropping on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Raven's Roost
A sightseer takes in the view of the Shenandoah Valley from Raven's Roost.

View from nearby Greenstone Overlook.

Torry Furnace

19th Century Iron Furnace Near Sherando Lake

Torrey Furnace
Torry Furnace.

In the early 19th Century iron furnaces such as this were in operation throughout the mountains of Western Virginia. Mount Torry was established in 1804 and operated until 1854 when it closed for seven years. In 1861 it reopened to supply pig iron to the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond. Tredegar bought the operation outright in 1863 and Union troops destroyed the furnace in 1864. Much of the Southern weaponry was cast from iron from Mount Torry and similar furnaces.

After the war Mount Torry was put back into service and continued operation until 1892.

Torrey Furnace

Torrey Furnace

Pelosi's Amerika

From Family Foundation Blog...

Pelosi's Amerika [click to read].

"Remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called attendees who opposed nationalized health care at this summer’s Congressional town hall meetings, ”Nazis”? Ironic, since “Nazi” was a word formed from an acronym that stood for “National Socialist,” but apparently it’s the speaker who’s all in for totalitarianism. Here, she makes it clear that she thinks it’s “fair” for people who don’t get health insurance to go to jail, as is in a provision of the recently passed “Saturday Night House bill.” But that’s only a small part of it. Among many other loss-of-freedom provisions, the bill includes fines as well as forcing self-employed people out of the insurance they purchase, like it or not, into the government-run plan. Freedom in Amerika be damned." -- Family Foundation

Newsweak Magazine

Citizen Journalism with Substance

The 'other' weekly news magazine.

Why The Elite Can't Stand Us

We're derided as 'tea baggers' and 'angry mob.' When people like Joe Wilson and Sarah Palin become the voice of the citizens they become a lightning rod for the ire of the media elites.

It really should come as no surprise.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Public Service as a Holy Calling

William Wiberforce and the Abolition of Slavery

William Wilberforce (1759-1833)
William Wilberforce (1759-1833).

Born to priveledge and prone to enjoy the pleasures his status afforded, William Wilberforce would have seemed an unlikely candidate for world changing reformer but G-d in his wisdom had bigger plans for the young dandy. He prepared himself for a life of politics while studying at St John's College, Cambridge.

Then, as now, religion was something considered good 'but not in excess.' Still Wilberforce found himself spiritually hungry and found faith. He sought out the council of John Newton, former slaver turned clergyman. Wilberforce was ready to forsake his place in Parliament to serve G-d but Newton convinced him that his service in Parliament could indeed be a great service to his Creator!

Wilberforce became convinced of two great missions: "the abolition of slavery and the reformation of manners." That is to say reform of society's priorities and treatment of people.

Wilberforce labored for almost half a century to end slavery in the British possessions. He pressed himself to exhaustion and stressed himself to the detriment of his health, but eventually he prevailed. The movie "Amazing Grace" tells of his life and gives a broader picture of the man. He was concerned about mistreatment of animals, healthcare and a host of issues that press mankind still.

His work is far from finished. Human Trafficking [click to read] is an issue that modern day persons desiring to follow the lead of Wilberforce must step up to address.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Woodrow Wilson and Modern Liberalism

1919 Disillusionment with Woodrow Wilson Changed
the American Left Forever...

Fred Siegel in City Journal [click to read].

Woodrow Wilson Library
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and birthplace in Staunton.

Woodrow Wilson Library
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library.

'Bearly' Noticeable...

Mama and Cubs Visit Waynesboro...

It's not every day you see bears in the city but Waynesboro's News Virginian captured the excitement when mamma and her two cubs climbed a tree on King Avenue. Photos by Chase Purdy.

ht/Phil and SWAC Girl

The Manhattan Declaration

Taking a Stand for Truth...

A Principled Stand by Christian Leaders [click to read] that ALL CITIZENS need to take note of.

"Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

The Manhattan Delaration [click to read]

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

THYME, Volume I, Issue XIII
Volume I, Issue XIII

Cutting the Apron Strings

This week's issue of TIME is all about 'overparenting.' It mentions such overzealous parents as the lady who had the city cut down all the nut trees, fearful that one nut would fall in the pool!

All of us, if we are honest, have probably parented to excess at times but I think the natural wiring of children and such authorities as Dr. James Dobson have been effective in promoting a healthy balance.

The story is a great springboard for a healthy discussion of what happens when government attempts to assume the role of parent and regulates our little lives to excess. I have already commented on how Sweden [click to read] has been moving in that direction and the folly and diminishing effectiveness of state as parent. That is the article TIME should have written this week!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Voting 'Absent'

Warner and Webb Didn't Show Up to Represent Us...

I'll be getting another round of 'form letters.' You'll tell me how you 'have concerns' about the bill as it is written and other such nonsense. If you really cared about the legitimate concerns so many of us have about it then why did both of you vote to allow this destructive monstrosity to go to debate in the first place?

Friday, November 20, 2009

H.R. 3962 Disgronified...

2000 Pages of Impending Economic Disaster...

We ran all 2000+ pages of H.R. 3962 through the Disgronifier [click for details] and this is just part of what the Disgronifier output contained:

The CBO estimates that H.R. 3962, the health bill that the House passed, would cost $1.2 TRILLION over 10 years, including the cost to states for mandated Medicaid expansion ($34 billion), the "Doc Fix" ($245 billion), and authorized discretionary spending for grants, public programs, changes and funding for a variety of agencies that would be responsible for implementing H.R. 3962.

The bill protects trial lawyers. The bill gives money (authorized at "such sums") to states that enact "certificate of merit" (a document signed by a medical professional that says there is a probability that the standard of care was violated) and / or a certificate of "early offer" (an early, confidential apology) laws, as long as the states don't limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages.

The current version will give billions of dollars of taxpayer healthcare benefits to ILLEGAL ALIENS in America. It would allow illegal aliens to use the new healthcare "exchange" and would not require verification to keep illegal aliens out of the other parts of the proposed federal healthcare system. Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus fought back against reports that leaders would add Senate language to block illegal immigrants from participating in the insurance exchange.

It will create a nationwide federal government program, the "public option," which will pay for abortion on demand -- with federal funds, of course, because that is what federal agencies spend.

Of course, now is the time to call, fax and email your Senators!

Senator Jim Webb


507 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 804-771-2221
Fax: 804-771-8313


248 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4024
Fax: 202-228-6363
Toll Free Number 1-866-507-1570

Senator Mark Warner


5309 Commonwealth Center
ParkwaySuite 401
Midlothian, VA 23112
Phone Number: 804-739-0247
Fax Number: 804-739-3478


459A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2023
Fax: 202-224-6295

Update: They Didn't Listen:

Roll Call Vote:
Warner (D), Yes; Webb (D), Yes.

Time for some PINK SLIPS in the next elections?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Autumn Passing into Winter

The Last Bit of Color Stubbornly Hanging On...

Bradford Pear
Bradford Pear.

Sunlight brightens a leaf.

Japanese Maple
A Japanese Maple remains bright to the end.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We Turned On the News Disgronifier

It Helps Us Tolerate the MSM...

MSM Disgronifier in a secret location.

Did anyone ask why the word "TERRORIST" kept showing up in my posts about the subject on the photos of... er... terrorists? Well, I inadvertently left our own little fact checking device on and it has a nasty habit of displaying its Tourette's syndrome when we post certain people's photographs when it is turned on. As you can see from the examples I randomly chose below it does not mince words.


2 Terrorists
Calling a terrorist a terrorist.

So I ran a copy of yesterday's News Leader through its poor little electronic brain and smelled smoke and burning wires. After replacing the tubes I made sure to test it on a smaller portion of the News Leader: Jim McCosky's Cartoon [click to view] [go to cartoon #11] and the newly repaired disgronifier produced a link to the wonderful work of Jerry Breen:

Nuts by Jerry Breen
"A Gathering of Nuts" Jerry Breen, used with permission.

The disgronifier was happy again, so I checked out more of Mr. Breen's work at and it is really great stuff. He does architectural renderings too and has a really interesting entry in the WTC Memorial Competition.

I'm running Glenn Beck through the disgronifier right now to recalibrate it and then I'll turn it off for a while.

Visit the Media Disgronifier at Facebook [click to read].

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Can Someone Show Me the 12th District?

This is Enlightening...

The Stimulus Money is Saving and Creating Jobs in Nonexistant Congressional Districts [click to read]. I'm wondering how ACORN might be involved in this.

SWAC Girl says: "Virginia has eleven congressional districts. Yet DJ at Right-Wing Liberal alerts us that somehow the Obama administration provided over $2.26 million to the 12th Congressional District. There is no such animal ... will there be an investigation by the media?"

12th District
Virginia's eleven Congressional districts.

Governor Palin, In Her Own Words

Going Rogue Comes Out Today...

Sarah Palin Book
Today is the day Going Rogue will be in stores.

Governor Palin was a Guest on Rush's Show [click to read] and she did what she does best... articulate a clear Conservative message. From the Democrat mailings I've been able to intercept it is clear that the friends of big government are very very afraid of the Mom from Wasilla. She'll be in Roanoke [click to read] Sunday.

Maple Leaves

The Last Color of Autumn

The last maple leaves make a final show of color.

'TIME' Management

"The Medium is the Message..."

To be fair, I don't think the money wired to Pakistan had come to light yet.

Marshall McLuhan's message has never been truer. Look at the MSM and the electronic competition and you would have to agree. It is a fascinating study in contrasts. TIME has had a most interesting reactionary reaction [bad grammar, good thought] to the reinvention of am radio as a political commentary machine. "Is Rush Limbaugh Good for America" TIME asks authoritatively. Glenn Beck is a "Mad Man" in the TIME line of thinking.

Therefore it was no surprise to see a muddy message on modern jihad this past issue. Here is an interesting FOX Story on the Phenomenom [click to view]. THYME Magazine [click to read] was quick to offer an alternative point of view.

THYME, Volume I, Issue XII
Calling a terrorist a terrorist.

But others have weighed in as well. Harry Stein in City Journal writes: Beck Bashing [click to read]. He does a fine job of covering TIME's coverage of both Limbaugh and Beck. It seems that the 'New Media' brings with it a necessary fresh perspective on all that's news.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chimney Hollow Trail

Reflections in a Mountain Stream

Chimney Hollow Trail
Rippling reflections of afternoon light in the trees.

Virginia's Indefensible Border

Life at Fort Edward Johnson, April of 1862...

Reconstructed Breastworks
Reconstructed breastworks on top of Shenandoah Mountain.

It's hard for us in the United States to identify with Israel's problem. We have not had a hostile border close to a population center for a long time. Journey with me to the top of Shenandoah Mountain on US 250 to Fort Johnson where Confederate soldiers dug in to protect Staunton from possible attack.

Lieutenant Shep Pryor
Lieutenant "Shep" Pryor, CSA...

Penepope Pryor and their Five Children
...his wife, Penelope and their five children.

The Forest Service has created a unique historic trail where the story of Fort Johnson is told through letters that Shep Pryor wrote to Penelope during the war. Pryor's letters tell the story like no text could. Some human emotions are timeless and Pryor's sentiments would be shared by many modern soldiers today.

The Civil War saw Virginia suddenly faced with a large portion of the border with the North and passes such as the one over Shenandoah Mountain were vulnerable. Pryor and his Georgia regiment were assigned the job of protecting the Valley from invasion. April in Virginia can be cruelly cold and the men shivered as they kept watch. They were moved around rapidly in response to threats and wrote home to assure their loved ones that they were still in the land of the living.

If you travel West on US 250 to the Western border of Augusta County you can follow Lieutenant Pryor and his men through the Breastworks Interpretive Trail.

Reconstructed Breastworks
Soldiers piled logs on the downhill side of their trench and shovelled dirt over them to build these fortifications.

A Jihadist Hiding in Plain Sight

Mark Steyn Has Some Straight Up Analysis

Mark Steyn [click to read] in Jewish World Review.

American Thinker [click to read] has this important observation on Jihad. The Quran is unique in how it presents this doctrine and it is specious reasoning to try to find parallels in Biblical sources.

Media Bias:

ht/ Phil

Jihad in the White House

Is Mubarack Hussein Obama a Muslim?

"Give me a child until the age of seven and I will give you the man." -- Jesuit Saying.

Maybe it was the creepy extended bow to the Saudi King, or the way he seems all to willing to throw Netanyahu under the bus but when I came across an article by Victor Mordecai asking the question "Is Obama a Muslim?" I took notice.

His Kenyan Father and his Stepfathers were clearly Muslims and his early education was in that tradition. To observant Muslims in the Middle East that qualifies him. Still, to ask the question invites the label "lunatic fringe" for reasons that have largely been manufactured out of Political Correctness.

Mr. Mordecai's wife monitors Arabic radio broadcasts and has documented the following:

Saudi Radio in the months before Obama's election stated: "We will have a Muslim in the White House."

Lybia's Quaddafi said of Obama after his election: "Our man in the White house."

One station stated that Obama would first deal with the Shi'ite of Iran who "threaten all Sunni Muslims" then deal with the "fanatic" new government of Israel under Netanyahu.

Conventional wisdom has it that Obama's education in Muslim schools until age 11 are in the past, just as his association with Jeremiah Wright. Unfortunately Wright's church, with its James Cone inspired Black Liberation Theology is more Marxist in its core philosophy and Christian in the use of language and symolism. If Barack Obama is a Christian there is not a lot of evidence to convict him of it.

Fringe thoughts? Perhaps, but when you have a President who is uncomfortable with 'Victory' in Afganistan [although he seeks it outright for his domestic policies], drags his feet on supporting his troops and bows at the waist to the Saudi King, is the question really all that unreasonable?

Update: From Obama to Osama with Love [click to read] perspective from 'Gates of Vienna.'

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jihad in Virginia

Red House Virginia's Terrorist Training Camp

This is a fairly old Fox News report, but it is still important.

Mr. Obama, Our Troops are Dying!

A Mother's Plea to the President: Support our Troops!

ht/ Phil

Mr. President, Have you no shame? Three months and four options later you are still telegraphing weakness and indecisiveness to our enemies [our REAL enemies, that is]. I'm not "Jumping to conclusions," Mr.President, I've had plenty of time to consider the conclusions I have come to.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Class Act

Former Bush Bashers Thank Him for His Leadership

SWAC Girl Has the Story [click to read].

Friday, November 13, 2009

Binyamin Netanyahu

Speech to the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly

THYME Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu

Here is the Text of His Remarks [click to read].

"We are a small people but great people; a people generous enough to forge a lasting peace; a people brave enough to thwart the dangers that confront us; and a people creative enough to once again help steer humanity towards a better future for all."

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

THYME, Volume I, Issue XII
Volume I, Issue XII

Editor's Note: This feature has always been a parody of the other weekly news magazine and this time around their website was slow in putting up the cover. I suspected it would have to do with the terrible attack on soldiers at Ft. Hood. I was prepared to punt on the parody this time because of the terrible nature of this event. When the cover was put up, unfortunately, it reflected the general unwillingness of the mainstream media to call a terrorist a terrorist. Therefore it seemed fitting to use this format as a lead-in to a straightforward discussion of terrorism. The black border is in tribute, as TIME's September 11 issue did, to the victims in this terrible war.

Calling a terrorist a terrorist.

First of All, Let's Answer the Question:"What About the Crusades?"

Ibn Warraq [click to read] in City Journal:

"Often, when I am criticizing crimes inspired by Islamic extremism, Iam interrupted by the remark that Christianity was once culpable of similar abuses. That Christianity may have been intolerant in the past, however, does not make criticisms of Islam’s present-day intolerance any less valid. Also, Islamic intolerance is an immediate danger, whereas Christian intolerance is generally a historical phenomenon and no longer a threat to civilization. And Christendom’s crimes were recorded by Christians themselves—a stark contrast to our politically correct climate, in which many, especially Muslims, are reluctant to criticize Islam."

Now, About Jihad

Let's look back to a time when the Muslim world almost overran Europe.The Siege of Vienna in 1529 saw the Ottoman Empire, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, lay siege in an attempt to capture the city of Vienna, Austria. Although they were turned back, the Ottoman Empire tried to conquer Vienna again.

Their final attempt was in 1683 and the King of Poland reinforced the Austrians in the final battle. That battle took place on September 11,1683. The Ottoman troops were routed for the last time.

On September 11, 2001 the war with Western Civilization began anew after a 318 year hiatus.

Actually there had been a number of attacks already. The first attempt to topple the World Trade Center in 1993, the takeover of our embassy in Tehran, the USS Cole, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beruit and a host of other attacks in other parts of the world. Still, 9/11 represented something all-out, full-throttle that we had not seen before.

The Muslim faith had been gaining ground in the US too. Those who were of the mind that they were disenfranchised, such as prisoners, embraced the ideology in large numbers. Islamic centers in the Washington medtropolitan area grew and some of the Imans clearly were presenting radical Islamic ideas to their congregations.

It's easy to digress into psychoanalyzing the killer. Many young men feel frustration with the world but most voices other than rock or hip-hop musicians and radical clerics would tell them to get over it. The story here isn't the angry male but rather a culture of violence that, like the "dark side" in the Star Wars movies, channels that hate.

The take-away is that the ideology presents a clear message and has adherents within our borders. As we have seen they can ride to positions of power in our politically correct society where they are able to inflict great harm.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be put on trial in New York City, it was reported Friday. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is regarded as the planner of the attacks on September 11. Since this is clearly an act of war, why is this terrorist being tried in our court system at all and why is his presence being inflicted on Lower Manhattan, the scene of his barbaric attack? Mr. President, help me understand? Somehow in Barack's Amerika these people are not all that threatening but G-d fearing Conservatives are?

Putting "Soldier of Allah" on your business card is multicultural expression but a cross in a Veterans' memorial is "offensive?"

I find the cold blooded destruction of 3000 lives offensive and the warped ideology that spawned such a massacre I find repugnant. I find the cold blooded gunning down of fourteen American heroes [including the unborn child of one of the slain soldiers] despicable.

Mr. President, Have you no shame? Three months and four options later you are still telegraphing weakness and indecisiveness to our enemies [our REAL enemies, that is]. I'm not "Jumping to conclusions," Mr.President, I've had plenty of time to consider the conclusions I have come to.

Classless Act

President Obama Meets with Netanyahu... Privately

Here's the Story [click to read] from Caroline B. Glick in Jewish World Review. As an American who respects Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu greatly, I am greatly disturbed by this.

"It isn't every day that a visiting leader from a strategically vital US ally is brought into the White House in an unmarked van in the middle of the night rather than greeted like a friend at the front door; is forbidden to have his picture taken with the President; is forced to leave the White House alone, through a side exit; and is ordered to keep the contents of his meeting with the President secret."

"Mr. President, Have you no shame!"

Class Act

President Bush Visits the Troops... Privately

SWAC Girl Has This [click to read]. Sometimes what you do out of the public eye says a whole lot more than you think.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Slouching Toward Sweden III

The Oberstar Transportation Plan, Lifestyle Modification

Tertium Quids [click to read] reported it. The Heritage Foundation Dissects it Here [click to read]. Fishersville Mike [click to read] is straightforward about how Americans will react to it. The 775-page bill known as the Surface Transportation Authorization Act (STAA)reauthorizes the federal highway and transit programs that expired on September 30 for another six years. The problem is that this bill deals with more than just transportation.

Heritage Foundation states: "If enacted into law, Oberstar's STAA would mark a dramatic, harmful change in federal transportation policy by:

Shifting resources from cars to trolleys and buses,

Requiring a huge tax increase to fund these new commitments,

Centralizing transportation decisions in Washington,

Necessitating a substantial increase in the number of state, local, and federal government employees,

and Discouraging the private sector from investing in surface transportation projects."

Higher Taxes for Social Engineering

Heritage continues: "As written, many provisions of STAA have two primary purposes:

Deterring the use of automobiles; and Forcing residential and commercial development into higher density urban communities where public transit, walking, and bicycling would be the main form of transportation."

"To do this, Oberstar's bill would encourage and require states and metropolitan planning organizations to use new land use regulations that would lead to much higher densities than Americans now prefer."

And all this would require an additional $150-$200 billion in taxes over the next six years!

The reason for these drastic measures: reduction of greenhouse gasses. Yes, look for the government to try to move us into flats in some monolithic high rise buildings.

The problem is that with global warming being steadily debunked and given our desire as Americans to live in the village with a great degree of mobility, these are unnecessary costs and we can not afford to bear them right now.

Ironically state level Democrats often run promising to improve transportation. Their answer is to collect more taxes and build more roads. And that brings me to my point. Government in many cases created the problems in the first place.

Much of the overpaved suburban landscape is created in response to planning criteria in the first place. One of my favorite examples is a training center for foreign students where the county required sixty more parking spaces than necessary. Their reasoning: code required it. My client's reasoning: short-term visitors from developing nations won't be bringing their cars!

Overlapping parking requirement with other businesses, nonstandard road sizes, deleting large deceleration lanes and creative clustering in rural areas all require special permits, extra hearings and extra expense. The incentive is there to build what you know passed the month before.

In 1947 the British produced similar legislation in order to preserve the surrounding countryside. This resulted in British homes being the smallest and most expensive in any advanced country. British politicians are now seeking to change the law to make housing more affordable.

I would argue that preserving our rural land resources is an important goal. Tax policy [Francis Chester's revolution] would go a long way in securing this goal. Aaron Sime, the Libertarian candidate for state senate, presented the concept of locking in tax rates on rural land to the valuation at the time of sale. Father to Son/Daughter transfers would not trigger a new valuation. Here's another. Builders howl at the imposition of 'impact fees' but here's how 'impact' might be fairly treated. If you build within established infrastructure, as in infill projects, you pay no fee. New projects requiring additional government infrastructure would be subject to a fee system. Building were no infrastructure exists or is planned would require the developer to provide roads and utility construction as part of the cost of the project. Thus there would be a cost advantage to re-using the existing urban infrastructure but not a mandate.

Crozet Station
Proposed Village Center for Crozet.

Village centers like this one proposed for Crozet would be a winning solution for all. The concept calls for taking the old strip mall and making a multiuse village center that would anchor the town around a pedestrian friendly grouping of condominiums and businesses. Indeed it would seem to productive to explore transforming our suburbs into Jefferson's villages. Link the village centers with the bus system where the density allows for it. Allow 'granny flats' and garden plots in floodplains and let a little creative diversity flow...

...but don't let the government do it. Let people build it because they want it.

Atwood Village
Crozet Village Center...

Atwood Village
...creates a new pedestrian friendly town center from an old strip mall.

Why We Miss Seeing What We're Looking At

Seeing the Face of G-d in Creation


Rabbi Naftali Brawer [click to listen] offers insight into the question: "If the Creation so loudly shouts the existence of the Creator, why aren't more people believers?"