Monday, October 31, 2005

Endorsements Mean Nothing, Really. But They Can Be Fun

Recently Kilo wondered why some of us place so much importance on endorsements by area newspapers.

Your local fish wrap (thanks Norm) endorses Billy Bob for School Board (or State Senate, doesn't matter) and you immediately decide "hey, they think he's the best choice, so that's who I'll vote for" or "that cuts it, if they endorse her, I know I need to vote for the other guy". Party doesn't matter here, it cuts both ways.

That's how those of us who spend some time actually considering the politics of a race consider endorsements. So that endorsement was a complete waste of ink for some voters.

The majority of the voters in your District can't tell you who Billy Bob defeated to get that position of incumbency. Probably can't even tell you who the current Lt. Governor is. Almost certainly can't tell you who the Secretary of State is or what his or her position is in the line of succession. These people generally do not read the editorial page where the endorsement is found. They will probably vote a party line, because "Daddy always voted that way, by cracky, and I ain't gonna change". The endorsement was again a total waste of ink for some more voters.

There may be some voters who actually look for the local editors to tell them how they should vote. But a strong argument could be made that these people should not even be allowed to vote.

That basically means that endorsements are waste of ink to us all. In essence, just an exercise in vanity on the part of your local editorial board.

Some of you have noticed, I'm sure, that I have been having some fun with The Roanoke Times' endorsement policy. I'm not so concerned with who Wendy, Tommy and crew choose to endorse as I am with the pompousness with which they present it.

Wendy Zomparelli went to great pains here in an attempt at making the process seem so pure and non-idealogical. Of course it was pure horse hockey, but she and Tommy would never admit it. I decided to graphically point out the "horse hockeyness" of it by commenting on and even predicting their endorsements over the course of the next few days as those "well thought out" and "seriously debated" endorsements are presented.

Knees Are Jerking In Roanoke

Today at 201 Campbell Ave. in Roanoke, six pairs of knees jerked in unison.

Soon an editorial will blast Bush for not attempting to "find common ground" with the liberal Democrats in the Senate. There will be cries of despair that a presumed "litmus test" regarding Roe v. Wade has been applied. Never mind that in the Times offices another litmus test has been applied, and failed.

Tommy and crew will insist that since Sandra Day O'Connor was a Justice who had a difficult time maintaing a consistent bearing in Constitutional Law, her replacement should be just as inconsistent.

The Roanoke Times will make at least one reference to "white males", and in the same editorial will probably write disparagingly of Justice Thomas and or Janice Rogers Brown.

Tommy, I expect you to editorialize against this nominee, and am not suggesting that you should refrain from doing so. I feel you should express your sentiments regarding Judge Alito.

But I challenge you to write that editorial without resorting to the the knee-jerk reactions predicted above. I'm fairly certain you can't, or won't do it.

Carnac The Magnificent...

I'm not. Anyone could have predicted the endorsements of the Roanoke Times for the three statwide offices. If I could just teach Shelly to read, I'm sure she could have predicted just as accurately.

Sorry Wendy, but I just can't see this process causing much debate amongst the Editorial Board. So far the major requirement to gain a Times endorsement seems to be a "yes" vote for the latest tax increase. Each candidate endorsed so far has supported the "budget reform" of Mark Warner.

I'll again step out on a limb and predict that incumbents from either party who supported the "budget reform" will be endorsed. The only exception would be a Republican incumbent opposed by a Democrat.

Carnival Time

Snoopy at River City Rapids is this weeks host, mash your mouse here and allow him to direct you to some of Virginia's finest writing, photography, and punditry. (All that, plus one from me.)

Next week Hans will handle the Host's responsibilities.

Rules are available here, at Chad's.

Also, I have added links to my sidebar, the current and subsequent host's will always be found there.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I Love Chili!

It's 8:00pm and I can finally sit down and write today's first post.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my church was holding it's annual chili cook-off tonight. I made a test batch last Saturday, and "The Recipe" is about as good as it gets. For the record, I didn't win, but in "The Recipe's" defense, I have to say I feel I toned it down just a bit too much. It was very good, and the non pepper spices were perfect, but it had very little heat. I may have mis-judged my fellow church members, as this is my first year in the competition. I moved back here in the late spring, and was not even a member at this time last year. Also "The Recipe" contains no prepared chili powder, instead the "heat" is regulated by the quantity and type of fresh peppers used. This makes it somewhat difficult to regulate. The best way to regulate it is to selectively tase the Anaheim, Poblano, Seranno, and dried Chipotle peppers used, and adjust accordingly. (I again request any and all chili recipes, send me your favorite, and in exchange you will receive "The Recipe".)

This morning I went out early to pick up a few vital pieces of equipment for tonight's event.

While out I picked up the Sunday Roanoke Times, but have only now spread it's virgin pages apart. I see that they have made their Governor and Attorney General picks. I am 2 for 3 in my predictions so far. There will be a subsequent post with my thoughts on these endorsements. But I have had a long day, and for now, a short glass of fine Irish whiskey and some blog reading is in order.

See you in the next post.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Spotted today in Collinsville. I don't know if it's a McDonald's program or if it originated in the office of Elizabeth B. Stone. Whoever was the originator of the idea should be commended.

I suspect it was the idea of the local McDonalds franchisee, since I've not seen these posted on any other places of business in the County.
I would hope this idea catches on, especially in places switching over to a previously unused voting method or machine.

For a larger image, click on either photo.

Rt. 58 Completion, "Now Or Never"

According to a story by Nancy Lindsey in the Stuart Enterprise, Whitt Clement, former Secretary of Transportation says U.S. Rt.58 must be funded now, or accept it as completed.

A link to the Enterprise article.

Articles in the on-line version of the Stuart Enterprise dissapear the following week, therefore the entire article appears below.
Clement: 2006 is the year to push for Rt. 58 funds
By Nancy Lindsey;
Former Secretary of Transportation Whitt Clement told the Patrick County Board of Supervisors Monday night that finding funds to complete the four-laning of U.S. Rt. 58 is crucial to keeping the project alive.
There are currently no funds in the Virginia Department of Transportation budget to complete the highway, Clement said, and "no more bonds can be sold."
If the lack of funds is not addressed by the General Assembly, the project's completion is not just 10 to 15 years away, Clement said, "right now it's never."
"It's important that we stay the course and keep the momentum going," he said.
Clement was recently hired by the Patrick County Economic Development Authority, with the backing of several localities along Rt. 58, to lobby for new funds in the 2006 General Assembly.
"It's an assignment I gladly accept," Clement said. "I have a lot of enthusiasm and passion for seeing the late Speaker A.L. Philpott's legacy fulfilled," Clement said. Philpott and other legislators established the Rt. 58 Corridor Program in 1989 with the goal of widening and improving the road from the Tidewater area to the far Southwest Virginia mountains.
"With Gov. Warner's budget surplus and an improving economy, there's no question there are more general funds than there were in the past," Clement said. "Of course there are many demands on the additional revenue, but now is the time to go back to the General Assembly and push to authorize additional bonds to be supported with general funds to pay the debt service."
Clement said if $100 million is needed to pay for part of the construction project, there would need to be $10 million in bonds. Supporters of the initiative should also factor in the probability that an allocation of $100 million would not necessarily go solely toward construction "on this side of the mountain," but might have to be shared for uncompleted Rt. 58 work in other areas of Southwest Virginia, Clement said.
Larry Dickenson, president of Branch Highways, the contractor building the Meadows of Dan Bypass, said the estimated cost of completing Rt. 58 from the end of the Stuart Bypass to Interstate 77 in Hillsville is about $320 million. The estimated cost of building the road from Stuart to the top of Lovers' Leap Mountain is $100 million, Dickenson said.
Without going the bond route, Clement said, Rt. 58 would have to compete for funds with other roads in the Salem District, such as U.S. 220. They would also have to compete with Northern Virginia and other heavily populated areas for transportation funds, he said.
It's hard to compete with the high traffic counts and congestion of highways in the urban areas of the state, Clement said. "But it's not about congestion, it's about economic development, bringing more jobs and opportunities to the region."
Clement said he will work with Gov. Mark Warner's office to try to get funds to support Rt. 58 in Warner's two-year budget proposal.
"I think there's going to be a big push this winter for transportation in general," Clement said. "There's an effort in the Senate to take general fund dollars for transportation. We've got to have somebody at the table to make sure we get some of the general fund dollars, in addition to keeping the fire lit on the need for 58."
Clement said "nobody has a dog in this fight except Southwest and Southside legislators," who should cooperate as a regional coalition to win.
EDA chairman Glenn Roycroft, who spearheaded the drive to hire Clement, said in an Oct. 18 letter to Clement that Patrick County EDA is the coordinator for the lobbying effort.
"To date, we have $29,000 in pledges from both public and private entities," Roycroft wrote. "...The ultimate goal of Patrick County and supporters of this effort is to work towards establishing a schedule to complete Rt. 58 no later than 2015."
Roycroft said Monday night that the EDA had received pledges totaling $30,000, the fee Clement is charging. Those pledges include $3,000 from the Patrick County Board of Supervisors and similar amounts from Carroll County, Henry County, and the town of Hillsville, Roycroft said. Floyd and Pittsylvania Counties endorsed the project but did not commit funds, he said.
Members of the board of supervisors commended Roycroft on his initiative and thanked Clement for accepting the challenge.
Others attending the meeting included members of the EDA, several business representatives, Del. Ward Armstrong, and county administrators from Carroll and Pittsylvania Counties.

At Least Kilo And Neighbors Got A Bone...

Yesterday Kilo. at Spark It Up! posted on the "largesse" shown to Southwestern VA by Mark Warner.

At least you guys got the bone. There is at least some soup in your future.

Over here on the morning side of the mountain, all we got was the goopy jelly stuff that's left after all the ham is gone.

Bill's article linked above quotes the grant to Applied Felts at $20,000. An earlier report (not available online) in the Martinsville Bulletin puts it at $16,000.

Endorsements From The Roanoke Times -House races: Nutter Keister, Shuler

As reported earlier, The Roanoke Times began endorsing candidates today.

The Times Editorial Board had little to agonize over on the choices available in the 7th District.
Moderate incumbent Republican Dave Nutter gets the nod over former ally Barbara Chrisley, a former Republican running this time as a Democrat. The choice here was essentially a Republican incumbent or an ex-Republican, unproven as a Democrat. Couple that with the fact that Nutter was a supporter of the Warner authored 2004 tax increase and also a vocal critic of the "profound transportation problem" that the Times expends quite a few gallons of ink on, and Nutter becomes a slam dunk in the Times Offices.

Their work was even easier in the 6th District race.
Forced to choose between the Democrat incumbent and an equally qualified Republican, again the Editorial Board chose the incumbent. For the record, I had predicted this would be the race that would allow the Board to "prove the rule" by exception. I missed it, they went for the Democrat instead of Ms. Crockett-Stark.

The 12th District contest was a cakewalk for our dedicated, hardworking Editorial Board.
Seriously, Jim Shuler, a 6 term Democrat against an independent? And that independent, Donnie Kern, being a Senior at Radford University? I doubt that there was much sweat expended in the conference room over this choice.

I'm sure there will be some races where the Editorial Board will have a tougher choice than these, but I still doubt that it is the objective, non-partisan, and un-biased struggle that Wendy Zomparelli has described.

Nekkid Football?

Bassett bares down to top Magna Vista (Roanoke Times Headline)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hunting Season Is Here

Well, to be more accurate, deer season has begun.

I am a hunter. I hunt deer, squirrel, dove, turkey, grouse (when I can), pheasant, even frogs. Yes, frogs. If frogs are harvested by gigging a hunting license is required, if harvested by netting or trapping a fishing license is required. Just one of those silly little Game and Inland Fisheries rules.

I want to bring to your attention one of my favorite charities, Hunters for the Hungry. A permanent link can be found on the sidebar of this website.
From their website;
Hunters for the Hungry History

During the summer of 1991 a meeting was held to determine the feasibility of the Hunters for the Hungry concept in Virginia. Involved in this discussion were representatives of the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Association of Meat Processors, the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, the Virginia Federation of Foodbanks, other nonprofit food distribution charities, and interested individuals. Information was also available from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Meat and Poultry Inspection.

The outcome of this meeting indicated that venison could be donated, processed, and distributed while complying with all laws and codes applicable in Virginia. It was decided that the program should be administered by a certified 501 (C) (3) organization and that to function best funds should be raised to cover the costs of having professional meat processors(butchers) accept, cut, wrap, and freeze the deer donated by hunters in Virginia. Distribution would be handled through foodbanks and other charities. A nonprofit administrator volunteered to take on the project as a pilot effort and Hunters for the Hungry began in Virginia in the fall of 1991.

During the first year over 33,000 pounds of venison was donated, processed, and distributed. The program expanded and in its second year over 68,000 pounds of meat was handled.

It became clear that the potential of the program was quite large and the decision was made in January of 1993 to form a separate nonprofit corporation to administer and operate the program. This was accomplished and continues to exist. That organization has a corporate title of Virginia Hunters Who Care, Inc.

The Hunters for the Hungry program has continued to expand. Annual distribution now exceeds 300,000 pounds. The potential exists to make three to four times that amount available each year. At this point the availability of finances is the limiting factor.

If you are a deer hunter, consider donating one or more of your kills to this organization, if you are not, consider making a monetary donation to help with the processing fees. Either way, you will be doing a very worthwhile thing.

Jerry Has It Right


Virginian-Pilot Cites Virginia Blogs Role In 2005 Election

Mike Gruss has an article today regarding the impact (or lack thereof) some Virginia Bloggers are having on this years local and statewide elections.
If you don’t like this story, with its attempt at balance and lack of ideological leanings, that’s fine.

After all, it was written and edited by the MSM. (For newbies out there, that’s Mainstream Media.) Instead, read about the governor’s race online. Go ahead. We even provided links with this article.

This year, dozens of Virginia’s political junkies, eager to make their opinions known, have taken advantage of easy Internet publishing tools and tried their hand at Web logs -– commonly known as “blogs.”
Featured prominately are three guys who can be found on the left side of my blog, and the right side of everything else. J.R. from Bearing Drift, Chad Dotson from Commonwealth Conservative, and Ben and his unnamed cohorts from Not Larry Sabato. (Well, two of them are on the right, anyway.)

Wendy's Lofty Tale

I wanted to write about this earlier, but it has been an exceptionally busy week.

Wendy Zomparelli explains in great detail the process she would like us to believe is used as The Roanoke Times develops it's Candidate Endorsements.
Next Saturday, we will begin publishing our 2005 candidate endorsements. In determining them, our editorial board members (whose names appear in the upper left-hand corner on Page 2) have spent countless hours over many months reading candidates' campaign literature, listening to debates and press conferences and studying public service or business and professional records.

From this analysis, we compose a portrait that goes beyond a candidate's official biography. Past behaviors are better indicators than campaign promises of how they will act, so we pay particular attention to actions revealing candidates' personal integrity.

Next, we invite candidates for major office to meet with us. We use the same format for all these sessions. The candidates open with a statement about their main campaign issues and initiatives; we then open it up to questions and answers. In closing, we ask candidates to tell us why they are the electors' best choice.

After all these sessions have been completed, the six of us meet to talk through the options and reach consensus.
After very careful consideration, and hours of agonizing soul searching, and extreme consideration given to what is best for Virginia, Wendy, Tommy and crew will endorse the following;

Governor------Tim Kaine
Lt. Governor---Leslie Byrne
Atty. General--Creigh Deeds

Sure, in some local race, most likely for show more than any other reason, a Republican will be endorsed. I'll go out on a limb here and quess it will be Anne B. Crockett-Stark, from Wytheville, for the 6th District House of Delegates.

Now, I know it does not take a rocket scientist to predict who Wendy and Tommy will endorse, especially for the three statewide offices. I do this instead to point out the complete disdain Ms. Zomparelli apparently has for her readers. Read the excerpt above from her recent editorial. She expects her readers to believe that this is somehow an objective process.

In the same article she also states;
Throughout this process, we observe a strict separation between the news and editorial departments. No news reporters or editors are included, consulted or even informed about our choices before we publish them.
Yes, she seems proud of the fact that this is all done in secret, with no pesky news people watching.

Wouldn't it be wonderful, though, if one of the more dedicated and honest reporters at the Times (yes, there are a few of them there. Mason Adams and Cody Lowe come to mind) were assigned to cover this process? The readers of The Roanoke Times deserve to know that what Ms. Zomparelli has described is truly how the process works. The Roanoke Times has no Omsbudsman to look out for the readers interest, but it does have some competent reporters.

How about it Wendy? Let us actually see how you and Tommy go about this.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I have noticed tonight several blogs trumpeting Ms. Byrnes support by unions. I suppose this is to express some degree of connection with the "working class".

Once upon a time, I was a Teamster. Not because I was a believer in the "union way of life" but simply because I was a young truck driver whose uncle was also the Teamster local representative. (My father's sister's husband, a great man, whom I love dearly.) A certain amount of loyaly to family is commendable. I should also say, in complete disclosure, that my maternal grandfather was a lifelong member of the UMWA and his greatest hero was John L. Lewis. I also have recently moved from a Virginia location that is only a half hour drive from Matewan, WV, a town anyone with a UMWA connection will recognize. (And it's a beautiful little town, on the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, surrounded by a flood wall about 15 feet high. It also boasts a great little restaraunt, "The Depot". Hello, Donna.)

I give you this background information to let you know that I realize that unions have played an important role in the history of our nation. But I had then, and still have a major problem with the basic premise of the Union mentality.

Unions, regardless of which brotherhood to which we are referring, are based solely on a single flawed premise. That premise being that all workers are equal.

All Workers Are Equal. That, dear reader is not true.

Think about your own workplace. Are you equal to that slacker on your shift that does no more than is required to get by? Are you equal to that extra-ambitious young hire who is willing to work extra hours in order to learn new tasks? Are you, as a High School Graduate with a few college courses under your belt equal to the employee with a GED? Even consider the High School dropout with an innate sense of logic, and a real "feel" for the process that is more productive than the college graduate in your department.

If you truly feel that you and each and every one of your co-workers provide equal value to your employer, then you are certainly Union material. But you would never work for me. I want people who believe they are the best I can get. Better than anyone else in the plant.

Understand this, from someone who has spent his years in the real world working with all those people mentioned above. All employees are NOT equal, nor should they be equally compensated. Unions tend to bring all employees down to the level of a common denominator.

I prefer not to be be equated with that lowest common denominator. You shouldn't either.

Tim Kaine, How Far Will He Go?

If Tim Kaine will poll on this subject, what would be off limits after election?

Do we really want a Governor who is this concerned with polling?

Moonshine Here Is A Way Of Life For Many

The triangle of Franklin, Henry, and Patrick Counties makes up what is widely known as "the moonshine capitol of the world".

I stumbled across this tonight while "cruising". I don't know how I missed it last week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Light Blogging, Heavy Workload

Light blogging from here while I design and test boiler controls. I get this right, or you see me on Eyewitness News at Eleven...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Still Undecided?

If you are still undecided about your vote for Governor, go take a look at what Norman has to say about the latest "dirty trick" in what remains a tight race.

Then go read this (pdf file, requires Acrobat Reader). The handwritten letter from Kelly Timbrook. (hat tip, Norm)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thanks Are Due

To whoever it was that kept us all so well informed on Carl's progress.

Thank you, you are greatly appreciated.

Sunday Evening, Time To Reflect On A Busy Week

It has been an extremely full week (to which Kilo added even more to occupy my mind, I was glad to read your first post-accident post this afternoon, K ).

I started my largest motor this week. It's a 1000 horsepower, 2300 volt monster. Roughly the size of a Volkwagen Beetle, but three times as heavy. (I posted earlier on the trials I had with a field representative from the company that built the control system for this motor.) After working the bugs out of that control system, I was able to start it only once. Thereafter, every time I attempted to apply voltage to the transformer that feeds it, the entire plant would go dark. Not too good...

The problem was eventually traced to a faulty device on AEP's incoming 35,000 volt line. We bypassed it, and I have been happily running the monster since Wednesday.

I have started writing/editing the software that will ultimately control the press line. This is going to be tough, and on a short timetable as well.

The weekend here in the Martinsville area was chock full of great stuff to do.

The weekend started early on Thursday with a visit to the area by both Jerry Kilgore and Tim Kaine, followed on Friday with an announcement at Martinsville Speedway by Mark Warner and Elliott Sadler about the highly successful Race to GED program.
As reported by Bill Wyatt;
Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that 35,000 Virginians have earned a General Educational Development (GED) certificate since the implementation of the Race to GED program in 2003. Last year, the number of GED graduates increased by 1,400 over 2003, and this year is expected to see 2,600 additional graduates over 2004. In addition, Governor Warner also announced several enhancements to the program, which is designed to assist adults who did not complete their high school education. Governor Warner made the announcement at Martinsville Speedway, and was joined by Race to GED spokesman and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler, a native of Emporia. Sadler has appeared on billboards and in television spots encouraging Virginians who have not completed high school to take advantage of the Race to GED. Sadler is in Martinsville to compete in Sunday’s Subway 500. Through Race to GED, one of Governor Warner’s Education for a Lifetime Initiatives, adults who did not complete their high school education can receive a GED in less time than in a traditional one-year program. To earn a GED credential, a candidate demonstrates competency in math, science, reading, writing, and social studies. Adult learners can take a Fast Track class and earn a GED in less than three months.
I was planning to go to the Folklife Festival at Ferrum College on Saturday, but the cloud cover and forecast changed my plans. I love the coon dog races, but would prefer that the dogs be the only ones to get wet.

I decided instead to refine my world famous Chili recipe in preparation for my church's annual Chili cookoff next Sunday evening. Man, it was good, probably the best "bowl of red" I've ever whipped up. (By the way, I am dedicated to the quest for the perfect chili recipe. Copies of my recipe are freely given, just e-mail me your favorite chili recipe to get a copy of this one. The only other requirement I have is feedback, positive or negative, after trying it.)

That brings me to Sunday. There was something going on today down south of Martinsville, near Ridgeway, judging by all the traffic I met coming from Roanoke while driving to Rocky Mount for the early service at church this morning.

Now, a nice glass of merlot, and a cigar to end the day and begin to prepare my mind for the week to come.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Conflict Or Confirmation Of "Cronyism"?

I posted my thoughts on Harriet Miers a couple of weeks ago.

For now I am neutral on the Miers nomination, preferring to wait for the hearings. However there have been rumours that the Administration would like to bail.

In light of that theory, will this be what finally ends the Miers saga?

Kilo's Back

Belive it or not, The train loader has talked his way out of confinement.

Scruggs Memorial Auction Reminder

Last week I posted this item about the Bobby Scruggs Memorial Foundation fundraising event to be held at the Martinsville Speedway. A reminder, it is tonight at 6:00, tickets are $35.00 ($20.00 of which is tax deductible). Unlike tickets for the Nextel Cup race on Sunday, which has sold out, these tickets are available at the door.

Today in the Roanoke Times, Aaron McFarling has this:
"Professional sports officials, if they are lucky, are largely ignored. If they are remembered at all, they are remembered for the call they blew, the outcome they changed, the season they wrecked.

Bobby Scruggs is an exception."
If you didn't know Bobby, make it a point to read this article, he was not your typical "referee".

If you can't make it to the combination auction, autograph session, barbecue event, go to and see what all you'll be missing.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Yes, That Sue Harris DeBauche..

Sue Harris DeBauche has apparently withdrawn from her quest to obtain a seat on the Henry County School Board. A hat tip to Bill Wyatt.

Henry County voters in the Blackberry district will be well served by either of her opponents, Todd Norman or Rudy Law.

Now if her toady Jim MacMilian would only do the same in his ridiculous campaign for the Collinsville District seat on the Henry County Board of Supervisors.

Quote Of The Day

Ann Coulter (on activist judges):
"Democracy sometimes leads to silly laws such as the one that prohibited married couples from buying contraception in Connecticut. But allowing Americans to vote has never led to creches being torn down across America. It's never led to prayer being purged from every public school in the nation. It's never led to gay marriage. It's never led to returning slaves who had escaped to free states to their slavemasters. And it's never led to 30 million dead babies."

Sure Tommy, I'll Help...

From The Roanoke Times, today;
Meteorologists figured 21 names for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes would be plenty.

With weeks left in the hurricane season, though, storm 21 -- Hurricane Wilma -- suggests they figured wrong.

No one can be certain whether human-induced global warming, natural cycles or a one-year anomaly caused the record-setting hurricane season, but humans can affect only one of those possible causes.

Americans should get serious about their contribution to global warming, lest 2005's storms mark the start of worse to come.
OK, Tommy, I opened all the windows and doors and cranked the AC wide open. You cooler yet?

Pitiful, just pitiful. So clueless, yet so sure of themselves.

Armstrong v Young, 10th District

Mason Adams has a very good story on the contest here in the 10th district. His story, headlined "Armstrong, Young differ on governing styles" offers some insight to a race that some outside the area have conceded to Armstrong.

Young is very popular in Patrick County, while Armstrong has lost much of his appeal in the Henry County area.

The people of Henry County that I talk to (both parties) feel he has been too sophomoric in many of his antics on the floor. They also notice, as Adams points out, that Ward has never been very effective.

Ben & Jerry Had A Farm, E-I-E-I-O

An intriguing look at the corporate side of a "socialist" company. (And it's really tasty products.)

Our Children Is Learning Good...

I have long suspected that one could be educated beyond ones intelligence.

Dennis J. Kilper, a professor of architecture at Virginia Tech has just demonstrated that my theory is correct.

Good Morning

Carl is apparently going to be OK...

It is a good morning.

(remove heart from back in pocket)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


This weekend presents a major dilemma to your humble correspondent.

Do I go on Saturday to the Ferrum College Blue Ridge Institute Folklife Festival, or on Sunday to the Subway 500 here at Martinsville Speedway.

Or, if I can find out where he is, Pikeville, Williamson, Bristol, even Jenkins, go visit Carl and pray at his bedside?

Kilo Takes A Serious Spill

Kilo, of Spark it Up has suffered severe injuries in an auto accident this morning.

I have come to know him quite well, from reading his postings, and he has been in my thoughts and prayers all day.

Drop by his site (LINK HERE)and leave him a message. A friend is reading comments to him.

Barnie Day's Chump Change

Barnie Day considers 2.2 billion dollars, (that's $2,200,000,000.00) Chump Change. Just a piddling little amount. Compares it to a jar of mustard. I'm sure glad I don't have to shop at that little country store in Meadows of Dan, if that's where Barnie buys his mustard.

Sure, he cuts it out of the overall $66 billion dollar state budget, and calls it merely 3.3%. Which is true. But I don't care where you shop, 2.2 billion dollars is a bunch of bucks.

It's also true, as he puts it, that in the greater scheme of things, 2.2 billion just doesn't do much in the Commonwealth's budget.

But Barnie, tell us how much good it would do for the Commonwealth's overall economy if it were in the hands of those that use it to buy goods and services, or inventory and machinery. In other words, the hands of those that would use it to create jobs. You do remember jobs, don't you. People here used to have them.

People in the state used to have that 2.2 billion dollars too. But you would rather it be used to buy votes instead of jobs.

In The Shadow Of Bull Mountain

The view from my office window is of Bull Mountain.
"A plane with Hendrick executives and family members crashed into Bull Mountain on Oct. 24, the day of the Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. All 10 aboard died, including car owner Rick Hendrick's son, brother and two nieces. Hendrick's brother, John, was the team president, and Hendrick's son, Ricky, was being groomed to run the team.

Also among those killed were Jeff Turner, the team's general manager, and Randy Dorton, the team's chief engine builder."
This weekend marks a sad anniversary of sorts for the Hendrick teams, but according to Dustin Long at The Roanoke Times the adjustment and healing at the organization is progressing well.

Jeff Gordon honored their memory today with a win in the Subway 500 here at Martinsville Speedway. Teamates Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch joined him in the top 10 with 3rd and 9th place finishes.

Todays win was Gordon's second win here this season, also winning the Advance Auto Parts 500 in April.His win today means he now has seven of these, the traditional trophy at Martinsville Speedway has always been a Grandfather clock from local manufacturer Ridgeway Clocks.

While no number of on track victories or Championship seasons (like his teamate Jimmie Johnson is working towards) will ever fill the void left by the loss of family, friends, and vital members of the team.

"We just want to keep honoring those folks that were lost and I can’t think of a better way to do it than to pull this DuPont Chevrolet into victory lane and celebrate here," Jeff said in Victory Lane (which here at Martinsville is otherwise known as the front straight, there being no room in the infield for a "traditional" celebration area). "I know they’re looking down on us and really smiling. And I hope we honor them properly."

"I just want to thank Steve Letarte and all the guys on this team. That was a great call he made to stay out that one time, that's really what won us the race today," he said in describing his 73rd win and the first with current crew chief Letarte. The new crew chief made the decision to stay out on lap 342 when the other contenders pitted, thus gaining valuable track position.

Tony Stewart led the most laps, and was the dominant car during the first half of the race. In the last 25 laps, Stewart trailed Gordon and Johnson, having difficulty getting past Johnson while Gordon was able to pull away from both. Stewart was finally able to get under Johnson enough on or about lap 480. "We just did what Jeff did in the spring, and the same thing he did to me in Bristol in the last lap of 2000, just get the fender underneath there and that’s all you need, It was just enough for us to get underneath Jimmie and got him loose and we went under."

That move places Stewart first in the Championship points chase, with Johnson 15 points behind in second.

Woman Drops Lawsuit Against Scott County Registrar

Could this be the "other shoe"?

In a previous report Laurence Hammack spun the relationship between the Scott County Registrar and her sons into a political smear.

Today Hammack picks up where he left off. In a report headlined Woman drops her lawsuit against Scott County registrar he waits until deep into the story before informing his readers that the lawsuit, which appears to be not only partisan but frivolous as well, was filed in Roanoke by a Floyd County Attorney and Ms. Kilgore was never served in the case. Throughout the story Hammack tosses out unsubstantiated innuendo via various quotes, but makes no effort to verify or refute any of them.

Eric Ferguson

Recently Eric Ferguson, candidate for the 9th District consented to an "interview" with Not Larry Sabato. (Who turns out to be Ben Tribbett, [and cronies] by the way.)

I'm not a resident of the 9th, but I am a member of of a church located in that district.

Mr. Ferguson comes across as very impressive in this exchange. Most of the questions were tough, and timely, and Eric gave very good insightful answers to them all. He even answered correctly, in my oppinion, on the Pete Rose question.

I am a Republican and would not like to see a senior Republican seat lost, so I will not endorse Eric. But if any of my fellow church members choose to vote for him, I will understand why. Should Mr. Ferguson prevail, it seems the people of the 9th would be well represented. The previous Democrat to sit in that seat in Richmond represented them very well, I would hope that Ferguson would too, should he be so fortunate.

As a side note, the only problem I have with Ferguson is his association with Mudcat Saunders. I do not know Mr. Saunders. I have read numerous accounts of this "colorful character", and have no major problems with his political beliefs. I do, however have a problem with his apparently constant barrage of foul language. I work daily with millwrights, ironworkers, welders, and electricians. If the accounts I have seen are correct, Mr. Saunders language would offend even these guys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Virginia Bloggers Carnival VII

Now open, at NorthernCrown. This weeks carnival contains some good stuff. Go get some.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Bill Wyatt

Located at the bottom of my Virginia Blogs Links list is a gentleman named Bill Wyatt.

Mr. Wyatt owns a couple of radio outlets here in Martinsville, along with a small independent broadcast TV station. He also produces two blogs that are deliberately designed to mimic a small daily newspaper. (That explains my lead-in to his link "Martinsville Blogger And Media Person, Posing As A Daily Newspaper.") That description is not meant to be derogatory, any more than the lighthearted descriptions above it are. (For example, see the link to Hans Mast.)

If any of you from outside of Henry County have clicked on this link, I hope you have enjoyed the experience. But, I know that if you could recieve any of his broadcasts you would be even more impressed. Mr. Wyatt is an excellent extemporaneous speaker, as evidenced by his nightly "Talk of the Town" show on WYAT TV channel 40. He speaks "off the cuff" much better than he writes. I have been watching for several weeks now, and I am much more impressed by his evening show than I am by his daily news and commentary on the website.

Now, before anyone jumps to any conclusion, I KNOW I am an engineer first, and a writer second. I also know that I should be the last one to ever criticize anyones writing.

Warner, Kaine, Kilgore To Visit Martinsville On Thursday

Kilgore and Kaine will hold separate town meetings in the Martinsville area on Thursday.

Jerry Kilgore will be at the Best Western in Collinsville from noon to 1:00pm. There will be a $5.00 charge, payable at the door for lunch.

From 5:00 to 6:00pm, Tim Kaine will be at the former Tultex Plant, now known as the Commonwealth Center. Mark Warner will join him for this event.

At 10:00am Friday at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway Mark Warner will be joined by Nextel Cup Driver Elliott Sadler from Emporia to make an announcement regarding the Race to GED program. Sadler is spokesman for the Race to GED program.

Brian reminds me that Elliott's brother Hermie will be entered in the Subway 500 driving a car sponsored by Kilgore for Governor.

This photo from the Kilgore for Governor website shows Hermie, Kilgore, and the #92 Chevy Monte Carlo.

The Hermie Sadler website states that he will be in the Peak Performance Ford #66.

I don't know which car he'll be in, but it will carry the Kilgore colors.

I Don't Know Which Would Scare Me More

Being trapped by rapidly rising tides on a fishing jetty or seeing who my potential rescuer happened to be.

Let's face it, he ain't got a great track record for this sort of rescue.

Betraying The Well-Being Of Abel...

I picked up a copy of The Roanoke Times yesterday on my way to Rocky Mt for church. After church I took a nice leisurely ride through the Franklin County countryside around Philpot Lake and into the northwest area of Henry County. I then went by my sister's for our usual Sunday afternoon chat before coming home to do my domestic chores (a batchelor's work is never done) in order to get ready for the new work week.

I tell you this minutiae in order to work up to this point. I never read that copy of the Times. It sat on the passenger seat of my truck until this evening when I brought it inside. I just read Tommy Denton's Sunday morning column.

Well, actually I didn't read all of his article. I got sidetracked by his first paragraph. It gave me quite an insight to the thinking of Tommy Denton. Of course the Times Editorial Staff is sympathetic with Tim Kaine's position on the death penalty. To Tommy Denton, cold blooded murder is no big deal. Just a "thang" that sometimes happens to people, probably just a luck of the draw.
Ever since Cain asked, "Am I my brother's keeper?" when he tried to dodge the heat for betraying the well-being of Abel, the world has tended to be just as evasive before the silent but implied "yes."
Read that again.
He actually said;
...betraying the well-being of Abel...
Well, now, isn't that special... Cain "Betray[ed] the well-being of Abel". Cain was just sooo insensitive.

Tommy, Cain did not "betray the well-being of Abel".

Face it, Tommy. The exact words were "Cain slew Abel". Cain murdered Abel. Cain took a hoe and beat his brother's brains out. Beat him until his entire head was mere mush. Beat him until "the ground bore witness to his brother's blood". Or maybe it wasn't a hoe, it may have been a shovel, or a large stick of wood, I don't really know. I do know, however, that he most certainly did more than "betray the well-being of Abel".

If you, Tommy, as an aquaintance or co-worker of mine asked me to pick up a box of Thera Flu for you while out on another errand and I forgot to do so, that could accurately be described as betraying the well-being of Tommy. Beating you until your last gasping breath escaped your body is just a bit more severe.

Commonwealth Conservative States It Better Than I Have

Finally, Chad states eloquently what I have been trying to say all along.
(emphasis added)
"Kaine’s opponent, Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore says that Kaine’s current stance is “deliberately deceptive and a transparent attempt to hide his record,” listing a few reasons why that’s the case. As you might imagine, I agree. “In the first place, we elect Governors to reflect our values. Secondly, declaring an immediate moratorium on the death penalty is within the law. Thirdly, the law of Virginia allows the governor without reason or explanation to, on a “case by case” basis, implement a moratorium on the Death Penalty."
This trumps the bogus comparisons being made by Kaine supporters to Kilgore's opposition to abortion. The Virginia Constitution BINDS Kilgore to either defer to the General Assembly or Veto it's actions. The same Constitution actually FREES Kaine to effectively and unilaterally end executions during his term. No GA oversight, no Judicial reversal, and as Virgina's Governor is limited to one term, no Statewide political repercussions.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Meet Shelly II

A few years ago, while working on a project for TECO Energy's Clintwood/Elkhorn Coal Co., I found a baby snapping turtle on the Clintwood/Elkhorn site at Biggs, KY. Because of the area in which she was found, it was obvious she had experienced a trip through the processing plant. In through the pumps. Through the crusher. Through the washers. Through the entire plant. That was somewhat amazing, to say the least. She was about the size of a quarter when I found her, I put her in my lunch bucket and took her home with me that evening.

My step-daughter named her Shelly. The perfect name for a snapping turtle, but it was some time before I was able to determine that the name was "gender correct". (You can't just turn a turtle over, like a puppy, and know for sure. Well, you can, but the parts aren't there.)

She was a great addition to our pet family of several dogs. I kept her well fed on raw chicken, and the occasional crayfish that I would introduce into her aquarium in order to help with the "housekeeping". She would typically allow the crayfish to spend a few days cleaning up the tank, then she would clean the tank of crayfish. I then had to remove the crayfish shells.

After some time she was getting too big for the aquarium, so I released her into the creek in front of our home in Hurley, VA. I'm sure to this day she is regaling all the other snappers in Paw Paw Creek with stories about the time when she was royalty, and feasted on chicken, ham, hamburger, and cheddar cheese (a favorite) instead of minnows, tadpoles, and horney-heads.

Today, my brother-in-law gave me a present of a red eared slider which he found in the area that he hunts. She (don't ask, I know how to tell now, but like I said, it's not as obvious as it is with puppies) is now happily swimming in a new 10 gallon tank, into which I will introduce some fish soon. Don't worry, unlike snappers, red eared sliders are mostly vegitarian, and if well fed on vegitation or a commercial turtle food, will not eat their neighbors.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Kaine Still Under Fire

Chad has this new post.

As we all know, in 2001, Tim Kaine called for a moratorium on the death penalty. At the time, he said he would have no problem running as a candidate who wanted a moratorium because people’s opinions were changing.

Now, Kaine says he doesn’t support a moratorium anymore. What happened? Why the change of heart? It couldn’t be because he is running for governor, could it.

There's more here. Good stuff, Chad.

Staged Teleconference?

I got home late last evening, and just barely caught the end of the "Staged Teleconference story" on whichever news program I had on. It sounded intriguing, to say the least.
This morning I read this article from the AP, which appears to be the first source of the story.

All I can get from the article is that each participant knew in advance which subject they would answer questions on. It sounded reasonable to me.

For a more in-depth analysis of the story, Big Lizard has this.
See here for an account from a soldiers wife. No, not one of the soldiers involved in the above account, but even more relevant.

Whatever You Do, Keep Enough Cash On Hand To Pay Your Coke Dealer

Raising Kaine apparently believes that being late with your drug payments makes you eleigible for the death penalty. Actually killing someone and his family for being late with those payments does not.
While his son, Richard, and daughter-in-law Rebecca were murdered in 1993, the ads fail to inform viewers that the two were murdered by their cocaine dealer when they apparently ran short of cash. Apparently, both of the Rosenbluths “had traces of cocaine in their body at the time of their death, a fact that is not mentioned in the television ad or more recent accounts of their muder.”
Not a very effective argument, there, guys.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Break Out The Ballons And Funny Hats!

Brian has passed the Virginia bar exam.

(I suspect that's a good thing, but it does mean we have one more lawyer in our midst, now I gotta recruit another engineer to maintain balance...GRIN)

Seriously Brian, very heartfelt congratulations from this side of the Blue Ridge.

If Anybody Knows Demagoguery, These Guys Do

Today, the "Tim Kaine Cheerleading Squad", which masquerades as a newspaper in the Roanoke Valley, begins this editorial by demagoging a Kilgore ad that explains the truths behind Tim Kaine's death penalty opposition. The editorial purports to show that the Kilgore ad is misleading. In order to do so, the editorial staff ends up doing the misleading.
The editorial states;
If his television ads are to be trusted, Jerry Kilgore believes that serving as a court-appointed attorney to a death row inmate disqualifies someone from serving as governor of Virginia.
This line is a complete distortion of Jerry Kilgore’s statement. What Mr. Kilgore actually said was;
"Everyone is entitled to representation, but not every activist defense attorney is entitled to be governor of Virginia,"
And there can be no mistake made about it, Mr. Kaine is an activist attorney. As Mayor of Richmond He used City Taxpayer dollars to send busloads of people to the “Million Mom March” to protest in support of expanded gun control laws, (when caught in this blatant exercise, he did reimburse the City coffers) and, although “court appointed” he volunteered to defend the death row inmate cited in the editorial. (It is my understanding that only those attorneys who volunteer to do so are appointed to the appeals level of capital cases.)
[Note: I have since been informed that Mr. Kaine has stated that, while he did not voluteer to represent the three imates in their appeal, he could have turned the assignments down, but chose not to.]

Further, The Roanoke Times attempts to distort Tim Kaine’s statement that he would “uphold the law” as regards the death penalty by comparing it to Mr. Kilgore’s stance regarding abortion.
From the editorial;
Kilgore, if elected, would also be faced with following state laws he finds personally objectionable, such as those dealing with abortion. As Kaine has said, governors don't have the luxury of picking and choosing which laws they will follow.
What they don’t say is that on the subject of abortion, Mr. Kilgore is required by law to keep his administration neutral and to follow or veto the legislature. In Mr. Kaine’s case and subject, the law specifically allows the Governor to commute any death penalty, with no oversight required, and without appeal from the victim, the Courts, or the Legislature. In other words, as the law applies to these two subjects and these two candidates, the law binds Mr. Kilgore, while the law frees Mr. Kaine to do as he pleases.

Mr. Kaine has consistantly claimed he would "follow the law" in as it applies to the death penalty. What the Roanoke Times knows, but does not tell you, is that Mr. Kaine as Governor could commute all death penalties, regardless of public opinion, and still be in full compliance with the law.

This editorial further demagogues the issue by deliberately misstating the facts regarding Mr. Kaine’s statements to the Richmond Times Dispatch. When asked, "Your conviction is so deep that you cannot name one person in history, who because of his malefactions and criminal behavior, deserved the death penalty"?
From the editorial;
Kaine said, "They may deserve it. Of course they may, for doing something heinous. They don't deserve to live in civilized society. They deserve the death penalty."
The actual full quote was;
KAINE: No, I -- again, the way I answered your question is -- they may deserve -- yeah. They may deserve it. Of course they may, for doing something heinous. They don't deserve to live in civilized society. They deserve the death penalty. I just --you know, I look at the world. Most nations have decided not to have a death penalty. And -- and many are very safe. I don't think -- I don't think it's needed to be safe.
Now, read the two quotes above. Does the Roanoke Times accurately portray Mr. Kaine’s true statement?

As an aside, I bring up one further point, just to prove the first. Mr. Kaine claims this position to be based upon his deep religious conviction, and not his politics, therefore not subject to question. But, he makes this claim as a devout Catholic. His Church is adamantly opposed to abortion, yet he is on record as being extremely pro-choice. Do his religious convictions not apply to this subject? If not, why not?

Who is the real demagogue here? I nominate Tommy Denton and his crew.

Does anybody want to bet which losing Democrat the Roanoke Times chooses to endorse next?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Star Theatre Now Open In Stuart

The historic Star Theatre is now open in the depot area of downtown Stuart.

Recently renovated by owners Tommy Beasley and his wife Carol, the old theatre has several shows scheduled for the following weekends.

On Oct. 14, 15, & 16th a musical by Peter Holland, "A Country Courtship" will be presented. The show will also feature music performed by the well known bluegrass band, Ten Brooks.

The dinner theatre will feature a gourmet salad bar and hot buffet.

Hopefully, I will be able to post a picture sometime today of the beautifully restored facade of the building.

Fishing In Roanoke

Look for an "October Surprise" from the Roanoke Times some day soon. There are apparently plans being made by at least one reporter or editor at the Times to produce another article focused on Jerry Kilgore's mother, Willie Mae Kilgore.

How do I know this? I don't. But I can speculate, based on some of my visitor activity detailed in my traffic statistics.

I am relatively new at blogging, so I still get a "kick" out of checking the traffic statistics. It's one of the cooler aspects of this medium, being able to look at hard data to see where your readers are coming from. Also, because I'm relatively new at this, my statistics are thin enough to spot trends and even individual readers.

For some time now, I have been visited by someone at the Roanoke Times. Mostly one particular person at the Times, as evidenced by the IP address. There's nothing unusual about that, I'm sure. I'm certain all of you have been visited by someone at that paper, or one local to you.

What is unusual, is how this particular Times Computer has begun coming to my site. Typically, before this week, it has been by a direct link. Apparently I am either bookmarked or blogrolled, and that's cool. This week that has changed somewhat. This same computer, the one on which I am obviously bookmarked, has also begun coming to me via various searches. Someone at the Times has been searching this way;
Or this one,
Or this one,

It is the nature of those searches that brings me back to the prediction I made in the first paragraph. I hope I am wrong, not only because of the impact it could have on the election, but also because, as much as I dislike the bias at that paper, I would prefer to think they are ethical enough not to do what I suspect them of. I am making this prediction because I feel that if we know it's coming, and we also know it was generated by such a fishing expedition, the impact can be lessened somewhat. The October Surprise will most likely be another "hit piece" on someone in the Kilgore family. Most likely Jerry and Terry's mother.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Rick Boucher Thinks Our Current Refinery Capacity Is Adequate

Most experts agree that one of the major contributing factors in our current gasoline price increases is tha fact that our refining capacity has remained stagnant since the 1970's. Rick Boucher apparently doesn't believe that.

He may figure that since we are all preoccupied by the Virginia elections, we won't notice this vote.

He also voted in the minority on this issue, and this one. In the last one one he joined only 64 of the country's most liberal Representatives (Maxine Waters, Cynthia McKinney, Rahm Emanuel, Barney Frank, John Conyers and others) in voting against continuing funding of the Government through November 18, 2005.

DeLay Attorneys Subpoena Texas District Attorney

It appears Tom Delay has rolled out "the Big Guns" in an attempt to force Ronnie Earle's hand.

Cyber Loophole

Without comment, another Washington Post editorial today...

CONSIDER THIS campaign finance scenario: A member of Congress faces a tough reelection race and needs as much financial help as possible. The politician can't legally take money from a corporation or labor union, and the most individuals can give is a few thousand dollars. But the lawmaker goes to a company and suggests another way to help out. He proposes that it pay for his Internet advertising. The campaign's consultants will produce the spots and choose the Web sites; the company need only write the check. And the company's help won't ever show up in campaign finance records.

Preposterous -- and dangerous -- as this may sound, it would be legal under a measure that hasn't received much attention but that has gained disturbing traction in Congress....

Read more here.

Can Chad Be Blamed For This?

Todays WaPo has this story about how so many elected officials have started their own blog.

It's a pretty interesting article, but it doesn't mention the one who may have just started it all, Virginia's own "first elected blogger"

Washington Post Endorses Kaine

In an editorial entitled Dollars and Sense The Washington Post endorses Tim Kaine for Governor today.

The endorsement centers on taxes and Mr. Kaine's proclivity to raise them, and even goes so far as to label Jerry Kilgore "radical" in his approach to the subject of taxes.

Time to leave for my daily trip to Stuart. More comment to come.

Roanoke Times Decides Debates Should Be Done Differently

Now we know the reason why The Roanoke Times didn't bother to cover the debate.
Larry Sabato apparently doesn't rise to their level of impartiality and sophistication.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Kaine Gets A Withering Look...

MPH has done some homework in reference to Tim Kaine's claims last night regarding his experience in crisis management.

Very well researched and devastating to Kaine.

Fifth District Race.

Waldo has an excellent analysis on the possibility of Virgil actually having some competition in the future.

However, it's going to take a candidate with more than just roots in the southern portion of the 5th to unseat Virgil. Waldo does mention the MZM thing, and a small contribution from Tom Delay, but I doubt those two issues will hurt Goode outside of the Charlottesvillle area.

Virginia Bloggers Carnival VI

Over at Too Conservative the sixth edition of the Carnival is up and running.
I'm looking forward to reading all the contributions for this week.

Roanoke Times Debate Coverage

At 5:00am The Roanoke Times online has only this AP account regarding the debate. I will know shortly if the hard copy has anything by staff writers.

The print edition contains nothing on the debate. I suppose they were all over at Wendy's house watching football....

The Richmond Times Dispatch does cover it rather well.

As does theWashington Post Here, and here, although with a slight tendency to soft pedal the tax issue.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Kaine Kilgore Debate

I just finished a "liveblog" event over at Commonwealth Conservative. It was exhilarating, and exhausting.

Kilo over at Spark It Up suggested earlier in the evening that he would like to see a live blog of the debate between Chad and myself, and Waldo and Brian. That was pretty intimidating, the thought that Kilo would place me in the same category as those three was extremely flattering.
Alas, that did not happen, even though when I think about it, now that it is over, I would have enjoyed that as well.

My thoughts on the debate;

Jerry Kilgore did very well. The expectations were low, admittedly, but he more than rose to the occasion.

Tim Kaine did not do well. He struggled on several occasions to distance himself from his record, and tried too many times to count to link himself to Mark Warner. Even to the extent at one time of seeming to advocate a second Warner Administration.

Someone, early in the debate, made a comment regarding Tim Kaine's left eyebrow....
That totally destroyed my attention until I stopped looking at the TV screen, and focused on the audio. The man has got one weird eyebrow...

Kilgore hammered him on several key points, primarily the fact that he has raised taxes in every position he has held, and the fact that Government Magazine rated him so poorly as Richmond's mayor, and finally on the dismal record he brings with him after presiding over the Richmond School System. At the end of Kaine's term as Mayor, of 51 schools, only 5 were accredited. That point was brought out at least twice, and maybe more.

Tomorrow's editorials will be the final arbiters of how the debate turned out. Some will honestly call it for Kilgore, others (The Roanoke Times, maybe? I'll know when I sit down at Kaye's Kitchen tomorrow) will spin it for Kaine. Hopefully some of the other SWVA papers will provide an honest assesment on the debate. (Step up to the plate, Bristol Herald Courier, The Dickenson Star, The Virginia Mountaineer, The Powell Valley News, and the Richlands News Press and report on this debate fairly. I don't expect to see anything in The Martinsville Bulletin, hopefully I'll be surprised.)

All in all, I believe this debate was and will continue to be a "plus" for Jerry Kilgore. I am psyched now, and ready for the final month of this campaign.

Tech's Robot Entry Finishes "First In Class"

The Virginia Tech Entry failed to finish in the DARPA Grand Challenge competition, after the second Tech vehicle broke on Saturday. Even though the VT entry did not finish the course, it did manage to finish ahead of all other "student only" entries. Unlike Stanford, which went on to win, only students worked on the Virginia Tech entries.

Way to go guys!

The Roanoke Times Online Has A Very Positive Story On Jerry Kilgore

DUCK! There's pigs flying all over SWVA!


This article by Michael Sluss is a departure from the norm.
A positive piece (let alone one that is almost "glowing") about Jerry Kilgore is practically unheard of.

My favorite line;
"I knew I could trust him," said Allen, now a U.S. senator. "When I had to make tough decisions, I had a great deal of confidence in him -- even though he was young."
Now, if they just follow this up with only one or two more between now and November...
Or at least have the decency not to attack family members again.

Nothing Online At About Tonights Debate

I didn't pick up a print edition of the Roanoke Times this morning while I was out, I intend to when I go out later.

A search of the Roanke Times website turns up nothing regarding tonight's debate. For an entity that seemed so concerned that WWBT was attempting to limit access to the event, they sure are not doing much to let their readers know that it will be on local NBC affiliate WSLS at 7:00pm tonight.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My Thoughts On Harriet Miers

I have refrained from commenting on Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court. I am not a lawyer, and actually know very little when it comes to the subject of Court procedures.

But I do know poker...
And I have been known to relish a good fight in my younger days...

It seems to me that the primary objection of those on the right (with the exception of George Will, who I will get to shortly) is that this nomination has robbed them of the rousing fight that they somehow feel they so richly deserve.

I agree that the Democrats have been obnoxious and obstructive in their treatment of George W. Bush’s judicial nominees, but any time you can get your opponent to fold his hand without a fight, you win. The pot may not be as big as it would have otherwise been, but you get to stay at the table for another hand or two. At this table of Supreme Court nominations there could very well be a couple more hands yet to be played. I know a good poker player when I see one, and I am thankful I don’t have to sit across the table from this one. Bush has just played a very good hand, it seems to me.

One argument against her that gets a lot of attention is cronyism, with Michael Brown being thrown up as an example of why that is such a bad thing. But with each day, more information (as opposed to “news”) comes out that shows that Michael Brown was not so much incompetent as he was uninformed by local officials. The Governor and Mayor were much closer to the situation, yet they knew just as little about what was actually happening on the ground as Brown did. Which brings us to the national media who it has been shown was reporting extremely inaccurate and skewed stories. Comparisons of Ms. Miers to Brown are not applicable at all, yet one sees such comparisons daily.

David Souter is the next example used by those objecting to her nomination. Fair enough, especially considering the first President Bush did the nominating in his case. But (and most ignore that big but) it has been said that if asked two weeks before the nomination George H. W. Bush could not have picked David Souter out of a line-up. George W. apparently knows Ms. Miers very well, and has for some time. That is an important difference. He also knows David Souter and he most definitely knows George H. W. Bush. Are you following me here?

Added to that, he has known since the beginning (and it was dramatically reinforced in 2001) that if his Presidency is to have much of a legacy it will be for one of two things (or both), the war on terror, and the future shape of the Supreme Court. He will not jeopardize that legacy with what he considers to be a frivolous, “throw away” nomination. See the poker reference above. I believe he is once again being “misunderestimated”, only this time by his own supporters.

George Will made some compelling arguments regarding Ms. Miers’ qualifications. The gist of them being that she is not a “notable” legal mind. I’m sorry, but that just sounds elitist to me.

No, she is not a Yale or Harvard graduate. Not even University of VA, but instead is a product of Southern Methodist University (with a Batchelors Degree in mathmatics, which automatically endears her to me). Somehow that is a bad thing. She has no major published articles that show her to be a distinguished legal scholar. Again, that is somehow a bad thing. Some besides Will have even suggested that no prior experience as a judge is a bad thing, even though that is actually typical of Supreme Court nominees.

There is no constitutional requirement that a Supreme Court Justice have prior judicial experience. As a matter of fact, there is no requirement that one even be a lawyer. I for one would love to see a non-lawyer selected for the Court. (No offense intended to my legal friends Chad, Brian, Steve, et al..) Of course no non-lawyer has ever been selected for the Supreme Court, but it was 1851 before a Supreme Court Justice was a graduate of a Law School. Prior to that time, all Supreme Court Justices had learned their craft either by reading the law on their own, or as apprentices (typically one would assume, to someone who had read the law on their own, or apprenticed to someone who had). I would imagine few, if any, had published notable legal treatises prior to their nomination. This group includes John Jay, John Rutledge, and John Marshall. This is NOT to be considered a direct comparison between Ms. Miers and any of these legal legends. Instead, it is to point out how unrealistic some demands are from both sides. Would any of those three be called "qualified", if nominated today. (But, just maybe if her name was John Harriet Miers…)

An elite education and noted publications are wonderful things, but they do not automatically portend greatness, or even competence, as can be proven by some opinions of current occupants of Supreme Court seats.

My Apologies To My Readers Using Internet Explorer

I use Firefox, both here at home and at work.

This blog originally started as a standard blogger template, which I have modified slightly. I checked it periodically in Netscape and Opera as i made changes to verify that I was not making any changes that would adversely affect the look of the page.

I just opened it in Internet Explorer and it looks awful. No, It looks worse than awful. I will look back over the template code and see where it may be wrong, but I am not an html expert. In the meantime, I would wholeheartedly reccomend switching to one of the three other browsers (all free downloads). You will also be upgrading to a much more spyware resistant browser as well as being able to see this page as it was intended.

Find them here:

Also, if any of you do know html, please look at this pages source and send me an e-mail if you can offer suggestions about how to fix it.

Speaking Of Logos....

Bearing Drift has this post regarding the campaign website of Suffolk County Sheriff candidate Timothy L. Mallory.

Apparently Mr. Mallory was using the Virginia State Seal on his website, amongst a few other naive mistakes. He did not realize that its use was restricted from non-governmental purposes.

When designing my site, I originally wanted to use the State Seal myself, not to make the place look "official" in any way, but just because I think its a great design. I suspected there were some sort of restrictions on the use of the seal, but could not find any guidelines on its use.

I finally decided to use just a sketch of the image in the center of the Seal, along with the motto. I certainly hope this does not legally constitute an official State Seal.

Why Do I See This Logo All Wrong Every Time I See It?

I love the library, and the Blue Ridge Regional Library here in Henry County has several branch locations. The hours are not perfect for my schedule, but I do make use of their resources quite often.

However, I have noticed that I have a disturbing proclivity to see the logo all wrong. No matter where I see it, whether it is on their website, or in their advertisements in the Martinsville Bulletin, or on the sign beside U.S. 220 in Collinsville, I never seem to associate it in my mind with "the Library".

Nope, I always see a snail first, then I have to remind myself that it's the Library logo.

Bailey's 300 Qualifying Scheduled for Today

The Bailey's 300 for late model stocks was scheduled to begin qualifying runs today at 1:00pm. I assume the track was dry enough for this to happen.

Ninety of the East Coast’s top NASCAR Late Model Stock Car drivers will attemt to make the 42 car field today. Only 22 will do so. The remaining 20 will come from the results of four 25 lap sprints which will begin at 12:30pm Sunday. This event always draws the top Late Model teams from Virginia, as well as North Carolina and elsewhere.

I intend to be there on Sunday.

Since I have lived away from here for most of that time, I haven't attended a race at Martinsville since the Busch Series was discontinued in 1994. I am looking forward to seeing what has typically been a fantastic race in the past few years.

Gubernatorial Campaign Brings TRD Bias To Front And Center

Today, at the top of The Roanoke Times front page, an article by Lawrence Hammack can only be classified as a “hit piece” on Jerry Kilgore’s mother.

Willie Mae Kilgore is the Voter Registrar for Scott County. She has committed the unpardonable sin of contributing monetarily to her sons campaigns (Jerry’s twin brother Terry is running for the House of Delegates in the 1st District as an incumbent).

Jerry Kilgore receiving the endorsement of two of the state’s most influential groups in a single day (one having previously endorsed Mark Warner, which had to cut Tim Warnerkaine to the quick) merits page 3 of the second section of Friday’s paper.

But, in traditional Roanoke Times fashion, a non-story about possible, maybe, could be, there oughta be a law, why isn’t it, sort of innuendo regarding his mother is front page material.

Hammack states (or quotes others) no fewer than four times in his article that such contributions are perfectly legal. Also, almost everyone he questions from the Democratic Party, as well as other Registrars, see little to no ethical problems with her activity on behalf of her sons. (With the primary and notable exception of Terry’s opponent.)

The Roanoke Times has a disturbing habit of “hiding” information harmful to their preferred candidates or issues deep inside a story. (I have demonstrated this in a previous post). Mr. Hammack has continued this tradition with this article.

Hammack waits until the 31st paragraph to inform his readers that Ray H. Davis, Registrar for Stafford County, has also contributed to the Kaine campaign. I’m sure there are people reading this who know each individual better than I, but I am reasonably certain that Mr. Davis is not Tim Kaine’s mother.

He then waits until the 56th paragraph (yes, it’s an extremely long article, essentially saying nothing) to let us in on the secret that Leslie Byrne, the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, has received over $10,000 from her husband, who serves on the Electoral Board for Fairfax County. (Being that there is a real family connection, I see no problem with Ms. Byrne’s acceptance of these donations.) He tells us that Electoral Board members are held to a lower threshold concerning the legality of their partisan activities than Registrars face. But what he does not tell us, and I feel it is extremely relevant considering the tone he sets with his attack on the Mother Kilgore, is that a County’s Registrar is appointed by the Electoral Board.

Relevant Notes:
(courtesy of Mr. Davis' Stafford County Regisrar's Office Website)
The duty of the Electoral Board is to insure all elections are conducted fairly and impartially. It is the duty of the Registrar to provide for voter registration and voter education. The Registrar performs many electoral duties including managing efficient elections while protecting the integrity of the election process. The Constitution of Virginia requires the appointment of Electoral Boards and Registrars. The Code of Virginia, Section 24.2-114 defines the duties and powers of the Registrar. However, many other duties have evolved and are contained in various parts of Section 24.2 of the Code.

The Electoral Board members appoint the Registrar of Voters, who serves a four-year term. The Registrar and his Assistants may be members of a political party but are not allowed by the Code of Virginia to campaign actively for any candidate. The Registrar and his Assistants are not allowed to offer legal advice or voice partisan opinions. Any activity which can be construed as a conflict with the nonpartisan nature in which the Office of the Registrar of Voters should be maintained is avoided. The public should never be able to question that the performance of the Registrar's duties is carried out in a nonpartisan, fair and legal manner.

Of course there can be dissenters to any opinion....
And Brian posts his dissent here.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Roanoke Times Still Hiding Kaine's Attempt To Sidestep Rules

Yesterday I posted this regarding the blatantly biased editorial on Kaine's refusal to sign a non-use agreement as required by the previuosly agreed to rules of the debate scheduled for this Sunday evening.
As I stated in the first sentence of yesterdays post, I could find no reference to the story on line, and could not recall having read it in the print edition.
It was obvious to me that the Roanoke Times chose to handle this story exclusively on the editorial page, where it could be "spun" to suit Ms. Zomparelli and Mr. Denton's political agenda.
Today, after Mr. Kaine finally realized he could not change the rules in the middle of the game and signed the agreement "under protest", The Roanoke Times finally mentions the story. Just barely. In two short paragraphs at the end of a Michael Sluss story regarding Russ Potts' lawsuit against Dr. Sabato and his Center for Politics. But true to form, even those two short paragraphs tell the story from an anti-Kilgore slant.
From todays Times Virginia section page 3;

The Kaine and Kilgore camps have spent much of the week bickering over ground rules for the debate. Specifically, the two sides were quarreling over terms of an agreement that would prevent debate footage from being used in TV ads.

Kilgore's campaign insisted on the agreement, arguing that it is a customary condition of televised debates in the state. Kaine's campaign signed off on the deal Thursday, but not before accusing Kilgore's camp of trying to sabotage the only televised debate of the campaign.

Even when they slant the story to favor their bias, they hide it off the main pages of the paper. And then try to bury it at the end of an article they know very few people will ever get to the last paragraph of.

Also, the editorial included a swipe at the NBC affiliate who is co-sponsoring the debate. The Times deliberately phrased their editorial so as to make it appear that the stations copyright would prevent a wide audience. here, read it for yourself.
From the Roanoke Times Editorial Page, 10/06/05;

"WWBT says it is just protecting its copyright interests -- but copyright allows "fair use," not "no use." And short excerpts used in campaign commercials would almost certainly be allowed under current law.

Besides, a public debate between gubernatorial candidates going out over airwaves owned by the public should not be the exclusive property of one television station. Indeed, broadcast stations and civic organizations across the state should have been insisting for months on a series of live, unscripted and unrestricted debates.

The public interest here is wide dissemination of such debates. Those who host the encounters should understand and support that."
If you notice the blue box in the center of the article, you will see that it shows the debate to be aired in the Roanoke Valley not only on WSLS, Roanoke's NBC affiliate, but also on C-Span. I would imagine that WVTF Public Radio will air it as well. Anyone who wishes to can follow the debate, live. Apparently Wendy and Tommy don't read their own publication. And there are some stories they don't want their readers to find.

Roanoke Times Headline - "Kilgore receives gun lobby stamp of approval"

Cody Lowe who writes the religion column for the Times does a pretty good job with the NRA endorsement story. I was not too surprised by that,when I saw his name at the top of the story. I have read some of his writings on relious subjects and found him to be a fair observer and a good writer.

The headline writer could have used a little more objectivity, but other than that it's a pretty fair peice.
News from The Roanoke Times -Kilgore receives gun lobby stamp of approval

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Crisis Over

Earlier toaday I posted about the editorial in today's Roanoke Times regarding Tim Kaines' attempt at weaseling out of the previously agreed to terms of the upcoming debate.
It seems that Mr. Kaine has agreed to sign the non-use agreement "under protest".

The Real Larry Sabato had this to say;
"Students submit things to me under protest all the time, so that's ok, looks like we have a debate."
Was that a great quote from Sabato, or what?

The Withering Look

Everyone welcome a new Virginia Blogger MPH at The Withering Look

I just spent a bit of time there, There is some good stuff here...

Now This Is Interesting...

NLS, we are safe!
(Well, at least we would be if we lived in Delaware.)

Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger - Yahoo! News

Wendy and Tommy Think You're Stupid.

Today's Editorial is pure Kaine spin.

The Roanoke Times today editorializes on a story that, as far as I can tell, they have not even covered in the "news" sections of the paper.

In preparation for Sunday's scheduled debate, Tim Kaine is refusing to sign a standard non-use agreement required by Dr. Sabato's Center for Politics and Richmond Station NBC 12. What this agreement states is that neither campaign may use audio or video clips from the debate in campaign ads. A very sensible and traditional agreement. After all, as Doug Wilder said in 1989 prior to his debate with Marshal Coleman;
“Why should I be used as a subject of his commercials? I don’t want him in mine. Why should I say, ‘take me, use me.’ Even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can see through his scheme.”
(From The Washington Post, July 24, 1989)
Tim Kaine has already made this agreement himself in prior debates. I would imagine it has become so commonplace, that it would be noteworthy if such an agreement had not been in place in any recent gubernatorial debate.

There is extremely in depth coverage of the story at Commonwealth Conservative.

The slant of the editorial is that Kilgore is refusing to participate unless there is a signed non-use clause in the rules of the debate. In actuality, Tim Kaine is refusing to sign an agreement he has signed many times before. What exactly does Mr. Kaine have planned?

The Roanoke Times also assumes that its readers are so gullible as to believe there is some restriction on news organization using any audio, video, or transcript clippings. This is absurd, but read their statement;
"WWBT says it is just protecting its copyright interests -- but copyright allows "fair use," not "no use." And short excerpts used in campaign commercials would almost certainly be allowed under current law.

Besides, a public debate between gubernatorial candidates going out over airwaves owned by the public should not be the exclusive property of one television station. Indeed, broadcast stations and civic organizations across the state should have been insisting for months on a series of live, unscripted and unrestricted debates.

The public interest here is wide dissemination of such debates. Those who host the encounters should understand and support that."
The Washington Post had this in yesterday's edition;

On Aug. 10, Kaine's campaign said it would accept the Sabato-WWBT debate unconditionally. In a release, Elleithee wrote, "We are also fully accepting the rules, logistics and format as determined by the debate sponsors."

That would seem to include the rules regarding a no-use agreement. But late Tuesday, Kaine campaign manager Mike Henry released a letter to Sabato saying his camp was considering whether to sign the agreement. It said Kaine intends to be at the debate one way or the other.

The Roanoke Times has neglected to mention any of the relevant facts of the story, instead they have slanted their editorial to make it appear that the Kilgore campaign is reneging on an acceptance of the rules. That is a complete fabrication on the part of The Times.

This type of dishonest editorializing should be reported as an "in kind" political contribution, and Ms. Zomparelli and Mr. Denton should apologize to their readers for deliberately misleading them.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

It's Coming Down To The Wire Soon.....

And Shaun Kenny says we need to maintain a positive attitude and keep plugging, hard!

He right, there has been much negativity from the GOP side in the past few days (weeks?). Some of it may be dissapointment leaking through from the Supreme Court stuff, but that should not discourage anyone regarding Jerry Kilgore's campaign.

He concludes with;
Tim Kaine and his left-wing mercenary 527's are counting on us to be bitter. Disappoint 'em all.

Let's get back to work.
Well, just go there and read it, he says it all much better than I.