Monday, April 30, 2007

The Loophole Is Closed. Don't Let It Become A Noose

Tim Kaine and Bob McDonnell apparently worked together to close a loophole through which evil walked. I commend them both, but I won't go into any detail about the Executive Order. I'm sure it's covered well elsewhere, and there's no real need to rehash it here. It now needs to be codified into law, but very carefully. The Lt. Governor is working with the Legislative Information service now to do just that.

What I would caution them all to guard against is the inevitable knee jerk. And make no doubt, knees will jerk. It's the third most popular sport in academia, right after big game tenure hunting and grant chasing.

Some precaution needs to be built into this law, or codified in some other law, to put the brakes on nonsensical "Zero Tolerance" policies in our government schools.

What? You think I'm being an alarmist? There are whole websites devoted to the lack of common sense displayed by schools all over the country in the name of zero tolerance. Todays news carries two prime examples of such knee idiocy in government schools.

A State University of New York, Cobleskill student received a five day academic suspension and was forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. His crime? Tharindu Meepegama, the student, had a photo of himself holding a shotgun on his personal website.

In another recent case, after receiving a creative writing assignment, an assignment that carried an instruction from the teacher to "exaggerate wildly" and an admonishment against "self censorship", 18 year old Albert Lee was arrested by the Cary, IL police department because that same teacher found his writing to be "disturbing".

I've read excerpts of his essay, and it is "disturbing" only in that it's not very good writing. In the essay itself, Lee explains that the violence he is describing is completely out of character for him, even describing it as funny to think that he could imagine such a scene.

To make matters worse, Lee's future with the Marine Corp appears to be over. Because of the pending criminal charges, Lee's recruiter told him that the Marine Corps has discharged him from his contract.

It's possible that Meepegama or Lee may be deranged. It's much more likely that they are not. Common sense treatment of both cases by the school staff would have been a much better way to begin determining if either student actually posed a problem.

Day Of Silence

Today is supposed to be a day of silence in remembrance of the Virginia Tech students and faculty who were killed or wounded two weeks ago.

It's an interesting way to observe the two week anniversary, and it's cool if you choose to do so. Obviously I'm not participating, or I would have waited to post this.

Grumpy is REALLY not participating. He's been a busy little blogger today.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good Conversation, Good Coffee

Two very interesting topics are at the top of Scott's blog right now. Go over and join the discussion. I did and I would like to read your thoughts as well. His thoughts on "long distance" candidate endorsements are especially interesting. As is his post on guns and the mentally ill.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Can't Control His Mouth Any Better Than He Can His Guns

"Anyone who tells you we can set a timetable for withdrawal doesn’t understand war. And anyone who says that nothing can be done to speed a secure peace doesn’t understand America."

Then-candidate Jim "Let Syria handle it" Webb (D-RK) 9/24/2006

"There will be very little motivation for al-Qaida to continue in Iraq once we have left,"

Now Senator Jim "I'm a dolt" Webb (D-Hollywood) 4/27/07 [LINK](Sacramento Bee, requires registration)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

2003 Senate Election Results In 20th District

I want to remind Roscoe Reynolds of his win in 2003. Roscoe won the 2003 Senate election in the 20th District with 67% of the vote. Not bad, until you consider his opponent didn't even rise to the level of Bag of Leaves.

Tom "Bag of Leaves" Peterson lied his way into the Republican nomination, then he lost Republican Party support and dropped completely out of the race when it was discovered he had covered up a DUI conviction, a bankruptcy, a couple of alleged sexual harassment incidents, and the fact that he was more than $10,000 behind in his child support payments. Oh, and there was that thing about seeing phantom images in his windshield.

Yeah, that's the kind of guy Roscoe spent $192,862 to beat. Even though his extremely weak (I've been working on understatements, how am I doing?) opponent dropped out of the race in early September, Roscoe was still defeated in 16% of Floyd County's precincts. 16% of Grayson County's precincts also preferred the flawed candidate over Reynolds. In Carroll County 26% of precincts rejected Roscoe, while in Wythe County a whopping 54% of the precincts chose the non-existent candidate over Reynolds, the incumbent.

Roscoe Reynolds has a real live opponent this time. One that is not flawed like Mr Peterson was. An opponent who spends every available moment visiting areas of the 20th District meeting constituents and introducing himself. A candidate that has shown his fiscal conservatism during his tenure on the Carroll County Board of Supervisors. A man of the people, who has promised to be available during the entire year, not just every four years or whenever there is a ribbon to be cut.

Jeff Evans will not have a law practice to maintain. As a retired State Trooper he is used to working long hours and working closely with the people in his community. In addition to a permanent office in Hillsville, Jeff has promised to maintain small satellite offices in Martinsville or Collinsville, Stuart in Patrick County, and Wytheville in Wythe County where he will be available on a regular schedule.

Is it any wonder that Tim Kaine's Moving Virginia Leftward Forward PAC is so concerned about Roscoe's performance this time around that they just dumped $20,000 bucks into his campaign? Is it any wonder that the Senate Democratic Caucus has hired a Texas opposition research firm this early in the campaign?

Roscoe is not very well liked in the 20th District, the people in the 20th District deserve a Senator that will communicate effectively with them. Roscoe has shown that he will not.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Two GA Mistakes And How They Impacted 4-16-07 (PART 1)

Recently the Virginia General Assembly made two major blunders, both purely due to a desire to remain "politically correct".

During the past legislative session Del. Albert C. Eisenberg,(D) - House District 47 introduced legislation that would prevent State owned colleges and universities from expelling a student solely for demonstrating suicidal tendencies. That sounds very cuddly and warm hearted. It would take a hard hearted bastard to vote against such a Bill. Apparently, there are no hard hearted bastards in the General Assembly, as it passed both houses unanimously.

Some people in a position to know however, looked beyond the paper the Bill was printed on and saw a potential problem. The director of student health and counseling services at Washington & Lee University, Dr. Jane T. Horton, said that in some cases, allowing a suicidal student to remain at school "is putting their own health at risk or placing an undue burden on the university for taking care of them, and an undue burden to other students who are concerned." She and Dawn A. Watkins, dean of students, saw such a potential problem with the legislation that they sent a letter to Governor Kaine urging him to veto it.

Although HB3069 does not directly affect W&L because the University's Virginia campus is private, Del. Eisenberg has used the example of an earlier lawsuit against another private institution, George Washington University, (we'll get to the details of that in a moment) in justifying the law's necessity, saying, "I was appalled by certain colleges that thought it was reasonable to expel these kids at the worst possible time".

Del. Eisenberg insisted that colleges and universities would have the authority to deal with students who are a danger to themselves and to others. He explained, "The bill does not strip them of that authority _ just the opposite, If a student has barricaded himself in a bedroom and somehow has gotten ahold of a gun, authorities have to be allowed to come in and deal with the problem".

Is he saying he would prefer that disturbed students remain enrolled until they do become a violent problem? It sounds like that to me.

I also wonder if the bill did not influence the Administration and Faculty at Tech. The Evil, (I will not pollute this page further with his name), obviously fell into the category of student this bill was designed to protect. He was adjudged mentally ill, a "hazard to himself and others", yet he remained on campus. 63 fellow students decided, out of fear, to not continue attending a literature class with him, yet he remained on campus. His professor in that class took her concerns to the Campus Police and the Administration, yet he remained on campus. The department head began private tutoring sessions with him, setting up a safety code word which would prompt her assistant to call for help in case he became violent, yet he remained on campus.

The question is; Did he remain on campus because of this bill? It may be just a bit more complicated than that. Obviously, The Evil had been identified as suicidal and a hazard to others long before Del. Eisenberg introduced HB3069. We must instead look at the genesis of Del. Eisenberg's feel-good bill.

In the fall of 2004, George Washington University sophomore Jordan Nott alleged he was suspended from school and barred from campus because he told a University counselor that he had general thoughts of suicide. Citing the Americans with Disabilities Act, Nott brought suit against the school and several administrators alleging that GW's policies discriminate against those with mental illness. The suit settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

We may never know for certain what compelled the Virginia Tech Administration to keep this disturbed package of evil on campus, but it does not take a strong imagination to consider the following; Virginia Tech Administrators were aware of the Jordan Nott lawsuit. Virginia Tech Administrators were aware of Del. Eisenberg's HB3069 and it's overwhelming support in the General Assembly.

Whether it was the successful Nott lawsuit, or the impending passage of HB3069, or a combination of the two that kept the Evil on campus, one thing is certain. Del. Eisenberg's feel-good bill virtually assures that at some point in the future another disturbed student will remain on some Virginia campus until he, in Del. Eisenberg's own words, "...has barricaded himself in a bedroom and somehow has gotten ahold of a gun..."

The second General Assembly mistake.

Still No Suggestions.. Still Open...

It's been well over 48 hours, and no one, not even the Brady Bunch, has put forth a new gun control idea that would have prevented any "gun free zone" shooting in America's history.

I want to thank Mad Hatter, at the "Left Friendly" Daily Whackjob for repeating the question there.
And Scott the Coffee guy for mentioning it here...

While we both got a fair share of philosophical replies, neither post got a valid answer. The closest call goes to Greg Bouchillon, who echoes my opinion that mental health reporting issues need to be tightened up considerably, but that does not fall into line with what the Brady Bunch insists is needed to stop such violence.
The Brady Campaign is working nonstop to get the message out that there are solutions to gun violence. We can ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips that make it so easy to kill quickly . . . we can require Brady background checks for all gun sales, including at gun shows . . . we can stop large-volume gun sales that supply illegal gun traffickers. These are just some of the steps we can take to make it harder for the wrong people to get guns.
Brady Campaign Website
So, I'm reposing the question. What does the Brady Campaign offer that would have prevented any mass murder by gun in America's history? Surely there must be at least one?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yeah, I'm Reprehensible For Even Thinking It

Welcome NLS visitors. Please read the following post carefully, it has been terribly distorted for political reasons by Ben. While you are here please visit the entire site, or at least this post, to learn the truth about me and the ODBA.

This post will not be popular. This one will get me called bad things at NLS and Raising Kaine. This post will widen the "friendship gap" between me and Waldo. This post will not even endear me to many of my fellow ODBA members. But I have to ask the question. And you have to think about it.

I too wonder just how it was that some of the students at Virginia Tech sheepishly lined up to be shot. Let me be clear, I do not know exactly what happened in any of those classrooms. But reports are out that say just that.

Have Americans become so indoctrinated into the culture of non-violence that defending oneself is unthinkable? It could be argued that our schools have taught that very lesson. It began even as far back as when I was in High School at Fieldale-Collinsville. (No, we did not ride dinosaurs to school back then.) After a fight anywhere on campus, both students were treated equally, in the just then emerging politically correct fashion. One was just as much at fault for defending himself as the idiot who had started the fight. It made no sense to me then, it makes even less now. Especially now, when fists are the least weapon to be feared.

I do know that not all of the victims behaved so. I believe Ryan "Stack" Clark was shot while coming to the aid of the first victim, Emily Hilscher. I know that professor Librescu willingly gave his life working to keep the gunman outside his classroom. I'm sure there are many others whose story's will eventually be told.

But these reports of students willingly lining up against a wall disturb me. They should disturb you as well. We need to know why. We need to know what kept any number of groups from rushing this evil and stopping it before it could go further. We need to know what taught them that reaction. We need to know so we can begin to teach the opposite.

Virginia Tech & Columbine?

Most news reports about last Mondays tragedy draw a comparison to the April 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. There are way too many differences in the two incidents to go into here, about the only real comparison is that both incidents occurred in April, and there were many casualties in each. The similarities end there.

A much more recent, and more local, and more closely aligned incident would be that which occurred in January, 2002 on the campus of another Virginia college, Appalachian School of Law in Grundy.

At the Appalachian School of Law, Peter Odighizuwa had long been identified by fellow students and faculty as being a very disturbed individual. At Virginia Tech, the same can be said for Cho Sueng Hui. At both schools students had voiced concerns about their classmate. At both schools, the faculty and administration were handcuffed by bureaucratic rules and red tape. Until, at both schools the inevitable happened. An evilly crazed student decided to take fellow students and faculty out of the game.

The differences? There are at least two differences. In Grundy, Peter Odighizuwa, having a single .380 semi-automatic pistol and three full magazines, was not quite as heavily armed as Cho Sueng Hui. Difference number two, Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross were not in Blacksburg. Who are Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, you ask? Bridges and Gross were students at the Appalachian School of law along with Peter Odighizuwa. Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross were also armed. Though neither was carrying a weapon on the campus, they did have their weapons locked in their nearby vehicles.

Unlike Virginia Tech, Appalachian School of Law does not sprawl over a 2600 acre campus. Instead, the law school is housed in the four buildings that were formerly the Grundy Elementary school and and Grundy Intermediate School. (10 acres would be generous, my memory would put it closer to 8.) Upon hearing the shooting, and with the actions of one unknown to the other, Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross each ran to their nearby vehicles to retrieve a weapon to stop Odighizuwa. Gross, now armed with a 9mm pistol, and Bridges, similarly equipped with a .357 revolver converged upon Odighizuwa and demanded that he throw down his weapon. When he did so and was approached by Gross, Odighizuwa threw one or two punches before being subdued by a third student, Ted Besen.

I would be surprised to find that the members of the House Militia, Police and Public Safety committee were aware of the circumstances that brought the Appalachian School of Law shootings under control. There were only four or five instances of the news media reporting Gross and Bridges' actions. Most accounts have Odighizuwa simply being wrestled to the ground after emptying his .380 pistol. In fact, police accounts show that the magazine in Odighizuwa's .380 still contained 3 rounds. I know this because I was living near Grundy at the time. You ( and the House Militia, Police and Public Safety committee) didn't know it because the media effectively embargoed these facts.

Yes Virginia, armed students prevented the first college shooting in Virginia from becoming even more of a tragedy. Our very own General Assembly made sure that will not happen again.

Roscoe Reynolds & Campaign Cash

The latest reports are filed. Senator Reynolds has received one (yes, only one!) reportable contribution from within the 20th Senate District in this quarter. $500 from a Galax Physician. Nothing else from within the 6 County area. Let's not forget that he cannot solicit contributions while the General Assembly is in session, but to solicit contributions here in the 20th District he would have to actually get out and meet constituents, something he historically has been extremely lax in doing.

He has only received $1000 besides that. $500 each from Richmond insiders Norfolk Southern Corp. and the Virginia Coal Association.

Oh, don't let me forget his one other reportable contribution since January 1. Tim Kaine's Moving Virginia Leftward Forward PAC has shown him quite a bit of generosity. Senator Reynolds has 4 contributions this quarter, the first three amounting to only $1500 and only one of those is from a constituent. The Moving Virginia Forward contribution raises his quarterly total to $21,500.

No, I didn't slip on the keyboard. The Democratic leadership feels that this race is serious enough to dump $20,000 into Roscoe's lap. (I have an earlier post about the Senate Democratic Caucus paying a Texas firm to do opposition research. It seems the Democratic Party is slightly scared.)

Now don't get me wrong, Roscoe is certainly not cash poor. He's been steadily raising cash for this campaign for the past 4 years. During that time he has raised over $111,000.

He's raised that cash mostly from the same type of special interests that recently gave him $500 apiece. In fact, only a bit over 16% of Roscoe's $100,000 came from the 20th District. He's even raised more from outside the state than he has within this district, excluding Martinsville.

Of course, Jeff Evans has not even come close to raising $111,000 yet. But 100% of his contributions have come from the taxpayers in his District.

Open Post...Unleash Your Progressive Thoughts

Use the comment section to describe a new, tougher gun law that would have prevented any of the school shootings in our country's history. Or. for that matter, any shooting involving victims in a "gun free zone", whether it be a school, airport, government building, courthouse, store or restaurant.

Use your liberal imagination. Unleash your progressive thoughts. We are all anxious to hear your ideas.

Just remember that we do have a Constitution, unless your suggestion is to amend portions of it. If that is your suggestion I require a valid, in depth argument for doing so. One that would persuade a sufficient number of citizens to go along with such an amendment. Facts matter, feelings and emotion won't cut it.

Haloscan and IE are not friends. I will still get your comment, but it will not post immediately. I do NOT moderate comments, but keep them somewhat family friendly. My family, friends, church members, and co-workers do read this blog.

Thoughts On Virginia Tech

It's time now for some thoughts on the tragedy at VT last Monday.

First, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum showed himself to be a first-class police administrator. His demeanor and style during the early afternoon press conference was extremely professional, even though he was surely suffering severe mental anguish from the ordeal.

Chief Flinchum and the university came under severe criticism for not locking down the entire campus after the early morning shooting. That criticism came (and still comes) from people who have obviously given no thought whatsoever to the situation.

The Virginia Tech campus, at 2600 acres, is roughly the same size as uptown Martinsville. With twice the population. The same idiots that expected Chief Flinchum to close down the campus would feel extremely silly demanding that Martinsville's Chief Rogers close down the City streets, shops, and stores after a domestic shooting in an apartment on Fayette St. Like Chief Flinchum, Chief Rogers would never even consider such an extreme reaction to what appeared to be the result of an ex or jilted suitor.

The Virginia Tech Police force is a nationally accredited police agency, just like hundreds of City and Town police agencies throughout the country. Granted, theft from dorm rooms and backpacks is the leading crime on campus, but the VTP are fully capable of handling crime of any sort. No agency though, is ever expecting to have a mass murder to deal with when the shift begins. Nor was there any reason to expect one on April 16, until shots were fired in Norris Hall.

The esteem I hold for Chief Flinchum does not extend to all of Virginia Tech's personnel, however. I don't know who instituted Tech's ban on weapons. Specifically the ban on legal concealed carry. I do know that Virginia Tech spokesman, Larry Hincker, worked hard to keep it in place, even crowing over the failure of HB-1572 in January of 2006. HB-1572 would have required Virginia's colleges and universities to recognize a legal, legitimate concealed carry permit. When HB-1572 failed to clear the House Militia, Police and Public Safety committee, Mr. Hinker said, "I think it's fair to say that we believe guns don't belong in the classroom. In an academic environment, we believe you should be free from fear." Apparently Mr. Hinker feels you should be defenseless as well.

There is no public record of the vote (that I'm aware of) that killed HB-1572 in this committee, and yes, I'm aware that this committee is very heavily weighted with Republicans. They were still very wrong.

See why I believe this here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hokie Hope Day

"As our Commonwealth begins the long and difficult healing process, I am filled with images of a Virginia Tech community that is resilient and unified. I ask that everyone in Virginia pause at noon on Friday to offer prayers of support for the victims, their families, and for all those affected by this tragedy."

Governor Tim Kaine.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

More Things I'll Never Understand

I know, there are a lot of things I'll never understand. Like why my 250 pound neighbor mows his yard in speedos and flip-flops. There are many imponderables on my list but that one will always outrank the rest.

Lately I'm having trouble understanding the circumstances surrounding an FOIA request that was filed in Hillsville the other day.

It seems a gentleman from Texas wished to find all he could about Jeff Evans, Board of Supervisors member from the Piper's Gap district in Carroll County. What Mr.Eric "Rick" Svatora, a partner in the firm of S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX did not count on was the fact that FOIA works both ways. Sure, you get all the information you want, but you have to provide your name and address in return. Oh, and the purpose for and on whose behalf the information is needed. Pesky little details like that.

Now to what possible use could an investment firm put Carroll County BOS meeting minutes? Or Supervisor's emails? Or receipts from Office Max? Apparently none. You see, S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX is not an investment firm. No, the previous references to S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX. were neither misspellings nor typos. It really is Capitol, not Capital.

It seems that S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX, and by extension Mr.Eric "Rick" Svatora, has been hired by Roscoe Reynolds to perform opposition research on Mr. Evans. Opposition research that will reveal nothing of substance and for which Mr.Reynolds has just blown a couple grand needlessly.

That brings me back to my point of confusion. Just what made Roscoe Reynolds decide to blow that two grand needlessly? Let me explain.

The 20th Senate District is large. Very large. It covers all of Henry, Patrick, Floyd, and Carroll Counties, about 90% of Wythe County, and at least a third of Grayson County. But in many ways it's very small. It is comprised of mostly small communities that can't even approach being called a town. Roscoe Reynolds grew up in this district, and has lived his entire adult life here. He is an attorney whose practice takes him to all of the County courts. Just last week he defended a gentleman in Carroll County who had the entrepreneurial spirit to refine and sell bio-diesel fuel, but without paying the required taxes.

I'm sure Roscoe is well known in the Carroll County courthouse, and I'll bet he's even been by the Administration building a time or two. In small town Virginia that is worth much more than an FOIA request. Sources within the County Administration tell me that if Roscoe had stopped in and asked, any records he wanted would have been made available to him. No questions asked.

They even tell me that after years of his neglect, they would have been thrilled to think that Roscoe had finally taken an interest in the issues the County has been facing. But no, that was not Roscoe's purpose in obtaining those records, so apparently he felt he must do it surreptitiously, through the auspices of Eric Svatora and S&W Capitol Advisors in Austin, TX.

My thoughts? I just believe that if Roscoe really felt he needed to go to such lengths to get information that would have been freely given to him, he should have hired a Virginia firm. I'm sure they exist.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Chapter Three Of The Jenny Wiley Story Is Coming Soon

Now that I've gotten the Blog Carnival out of the way, and am finishing up on a couple of other projects, I can turn my attention back to the Jenny Wiley Story. Watch for chapter three to appear here soon. Meanwhile, check out chapter one and chapter two so you will be up to date when I publish the next installment.

Virginia Blog Carnival April 2, 2007

Welcome to the April 2, 2007 edition of Virginia blog carnival. Once again we take a trip around Virginia, checking out the best of Virginia's blogs.

Quickly becoming a regular contributor, and always an enjoyable read is the Educational Tour Marm. Her interesting business coordinates educational tours to many historic sites. This week she relates an interesting story about The Baptism of Pocahontas, one of the eight giant paintings in the rotunda of The Capitol. From NOVA The Tour Marm.. presents The Baptism of Pocahontas: Capitol Offense - Get it Right! A look at the lack of research often encountered at historic sites.

After recently moving back to Virgina, first time Carnival contributor (I think) Susan Reynolds explores the benefits of discovering your own inner strengths, and how to help others along the way in Case-Notes from the Artsy Asylum: How Promoting Others Reflects Back on You. Susan is an avid advocate of blogtipping, which is something like a Carnival, but much more intimate and on a much smaller scale. While you are there, check out her gallery. Good stuff.

Most bloggers imagine themselves to be writers of one sort or another. Another first time contributor to the Virginia Blog Carnival offers us some tips on the craft. John Wesley has discovered the rule of life that makes him happy. Actually, two rules.

  • 1. To have the ideal life you need to be doing what you love.

  • 2. No one else is going to make this happen for you.

  • John is an interesting character, I'm sure I'll be reading more from him. In the meantime, go check out his (actually, George Orwell's) 5 Rules for Effective Writing. In the spirit of that post, I'll move on now.

    What fun is blogging if you can't have fun with it? K T Cat has been to Maryland and Virginia and presents a short photo essay, Dogwood, Cherry and Sky. Also having fun with blogging is Charlie Fugate at Good Sense. Charlie has been checking into the archives of various ODBA members. This week he looks at Right Wing Liberal in his article ODBA Archived Posts.

    Rick Sincere, Charlottesville's premier Libertarian blogger and theater fiend has recently returned from New York. While there he naturally took in a show or two. Actually, that was the purpose of the trip. These reviews, like all of his reviews, are as good as it gets. Go see Report from New York, even if you do get a chance to make it to one or more of the shows.

    Peter Stinson has been thinking about crime and punishment. No, not the novel, real crime and real punishment. He has come to the shocking conclusion that the punishment does not always fit the crime. Read his take on the subject at One Does Have To Wonder. I liked it Peter. You will too, go see it now.

    Staying on a serious note. Or in the case of Ron at Isopherone, actually getting serious, is his reaction to some of the "details" surrounding a recent protest. Go see his Traitor Sponsors. Then get back into the Isophorone mode with Pelosi Supports Motion On Hostage

    DWSUWF, whose only link to Virginia seems to be an alliance with Freedom Democrats' LoganFerree (but that's OK, a Virginia link is all that's required, however tenuous) offers us his thoughts on Chuck Hagel in The Bush-ist Manifesto posted at Freedom Democrats - Online community for Libertarian Democrats.

    Up in the Shenandoah Valley, Chris at Spank That Donkey looks once again at the European situation, specifically France in Goode Was Right! fwench Cower in Fear! As usual, STD pulls no punches and hits hard with facts. Good piece, Chris.

    There seems to be some strange things happening in Prince William County. Greg has switched sides and is now batting for the other team? In more ways than one? (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Check out Greg's announcement. It left me speechless until I read badrose's latest post, she's also made a small change in direction. Go see what badrose considers fine art, in her piece titled I know art when I see it.

    As if that wasn't enough, Ward Smythe seems to have become Euro-centric in his article about politically correct phrases, EU Gets One Right.

    Strange stuff, but I do hope you all notice how much improved my writing is in my Carnival entry this week. Why Jeff Evans Must Win is some of the best I've seen on my page in months. You must read it.

    We finish up this week like we started, with another history lesson. From an unlikely source. Leslie Carbone is not usually given to doing "On this day in..." type writing, but she shows her admiration for Margaret Thatcher with On This Day In 1982.

    That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of virginia blog carnival using our carnival submission form.

    Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

    In case you haven't figured it out by now, 4 of us got together for a special April Fools Day post. As the plan was put forth by Ward Smythe some several days ago, we decided to follow the tradition of several of the better known comic strip artists and "substitute" for one another for this post. I placed all the names in a McDonald's bag and then wrote down all the names on a page in alphabetical order, except I placed my name last on that list. I then drew names from the bag, assigning badrose to substitute for Greg, Greg to substitute for me, Leslie and Ward turned out to be reciprocal, leaving me to write for badrose.

    So, Greg has not really moved in with Greg(2), he's not even considering a move to Charlottesville to hook up with Rick Sincere. His satirical post "Some Announcements" was very well written by badrose.

    While I do enthusiastically endorse Jeff Evans over Roscoe Reynolds, I think Greg did a great job imitating my rather unique style of writing. He even fooled Chris at STD, check out this post.

    Leslie and Ward worked just as well off each other I think, with each writing in a very convincing manner imitating the other.

    Badrose loves art, especially folk art. Her home is filled with it, and the "Starry Night" bowl made by Joyce Wray is among her favorites. As much as she loves art, her feelings for Ward Armstrong run just as deep in the opposite direction. As for Cindy Price, well, you would just have to live here to believe that story.

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    Sunday, April 01, 2007

    Why Jeff Evans Must Win

    One of the defining characteristics of the South is that we have tended to keep re-electing our legislators, some good, and some perhaps a bit less so, and by doing so end up with a very senior legislative delegation that ends up running the show. That's typically worked well to control important committees and ensure a delegation has enough clout to defend the interests of their constituents, but times have changed. No longer are a handful of Southern Congressmen the committee chairmen pulling the strings in Washington. No longer is, or should, seniority be the key determining factor for voters.

    20th District voters this year will have the choice between Roscoe Reynolds, a longtime incumbent Democrat, and Jeff Evans, his Republican challenger. More than recognizing the familiar Roscoe Reynolds name, I hope voters will be aware of just how this shy, uncertain cartoon character of an embarrassment has truly harmed the image of Martinsville and utterly failed to help us move from a small town perpetually stuck in the year 1966 to a place that has found it's way in this new era, while retaining all that makes Martinsville, and Henry County this place that I so deeply love. To hear Roscoe Reynolds is to be subjected to an exercise in frustration, as he is perhaps the most inarticulate and incomprehensible example of the "Peter Principle" one would ever care to see. As Woolworth's is long gone, Roscoe Reynolds should closely follow. Our habit of valuing seniority over competence, stability over ability, and familiarity over character has left us behind, as a declining locality searching for some degree of relevance in a "Silicon Dominion" that has never arrived in Southside.

    Jeff Evans offers a different way forward. Not only does he clearly understand that "business as usual" means fewer jobs, more vacant storefronts, and communities in jeopardy, he knows how to move Southside forward. Those things that make us strong, our faith, our values, and our eagerness to roll up our sleeves and get to work only need government to get out of the way in order to allow our creativity and dedication to develop the means for transforming our communities and our economy. Listening to Jeff, you can't help but be infected with his powerful optimism in the ability for ordinary citizens to collectively make the difference that government so typically frustrates. He's done a tremendous job as Supervisor in Carroll County, and is ready to take his passion and determination to the Senate where we've rarely gotten anything of value under Roscoe Reynolds.

    If you're ready to change the rationale for your vote from seniority to actual results, you probably will want to support Jeff Evans. If you're well beyond ready, as am I, you need to be an active part of this campaign. Democracy happens because people show up, and unless you do, get ready to deal with more of the same.

    As I noted in another post, this post was part of a group April Fools Day experiment. Several of us Virginia bloggers conspired to ghost write for each other.

    This post was written by Greg Letiecq as part of that exercise. I agree with it completely, and I do believe that Greg managed to mimic my awkward writing style perfectly, so perfectly that I needed to change only one word.

    I'm glad to know that if I ever have to take time off I can call on Greg to keep my readers fulfilled.