Sunday, January 31, 2010

Harrisonburg Downtown Parking - Poll - Where do you stand?

Do you believe there is need to add parking capacity for downtown Harrisonburg?
I don't have enough information.
No, there is sufficient available parking capacity.
Yes, there is a need to increase available parking capacity.
I don't go downtown so I'm not affected either way.
This is a socialist plot to destroy America and make us all slaves to the New World Order.

Free polls from

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Biden Forces Congress to take Cooperation Training

WASHINGTON—In an effort to stimulate discussion, resolve party conflicts, and increase legislative productivity, members of the 111th Congress were once again required to watch an instructional video on bipartisan collaboration this week.

"Since both House and Senate seem unable or unwilling to compromise on several issues regarding tax money, earmarks, or even seating arrangement, we have decided to take drastic action," Vice President Joe Biden told a special joint session of Congress Monday. "Hopefully this will give you some tools you can use to lend a hand, and maybe an ear, across the aisle."

"And please, no talking on cell phones during the video," Biden added. "I'm looking at you, Senator Reid."

Obama Meets With Republicans - Answers Questions

It is good to see President Obama reaching out to the Republican Members of Congress.  This is the President I voted for, and the Change I support.  Working together for America!

WASHINGTON - President Obama dove headfirst into the belly of the GOP beast Friday - and left the not-so-loyal opposition bleeding on a Baltimore ballroom floor.

Here is the video coverage of the Historic Meeting:

Friday, January 29, 2010

GOP out of people to execute, induces carnage on I-81

It's shaping up to be a slow year on the gallows, so Bob McDonnell and the Valley's GOP delegation are satisfying their blood lust by wreaking havoc on I-81. Let's recap their transportation platform:

1. Don't expand I-81 or implement serious rail improvements.
2. Raise the speed limit.
3. Block funding for improvement of secondary roads.
4. Don't enforce laws against texting while driving.
5. Prevent new laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving.
Their idea is to force you to drive through a narrow, congested highway among cars and big rigs driven by people texting their friends while moving at unreasonable speeds.

omg. just killed fam of 4...ttyl

My only hope is that the people killed on I-81 are those receiving some form of government assistance. After all, they're just a bunch of stray animals anyway. It's sort of like killing a dog crossing the street. Sure you feel bad, but does it really matter?

Recovery? Best Quarter Since 2006. GDP Up.

But Concern and Caution Remain...

At the end of last year, the economy likely grew for the second straight quarter -- possibly at the fastest pace in nearly four years.

So the recession has ended, right? Yes, say most economists. But a panel of academics who officially decide such matters has offered a different response: silence.

That's despite signs that the economy, juiced by government aid, has begun to hum rather than sputter. On Friday, the government is likely to go further: it's expected to say growth accelerated from October through December.

The housing market, the collapse of which triggered the recession, is creeping back. Industrial production is up. Layoffs have slowed, though companies remain reluctant to hire.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reduce Federal Spending - Reform Health Care.

The largest consumer of health care services in America is...the Federal government.

The federal government’s spending on health care totaled more than $1 trillion in 2009.

Federal outlays for Medicare and Medicaid are about $700 billion; tax preferences for health care (especially the exclusion of premiums for employment-based health insurance from income and payroll taxes) amount to more than $250 billion;

....and the federal government also pays for veterans’ health care, public health initiatives, and other health programs.

Already, those direct and indirect payments for health care account for nearly 60 percent of total health expenditures for the nation.

Health Care reform IS Federal spending reform.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union - Comments

I watched the SOTU AND the response from Governor McDonnell tonight and a couple of thoughts come to mind: 1) Barack Obama continues to amaze me with his capable and humorous approach to what is clearly a legacy of economic ruin and mismanagement, and 2) Bob McDonnell has a heck of a haircut.

Seriously. America has huge economic problems compounded by two expensive unfinished wars. I actually like Gov. McDonnell, but like so many Republicans he really needs to get serious, step up and become part of the solution. This is not a drill boys! The Governor didn't "respond" to the State of the Union address tonight, he conducted a pep rally for Virginia Republicans. He was irrelevant to America's conversation tonight. A lightweight. Bad show Governor.

Now I know McDonnell married a former Washington Redskins cheerleader, but here's the deal - if he is going to be a cheerleader he needs to wear a tighter dress. It was not a good night for the Commonwealth. These are tough times, America requires substance Governor.

Jobslessness - Time for CETA, again.

In the late seventies I was a young college grad in an economy that seemed every bit as bad as the current job market. Decent paying jobs were hard to find, and there were plenty of more experienced workers competing for those jobs. CETA saved me from the cheese line.

The Comprehensive Education and Training Act was the brainchild of President Carter's Administration. It's roots went back to Roosevelt's WPA. What CETA did was to pay for half of the salary of unemployed workers to do jobs in cash-strapped public agencies and non-profit organizations. It was a 12 month subsidy to provide critical job experience and help public agencies at the same time.

I worked hard, did good work, learned some great job skills, and spent every cent I made in the local economy. In his 1981 State of the Union address, President Carter reminded Americans that his focus on jobs growth had resulted in the addition of 9 million new jobs during his administration - nearly 10% growth in employment. It is time for a new CETA.

Monday, January 25, 2010

US Supreme Court - Corporations are Citizens!

Did you hear the news this week? Judge John Robert's court has declared that corporations are just like you and me - they have "first amendment rights" to speech. Great. Now a bunch of foreign dudes can form a corporation and spend all the money in the world to buy our elections. They didn't even need to fire a shot. They just offer up $20 M and find some nut willing to stand in front of a camera and promise you...whatever.

Is that the America you serve? In Corporations We Trust!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This is a Tea Party Leader?

Wonder when this will make Fox News?

People shouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions, after all there could be any number of perfectly innocent reasons why this guy would be in possession of a grenade launcher stolen from the U.S. Military. Watch the video below to hear, in his own words, what his goals and intentions are...
As far as the little girl who was allegedly raped?
He's only been charged, not convicted.

DUNCAN — Charles Alan Dyer, 29, of Marlow, has been formally charged with one count of child sexual abuse in Stephens County District Court.

The charges were filed Wednesday by the District Attorney’s office and District Attorney Bret T. Burns. The charge, a felony, noted that the alleged incident took place Jan. 2, and included acts of rape and lewd or indecent acts against a child under the age of 18. The crime is punishable by up to one year in jail or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Dyer was arrested Jan. 12 by the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office on the rape allegations. While deputies were at Dyer’s home on Hope Road in Marlow, they allegedly discovered items of interest in which a search warrant was executed for later.

As previously reported in The Banner, it was noted that the sheriff’s deputies saw several firearms and a device believed to be a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher.

Read more

We first noticed Marine Sgt. Charles Dyer, aka "July4Patriot," back in March, when we ran one of the first reports on the "Oath Keepers" bloc of the Tea Party movement -- an organization devoted to recruiting military and police-force veterans into a Patriot-movement belief system predicated on a series of paranoid conspiracy theories, especially the notion that the federal government intends to begin rounding up citizens and putting them in concentration camps.

Dyer played a prominent role in connecting the Oath Keepers to the Tea Party movement, speaking at a July 4 Tea Party rally in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And he's been involved in organizing militia "maneuvers" in Oklahoma.

Read more:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

82nd Airborne troopers deliver hope

U.S. Army Spc. Brent Nailor, assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, passes out humanitarian aid meals to women and children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jan. 16, 2010. The squadron established a forward operating base at an abandoned, damaged country club near the embassy. A survivor camp of thousands is situated near the based. DoD photo by Fred W. Baker III

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fear is al-Qaeda's Goal.

In responding to the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas Day, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voiced the feelings of many when she said that to prevent such situations, "I'd rather overreact than underreact." This appears to be the consensus view in Washington, but it is quite wrong. The purpose of terrorism is to provoke an overreaction. Its real aim is not to kill the hundreds of people directly targeted but to sow fear in the rest of the population. Terrorism is an unusual military tactic in that it depends on the response of the onlookers. If we are not terrorized, then the attack didn't work. Alas, this one worked very well.

Read more

Friday, January 8, 2010

on Airport Security...

A would-be terrorist tries to board a plane, bent on mass murder. As he walks through a security checkpoint, fidgeting and glancing around, a network of high-tech machines analyzes his body language and reads his mind.

Screeners pull him aside.

Tragedy is averted.

As far-fetched as that sounds, systems that aim to get inside an evildoer's head are among the proposals floated by security experts thinking beyond the X-ray machines and metal detectors used on millions of passengers and bags each year.

On Thursday, in the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt over Detroit, President Barack Obama called on Homeland Security and the Energy Department to develop better screening technology, warning: "In the never-ending race to protect our country, we have to stay one step ahead of a nimble adversary."

The ideas that have been offered by security experts for staying one step ahead include highly sophisticated sensors, more intensive interrogations of travelers by screeners trained in human behavior, and a lifting of the U.S. prohibitions against profiling.

Some of the more unusual ideas are already being tested. Some aren't being given any serious consideration. Many raise troubling questions about civil liberties. All are costly.

"Regulators need to accept that the current approach is outdated," said Philip Baum, editor of the London-based magazine Aviation Security International. "It may have responded to the threats of the 1960s, but it doesn't respond to the threats of the 21st century."

Here's a look at some of the ideas that could shape the future of airline security:

Ethical and Priority Considerations for a new Governor

(Bob McDonnell defends his decision to allow his Cabinet member to also serve on corporate boards)

And notice of this interesting letter was forwarded from Augusta County:

Dear Governor Elect McDonnell

Congratulations on your impressive election mandate entrusting you with the well-being of Virginia and its citizens for the next four years. Your task will not be an easy one, being confronted with a $3.5 plus billion budget deficit.

As a true conservative, you have promised not to increase taxes and in this you are strongly supported by Augusta County's state Senator Emmett Hanger and the local state delegates. Fainthearted politicians may perceive Virginia's fiscal predicament as a serious problem. But, you, as a devoted public servant, surely appreciate the opportunity of the moment.

Addressing Virginia's fiscal quandary will require imagination and constructive thinking. It will require what positive management seminar gurus refer to as "thinking outside of the box."

Del. Steve Landes' remark that, in these perilous times, public education is no longer considered sacrosanct, triggered a thought. Conservatives rely on the past for inspiration, and there is certainly much wisdom in the pronouncements of our ancestors. Virginia's Royal Governor, Sir William Berkeley, in his 1671 Report on Virginia, stated: "But I thank God, there are no free schools ... and I hope we shall not have these for a hundred years, learning brought disobedience and heresy, and sects into the world ...."

Read more

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Team Tomorrow!!!!

I present to you the Executive Team 
of the
Rockingham County
Democratic Committee!!!

Left to Right:
Lee Kipps-District 1 Chair
Gene Hart-District 4 Chair
Michael Ritchie-District 2 Chair
Peggy Raines-District 5 Chair
Linda Shuler-Sixth Congressional District Representative
Robert Wilson-District 3 Chair
Tara Seay-RCDC Treasurer
Donald Roderick-RCDC Vice Chair
Katherine Hoover-RCDC Secretary
Mary Slade-RCDC Chairwoman

This is the Leadership Team for the Rockingham County Democratic Committee
And what a team!!!

Cheney: Gitmo or The Hague?

I'm thinking that only way to get this this guy straightened out is to park him in Gitmo for some quality time, or send him to the Hague War Crimes Tribunal for a good grilling. What do you think? - "enemy combatant", or "war criminal"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Candidate for District 2 Chair - Michael Ritchie

Candidate for Chair of Voting District 2
of the Rockingham County Democratic Committee

Michael Ritchie, of District 2, is an attorney working at the Ritchie Law Firm in Harrisonburg.  
He grew up in Rockingham County and attended Spotswood High School.  

After graduating from Spotswood, Mike attended the University of Virginia for both undergraduate and law school.  In addition to being active in local, state and national bar associations, Mike served on the Rockingham County Board of Elections in 2008-2009 as Secretary.  

Other than an unhealthy obsession with politics, Mike enjoys working on his farm, listening to music, and skiing.

Candidate for District 3 Chair - Bob Wilson

Candidate for Chair of Voting District 3 
of the Rockingham County Democratic Committee

If Not Now, When?  If Not Us, Who?

Bob Wilson is a 54 year old resident of the Lakewood subdivision in the Massanetta Springs precinct, and  a lifelong environmentalist and outdoorsman. Wilson came to the 6th District from the Fightin’ 9th during the campaign of Democrat James Webb in 2006.  He is a professional geologist and the operating officer of a management systems engineering company.

Bob is currently Chair for District 3.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Please Review Our Announced Candidates for Chair and Vice Chair

Candidate for Chair of Rockingham County Democratic Committee

Mary Slade, of District 3,  is a Professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at the College of Education at James Madison University.  Mary directs the gifted education coursework and the Pre-K-12 Add-On Gifted Education Endorsement Program at JMU, including the online coursework in this area.  Mary teaches courses in gifted education, exceptional education, leadership, and civic engagement.  Mary has led many JMU community disaster relief trip efforts in multiple states.

Mary volunteers in local community events and organizations. She has been active in the local democratic politics while working on multiple local, state, and national campaigns.  She has also served on the RCDC executive committee as well as several other committees.  Mary has also volunteered for the Valley Fourth and International Festival planning committees.

Candidate for Vice Chair of Rockingham County Democratic Committee

My name is Linda Shuler (of District 5). I am married and have 2 grown children and a granddaughter. I am running for Vice Chair of the Rockingham County Democratic Committee. I have served as Chair of the Committee, and am currently serving as Vice Chair. I would like to serve another term as Vice Chair to expand the duties of this position in order to be of more assistance to the Chair.  I am also currently serving on the 6th District Democratic State Committee, State Outreach Committee and the 5th District Rockingham County Democratic Committee. I have a degree in Human Services and a BS Degree in Business Management from EMU. I was a Mental Health Counselor in a day program for the long term mentally ill where I taught pre-vocational skills and did case management. I am currently tutoring for Skyline Literacy.  I enjoy working on Campaigns and look forward to each election cycle.     

Candidate for Vice Chair of Rockingham County Democratic Committee

Don Roderick, of District 2, lives in Rockingham County with his wife of 35 years, Gay, on a farm north of Harrisonburg. Originally from DC suburbs, Don and Gay moved to the Valley in ’74 and never looked back. They have three sons, and are blessed with two wonderful grandchildren.

Don is a Quality Engineer at McQuay International in Verona. Prior to McQuay he was Manager of Operational Excellence at Banta Book Group in Harrisonburg. He has served the Rockingham County Democratic Committee as Chair and District 2 Chair. He is the current Chair of American Society for Quality (ASQ) Section 1108 and sings with the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church choir. He enjoys family, old friends, a good cigar, camping, cycling, cutting firewood, film, and reading Bernard Cornwell novels.

Passing the Torch to the next Leadership Team!

Thursday, January 7, 2010
7:00pm - 8:30pm
The Rockingham County Administration Center
20 East Gay Street
Harrisonburg, LA

Rockingham County Democrats will choose the leadership team to take us forward as we build on the solid gains we've made this decade.
Come out and get involved as we move the County Democratic Committee into the next decade of Community Building, Education on Important Issues, Progressive Direction and Ideals, and Service to the Valley.

Join us as we continue the work of better and more representative government!

We will be electing the following:



District Chair for each of Rockingham County's Five Election Districts



This is the makeup of our elected Executive Committee, after the Executive Team is chosen by our membership (You!) The new Executive Team will appoint positions such as Precinct Chairs, Outreach Coordinator, Fundraising Coordinator, Program Director etc...

Now is the time and now is the opportunity for you to get involved and make your impact!

If you would like to seek one of these positions or nominate someone, please let me know!

Your participation is vital to our shared tomorrow!

Thank you so much for trusting me, and honoring me with a leadership role in this organization!

I remain always yours in service and dedication,
Lowell Fulk

540-820-2592 cell
540-896-1323 home

The Face Book Event Link

A Decade of Self-Delusion

About the first decade of what was to be the Second American Century, the pessimists have been proven right.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States began the century producing 32 percent of the world's gross domestic product. We ended the decade producing 24 percent. No nation in modern history, save for the late Soviet Union, has seen so precipitous a decline in relative power in a single decade.

The United States began the century with a budget surplus. We ended with a deficit of 10 percent of gross domestic product, which will be repeated in 2010. Where the economy was at full employment in 2000, 10 percent of the labor force is out of work today and another 7 percent is underemployed or has given up looking for a job.

Between one-fourth and one-third of all U.S. manufacturing jobs have disappeared in 10 years, the fruits of a free-trade ideology that has proven anything but free for this country. Our future is being outsourced -- to China.

While the median income of American families was stagnant, the national debt doubled.

Read more

Monday, January 4, 2010

Operation Show We Care 2009 - Follow Up


We love our active duty military and wounded and veterans---
these people give up
years of their lives, their lives or years of impaired bodies---
how can we compete with their "generosity"???
During the Korean war I spent about 3 months 
in Newport Naval hospital with wounded Marines 
who were over run by the Chinese at the Yalu river
and marched and fought their way to the sea. 
I know the face of hero's  because I've seen theirs. 
From that experience I have only awe and
gratitude to those who fight the difficult fight 
in the name of our government---
regardless of the rightness or wrongness of the cause--
they do what they are told. 
I've run into one or two of them in Timberville,
would you believe that??  They still don't know they are hero's--

Please pass along our respect and regard to all of your people 
and to the family of Dr. Marrow (USN).

God bless all of you and thank you for your
gracious support, we will do our best to help the most 
deployed, wounded and veterans with what you have given.. 
The gift cards will be given to
the wounded at either Bethesda or Walter Reed thanks.

Thank you.

Barbara and George Lampron.. 
Broadway, VA 

Seven Generations
Here are the final totals for Operation Show We Care 2009:

Toiletries: 288 Items
Food: 986 Items (counting items which can be separated and given individually)
Misc Goods: 74 Items (Magazines, DVD movies, playing cards, chess, checkers etc…)
Children's Items: 172
Shampoos and Lotions: 208 Items

Alexa McDorman-William and Mary/Wilson Memorial High School
Matt Whitfield-William and Mary/Robert E. Lee High School
Ted Meyer- George Mason University/Spotswood High School
Biruk Haregu-James Madison/Harrisonburg High School
Ardalan Mahmood-James Madison/Harrisonburg High School
Yosif Rasul-James Madison/Harrisonburg High School
Dan Chavez-Northern Arizona/Oakwood High School
Greg Marrow-Marrow Family Eye Care
Christi Marrow-Marrow Family Eye Care
Cami Marrow
Caden Marrow
Dianne Fulk
Lowell Fulk

Special thanks to:
Bob and Marta Wilson of Rockingham County
Greg and Christi Marrow of Rockingham County
Darl and Sandy May of Rockingham County
Joe and Deb Fitzgerald of Harrisonburg
Harrisonburg League of Therapists
An anonymous donor from Houston, Texas

Sunday, January 3, 2010

If we want to lead, maybe we should begin catching up...

A totally self-sufficient entity, the Jühnde plant takes biomass from local fields and uses the post-fermentation residue as fertilizer. Because any kind of biomass will do, fields of weeds can be grown for the purpose, thereby additionally conserving natural biodiversity and reducing pesticide use.

Indeed, by harvesting plants before they seed, two crops of biomass can be grown per year. It has been estimated that such decentralized plants could produce up to 25% of Germany's entire electricity demand. But equally important as numbers and proof-of-principle is the social value of the project: the sense of community pride and responsibility.

“With contaminated food scares, BSE and similar troubles, rural areas have suffered a great decline in respect in recent years; we want to give them a chance for the future, and restore the level of respect they receive from the rest of society,” Ruppert remarked. In addition to the subsidies granted by the German government in support of renewable energy production, this could become another driving force for farmers and rural communities to establish such decentralized energy production plants: sometimes urban dwellers do not respect or value farmers for producing food, but perhaps they would if these very farmers made the electricity that powered their lights, cookers and washing machines.

Also, subsidies for growing fuel crops would certainly please voters more than the current EC farming subsidies that largely go into excess production. Many other villages in Lower Saxony and Northrhine-Westfalia have shown interest in becoming Bioenergy Villages, and even Japanese and Chinese delegations have visited Jühnde to study the technology.

Read more

Many studies have proven that a hundred per cent energy supply from Renewable Energy Sources is possible. But still many people are sceptical. Therefore it is very important that already today examples of properly working energy supply from renewable sources do exist. The bioenergy village Jühnde in northern Germany switched its power supply to Renewable Energies completely.

Read more

Meanwhile, back in Virginia it's Drill Baby Drill

Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell isn’t waiting to get the keys to the mansion to keep up his push to bring offshore drilling to the commonwealth. It would bring sorely needed jobs and tax revenue, he says.

But it turns out his oil-drilling-brings-economic-development argument rests on some threadbare data.

Read more

Friday, January 1, 2010

Pushback as done by Senator Al Franken

In 1917, progressives in America began a quest to create a system to provide health insurance to all Americans. Today, almost a century later, we are poised to take a giant step toward realizing that goal. Viewed through the lens of history, this is truly an amazing accomplishment.

To earn my vote, health insurance reform must improve access to affordable health care for Minnesota families – and this bill clears that bar with room to spare. This bill does not fix all the problems with our health care system, and I will not stop working to improve the quality and lower the costs of health care for all Americans. But progressives can be proud of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and take a large measure of credit for important provisions it will codify as the law of the land.

Read more

On Sarah Palin...

The ever-irreverent Garry Trudeau on Sarah Palin. (Clik to embiggen!)