Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Pelosi's Vacation" ~Day Two~


Nancy Pelosi's view on her 2nd day of vacation...

The Taxpayer's view on the 2nd day of Pelosi's Five-Week vacation that her and her Democratic Party buddies voted to take instead of debating and allowing a vote on drilling for known oil reserves off the American coasts...

"In total, 48 Republicans spoke on the floor Friday, offering remarks ranging from the impassioned to the plainly partisan. Michigan Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter declared, “This is the People’s House. This is not Pelosi’s Politburo."
"Pelosi's Vacation" ~Day One~

"Pelosi's Vacation" ~Day One~

With the Queen-Bee deciding that the energy situation is not really that bad and that her "Top Advisors" were packed and ready for vacation, Nancy Pelosi closed down the House of Representatives to start their FIVE WEEK vacation...
Pelosi and her gang decided that they would not allow any discussion or a "Up & Down" vote on the issue of drilling for more known oil reserves off the coasts of the United States...

"Although this Democrat majority just adjourned for the Democrat 5-week vacation, House Republicans are continuing to fight on the House floor. Although the lights, mics and C-SPAN cameras have been turned off, House Republicans are on the floor speaking to the taxpayers in the gallery who, not surprisingly, agree with Republican energy proposals."

"The Capitol Police are now trying to kick reporters out of the press gallery above the floor, meaning we can't watch the Republicans anymore. But Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is now in the gallery talking to reporters, so the cops have held off for a minute. Clearly, Democrats don't want Republicans getting any press for this episode. GOP leaders are trying to find other Republicans to rotate in for Blunt so reporters aren't kicked out"
In a breakdown of top energy issues, you'll find the GOP is in favor of more options for energy than the Democrats.

ANWR Exploration
House Republicans: 91% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed

Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 78% Opposed

Oil Shale Exploration
House Republicans: 90% Supported
House Democrats: 86% Opposed

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Exploration
House Republicans: 81% Supported
House Democrats: 83% Opposed

Refinery Increased Capacity
House Republicans: 97% Supported
House Democrats: 96% Opposed

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sharp Top Mountain ~ B-25 Bomber Wrecksite ~


A few weeks back I read about a plane wreck on the mountain located near my house and just off an Appalachian Trail section that I hike often. A little internet research and numerous e-mails later I was trusted with the location of the wreck and posted photos and description of the incident and wreck site…

While conducting research on this wreck site I found information about another airplane wreck located on Sharp Top Mountain near Bedford Virginia. I have also hiked this area several times and was able to pinpoint the wreck site this week and took these photos…

This plane was a B-25 Bomber and went down in 1943 during a training mission. Following are pieces of information taken from numerous articles I have found on this incident with links provided...

"On Feb. 2, 1943, a B-25 bomber on a training mission out of South Carolina crashed into the southeast flank of Sharp Top Mountain, killing all five servicemen aboard. The cause of the crash is still somewhat of an enigma, as a war-stressed military could not devote many resources to solving the mystery of the crash. Nor, did it have the time or inclination to remove the wreckage from the steep mountainside at 3,000 feet elevation. Most of it remains to this day, a true-to-life memorial to World War II sacrifice amid the Blue Ridge grandeur."

"The Mitchell bomber (the B-25 design was called the Mitchell in honor of a once maverick Air Force General) looked sleek and deadly. It was a versatile design which served in every front of the war. No stranger to action, the B-25 was personally selected by Jimmy Doolittle for his famed raid on Tokyo, Japan from the pitching deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Hornet. It flew as if on rails and was fairly forgiving, but just like any big warbird, it had to be flown precisely. From nose to tail, it measured out just under 53 feet. It stood an imposing 16 feet and four inches high. Each wing held a powerful wright R-2600 engine. Perhaps its most distinctive feature was its twin boom tail. Grossing out at 35,000 pounds, the B-25 could hit 272 miles per hour when called upon to do so."

"On the evening of February 2, 1943 the war landed rudely on our doorstep. At approximately 9 p.m. Lt. Pitt's B-25 pierced the darkness over Bedford. Heading from the south, the distinctive silhouette of his bomber filled the sky. It was illuminated by its exterior marking beacons, and landing lights imaging forward from the wings. The interior lights were also all on. The greenhouse nose canopy was a radiant ball of light in the surrounding darkness. To witnesses on the ground, the massive wright engines sounded out of synchronization. The plane was in trouble. The pilots wheeled their long bomber over our town at a low altitude just skirting over the trees. Visibility in the higher elevations, the Peaks of Otter, was obscured by dense fog. The plane continued to circle and flew onward in a northeasterly direction. Altitude was everything. An extra 500 feet would have meant a safe passage across the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it was not to be. The plane did not clear the mountain. Tree tops were severed by the propellers. A violent impact followed. Unyielding, Sharp Top claimed its first casualties from the air. "

Both of these articles are very good and describe the incident in detail. This piece of history has been written about numerous times over the past 65 years and in fact one of the articles tells how there was no monument to the fallen at the time of writing. Below is the memorial that I found at the wrecksite...

As described in one of the articles the exact location of the wrecksite is not provided due to the damage and scavenging that has taken place over the years. Below is an example of some of this damage to the wrecksite and resting place...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dangers of Offshore Oil Drilling...


There has been much opposition to drilling in ANWR and offshore for fear of oil spills and damage to the environment. The Democratic party in Congress has been complaining that the "Oil Companies" are not drilling on the leased areas that they have already and do not need the areas of ANWR or offshore. It is reported that many of these potential drilling leases are being met by challenges in courts by environmental groups when it comes time for drilling so many of these leases are not being used...

Deroy Murdock has a great article describing the environmental history of the offshore drilling we now have and how safe it has been even considering a massive hurricane rolling thru the Gulf of Mexico...

"The technology of the drilling industry may have improved, but offshore drilling is a dirty business, and it still leads to oil spills due to failed equipment, aberrant weather, or human error on a frequent basis," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in July 19's Houston Chronicle.

"Feinstein is correct. U.S. offshore oil drilling is not perfectly tidy. It's only 99.999 percent clean. Indeed, since 1980 - as MMS figures indicate - 101,997 barrels spilled from among the 11.855 billion barrels of American oil extracted offshore. This is a 0.001 percent pollution rate. While offshore drilling is not 100.00 percent spotless, this record should satisfy all but the terminally fastidious.
Ironically, in terms of oil contamination, Mother Nature is 95 times dirtier than Man. Some 620,500 barrels of oil ooze organically from North America's ocean floors each year. Compare this to the average 6,555 barrels that oil companies have spilled annually since 1998, according to MMS."

A year or so back I read an article on how we spill more oil in the parking lots of all Wal*Marts in a week then we have spilled at the oil plants already in operation in Alaska. Looking at the oil spill in the above photo of a parking spot at a business in Augusta County, how much oil is spilled each day on the roads already? More then the 0.001% lost in offshore drilling?

Now multiple that "oil spill" shown in the above photo by the 8 parking spots in just this one local business parking lot..

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roanoke Valley Republicans Headquarters opening...


The Roanoke Valley Republican committee opened up their Campaign Headquarters yesterday which will focus on the upcoming elections in November.

This headquarters and the members of the Roanoke Valley Republicans will support the campaigns of Congressman Bob Goodlatte (6th district), U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gilmore (VA), and presidential candidate Senator John McCain…

Opening ceremonies was attended by Congressman Goodlatte, Virginia House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, and Virginia Delegate Chris Saxman, co-chairman of McCain's Virginia campaign.

Congressman Goodlatte commented on the McCain campaign regarding the Virginia efforts: Goodlatte said McCain has several advantages that will endear him to state voters...."He has an appeal to voters in Northern Virginia that I think he'll do better than some Republican candidates have done up there," Goodlatte said. "His military record will have a strong appeal in the Tidewater area, and it's important we get our Republican base in the western and southern parts of the state energized and turning out as well."

The Roanoke Times website reports: The Republican headquarters is located near the southern end of Frontage Road at U.S. 220 near Tanglewood Mall.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Northern Walkingstick ~Diapheromera femorata~

From one of the better movies released over the past few years, remember the turning point of the movie and what it involved?

While hiking the Appalachian trail the other day I came upon a sign near the Humpback area parking lot and noticed the object above located near the arrow in the sign...

If you know the movie you know what this is...

Northern Walkingstick Diapheromera femorata

Stick insects of the order Phasmida (= Phasmatodea) are
intriguing for a variety of reasons. Most obviously, their uncanny
resemblance to the vegetation upon which they live as
adults is among the most impressive examples of mimicry
in the animal kingdom. In some species (e.g., Extatosoma
tiaratum) the eggs resemble plant seeds that ants carry into
their nests (where they are afforded protection from predators),
and which then hatch into nymphs that are mimics of
their hymenopteran hosts. The Phasmida also contains the
largest (or at least the longest, at over 36 cm) insect in the
world, Pharnacia kirbyi. Many species undergo parthenogenetic
reproduction, which makes them interesting from the
standpoint of reproductive and developmental biology.