Politics, Christmas spirit and Islam - Last Word for Dec. 26

The Virginia Gazette

Enough politics

I totally agree with the recent submission to the Last Word about not printing any political vitriol in this space. It has taken over the column and limited what should be helpful information to the community. Thank you very much.

Christmas spirit

Having just had total new knee replacement, I was delighted to be able to use the electric carts at Martin's and Harris Teeter's when I went shopping. And I was happy to find so many great people who were willing to help me reach shelves and open freezer doors. It seemed like the spirit of Christmas was evident with everyone I encountered. Thank you so much.

The preschoolers at Norge Bright Beginnings were once again treated to a special visit from Santa, aided by the Norge Community Club and Brantley & Ripley Construction. These groups have been helping deliver gifts to the children for years, even during tough financial times. Thank you to them for providing a highlight of the holiday season for so many bright-eyed preschoolers!

Sidecar Santa has put up his sidecar sleigh for the year. With the help of many wonderful elves throughout Williamsburg I gave away over 3,500 toys to children this year. I wish I could personally thank each of them, but I wanted to do it publicly so everyone would know what they helped to accomplish. I saw a few of them while going about my rounds and they were able to share the excitement I get to see each time I give a child a toy. I am already looking forward to next year and have already started to collect beanie babies to refill my storage tubs in anticipation for Christmas 2016. If anyone has any to donate for next year, I can be reached at sidecarsanta@hotmail.com. Merry Christmas to All!

Regency Room

What is going on? Colonial Williamsburg tells us that attendance is down, and now they tell us that the crown jewel, the Regency Room, is closed. Does this make any sense? Is this the Grinch who stole Christmas? I cannot believe. People come to Colonial Williamsburg to spend a delightful, charming, restful, wonderful Christmas, and they close the Regency Room. It's unbelievable.

Handicapped parking

I have a question about the handicapped parking. I have noted that people park in a designated handicapped parking places but they are not handicapped or driving a handicapped person -- but they have a handicapped sticker. Most of those people are, sadly to say, young women. I saw two girls, not handicapped, parking next to me and walking to a restaurant. The police should look out for people like that and hand out fines. If people find out that the police are enforcing this law than no one would abuse this law anymore

Stryker building

The recent series of comments critical of the new Stryker Building remind me of a cartoon appearing in The New Yorker shortly after the completion of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum building in New York. The cartoon depicts an upscale couple motoring by that modern structure with one harrumphing to the other in a manner imperiously disapproving: "Are they allowed to do that on Fifth Avenue?" Whether the question says more about the speaker's taste or the absence thereof, it says nothing at all about Wright's design. Only that the speaker doesn't like it. So be it. That's not forbidden. Indeed, there were other early criticisms of Wright's building as well, more direct and severe than the cartoon character's befuddled judgment. One person unhappy with the structure described it as "an indigestible hot cross bun" and another as "an inverted oatmeal dish." Such observations, along with the judgment mouthed by the character satirized by the cartoonist, were, however, even then belied by art and imagination uniting with function. And that sanction of favor has only been confirmed by time.

Learn for yourself

Today we see wide ranging debate and claims as to the true nature and history of Islam. Often we hear that Islam is a religion of peace while others accuse Islam of waging a 1400 year war to destroy Western civilization, and everything in between. I'd encourage everyone to stop listening to the talking heads and do some basic self study of the Quran and more importantly the Sunnah. The Sunnah is comprised of the Hadith which are stories about Islam and the Sira which is the authoritative biography of Muhammad's life. Ample internet resources are readily available to understand Islam; don't listen to the biases of others. Know Islam for yourself.

Unhappy with speaker

Incredulous … an apt description when reading in the Gazette that the College of William and Mary is bringing Melissa Harris-Perry into our community for MLK events to be held in January. This is the same individual who recently called Star Wars a racist movie. We've witnessed in Ferguson, MO; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY and other venues what happens when agitators are turned loose in cities and towns. Is this college willing to jeopardize the safety and well-being of locals and tourists alike? Has the Chamber of Commerce had any say in this? If something were to happen in Williamsburg as a direct result of this invitation, is the college prepared for the financial liability it brings? I hope this decision is overturned and someone else is chosen from a plethora of other well qualified individuals.

Terror group

Can you name the Christian terror group which has operated openly in the United States since the 1870's? Hint: they wear white.

Field with a fence

Now that William and Mary has fenced in its field at the Dillard Complex on Ironbound Road, I'm hoping they're going to bring in some interesting animals for the community to enjoy. Otherwise I'll have to assume that the school has more funds than it knows what to do with and does not need any contribution from me.

Cable TV

And so Cox seems to be gathering up a bunch of nails (the mini box) for its coffin. Do they not see the trend? The digital signal that my new TV is perfectly able to receive and process will now be an encrypted signal unavailable to my TV. Cox indicates this will improve bandwidth so we cable subscribers can receive more channels. Based on my take, customers of cable TV complain that they get hundreds of channels but only view a fraction of them. This Cox move will require a transcriber - a mini box or their standard HD box that they will now rent to us. Right now my newly installed HD antenna receives the equivalent of the Cox basic TV service - add in Hulu, Netflix, or SLING TV and I have more than enough TV to watch. Cost? Yep ... this path has a cost as well but it also has options that I can implement or discard at will.

Well, Cox Cable has finally figured out a way to get blood out of a turnip! They're going to charge us $2.99 a month to get a little mini box to play that TV set in the bedroom, which in my case I very seldom use. But that's okay, Cox Cable, I have a whole list of things I pay for and, I'll start looking at it now and ways that I can reduce what I have.

Proper usage

Daesh is the Arabic pejorative term - an acronym - for the Islamic State and has been used by the Arabic speaking (Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Yazidi, etc.) peoples of the Middle East since the group emerged. It does not have an alternative meaning or connotation other than being derogatory (since the name "Islamic State" is a misnomer), and to propose so shows poor initiative for comprehension.

Road work

Crop circle comes to News Road. Just when we thought News Road was going to be less in the news it has again ratcheted to the top of the list of the most bungled projects in the state. Buying additional property, moving hundreds of yards of dirt, adding storm water sewers, paving and curbs, and signage to explain how circles work certainly is just a little more expensive than a simple stop light. What is VDOT thinking ? Have the board of supervisors weighed in on this project or is their input of no importance ?

Power lines

I just returned from a fishing trip down the James River to the Reserve Fleet. On our return, I did not notice any pristine, unadulterated views. I did, however, notice large blocks of condos and homes up on the bluffs along the Kingsmill waterfront, the tops of several rides at Busch Gardens, the mansion at Carter's Grove, the Kingsmill marina and the infamous sewage treatment plant. I doubt that Captain John Smith saw any of that, so that pretty much kills the argument about the historical view of the James being destroyed by the power lines. Also if a power line was to run under the water and be buried in the bed of the James, would that not disturb more of the Kepone-laden bottom than a few towers? Come on, people. Get off your high horse and join the 21st century. This is not just about you, but the entire peninsula! As far as the Federal Official at Jamestown Island issuing his objection is concerned, again I say welcome to the 21st century. We are going to need the power. Will historical Jamestown Island install windmills to supply the needed power? I doubt it.

Heating oil

It is amazing that one local company can still charge $3.80 a gallon for heating oil, when, if you do some research, you can find it for well under $3. While $3.80 is better than the $4.50 they charged last winter, one has to wonder about their business practices. I remain with the company because they have good service, but it does make you wonder.

Recommended

As we plan for holiday house guests, the EEE Resource Center has been a lifesaver! We dropped off a bedspread and down comforters, which were laundered perfectly and ready for pickup within a couple of days. They will also launder quilts, mattress pads, pillows and coats and jackets. Service at EEE is fast and friendly and the Center is conveniently located at the corner of Route 5 and Venture Lane (4548-A John Tyler Highway). Give them a try!

Cobb Construction, Paving and Sealcoating. Thank you, Bill, Toby and crew, for doing a great job on Thompson Lane. Thanks again and have a good holiday.

No, thank you

If I were running for president the top three endorsements I wouldn't want are Rush Limbaugh, white supremacists, and Vladimir Putin.

Pass on football

I do not like football any more. I have come to conclusion that it promotes a concussion for at least one-third of the players. We have let the game become "I will hurt you before you can hurt me." I believe it must change to be worthy of my attention.

Affordable gasoline

Thank you, Mr. President. For the first time since the start of the second Bush administration, I was able to get a full tank of gas this morning for less than $20. Well done.

Islamic state

Islamic state split from al-Qaeda last year and is rapidly eclipsed its former parent by seizing territories, launching high profile attacks that include the recent assaults in Paris, and assembling a modern propaganda machine to draw thousands of recruits. Al-Awlaki's work still resonates online. He delivered compelling Islamic narratives in an approachable American voice.

W&M football

OK, let's give Jimmye another 36 years. Maybe they'll name a building after him, or erect a statue, or even beat Richmond – once.

Isn't it time for William & Mary to hire a coach that can beat Richmond? Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia have seen the light. Bring in some new blood.

Counting the votes

I understand Robert Rist's frustration in not seeing a candidate he could vote for for president or any office for that matter. However, the people who count the votes are still counting long after he has gone to bed on election night. If you don't see someone that you can't vote for, don't vote. Write-ins have to be hand counted and posted. All they do is make a long night for the volunteers who make sure our democratic process exists.

Cars as weapons

So now we have a case where a person deliberately used a car was a weapon to kill, are the Democrats now going to call for a ban on all cars? Furthermore, does the adage apply "guns kill people" then mean "cars kill people" and therefore, people are never responsible for their actions?

Guns

Along the I-64 corridor between Richmond and Virginia Beach it was a typical, quiet weekend with at least eight people killed by gunfire and the reaction from most people is to shrug and slog on. When will the people rise up and demand our government to do something to see to it that gun deaths are the exception, not the norm.

In response to the previous writers concern about the definition of "arms" by our Founding Fathers. Our Founding Fathers were incredibly bright men that understood that technology development was an ever changing reality and they were not going to limit the nation's ability to defend itself by mandating ridiculous limitations based upon 18th century technologies. They were products of the 17th and 18th century scientific revolution and had seen earth-shaking discoveries in their lifetimes; they saw no limitations on what man could accomplish.

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