Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Perry shooting off his mouth
Who would think a month ago that Governor Rick Perry wasn’t angry and heartless enough to lead the T-party in a presidential campaign?
But that’s the beef of some leading conservative commentators after last Thursday’s debate in Florida; Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol simply said, “Yikes.”
They are angry that Perry would pass an executive order to vaccinate young girls to protect them from cervical cancer.
They are angry that the children of illegal immigrants should be allowed to be educated in Texas schools; even Governor Perry thought opposition to this policy was heartless.
This is a hard mob to lead when you consider that they cheered the thought at one debate that someone might die in a hospital for the lack of health insurance. 
They booed a gay Army man who risked his life serving in Iraq who asked whether the Republican presidential candidate, if elected, would renew discrimination against gays in the military.
What kind of man or woman wants to lead such a heartless and un-American movement to the White House?
Perry has not lost all “grace” with the T-party, however, because he shares their nightmarish vision in many other respects.
For starters, Perry kills hundreds of criminals, executes them, no matter whether they are innocent or not. 
When NBC Anchor Brian Williams asked Perry, “Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those executed might have been innocent,” Perry said, “I have not struggled with that.” 
Perry may not believe in evolution but he thinks our policy toward our seniors should be survival of the fittest.   To T-party cheers, he promised (more clearly weeks ago) to dismantle social security.  On September 7, 2011, he called Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme.” 
Charles Ponzi used what he was paid by his later “marks” to pay off what was promised earlier “marks” in an ever-expanding geometric progression that just could not be sustained, and lasted about 200 days. 
On the other hand, no one is misled about how Social Security works.  It’s a pay as you go program in which workers today make payments that are transferred to retirees and, when today’s workers retire, they are paid by their successor workers.  Social Security is the safety net that did not exist during the Great Depression, and it has been catching and saving retirees ever since 1935. 
Perry’s ignorance of science is hardly limited to evolution.  On August 17, 2011, he said “scientists are questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” 
Actually, Perry, no, they are not.  The U.S. Global Change Research Program concluded that: “The global warming observed over the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases.  These emissions come mainly from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) with important contributions from the clearing of forests, agricultural practices, and other activities’.” 
Perry scores the government for not protecting our border, thus invoking the mob nativism that’s become more evident as a core belief of the T-party.  Perry charged on September 22nd that “the federal government has not engaged in (border security) at all.”  But that’s completely untrue because more U.S. agents than ever patrol our border.  It is, however, not what the T-party folk prefer to believe. 
Ironically, Perry claims he wants less government, even as he demands that the government do more.  It’s this same Governor Perry who genuflected and grasped after more federal aid to fight the wildfires across Texas.
In conclusion, the Republicans can find a more worthy nominee to run for President, and, as citizens, we must demand more of both parties than what the T-party has to offer.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

GAZETTE COLUMN: The T-Party Demolition Derby – there she goes again! by John P. Flannery

T-Party Fave, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, founder of the House T-party caucus, presents a clear and present danger to the nation – as she says foolish things and appears to mean that they should be taken seriously as public policy. 
George Orwell wrote a marvelous comment in 1947, titled, “Politics and the English Language,” concerned with the fact that “the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”
Orwell thought that, if we only thought clearly, we would take a significant step toward “political regeneration.”
Bachmann’s latest gaffe - hope you’ve been keeping count of her unclear thoughts - was that young girls in Texas and indeed across the nation should be protected from any mandatory vaccination of Gardasil that protects them against strains of a virus (HPV)(human papilloma virus) that causes cervical cancer; by the way, cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer of women with 10,000 women diagnosed each year; Gardasil can stop the resulting deaths and should be given to all girls, in order to be effective, before they become sexually active and can contract the virus.
On NBC’s Today Show last week, Ms. Bachmann nevertheless told Host Matt Lauer, “I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida after the [Republican primary presidential] debate” and “she told me that her little daughter took that vaccine [Gardasil], that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.  It can have very dangerous side effects … This is the very real concern, and people have to draw their own conclusions.”
Okay, so let’s look at what the Center for Disease Control reports. 
They say that 35 million doses of Gardasil have been distributed as of June 22, 2011 and they have reported no vaccination resulting in “mental retardation.”
Two bioethics professors, Univ. of Minnesota Prof. Steven Miles and Univ. of Pennsylvania Center of Bioethics Prof. Art Caplan, immediately challenged Ms. Bachmann to produce any evidence that Gardasil produces mental retardation, and even offered her cash money if the mother could be identified and demonstrate the alleged link between Gardasil and “mental retardation.”  Ms. Bachmann hasn’t taken up the offer.
Ed Rollins, who recently jumped the Bachmann bandwagon as her campaign manager, tried to tell MSNBC that Ms. Bachmann just made a “mistake.”
Ms. Bachman then told Sean Hannity that she was just “reporting what this woman told me…”
But what about the remark Ms. Bachmann made independently, that the vaccine “can have very dangerous side effects” and that “this is the very real concern.”
Perhaps Ms. Bachmann is reviving the arguments of the Anti-Vaccination Society of America, founded in 1879, that opposed vaccines because they caused “corruption of the blood.”
Ms. Bachmann has joined a long line of medical know-nothings who have opposed vaccination for small pox, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, you name it; the Pediatric Academic Society estimates that childhood vaccinations prevent about 10.5 million cases of infectious illness and 33,000 deaths every year.
Ms. Bachmann’s fear mongering demagoguery parallels those who thought autism was brought on by vaccinations but the British Doctor who said so was later charged with “an elaborate fraud.” Closer to home, in August 2010, the federal appeals court upheld a lower court finding that there was no link between vaccination and autism.
Does Ms. Bachmann object to the fact that every state requires vaccinations for children entering public schools?  Perhaps!
Orwell cautioned that political language “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Let us pass over the Bachmann breeze and turn to a candidate and dialogue that will instead regenerate the nation.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Dwight Darcy – playing Major General Lew Wallace (1963)
Suicidal al-Qaeda Terrorists killed Dwight Darcy on September 11, 2001, by crashing a passenger airline into the World Trade Center Tower where he worked on the 66th floor, and this architectural behemoth, of steel, concrete, and glass, crashed to the earth, becoming an historic memorial to this nation’s lost innocence.
A shower of gray deathly ash covering lower Manhattan, blocking the light of the day, fairly represented the darkness that engulfed America.
Days later, on the evening that Congress was to vote on the Patriot Act, while I was working in Congress as special counsel, I went for a run.
When I arrived at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, there was a large circle of people, each holding a candle, lit to signify a life lost on September 11th. 
One by one, each spoke of a remembered life.
It was a moving tableau.
I didn’t know that evening about Dwight but this is what I would have shared.
He was the year ahead of me at Fordham Prep, a rigorous Jesuit High School in the Bronx.
He had a soft fleshy face, as the Irish often have, was book smart, warmly friendly (even to underclassmen), favored the Yankees, was a natural leader, a classic debater, and, of course, like all the Irish, a first-class actor.
I remember watching Dwight play the role of Major-General Lew Wallace, the judge who presided over the trial of Henry Wirz, the commandant of the prison at Andersonville, for atrocities that Wirz committed.
It is now bitterly ironic to recall that he played a judge punishing atrocities when his life ended because of an atrocity committed against him.
A sweeter irony is that, like General Wallace, Dwight practiced law after the Andersonville trial.
He became a local prosecutor in the Bronx, where I also served.
He concentrated especially, however, on labor law, dealing with working men and women at the Port Authority, doing so for more than 25 years, and he was head counsel with his office on the 66th floor of the World Trade Center.
Before practicing law, he taught High School English at Mount St. Michael’s Academy for the Marist Brothers (a real loss of talent to the Jesuits). 
He taught these students how to write but he also taught them about our nation’s history, its politics and about right conduct. 
It’s a wonder whether the role of General Wallace helped to inform Dwight’s life choices afterwards; General Wallace both loved the English language and was a man of faith (wrote the novel, “Ben Hur – a Tale of Christ.”) 
Dwight showed his faith in good works as president of the Catholic Big Brothers of New York, as president of the Parish Council of St. Joseph’s Church, and as an affiliated member of the Marist Brothers (sorry again Jesuits).
As for his last moments on that fateful day, one woman said he had foot surgery and his foot was in a cast on 9-11; she doubted he could have made it down the stairs to escape.
Dwight’s memory lights up the souls of those he knew but especially his wife Veronica and his sons Kieran and Ryan.
That’s what I would have said that evening by the reflecting pool -- had I only known.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Janet & Tom Clarke – a more private moment
            Janet Clarke cares to be “connected” and “educated” because she had challenges as a child and young adult that compromised her opportunity to enjoy either; but she’s made up since for what she missed; and her experience may have something to do with how “connected” and “educated” her own children are.
Janet is the Republican nominee for Supervisor for the Blue Ridge District; Janet is challenging the incumbent, Jim Burton, an Independent who has served on the Board of Supervisors since 1995.
“I had to grow up too soon,” Janet said.  “My parents divorced when I was 9 and I was raised on welfare, and worked at an early age, helping to support my mother, and we were always moving from place to place, and so I attended 11 different schools.” 
Janet worked as a waitress, a locksmith apprentice, drove a school bus, did data entry, and took three interviews to land an IT job on the graveyard shift at Tysons, from 11 pm to 7 AM, with a packet switch data company.  In the beginning, Janet earned $15,000 a year from that IT company, and four years later, was making 6 figures in their Sales division, prompting MCI to recruit her to sell their government systems.
Along the way, Janet left High School at 16 to work, but went back at night to get her GED.   When she enjoyed some success in IT, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Interrelations from George Mason University and got her Master’s in Education and Human Development from George Washington University; she said, she hopes yet to earn a doctorate but hasn’t decided the discipline, but she will decide in the next five years.
Her three children range in age from 17 to 29; and one daughter loves literature, web design and teaching; and she has a son who favors physics and chemistry, robotics and astronomy.
Janet has not intellectualized why she set herself apart from her family to survive when she was young but she recoiled from simply suffering or surrendering. 
Janet said she refused pessimism as an approach to life, and perhaps that made her open to those willing to help her at the various schools she attended and the jobs she had. 
When Janet found herself traveling about 75% of the time as a professional, she gave up her career and moved her family to Loudoun, to a “changed lifestyle.”
“I was always seeking that community connection,” Janet said, “I also sought to connect people the way I was always seeking to be connected myself.”
“I had started a program teaching Hispanics English as a second language,” Janet said, “when I was Chair of the Church and Society program in Herndon.”
“People come to me with a need,” said Janet, “and I’m going to do what I can to do to help.  My spiritual foundation gave me strength.”
“We moved to Purcellville on a quarter Acre lot, with a colonial home,” Janet said, “because I believe in a walkable community.  It’s wonderful for people to have land but this was best for our family.  My husband, Tom, is a wonderful Southern Gentleman.  This works for him.  Our children also liked living in town.”
“As soon as we moved here, I got involved in the local community,” said Janet, “and joined the Loudoun Youth Initiative, and in March 2005, I chose to pull together volunteers for a teen center and skating rink.”
While Janet has a lot of respect for Mike Farris, founder of Patrick Henry College, founded for Christian home-schooled students, she reserved her enthusiasm for his students who helped getting her teen center started. 
“These kids are a wonderful culture to bring into this community,” she said, “and my paid campaign manager, Susanna Foote, is a May graduate of Patrick Henry with a degree in government.”
“When Council member Bob Lazaro was elected as Mayor, opening up a two year term on the Council,” said Janet, “I applied and was appointed to the unexpired term.  The ‘Woodgrove School issue’ was going on, and all three of my children were affected by the overcrowding issues in school.”
The irony of course was that, despite the overcrowding, the Purcellville Town Council opted to sue Loudoun County to block the construction of Woodgrove High School on the Fields Farm property that the County bought in 2000 for that purpose, and Janet supported the Town’s law suit that went on for three years, ending with the school located right where the County wanted it.  The good news, in the end, was that her son got to attend Woodgrove High School.
As for who advises her on her campaign, Janet said, “I’m an independent soul.  I feel that I know what direction I should be going in.  Everyone is ready to give their advice or opinion.  When it comes right down to it, I know what’s best.”
Looking down the road at the challenge to any Supervisor, Janet said, “There’s all this zoning that has already been done and building going on throughout the community.  These people are coming.  They are going to be here.”
What this means, in terms of budget, Janet said, is that “[w]e are already pushed up against the wall on the budget because we have to provide services to the people coming into the community including schools and roads.  That’s the big over-arching thing, the budget, how to balance our money because in these economic times there are so many who are just getting by.”
As for how, Janet said, “We can’t increase the taxes.  Even my brother, a civil engineer, just lost his job.  That’s definitely going to be a challenge.”
“We depend too heavily on the housing market, on the residential budget,” said Janet, “That’s a bad thing.”
“The answer,” Janet said, “We need policies in place that are more business friendly, create more local employment and more business revenue to increase the commercial tax base and reduce the burden on the residential taxpayers.  The process in the county is very business unfriendly.  It’s inconsistent and cumbersome and costly and risky.”
But what can we do in the short term to change the tax base so there are more businesses to help shoulder the cost? 
Janet said, “We need to act quickly.”
How can we improve communications between the Board of Supervisors and the School Board? 
Janet said, “Part of the problem is there haven’t really been board members with an understanding of the school system to respect the School Board’s opinion and I don’t think the effort has been made for everyone to discuss this in a respectful and reasonable fashion.”  
How do we get them all to be “respectful?”
“I’m a big proponent of bringing someone in who’s neutral,” Janet said, “someone from the northern Virginia mediation service to facilitate and they can get both parties to look at things different.”  Janet thought “that a third party facilitator would be the least threatening of any particular approach.”
Will the Board do this?
“If they are truly interested in working things through,” Janet said, “and being able to come to agreement, then they will be willing to try anything.  If people care enough they will make that effort, it can’t be done by me, it must be done collectively.”


Jim & Lina Burton – reading iPad & Kindle respectively
“Have you read the ‘Age of Entanglement,’ John,” Jim Burton asked.
“Why no,” I said.
“You must,” Jim said.
The book, “entanglement,” is the record of an historic dialogue, mostly in the roaring ‘20s, among the scientific greats including Einstein, Heisenberg, Rutherford, Planck, Bohr, Ehrenfest, Pauli, Mach, Sommerfeld, Born, and Lorentz, who puzzled over how there could exist an instantaneous “telepathic” connection between particles at a distance, that remained “entangled,” even though separated.
In one of our previous conversations, Jim mentioned I should read a book about religion and the founding fathers.  “Did you read it?” Jim asked.  “Yes, I did.”
Jim is like a monk-warrior, always in thoughtful meditation, and yet fully engaged in the field of action.
He has been a Supervisor, repeatedly elected since 1995 as an Independent, first in the Mercer District before it became the Blue Ridge District; Jim’s challenger in this Fall’s election for the Blue Ridge District is Janet Clarke, the Republican Nominee.
Asked how he decides public policy, he says, “I try to find an answer that makes my conscience feel right.”
This boy from Normal, Illinois, from a Railroad family, turned down the chance to be a pro baseball player to join the first class at the Air Force Academy, but it wasn’t until his 30s at the Pentagon that he found the mentor that posed the question that forged his character.
John Boyd, a defense department reformer, one of the greatest fighter pilots that ever lived, insisted that Jim read hundreds of books.  Boyd may have been the most significant military theorist since Sun Tzu.  Among Burton’s required reading, of course, were various editions of Tzu’s “The Art of War.”  Also several books by the physicist Heisenberg.  Boyd wrote a manual of air to air fighting tactics that influenced every air force in the world, he proposed drastically altered air craft designs, and taught Marine Corps fighters how to war as well.
Jim Burton, a graduate of the first class at the Air Force Academy in 1959, who flew tankers for the Strategic Air Command (SAC),  and attended all three military schools after the Academy – the Squadron Officers School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, first thought Boyd was “crazy.”  He saw Boyd in his office mimicking jet aerial combat maneuvers with his hands.  Jim later found Boyd “fascinating” and then learned that Boyd was “crazy like a fox.”
“Boyd used to tell me,” said Jim, “you’ll come to a fork in the road and you’ll have to make a choice.  Down one path you behave a certain way and you will be promoted and receive the riches of rank.  You go down the other path and you will be self-rewarded for having done what was right for the situation no matter what the system says.  But, if you ever challenge the system, it will come back at you -- big time.”
Jim followed his conscience, chose right over rank, and found himself in a war of reform with the Army and the Air Force.  Air Force Colonel Burton was a specialist in weapons acquisition and testing, and he charged that the department’s “business of buying weapons” was “dirty and corrupt from top to bottom,” and that the government genuflected to defense contractors at the expense of soldier safety.  His target was the untested Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s poor design, that cost the taxpayers a whopping $14 Billion, but was vulnerable to anti-armor weapons.  Jim wanted to correct the design and expose the so-called “fighting” vehicle to a live fire test to assure it was battle ready.  In the end, Jim prevailed, making the vehicle safer for service men and women in the Gulf War.  But he was attacked because he did what was right – just as Boyd said. 
Jim didn’t let it die; he wrote an expose, titled, “The Pentagon Wars: Reformers Challenged the Old Guard” and won 1st prize in the Washington Monthly’s Political Book Award in 1993.  In the HBO Movie that followed, Cary Elwes, of “Princess Bride” fame played Jim; can’t complain about that; and you can get a tease of the feature on YouTube - .
Jim may have thought he put public service behind him when he left the Pentagon to retire to the historic Mercer house in the village of Aldie.
But it was not meant to be.  Soon after he “settled” in, there was a large flap over development proposed for 50 homes west of the village; it was, by all accounts, sprawl development, and not very “smart growth.”  Jim said he was concerned then as now with “change coming that is dramatic … at a pace that we are not able to adjust to, and we can therefore expect dislocations to occur.” 
Jim said, “this is what Alvin Toffler meant in his book, ‘Future Shock’ – ‘too much change in too short a period of time.”  Toffler worried about such shock causing suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation.” 
“Slow growth,” Jim said, “means at a rate that the community can adjust to and, as or more importantly, provide the necessary amenities and facilities.”
“In all my community activity, before and since I was on the Board,” Jim said, “that’s been my concern.”
“When we met with that Aldie developer at a Middleburg Restaurant,” Jim said, he “clenched his first” and came on “like a prize fighter,” and announced, “I’m going to fight you.” 
That hardly intimidated Jim or the other Aldie residents who believed this development was wrong, and ultimately, Jim said, “after the dust settled, he pulled out.”
Soon, Jim appeared at many public meetings including the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors regarding questionable development projects proposed elsewhere in Loudoun County, particularly around the villages of Round Hill, that made no accommodation for the services the development required. 
“I had become a citizen activist,” Jim said. 
That wasn’t enough, in Jim’s mind, when a Sheriff’s Deputy served a subpoena seeking all of Jim’s personal records, because the developer sought to prove that Jim conspired with adjoining landowners who Jim didn’t know, supposedly to stop the development. 
“That got me,” Jim said, “sitting in that court room, waiting for the court to quash that subpoena, that made me angry, that my fate was in their hands,” and, “that got me thinking to get more involved in the development process here in Loudoun County.”
Instead of appearing before the Board, Jim decided to run for the Board of Supervisors and was elected from the Mercer District, as an Independent. 
Since he was first elected, Jim has resisted the residential development that the County can hardly afford, “unbridled growth” Jim calls it.
“The County has added 143,000 new residents since 2000,” Jim said, “and more than tripled its student population in the last 17 years.”
“We may have to build 49 more schools by 2026,” Jim said, “at the rate of 3 or more a year.”
More than that, Jim said, “we have 41,000 unbuilt residential units in the pipeline.”
Jim said we have to help the citizens, save where we can, and encourage slow growth. 
In order to “guide the County through the maze in these uncertain economic times,” Jim says, we had lower taxes than in 2009, and we must maintain “our sound financial condition including our triple A rating, and, finally, we must prevent changes to the comprehensive plan that propose to open any more areas of the County to increased density, and resist the building pressure to open the transition area for development, that is, the area intended to be a transition from the urban east to the rural west.”
Jim then said, “He had to go.”  Lina, his wife said he had to go.  Jim delayed for a bit, “After I lost my first wife, Nancy Lee, to cancer, I was lost myself,” Jim said, “but I met Lina on a committee and she’s become my partner, side kick and campaign manager.  All I can say is that I’ve been lucky to know two great women in my life.”
“One last question before you go, Jim, why are you an Independent?”
 “I prefer to do my own thinking,” said Jim, “and take responsibility for my own thinking.”


Hurricane Irene
I had a long conversation with a state trooper who was summoned down to the Virginia Beach area to help deal with the consequences of Hurricane Irene. 
“You should have seen the pictures I took of the devastation in Virginia,” he said, “but then I saw those other reports and pictures coming in from other officers up and down the coast, and finally those in New York, New Jersey, and Vermont on the air.  I only hope what I did helped.”
Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell is of the same mind – we must help everyone we can. 
Speaking from the flooded town of Lincoln Park, New Jersey, Republican Governor Chris Christie said, “Our people are suffering now, and they need support now.”
Hurricane Irene overran entire communities, washed away homes, cars, road ways, leaving in their place, mud, debris, lakes of water, power out for millions, two score or more people dead and others injured.
You might think getting the federal government to grant aid was a no-brainer. 
But we saw an unbelievably harsh reaction from some Republican leaders.
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from Virginia opposes any disaster aid unless funds are cut first from other federal programs.  At least he’s consistent, even if not sensible.  Cantor opposed aid to his own congressional district, at the epicenter of the recent earthquake.  He didn’t want money spent to help the citizens respond to the tornadoes that slammed Joplin, Missouri.  Nor does he want federal aid to Virginia for Hurricane Irene.
Governor McDonnell rightly said “deficit reduction should take a back seat to disaster relief.” 
Governor Christie attacked Cantor “for playing games at a time when people need government assistance most.”
Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul said, “This idea that the world comes to an end if you don’t have somebody at the federal level taking care of you, I mean, it’s a natural problem.  It’s wind.  It’s a storm.” Now is the time, Paul believes, for our nation to “transition out of the dependency on the federal government.”
Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann thought this was a laughing matter; she said Irene was a sign from God that federal spending was out of control.  “Washington, DC,” she said, “you’d think by now, they’d get the message: an earthquake, a hurricane.  Are you listening?”
In this competition for the most careless indifference by any person to a massive natural disaster, we can’t leave out Glenn Beck, the self-anointed T-party poster boy, who said that Hurricane Irene was “a blessing from God.”  Incidentally, the reason this is a “blessing,” according to Beck, is it reminds us all that we should stock pile food.  Beck did not explain where you store food when a hurricane washes away your car, your house and your entire home town.
For those of you who depended upon the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to take precautions against Irene, be advised that the Republicans in Congress sought to cut funds drastically to these services, eliminating our ability to know about hurricanes five or ten days in advance.
We must thank every public leader, without regard to party or ideology, who has tried to help the victims of Irene.
As for the others, we should demand that they publicly disclose their SAT scores.
# # #

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Loudoun Grapes
Photo by John Flannery
When I was a kid in the South Bronx, my Mom bought a freezer and had meat sent in bulk from upstate New York farms to feed our family.
For a time we lived near a place called West Farms but it had long since become a busy traffic intersection with a movie house where I saw Ernest Borgnine play “Marty,” next to the elevated IRT train station, one stop away from the Bronx Zoo.  That was as country as the old neighborhood got when I was a kid.
But here we live in Loudoun County with all these small meat and vegetable farmers with fresh produce in rich variety and we are going to big box grocery stores to buy food stuffs from across the nation and offshore, rather than from our own local farms.
We’ve got lots of great fresh food here in these “thar” hills, and the more food that we buy close to home from our neighboring farmers, the larger their profit, the longer they may survive to farm, and the longer we may preserve the rolling green hills that makes this place country beautiful.
Laura Davimes founded “Loudoun Flavor,” a virtual on-line fresh fare farmers market, that you can examine for yourself at , so you can do what my Mom did, order from home weekly to get fresh produce straight from nearby farms and delivered to a physical pick up location near you in Ashburn, Leesburg, Aldie, Middleburg, Purcellville, Waterford or Lovettsville.
Of course, my Mom didn’t have a desktop computer, or Ipad or cell phone to place her order but we do.
“Our network may be virtual,” Laura said, “but, trust me, the good food you get is super fresh and real.”
“I went to physical markets for years,” Laura said, “and I saw how farmers lost time in an unpredictable market, and left with unsold produce too tired to farm afterwards.”
“This was part of the reason,” Laura said, “I founded this market on-line where you can pick out what you want at the price you agree is fair from farms in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties we represent that cover about 5,000 acres of land when all the land is active.”
The “farmers and producers” are all found on line including the cattle and corn producing Meadow Hill Farm in Hillsboro. Obergood’s artisan goat cheese, Wegmeyer Farms’ pumpkins and gourds, Dayspring Farm Turkeys, salad greens and specialty vegetables from the Quarter Branch Farm in Lovettsville, and there are plenty more that supply this network market.
Laura left advertising, she said, because it was about “constantly manipulating people to buy things they don’t need.”  Her herb gardening opened her up to this other way to live, also a 90 year old farmer that she got to know, and now, Laura says, “everything that I represent is really healthy and good for people.” 
She shares John Muir’s view that nature is a “fountain of life” and, if we’re not careful, “we’ll have men in white lab coats in a sterile environment re-creating what we once had naturally from the earth beneath our feet.”
Laura says we have to respect nature, quoting Wendell Perry, “Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”