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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

My Delegate On The Non-Surplus Surplus

My first inclination is to give the guy a break. Benny Keister (D-Dublin) is my state delegate to the Virginia General Assembly and is paid an annual salary of something just over $17000. So you get what you pay for. I understand that.

And I'd be willing to ignore him if he didn't go out of his way to intrude in my world with a feeble attempt at convincing me that his having voted to raise my taxes was, as it turns out, a really swell thing to do. I first read his rationale in a (hard-copy version) letter to the editor of the local Wythe News. It took me a couple of days to (find the time to) track down the electronic version. You too will find this inciteful if not insightful. If I didn't know him any better, this letter might convince me that he is a shrewd politician. But I know better. Still, he is a politician.
Talking taxes is always dangerous ground, but I, for one, think it might be a positive subject based on the effects that have come about from the half-cent sales tax that was added during the budget war in the 2004 session. That small addition has become Virginia’s story of “The Little Engine That Could” in many ways. (link then click on Delegate's Desk)
I'm already mad. I'm just dying to see how he paints this tax thievery in a postive light.
With all of the emotion out of the way, we have found that the small increase in the sales tax was the right thing to do. It has put Virginia on a firmer financial footing than has been seen for many years. We now have a real cash flow- not a surplus- but money that can be used to pay some bills that have gone unpaid and be used to replenish our saving (sic) account.
The state is now awash in money and there is - until the governor and old Benny get together and dream up new ways to blow it - a massive surplus. He admits this in his next sentence:
The state has saved its coveted Triple-A bond rating which will enable us to do some far-reaching projects for our transportation system (my emphasis), which, in turn, is crucial for economic growth.
It isn't a surplus because we intend to spend it, you see.
... money that can be used to pay some bills that have gone unpaid and be used to replenish our saving (sic) account (my emphasis).
In order to replenish "our" "saving" account, he had to make a withdrawal from your "saving" account. Politicians universally accept this twisted notion as being not only something that is acceptable but, as in Benny's mind, it is worth bragging about to their constituents. It isn't a surplus; it's a "saving" account. And the fact that we confiscated it from you at gunpoint is something you should all be proud of.

And like herpes, Benny intends to be the gift that keeps on giving.
I will do my best to keep you informed about the progress of legislation and let you know about the bills that I have patroned or co-patroned.
Gee, thanks, Benny, for wanting to keep us informed. In the meantime, could you stop by the Celanese plant over in Giles County and help the workers there load their belongings on the moving vans that will be taking them north to their new places of employment? (link) I'm sure they're all dying to hear about the "saving" account too.

Why Don't We Cut The Crap


The new federal tax form 1040.
Click to enlarge.
Image courtesy of my niece, soon-to-be CPA Amie Isaac. Posted by Hello

There's a Law Against This?

Well, you learn something every day. Here in Virginia, we have - or had - a law banning sex outside of marriage. And in today's breaking news, the Supreme Court of the state of Virginia decided, since half the population is ignoring the law, maybe it was time to abandon it.

Va. scraps ban on sex for singles
Ruling stemmed from suit a woman filed against man she alleged gave her herpes

BY ALAN COOPER TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional yesterday the state law that makes it illegal for unmarried people to have sex. (link)

Personally, I think it right and proper to wait until one finds that life-long partner to "give it up." But I live at the edge of the Jefferson National Forest, not on the edge of never-neverland. And even though I believe strongly in the institution of marriage, I can't for the life of me understand why we would want a law commanding it. It's the libertarian in me, I guess.

I would rather the authorites and law enforcement concentrate more on real crime.

You will find this to be astounding. There are over 300 registered sex offenders here in Bland County, Virginia. In a population of just 6,900. And these perverts didn't make the list for simply having sex outside of marriage. These are rapists and pedophiles. You are shocked, right? I was too when I first heard the news. Then I was told they all reside in one location - the state prison just north of the village of Bland. As long as they're incarcerated, they use their prison address as their place of residence. I don't know whether I should feel uncomfortable about their living nearby, or whether I should celebrate their being there. I just hope they have high walls and lots of guns. And lots of room for more perverts.

And While They're At It

The Virginia Supreme Court struck down the state law that banned extra-marital sex. They might save this goofball some time and mental exercise, and inform him in advance that they will, when it gets to them, be striking this silliness down as well.
A Norfolk legislator wants you to pull up your low-riding pants and to sit your butt up while driving.

While you are at it, turn down the blasting car stereo, and do not try to watch movies on your in-car video player while driving.

"If you want to show your underwear in your private home, I don't have any objections," said Del. Algie T. Howell Jr., a Norfolk Democrat who has filed legislation that would levy a $50 fine on anyone who "exposes his below-waist undergarments in an offensive manner."

Howell also has filed bills dealing with drivers who lean way back and people who play their car stereos obnoxiously loud. Howell said he's seen enough and heard from enough folks to know they are as bothered as he is by folks who expose their undergarments. (link)

I think we have found the perfect running mate for John McCain.

It Ain't Over Til We Say It Is Over

Most of you thought the Civil War ended in 1865. Maybe in your all's yankee circles, it did. But not around here. We're still hankerin' for the best two-out-of-three.
The Roanoke chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will hold a Lee-Jackson Day memorial ceremony at 1 p.m. Wednesday to honor Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

The event will take place at Lee Plaza, in front of the Roanoke Municipal Building at 215 Church Ave. S.W. During the event, UDC members will share information about Lee and Jackson, including some of their contributions to Virginia. They will then conduct a wreath-laying ceremony. (
link)
This is serious stuff around here. On most any day, you can travel to the cemetery, not far from here, in Lexington, Virginia where Stonewall Jackson is buried and find that someone has placed a fresh lemon, sometimes a basket of lemons, at the base of a massive statue of the most revered personality to have played a part - however brief - in the War Between the States.

Old Stonewall, you see, had this penchant for lemons, and could be found on the battlefield, amongst the missiles whistling past him, and men dying in front of him, and the explosion of artillery shells all around, sucking on a lemon. Part of the legend is that he was very quirky. The lemons corrected a chemical imbalance that he felt he routinely had. He also thought on occasion that he had a physical imbalance as well and would hold one arm in the air to correct himself.

You may think him strange. There was more than one yankee general that thought the same thing. But the man won battles the strategy and execution of which are still studied by the United States military. And in these parts where "the lost cause" is far from lost, we still hold both him and "Marse Robert" in high regard. Your attendance at their memorial ceremony is requested. For us, it's mandatory.

The Word We Are Not Allowed To Disparage

If you read my weblog for any length of time, you will notice that I pull no punches when it comes to taking sides in the issues of our day. One issue that comes up often has to do with the war on terror. Another with "racial profiling." And I occasionally have something to say with regard to religious fanaticism.

Those three topics converge when one thinks of the word, "Muslim." Fair or not, only a blind person - or a blind liberal - will deny the relationship between Islam and much of the evil that exists in this world today. Yes, I know most Muslims on the planet are good and peace-loving people. But too many aren't, and the rest don't seem to be inclined to do much about them.

I received this quiz via email. It fairly illustrates the point.

HISTORY TEST

(1) 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40.

(2) In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(3) In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvisc. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(4) During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(5) In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(6) In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(7) In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(8) In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

(9) In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(10) In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill' s women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(11) On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(12) In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

(13) In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

The attempt at humor is very lame but the point is clear. A considerable amount of the misery inflicted on the civilized world in the last thirty years has been brought about by Islamist fanatics who take up the bizarre purpose of slaughtering every non-Muslim on earth. And it will continue until we - and they - come to grips with this reality and end the madness that infects a sizeable segment of the international Muslim community.

Clarifying the Clarification

In an earlier entry to my weblog, I used the rather innocuous phrase, "2% of us are gay." Someone read that and decided that meant, since my choices of words included "us" and "gay," that I had to be a flamer.

Yesterday, I made it absolutely clear that I am a heterosexual in every sense of the word. Yes, Paula refused to support me in my effort to convince my readers that I am virile and that I ooze testosterone, but that was only because she is cantankerous. Its not because she has doubts herself. I swear.

So this morning, I get this email from a reader by the name of Mark.

Now Jerry.....You do seem a little touchy about that 2% issue.... ahhh... touchy, I am not inferring you want to touch anyone..... maybe edgy is a better way to phrase it.... I don't want anyone to assume I am suggesting touching...... But... Hmmmmm.... you do seem to do a good job at verbally, or at least textually proving your manhood, or at least self
proclaiming it....... since Paula would not chime in ....... there isn't a line of other women I suppose either..... but then again, you do often write of manly issues and thoughts..... (did you read Playboy for the articles? And you read it once or read it several times, earlier in life??) ...... Hmmmm...... are you man enough to wear pink ... or touchy about that to?

As for your other entry.... yes, you often are entertaining.

Thank you.

Mark

Touchy. As in, "touch me, big boy." That's actually pretty good. It made me laugh at 4:40 in the morning. Okay, I have worn pink. I may still have a pale pink dress shirt. And believe it or not, I once had a white tie with large pink polka dots on it. And I looked goooood in it. Yes, perhaps a little too gay, but I wore it well.

There is one question, though. Playboy has articles?

Thanks, Mark. And stay in touch ... so to speak.