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

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Showdown

Make no mistake about it - he pledged to not raise our taxes. We took it as a promise. He now has the opportunity before him to honor that pledge. If he's an honorable man.

Any bets?

Kaine condemns plan for transportation and pledges to rewrite it
By Michael Hardy and Jeff E. Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writers


In a closing-day showdown, Virginia lawmakers yesterday approved an election-year fix for transportation that will hit a roadblock in the governor's office.

The road-and-rail plan, which Gov. Timothy M. Kaine vows to rewrite, relies on $2.5 billion in bonds and a $184 million-a-year raid (sic) on the general fund, which finances schools, police and programs for the poor (sic).

"That's too much," Kaine told reporters last night. The use of the funds to pay off the borrowing does "significantly more harm than good." (link)
It's showdown time. Having famously hidden while the titanic struggle was taking place in the legislature, Kaine must now reveal himself. And there are now only two options available to our seemingly chimeral governor:

1) Sign the compromise funding plan with its reliance on bonds and existing general funds (and an increase in taxes on automobile purchases).
2) Gut the plan, raise our taxes dramatically, and go down in history as having been just another lying, scheming Democrat politician.

Tim Kaine can now no longer hide from the electorate. We are about to find out just who he really is.

May God have mercy.

A Beacon Of Light

I made mention long ago of the gem (logistically speaking) known as Wytheville, Virginia, a small town that finds itself strategically located at the convergence of two busy interstate highways. What I should have done at the time was keep my mouth shut and invest in land in the area (about where the new Pepsi distribution center has been located). In fact, I did look into it but I never followed up. My mistake.

In any case, because of its importance, Wytheville is now kickin':
At the crossroads of commerce
At a time when many of its neighbors are struggling over shuttered plants and mass layoffs, Wythe County's success in attracting new business is striking.
By Angela Manese-Lee, The Roanoke Times


Wytheville -- The sign that welcomes visitors at the northern entrance of Wythe County's Progress Park boasts a series of industrial plots located "at the crossroads of commerce."

At a time when many of its neighbors are struggling over shuttered plants and mass layoffs, Wythe County's success is striking. (link)
As I noted early on, there is a simple explanation for Wythe County's growth. It's in the right place at the right time:
In contrast to the traditional, old-line factories that once filled other communities, Wythe's recent acquisitions have been highly automated facilities stocked with high-tech equipment.

The reason such high-tech, and high-paying, facilities are drawn to Wythe County is easy to trace. Just follow the trucks on Interstates 81 and 77.

"Within 12 hours in a tractor-trailer, you can deliver your product to two-thirds of the United States," said Wythe County Administrator Cellell Dalton. "You can go east, west, north, south. In today's transportation world and distribution world, it's probably one [thing] that we've taken advantage of more than anything."
Here's another prediction - and a bit of investment advice - to go along with the one I made years ago about Wytheville's growth opportunity:

There is an explosion of new retail stores taking place along I-81, exit 70, in Wytheville, a shopping complex anchored by Wal-Mart and Lowe's. Right across the street from the Wal-Mart shopping center, bulldozers are clearing hundreds of acres for more retail. That's great.

But fifteen years from now all the growth is going to be one exit down, at Peppers Ferry Road. Where Pepsi and Gatorade have built their facilities (and where the most spectacular Harley Davidson store ever constructed has gone up). Where I-81 meets I-77. And where there are still lots of open spaces and farm fields, and deals to be had.

Want to get rich? Buy there.

A Correlation

We learned three days ago that New York City residents have the highest tax bill of any large city in America. By far.

Though the news didn't come as a shock to anyone, I'm sure, there are probably those out there who wonder how that can be.

Here's one small example of how that can be:
Free To Be He-She
By Janon Fisher and Leela de Kretser, The New York Post


A judge has ordered taxpayers to foot the bill - up to $20,000 - for a sex-change operation that will make a 21-year-old man into a woman.

In a ruling to be released Thursday, Manhattan Family Court Judge Sheldon Rand said the city must provide the subsidized snip because the woman wannabe, identified as Mariah Lopez, had been in the care of the Administration for Children's Services as a youngster.

The judge said the agency has a duty to pay for all "necessary" medical care to the kids in its charge.

Rand ruled that Lopez suffers from a diagnosed gender-identity disorder and that surgery is the recognized treatment. (link)
Don't try to make sense of it. It's New York.

But don't plan a visit there either without taking out a loan.

The Decision Is In

The legislature has come to agreement on just how profoundly we are going to pretend to regret the existence of slavery long, long ago.

First, an education:

Profound
Adjective: profound (profounder, profoundest) pru'fawnd
1. Showing intellectual penetration or emotional depths; from the depths of your being
2. Of the greatest intensity; complete
3. Coming from deep within one
4. Situated at or extending to great depth; too deep to have been sounded or plumbed

Regret
Noun: regret ri'gret
1. Sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointment
Verb: regret (regretted, regretting) ri'gret
1. Feel remorse for; feel sorry for; be contrite about
2.Feel sad about the loss or absence of
3. Be sorry

Now the joyous news:
Virginia Apologizes for Role in Slavery
By The Associated Press

Richmond, Va. (AP) -- Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously Saturday to express ''profound regret'' for the state's role in slavery.


Sponsors of the resolution say they know of no other state that has apologized for slavery, although Missouri lawmakers are considering such a measure. The resolution does not carry the weight of law but sends an important symbolic message, supporters said.

The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote. It does not require Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's approval.

The measure also expressed regret for ''the exploitation of Native Americans.'' (link)
Is there a person reading this who truly thinks anyone in Richmond who voted for this silly resolution was overwhelmed with intense sadness over the plight of African-American slaves of two centuries ago?

Dissemble
Verb: dissemble di'sembul
1. Make believe with the intent to deceive
2. Hide under a false appearance
3. Behave unnaturally or affectedly

Profound regret. Whatever.

Ban It? Glorify It?

This may be a morning devoted to words and their meaning. In the next instance, we find ourselves grappling with a word one is forbidden to utter - ever - but must be repeated ad nauseum if one is going to be a gangsta:
In Bid to Ban Racial Slur, Blacks Are on Both Sides
By Anahad O'Connor, The New York Times

Days after Michael Richards’s racist tirade at a Los Angeles comedy club, Leroy G. Comrie Jr., a New York City councilman, seethed as he listened to some black teenagers on a Queens street spewing out the same word Mr. Richards had been using.

“They were saying ‘nigga’ or ‘niggas’ every other word,” said Mr. Comrie, who is black. “I could tell they didn’t get it. They don’t realize how their self-image is debilitated when they use this awful word in public.”

So Mr. Comrie sponsored a resolution for a moratorium on the use of the n-word in New York City, prompting a spate of similar proposals in half a dozen local governments across four states in recent weeks. The New York City Council is scheduled to discuss Mr. Comrie’s proposal tomorrow and vote on it on Wednesday; the City Council in Paterson, N.J., and the Westchester County Legislature both unanimously approved such bans recently. (
link)
This 1,309 word article, so you know, focuses on the derivation and usage of a word that is never revealed. The n-word.

Americans, 200 years from now, will read this and say: Huh?

Perhaps that is as it should be.