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Friday, January 18, 2008

'Moonshine Capital Of The World'

An unalterable truth: The government doesn't allow competition. With itself, that is.

In this case, competition with its own liquor stores (yes, to those of you on the outside looking in, while our government tries mightily to prevent smoking, the commonwealth of Virginia is in the booze business; one man's sin is another's pleasure, it seems ...).

So when some entrepreneur looks to providing the discriminating public with a delicate, smooth, well-balanced, quality, refined pot likker, the state goes completely apey (a term I learned from the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and hoped to someday use ...):
Rural moonshiners still making their potent spirits
Associated Press

People have always enjoyed their liquor in rural Franklin County, which calls itself the "moonshine capital of the world," a slogan seen on billboards and T-shirts and even at a moonshine exhibit on the campus of a local Methodist college. A late-1990s federal-state crackdown, Operation Lightning Strike, slowed the liquor trade considerably.

Federal officials say it has yet to recover. But the ABC says moonshining is starting to make a comeback as moonshiners, who have been known to hide their stills behind fake headstones in cemeteries and camouflage them with green paint in the woods, adapt to the scrutiny.

"I could give you a list about as long as your arm of people who I know are in the business full time right now," said Buddy Driskill, special agent in charge of the ABC's Lynchburg office. Driskill says the District and Baltimore are prime destinations for the untaxed and unlicensed liquor, named after 18th-century bootleggers who smuggled brandy off the British coast by the light of the moon. These days, people consume moonshine in illicit establishments known as shot houses and "nip joints."

"They're making a whole lot of liquor," Driskill said. (link)
A whole lot of liquor. A whole lot of untaxed liquor.

Can't be havin' that. You guys need to get with it, stop making life miserable for those state revenuers, and be thinking about hair sheep. Whatever they are.

Put Some Pants On That Great Dane, For God's Sake

I guess this goes in the same category as the legislation intended to ban some mind-altering herb here in the commonwealth. As well as that intended to bring cats equity with dogs. And for the same reason. As long as our esteemed lawgivers are focused on bullshit like this, we'll see no new taxes.

So, knock yourselves out!

VA Lawmaker Seeks Ban On Scrotum Sack-Shaped Trailer Hitch
The Associated Press

Richmond, Va. (AP) - Drive across Virginia with an outsized rubber replica of testicles dangling from your trailer hitch and you face a fine under a bill before the General Assembly.

Delegate Lionel Spruill introduced the legislation Tuesday, saying the sight of masculine genitalia (e.g. glans, shaft, scrotal sack) is a safety issue because it distracts drivers.

Spruill, a Democrat from Portsmouth, would make display of the ornamentation on a motor vehicle a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $250. (link)

To be honest, the first time I saw a big muscle truck going down the highway with this ... thing dangling from its trailer hitch, I didn't know what it was. Until I did. I then burst out laughing.

Get it? Muscle truck. Testosterone. Gonads.


I was going to reproduce an image of the "device," but I thought better of it. I don't want to offend the parents of little kiddies, after all. So go here to see what (rubber) male genitalia bouncing around beneath a pickup truck look like. It's actually quite creative.

On The 10-Year Anniversary of The Lewinsky Affair

James Taranto on the consequences that evolved:
The effects of the Lewinsky scandal continue to be felt. By some accounts it launched Mrs. Clinton's political career. The notion of a first lady seeking a Senate seat in a state to which she had no real connection was preposterous--yet she carried it off, in part by affording liberal New Yorkers an opportunity to poke the eye of the vast-right conspirators. Now she is a viable candidate for president. Who'd have expected that back in 1998?

Organized feminism lost much of its moral authority, as no less a personage than Gloria Steinem--in a famous op-ed that is mysteriously missing from the New York Times archives but we found here--explained away treatment of women that she never would have tolerated from a Republican or a private-sector boss.

Mrs. Clinton, facing a strong challenge from Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, finds herself in a weirdly parallel position. Once again, as we noted last week, Gloria Steinem has produced a risible op-ed for the Times, this time defending Mrs. Clinton as a feminist icon, even though she owes her political power to her husband, and even though she seems to have saved her chance at the nomination by coming close to tears.
"The Lewinsky Decade," Best of the Web Today, January 17, 2008

A Tax By Any Other Name ...

Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters, in an op/ed piece appearing in this morning's Wall Street Journal (see "Gas Taxes Are High Enough"), tells us that she's opposed to plans * (like that of state Senator Phil Puckett) - both state and federal - to raise already stratospheric taxes on fuel.

She instead supports the concept of "electronic tolling."

Taxes bad. Tolls good.

Noun: synonym sinunim
1. Two words that can be interchanged in a context are said to be synonymous relative to that context; as in: "A toll is a tax no matter how you attempt to redefine it."

* Secretary Peters refers to a recently released commission report on the matter of traffic congestion and informs us of its content in part: "Among the most troubling proposals, the report recommends an up-to 40-cent-per-gallon federal gasoline tax increase over the next five years, with automatic increases every year thereafter tied to inflation. This would more than triple federal fuel taxes from current levels by 2018.

The report also calls for even larger increases to state gas taxes, and the creation of a new federal bureaucracy to centralize transportation spending decisions. It recommends new limitations on states' ability to attract billions in private sector capital available to invest in transportation infrastructure. And it supports federal taxes on all public transportation and intercity passenger rail trips, which, if enacted, would be the first time ever a federal tax was added to the cost of a public transportation ride.

There Is a Correlation

The Fed chairman yesterday endorsed an economic "stimulus "plan that calls for more federal spending.

Afterward, stocks on Wall Street dropped 307 points.

The Heavy Hand Of Government

All that blather about closing the gun show loophole. What does it matter to you? It's only about your freedom to live your life without seeking the approval of a nameless, faceless authoritarian in Richmond and Washington D.C.

It's no small matter!
Private Firearms Transactions Under Attack!
Please Contact the State Committee and Voice Your Opposition!

[Today], January 18 the Virginia House of Delegates Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee will hear two proposals that could serve as a first step toward regulating all private firearm transactions. Both bills, House Bill 592 offered by Delegate Dave Marsden (D-41) and House Bill 745 offered by Delegate Chuck Caputo (D-67), would require state and federal background checks to be conducted on all firearms transactions at Virginia gun shows.

Federal and state law already requires federally licensed firearms dealers to conduct a background check on all prospective purchases. This legislation is simply a first step toward requiring government approval before individuals may sell their private property, even between family and friends. (source - NRA)
We'll be watching to see how many delegates - Democrat and Republican - vote for these two bills.

As I've been trying to tell you, this debate is not about dealers at gun shows selling their wares to Joe Six-Pack. It's about you having to obtain government permission to buy or trade for personal property.

That's not who we are. That's not what America will ever be.

Not Something To Celebrate

While "caring" people on the left fight passionately to have us allow illegal aliens enter our world no-strings-attached, they completely ignore another group of Americans who are denied their rights. Including the ultimate right.

... the right to life:

Report: 1.2 million babies aborted

And they'll tell you we lack compassion.

When Hell Freezes Over

Thought I'd show you this email I got before I toss it in the recycle bin:

Must not be enough radical big-government liberals in the race. That's the only thing I can figure.

Click on the image to enlarge

Image courtesy of the Draft Bloomberg Committee

'Duty, Honor, Country'

Watch this latest release in a series on "America's Marines" and you'll understand why they are ...

... the few

... the proud

... our heroes.

Honor them.

Double-click on the triangle to activate.