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Friday, March 21, 2008

Fighting Terrorism?

Or doling out excess tax revenue.

Christian Trejbal of the Roanoke Times wonders about the allocation of precious state tax dollars * to fight ... get this ... terrorism ... here in the commonwealth:

al-Qaida is coming to Glen Lyn

Gov. Tim Kaine's office sent out a press release today about awarding $260,553 in grants to prevent terrorism throughout Virginia.

Not receiving cash: Blacksburg, Montgomery County.

Receiving grants: Floyd County, Glen Lyn, Pembroke, Wythe County.

I don't know if those who didn't receive money even applied, but I do know that a Tech football game is a much more attractive target to a terrorist than FloydFest or Glen Lyn. Surely we could better allocate scarce resources. It's OK to say, "No, Dublin, you just aren't big enough to be considered a terrorist target. You'll get no special funding."
Click on the link to see the lengthy list of counties and municipalities that will be receiving funds to fight "the terrorist menace."

Even Bland County, by God, is receiving some dough. To combat the ever-worrisome al Qaeda insurgency here. The amount? $1,665. Not sure what that'll buy us except for more than a few boxes of Krispy Kremes down at the courthouse.

Maybe that's the intent. We're going to kill our local terrorists by clogging their arteries.

For the love of God.

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* Upon further study, it appears that these funds may actually involve federal monies. Still ...

Quote of the Day

Charles Krauthammer on Barack Obama's attempt to climb out of the hole he's dug for himself:
... Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness? This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright's rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?
"The Speech: A Brilliant Fraud," The Washington Post, March 21, 2008

My Worry As Well

Been to the grocery lately? Regardless what the federal government says the current rate of inflation is, you and I know we have an accelerating problem. Milk is $4 a gallon? The price of bread has jumped. Eggs. Sugar.

The reasons for this we can deal with another day. Here's my concern:
Inflation Hits the Poor Hardest *
By Neil Irwin and Alejandro Lazo, Washington Post Staff Writers

Inflation is walloping Americans with low and moderate incomes as the prices of staples have soared far faster than those of luxuries.

The goods and services Americans consumed in February were 4 percent more expensive than they were a year earlier. But there is a big divide in how much prices are climbing between the basic items people need to live and get to work, and those on which they can easily cut back when times are tight.

An analysis of government data by The Washington Post found that prices have risen 9.2 percent since 2006 for the groceries, gasoline, health care and other basics that a middle-income American family has little choice but to consume. That would cost such a family, which made $45,000 on average in 2006, an extra $972 per year ... (link)
$972 a year in additional costs. For people who went into this period with high credit card debt. And let's not even mention the subprime loan mess.

This is not good.

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* A better argument would be that inflation has a greater impact on those individuals on fixed incomes - like most of the elderly - than on the poor in general. God help the person who is poor and on a fixed income. Like Grandpa.


Here's the first set of clues:

Michigan Congressman Wants 50-Cent Tax Hike on Every Gallon of Gas

The congressman is from Michigan, the state with the highest unemployment in the nation ...

The state with the biggest problem with economic growth (in fact, it is experiencing negative growth) of all 50 states ...

The state that recently reacted to its economic downturn - brought on in large part by widespread corporate and small business flight - with a massive set of tax increases ...

A state that is run by the Democrats ...

Guess which political party Representative John Dingell, the man who wants to add to America's burden (now experiencing the highest gasoline prices in history) belongs to.

Steve Barber Takes On The Attorney General

I had read the other day that Steve Barber, the (former) UVa-Wise student who was expelled for writing a creative story about thoughts of murder and an act of suicide for a creative writing class, had also had his handgun concealed carry permit suspended - perhaps for unrelated reasons. Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell was asked on a recent visit to Southwest Virginia what his opinion was of the college's actions with regard to concealed carry on campus (as you might imagine, firearm possession is banned). His response can be found here.

Steve takes on the attorney general here.

Not being a lawyer, I think I'll stay out of this one and let the two of them battle it out.

Good luck, Steve.