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Monday, August 22, 2011

Tripp Godsey, Right Man, Wrong Job

As I read in recent months the various policy positions put forth by 21st District Republican Senate candidate Tripp Godsey, my thoughts kept returning to the fact that he and his plank were ill-suited for the gig he's hoping to take on.  Basically (and pardon me if I'm misstating his platform), Godsey has staked out two principle positions - one so far removed from reality that it is irrelevant to the vast majority of the voters - that being the fact that "property taxes are fundamentally wrong and cannot be reconciled with the right to own and control our own property" - and the other better held for when he decides to run for Congress - that being the protection of our 2nd Amendment rights.

Property taxes are wrong?  Hear, hear.  But so is head lice.  And we aren't going to eradicate either in this lifetime.  But hey, it would make for a great debate over beers.  I'll buy.

The 2nd Amendment has more relevancy.  And defenders of the faith - like Godsey - certainly need to be supported in the delegation we Southwest Virginians send to Richmond.  But to support the "natural right" for free citizens to keep and bear arms - which exists and will never be infringed - is a debate Godsey needs to make in the halls of Congress.  Not in the state capital.  There the argument is knocked down a few dozen notches.  That argument can best be found here.

I think Tripp Godsey's worldview is therefore better suited for Washington.  And for another day.

His opponent?*

Dave Nutter's first priority is every Southwest Virginian's priority: JOBS. From "Candidates flaunt conservative bent in 21st Senate District competition," by Mason Adams in yesterday's Roanoke Times:
Nutter said this is the most important issue in the race.

"It's still about jobs," Nutter said. "I did a tele-town hall last night: Jobs are far above taxes and everything else."

Nutter said his background in economic development makes him the man for this particular job. He proposes phasing out the state's corporate income tax and pushing math and science harder in public schools.

"Where do you find ways in which American industry can be competitive on a global scale?" Nutter asked. "The skill sets these workers need is very different. It's not a pair of gloves and a strong back anymore. It's going to be mathematical skills."
Here Godsey again talks on a national level rather than on the state level:
Godsey, meanwhile, has focused his jobs platform on what he said are unnecessary, job-killing government regulations.

"That's why I got in the race," Godsey said. "A lot of these restrictions are keeping businesses from hiring."

Most of his complaints stem from federal and not state regulations, though. He complained about air quality regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency and the 2009 health care reform law.

Although the General Assembly has no control over federal laws, Godsey said he would change that by carrying the Freedom For Virginians Act -- a bill that would attempt to give the state power to nullify a federal law through a voter referendum.
Nullification. A worthy topic of debate. With none other than John C. Calhoun looking down in eager anticipation of the outcome. And a law that will soon get its due, as America becomes - once again - a more federalist America. But can we save that for a different forum, Tripp? Can we get people back to work here in this tortured land first?

I like Tripp Godsey. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat if he were running against any Democrat in Virginia for a seat in Congress. But he's not running for Congress. He's running to take the seat that, up to now, had been held by the woeful John Edwards, Democrat.

We need a candidate who has his focus on that seat. Not on Mark Warner's.

There'll be plenty of time for that, my friend.

See us in a couple of years. We'll talk.

* Yeah, there's a Democrat opponent as well.  Edwards.  But who cares?

Problem Solved!

To think: the Roanoke Times editorial board killed trees to make this argument (in "Virginia should have a slavery museum, even if one for Fredericksburg flops"):

"A National Slavery Museum is a good and important idea that should be seen to fruition -- if not in Fredericksburg, somewhere in Virginia."

Somewhere else. Hey, I know. Let's put it at 500 Tredegar Street, Richmond, VA 23219.

Oh. Wait. There's already a museum there devoted - in part - to America's shameful experience with slavery.

Neat! What are the odds?!

Perhaps the fact that the American Civil War Center is but 60 miles from Fredericksburg - and that the proposed museum in the latter would be a complete redundancy when it comes to a focus on the slavery era, that the latter failed to materialize?

Exactly how many slavery museums do we need in that one stretch of I-95?

Maybe it's a typo.  Maybe they mean we should have a slavery museum in every county in Virginia.  Starting with Henrico and Spotsylvania.

Showing Their Spots

It sure didn't take long for leftists in this country to move away from arguing for Republicans in Congress to compromise on raising the debt ceiling - lest utter calamity occurred otherwise - to ignoring the debt crisis and demanding more of that which brought the calamity to our doorstep.

Those of us who have made a hobby of watching these snakes knew it was a lie all along.

Today's evidence?

E.J. Dionne wants there to be an explosion in new government spending:
Obama: Go big, long and global
Washington Post

President Obama has only one option as he ponders a world economy teetering on the edge: He needs to go big, go long and go global.

Going big means immediate action to boost the economy, even though this will increase the short-term deficit. [link]
It should be noted for those who are fuzzy on terminology, including Dionne it would seem, all deficits are short-term.  In the case of the government balance sheet, each annual deficit is tossed on the pile known as the national debt, which currently amounts to some 14.6 trillion dollars and counting.  It takes a whole lot of "short-term deficits" to achieve that nothing-in-human-history-comes-close.

When the debate over the debt ceiling was raging, I kept telling you that the Democrats really had no interest - absolutely no interest - in our debt.  They simply wanted - as they always do - a big, fat tax increase to work with, and they saw a "debt compromise" as a way to achieve it.

The fact that, with that crisis having been averted (at least for a few months), these leftists - like Dionne - prove my point.  They don't give a damn about the debt.  They care only about spending more of our money on policies and projects that have proven to be utter failures in the past.

E.J. Dionne, the ultimate leftist, proves the point in spades.

Rick Perry - Demigod or Demagogue?

I wish I knew the answer to that question.

I do know this: After reading Ross Douthat's column in today's New York Times, it's quite possible that the Texas governor is both.

Read "Messing With Texas."

The bottom line, as best I can tell?  The relationship between Texas government and the private sector - even beyond the energy sphere - has produced a smokin' economic machine, the likes of which no other state comes close to competing with. 

And Perry has done nothing to screw it up.

A star for him.

If only there were some indication that he had the ability and the know-how to take a broken, chaotic, schizophrenic system - say, the United States of America - and fix it.

Is Rick Perry a reformer?  Or the Defender of All Things Good?

To stave off economic calamity in 2013, we'll surely need both, when Obama's finally been sent off to that community organizer retirement home in West Boca and the pressing issues of the day finally get addressed.

The devil's in the details.  Details we haven't seen yet.

Tony Blair Has a Point

Perhaps it is unfair to blame his nation for the actions of a few ... thousand:
Blaming a moral decline for the riots makes good headlines but bad policy
By Tony Blair, writing in the Guardian

[I]n the overall commentary on the riots, I think we are in danger of the wrong analysis leading to the wrong diagnosis, leading to the wrong prescription.

[T]he big cause is the group of young, alienated, disaffected youth who are outside the social mainstream and who live in a culture at odds with any canons of proper behaviour. And here's where I don't agree with much of the commentary. In my experience, they are an absolutely specific problem that requires deeply specific solutions.

The key is to understand that they aren't symptomatic of society at large.

Britain, as a whole, is not in the grip of some general "moral decline". I see young graduates struggling to find work today and persevering against all the odds. I see young people engaged as volunteers in the work I do in Africa, and in inter-faith projects. I meet youngsters who are from highly disadvantaged backgrounds where my Sports Foundation works in the north-east and I would say that today's generation is a) more respectable b) more responsible and c) more hard-working than mine was. The true face of Britain is not the tiny minority that looted, but the large majority that came out afterwards to help clean up. [link]
He's right, of course, in saying his British brethren shouldn't have their reputations tarred because of the actions of a few thousand hooligans.

But the riots - and the reaction of society thereto - that occurred across his country demonstrated a larger problem.  One that he chooses to dismiss ("Britain, as a whole, is not in the grip of some general 'moral decline'") while, at the same time, giving it validity: ("many of these people are from families that are profoundly dysfunctional, operating on completely different terms from the rest of society, middle class or poor").

To those of us not steeped in moral relativism, the proliferation of profoundly dysfunctional families in a society is an indication that there is a general moral breakdown occurring.

In this case, too, a macro look at the riots tends to erode Blair's argument.  He mentions the fact that the police did little to stop the rioting until public support buttressed their actions against the lawbreakers.  That the police need to know that society wants them to police the streets is, in itself, frightening to comprehend.  Why else are they there?  To counsel and role model?  Under what circumstances would a police officer not know that he or she has that support?

Answer: In the relativist society that Britain has become.

That relativism will show itself most prevalently in the courts.  Nothing in the way of meaningful punishment will be meted out to the thieves and arsonists.  A slap on the wrist and home they go.

And the same with the political leadership there as well.  Leftists will call for more taxes on the rich.  Laws will be passed sending more love and money into the already over-loved and over-ransomed gang neighborhoods.  And nothing will change.

And then there's the fact that law-abiding citizens there - and, Blair's right, there are still many - have been disarmed and made defenseless by those same lawmakers.

One might accept Tony Blair's argument that British society isn't experiencing moral decline had the riot occurred - and been crushed.  As it should have been.  Instead, it went on for days.  And spread from London to cities across the country.  And nobody lifted a finger to stop it.  Because nobody there considered it proper to lift a finger.  Nobody. 

It was someone else's responsibility.

If that's not moral decline, I don't know what is.

Ghaddafi Gone?

The seizure of Wheelus Air Base avenged?

We have long memories.

You all do remember Wheelus Air Base, right?