I seem to have missed the logic here.

Delegate David Englin (VA-45) is concerned about tax credits that eat up the revenue Virginia should be collecting, and in fact has submitted a bill  (HB1032) that: “Prohibits any committee of the General Assembly from reporting any bill that establishes, increases, or expands a state or local tax exemption, credit, deduction, or any other reduction in tax liability, unless the bill contains a sunset date not to exceed five years.”

So ponder this.  Why is he introducing

HB 1023 Income tax, state or corporate; tax credit for hiring certain individuals.

and co-patroning

HB 1041 Income tax, state and corporate; tax credit for hiring veterans.

HB 922 Real property tax; exemption for disabled veterans.

I guess it’s not tax credits he’s against, just credits he doesn’t like.

I’m not necessarily opposed to tax credits for disabled veterans, in limited circumstances.  But you can’t oppose tax credits, and then introduce them, without questions being asked.

Politicians sure do tend to “assume” responsibility

I have been reading a lot of political material lately.  Surprising, eh?

Recently it struck me that politicians – well, in truth, a lot of “leaders” – tend to issue statements in which they “assume” responsibility.

Seems that seldom do they “accept” responsibility*.  Even less often do they admit culpability.

“Assuming” responsibility lets them be magnanimous.  In effect, it says “I’m not responsible – that poor schmuck over there is – but I’m such a big person I’ll assume the responsibility from him and let him off the hook.”

It goes hand-in-hand with issuing non-apologies — you know, the ones that say “I’m sorry you were offended.” rather than “I’m sorry I said something offensive.”


*Note:  this statement is based on my impressions; I certainly did not do any kind of research to tell whether one or the other word was more popular.

Hurricane Irene

I’m not much concerned about Hurricane Irene.

As an advocate of personal responsibility, I’m all for preparation and knowledge.  I’ve been watching the storm track for Irene since it became a hurricane, checking every so often (not every hour) for status.  Thursday I learned we had a 40% chance of tropical storm-force winds by today.  Those in the Outer Banks had greater probability of stronger winds.

So why on the planet of the gods is news not able to lead in to a story with “those most likely to see damaging winds and rain should …” or “most of you don’t need to …”?

Oh, for the record, many of us do need to be prepared for power outages; it seems power companies in this area have a hard enough time dealing with average rainstorms, much less anything that might drop a limb onto one of their lines.

And individuals fall into one of three categories.  Fortunately, some say “I’m prepared for the likely eventuality, and know what I’ll do should stuff hit the fan.”  Others prepare to make laxative french toast, buying up milk, bread, eggs, and toilet paper.  A third faction fails to make any preparation at all, and expects the government to take care of them if they’re wrong.  That’s not personal responsibility at all.

The media enables the second group, adding to traffic congestion, short tempers, and empty store shelves.  Seems the media assumes everyone is too stupid to make any personal-responsibility decisions for themselves, and must be told what to do and when.  Sort of like most politicians.


Edited to add this link to a YouTube video showing the storm not strongly formed at all.

The American Bar Association is on the government-solution bandwagon

The ABA has done it too.   In its Resolution 111-A, it asks the government to help out students who voluntarily take on too much debt.

They’re asking the federal government to alter the terms of loans the individuals took from private corporations — commercial lenders.  Sure, they’re asking the commercial lenders to change terms as well, but the idea of asking the federal government to change loan terms after-the-fact is an anathema to me.

To the ABA and anyone else…

If you want to go to law school, fine.  Figure out how to pay for it, negotiate for the loans if needed, then live up to your end of the contract.  If you make a mistake, live with it.  DO NOT ask Uncle Sam to take care of it for you.

The very first article on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Chairman’s newsletter this month is perplexing me.   The article describes the breach of a dam in the Kingstowne area, from a pond not included in the county’s stormwater management system.  It goes on to tout the importance of the recently passed increase in the stormwater management fee.   I can’t figure out how the two are related.

Oh, by the way, the October issue landed in my e-mail box on Friday, November 5.   Page 4 encourages voters to go to the polls on November 2nd.

The newsletter also invites citizens to a public outreach meeting on October 23.

Published in: on November 6, 2010 at 10:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Support your children

So, I’m keeping half an eye on the “path to citizenship” proposals being considered again.  I call them the “let’s reward criminal behavior” proposals.  In case it’s not clear, I am fully supportive of immigration — legal immigration — such as that my great grandparents and others of their ilk practiced.   I support nothing that ignores the fact that many people’s first action on American soil is  law-breaking.

I see many arguments for allowing those who were brought here as children, having no say in the matter, a path to citizenship.  I understand the argument that it is unfair to children that they be labeled as “illegal” as they didn’t choose — they did what their parents directed.

No dice.  The question should be addressed to the children.  Particularly to those in high school, or who want to go to college in the US.  Maybe an essay contest.   Describe why your parents would choose to raise you in a country where you have no legal rights.   You may address the issue from any angle you choose.  Did they not want you educated?  Do they not want you to vote?  Are they trying to teach that you can get something for nothing?  Why would they do this to you?

The arguments that “it’s for the children” ignores the fact that the parents — those biological units who are responsible for a child’s welfare — have elected to model illegal behavior as the norm.  We should be deploring the fate of these children with parents so unconcerned.

And we should be asking their home countries to take them back until they can model the right lessons.

What is a right?

Someone hand me a copy of the new Constitution, please?  The one I haven’t seen yet.  I didn’t get the memo it had been changed, but I’m seeing pieces of evidence.

Apparently, there’s a right to own a house.

Apparently, there’s a right to television reception.

And a right to broadband internet service.

And now, some say a right is being abridged if a student group isn’t recognized on a campus.  If the school doesn’t give them perks, like access to mass e-mail lists, or meeting rooms, or money.


So, a group isn’t recognized.  Free choice.  There are sound, valid reasons for not admitting everyone to every group.  (I know; I joined a sorority in college.  I don’t now, as a matter of principle, join all-female groups, but I took an oath back then, and I believe in the organization.  For some known-only-to-the-gods reason, fraternities and sororities are exempted, by law.  Another issue altogether, for another time.)  Of course, Young Republican groups don’t want a fervent group of Democrats to join, take over, and re-focus the organization (replace titles as you choose, the point is the same).  And religious groups want their leaders to be followers of that religion (silly as that may be, but again, another topic for another time).

But schools insist to get recognition as a student group — with the perks — you must accept everyone who chooses to join as a member.

Where’s the beef?

This is not a case of the group’s rights being trampled.  There are no rights being trampled.  The group is free to form, organize, meet, whatever.  It is not entitled to perks.  Perhaps the students should focus on learning logic; they might then be able to see the difference.

These are NOT rules of the road!

Hugging another lane is equivalent to a turn signal.

No.  If you want to get in to my lane, use a turn signal and find an appropriate spot.   That does not equate to CREATE an appropriate spot by simply moving your vehicle.

Turning on a turn signal guarantees right-of-way.

No.  If you turn on your turn signal while you’re alongside me, I can’t see it.   Therefore, the fact that I don’t slow down and let your happy little ass have my right-of-way is not my problem.

Stopping in the middle of a roadway indicates a turn against oncoming traffic.

No.  If you are so important you can’t admit you missed a turn and find an appropriate place to turn around, at least turn on a signal.  Better yet, be a little considerate of the miles of traffic behind you, go to the next light, turn around, and approach your turn from the right lane of traffic on the same side.  This goes double if you haven’t bothered to check for several months, and in fact you have no brake lights.

All of these are more imperative if you’re driving a Fairfax County police vehicle!

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Never thought I’d thank the Washington Post

The Post printed a fabulous editorial piece on Sunday, though.  By Christopher M. Fairman, the piece was headlined “Saying it hurtful.  Banning it is worse.”  The piece presents a thoughtful response to the do-gooder movement to remove the word “retarded” from the English language.

I have such an emotional response to this issue that I have quit supporting the ARC of Northern Virginia (oh, by the way, ARC comes from Association of (for?) Retarded Citizens) and their rabid stance on it.

Yes, I understand.  Being called “retard” hurts,  as does being called “fatso” or “four-eyes”.   But people need to understand sometimes the meaning of a word is separated from a faddish use.  Legislating away the use of the word “retard” may make some feel good, but it will not change the fact that some people have a retarded intellectual, social, emotional, or multi-faceted development.

I sympathize with the effort in the pledge “I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.”  (The pledge is from http://www.r-word.org (as if that isn’t patronizing … like I can’t understand what the word might be?)  The kicker is in “… the derogatory use …”.  If you can’t tell the difference, legislation is not going to help you.

As the parent of a retarded son, I feel it important to retain the distinction.  My son is retarded … his intellectual capacity is significantly less than that of most of his peers, and his social development lags.   He is not stupid in any way, though.  No, he can’t read or write.  He doesn’t understand a cold shoulder, or the concept of what most people consider personal space.  He has difficulty with any number of abstract concepts.  But he understands his world, and in a way, is probably much more fortunate than many of us.  He doesn’t question his abilities, or doubt himself, or long for impossibilities.

But as much as I would challenge anyone who derogatorily call him names, I also challenge those who think they’re “doing something” to get over their paternalism and offer a supportive hand instead.

Even the Wall Street Journal tells only half a story …

I’m only partially joking.  The Wall Street Journal pegs the cost of federal government shutdown at $100 million per day in lost productivity.  If you look at the money the government spends when it is “productive”, are we really losing anything?

Those of us who live in the DC area can see that, while the national news may show a snow-covered capitol building, the real story is the 20-30″ of snow the region cannot adequately remove.  The major streets, congested at best on a normal day, are restricted to 2/3, or even 1/3, their normal width — removing a lane.  Add to that lane markers are not visible, and the “me first” mentality of this area, and you can imagine how many lives and how much property was saved by this shutdown.

Imagine the “me firsters” parking in lots that are clogged with snowbanks.  Hell, parking is atrocious enough on the best of days in this area.  (Governments at all levels will “help” us, though, by mandating hi-rise construction near Metro stops so we can pay a corrupt quasi-government entity for poor, unsafe service while sharing oxygen atoms with the neighbors — but that’s another story altogether.)

If only the House and Senate would stay away rather than stay in session, we could probably save that $100M several times over.