Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A man went to his dentist because he felt something wrong in his mouth.
The dentist looked inside and said, "That new upper plate I put in for you six months ago is eroding. What have you been eating?"
The man replied, "All I can think of is that about four months ago my wife made some asparagus and put some Hollandaise sauce on it. I loved it so much I now put it on everything — meat, toast, fish, vegetables, everything!"
"Well," said the dentist, "that's probably the problem. Hollandaise sauce is made with lots of lemon juice, which is highly corrosive. It's eaten away your upper plate. I'll make you a new plate, and this time use chrome."
"Why chrome?" asked the patient.
"It's simple," replied the dentist. "Dental researchers have concluded that there's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise!"
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
A few weeks ago I took some oil from my lawnmower to the recycle center just off I-66 in
Something is not quite right. Here is a closer look at the professionally-printed sign. Notice that it has a bit of an error in it (red circling added for emphasis):
As luck would have it, VA Blogger links to an opinion piece by Pat Herrity in the Connection Newspaper in which he (Herrity) rips Fairfax County for its overspending. I'm not saying that fixing up the recycling center isn't a laudable thing for the County to do. However, as we can see from the pictures,
What amazes me even more is that our supposedly environmentally conscious elected representatives (COUGH Gerry Connolly COUGH) have not caught this error. Maybe they don’t do the recycling that they preach to us. Poor dears wouldn’t want to get their hands dirty, would they? Something very Al Gore/Tom Friedman/Copenhagen about all this, don’t you think?
Better still, the
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The good people at Virginia Virtucon have invited me to be a contributor. Watch out for the occasional words of wisdom to be shared over there.
Thanks for the invitation and for the kind welcome!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
At This Rate, He Won’t Be “King of the Vote”
So it turns out that Delegate David Marsden (D-41) has rented a little hovel so he can try to run for the State Senate Seat being vacated by Attorney General-elect
Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let, fifty cents.
No phone, no pool, no pets
I ain't got no cigarettes
Ah, but . . . two hours of pushin' broom
Buys a . . . eight by twelve four-bit room
I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.
Here is a comic version of the song featuring Dean Martin and Roger Miller:
You can also see a mash-up of the original Roger Miller song here:
Anyone who wants to have fun writing a parody, be my guest!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
In a surprise announcement, the Fairfax County Republican Committee said that a primary was no longer needed for Virginia’s 37th Senatorial District to replace Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli. “Thanks to the stimulus, we have extra Congressional districts, so two of the Republican candidates can run for those and leave the State Senate seat clear for the third candidate,” according to an announcement at the FCRC meeting. “One will be the 37th Congressional District, and the second one has yet to be given a number. It is possible that it will be three digits.”
The extra Congressional districts are believed to be the work of Democratic National Committee Chairman and part-time Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. “I am doing this only in part as a favor to Governor-elect Bob McDonnell,” said Kaine. “But before you raise your eyebrows too much, don’t just think that this is meant to benefit Republicans. Believe me, we’ll move someone into those districts to challenge the Republicans as well.”
Kaine added, “I initially pushed to create the extra districts for Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner, and Steve Shannon. Jody has already snagged the ‘Zeroth’ district. I even wanted to designate a district for Leslie Byrne, but she just told me ‘Been there, done that.’”
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
“Clean, Special Fuel,” No Doubt!
Hat tip: Auto Blog Green
So will someone try to make the case that they can drive this thing alone during rush hour on Interstate 66? Clearly, this is the perfect car for committed environmentalists like Barack Obama, Al Gore, and Mark Warner!
Monday, November 09, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
You Won’t Read this Stuff Anywhere Else
In a surprise move, outgoing Governor Tim Kaine announced that he was going to run as the Democratic candidate for the State Senate seat being vacated by Attorney General-Elect Ken Cuccinelli. Kaine said, “No Democrats who live in the District seem to be up to the job, and even the others just outside the District are pretty weak. Since I have won District 37 in the past, I am the best positioned candidate to win this seat.”
Kaine pointed out other advantages of the seat for himself. “Now that I am Chairman of the Democratic Party, I have to travel a lot.
Local Democrats have learned to accept Kaine’s decision. “Honestly, looking for a another house is such a pain,” said Del. David Marsden (D-41). “Let Kaine deal with moving.” Former Democratic candidate Janet Oleszek said, “Initially, I was upset that I was discouraged from running. Now I am excited to see Tim Kaine in the area so I can make him waffles!” Kaine noted that outgoing Del. Chuck Caputo (D-67) was the most welcoming. “He is sharing many colorful cruise catalogs with me. I had no idea he enjoyed these things!” said Kaine.
Local Republicans reacted guardedly. “Clearly, Kaine is seen as a carpetbagger, but he is not originally from
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.
If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
If a black man or Hispanic are conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he's in labor and then sues.
If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended".
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Thanks to Kat for lighting a fire under me.
Since the RPV has gotten creative with musical themes, why can’t I?
Let me tell you all the story of a man named Creigh,
All he wants to do is raise taxes and fees,
After a debate he got himself confused,
And out of his mouth it sounded kinda rude
“Now you listen to me young lady!”
Ol’ Creigh wants to give all the voters quite a scare,
But you look at his website and there ain’t nothin’ there,
The Kaine-folk said, “You stammerin’ fool
You’re gonna usher in Republican rule!”
McDonnell, Bolling, Cuccinelli sweep, more effective government, happy tea partiers
(Note: If anyone feels silly enough to sing this, record it, and post it, or suggest other altered lyrics, be my guest.)
Friday, September 18, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Fairfax County Government Center; Board of Supervisors Auditorium12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22030
The forum will feature health care experts from various free-market think tanks.
Now, as the title to this post says, this is a GOOD START. First of all, Republicans all over the country, especially potential Congressional and Senatorial challengers, should be doing this. Second of all, this should be the basis of formulating and becoming conversant in a coherent health care policy so voters see a practical alternative to Obama’s socialized medicine plans. These events can also help expose some of the less well-known outrages of the Democrats’ proposed legislation, such as assaults on Flexible Spending Accounts. In the case of the 11th District, Fimian would be wise to add to the discussion how Obama’s plans would be bad for Federal workers as well.
The free market can help us improve our health care delivery system better than a monolithic government. I hope more Republicans across the nation host such event to communicate a superior policy.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
President Obama came out with remarks last week saying “There's something about August going into September -- where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up. I don't know what it is. But that's what happens.” Clearly, this is an extension of his campaign slogan, which has now morphed into “Yes Wee-Wee Can!” Given an alternative meaning of “can,” we can also deduce readily that he really does want to flush the American health care system down the toilet.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Once again, you either love or hate Sugarland. The lead singer, Jennifer Nettles, has a powerful voice. The video is featured on the new CD/DVD set "Live on the Inside" which is currently available at Wal-Mart.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
So then I had to mix things the old fashioned way – with an egg-beater and by hand. The funny thing was, the brownies seemed to come out with a better consistency! Maybe I should go “low tech in the future.
The worst part was that the work party got scheduled for when I was about to leave, so I had to drop off the brownies and leave. Luckily, I saved about half the brownie batch for home. The kids are quite thankful.
Before you ask – Yes, I make the brownies myself, from scratch. My eight-year-old likes to help by cracking eggs.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Virginia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds today endorsed at least one facet of Republican Bob McDonnell’s transportation plan when he was caught driving 76 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone. “As you know," said Deeds, "my opponent favors raising the speed limit to 70 miles per hour in some places. If that were the case, I would have been going only six miles per hour over the speed limit. In fact, I could have been going 81 miles per hour and had the same violation as today!”
Deeds claimed he was driving safely, since he “recently had a front end alignment.” A spokesman for the McDonnell campaign said that “maybe Creigh’s car isn’t as shaky as his campaign. One thing is for sure, though: If we have more incidents like this, we’ll have to have a special ‘transportation lock box’ just for Senator Deeds!”
Monday, August 03, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
The freshman Congressman, as quoted by the Washington Post:
"I want to be there with all four paws and snout in the trough."
The imagery is certainly, er, amusing, to say the least. A reader pointed out to NRO that pigs, like other mammalian farm animals, have hooves, not paws. You have to wonder if the bacon Connolly is trying to bring home is somehow radioactive.
Then again, we all knew that there was something not quite kosher about the guy.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Pollster.com: 2009 Virginia Gubernatorial General Election: Robert McDonnell (R) vs Creigh Deeds (D)
Interesting trend here. Aren't graphs fun?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
(Sorry about the commercial up front.)
Traditional electoral trends have shown that Democrats generally need around 90% of the black vote (give or take) to win statewide. When Republicans increase their margins among minorities and get 20+%, Democratic victories are extremely difficult. Republican Bob McDonnell has been much more aggressive in courting this vote while Democrat Creigh Deeds seems to have been asleep at the switch. Will it make a difference? Will the same scenario play out in New Jersey?
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Hat tip: The Corner at National Review Online.
If you haven't read the classic novel Atlas Shrugged, you should. The premise of the novel is to illustrate a world in which all the people of ability go on strike. The author, Ayn Rand (1905 - 1982), features prominently as heroine Dagny Taggart, the Operating Vice President of her family business, the Taggart Transcontinental Railroad. As Dagny tries to run the railroad despite the best efforts of her brother James (the company President and a big supporter of bureaucracy), she finds that everyone she needs to accomplish any necessary task quits and disappears. Soon, she starts to suspect a destroyer at work. Along the way, the novel describes not only Dagny Taggart's search for this destroyer, but also the inventor of a miraculous motor she found in the ruins of an abandoned auto plant, and also love in her own life. The government, in the meantime, grows in size, scope, and oppressiveness as it lurches from one crisis to another (while failing to admit that the government's own actions are what make the situation worse). There is a running gag through the book in which everyone seems to say "Who is John Galt?" as if nothing matters and no one can to anything to change the deteriorating economic situation.
The book is very difficult reading, as Ayn Rand frequently interrupts the plot to go on a one or two or 60-page objectivist philosophy stream of consciousness rant. Many people find that they either really love or really hate the book. However, sales of this book (first published in 1957) have been soaring in recent months, especially as the novel is rather predictive of the consequences of a growing Federal government that makes big giveaways to unions and other special interests (like we are experiencing now).
It is interesting that Ayn Rand wanted Farrah Fawcett to be her Dagny Taggart. What guy wouldn't have wanted to be her John Galt?
Thursday, June 18, 2009
In response to reports that Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) had cheated on his wife, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy (D) has now admitted that he was actually faithful to his. “It’s embarrassing to admit, but I was even sober at the time,” said the Senator. “This sure didn’t happen with Joan. Now you can see how I became such a great role model for Patrick.”
Republicans think that other Democrats are subject to damaging stories, including confirming rumors that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) was once polite to a member of the U.S. military, or that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH?) returned to Earth from Martian orbit.
“There’s no telling where this might lead,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. “One day, someone might find an image of Hillary Clinton being warm and lovable.”
Saturday, June 06, 2009
I saw these two articles today:
Shortage of suitable men in Gaza – Hamas is getting into the matchmaking business. Besides their well-known terrorism activities, Hamas acts pretty much as a “ward healer” to bring social services (at least when the local populace is not engaging in destroying infrastructure given to them by the Israelis or Western countries). Since there seems to be a shortage of middle class men in Gaza (wonder why?), Hamas is stealthily trying to find matches for the women.
Shortage of women in China – China’s “one child” policy has worked so well that the country is now experiencing a shortage of women (often due to sex-selection-related abortions). The article to which I linked tells of a man who paid a lot of money to marry a woman and then was dumped after a week or so.
Do you see where this is going? ;)
So let’s match some of these Gaza women with the Chinese men. My guess is that after a few decades, especially if the women go live in China, we’ll be a lot closer to achieving peace in the Middle East! In addition, if the Chinese men are happier, maybe we’ll have better relations with that government as well. Besides, the Chinese will be able to keep more of their accumulated income, and you know how wealth builds health (and a peaceful, growing economy).
My other “shorter distance” idea to help the Chinese men is to have the Beijing government allow single North Korean women to escape into mainland China if they agree to marry the single Chinese guys. With that kind of a mass exodus, the North Korean government will implode pretty quickly. Even if they don’t, they’ll run out of soldiers and slave labor in just a few decades!
With all the big bucks that they pay Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, why doesn’t she (or at least Joe Biden, who has nothing better to do anyway) think of this stuff?
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Why is anyone surprised about Obama’s cancellation of the DC Voucher program? This will continue to happen as long as the Democrats feel free to take minority votes for granted. As the advice columnists remind us, people take advantage of you as long as you let them!
So let’s apply Janeane Garofalo’s logic to this situation. Remember how she said that those of us who opposed President Obama’s election did so because we “hate that a black guy is in the White House?” Well, I guess those people who are against vouchers just don’t want black children to succeed!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
We have some good news to report now. Finally, my wife did go to the principal. She figured that she does so much for other people, so she should at least stand up for her own son. We received a whole lot more tests back from the teacher that afternoon. Soon thereafter, other students started getting their old tests and classroom assignments returned.
Initially, we had been concerned about reprisals. However, we just got a report card for our son, and it shows vast improvement in his grades. So our fears were misplaced. It’s probably just as well that my wife went to the principal before I did. ;)
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
While Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell ponders the legalities of such a move, Governor Tim Kaine has been ecstatic. “Mark Warner has the gift of spending money like no one else does,” said the Governor. “He also can predict growth in revenue to match his spending, just like the Obama Administration is doing now. While the Republicans are our opponents, I wish them a lot of luck with Warner at the helm.”
It is believed that one of Warner’s first actions will be to activate a more aggressive fundraising effort for the RPV. “First, he will predict a budget shortfall,” said a source. “He will tax the local unit committees. He will promise a “Road to Richmond’ with the extra revenue, but will probably dole it out to special interests. Needless to say, it will be quite a Sprint.”
Various RPV members were unsure about Warner. “Well, we don’t really trust him,” said a member of the State Central Committee. “Then again, after Warner has been around, we could get quite a bailout.”
District of Columbia City Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) today came out in opposition to giving the District a vote in Congress. Barry declares that he would rather the Federal income tax were waived for DC residence. “I just had to get a new kidney,” said Barry. He then referred to his tax bill of $277,000: “These Federal taxes are costing me an arm and a leg!”
Mr. Barry was unconcerned that DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton might be upset over his change of heart. “Let me tell you something,” said Barry. “The b*tch is setting me up!”
The new CEO of General Motors, Fritz Henderson, announced today that General Motors will extend its warrantees to 15 years and 200,000 miles. “My predecessor, Rick Wagoner, did not fully harness the powerful incentives created by warrantees,” said Henderson. Now that the Obama Administration is backing up GM warrantees, we feel that we can extend them. If this program works out, why, we may go for 20 year warrantees and higher mileage.”
Administration sources had no direct comment on GM’s action. However, an anonymous source said that “this is one more example of how we can ‘spread the wheels’ with our domestic auto rescue plan. The American people will never tire of this. No longer will the American auto industry be in suspension. I am surprised the White House is not blowing its horn even more about the warrantee plan”
Republicans were somewhat critical of the consequences of the bailout. Said a source at the Republican National Committee, “This is just one more left turn signal coming from Obama. Soon the whole country is going to fall out of alignment”
Monday, March 30, 2009
Hat tip: Autobloggreen
No, really, I’m not kidding! The California Air Resources Board Apparently, they are taking Barack Obama’s automotive advice to heart when, starting in July of 2010, they “will require California's automotive maintenance industry to check the tire pressure of every vehicle they service.” The regulation will apply to about 40,000 facilities. CARB also claims that this regulation will have all kinds of stimulative effects on the economy.
Now, I am not against proper tire inflation. Yes, I know it is a good thing and helps extend the life of tires. But doesn’t just about everyone who owns a vehicle (motorized or not) know that? Is CARB going to have an army of enforcement agents now walking around with tire pressure gauges? Better still, if you get mad at someone who cut you off in traffic, can you report such a person for underinflated tires? I see that the possibilities are endless.
Maybe the Revolutionary War patriots had the wrong symbol when they came up with their famous flag. Is it time to replace the snake?
Clearly, any opponent to the regulations can be characterized as “rolling resistance!”
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
According to an account by State Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R) (as recounted in his “Cuccinelli Compass”), Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) displayed an astounding lack of knowledge of energy and economic issues. Here is Senator Cuccinelli’s account:
... while debating new, higher, 'voluntary' renewable energy requirements and the effect on higher prices, Chap said something to the effect of "this bill will both raise prices and help the environment." And he said it with this air of unveiling a pleasant surprise...
This is somewhat reminiscent of President Barack Obama, who said during the campaign
When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket…even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I’m capping greenhouse gasses, coal power plants, natural gas…you name it…whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retro-fit their operations.[Emphasis mine]
Now this kind of cluelessness when it comes to energy policy will certainly lead to higher prices without any benefit to the environment. After all, the earth has been on a cooling trend for the past ten or more years, and “global warming” climate modeling has been shown to be quite error prone. Forcing people to spend more on energy will not help anyone.
In addition, look at countries in which their populations cannot afford the forms of energy that we enjoy. Is the environment any better when people have to cut down trees and light fire from dung? Maybe Senator Petersen needs to step out of Fairfax and live in such paradises.
And with three kids, my guess is that Mr. Petersen owns at least one vehicle that is not tops in fuel economy. Cramming three kids in the back of a Toyota Yaris? I DOUBT IT!
It’s not hard to figure out that the holes in Chap Petersen’s logic are bigger than those in Joe (“I opposed the Alaska Pipeline”) Biden’s doughnuts. In fact, it’s a piece of “cake.”
Thursday, February 26, 2009
There has been quite a bit of blog debate on the “Triggerman Rule” changes that passed the Virginia State Senate. Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37), a Republican candidate for Attorney General, was the lone Republican to vote against these revisions.
Now I was not particularly emotional about this issue, and I really wasn’t going to comment. However, after reading what was being said both for and against Ken Cuccinelli, I felt I had to say something. Yes, I am a supporter of Ken Cuccinelli in the Attorney General race, but I plan to support whoever is the Republican nominee
The best synopsis I have seen comes from the I’m Surrounded by Idiots blog. Ken’s own words speak for themselves:
So you have the information yourself, I have always been a supporter of Virginia’s death penalty law. In the Senate, I have consistently fought against Democrats’ efforts to impose a death penalty moratorium - and I have opposed efforts to allow endless appeals in death penalty cases.Senator Cuccinelli has been a great supporter of law enforcement and does believe in the use of capital punishment when it is appropriate. However, Ken is also analytical enough to understand when changes in the law can go too far or can be abused. This is not a “liberal” or “conservative” thing, but you can call it “classically liberal” in this case. Ken understands the “Law of Unintended Consequences,” in which the results obtained to not comport well with the intent(s) of the legislation. He also understands how laws have been abused in other countries, and, most importantly, how citizens do have to be protected from potentially unaccountable government.
As a State Senator, I have voted to extend the death penalty to people who murder trial witnesses, judges and law enforcement officers. And as your Attorney General, I am committed to upholding the death penalty verdicts of our juries and will work to defend and strengthen our capital punishment law from intrusions and attempts by the left to derail it.
I also have supported and will continue to support the death penalty under the current exceptions to the “triggerman rule” for (1) terrorism (including the beltway sniper case), (2) murder for hire, and (3) criminal enterprises/gangs. However, there have been legislative attempts to completely eliminate the triggerman rule, which I believe would be too broad an expansion. That’s the only expansion of the death penalty that I have ever opposed, while supporting other expansions and always defending our current death penalty statute.
Doesn’t everyone remember the disastrous abuser fee legislation of 2007? We all quickly saw how unpopular the fines were and how these fees were a poor way to fund road construction. Now, nobody’s perfect, but at least Ken understands from recent law-making experience how the Law of Unintended Consequences can also backfire.
The Republican candidates have enough legitimate issues to discuss, and should be sharing with the voters their vision of how they would be the best Attorney General. This Triggerman Rule issue is one on which thoughtful people can disagree and present legitimate arguments, but, as my friend Chris at Mason Conservative has pointed out, is unproductive as one on which to smear opponents.
FULL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: I wrote this post without any prompting by the Cuccinelli campaign.
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on February 19, 2009 asking him to delay the sale of oil and gas exploration lease rights. Kaine’s reasoning was that he wanted the delays to be in keeping with Secretary Salazar’s 180-day extension of the comment period on the proposed development of oil and gas resources on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. The sales were scheduled to take place in 2011. Governor Kaine also wants to avoid “singling out a particular state for a lease sale.”
Now wait – aren’t we facing a budget deficit in Virginia? Wouldn’t development of oil and gas result in more high-paying jobs and an expanded tax base? Does anyone really think that these “green jobs” could really be an effective substitute for energy development? I am not saying that all green jobs (even the government-funded ones) are worthless, but they can’t be to the exclusion of private sector energy development.
The American Petroleum Institute had some interesting things to say on February 25. They noted that this is part of “a pattern” of delay, especially after the Secretary extended the comment period on other oil and gas leasing proposals. Note this interesting passage from API President Jack Girard:
Americans support expanded development of our domestic resources. Even as oil and gasoline prices have plummeted in recent months, 61 percent say they want to see development of our resources in off-limits federal waters. A full 70 percent of Virginians in a July poll supported increased offshore development. It is time to start listening to the wisdom of the American people and stop putting off until tomorrow what we should be doing today.
Now that Tim Kaine is Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he works for people who are much more important than mere constituents. He has probably learned all kinds of interesting technological things from his Hollywood donor base, like how you don’t need all that drilling when you can just get energy from the plug!
So what kind of car does Timmy drive?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Let’s take a break from politics for a second.
Has this happened to any of you? My older son is in second grade, and generally enjoys school and likes the teacher. However, when we see the report cards, we do not know on what these grades are based because the teacher does not hand back tests or in-class assignments. As we have found out, all the other parents are complaining about the same thing and have not gotten any response from the teacher. This has been going on since September, so by my calculations, the teacher must have several hundred, if not a thousand, pieces of paper she has not returned.
My wife met with the teacher recently to discuss our son’s progress. Per our (advance) request, the teacher did hand back all the tests and promised to do a better job in returning assignments. She blamed her poor responsiveness on the disproportionate time she had to devote to a particularly unruly child who had been in the class (and has since left the school). However, over the past three weeks, she has backslid. I note that another second grade teacher also has not handed back tests to her students.
My wife has talked with other parents, and they want to send a letter to the principal. We found out via the grapevine that this teacher did not hand back tests in previous years, either. The teacher is a nice, pleasant, devoted teacher otherwise. The problem is, that without the immediate feedback we get from graded tests and other assignments, we do not know if our son needs immediate attention with his school work or behavior.
Have any of you been in this situation? What would you do?
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Hat tip: Powerline
I always thought that the term “Eurocrat” referred to a bureaucrat in the European Union. Apparently, it is now the answer to the question, “What do you get when you cross a European with a Democrat?”
According to The Telegraph, EU Parliamentarians can earn millions in profits and have been remiss in paying their taxes. EXCERPT:
Mr. [Matthew] Elliott [Chief Executive of Taxpayers Alliance] said each MEP could save more than £1 million from their expenses and pension benefits over a five-year term at the European Parliament.
Over five years, each MEP can claim this includes a subsistence allowance of 117,000 Euros, staff allowance of 489,840 Euros, office expenses of 243,120 Euros, travel expenses of 60,000 Euros and an accrued pension of £350,000.
This does not include the MEP salary of £63,291, which is set to increase to £73,584 after the European Parliament elections in June 2009.
There was also widespread failure to comply with tax, company and social security laws. Nearly 80 per cent of transactions that should have been subject to VAT displayed no evidence of either VAT payment or exemption.
In his report, Mr. [Robert] Galvin [EU internal audit official] found that overpayments of parliamentary allowances were common.
Now remember, “It couldn’t happen here!”
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Shortly after class, an economics student approaches his economics professor and says, "I don't understand this stimulus bill. Can you explain it to me?"
The professor replied, "I don't have any time to explain it at my office, but if you come over to my house on Saturday and help me with my weekend project, I'll be glad to explain it to you."
The student agreed and, at the agreed-upon time, the student showed up at the professorʼs house.The professor stated that the weekend project involved his backyard pool. They both went out back to the pool, and the professor handed the student a bucket.
Demonstrating with his own bucket, the professor said, "First, go over to the deep end, and fill your bucket with as much water as you can." The student did as he was instructed. The professor then continued,"Follow me over to the shallow end, and then dump all the water from your bucket into it."
The student was naturally confused,but did as he was told. The professor then explained they were going to do this many more times, and began walking back to the deep end of the pool.
The confused student asked, "Excuse me, but why are we doing this?" The professor matter-of-factly stated that he was trying to make the shallow end much deeper. The student didn't think the economics professor was serious, but figured that he would find out the real story soon enough. However, after the 6th trip between the shallow end and the deep end, the student began to become worried that his economics professor had gone mad.
The student finally replied, "All we're doing is wasting valuable time and effort on unproductive pursuits. Even worse, when this process is all over, everything will be at the same level it was before, so all you'll really have accomplished is the destruction of what could have been truly productive action!"
The professor put down his bucket and replied with a smile, "Congratulations! You now understand the stimulus bill."
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Do you all remember the 2008 U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia? OK, would you rather not remember? Do you all remember how Mark Warner characterized himself as the “radical moderate?” Let’s recall how the Washington Post said that Mark Warner would “carry on John Warner's legacy of nonpartisan pragmatism.” EXCERPT:
Voters also must choose a candidate who can grasp the nuances of erratic financial markets and who will bring a deft touch to the difficult decisions that will determine the country's fiscal future. By these criteria -- and many others -- the choice between two ex-governors is clear. One candidate, Democrat Mark R. Warner (no relation to John), is a successful entrepreneur who rescued Virginia from insolvency by streamlining government while modestly raising taxes -- and still left office with an approval rating above 70 percent. The other, Republican James S. Gilmore III., is an unapologetic, not very thoughtful partisan whose reckless tax cuts nearly drove Virginia to financial ruin. We endorse Mr. Warner without reservations.
Of course, the Post was lying about Gilmore driving Virginia to financial ruin. What is so interesting, though, is the Post’s praise for Warner’s “deft touch.” Wow, did the Post notice the “stimulus bill” that was just signed by President Obama? I think that spending over a trillion dollars (including interest), most of it on pork, is anything but a deft touch! Even better from the Post endorsement:
His success was based in part on his business-like reform of state government, especially the transportation department, and in part on his willingness to listen to all players, from either party and every region of the state.
Okaaaay! So how does increasing the government’s interference in health care markets and forcing expensive unionization of Federal spending comport with “business-like” reform? Given the massive skepticism of this spending bill (with most people saying that it will either hurt the economy or do no good), how was Warner listening to all players?
Clearly, we have quick proof that Mark Warner is just another spendthrift leftist who would say anything to get elected. He may be riding high now, but we all remember that Chuck Robb did so also. Maybe Warner (along with Jim Webb) will learn the same lesson.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Popular Mechanics has an interesting article concerning the meaning of “shovel ready,” and how little economic “stimulus” these projects really provide. EXCERPT:
So what exactly is a shovel-ready project? As the Washington Post recently pointed out, the term “shovel-ready” may have been introduced in the 1990s by New York-based electric utility Niagara-Mohawk Power, which later became National Grid (it is the current owner of the URL shovelready.com). There are no specific parameters or requirements that define shovel readiness. But according to civil engineers, the idea behind this new buzzword could help scuttle the stimulus bill’s highly publicized, though secondary, goal of infrastructure reform. At issue is that 90-day restriction stipulated by Congress, an even narrower window than the bill’s original 180-day limit. “They’re well intentioned, and they know their infrastructure sucks, so they’re trying to do immediate reactive management to what is a very deep, endemic problem,” says Robert Bea, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. “If you want to patch some potholes in the road, this is a good program. But if you’re hoping for anything long-term with this approach, throw away all hope. It can’t happen.”I am not saying that more ambitious road and bridge projects (maintenance or construction) are unworthy. However, these projects take a lot of time in terms of manpower, material acquisition, project management, etc. Regulatory hurdles also exist to make even the most successful road or bridge project happen. (Witness how long it’s taken to get the Wilson Bridge Project or the Intercounty Connector started.) I’ve actually taken some courses in project management, and believe me, implementing PM concepts is very difficult in the private sector. In the government, success varies widely, but it is quite haphazard.
Even the most “shovel ready” projects could still face opposition. I’ve actually seen environmentalist complaints concerning the smallest paving projects, with claims that runoff from tar and asphalt harms streams.
Of course, most of the “stimulus" has nothing to do with immediate projects that can be accomplished quickly or create a lot of jobs. It’s all about repaying rent-seeking constituencies that support the Democratic Party.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Despite my best efforts, the citizens of Fairfax did not take my advice but instead elected Sharon Bulova to be the Chairman (Chairwoman?) of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Her margin of victory over Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity was about 1,200 votes out of about 103,000 cast, with a 50.0% to 48.8% percentage margin. I am proud to say that in my precinct, anyway, Mr. Herrity got about 60% of the vote.
So congratulations to Mrs. Bulova on her victory. However, Fairfax County is still faced with the legendary $650 million budget shortfall. Given that Fairfax County has about one million people, this means that the shortfall will cost $650 for every man, woman, and child in the county. For a family of four, that’s $2,600. Are we going to face this kind of average property tax hike? For us, that represents an increase of more than 50% over what we are paying now.
Clearly, the county needs to set its priorities straight and cut spending. I can’t imagine that all the money being spent is absolutely necessary, or that we will experience a deteriorated quality of life by finding greater efficiencies in county government. I hope Mrs. Bulova listens to the large percentage of constituents who are tired of the tax burden that has increased so rapidly in recent years. If she tries to pull a “Connolly and double our taxes again, she may find that she will be on the losing side of a lot more than 1,200 votes.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today issued a strongly-worded criticism of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). After Pelosi said, "’Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package, 500 million Americans lose their jobs,’" Biden said, “I was so furious my hair plugs were popping out.
“For the Speaker to make the kinds of statements that I would make violates the balance of power the Obama Administration is sharing with Capitol Hill,” said Biden. “I should be the one providing this kind of economic analysis, not Nancy Pelosi.
“G-d love ya, Nancy, but maybe you need to go down to a 7-11 and get a donut from an Indian guy. You’ll feel better, and paying the sales tax alone will make you more patriotic than Tom Daschle.”
The Speaker’s office did not respond to the Vice President. However, an anonymous source said that “doing this J-O-B is a four-letter word that Joe Biden really does not want to do. There’s just no way he could be bright and clean and articulate the way the President is. That’s for storybooks!”
Monday, February 02, 2009
Many of my conservative blog associates have done an outstanding job highlighting why Fairfax County needs to elect Pat Herrity (R) over Sharon Bulova (D) in tomorrow’s special election. Kudos go especially to Bwana, who has written a fantastic series of posts on the topic. (I’m sorry if I left anyone out here.)
The arguments from the left are especially ridiculous. They think that the doubling of taxes was necessary to keep up the standard of life we enjoy in Fairfax County? Ridiculous! In fact, I remember how Chris Braunlich, during the 2007 School Board campaign, pointed to a deterioration in minority student achievement in Fairfax DESPITE all the additional money. Let’s face it, the problem is not a lack of money in this case. At the present rate of increase, my property taxes will exceed my mortgage in not too many years.
They say that Pat Herrity doesn’t have enough experience? Excuse me, somehow work in the private sector doesn’t count? Even more ironic, the ones who deride Pat’s experience are the same people who voted for Barack Obama over John McCain! I guess that experience doesn’t matter. Frankly, Pat Herrity has done more work in a year on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors that Barack Obama ever did in four years in the U.S. Senate!
The main fear that the leftists have is that Pat Herrity will follow through on making the budget transparent. The spending machine will be subject to some adult supervision for a change. Voters will find out just what kind of gold-plated purchases the Connolly-Bulova machine has been making under the assumption that taxes can be raised limitlessly. We will find out who all the left wing special interests are! Don’t they sound like Nancy Pelosi?
Isn’t it amazing how the left doesn’t like to be questioned when it comes to all this spending? What happened to the concept of questioning authority? No, it has evolved into “shut up and pay.” Why are we not surprised?
Vote for Pat Herrity on February 3, 2009!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) announce this week a series of proposed grants and tax incentives to encourage solar energy, biofuel use, and other environmental initiatives. State Senator and Democratic Gubernatorial hopeful Creigh Deeds accompanied the Governor as he made his statements. While the Commonwealth is mired in a multibillion dollar deficit due to overspending, the Governor still seems to think that he can use tax dollars to pick winners in order to please left-wing constituency groups.
Of course, if tax incentives are so good for business development, why doesn’t the Governor support cutting taxes on everyone in order to promote jobs? Then again, if the biofuel and solar energy technologies are so promising, why not let the producers market their wares at a competitive price in order to make money from sales of these obviously fashionable products? Now I for one am not against solar energy or alternative fuel technologies, but government at too many levels has spent untold billions with very little (and sometimes with a lot of counterproductive) result.
It’s funny how the Democrats are always denouncing Republicans for supporting tax cuts that allegedly benefit only “the rich.” Does anyone really think that poor people will benefit from this corporate welfare?
It will be interesting to see how much these proposed “incentives” are estimated to cost the Commonwealth, or what kind of tax revenue the Commonwealth expects to realize should this legislation pass the General Assembly.