Friday, September 24, 2010

Did Anyone Else Wonder...

whether President Barry was tempted to agree with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when the latter tried to blame the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, on a conspiracy involving President George W. Bush?

Actually, I would have had more respect for the former if he'd just 'fessed up, and said something like "Listen, I'm willing to blame George W. Bush for a lot, most of which is not his fault.  But Ahmadinejad's accusation is too insane even for me."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cable TV Idiocies

About seventeen months ago, I finally yielded to the advertising, and decided to switch from Comcast for my cable television, and go with Verizon, which was offering FiOS in my area for cable TV, telephone (for which I already had Verizon), long distance, and Internet.

I may have made a mistake.

I came home early today, and saw that one of my favorite shows, NCIS, was on Sleuth, a channel we watch fairly regularly.

My FiOS guide informed me that I was not subscribed.  To a channel I had for the last 17 months.

Sooooo, I called Verizon, went through the idiotic computer (which seems designed to discourage actual communication), and finally was told that my package had been changed, and I no longer had it.

Of course, it was a channel offered when I signed up for a two-year, no-cancellation package.

I wonder if anyone else is contemplating a class-action lawsuit against Verizon for its unilateral breach of contract?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Using Stupidity As A Strategy

Aside from the fact that Democrats rely upon stupidity (economic ignorance; moral vapidity) to advance virtually their entire agenda, it's certainly fascinating to watch the recent contretemps over the impending execution of Teresa Lewis.

Aside from the reliance upon mistranslations --- the Commandment is "Thou shalt not murder," not "Thou shalt not kill"; then again, why should we be surprised that the far Left can't get the Bible right? --- and self-serving statistics --- if you're worried about "deterrence," every person upon whom the death penalty is imposed is effectively deterred from murdering again --- most of today's most vocal anti-death penalty types simply have no shame. They're arguing, in essence, that because Lewis is "borderline retarded," she should not suffer the ultimate penalty for her crime.

So once again, we're treated to the win-at-all-costs, argue-what's-convenient tactics of the far Left.

If you oppose the death penalty, oppose it. For all reasons; under all circumstances. Kind of like the Catholic Church. I don't agree with it's position, but at least I can respect it as ethically consistent.

But spare us the pretensions that you're opposing it for the reasons you just happen to be citing on any particular occasion. It's as phony as, well, most Democrats' opposition to the Iraqi war.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

That'll Teach Me

Remember that wonderful bumper sticker from the Reagan era? The one that says "I Don't Believe The Post"?

Should've known better. Yesterday, I posted a discussion of a WaPo article which said that the Governor's plan to privatize liquor sales in the Commonwealth (a good idea) included a tax increase (a bad idea).

And I shouldn't have believed The Post.

Turns out one of the people who reads this blog (God bless him! Nice to know somebody is listening) is Governor McDonnell's spokesman, Tucker Martin, and last night, Tucker sent me this e-mail (emphasis added):
I wanted to shoot these facts over to you, the article in the Washington Post this morning was incorrect. Hope this helps clear it all up.
* There is no 4% tax increase as part of the staff ABC privatization recommendation
* Newspaper reports that say this are incorrect
* Specifically, there is no 1.5% fee on all outlets that sell alcohol
* Under the staff recommendation all restaurants and hotels will have the option of paying an additional 2.5% "Restaurant Convenience Fee" that would allow them to buy discounted distilled spirits directly from private wholesalers and receive on-site delivery
* Buying direct from private wholesalers will save restaurants money, and on-premise delivery will add convenience
* But it is optional
* If they choose not to participate they will buy and pick-up direct from private retailers, just like they currently do with ABC stores
* Because of the benefits that restaurants would gain from dealing directly with private wholesalers we anticipate the overwhelming majority would choose to participate in the 2.5% "Restaurant Convenience Fee"
* The staff privatization plan keeps ongoing revenue to the state equivalent to what is received in the current monopoly set up
* The state is projected to bring in $324.2 million in FY 2011 from alcohol sales
* After privatization, under the staff recommendation plan, the state will bring in $301.8 million
* That is a slight difference of only 6.9%
* In the context of a $37.9 billion annual budget this is a difference of .059%
* Additional government reforms proposed by the Administration will easily fill that gap
* This ABC privatization plan keeps ongoing revenue to the General Fund equivalent to the current monopoly system
* It does not contain a tax increase, newspaper reports stating this were incorrect
* It will produce $500 million for transportation while eliminating an outdated government monopoly

J. Tucker Martin
Director of Communications
I hate to get things wrong, and unlike a newspaper "Corrections" section, I want to give this correction at least as prominent a place as the erroneous information posted here.

So, apologies, Governor. Mea culpa. And I really should have known better.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Bad Idea, Governor

Once again, an otherwise talented and attractive Republican officeholder proves the verity of Evans' (as in "M. Stanton") Law: "When our friends are in a position to be useful, they're no longer our friends."

Today's news provides word that the Governor is briefing legislators on his plan to privatize Virginia's liquor stores. Of course, Virginia is one of only eighteen states in the Union in which the state maintains a monopoly on the sale of the "demon rum."

Now I agree with the Governor: the Commonwealth shouldn't be in the business of selling liquor. For that matter, it shouldn't be in the business of any kind of business. For that matter, it should probably get out of the education business, too.

But never mind all that. It seems that the Governor's plan is meeting some resistance, largely from Democrat legislators and Senate Repubmocrats. Sooooo, what does the Governor propose? To placate his Democrat critics --- as well as those Republicans who foolishly support higher taxes --- by proposing a new bar and restaurant tax.

Now, I suppose that it would be just to tax alcoholic beverages consumed in bars and restaurants to make the sale of the Commonwealth liquor monopoly "revenue neutral." But is it just and fair to increase taxes (apparently, by 1.5%) on those who eat at McDonald's --- a practice which carries with it its own costs --- which does not serve alcohol? Or to increase taxes those who eat out at family restaurants but do not buy alcoholic beverages?

Sorry, Governor: ABC privatization is a good idea. But using it as a stalking horse for raising taxes generally should be a non-starter.

There's something --- oh, I don't know --- so Democrat about it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day Crockery

Among those who believe that Labor Day is really --- or should be --- "Organized Labor Day," I found this little gem in today's E.J. Dionne column in the WaPo:
The union movement has always been attached to a set of values -- solidarity being the most important, the sense that each should look out for the interests of all. This promoted other commitments: to mutual assistance, to a rough-and-ready sense of equality, to a disdain for elitism, to a belief that ... individual rights did not stop at the plant gate or the office reception room.
Mr. Dionne might just want to consider the treatment by labor bosses of those who don't buy into the union myth before he promotes another one: how unions have promoted "a belief that ... individual rights did not stop at the plant gate or the office reception room."