Saturday, October 18, 2008
The apparent factor the group is looking at is the definition of "rural" vs. "non-rural" and which direction the county should take, at least for the next decade or so. According to the Shenandoah Valley-Herald article cited above, it seems most people want to keep a rural focus for the next 5-20 years, depending on who you spoke with.
Shenandoah County is a very rural area that is experiencing a burst of residential and commercial growth along the I-81 corridor, as new subdivisions are either in the proposed or newly-built stage from Strasburg, through Toms Brook and even Maurertown, down through Woodstock and Edinburg. The southern end of the county, anchored by the towns of Mount Jackson and New Market, are experiencing the least amount of real growth, mainly due to their close proximity to Woodstock, Harrisonburg, and Luray...they don't have the need for the growth.
However, there are no towns of real distinction outside of the I-81 corridor through the county. Some may consider Basye, but that is only significant because of Bryce Resort. The rest of the county is very, very rural and is populated by a lot of farmland. Hence, the focus should be on preserving the rural farmland while keeping the growth along the I-81 corridor moving forward, in my opinion. There is still plenty of undeveloped land along the corridor as not to threaten to overtake the farmland that makes up the bulk of Shenandoah County's value, in an industrial sense, to the state.
I don't think the concerns about property rights or higher taxes are necessary right now, as they are not an issue that Shenandoah County residents have to worry about for the time being.
All partisanship aside, it's pretty easy to see that Obama and/or his campaign leaders have committed some gaffes, mishandled questions and attacks, and have bungled other affairs.
There's already questions about his patriotism, they haven't exactly handled the Ayers/Rezko/Wright associations well, he's now being touted a socialist, he made the "57 states" comment, Biden can't keep his mouth shut, the whole overly-Hollywood presentation at his acceptance speech, and he was blasted earlier for not placing his hand over his heart during the National Anthem.
The latest gaffe...at a rally in New Hampshire, the Obama campaign scrapped the idea of having the National Anthem sung before the event. The reason? According to the article...
Not present, or at least not singing the National Anthem at the rally was Londonderry senior Zach Bencal.
Bencal, who sings the anthem for a number of school events and is actively involved in local community theatre, had been contacted by the Obama campaign to sing the anthem. He agreed to do so, then was told later in the evening the anthem had been scratched from the program. Bencal said he was told by the campaign the decision was a simple programming change to make room for another speaker."I guess it just wasn't meant to be," Bencal said.
Morons...don't these people, who are supposed to know how to create an image that the American people find appealing, know that you just don't do that! It sends a bad message, especially when the press picks these things up. It feeds upon the image that Obama is anti-American.
While I have dozens of reservations about Obama as a President, I've never questioned whether or not he loves his country. However, I do think that Obama and his campaign have shown a serious lack of judgment here, and those who do have reservations regarding Obama's patriotism have just been fed more doubts.
Now, this does feed my perception that Obama lacks good judgment, though...
"Buy American stocks"
"Be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful".
While Buffett backs Democrats, he is a definite capitalist and if he takes over the Federal Reserve, we may not have to worry too much on that end...should he continue promoting this kind of sensible advice.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I love this...we get an hour of primetime dedicated to libertarian principles and the idea of spontaneous order. If you want a great opposition to the whole interventionalist nature of the current government in Washington, you should be watching this. No punches pulled, and everything is explained in an easy way for the masses to digest.
The metaphors fit, the experts providing proof, it's an good explaination of how things aren't right the way they are, and what they SHOULD be instead.
Turn it on now...or find it on YouTube.
It's about time that we hear about the real reasons for the subprime mortgage crisis, the housing bubble pop, and the real impetus for our current economic troubles...in primetime.
What's the freaking difference? Both Drake and Nye have the same views, so on almost every issue, I have the same agreements and disagreements.
So, I have to go to the one place where they diverge...Abortion. Nye's answer was pretty nondescript, but but I gather that he supports Roe v. Wade. Drake, on the other hand, believes that this is a state's rights issue, not a federal issue, which I personally agree with.
So, based on that and the fact that I can't justify putting another Dem in the House (I would if I thought he would be an improvement over Drake), I'm going to endorse Rep. Thelma Drake for reelection in the 2nd Congressional District of Virginia.
However, I will say this...I kinda like Glenn Nye. He's a sensible candidate.
The polling sample in the AP/Yahoo Poll? 873 Democrats, 650 Republicans. In other words, out of 1523 people polled, 57.3% were self-proclaimed Democrats, as opposed to 42.7% Republicans.
I think some Blue Dogs and Conservative Democrats did NOT like something Obama said or did. It's just a matter of figuring out exactly what that is...Joe The Plumber could not have had THAT much of an effect on things so quicky...could he?
Or is it a matter of the list of reasons to distrust Obama just getting too long for some people. Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko, lack of a definitive stand on numerous issues in his voting record (read: votes "Present" a lot), lack of experience, ACORN and their voter fraud issues, Joe the Plumber.....I don't know what it is, but it's certainly giving Obama a slight sense of urgency. Check this quote...
"Don't underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory," he said, only half in jest. "Don't underestimate our ability to screw it up."
Either way, encouraging news for those of us who don't want Obama to win, and America in general (whether they know it or not).
That Gallup Tracking poll has now sat at 49-47 for two days in a row. Notice Obama is holding steady, but McCain is the one gaining...a sign that McCain is winning over undecided voters.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Obama is only up 49-47 over McCain in the latest Gallup poll...? Hmm...the traditional likely voter poll has always been Gallup's most reliable one.
Obama is a man of incredible self-control, which has helped him in defending the criticism of his judgment (in fact, his self-control should be emulated by some of his supporting bloggers, but that's neither here nor there). That self-control definitely wins more votes than it loses, especially with the current political circus where proponents on all sides of the ideological divide are angry and bitter and spew likes and baseless ad hominem attacks.
Now, I personally believe that this self-control is partially due to an aloof, arrogant nature where Obama does believe he is better than everyone else in the room, and therefore doesn't need to partake in such practices. I also believe that a lot of his apparent lack of emotional response is increasingly due fatigue from the long campaign, which seems to mute any attempts to show real emotion.
However, no matter the root of this self-control, the bottom line is that it has worked for him.
His inability to show panic when attacked confused many in the McCain campaign. Even when his own advisors showed serious panic, Obama himself never lost his cool. This has allowed him to weather the storms of criticism without appearing disturbed, and allows him to further contrast himself against McCain in terms of age and appearance.
Realistically, though, it's all image. His calm demeanor gives him the image of someone who is not playing politics...although, let's be honest, he's running a campaign that isn't any different from most political campaigns. It's the image that helps him.
Interestingly, that image is what makes him appear post-partisan, despite most of his stances and policies being socialist in nature (c'mon, you can't argue that they aren't, "redistribution of wealth" is a socialist concept which we now know he has admitted to being a goal of his).
That image of unflappability will play well with the voters and on the evening news, but exactly how unflappable Obama will truly be if he is elected President...well, that we won't know unless he is elected and he is faced with true adversity.
So, credit due to Obama...I may think 99% of your solutions to our problems are wrong, but I'll give you credit for your apparent self-control.
He asked "you could go back in time and change one American political event or decision, what would it be?"
He brought up things like Robert Kennedy's assassination, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and a few other events that you generally learn about in History class as examples. I also mulled over a few choices that I considered, such as...
- Telling Nixon's cronies not to break into the Watergate Hotel.
- Not allowing a handful of Mississippi delegates to abandon Reagan for Ford at the 1976 GOP Convention.
- Made the Presidential term limit part of the original 10 Amendments of the Bill of Rights.
However, we changed the subject, and after 10 minutes, I hit him with my real answer.
- I would have stopped America from jumping off the Gold Standard.
This answer blew him away, as I don't think he expected me to go that route, and he had to agree that this was a significant point. As he said, "we would definitely have a strong dollar and a solid, stable economy."
What do you think? What singular event would you change...if you could?
However, in the article, the Washington Post points out that other areas aren't having problems for pro-Obama signs in various businesses. Besides, there is nothing to be outraged about...especially since this same business hosted an OBAMA fundraiser TWO WEEKS AGO!
Granted, I no longer shop at FYE to get CDs and DVDs since they started putting up cardboard cutouts of Obama smiling with an iPod in all of their stores (and yet, no cutouts of McCain) because I don't want to provide my business to a company that so openly promotes a candidate that I flatly refuse to endorse.
However, I haven't placed one call to their stores or corporate offices in protest...and these people should do the same. If they don't like it, take their business elsewhere.
So far, the forum will include...
- Ralph Nader (Independent)
- Cynthia McKinney (Green Party)
- Chuck Baldwin (Constitution Party)
Apparently Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party nominee, has not decided on whether or not he will show up, as he has stated in the past he wants to debate Nader only (interesting). I think Barr SHOULD show up. Right now, the Libertarians are the leading candidate (as a party) to become the much sought-after Third Party. For him not to show up and at least try to out-debate the other Third Party nominees makes little sense, as it would be a setback for the Libertarians.
John McCain and Barack Obama were invited, but have apparently turned down the invitation. The debate will be hosted by Amy Goodman, host of "Democracy Now!" This will be much to the delight of ol' Finnegan over at hburgnews.com, he's a fan of that show. :)
The debate will be Sunday, October 19th, from 8 to 10 pm.
No word on if the Columbia University security will receive it's own security detail to protect them should Cynthia McKinney decide to show up without her ID.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Way to motivate your state for your candidate, Jack.
The last thing we need is panic. We will get through this.
Since the end of the Great Depression, we've had 6 major recessions, a little history for you...
The recession of 1953-54
- Caused by a post-Korean War inflationary period, where the Federal Reserve put more restrictive fiscal policies to curb inflation growth. However, consumer demand dropped due to the expectation of a recession, so the recession occurred anyway...just on the side of consumer demand. This lasted from 2nd quarter of '53 to the 1st quarter of '54.
The recession of 1957-58
- You'd think that the 1950's would be remember for recessions, and not the boom period we all believe. This goes to show you that there are hiccups and bumps on the road to prosperity. This was caused by the loosening of monetary policy in late '57. Along with this came a decline in the investment of fixed capital both in Europe and in the United States. In America, auto sales declined sharply, and unemployment rose. What stemmed the recession from further harming the economy was the lack of change in personal income amongst employed Americans, which gave monetary stability to those who had jobs.
Most notably, this was a worldwide recession...and it led to Democratic Party gains in Congress in the 1958 elections.
The recession of 1973-74
- Caused by the OPEC oil price increase and huge US Government spending (a combination of the Great Society programs, as well as the Vietnam War...Nixon inherited a looming mess from LBJ), leading to stagflation, and probably a good mirror of what we should expect to see as the current economic problems play themselves out.
When the U.S. was faced with an oil embargo placed up on it by OPEC in 1973, due to it's support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War, the government placed price controls...which led to gas rationing.
During this same time, the Bretton Woods System fell apart (due to the dollar being very strong against other currencies because of the increase in Gold prices), and the unilateral devaluation of the dollar (the Smithsonian Agreement) caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop 45% from early 1973 to late 1974. Also, inflation increased from 3.4% in 1972 to over 25% by 1975. The United States did not see the Stock Market return to a comparable level (in real terms, adjusted for economic growth) until 1993.
The London Stock Exchange dropped 73% during this same timeframe. Interestingly, the London Stock crash is also attributed to a housing crisis...which was followed by a boom period of over 150% from late 1974 to early 1975, a sign of things to eventually come?
The recession of 1980-82
- Caused by the 1979 Energy Crisis that came with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran by Muslim fundamentalists led by Ayatollah Khomeini. Exacerbated by rampant stagflation of the American economy under Jimmy Carter. The recession was more severe than it should have been because it was unexpected. Also, the impact was intensified by the Fed Chairman Paul Volcker keeping interest rates very high to force inflation out of the economy, which did eventually work and lead to series of boom periods economically in the United States.
The recession of 1990-91
- Caused by a decrease in industrial production, the short-lived oil price spike of 1990 due to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and made worse when the Bush 41 reneged on his "No New Taxes" pledge.
The recession of 2001-03
- Caused by a recession that began in the European Union, felt in parts at the end of Clinton's term and the beginning of Bush 43's, and exacerbated by 9/11, the Enron/WorldCom accounting scandals, and the dot-com bubble burst. However, from late September, 2001 to early 2003, the market crashed twice, with a recovery period in mid 2002 that helped average out the crashes a bit.
Right now, we're not in a recession, but we're heading for one. It has been seen in the past that higher taxation (on anyone, not just individuals) and looser monetary policies (like what the Democrats have advocated) tend to worsen these conditions.
Just some food for thought.
It was actually a great rail against big Government, if you think about it. Prince John was taxing the people to death, and Robin Hood and his band of merry men faught valiantly to get the money out of the Prince's coffers and back in the hands of the people, where it belonged.
Realistically speaking, Robin Hood was a libertarian...you keep what you earn, and Government should keep it's hands off your money.
However, the Democrats have a tendency to attempt to do this in a somewhat reverse fashion...where Government plays the role of Robin Hood, and anyone who is even moderately successful is automatically placed (for the sake of winning votes and playing class warfare) in the unenviable role Prince John.
Why is it that taxing the hell out of a person's success is supposed to be a good thing? Robin Hood did not give someone else's tax money to a poorer citizen in the interest of fairness...he attempted to give back to the people what had been taken from them...nothing more, nothing less.
Honestly, I never have been able to understand this...even in my more liberal days (when I was 10 or 11 years old), I just never understood why taxing those who make more just to "redistribute" the wealth was a good thing. I always thought, even when I was young, that such policies generally discourage people from being as successful as they can be. Why strive to make more only to have Government take it away?
So...if Obama wins and the Dems get their supposed "Supermajority", I'll be sure to be a good American citizen (in their eyes) and never strive to make more than an average wage and work an average job...just so I don't arouse suspicion. :) :) :)
OK, all jokes aside, I know that many of my leftist friends will tell me that things are "much more complicated than that" and we need to uplift the downtrodden and spread the wealth around, because nobody should have a bigger piece of pie.
Hey, I get it, I understand the concept. In a philosophical sense, it sounds nice on the surface. However, to reduce voluntary (and more efficient) charity with forced Government intervention? Why? We're already the most charitable nation on Earth.
What's interesting is that many Democrats and American Liberals like to believe that their way of thinking is much of "intellectual" in nature, and most modern-day intellectuals believe that Big Government and centralized planning are the answer.
However, I simply economically identify with Classical Liberals (who would be labeled conservatives or libertarians in today's American society) such as John Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, or Alexis de Tocqueville? I mean, their writings only played a integral part in shaping our nation. They're also only names that you read about in any history class as being influential to American economic and social thought.
Anyone care to argue that those people aren't "intellectuals"?
Your candidate for President has children singing for him a la Stalin or Chairman Mao, and is put forward by people as their Personal Jesus or as the Messiah himself, and he doesn't do anything to downplay this cult of personality that has begun to surround him. In fact, he seems to revel in it.
Does any of this bother you at all? Does it rub you the wrong way? Or...is this exactly what you're looking for?
Honestly, I just want to know if these are aspects of Obama that Democrats truly believe in and like...or if you're accepting these things as part of the package, and are simply thinking "well, he's not a Republican, that's all that matters to me."
Just wondering. Please reply below.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I'm not sure if I want to stay with the Republican Party or become a member of the Big L's...the Libertarian Party, and just support those candidates who appeal to me (who will most likely, admittedly, be Republicans for the time being).
I just feel like the idea of an indefinitely large, socialist federal government has become the Democratic Party's pure mantra...and that the leadership of the Republican Party has capitulated in it's attempts to fight this.
Sure, there are plenty of very solid small-government, lower-taxes types (Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan is a very good example), but I've always believed as Reagan believed that libertarian principles are at the heart of conservative principles.
Someone want to provide me with a little perspective? I'm going to be going over the party stances between the two in detail over the next few days, and mulling over who stands for what I stand for.
Honestly, people bought into that "95 percent" line of his??? Basically, if you're a family earning between $25,000 and $85,000 a year, your marginal tax rate will go UP under Obama.
I just realized that I predicted something similar to this from either Obama or Hillary Clinton in an earlier post...
"Democrats state they will fix this (and everything else) by raising taxes on the "rich"...even though "rich" to them (according to the circulating Dem tax plan post-Bush Administration) is now any single person making over $33,000/year, or any married couple making a combined $45,000/year."
- In 2006, the party ID figures based on exit polls was 39 percent Republican, 36 percent Democrat, 26 percent Independent. This was the election, of course, where Jim Webb barely scraped by George Allen in a battle of who could run the more inefficient campaign.
- In 2004, where Bush beat Kerry, the exit polling showed that party ID was 39 percent Republican, 35 percent Democrat, 26 percent Independent.
Now, take a look at these 3 recent polls and their party ID sampling figures...
- PublicPolicyPolling - is 40 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican, 25 percent Independent. Their poll has Obama up 51-43.
- SurveyUSA - is Democrats 39 percent, Republicans 30 percent, Independents 25 percent. They have Obama up 53-43.
- Suffolk - is Democrats 45 percent, Republicans 31 percent, Independents 24 percent. They have Obama up 51-39.
Honestly now, I don't think reasonably-minded Democrats can believe that the party ID in Virginia has swung THAT much in 2 years. So if Virginia goes for McCain in the national election, I don't want to hear Democrats claiming fraud...because those polling samples provide a fraudulent depiction of Virginia's real voter party identification.
P.S. - I'm baaaack :)