Thursday, July 31, 2008

Liberals Blame Public Corporations for Economic Turmoil

It amazes me at the level of hypocrisy that permeates the very agenda of the Left. While there appears to be a desire to blame the right for everything under the sun and dismiss the fact that the change election of 2006 was undoubtedly the grandest political hoax that has produced what has to be the most ineffective Congress in decades. The left neglects any admission that it was their push for such measures as NAFTA and furthermore forcing Bill Clinton to veto a bill that would have allowed our country to be drilling in Alaska. You will never hear them say that we could now be producing millions of barrels a day from Alaskan resources and even if you take the current arguement of the left that no gain will be realized for ten years regarding current drilling prospects, we would have begun to see oil hit the market beginning in 2005.

The left either needs a wake up to the reality of its own failures in the past or at the very least a remedial course in economics. They blame the oil industry and "Big Oil Republicans" for the current price of oil and hold themselves unaccountable. They claim it is Republicans who extend tax breaks to the oil industry and yet a Congress controlled by the Democrats has yet to offer up a single attempt to revolk such breaks. The left fails to acknowledge while echoeing talking points regarding the acreage of leases oil companies currently hold as the rationale for not opening up more areas that just because an oil company hold the lease rights does not mean they can immediately drill.

Why? The left fails to inform the public that it has been there push for more and more regulations at the State and Federal level like the EPA that create a process of approval that can take upwards of ten to twelve years before an oil company is cleared to drill. Both State and Federal agencies must sign off on standards to be imployed facilitating drilling. Case in point. It has taken Chevron sometimes fourteen years to get approval to drill on sites that it holds leases. You will not get any acknowledgement from the left on the process, but merely that the oil companies hold the lease rights and should be drilling there now and are not. How many areas are currently under review for drill approval I wonder and how long have they been sitting in the process for approval?

Today, the lefts position so artfully articulated by Raising Kaine is that Exxon/Mobil and Republicans are to blame. Surely Lowell Feld, a former Energy Department employee, knows the real truth but isn't ponying up any substance other than the fact that he believes that oil companies should "rot in hell" as he puts it. It states on Raising Kaine's blog that he "has never lived in an oil producing state" which is quite amusing given the fact that due to the efforts of the environmental wing of the Democrat Party 99% of Amercians do not live in "oil producing" areas. In fact, Lowell feld and contributors at Raising Kaine would make Virginia not only forever oil free drilling zone but would also end the mining for coal crippling aspects of the Virginia economy tied to coal production not to say the entire railroad industry.

But hey, only Republicans work for Exxon/Mobil and Norfolk Southern, CSX Corps, and the ports of Virginia sending coal out to meet global demands. Lowell Feld further believes that we should "F**** Big Oil" because oil companies have corrupted the American economy and led us into recession.

Recession? Gee I learned in Economics 101 that a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of zero or negative growth rates. I wish the left would explain to us when this has happened under George Bush. This quarter growth was pegged at 1.9% and up from last quarter in the midst of rising oil prices and in the face of the largest houding crisis since the Depression. So where is the beef Liberal America? Could it be that the historic nature of business is to have slowing growth every eight years? has this not happened every eight years since Ronald Reagan took office, including Bill Clinton's tenure?Sure the economy is slowing now but this is certainly not a recession, well an economic one anyway. There certainly may be a recession of rational solutions around Washington and Congress in particular.

So whats the rub with Exxon/Mobil? Well of course the Liberal wing want to portray oil companies as the bad guys given the fact that Exxon/Mobil generated 11.7 billion in profits for the latest Quarter. This number is compared to the 10.25 for the same period a year ago so where was the outrage then? With gas prices roughly a dollar cheaper during the same period last year the current rise in gas prices has resulted in an increase of one billion. For a company that did 39.5 billion in 2006 and 40.61 billion in 2007 we are not exactly talking about robbing America in broad day light are we? The idea that the rising cost of gas at the pump translates to huge profits by oil companies is more myth than reality.

I enjoy the theory of how oil companies are to blame, especially since they and of course Dominion Power here in Virginia are always the targets of Raising Kaine as the great evils in the economy because god for bid they make profits. These liberals would prefer that the oil industry be socialized just like healthcare and would probably support throwing the airlines back in for good measure. The forget that the government could not make the airline industry work decades ago and had to turn it over to the public sector. Remember these are the same folks that think healthcare can successfully be administered by the Federal government. We will simply use the French model of heathcare. The funny thing is on the one hand the French healthcare model should be used to solve our heathcare concerns but liberals would never endorse using the French energy model. Why exactly?

Simple. The French generate 80% of their energy from nukes. Thats right 80%. Have there been any environmental hazzards to such a policy? Try and engage a liberal on this topic and expect a quick topic change. Liberals refuse to discuss such energy options here in America because of its "environmental" pillars of its agenda. So while they refuse to recognize this power as an option they simultanouesly push to end all coal mining and production within the America as well. I mean why not clean house right? These liberals have already saw fit to ship virtually our entire steel industry whioch requires coal furnances to produce steel overseas. What they have accomplished is making the largest dependent on coal our electric companies and now they have set their eyes on them as targets. Think the debate over the Wise County plant here in Virginia. Coal and Oil are simply natural progression for the liberals who years ago sought to bring down tobacco in America and have now moved on to new game. Fact is they are not real capitalists, the radical left anyway, and focus on bringing down public industries that they feel are not aligned with their agenda.

This is easily demonstrated in Exxon/Mobil. If you take relative profit ratios, I wonder why it is they are not going after the profits of say Microsoft, Apple, Walmart, HCA, Northrop Grumman and the like. What about MSFT 16.37 billion which was 30% higher than the same quarter in 2006 and have projected revenues of 60 billion for 2008. Apple (the IPOD King) rang up 9.6 billion with 1.58 billion in profits versus 7.1 billion for the same quarter 2007. HCA does a 7 billion Quarter, Northrop 8.63 billion, and Walmart has revevues of only 94 billion.

When you use talking points and you tell the masses that the oil companies are making huge profits off the back of consumers I wonder if put into context people would share the same outrage. I mean a cup of Starbucks is still more expensive than a gallon of gas at Exxon and I wonder just which one costs more to produce and bring to market. And that Ipod. Ranging in price from $100 to $300 I wonder what the profit margin is on those for Apple?

To blame Public corporations for the economic situation in America is simply a ploy by the left to misdirect you from the lack of any substantial solutions coming out of the Democrat controlled Congress. Misdirection for a group thats only solution is to socialize and bring everything under the umbrella of government. With oil prices climbing. the inaction by Congress proves that they would rather sit by and watch average Amercians suffer to simply prop up an environmental policy that is backfiring right before their very eyes. the last thing any avergae American wants to hear about is protecting the environment when they would prefer that Congress protect their wallets and do somethiong to solve the energy issue before our nation.

In fact, radical leftists and liberal like Raising Kaine are simply making global warming and environmental policy the new welfare policy of this century and they seek to use government in the same manner they did decades ago.

The problem is the liberals always manage to forget that when you speak of corporations and you speak ill of public companies you are ultimately insulting Americans that are the backbone of those companies. Liberal for some reason perceive corporations as being simply paper instruments or symbols and not houses to American ingenuity and production capabilities.

But then only Republicans work for such corporations (snark).

Another Chance for Action Lost: Roseland Deffered, Again

There are many issues that face residents of Chesterfield. Some are certainly out of our control. The costs of commodities are rising and it seems everything is more expensive, save the housing market, and in the face of such times residents look for leadership if for anyhting else than a bit of confidence that on the toher side of the storm there will once again be some sunlight.

The problem is I am gradually becoming convinced that Chesterfiled is void of the leadership that is required to make hard, long-term decisions that will promtoe or advance our quality of life. I have a great deal of respect for those that seek and ultimately hold office, but there comes a time when those in office sit in disconnect form the greater society it seems and remain content in serving a segment of the community seeking the greater influence. Lets face it, during these economic times the families of Chesterfield are concerned about gas prices, jobs, transportation gridlock, and simply getting their children to and from activities, but also recognize that taxes are rising and a threat of a Democratic controlled Congress and White House looms on the horizon. There continues an apathy toward the political connect, in large part due to the failures of the past. The current Board was to represent a break or change from that past, however with countless defferments and inactions the Board is proving that the changes may prove to escape them.

There still remains an "influence" in Chesterfield that apparently is circumventing the greater good for the County. This influence has the ability and time to access officials seeking to influence policy in a way that may benefit interest. Its called lobbying in Washington, but on the local level its more of a network of loose association between industry and local government. Its the same speakers at public hearings representing interests of the business community virtually anytime there are growth, proffer or impact issues before the Board. Its in their best interest to attempt to influence or shape policy and they make it a point to schedule time to be heard before the Board. The average resident has little time for such endeavors. We all have opinions to be sure, but many of us suffering from apathetic indigestion find out time better spent with out families than spending five or six hours sitting before a Board that seem on the one hand to project the ideology of change but then on the other continaully votes the opposite ot repeatedly seeks addtional time to make determinations on issues.

I get the feeling that the passion many of these members had as candidates for office is wearing thin. There seems to be a frustration exhibited through body language and deemer during sessions the last few months as the Board has been confronted with proffer policy, the Upper Swift Creek Plan and of course the Roseland case.

The Roseland case has been examined many times and on the surface the only thing that has changed is the will of the Board to go on record and clear the development. The case was delayed more or less late last year so this Board could undertake the case given it was an election cycle year, but then the current Board deferred Roseland in April for ninety days and then this week deffered it again for another thirty. I have rarely witnessned a developer here in Chesterfield voluntarily go the the length of consideration nor work as diligently to making a case that seeks to reflect current concerns of the community and current trends of grwoth and yet the Board remains unable to take an official stand on the issue after seven months on the job.

It is my opinion this has little to do with the case and alot to do with politics. Most appear convinced the case will pass and should pass given all its considerations within the project and yet you have this little ripple of "levels of service" on the minds of many that has become 2008's hot button word like "smart growth" was in 2007. Both appear intermingled in the water quality debate standard for the Swift Creek.

You can count on this Board taking as long on the water quality issue as it has on other issues as it appears there is some lag in the interpretation of data and reality of the levels of phosphorus to creating a standard that can be supported by a majority of the Board and community. Of course you know the business community and developer community will not support a stricter standard that could impact cases they would bring before the Board for zoning. Runoff in the watershed seems to be a low priority on the radar of such interests.

It seems that the Roseland case which would be impacted by any determination made regarding the watershed is being given greater scrutiny given it is the largest planned development case ever considered in Chesterfield. My question has always been why are not all cases given the same level of scrutiny. In all fairness, how much of our tax revenues is being spent to examine and examine and re-examine this case in order to reach an outcome that has already been predicted? How much money will be spent by the County to resolve the water quality standard before it is all said and done? How many times must these measures be deffered before our local government will act?

Chances for action are being lost. We teach our children that they must make the best of chances in life and yet we have a body that continually has sought more time and the cost of County resources.

Is this the kind of "change" we all were counting on? Remember the example of the Congress after the election of 2006 and now this Board when you consider the cost of voting for "change" simply for change sake. Lets not make the same mistake gain this Fall.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Bad Week for Virginia Progressives?

I am struck by the language being thrown out against the Republican contingent in the Virginia House of Delegates regarding recent bills throughout the Virginia political blogosphere. For weeks it has been Gov. Tim Kaine whom the liberal blogs have slapped around in large part because his not so friendly position on the environment or so they would like us all to believe.

Now they are setting their sites once again on State Republicans and I am sure Gov. Kaine is extremely thankful. My bet is Mr. Kaine would like to put the Wise County plant in his rear view mirror and keep truckin along to the VP slot for Barack Obama. Of course it did not help this progressives that the House of Delegates passed a bill allowing for offshore drilling once the federal ban is lifted. Fortunately, the State Senate shot the drilling bill down and bailed out the liberals and progressives here who oppose such measures anywhere in the country. That said, the damge by the House had already been done.

The House actions with regard to the question of transportation funding were no different. Liberal bloggers suchas as Lowell Feld at raising Kaine blame Republicans for road blocking funding and virtually turning their backs on Virginians. Feld states:

"GOP to Northern Virginia: Drop Dead- The crazy/stupid thing is that is the flat-earth, ultra-ideological House republicans get this wish and Northern Virginia really does drop dead from transportation gridlock, they will have severely harm themselves by killing the goose eg. Northern Virginia high-tech booming, high tech economy- that laid the economic golden egg for Viginia as a whole"

Interesting. Republicans are the ones being "ultra-ideological" when it has been these very bloggers who have attacked Tim Kaine for policy after policy more so than conservatives. Kaine shift to the middle and away from the true "ultra-ideological" of his own Party mirrors what Barack Obama is currently undertaking at the national level. The shift to the center is not sitting well with liberal/progressive whose uncompromising nature with regard to policy can simply be demonstrated by their efforts to kill what transportation funding efforts were undertaken last year with abuser driver fees. They were so "outraged" that they mobilized and forced the languages removal from policy. Thus, we now enter the next stage of the debate on funding transportation. Of course to progressives there should be no debate and the funding should be generated through a statewide tax increase.

Republicans "downstate" as Lowell Feld contends are to blame for not providing solutions for transportation funding and yet of course he appears also opposed to transportation districts as a function to provide funding. Instead, all of Virginia owes Northern Virginia a debt of gratitude and must pay to solve the transportation gridlock that they experience.

Excuse me. Planning is a function of local government Mr. Feld. We here in Chesterfield know all to well what results from a lack of thoughtful planning, but of course we here will not be receiving State funding to cure our ills. We must solve these problems at the local level. Why should "downstate" Virginians fund a bill that for all tense in purposes will disportinately go to Northern Virginia. Are not the localities there as responsible for the impacts and results of the "high tech" boom. Its funny how when it imapcts NOVA liberals like the folks at Raising Kaine promote how "we are all in this together" and yet only do so when it suits and benefits them. They would, as a part of the environmental platform, end all coal production in the southwest portion of our great Commonwealth without hesitation and yet those Virginians should somehow pay the burden for addressing the roads and transportation issues facing a region who managed to get itself into the perdicament in the first place.

Yes we are all Virginians but we also must take some responsibility with regard to the actions of our local governments in how they have conducted urban planning at the local level that has contributed to such gridlock. Face it, you built it and they came.

The idea here is indicative of so many on the left who perceive government as the instrument or bank to address and solve every issue. The State certainly has a role, but maybe more areas should go the way of Henrico and Arlington County and provide for their own transportation requirements. Why is it that "downstate" Virginians should feel a level of sympathy on the point of gridlock in NOVA and not say the Virginia Beach or Intersate 81? Why should we be made to feel unworthy on other issues and then now feel like NOVA has an entitlement to our money to solve issues itself has created. Yes NOVA contributes to the overall Virginia economy. Yes NOVA has brought jobs to the Virginia economy, but what was required by the localities in terms of these employers? What have been the impact of the move to attract such large corporations to NOVA? Are these entities paying their fair share of the burden? Are they providing solutions for their workforce that could alleviate small percentages of the gridlock? Are they compensating employees for participating in ride-share programs? Are they implementing shorter work weeks or work at home programs which given the price of gas help on two fronts; gas prices/environment and gridlock.

The State is not always the best answer. The opposition to Transportation Districts also illustrates the point that local area residents do not wish to give an authority the ability to tax Virginians who actually live in an area or use the very roads in question. Why exactly? Are people unwilling to pay taxes to directly benefit the very roads they use daily. These same people were opposed to hitting out of state residents with high abuser fees and repeat driving offenders to help offset some of the transportation shortfalls. Instead, of having the abusive pay now they seek that all Virginians pay. Why? Out of some sense of obligation to NOVA?

Fact is NOVA has been moving in a different political and ideological position from most of the State for years now. This is indicative of the mentality that the State should now somehow be the knight on the white horse with an open checkbook to fund and provide solutions. The arguement is of course this is the State's role. Problem is maybe the State would have the ability to address these needs across the State if it were not overburdened with other policies and programs endorsed by the left and the progressives that have blouted our State budget.

Now of course we need to dip into the well of taxpayer pockets again I guess and the fact that House Republicans are "ultra-ideological" for opposing such action.

And yet the Liberal and Progressives in NOVA that oppose Wise County's plant, Dominion Resources at every step, coal producing regions of Appalachia, and zero offshore drilling anywhere are not "ultra-ideological"?

Enough with the blame game already. How about putting as much energy into coming up with solutions as they do criticisms of us living "downstate" and maybe just maybe they could make some "progress". They are progressives aren't they?

All politics is local, unless you care to ignore it and foucs on Richmond I guess.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

McCain Victory Offices Open Today

RR: post

The campaign for Sen. John McCain for President will be opening two Virginia offices today, Thursday,July 10, 2008 to kick off John McCain's campaign to keep Virginia "red" in the Fall.

The two offices to open are:

Richmond Regional Victory HQ
2819 N. Parham Road
Richmond, Virignia 23294 ( Henrico County)
*just north of I-64 and Mayland Drive on Parham Rd.
4PM to 5PM kickoff
Stop by to get your yard signs and bumber stickers

Fairfax Regional Victory HQ
4246 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
7Pm to 8PM kickoff

More to follow and maybe some pictures to.

Thanks Alter.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sen. Jim Webb (Va) : "Under no circumstances..."

Well many of us predicted this months ago. Those of us who understand Senator Webb and took the time to look at his career in Washington, previous to being elected in 2006 to the office of Senator knew in all liklihood he would not seek the VP slot.

Many liberal blogs across Virginia had supported the notion that Barack Obama should prop up his lack of military experience and foriegn policy experience with the likes of Sen. Webb who has risen in high regard both in Virginia and in Washington for his work in the Senate and his overall grasp of the true nature of policy and the Middle East.

Many independents work very hard to bring Webb to office in 2006, something very few liberal or progressive blogs in Virginia give enough credit, in large part because they saw something very early on that resembled the very fellow illustrated in Jim Webb's own recently released book. Many within the Democrat Party simply got on board by the end of the summer of 2006 without really trying to understand just the kind of man they were about to vote for. Those of us who took the time and knew that there are times when an individual supercedes whatever Party they are in and Jim Webb was one of those personnas.

Thankfully, in all of us works in Washington Webb approaches policy with a rather matter of fact attitude and fortunately for all of us Webb does not believe in permitting the military to be politicized. Take note MSNBC. Take note.

While this may leave Tim Kaine the only remaining Virginia hopeful for the VP slot, I think it may be safe to say that the VP selection will be coming from somewhere else. It also may ignite some interest again in the dream ticket of placing Clinton in the VP slot now that many of those that the liberal blogosphere have endorsed for the slot have fallen by the way side.

Webb in a statement from his office said "Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for VP" virtually putting an end to the speculation and leaving all those endorsing Webb searching for a new person to support. Though Webb acknowledge he will work to help Obama win Virginia, I think something will be lost in all of this.

Where will all those independents that delivered Webb to the Senate go now that Webb is not going to be the VP. IMHO Barack Obama may have just cost him the State of Virginia. I say "may" because I just cannot see all the independents I have worked with back during the Webb campaign support Obama now should his choice be Clinton, Richardson, or any other remaining on the list. If its Wesley Clark--absolutely forget about it. Warner and Webb could have pushed Obama over the top and now Obama I think takes a hit across the Commonwealth with independents.

The ball now will clearly rest with John McCain and his choice for VP. If McCain wishes to win support of independents he maybe might want to avoid any discussion with Eric Cantor(R) as a running mate. He does not do well with true independents. A Mitt Romney would be a much better choice for most independents.

Clearly though this statements release makes one wonder; is it code for "I was not going to be offered VP anyway". Obama will certainly be keeping us guessing until late July or August I guess but in the end I think his team has done itself a disservice by not courting Jim Webb more.

Republicrats- your out there, I know it!

As Virginians we have a long traditon of leading from the front. In recent years however, the historic sword that Virginia once yielded has wained. We have seen the very mature of our own politics change over the course of the last forty years. Some would say that the traditional roots of this great Commonwealth are being turned upside down.

In large part, it has been a transition from a rural and more agricultural Commonwealth to one of the best States in the Union for the business community as well as a swings in our growth patterns ranging from rural communities to city redevelopments and then back to suburbia. The widespread growth of suburbia and the growth in jobs and the economy have place a burden on the tradition of our political strcutures. The growth of our cities and a more direct dependence on our government that has resulted continually strains our State government resulting in increasingly more required programs for funding. Very few out in rural Virginia have ever looked to government for very much. The culture is one based on local community and a self-reliance on a work ethic that contributes to their providence. The cities have developed along without any real sense of community and many Virginians have left those areas in search often times of a higher quality of life. The swing that this creates contributes to changes in the political landscape of the entire Commonwealth.

Lets face it. On percentage many people remain fixed in their allegencies. When these swings result in large population changes, say Loudoun County or Chesterfield County in recent years, the result is a population from varying backgrounds and origins with at times considerable differences with the established local community traditions. For example, the greater Richmond area has seen tremondous growth as a result of increased taxes and property taxes of many Northestern States like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts ect and many have relocated to the Commonwealth.

Afterall, our housing is traditionally bigger and of course cheaper. Many who have relocated here before the latest down cycle of real estate where afforded the opportunity to sell their homes up North and buy a house here that was much bigger and for less money and considerable less property taxes. In Florida this is often called the "snowbird" effect on retirees. This result in changing political demographics to be sure.

An example of this would be the change in population of Northern Virginia. This is a direct result of economic development but also to a greater extent the increase in the size of the Federal government. Over the last thirty years, Northern Virginia has grown significantly in unison with the growth of Federal agencies which has resulted in relocation to the Commonwealth by hundreds of thousands of federal employees over the years. It is not hard to see why it is the face of that regions politics has changed and continues to move in a more liberal direction. On balance, government workers across the board tend to be more inclined to support Democrat policy over Republican. In large part this is out of the belief that government is or has to be the solution in guiding the American experience.

This change or shift in dynamic has resulted in the Commonwealth's move away from its more traditonal position in the American political landscape. Some would have us believe that this shift is one of progress, but there can be no progress if we ignore or better yet silence our rural roots with regard to State politics.

It is amazing though how Virginia gives one pause to question one's internal struggles with political ideology. You see, regardless of what people may think we make it work here in Virginia and always have. We are a different kind of people who for the most part collectively understand that we are part of something greater than ourselves. The pundits may place any label, "purple" seems to be the latest, but it is merely a superficial label bent on superficial understanding of what it means to be a Virginian. Many of these pundits are late to the game and fail to recognize that Virginians have a knack of seeing what is required, regardless of Party. call it intuition but Virginians understand that for a Governor regardless of Party to govern Virginia he/she must do so from the center. This undertanding has is what has lead to many Virginians of either Party to support the likes of Warner and Kaine as Governor. Many fiscal conservatives understand this and will move in that direction regardless of the social conservative that the Party may promote. This at the Federal level was shown to the country upon the election of Jim Webb to the Senate. He defeated his opponent in large part due to the will of independents and fiscal conservatives and not the liberal base of his own Party.

So it begs the question. What is happening on the ground today in the Commonwealth? Are we really morphing into something new or are we simply keeping our conservative tradition intact but moving away from the focus of the social conservatives and more of a concentration on taxes and government?

I have always been a big fan of local politics. The grassroots. The place where real change happens and not the smoke and mirrors like Richmond and Washington. This is the place where movements are planted and grown. And this is where we really need to make the true value determinations concerning how our government is leading us and how they are not. None of us, well maybe the politicos, can grasp the inner sanctum of Washington. Most of us do not believe in politics but we do believe in the will of the people and though we may not have any faith in government we certainly have faith in ourselves. Grassroots movements leverage this belief for a greater cause.

The problem is when people mobilize and contribute to a movement the expectation is there will be a visible result from the efforts set forth. For the most part they are dissappointed. many of us here in Chesterfield feel that exact way with the Board of Supervisors. You get involved and walk the neighboorhood and talk of the change required and then get people to the polls and low and behold little changes even after sweeping changes to the Board itself. There is a disconnect between government and the people and if it exists at the local level you get bet the divide increases with each step up in body from the Assembly to the Congress in Washington.

It is obvious to me that things need to change. Its no so much a Party change as it is an accountability change. Leaders must be made to recognize they are servants, temporary at that, of the people and need to be held to levels of accountability that are fair and above all transparent. Leaders have to on the front lines "earning" our support each and every session and not simply sit there "vote-banking" support from groups simply because they are from a particular Party and we as voters think they are predisposed to vote a certain way.

We need to recognize that our officials are simple mirroring our disconnected attitudes toward them. Without a sense of accoutability, they are set in the ways of leadership long before that win office. They already have a preconceived notion of how they will govern versus shaping that governance through the will of the people. We want them to be experts on planning, finances, schools, roads, water quality etc but we fail to seek that they be approachable and capable of a personal relationship between themselves and the community.

In truth we need to stop electing professional politicians at the local level as a matter of personna but rather leaders who understand our community from within it and not from the outside of a government looking in. It is easiest at the local level to focus on the core values of a leader than say one in Washington. Maybe the prism seems smaller, but all you have to do is place your quality of life on a daily basis and ask yourself who has the greater impact; who will effect your water, your child's education, the safety of your children, response times to an emergency, your property tax and assessment --your Governor, your State Delegate, Senator, Congressman/Senator or that lowly little known or talked about member of the Board of Supervisors or School Board.

If you ask yourself that question regularly I think you will realize that many of our solutions we require that impact us the most in our daily lives can be addressed here in Chesterfield by our own leaders. If you think the nation or Richmond is going in the wrong direction, the first place to start is our local leaders to make sure we maintain our County to the level of our standard.

A start would be to begin working toward a equal share of the burden between the business community and citizens. It should not be the role of government to perform the function of subsidizing the business community by placing greater burden on citizens nor should it be the burden of the citizens to have tax dollars contributing to the recruitment or economic generation and development of the business community. That role should be left to the private sector.

There will always be arguements of how the government is best suited to spend tax revenues, but if you believe in limited government or less government and lower taxes than we need to start addressing the size and scope of our government and whether or not there are aspects we can transfer to privatization over the next ten years.

Question? How much tax revenue are we using to fund our planning efforts as they are structured today? How much money have we spent on studies and consulting for Swift Creek or Cloverleaf Mall? We need to start look at the ways our local government is functioning--

Forget Democrat or Republican---we need to become Republicrats at the local level and work with both entities and take what is good and of value from each side and make it work for us in our daily lives. Each of us have value in this process and no one should be shut out. What we need and require is a fresh exchange of ideas and dialogue and it starts with each one of us.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

American' unhappy birthday: "Too much wrong" (AP) ???

After spending a wonderful day with family and friends and cooking out sharing the warmth and love of celebrating who we are as a people and living if for one day in honor of those before us who endeavored to bring us this pursuit of happiness on this July 4th, 2008 I realized that these moments are the true reality we all should be focusing on and taking solace.

We are reminded at every turn just how tuff it is out there. Rising oil prices, food prices, costs spiraling out of control and yet I am reminded on this weekend just how precious our existance is not only in each others lives but in this world as a whole.

There are those amongst us who seek to turn their backs on the values set forth on July 2 by our founding fathers that we now celebrate on July 4. They seek to exploit at every turn for political gain.Certainly, this is not new to our American experience. Even Thomas Jefferson was asute enough to see that these things will grow their eveil heads among man. So as the exploiters seek to rebel against the American tradition and experience and promote an elitist agenda that eventaully will be the complete destrcution of the middle class, they apparently it seems have very little respect for this weekend and what it truly means.

Case in point.

The Associated Press (AP) released a piece entitled "American unhappy birthday: Too Much Wrong" in an attempt to win political points and capitalize on behalf of their chosen political candidate which evidently on this day is more important than celebrating the birth of our nation.

July 4th is about a celebration of our birth. The formation of the Republic. A day in which we celebrate not as partisans but as "Americans". I fear that the press yet again is so maligned with partisanship that they continue down a path that further divides itself from the average citizen. The print press like (AP) fails to recognize it seems that the growing loss of revenues in the print media genre is the direct reflection that the average American understands that partisan politics exists in America but that there are places in our experience where such things have little place.

Friends, July 4th is one of these places.

By rejecting to celebrate or to sit in protest of July 4th or to somehow attempt to smear the very nature of our existance speaks volumes as to exactly where it is the hearts of these individuals endeavor. They do not honor those who have come before them nor those Americans that fought the struggle of independence and "took a leap of faith in the dark".

Friends, their hearts endeavor only in themselves.

We have seen this before. The elitists and the press in general have downplayed such celebrations as Memorial Day and Veterans Day, in large part due to a current narrow view of opposition to the current situation in Iraq and yet at the same time take weeks to honor and celebrate the life of one of its own in Tim Russert or MSNBC. I have no doubt that Mr. Russert was an honorable man, loving husband, and one of the best journalists amongst the inner circles of the press, but I cast suspicion upon an organization in the same light would not partake in a real celebration of the birth of this great nation nor those men and women that have given so much so that we may continue the American experience.

These individuals see themselves through the narrow prism of politics. I wonder if they realize that though they may live and breathe a political career or one reporting such that does not in itself make them "who" they are but maybe just "what" they are. Seems to be there has been alot more focus on the "what" and not the "who".

Every American is the son or daughter of Greatness. Every American family is a branch upon the Amercian family tree of liberty secured generations ago. Yes MSNBC, even Republicans for crying out loud.

This weeked is not about the meaningless trials of politics. These things should be shelved on such days. So many times in our nations past have we come together as Americans first and put the greater good before all and that to me is what I wish to share with my family and especially my children. Americans before us risked much and sacrificed greatly so that all of us, even those who sit in opposition of America from within, shall have the opportunity to not be bound by our fathers name or bound by class, but the liberty to pursue our own course of happiness.

Is there "Too much wrong" in America today. No. Not this day, not on July 4th. We must lift our hearts this day and see what many would prevent us from seeing on every other day of the year and that is see the Greatness of each and every one of us and the Greatness of this land no matter the circumstance.

For whatever ills we as a nation may be experiencing, "We" should resolve to continue down the path of the American experience and not forfit our will to the likes of the (AP) or any other media conglomerate to determine July 4th is appropriate to attempt to elevate a candidate by focusing on everything that is "wrong today" and not honoring those before us that have allowed this very "day" to exist.

July 4th is Amercia's day. It is a day for all Amercians. Each and every one of us is the divine spark of freedoms hopes and dreams.

Maybe the (AP) should remember that more often when it attempts to promote its political agenda as "news".

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Point of Talking Vs. "Talking Points" at MSNBC

In a campaign year where we were promised that it would not be politics as usual and we would finally have a candidate that would put the politics of the past actually there, we now are quickly learning that very little has changed in Washington or within the campaigns of either Party.

We should not be surprised that the man at the top has very little control of his surrogates let alone his subordinates within the structure of the organization, but when one promises to deliver to America a "new" kind of candidate and a "new" kind of politics the expectation has thus far been greater than the delivery.

Barack Obama continues to make the proposal that he will "talk" to other nations, rogue or otherwise, in the world and yet continually fails to address the very "talking points" his surrogates are using to address concerns over his candidacy. Countless surrogates, including Wesley Clark, manage to undermine his very effort at an orchestrated "new" kind of campaign coupled with policies like withdrawing from a promise to use public funds and managing to dismiss John McCain's attempt at forming Lincoln-Douglas style debates to reach the American electorate. I wonder who would have been the Lincoln or the Douglas?I guess its easier to use Democratic surrogates on the so-called news programs to make enough points and real debates are rather mute.

These so-called "news" programs on the three networks have little do do with news these days. They are all merely op-ed versions of the print media that are formatted for televison. On MSNBC, Keith O. is about as good at dissimilating political data as he was sports at ESPN. After all his Countdown format is not much different than ESPN I guess in terms of reality...its about making it all entertaining afterall. One cannot get through one evening on MSNBC where they are not doing something that is either critical of the other networks or actually calling out competing broadcasters and pundits from either networks in a manner or attempt to embarass them in the form of politcial or media gotcha. My guess is Keith O learned this over at ESPN and has since mentored Abrams on the tact. I am quite sure though that this level of unethical in the broadcast sense but okay in the entertaining sense will have former media stalwarts of yesteryear ashamed at what their profession has become in the modern day.

Now I am not simply picking on MSNBC. Fox and CNN have their share of issues and pundits that attempt to cloak thier true intentions within so-called objectivity but I find MSNBC to be rather the most offensive in the area of propogating "talking points" as somehow relevent news. To be fair, they over at NBC have the high hill to climb in terms of ratings I guess so that may be why it is they want to provide people with platforms as a means of "expert"portrayal of relevent issues.

I love how political stratagists/campaigners and surrogates are somehow now the experts on the oil crisis or the mortgage crisis. I love how these people one day are experts on the underpining of Washington and then the next day know what the heartland is all about and is concerned about. If that were true I wonder why it is they fail to actually report the heroic actions of citizens battling the recent floods and instead opt to re-ignite the levies of New Orleans criticisms. I wonder why it is the fail to report on a Medal of Honor winner who saved Americans lives by sacrificing his own, but instead determine to report rising escalation in Afghanistan everytime something about Iraq come up.

I wonder. Will Obama visit Iraq or Afghanistan next month? I mean come on Barack, pick the safer destination by all means.

You see, "talking points" now are because we opted to undertake the surge in Iraq and actually make progress, we sacrificed Afghanistan. Not a single dialogue the past three days about Iraq has been about Iraq. They dismiss the progress on the ground in Iraq and the same folks that said the surge would not work instead are not admitting they were wrong but are now using Afghanistan as the new "talking point".

Smoke and Mirrors friends.

Mind you these are the same pundits who are experts on gun control, oil speculation, mortgage sub-prime and oh yeah military deployments and counter-terrorism. Exactly how does one become an expert in all those fields? Simple. Work for MSNBC. I wonder when the actual day will come when MSNBC places real people of industry on their programs. People who actually employ Americans or run refineries or drill for oil in the Gulf or who research where oil potentially sits. Instead when MSNBC talks about oil, it does so soley in the context of politically motivated means by pacing blame on the current adminstration and continuing the propaganda that rely more on the Middle East than anywhere else for oil.

Newsflash. Canada and Mexico over the course of the last ten years have supplied us with more oil. Why is it they never seem to show a picture of a Canadian rig or a Mexican rig or even a Chinese rig right in the midst of our waters edge? Its always a Saudi or Iraqi oil field.

But the oil crisis is speculators? And according to the rhetoric those specualtors are all Republicans who support unregulated markets I guess. Funny but there most be alot of those in Obama's backyard in Chicago or Clinton's NYC at the commodity exchanges I guess. Certainly none of these awful people are Democrats? All those Democrats on Wall Street are all Robin Hood types I guess.

And now we get this large dose of Wesley Clark. Of course we are supposed to believe he is not acting in any capacity for any campaign and yet the only disclaimer we are provided with is "Obama supporter". This person of course was praised on MSNBC for aligning with Obama after Clinton's defeat in the Primary. Had he actually come out with positive things to say about John McCain's military service or record are we to believe MSNBC would have carried it as news at all? Doubtful.

You see, the media has been appealing to everything that is bad in our nation lately and devoted much of the coverage to the negative. It fuels the divisions amongst us by focusing on the divisive nature of politics and sets different groups off against each other for the sole purpose of capturing political points. The treatment of Hillary Clinton was anything but ethical in my book regardless of whether you support her or not. It was almost as if she got 527'd by the very media that once had embraced her husband. Yeah, she got "swiftboated" for sure in the Primary.

Only at these media networks can a person like Bill Clinton be able to one month be portrayed as sparking racial divides and now by talking with Obama all is forgotten under the guise of "unity". I guess you have to have really short memories, or maybe just have alternative "talking points" pre-formatted for new conditions. I guess its okay now that those so-called "whites" supporting Hillary in PA, OH, KY, WV that were portrayed as uneducated with racial tension months ago are now home in the Obama camp that all is forgiven. No. How about an apology for the manner in which they were treated in the media.

If the Clintons had the "race card" played upon them by their oppossition than its not a big leap to feel certain news networks acted as the surrogate of such propositions. And exactly who is it exactly who has benefited from such behavior?

I wonder just what our nation will be like and these networks will do if they are delivered what appears to be their certain collective will and Obama wins in November. Will they actually have to retreat to covering real news again or will they simply be the political "defense" departments for an Obama presidency.

What will Keith O do with himself in 2009 if he does not have a President to humiliate himself upon. No worries, I am sure the love fest will continue well into the next decade should Obama defeat John McCain.

Can you imagine what the nation will get on these networks when there is a Democrat in the White HOuse and complete Democrat controlled Congress in Washington. News. What news. Free speech? Oh, sorry...its called Fairness Speech now and will we have any models to look at in terms of how these organization will cover Washington?

Sure we do. Look at any other Socialist state news run organization for guidance.