Saturday, December 31, 2005

An income tax by any other name

The Democrats in Nashville just won’t quit trying to think of ways around the Constitution of the State of Tennessee and trying to implement some sort of covert income tax. If Speaker Jimmy and his boys have their way, they’ll sneak in an income tax in the next session by allowing local communities to implement a “payroll tax” that would tax an overall payroll.

Stacey Campfield talks in detail about the latest shenanigans.

Lovely mentality the Democrats have, isn’t it? We’ll just tax the payroll and let the workers suffer by ensuring that the employer pass on the expense of this tax to the employee, the easiest way to do that, of course, is to cut wages. So rather than steal from those who labor for a living directly, our Democrat friends want to steal from payroll so that employees will take home less. All this business is an income tax by another name, and the Dems apparently had a bunch of lawyers in some back room dream up this scheme so they could try and sneak this through and claim it is constitutional because it isn’t really an income tax.

The level of lying, cheating, and political conniving in Nashville doesn’t cease to amaze me. The Republicans need to jump on this right away and expose it. Legislators need to be all over talk radio, more Republicans need to be publishing blogs and exposing the lies the Democrats in this State are telling. Failure to do so could mean that the Democrats sneak this abomination through the legislature. If they actually succeed, some good person should just sue, hoping that the case makes it to the Tennessee Supreme Court. If we can’t beat the Democrats using honorable and normal means, we should then try to beat them using their own extraordinary methods, never stooping quite as low as they do, of course.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Community redevelopment

What is called “community redevelopment” here in Knoxville is supposed to be an attempt to spruce up historic areas of the city that have since fallen in to disrepair. If the idea is to restore historic places to some semblance of their former glory, then I am certainly all for it. I love being able to take a stroll down city streets and feel like I’ve stepped back in time.

However, some cases of this so-called redevelopment are merely excuses for the government to confiscate private property and have the potential for serious abuse.

For example, I really have a problem with the tactics used by the Knoxville Community Development Corporation described in this News-Sentinel article. For the record: I love the downtown area, and I agree with many of our city leaders that the McClung Warehouses are certainly an eyesore to the Knoxville skyline. I further agree that something needs to be done about them. However, I am not sure I agree with the tactic of KCDC (a HUD-underwritten local government bureaucratic morass) continuing to give the owner of the warehouses notice when he DID submit a plan for remodeling the buildings. Sure, the city should see to it that eyesores like the warehouses are either remodeled or removed, but they need also to respect the private property rights of the folks who own these buildings and lots.

You have to wonder if KCDC has some other reason for wanting so badly to condemn the warehouses…a downtown housing project, perhaps?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Lucky and Harley

At least for tonight, we've taken on the added responsibility of caring for my brother-in-law's two 10-week old puppies. One pup is a Jack Russell terrier, the other is a white Pit Bull. Thankfully, the Pit Bull isn't to the age where it can be remotely ferocious, and I personally hope it never gets that way, it seems to have a very sweet disposition.

The reason we've taken them in for the night is because in the morning we are taking them to the vet. They are badly emaciated and dehydrated. We aren't sure why, but we think they may have a tapeworm. I think my brother-in-law may have bitten off a little more than he could chew with these two, as he already has a beautiful black lab pup that needs a lot of attention.

For my own part, I hope worms and dehydration are the only problems Lucky and Harley have. They are both young and have their whole lives ahead of them. I am also in the midst of raising our own puppy, and for now at least, she is enough of a handful for me.

There have been a lot of developments in the State and the World today, but we have had a busy day around here and I haven't had my normal time to catch up. I'll have more to say tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A correction from Kevin O'Brien

Per my post yesterday on his potential political candidacy, Kevin O'Brien writes:

"It's just the Political Director of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, not

the leader.

I think another clarification is in order: While fear has been used as a
political tool by leaders in the past, I believe (and I fervently
hope) that is not happening to us. Rather, it is fear driving some
decisions of our leaders. Fear can blind us to perspective, and make
overreactions seem acceptable."

Beginning "Death of the West"

I am currently reading Pat Buchanan’s The Death of the West, a Christmas gift from my wife. I have always enjoyed Pat’s written work, and in 1996, I supported him for the Presidency. I would have done so again in 2000 were it not for the fact that Pat decided to bolt the GOP and run as the Reform Party nominee. I believed then, as I do now, that we can’t win the culture war by being divided, and conservatives can’t afford to split their votes, that sort of behavior leads to people like Bill Clinton or Al Gore being elected. Buchanan understood this after the fact, I believe.

In Death of the West, Pat Buchanan deals with the present reality facing the Western world. The book is not, as Buchanan puts it, a prediction of the future, but is rather a statement of fact about what is happening to Western civilization as we live in the present. Its projections seem to be based on what will happen to the West if the present trends continue.

The most alarming reality dealt with in this book is the fact that none of the Western nations are reproducing themselves. By 2100, Germany, France, Italy, and Britain will be a third of their regular population. In the U.S., European peoples will no longer be in the majority. The European race is dying, largely because it is failing to reproduce itself. Women in these countries are aborting their children, it is true. Beyond that, however, many are contracepting in the name of “family planning.” Others are not having children because they would sooner obtain success in a career or have greater material wealth than have many children. Many put off marriage until they are too old to have many children. Many others co-habitate (in a state of sin) and contracept so that they have no children. Somehow, we have managed to get away from the notion that having children and raising a family (thereby propagating the human race) is the highest glory of womanhood.

Catholics have been laughed at and sneered at because our Church teaches that contraception is a grave sin. Most of our Protestant counterparts now tolerate artificial contraception. I have even heard of cases where pastors have encouraged men to get vasectomies and women to take the pill. Shame!

The problem lies in the fact that in practicing a contraceptive lifestyle, we as a society get within our minds a contraceptive mentality. This mentality is hedonistic and says “my personal betterment or financial health is more important than raising a family.” It is a selfish, crude, and sad way to think and to live. This mentality is finally coming home to roost, as our Western Christian nations are not reproducing enough to sustain themselves.

And we have the audacity to complain about Third World immigrants who come to this country and produce as many children as they do…Perhaps the problem lies as much (or more) in the fact that we are not having enough children of our own.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Kevin O'Brien

An old college friend of mine may soon be seeking political office. Kevin O’Brien informed me this week that he’ll be meeting with the Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Legislative Caucus to discuss a potential candidacy for the Ohio General Assembly.

This is noteworthy because Kevin, whether he knows it or not, thinks more like a Republican than a Democrat. I went to college with Kevin, and for years I have attempted to make a Republican out of this pro-life, pro-Second Amendment man. Obviously, he refuses to listen to reason…but I will say that we need more Republicans like Kevin, and if there were more Democrats like him, the GOP would have much to be concerned about.

One of the things Kevin and I have come to agree about is the PATRIOT Act, and the way the government has reacted to 9-11. Kevin theorizes that we are operating on politics of fear instead of thinking seriously about the things that need to be done. We agree that these sorts of fear tactics would be used whether the Republicans or the Democrats were in the White House.

Because I personally believe in Kevin, I hope his attempt at election is successful. Fortunately for him, his Republican opponent is Kevin DeWine. Republican DeWine may be, but the DeWine family has not managed to corner the market on good morals in recent times.

O’Brien had better be grateful I have such unbridled faith in him…I don’t go around giving high praise to Democrats very often, it is normally bad for one's health!

Control arm...uggh

Well, we now know what is wrong with our truck. The ball joints that were replaced back in the spring were worn out yet again. We found out, though, that it wasn’t because those ball joints were defective. Instead it was because the upper left control arm needed to be replaced, and the Pep Boys we took it to back in the spring failed to tell us that the control arm needed to be fixed…this is information they had to know at the time.

Fortunately for us, the work was under warranty, and the Pep Boys at East Towne agreed to replace the ball joints without any charge for the labor or parts, and agreed to replace the control arm at cost, also with no charge for labor.

I’m still a big believer in Pep Boys, primarily because they use GM/AC Delco parts, often at a cost cheaper than what you’d pay at your local GM dealer. However, as I have learned, some stores are more reliable than others.

For those in the Cincinnati area who may be reading this: If I were you, I’d avoid the Pep Boys on Glenway Avenue.

Uh trouble

I should have known that it would be the case that a Christmas season that has been so fruitful would be disrupted in some manner by something beyond our control. In this case, it has made itself manifest in the form of car trouble.

Our family truck, a Chevy Blazer, had its ball joints replaced back in the spring. We put well over $800 worth of work into the vehicle. Now it is showing manifest signs of what appears to be ball joint trouble again. We had the work done at Pep Boys originally, and we are hoping that if it is the ball joints, it is still under warranty. If the problem is not the ball joints, I hope that it is a problem that is relatively low-cost. Nothing sours the holiday season more than an unexpected cost after you’ve already taken the customary Christmas bite out of your budget.

The Blazer is over at the shop right now. Say a prayer, just in case.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas treats and other news

Christmas can be celebrated in many ways in different homes. Tonight we visited and exchanged gifts with some more family members, and we had all kinds of food to choose from. Everything from crab cheeseball to stuffed mushrooms to raspberry rum cheesecake. It was a festival of eats, most of which we did not need but we did not care, either. We don't eat that way much at all the rest of the year, so both Nicole and I view this special time as a chance to enjoy the tastes and sounds you just don't get the rest of the year.

Perhaps my favorite treat that is traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas Octave in this part of the world is the simple sausage ball. I love sausage balls, and I look forward with eager anticipation to the enjoyment of sausage balls by the pound at Christmastime. For those of you in parts of the country where this delicacy is not commonly enjoyed, a sausage ball is not simply a ball of sausage, it is sausage rolled together with cheese and either flour or pancake mix. There are no exact measurements for the amount of flour or cheese to put in there, you just have to try it once and figure out how much is good for you.

Unfortunately for me, I am not the only one who enjoys sausage balls...they were the first and only item to run out during this evening's festivities.

In other news, I am very seriously considering getting my notary public for Knox County and the State of Tennessee. It is not only good to be a notary in an age when there are few of them (and they are needed), but being a notary might help me to swiftly obtain a certain position I happen to be very interested in. I know I have to apply with the County Clerk, and once that application is approved according to law, I need to take out a $10,000 surety bond. If any readers happen to be notary publics in Tennessee, and know whether there are any more steps I need to take besides those which I am aware, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

This day in history...


In the 5199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when in the beginning God created heaven and earth;

In the 2957th year from the time of the Great Flood over the whole Earth;

2015 years after the birth of Abraham, our Father in Faith;

1510 years after Moses and the going-out of the children of Israel from Egypt;

1032 years after the anointing of David as king;

In the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

In the 194th Olympiad;

The 752nd year from the founding of the city of Rome;

In the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus,

When the whole world was at peace;

In the sixth age of the world;

JESUS CHRIST, the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and nine months having passed since His conception, WAS BORN in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, HAVING BECOME MAN.

THE NATIVITY of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

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