What's up with VA's Senators?
They are from here, ran as financially responsible but... they have voted for all this socialist crap.
I guess I can see why Webb did it. He would never have been elected but for the machine picking him out, funding him and doing the dirty work of turning the election on a single word. Nobody I know much likes or trusts him. He probably feels he needs to kiss the Obamunist asses to keep his place. Pity that but we can't expect much more from him, can we?
But Warner (that's Mark Warner) is a bit different. He was widely respected as Governor, even by conservatives. He's generally been reasonable. That's not what I get from him now. Contacts are answered with the most insipid condescending e-mails ever. I guess he realizes he's beyond our reach for the moment.
Local and National Politics, What's Similar?
You might have noticed our continuing imbroglio with the Augusta County government over my mother's property taxes vis-a-vis the reassessment. My appeal got about $20K deducted from the value of Mom's property. However, all that was in the value of improvements not in the value of the land. They aren't budging there. Moreover, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) are allowing the appraisal firm, Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal, to speak for them. The head honcho there has made some statements you can read in an earlier article that pretty much call us dolts for rejecting this overreaching attempt to increase revenues to the county.
That's not to say that most members of the BOS, Republicans by the way, haven't acted directly as well. One way that they have done this is to ignore a 10,000 citizen petition and 1,000 citizens turning out for a BOS meeting to OPPOSE the reassessment. Mob rule isn't what we're after here but they actually derided the petitioners. They had options. Unfortunately, they've chosen the statist approach. Instead of rejecting the assessment, instead of acknowledging the rightfullness of the complaints and trying to find a legal way out, they've said from the start they "might" reduce the tax rate to mitigate the increase resulting from the 33-300% increase in value (and they only acknowledge a 27% average value increase). The suggested reduction hasn't been much of one either as they do wish to increase revenues immediately to make up for shortfalls in State support of education and lack of sales tax revenues. Rather than cut the budget for unnecessary spending, they've chosen to continue the spending but not for education AND to increase our taxes. This isn't serving the community well.
You see, they believe that instead of working to provide the critical needs first, instead of the luxuries first, and taxing us to do so is preferable.
That's the national view as well. The national politicians have forgotten or no longer care the why and what of their purpose as our representatives. Preservation of place rather than country is their goal. Party rather than country is their allegiance. They have abandoned principle for privilege. They have chosen power over posterity.
In light of the inattention to the tea parties, the question rapidly approaches, what shall we do?
AUGUSTA COUNTY — The president of the appraisal firm entrenched in the middle of Augusta County's reassessment controversy defended his company's work and fired back at what he called misinformation from critics of the reassessments.
Dave Hickey, owner of Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal, said recent sales of homes and property justify the firm's and the Board of Assessors' work. He said of the 93 post-reassessment sales, 74 have sold at a price higher than the new assessed value. In addition, he said the sales ratio, which is the value of the reassessments divided by the sales price, is more than 93 percent. The state's threshold to certify a reassessment is 75 percent or higher, he said.
"The market seems to be validating our reassessment," he said. "Not only is our ratio in line with the sales, but our measure of uniformity is within the standards of the International Association of Assessing Officers."
Hickey reiterated that the appraisal firm largely relied on sales in forming its reassessment formula, and he said the group worked to adjust the figures starting last year when housing prices began its free fall. He blamed the public uproar mainly on the falling economy, because he said the methodology has been consistent with the seven other reassessments that Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal handled for the county.
"Four years ago, in the 2005 reassessment that everyone touts as so good, the (appeal) hearings were holy hell. They were 10 times worse than they were this time," he said. "Everyone came in with the same crap, saying that this is a flawed reassessment and that these guys don't know what they are doing."
Hickey said another factor that led to the ongoing controversy is the public's lack of education on the topic. He said he was disappointed that there was such poor attendance for three public presentations on the reassessment process, which were conducted before the notices were mailed out. However, he shot down the prospect of holding another meeting because he said the vast majority of the public are beyond listening to him at this point.
"It wouldn't do much good," he said. "It would probably just turn into an appraiser public hanging."
Responding to critics
Hickey's comments come as Churchville attorney Francis Chester prepares a legal challenge that would require the county to throw out the reassessments and as Supervisor Tracy Pyles continues his fight to convince the majority of the board to agree to revert back to the 2005 reassessment values. Pyles will host a public informational session at 9:30 a.m. today at the Government Center to lay out his case of why the reassessments are "substantially flawed."
Hickey said Chester and Pyles, who are the two most public faces of the reassessment attacks, have only confused and misled by making their arguments without correctly analyzing the facts. Hickey said Pyles, in his opposition, stated many of the facts out of context. An example, he said is how Pyles distorted the facts when the supervisor argued that the reassessed value of Hershey's Stuarts Draft plant fell by several million in just the few months before the process was completed.
"The number he got was just a very initial projection that it was a $41 million value, but it had not been adjusted or whatever," he said. "And when the notices came out, it was $33 million, and he said, 'Oh my God, how can these guys lower something like that.' Well, it was never supposed to be $41 million to begin with."
Hickey also sharply attacked Chester's critique of the process and laughed when asked about the attorney's view questioning the validity of the contract between Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal and the county. Although Chester has argued that it was a "sweetheart deal," Hickey said he probably would have proposed charging more for the work if he'd known his company was the only firm that placed a bid.
"Everyone has to recognize that this guy is a crank," he said. "Whenever you Google his name, it comes up as 'Churchville attorney Francis Chester, but it should say 'discredited Churchville attorney Francis Chester.'"
Hickey said he sees the public uproar coming to an end soon when the Board of Supervisors discusses altering the tax rate, which all members have publicly stated they intend to lower for the first time in more than two decades.
"It will be like extinguishing a fire," Hickey said.
If the tax rate is lowered, Hickey said residents will realize that many in the county, especially those in land use, will actually face lower taxes. He said those that would pay more taxes, despite a lower rate, still wouldn't see an extreme increase in the actual amount they pay.
This Can't Be - Murtha
Simply unbelievable is that Jack Murtha, the Congressman/SOB who slandered a whole generation of Marines (I guess he's an a ex-Marine) is awarded a public service award, by the Navy. That corrupt, self-serving, communist, traitor doesn't deserve a damn thing.
I guess we now know what kind of person the Navy Secretary, Donald C. Winter, is. More of the same.
Pelosi Values Ilegal Immigrants OVER American Citizens
That's what I get from this little speech. You really should listen to/watch the video. Being anti-American, the Speaker should resign. I know it won't happen, such folks have no sense of honor.
Yep, it always comes back to Congress. Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, etal caused the current financial crisis but they try to put it on their choice to run AIG with the bonuses red herring. Chris Dodd is the one who put the change in the stimulus package allowing the bonuses. But, and you have to love this, he was "outraged" that they actually contracted for the bonuses.
Now Congress wants to tax away the contractual obligation they permitted. Do you wonder when you will get on the Obamunists' persecution list?
WALMART going to market to Spanish Speakers in separate stores...
Yep... Billed as Wal-Mart goes bilingual what this really is is treating somebody as separate but equal. The Spanish speaking community or the rest of us? Hard to tell right now but...
WALMART is now a Chinese retail company. No kidding. Now a global retailer, WALMART bought out China's largest bargain retailer AND something like 70% of their product comes from China.
Too mad to write...
There is just too much going on and I am so mad I haven't been able to put together anything that was coherent. These communists (elected by Dem/S and stupid "ethical" Republicans and Libertarians sitouts) are trying their darndest to destroy the country.
The "Employee Free Choice Act" -- aka the Card Check bill
This thing is a travesty, not just for employers, but also for employees (including Union members) and for us.
Once upon a time, unions couldn't organize. Why? Because employers would find out who was working for or supporting the union and fire them or, later when unions had a legal right to exist, intimidate their employees so that they wouldn't vote for the union. The unions pushed for the government to guarantee a fair and secret ballot to give the employees a chance to choose without suffering from intimidation and/or violence. This allowed the unions to become a force in American culture and politics.
Now, all these years later, employers understand that they have to fairly compensate their employees in order to get and retain excellent employees and to prosper. Employees no longer see a need for the unions and union membership and influence has declined. This has hurt unions, particularly those run by organized crime feeding off the membership (see "On the Waterfront" for one interpretation of the situation). So, now the unions want to eliminate the secret ballot in order to be able to intimidate workers and force them to accept the union. This is the essence of card check.
Card check has gotten a lot of support from the far left as they see the unions as an arm of the socialist government control of business. As you know, the far left is controlling the government now.
More on the Augusta County Reassessment Debacle
Yes folks, the saga continues. It seems that the County Board of Supervisors is determined to not serve the citizens of the county. While it is possible that there is no legal way to disregard the recent reassessment values it is possible to immediately reduce the tax rate to $.39 per $100 value from the current $.58 rate.
More than 800 Augusta County residents united Wednesday to oppose recent property reassessments, but it was not enough to sway the majority of the Board of Supervisors.
"I am voting against this because I took the oath of office to uphold our laws," said Supervisor David Beyeler, drawing boos from the crowd. "That is what is wrong with this county, that we only agree to obey the laws if it draws our fancy."
Chester detailed examples of how he claims Blue Ridge Mass Appraisal performed a shoddy job and suggested the Board of Assessors might have committed perjury by improperly signing the appraisal book last week. Reading from the state Constitution and evoking Thomas Jefferson, he said the board must take notice of the citizen uproar and take action to fix the situation.
"Who is the master here? According to Thomas Jefferson, we the people are the master," he said. "You are our servants and we intend to take our government back. We want justice and we are not going to stand for it."
WHSV TV News also covered the meeting. They quoted "Speedy" Hite
Ninety one year- old D.E. Hite came to stand alongside more than 700 people in Augusta County who want their property taxes rolled back to 2005 numbers
"The message is the appraisals are clear out of line," says Hite.
Hite has been buying and selling real estate for seventy years, and says he has never seen anything like this. The board is going to hear from him.
"Maybe people disagree with me. Maybe they think I'm an old man and think I don't know what's going on. But I think I basically know the value of real estate," Hite adds.
I know that I personally see a disconnect between the data to which Blue Ridge Mass Appraisals (BRMA) refers justifying their assessment and the number of properties I see selling or the prices I've paid. While BRMA says that properties in the county sold during the last quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009 to date sold for above the new assessed value, I don't see this. I think it also speaks to the POTUS continued reference to a financial and/or lending crisis. These folks have to be borrowing the money for these purchases from somebody. This seems to me to show that one or the other of these people is lying. A disturbing aside to the issue, isn't it?
Anyway, I still haven't heard anything from my appeal on my mother's assessment. While I was treated politely, I (or rather my mother) hasn't been treated well. I've heard a number of people state that nobody complaining actually appealed their assessment but that is untrue. Many, many did but they weren't given even token satisfaction. It is ridiculous that land of no use is valued the same as good farm land or actual PRACTICAL building sites.
Now this whole thing pretty much ignores another issue. The reality of property taxes is that one is renting one's property from the government. You see, they can and will seize the property and sell it for even small amounts of tax "due". They will use force to remove you. So, they can, at the point of a gun take your property from you. This is NOT individual property ownership.
Why is that important? Well I know one woman who will have to pay 1/12th of her income for the INCREASE (above what her current property tax is) as a result of this assessment. As it is she has an income of only about $560 per month and her home and land is her only asset. She lives off the land, food bank aid and the generosity of her friends. She is dependent on others for transportation. Her situation makes me wonder how many will be robbed of their homes via the property tax and collection enforcement.
I remember one time my dad came home from fighting a forest fire. He quickly cleaned up and told me we were going out. Out we went. You see it was time for the Forest Festival in West Virginia. There was lots to see. The West Virginia game and fisheries people had a tent with displays of live fish and otters! That was great fun. No, not the carnival, not the candy or popcorn, the fish and otters for me. I remember that while I looked at every detail at the otter on the other side of the glass my dad talked with friends about the fire. Then we went home.
I remember, too, how Mom asked him why he'd gone out when he was so tired after fighting the fire. "Because I promised the boy," is all he said.
Promises mean something. I was only 6. It isn't likely that I would have remembered that day but for that act. I wouldn't have held a grudge against my dad for making a promise and not keeping it, especially in those circumstances. But Dad would have remembered. He would have known. And he lived up to his promise.
President Obama made a number of promises during the campaign. So did his emissaries. People like Senator Mark Warner and Jim Webb made promises both on their behalf and on his behalf. But every time they vote for more taxes (on us or our children) or more spending, they are breaking those promises. Every time they allow others to talk about "gun" control, they are breaking those promises.
I'm not 6 years old any longer. Dad has passed on. But I will remember. I also remember the promise I made in 1973.
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
Please note that
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic
A "black" POTUS who parties at the White House while we're in a "crisis" (as HE describes it) and as he and his party seek to spend the nation into the poorhouse. Supporters of his who are clamoring for their share in terms of paid mortgages, health care, and so forth even as the top 2% of wage earners will be taxed into oblivion. That same POTUS who only left a certain "church" because to do otherwise might have cost him his party's nomination. Obama not representing all constituents. Constituents don't seem to include white folks who have worked and saved all their lives to support themselves in retirement, many with income from stocks and bonds by investing in stock market.
Elected officials should represent constituency even if elected by wide majority especially if they run as one thing but are another. While it is trued that a given candidate represents a given view and should expect that the majority of those that vote for him/her agree with the majority of his views, it doesn't follow that they agree with all the candidate's views or that they rush to pursue a given agenda over all objections. This is too be considered unlikely if the candidate would deceptively campaign.
Well, that's exactly what the POTUS did. He ran as one thing and he's another. He ran as "race" neutral but uses the charge of racism to silence critics. He denied our description of him as a radical and a socialist but that is exactly what he is.
His action AND his inaction has stolen much of my mother's life savings. It has devalued her home. He doesn't care. If he doesn't care about me because I and my parents worked hard all our lives to care for ourselves in retirement, perhaps because we are white, is he our President?
Hypocrisy? - What Should We Do?
Gun control/2nd Amendment rights aka the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) is a critical issue with me. In many elections it is the one issue on which I base my vote because the candidates' stands on other issues are so similar.
Here in Virginia we were on a slide down slope from the ideals of liberty until the Virginia Citizens' Defense League (VCDL) was formed. This is an outstanding organization primarily because the founders were able to build a base of hard-charging, self-sacrificing, intelligent people to do the work. They made Virginia a shall issue state but that was just the start for them. As a group they've managed to use tact as well as the intimidation of numbers to turn Virginia around and make us one of the better states in which to own and use guns.
But today I was reminded of an issue that's been bugging me for a while.
I attended the Harrisonburg Gun Show today. I believe the promoter is C&E/Showmasters. Once again I noted that they disarm everyone, CHP included but we have a booth. I was told the space was donated. I'd been thinking about their policy as I drove the 33 miles to the Rockingham County Fairgrounds.
When I got there I "secured" my CHP firearm in my truck and moved towards the door. I was greeted by the absolutely no loaded firearms, no exceptions sign. I went inside and counted out my $6 and turned to get stamped. The fellow with the stamp asked me, "do you have any loaded firearms?" to which I responded, "no, do you?"
Now, that might not have been the very BEST way to approach this but I'd been thinking about their policy for a while and I truly wanted to know. His response, "YES! I DO!" to which I said, "well good for YOU." I have to admit, his tone struck me as confrontational, not as a businessperson dealing with a customer (which is exactly what an attendee is!). He asked again (apparently thinking I thought it was a joke) to which I told him no.
Forgive me my ignorance but how is this different than restaurants/bars banning firearms or carry by persons having a CHP? How is it different from any government owned, i.e. public place, banning concealed carry.
Yes, this has been going on a while. Apparently a DEALER had a negligent discharge (not a CHP) and this policy was enacted shortly thereafter. Apparently, this is an insurance concern to the promoter. But today, for some reason, this is really irritating to me. It seems the height of hypocrisy.
I'll be frank. I quit attending Old Dominion gunshows because they couldn't get good vendors in. C&E/Showmasters is better but for this one issue. This one issue is likely to cause me to cease attendance at CE/Showmasters shows. Why?
Look, C&E/Showmasters makes money from promoting gun shows. They entice gun dealers to go to the shows and many of those big dealers are catering to either the EBR (evil black rifle) or concealed carry crowd. So, C&E/Showmasters is making money from people they are effectively banning. Makes no sense to me on any level.
Well, there have been some responses. As I read it the upshot is that there are lots of guns AND ammo at a gun show and it is all about guns. A CHP or somebody carrying concealed could lose it and whip out their piece to try a new holster, ask for magazines, show off or something and shoot somebody. There was an anecdotal reference which doesn't mean much to me. It is much the same ridicule of CHP holders as the anti-gunners have been repeating. Anyway, there's some support for the C&E/Showmasters view.
I can understand supporting private property rights but these shows are conducted on PUBLIC property. We fought that fight about a mall owned by a city government (in part) and I see no difference.
I understand about insurance coverage. It is inevitable that somebody (and at least once it was a dealer) will make an error. Liability has to be addressed. Unfortunately, as we see in Illinois, this has been considered as a limitation on individual owners as well. The person I spoke to told me he did have a loaded gun. I see nothing wrong with that on the face of it but it violates their own policy. I suppose that they know this individual (or others) and are willing to trust them but not others who are customers.
I also know that a number of people are simply lying to the handler(s) at the door. They know they likely won't be searched and there is no penalty for lying other than being asked to leave. I'm not into lying.
You can't have it both ways. You destroy your arguments that CHP holders are safe, reliable, non-criminal and worthy of carrying anyplace including bars if you say they can't carry at gun shows. Since I won't get any traction on my argument I'll simply not attend any further gun shows. I guess I've finally found a point on which I disagree with the VCDL leadership. I'm disappointed.
For us, the American ideal is personified in the concept of self-reliance, work ethic, honesty/forthrightness, decency, personal property rights, family, religion, an ability to defend oneself from criminals and crooked politicians, and personal responsibility.