novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Browsing Posts published in June, 2010

Chavez will be “nationalizing” (civilized people call it “stealing”) eleven oil rigs owned by US companies.  The companies should cap the wells and move the rigs, or destroy them if they cannot be moved.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment does constrain the State and local governments as it does the government of the United States. Naturally, the liberals disagree. The 5-4 decision is here.

The dissent, concocted by Justice Stevens, is the usual bunch of liberal nonsense:

When a federal court insists that state and local authorities follow its dictates on a matter not critical to personal liberty or procedural justice, the latter may be prevented from engaging in the kind of beneficent “experimentation in things social and economic” that ultimately redounds to the benefit of all Americans. New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U. S. 262, 311 (1932) (Brandeis, J., dissenting). The costs of federal courts’ imposing a uniform national standard may be especially high when the relevant regulatory interests vary significantly across localities, and when the ruling implicates the States’ core police powers.

Of course, he did not feel that way in Laurence v. Texas, nor does he feel that way about Roe v. Wade.

Monday and Tuesday are my last two days as a teacher. (They are teacher work days … getting grades in, graduation, getting signed out and other “end of year” work.) Friday was the last day with students. What I find both very touching, encouraging, and also at least a little sad is that I had about 20 students come up to me and hug me. There were students that I had ridden hard to improve their grades, and some that had needed encouragement to do their best, and some that showed what appreciation they could.

As the students left on the last day, I can remember feeling sad. While I am sure that what I go to will be rewarding, I also know that there is little chance of the same kind of reward … knowing that I made a difference in a young student’s life. The kids are wonderful, and I earnestly hope they have even better teachers next year.

I have been an advocate of the system of cumulative voting, described here in the Washington Post.  The idea is simple — if there are six positions (such as congresscritter or councilcritter) then you get six votes, and you can distribute your votes in any way you choose, including voting six times for the same candidate.

To my mind, such a system is far superior to the district system.  In the district system, the districts must first be drawn — usually a partisan process, and a process rife with corruption.  The results are a set of winner-take-all elections.  Winner-take-all elections require the two-party system that most of us deplore.

But the two-party system is NOT a requirement of the Constitution.  Nowhere are congressional districts mentioned in the Constitution.  The States are free to set up their election systems as they choose, which includes the possibility of cumulative voting.

Countless citizens, homeowners Associations, professional organizations, and a broad spectrum of business interests from across the county have come out in opposition to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act ( CBPA ) now under consideration by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. This legislation, is bad for home owners, it is bad for business, and will become a drag on economic growth in Loudoun County for years to come if adopted.

The recommendation and support by both county staff and the planning commission is based more on the whims of a handful of social engineers and politicians, than that of sound science. The CBPA is environmental policy crafted twenty years ago for an entirely different region of the commonwealth. This legislation was never intended for Loudoun County. Advocating for its passage is like pounding a square peg through a round hole and then paying for the privilege for having done so. It is a waste of time, energy and precious resources.

The more one examines the details of this legislation, the more one realizes the greatest danger in its implementation, is that it expands the size, scope and cost of county government at a time when resources are scarce. Loudoun County can ill afford to be wasting valuable resources having just cut essential services in the shadow of back to back budget deficits. Implementing this legislation is fiscally irresponsible.

A vote for passage of the CBPA in the face of overwhelming opposition, the facts as enumerated within the legislation, sound science and at a time of economic uncertainty, is both irrational and politically tone deaf.

A bunch of spoiled brats in the Bronx were required to clean toilets as part of their detention:

“After school the principal came in with the inspector lady and she was like ‘Oh, everyone has to pitch in and clean the toilets and stuff.’ So we was cleaning them and we had to clean around them and nasty, it was just mad nasty,” said one student.

“Like that’s not cool, like making kids clean toilets like that’s not how that should go,” said another student.

Perhaps I missed something.  How did those toilets get “just mad nasty” in the first place?  Maybe cleaning them will inspire some students to improve their aim.

Let’s take a cue from the Japanese.  They don’t have janitors. For 15 minutes each day, everyone, including the students, teachers, and administrators, clean the school — top to bottom:

“Education is not only teaching subjects but also cooperation with others, ethics, a sense of responsibility, and public morality. Doing chores contributes to this,” says Katsko Takahashi, a member of the Board of Education in Nanae, a suburban town in Hokkaido. “Besides, if students make a mess, they know they will have to clean it up. So naturally, they try to keep things clean.” US News

What a concept.

According to Reuter’s, the Senate is working on a bill…

The legislation’s so-called carried interest tax proposal would require fund managers to pay the much higher ordinary income tax rate on a majority of their income from managing investors’ money.

The Senate version would tax 65 percent of fund managers’ income at the higher rate. A tougher House version would tax 75 percent at ordinary income rates.

Currently, they only pay a 15 percent capital gains tax rate on this income, while ordinary income is taxed at a maximum of 35 percent. The top tax rate is set to rise to 39.6 percent in 2011, the year this legislation would take effect.

The upshot is that a portion of fund managers’ income comes from capital gains on their clients’ money.  Sorry, but if it goes back to the clients, then it should be taxed as capital gains.  Since it is going to pay the fund managers, it should be taxed as ordinary income.  (All of it, not just the proposed 65% or 75%.)