Virginia Right! News from Virginia, the US and the World 2018-02-22T02:29:40Z http://www.varight.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Elwood "Sandy" Sanders http://www.varight.com <![CDATA[Time for an Official Tout According to the Sanders Olympic Policy! (And How ‘Bout That USA Men’s Curling Team!)]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28255 2018-02-22T02:29:40Z 2018-02-22T02:29:40Z Great news that calls for the application of the Sanders Olympic Policy is that we won GOLD in a sport we have never won in before:  Cross-Country Skiing

Here is a highlight from CBS Sports

Team USA may not have the craziest medal count at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, but it does have a few meaningful ones. Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins added a first to the U.S. trophy case, winning gold in cross-country skiing’s team sprint. It’s the first time that the U.S. has medaled in cross-country skiing since Bill Koch did it in 1976, when he won silver — the only other cross-country skiing medal in U.S. history.

I remember watching the games in 1976 on Armed Forces TV in Wurzburg and saw part of Koch’s second place and it was described a bit like the Miracle on Ice.  Amazing and incredible.

So in tribute to the wonderful, amazing win of Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins – you get the tout, victory lap with US flag and well, my readers know our National Anthem.  No kneeling at the anthem unless you are praying for repentance in the USA!

Might be another victory lap if the men’s curling team wins gold.  They beat two fine teams – Switzerland and GB – to place third in the round robin behind Sweden and Canada.  That means the USA will play for a medal against Canada (second place) and Sweden will play the winner of GB and the Swiss.  Winners play for gold and the consolation match is for bronze.

And we have (in the round robin) beaten Canada already!  9-7!

The women’s curlers did great but fell short on today/yesterday or whatever – if they had beaten Sweden (also number 1) today they would have played Japan for fourth place but ended up in 8th place – a four way tie and the tiebreakers pushed the USA down to 8th.  Still very respectable!

YAY USA Curling – Men and Women!


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders ]]>
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Bob Shannon <![CDATA[Remedies that will work…or Political Scores to Settle ?]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28252 2018-02-20T18:00:24Z 2018-02-20T18:00:24Z

tears photoAnyone with children or grandchildren was simply sick at turning on the TV last week to learn of another senseless tragedy playing out this time in Florida. As a father and grandfather I was for the remainder of that day sullen in my thoughts of what those families were going through, unimaginable to anyone because of its horror. It wasn’t more than 1 hour until the talking heads came out with their analysis of what went wrong, and their version of what can be done to stop/prevent these types of mind numbing events. Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough went so far as to liken the President to Pontious Pilate. The calls began immediately from members of Congress and the media for more strict gun control measures, and the banning of certain types of weapons. The reality is however failing to recognize that criminal and demented evil people always find a way around obeying any law to achieve their ends. The suggestion that all firearms should be required to have a liability insurance policy , as if the thugs who are walking around with a illegally obtained gun are going to rush right in and buy insurance is pathetically ridiculous. Adding new restrictions to law abiding citizens does nothing towards halting these types of crimes. Maybe we should turn to a solution that is utilized by Israel and has worked with no school shootings since its implementation.

In Israel each school has a number of teachers and staff members who are armed and trained in the use of the weapons they carry .  Israel has compulsory  2 years of military service for every citizen at the age of 19. The number of armed school staff on site depends on geographic location, number of students and square footage of the facility itself. The larger the school and or population , the closer in proximity they are to neighborhoods adjoining the schools that are known terrorist hotbeds ,the greater the number of armed staff at that location.

Here in the U.S we have utilized Resource Officers, armed local law enforcement trained to keep the school safe. That is better than not having any measures but consider the numerous advantages of the Israeli approach.

If someone is determined to kill, they will begin with killing/shooting the easily identifiable Resource Officer wearing a uniform. After that they likely know there is no more armed resistance within the facility and will at best take considerable time until law enforcement officials are on the scene. Now envision what a shooter is faced with when he decides to do something like this in an Israeli school.

First of all he/she have no idea who is armed and how many, or where they are in the building. What he/she does know for certain, they are going to be confronted with a number of armed teachers/staff who are trained to respond to threats of this nature. The person committing this act knows with a high degree of certainty they are going to likely die once their rampage begins, that is an almost 100% certainty.  It dramatically changes the mental equation. It is one thing when the person committing this carnage knows they are the only one with a gun, quite another when they know they will be shot themselves.

Israel screens the school candidates for this rigorously, and likely pays them an additional stipend added to their salary, but it is not only much more cost effective than stationing a full time law enforcement officer on site but clearly working beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.

So for us my fellow Americans the question is quite simple, do we want to score some political points on gun control or implement a remedy that will stop this problem.?

The choice should be crystal clear.

 

Bob Shannon  Founder King William T.E.A Party


Article written by: Bob Shannon ]]>
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Tom White http://varight.com <![CDATA[Mental Illness Aspect of Gun Control a Slippery Slope]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28250 2018-02-20T17:55:15Z 2018-02-20T17:55:15Z

ar-15 photoWhenever we hear of a mass shooting, we can expect one of several things to be true.

  • The shooter is an Islamic terrorist or has been influenced by Islamic terrorists.
  • The shooter has been raised on a diet of Ritalin and Adderall and has exhibited severe behavioral problems.
  • The shooter has a history of mental illness (aside from ADHD).

The left has always pushed to “normalize” mental illness and rid society of the stigma attached to it. A lofty ideal, but potentially dangerous to the rest of society as we are supposed to pretend that what we naturally perceive as a threat is really not a threat at all. Political Correctness dictates that we accept any and all behavior as normal – right up until they open fire on us.

Do you know that there are people who have perfectly health limbs amputated? It is call “Body Integrity Identity Disorder”. It is a “proposed” disorder in which otherwise healthy individuals perceive one or more of their limbs or organs as alien to the rest of their body and wish to have it amputated.

Most people see that as an easy call. The person is mentally ill.

But when the appendage they want to amputate is a sex organ, then they are to be respected as some kind of hero.

But the left in their ever evolving world of flexible mental health is having problems nailing this one down. On the one hand, they admit it is a bit nuts. Well, a whole lot of nuts. But on the other hand, there are the “trans-gendered” who are “perfectly sane and normal” according to their psychobabble. How can they glorify amputation of some healthy body parts but not others?

In a stunning statement on Wiki, they admit the shrinks confusion on this disease. And the awkward similarity of people who want to chop off an arm and those that want to remove breasts and penises. So rather than classify it as a disease in the latest diagnostic book of official types of mental insanity, they left it out.

Read this statement carefully and try not to laugh”

As of 2014 the construction of the condition was unclear as to whether it was a form of human diversity or a mental disorder, similar to the development of the concept of gender identity disorder; there was debate about including it in DSM-5 and it was not included.

So the left has removed assorted nuts from one basket and placed them in another, only to find out that there were more nearly identical nuts in the first basket.

So keep in mind as we debate the possibility of including Mental Illness markers in the gun control debate, the brain trusts behind setting the bar on gun ownership can’t decide if amputating your leg is “normal” like chopping off your wee-wee or crazy.

Here is a hint. They are both nuts.

Ahh, but I have now branded myself a trans-o-phobe because I believe that sex reassignment surgery is a mental illness. And so are the limb-choppers – or transabled as they like to be called.

So can I now be denied the right to own a gun? Because I do not believe Tranny’s are normal?

If any an all mental illness is reason to deny gun ownership, how long will it be before listening to Rush Limbaugh or Fox News is classified a mental illness by people that cannot tell if chopping off a leg is normal or not?

And what of Veterans with PTSD? And what do the lawmakers think of these individuals who gave so much for their country?

In debating a gun ownership bill, California Senator Dianne Feinstein said:

The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this.

So, you know, I would be happy to sit down with you again and see if we could work something out but I think we have to– if you’re going to do this, find a way that veterans who are incapacitated for one reason or another mentally don’t have access to this kind of weapon.

For starters, PTSD is not a new “phenomenon”. It is as old as war itself. It was first added to the shrink diagnostic book in 1980 – and Feinstein’s Gulf War did not start until 10 years later. But PTSD has been recognized since at least 1678 when Swiss physicians called it “Nostalgia”. It has been called “battle fatigue, shell shock, war neurosis, Gross stress reaction, post-Vietnam syndrome, as well as today’s term PTSD.

Lawmakers like Feinstein pretty much assume every Veteran has PTSD and this will open the door to deny Vets guns. And this will stop a lot of Vets from getting the treatment they need. How many people have PTST from a war people like Feinstein started?

But PTSD isn’t just a disease effecting people who have been in a war. Anything from a car accident to a bank robbery can cause PTSD to some degree. Not to mention survivors of mass shootings that this gun control talk purports to remedy.

But the common thread outside of terrorism to these mass shootings is mental illness. And we find that this mental illness is pretty much always known about before the person becomes a mass killer. And terrorists cannot be declared mentally fine either.

In the aftermath of each shooting a phrase has become all too common. “Signs were missed.” You think?

Columbine was one of the few shootings where the killers bought the guns illegally as they were underage. They also made 99 Improvised Explosive Devices. The kids were on prescription meds and a number of people knew the signs were there.

Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter was referred to the mental health clinic by a professor, turned in for suicidal comments by a roommate and definitely had issues and all the flags. But there is no system in place to recognize this and correlate data in real time. Cho bought 2 guns legally.

While most of the guns used in mass shootings were purchased legally, several shooters should have been prevented from buying guns, but data was not entered. Others had mental health issues, but that is not part of the background search.

  • Dylann Roof the Church Shooter in SC had a marijuana possession that was not entered.
  • Devin Kelly the Church shooter in Texas beat his wife and broke his infant stepson’s skull bought his gun legally because the information was not in the system.
  • John Houser was denied a concealed carry permit but was allowed to buy a gun that he used to kill 2 and wound 9 in a Lafayette, LA movie theater.
  • Raymond Fryberg had a permanent domestic protective order against him that was never entered in the system. He bought a gun which his son used to kill 4 students in Marysville, WA.
  •  Ivan Lopez was being treated by a base psychiatrist at Ft. Hood for anxiety and depression and legally bought a gun (at the same shop Nidal Hisan bought his).
  • Aaron Alexis was discharged from the service for bad behavior (with an honorable discharge?) but was paranoid and obviously mentally ill. The good news is he was refused when he tried to buy an “assault” rifle, but was sold a shotgun instead. He used it to kill 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.
  • Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook killer used a legally obtained gun owned by his mother to kill 26.
  • James Holmes killed 12 in a theater in Aurora CO using a gun he legally purchased. Holmes was under the care of a shrink.
  • Jared Loughner opened fire in a Tuscon, AZ parking lot killing 6 and wounding Congressman Gabby Giffords. He was kicked out of college “because of campus officials’ fears about the safety of the staff and students”. He bought his gun legally.
  • Jiverly Wong fired 98 shots with 2 pistols (who needs an “assault” rifle) killing 13. He had at least 5 incidents with police but bought the first gun with no problem. His second purchase failed to return an answer and after 3 days the sale legally went through with no response.

So what is the answer?

Obviously, being diligent and entering crimes and incidents into the system, especially if it would effect a background check for buying guns,  is the first step. That would at least have prevented the sale in some instances. It doesn’t necessarily mean the killings would not have occurred, but it would have made it harder.

As to the mental health aspect, that is a harder problem. Should a psychiatrist be required to report all potential killers? I suppose if the doctor is absolutely convinced the person is capable and about to harm himself or others reporting that would be good. At least putting a hold on gun purchases. But if the person is that dangerous, should the shrink have him admitted to a facility somewhere instead?

And how do we know when the person is no longer a threat?

And what of the violation of a person’s rights? And the potential to avoid treatment? Is there some “common sense” way to violate doctor – patient confidentiality and the trust of a patient by forcing doctor’s to rat out his patient? I can’t think on any. If they are bad enough to report, they are bad enough to commit.

It’s Security, obviously.

When a person takes a gun belonging to a family member, that can’t be stopped by more laws. When a perfectly sane person with no criminal history walks in to buy a gun, and later kills with it, that can’t be stopped by more laws.

The truth is, it is impossible to keep guns out of the hands of someone that wants to kill. We have already enacted all of the “Common Sense” laws that we can to prevent bad people from purchasing guns. But things will always fall through the cracks. And it won’t stop the over 350 million guns in the USA from falling into the hands of killers. If people want a gun, they can get one.

I have yet to hear one “Common Sense” proposal that would make a difference from those demanding more laws. Schools are gun free zones. Murder is illegal. Firing a gun is illegal in most cities and towns.

No, we have pretty much saturated the buying end with all the laws that we can. We can never stop all car fatalities. We can make cars safer and safer. We can pass speed limits and write tickets. But traffic fatalities will still occur.

But one difference with guns, we can post armed guards in schools. Or more armed guards. We can control access to current students and those with a reason to be there. We can lock doors from the outside and put alarms on them so students don’t open them and let in a potential bad guy. We can use cameras. We can set up police precincts in the schools. Many jurisdictions place police cars at various places to scare off those intent on harm. We can arm teachers. Janitors. Librarians.

We will never stop all mass shootings with laws. The best we can do is get to the high 90’s percent. The rest must be dealt with with physical security and deadly force (if necessary).

I have a Concealed Carry Permit and make full use of it. Like most who own and carry guns, I hope to never have the need to use it except at a gun range. But I understand that the law can only go so far. There are at least a quarter of a million stolen guns in circulation at any time. And these can show up anywhere. The Mall, the grocery store, your bank. Anywhere. And like a spare tire in my trunk, I hope I never have to use it, but I wouldn’t go anywhere without it. My life may depend on it.

 

 

 


Article written by: Tom White ]]>
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Elwood "Sandy" Sanders http://www.varight.com <![CDATA[So-called Presidents’ Day is NOT…It’s George Washington’s – Our Greatest American’s – Birthday!]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28248 2018-02-20T02:55:29Z 2018-02-20T02:55:29Z I do not like the term “Presidents’ Day” but I at least thought the Federal holiday was called that.

When I was a kid, there were two holidays in February:  Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12 and George Washington’s Birthday on February 22.  It did not matter what day in the week it is (except for the Friday off if the day fell on Saturday and Monday off when the day falls on Sunday rule); those were bona fide holidays.  But there never was a Federal holiday for Lincoln’s Birthday (YAY!) it was just a school holiday.  Several states do have a paid day off for Lincoln’s Birthday.

But the movement to make holidays a certain Monday in a certain month led the Congress to take the original Washington’s Birthday holiday from February 22, to the third Monday in February.

The Federal holiday is called (see 5 US Code Section 6103):

“…Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February…”

And the Virginia day is called (Va. Code Section 2:2-3300):

The third Monday in February — George Washington Day to honor George Washington (1732-1799), the first President of the United States.

My appreciation for the first President – George Washington was our Greatest American.  he was a great general, leader of men – especially the Continental armies during the Revolution – and a great President.  But it was the act in 1783 when George Washington stopped a military coup among his troops over pay and then resigned his command.  George III is reported to have said:

Give the last word to Washington’s great adversary, King George III. The king asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do after winning independence. West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”

“If he does that,” the incredulous monarch said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”

That is why George Washington is our greatest American.  (George III is wrong about one aspect of this quote – depending on how you read it.  The greatest man in the world ever is Jesus Christ Our Saviour and Lord.  Here’s how to know Him.)


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders ]]>
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Bob Shannon <![CDATA[LANGUAGE REVISION—REPUBLIMOUTHS ?]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28246 2018-02-16T10:59:08Z 2018-02-16T10:59:08Z

dictionary photo A few years back I began to refer to the two major political parties as the republicrats and the democans, reflecting that no real major differences existed any longer, with the sole exception at election time when like salmon returning to where they were spawned they would begin to spout their usual campaign slogans and platitudes. Once elected or safely re-elected they both  return to their natural state…spend and grow government some more. New programs, expansion of existing programs and like a mother lion, settling down to allow the crony pal lobbyists to draw on mother’s milk…..our money.

The spending deal struck last week by Congress left me wondering if my language needed revised, a reflection of some 85 billion in additional defense spending, and to keep the other side feeling as if they were still part of the team, another 65 billion for some domestic largesse.  Think of it as the Eagles inviting the Patriots in for some Party chow after the win, showing a little graciousness .

The advances of the aging process is now in evidence, but cognitive faculties are still remarkably sharp, memory as clear as a bell. For example , I seem to recall something about the republimouths ( my new name) crying back in 2010…. “if only we gave them the House”…..so we did.  Remember the promises of some 300 billion in promised spending cuts that became 30 billion , resulting in….. no real actual cuts ?

Then I seem to recall in 2012, “if only we had the Senate”….so like the rubes we apparently are we gave them the Senate.  What happened then…..nothing, fat donut hole.

Around rolls 2016 , and we heard…..”if only we had the Presidency, we could really get something done”……..like this week’s 2 year spending deal larded up with a new 150 billion ?  Is that what they meant when they said “they could really get something done “ ?

The republimouths control all of DC, much like former Governor Bob McDonnell back in 2009-13 controlled all of state government, and conservative principles of smaller government or reduced spending are nowhere to be found.

Upward pressure on interest rates , coming as certain as the sun rising in the East, coupled with the U.S now running annual deficits of 1 trillion dollars, throw in perhaps some inflation triggered by the pressure of wage growth, and for the cherry on top the Fed now offloading billions of their balance sheet, one doesn’t have to be a genius to see what is coming.

With a credit score of say 790-800 , one can borrow at prime +1 , while another with a credit score of say 620 borrows……but at 8%, reflecting the lenders recognition of risk, the lower credit score tells the lender , you better get compensated for a loan that might go south.

Lenders who buy our Treasuries  are now recognizing that America has a national debt that is mathematically impossible to pay off, given current spending levels. How much longer will creditor’s line up to buy Treasuries at these low rates is anyone’s guess, perhaps this week’s announcement that a treasury auction went unsubscribed is a hint of what is to come .  Throw in the reported additional trillions in unfunded liabilities from the entitlement benefits that have been promised and the picture should begin to come into focus. The nation can’t borrow or print its way out of this.

Republimouths can no longer be counted on to cut any spending, anyone believing to the contrary is a fool. Hell, we have republimouths pushing Medicaid Expansion here in Virginia across the finish line.

A decision must be made to fight, and I look across the spectrum and I only see enablers.

Bob Shannon  Founder  King William T.E.A Party


Article written by: Bob Shannon ]]>
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Elwood "Sandy" Sanders http://www.varight.com <![CDATA[Five Amateur Men’s Hockey Players on Team USA!]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28244 2018-02-14T02:54:14Z 2018-02-14T02:54:14Z I am pleased to inform my readers that there are five Olympians on the USA men’s hockey team that are glad the NHL players are OUT.  I found four collegians and one player who did not have a pro citation.  And here they are:

  • Will Borgen plays for St. Cloud State University (MN)
  • Ryan Donato plays for Harvard
  • Brian Gionta has no pro team listed
  • Jordan Greenway plays for Boston University
  • Troy Terry plays for University of Denver

Now there are too many pro players on all or most of the rosters at the Games.  (I am sticking to the men’s rosters tonight and here is Wikipedia’s report.  Let’s cover the women tomorrow evening.)

It is hard to tell what teams are pro and maybe semi-pro or a club team – but the only other college player appears to be Ludvig Hoff on the Norway team from University of North Dakota.

So, my readers, let’s root root hard for the USA team this year and Norway against everybody else.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders ]]>
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Elwood "Sandy" Sanders http://www.varight.com <![CDATA[Let’s Amend the Sanders Olympic Policy – US WINS First Olympic Medal in non-pro sport: Men’s singles luge!]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28242 2018-02-11T18:25:08Z 2018-02-11T18:25:08Z Luge is one of those sports I would never do.  You get on a item like one of those sleds you buy at the toy store (but very aerodynamically designed) and slide down four times on ice surface with curves to the bottom.  UMM – NOPE – not for me.

But since 1964, men from the US had not medalled at singles luge.  But this infamous record is broken.  And since we have no pro lugers (as far as I know) it is a a sport untainted by sports imperialism.

So I did a victory lap with the US flag and decided if we win a medal in a non-pro sport we have not done that before, we’ll amend the Sanders Olympic Policy to tout this.  Here is the details from NBC Sports and a highlight.  It’s a story worth reading but might need a napkin or two.

[Chris] Mazdzer, the 29-year-old from Pittsfield, Mass., finished behind Austria’s David Gleirscher, who won a shocking gold as Germany’s Felix Loch faltered in his final run. You can see the full results here.

“It’s 16 years in the making,” Mazdzer told NBC’s Lewis Johnson after winning silver. “I’ve had a rough last two years, and it just shows: Don’t ever give up. Whenever you lose, keep fighting. “

So a victory lap for this medal.  And words to live by.  That guy is brave just doing that sport.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders ]]>
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Elwood "Sandy" Sanders http://www.varight.com <![CDATA[2018 Winter Olympics are ON! Less Sports Imperialism This Time; Sanders Olympic Policy Explained!]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28241 2018-02-10T01:40:32Z 2018-02-10T01:40:32Z Yes the Winter Olympics are ON and the best news happened some time ago:  The NHL decided (probably because of a money issue) not to allow their athletes to play in the Olympics.  Sometimes the right thing happens for the wrong reasons.  (There are minor league players and the Russian hockey league did allow their players to play; I was hoping they would boycott and the hockey would even be better but you can’t have everything!)

So there is less sports imperialism at these games and of course, I want to see lots of curling and see USA do well at curling.  Probably a great chance at the first and not the second but again you can’t have everything!

But the BEST PART of the Games is the Opening Ceremony when the athletes come out with their flags and winter appropriate attire (except apparently for Tonga) and NBC tries not to start a war with its coverage.

Now a recap of the Sanders Olympic Policy (stated for the summer games):

  • Root hard for USA in all non-pro sports especially…
  • Sports like fencing [biathon, curling, ski jumping, etc.] where we do not traditionally do well!
  • Root for the USA [reluctantly] in sports like Golf where there are all pro athletes but a blog blackout on those sports…
  • Unless a new nation wins a pro sport and we’ll cheer with flag (I have a small flag of most of the Olympic nations) and national anthem AND
  • The Victory Lap Rule goes for any other new nation and we’ll extend that rule to first gold medal too!
  • At least for men’s basketball – they’ve on their own.  It takes more than wearing the USA to truly represent the USA.

It is stated for the Summer Games because it is doubtful that we will have any new nations win their first medal or first gold medal BUT who knows!  I will of course root for the new and tiny nations where I can and for USA of course IF NOT a pro sport.  I do not watch the pro sports although I do not regard alpine skiing as a pro sport although that is arguable and I will probably watch hockey.

I would love to see several nations medal for the first time and their athletes will be national heroes and might even be feted by a real prince or be on a postage stamp!

If Nigeria happens to medal in bobsled, I will apply the Sanders Olympic Policy as a protest against this.

For all you tiny nations, may this year be a Miracle on Ice or whatever surface your sport is played on.  But follow the non-imperialist sports coverage right here and you won’t find it set to Yanni, as Michael Callahan wrote six years ago, unless you want to listen to Yanni while you read this blog!

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders ]]>
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Elwood "Sandy" Sanders http://www.varight.com <![CDATA[My New HERO: Delegate Michael Webert for Opposing Crony Capitalism!]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28237 2018-02-08T02:26:49Z 2018-02-08T02:26:49Z Delegate Michael Webert (R-Loudoun) is my hero at least for this week or so.

Webert introduced a bill to bar any state or local government from providing any financial assistance for a professional sports team.  Here’s the bill and below is the text of it:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Title 2.2 a chapter numbered 55.3, consisting of sections numbered 2.2-5514 and 2.2-5515, as follows:

CHAPTER 55.3.PROHIBITION OF PUBLIC FUNDING OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAMS.

§ 2.2-5514. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter:

“Professional sports stadium” means a venue that hosts two or more events or practices featuring professional sports teams in a calendar year. “Professional sports stadium” includes practice and development facilities, office space, merchandising facilities, restaurants, or lodging for professional sports teams.

“Professional sports team” means any team consisting of athletes that receive monetary compensation for participating in sporting events. “Professional sports team” does not include high school or collegiate teams or teams funded exclusively by organizations holding tax-exempt status under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3).

“Public funding” means:

1. Tax incentives that reduce the burden of state or local taxes, including deductions, subtractions, modifications, credits, and exemptions from taxation;

2. State or local grants, appropriations, authorizations, or expenditures, including the issuance of any state or locally supported debt or any conduit debt issued by a state or local authority;

3. State or local loans; and

4. Financial assistance in the construction of private infrastructure.

§ 2.2-5515. Prohibition of public funding of professional sports teams.

A. On and after January 1, 2019, neither the Commonwealth nor any political subdivision thereof shall:

1. Provide or offer to provide public funding for the construction of a professional sports stadium unless the public funding is otherwise available to all development projects or business entities located in the locality;

2. Utilize public funding for the construction or maintenance of facilities for a professional sports team;

3. Utilize public funding for infrastructure improvements required by a newly constructed professional sports stadium; or

4. Lease or donate land to a professional sports team or an entity affiliated with a professional sports team.

B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof from constructing, maintaining, and charging reasonable fees for the use of public infrastructure related to a professional sports stadium, including water and sewer systems, electricity generation facilities, and transportation facilities.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate any existing contractual obligation incurred by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof prior to January 1, 2019.

Isn’t it wonderful?  My only addition would be that if there had to be funding for sports teams they must have a policy of requiring all to stand for the national anthem!  It was co sponsored by these delegates:

Patrons– Webert, Collins, Freitas, Krizek and VanValkenburg; Senator: Surovell

But it got killed 8-0 by this subcommittee of Appropriations:

YEAS–Torian, Ingram, Poindexter, Knight, Stolle, Head, Hayes, Tyler–8.

The YEA is for laying it on the table – e.g. killing it for the year.  That’s what I call bipartisanship!  For both parties are in deep when it comes to crony capitalism and corporate welfare.  They tried to say in fairness that this bill was too broad and would cut down on the discretion of local governments.  One tried to invoke the Olympics to oppose this bill.  Reminds me of the sign I see at the Hanover Trash Transfer station:

HORSE MANURE NOT PERMITTED

But these delegates have some vision.  Now turn that to other “economic development” ideas such as bringing movies to Virginia.  I heard some representative of the movie commission try to claim this very AM on the news that the state’s economy made $40,000,000 from bringing movies to Virginia.  Yeah, and we were also told:  The bike race made money!  I need to find more facts on this movie claim.

In the meantime:  No more crony capitalism.  What Virginia needs is a Ron Paul in each house of the General Assembly.  Any takers?


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders ]]>
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Elwood "Sandy" Sanders http://www.varight.com <![CDATA[Time to STOP the STOP GUN VIOLENCE License Plate!]]> http://www.varight.com/?p=28234 2018-02-08T01:13:02Z 2018-02-08T01:13:02Z I do get the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League emails and I appreciate them very much but today I got this little gem from them and immediately responded to their source:

There is a license plate bill (HB 287, Simon) with the message “Stop Gun Violence” that has cleared the House and is headed to the Senate. VCDL opposes the message because it is not denouncing all violence, only violence perpetrated using a gun. The implication that beating someone to death is acceptable, but shooting them to death isn’t acceptable.

Really?

However, as misguided as the message is, bills like this usually pass. NRA has license plates one can order, for example.

When the license plate bill got to the House Floor, Republicans did modify it. The final version of the bill was amended by Delegate Matt Fariss to require that $15, of the additional $25 fee for such a custom plate, goes to the Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Fund and used to enhance and ensure for the coming years, the quality of care and treatment provided to individuals receiving public mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services in Virginia.

If the plate had been worded “Stop Violence,” I think the support would have been unanimous and VCDL would not have opposed the bill.

Now here’s the wording of the bill Del. Marcus B. Simon came up with:

§ 1. Special license plates for supporters of stopping gun violence bearing the legend STOP GUN VIOLENCE.

[ A. ] On receipt of an application and following the provisions of § 46.2-725 of the Code of Virginia, the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles shall issue to the applicant special license plates for supporters of stopping gun violence bearing the legend STOP GUN VIOLENCE.

That is a blatantly political message and it’s not the only one.  “CHOOSE LIFE” is available.  You can also “TRUST WOMEN, RESPECT CHOICE”  There are FRIENDS OF COAL and FRIENDS OF TIBET, too.  Even the tea party:  DON’T TREAD ON ME.  (I am told that is the most popular license plate in Va.)  Could argue that there are political implications in an NRA license plate.

There is even a Sons of Confederate Veterans license plate BUT they do not get their logo on it.  (All the others have a logo of some sort.)

The Supreme Court of the United States held (rightly I think) that the license plate is not the speech of the purchaser (even though the purchaser usually pays more and that goes into a fund to benefit a cause) but is the speech of the government instead:

In our view, specialty license plates issued pursuant to Texas’s statutory scheme convey government speech.

From Walker v. Texas Division of the SCV, decided in June 2015.

I think this is a correct decision.  It is a state license plate issued by and required to be placed on every vehicle registered in that state.

So, to place a plate into circulation for “supporters of stopping gun violence” is placing the Commonwealth of Virginia in the role of conveying that political message.  It is hoped all Virginians would be opposed to gun violence.  But that is not why Del. Simon introduced this bill.  It’s code for gun control.

If the Commonwealth allows this tag to be issued, with some anti-gun logo, than the Sons Of Confederate Veterans, who get NO logo, have been discriminated against.  This potentially violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.  The government cannot say some speech is fine and not others in a situation such as this where there is potentially a unlimited number of messages.

There is a valid fear a court could hold:  The KKK or the American Nazi Party can have a special plate.  I do not want the KKK or the American Nazi Party to have a license plate of any kind with the Commonwealth of Virginia’s name and official registration stickers on it.  But agreeing that the DMV can adopt a license plate that says STOP GUN VIOLENCE brings that day closer to fruition.

One more thing:  Instead of a principled stand on the matter to oppose this political message, some in the majority Republican caucus compromised (again some might say) and came up with an alternative place for the funds:

These funds shall be paid annually to the Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Fund and used to enhance and ensure for the coming years, the quality of care and treatment provided to individuals receiving public mental health, developmental, and substance abuse services in Virginia. All other fees imposed under the provisions of this section shall be paid to, and received by, the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles and paid by him into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the necessary expenses incurred by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Huh?

Nope.  The state senate should say no and instead study if we have political viewpoints on license plates with the eye toward getting rid of all of them.  Or apologize to the SCV and replace their logo on the plates.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders ]]>
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