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Archive for October, 2010


I’ve never been a supporter of “buy local” programs. It may have something to do with growing up in Detroit when Honda and Toyota were making dependable cars, and nobody would have refuted the characterizations of the Big Three related in Ben Hamper’s Rivethead. I recall hearing on an automotive radio show that a Japanese model was in the works that was going to get 60mpg. I decided then and there that was what I wanted to drive.

Yet patriots and economists will disagree. The Downtown Sylva Association is promoting a 3/50 project. It is part of a national movement to get every employed person to spend $50 a month at independently-owned businesses. If they would, “the purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.” It’s not that money spent at chains evaporates; rather, “statistics show” 68% of money spent in indie stores stays in the local community, as opposed to 43% spent in chains. The word “stays” is not defined.

My problem is, I was under the impression that most people still spent most of their money on bills, and the discretionary remainder was divvied up between gas, food, and pharmas. It’s illegal to buy from the indie drug industry, we have no local gas refineries, and the cheap chain food markets continue to be jammed with bargain hunters.

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A Pinata of Greenbacks

The City of Asheville boasted on its web site today another instance of its role in expanding the federal government into welfare statist realms expressly forbidden, if anybody would care to read the Law of the Land. Anyway, the recipe for expanding the federal deficit and justifying remote-control, hyper-administrative intrusion into personal responsibilities is the usual exchange of incantations mumbled in Synergese for high sums offered by alphabet soup.

According to Hal David:

Twenty houses in a row:
Eighty people watch a TV show.
Paper people, cardboard dreams,
how unreal the whole world seems…

Can we be living in a world made of papier mache?
Everything is clean and so neat.
Anything that’s wrong can be just swept away.
Spray it with cologne, and the whole world smells sweet.

Ice cream cones and candy bars,
swings, and things like bicycles and cars…
There’s a sale on happiness:
You buy two, and it costs less.

Can we be living in a world made of papier mache?
Everything is clean and so neat.
Anything that’s wrong can be just swept away.
Spray it with cologne, and the whole world smells sweet.

Read the papers. Keep aware
while you’re lounging in your leather chair.
And if things don’t look so good,
shake your head and knock on wood.

Can we be living in a world made of papier mache?
Everything is clean and so neat.
Anything that’s wrong can be just swept away.
Spray it with cologne, and the whole world smells sweet,

like papier mache.

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One may get the impression Sylva is reaching its carrying capacity for legislation this week. The Smoky Mountain News reports the town has found by outlawing parking for certain people on a couple main streets, the cars didn’t magically evaporate. As a consequence, parking jams are occurring other places. To make matters worse, the downtown area is riddled with so many crosswalks, drivers can’t tell which ones are real, and so the commissioners voted to sacrifice a precious parking space to put up a sign indicating pedestrians will be using a particular one. Saith the reporter:

Fix a problem, create a new one. That’s how the cookie has crumbled lately in Sylva.

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You Have to Pass the Ordinance to Find out What’s in It

A few months ago, the Town of Sylva passed an ordinance to prevent business owners and employees from parking on two main streets. Those who disobeyed were given $50 tickets. Dodie Allen, a candidate for state house, got one of the tickets on her campaign van and turned the situation into a publicity stunt. Researching Allen’s claims, Steve Gray, owner of the Sylva Herald, discovered the very language for which the ordinance was written had inadvertently fallen by the wayside in a crockpot of legalese. To make matters worse, the town commissioners spoke in politically-correct gobbledygook, avoiding identifying nouns, when they had to officially set a public hearing date for a revised ordinance. To make matters better, Town Attorney Eric Ridenour offered to pay all tickets issued without the law out of his own pocket.

My compliments to Quintin Ellison for another fine article.

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Those Who Say There Are Too Many Laws Are Those Trying to Keep All of Them

A couple candidates seeking to write more laws of the land to be upheld by the petty bourgoise were violently pushed inside a campaigning buffer zone where they were accosted by operatives acting as supporters. The candidates were being green and walking to the orphanage on the other side of town. Obviously.

Now evil members of the opposite party are trying to make it look like the incumbents were disrespecting the law. See the whole thing in video here.

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Poor Hotel/Developer Pocket Synergy

The City of Asheville is doing its part to redistribute the wealth. This time, the $5350 reward goes to the Biltmore Hilton. Now, we all know only sicko mathematicians and so forth would say that giving one entity a 50% rebate on fees somehow reduces funds available in the general fund and requires government to either tighten its belt (which it does not like to do) or increase charges elsewhere. Government is apt to say this is not equivalent to paying Biltmore Farms; it is a synergy. Besides, it’s green. The rebate, which I reiterate has nothing to do with giving away taxpayer dollars to a wealthy developer for a wealthy hotel chain, was provided because the hotel is LEED certified. Announcements boast the establishment’s solar water heater.

At least the city’s official announcement does not claim as others that the program assists taxpayers. Google this sentence: By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers.

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HS & JM (cont’d) . . . 19

Closing Statements:

Miller: If you’re better off than you were four years, keep it like it is. I intend to go to DC and work in a nonpartisan way. I love to serve and work, and I love the people of the district. I will be out among the people once a month spending time with the people, and we will hold town halls.

Shuler: We’re faced with incredible issues going forward. We need somebody who can stand up for the people. I’ve stood up against my own leadership. I’ve listened to my constituents in all fifteen counties. They’ve been to my office. It has been a blessing. Your voice will continue to be heard. I’ve proven what I can do with legislation and votes keeping mountain people in mind.

For more information:


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HS & JM (cont’d) . . . 18

The SAVE Act was a good idea, but it should be put to a vote. Shuler introduced it, and Miller liked it. Miller didn’t think Pelosi had the leadership to make it good. Shuler says it is an example of his bridge-building. He could get a discharge petition. Leadership was not cooperative due to political boundaries. Policy, not politics should guide.

Miller: Pelosi is more interested in sanctuary cities. If Shuler had that kind of leadership, he would have driven SAVE through.

Shuler clarifies: Pelosi was not a viable alternative. He would run against her. He says politics is breaking DC. Leadership should be defined on the basis of results. I’ve been the whip of the Blue Dog Caucus as a freshman Congressman. I am respected.

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HS & JM (cont’d) . . . 17

Mittan: The big question: Will you vote for Pelosi

Shuler: If there is no viable candidate, I’ll run.

Miller: I don’t have a preference right now. I’ll make the decision then.

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HS & JM (cont’d) . . . 16

Shuler: Don’t let the Chinese lead. Besides, what is “clean coal” when you destroy a mountainside? We need to get to second and third generations of solar. I have confidence in our children and investors. We crafted solar here, and PV’s are now being bought from the Chinese and Germans. We need a national goal as when we put a man on the moon.

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