Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Really Tough Past Few Days.....

The heart of the Stuart plant would be the refiner. The refiner is a HUGE grinder that takes wood chips and shavings from local sawmills and other sources and grinds them into a fibrous material that is suitable for the manufacture of particle board. It consists primarily of a 1000HP 2300Volt electric motor. We ordered a control panel to handle the logic required to operate this piece of equipment from a company in Pennsylvania.
I interpreted their drawings as well as I could and had the refiner wired and ready to start on Monday. The company that provided the control panel had a field technician scheduled to be here on Tuesday to assist in the start up.
On Tuesday we discovered a few problems in my software, as well as a few problems in their software. I immediately corrected my problems, then began troubleshooting the problems with their cabinet and PLC programming. The “Technician” they sent down arrived with a tool kit that consisted of a pink flashlight. That’s all. A Barbie pink flashlight. I did all of the electrical troubleshooting for him, since he was not capable of it. He had my mechanical guys do all of the mechanical changes required since his flashlight was not the appropriate tool for changing flow switches or thermal switches. It did work well for pointing out where these devices were located, though.
One of the first problems identified was an extremely minor programming change in the logic software of his system. I pointed this out on Tuesday, and even explained how to fix it with the software code. He requested that I make a change in the physical wiring instead that (in his mind) would resolve the problem with his code. Knowing that it would not fix the problem, I made the wiring change. When it did not resolve the problem, he still stalled on making the programming change. I began to suspect that he did not know how to make the required changes to their program, but he never admitted as much to me. We worked all day Wednesday on some mechanical issues, and he still balked at making his programming changes which we both knew were required.
Today, (Thursday) he did not show up at the site until 10:00AM. I “gently forced” him to make his required program changes. He then went into “panic mode” and spent the next two hours on his cell phone with the home office, essentially learning PLC programming via long distance. That is when my suspicions about his programming skills were confirmed. Five hours later, he had made the required changes to two lines of code. Then we discovered another change that would be required in his company’s code.
He was informed that his time for today would not be chargeable until the software was corrected.
Finally at 5:00PM, even though his code was still not correct, it was determined to be usable to test with and we attempted to apply 2300 Volts to the machine.
That was when I discovered that I have a problem with the switchgear providing the high voltage to this system. Arrrgh. I should have started this motor on Tuesday. I may get to start it on Friday. I am extremely irritated with a certain “technician” from PA.

I love my job!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Maxwell Smart Enters The Cone Of Silence

He is very well eulogized here;
And another little nugget here

Gilligan has left the island, now Agent Smart has come in from the cold.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Virginia Blog Carnival IV

Now open!
Come see the sideshow over at Kenton's Place.

How Did It Come To This?

At what point in our history did we begin to believe that The Federal Government (or more specifically, the Executive Branch of the Federal Government) is responsible for taking people by the hand and leading them away from any danger or risk, no matter how well forecast or predicted?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Stuart to Get A New Employer In October

Stuart Forest Products will go into production in as little as four weeks. Sometime during the month of October the company will begin producing fiberboard at the location of the old International Paper/Nevamar plant.

Jack Temple of Hickory, N.C., president and CEO, said the company will employ a minimum of 43 people at the beginning but expects to hire "a lot more in the near future."
"That's a small number compared to what may come along," Temple said, adding that if the plant does well in the "board business" it may add hydromulch-production and laminating operations. He said that while the "bottom fell out" of the particleboard industry in recent years, it has rebounded and "now prices are at an all-time world high."
Temple runs Tailored Foam Products, one of the largest foam wall insulation firms in the world, Burnette said. The company has provided insulation for several Wal-Mart and Food Lion stores, Temple said.

Temple and Buford King, vice president and general manager for the Stuart plant, discussed plans with EDA members. "Local people have been hospitable, other businesses have extended credit, and some potential employees have already come by the plant asking for jobs, Temple said. "We're starting to feel at home," he said. "We're pleased to be part of the town."

The plant, which began as Stuart Lumber Company in the 1920s, later became Masonite Corporation and later still International Paper, before being purchased by Nevamar Company. The plant closed in December of 2002 and sat vacant for over a year, until Nevamar donated the 148,000-square-foot building and 25 acres to Patrick County in January of 2004.
I have been very involved with testing my software at the plant for the past few days. I have been somewhat neglectful of this blog for that reason. The testing has been going very well, and I just this afternoon finished making some changes in my code that should test well tomorrow.
I have been so preoccupied that I completely forgot about the Virginia Bloggers Carnival for this week. Consequently, I haven't chosen any specific post to submit. Therefore, this one will have to do.
If this is your first visit here, please read some of my previous posts. If you are a returning visitor, please watch for new posts beginning on Monday or Tuesday, if all tests go well.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Yesterday's Testing....

Went very well. A couple of programming changes, a few fuses and overloads slightly undersized.
Only 3 mechanical incidents that neeeded attention.

This testing will continue, though. The plant we are renovating, (and most of the equipment we are re-using) has been idle for almost 3 years. We want to run everything for a few weeks if possible so any mechanical incidents show now rather than in the first few days of production. This way we can identify bad bearings, belts, hoses, etc. early and get those little details resolved now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

First Full Dry Run

Today, I will be starting all conveyors and related motors in the Chip Prep section of the plant. So far, all my controls testing has been successful. Today will be that final proof.

It's been a long, hard pull. And will get harder as we get closer to actual start-up.

I have noticed a steady stream of applicants through the office, anticipation seems to be running pretty high that there will soon be another stable source of good jobs in Stuart.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I Agree, There is No Excuse

Today’s Roanoke Times has this on the front page of the Virginia section, left column.
Now, I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed in the column. There cannot be an "excuse".
A year ago, the large billboards - five in the Roanoke area - and the strategically placed bar coasters and napkins got attention for the pointed question they asked: "Isn't she a little young?"
Guys, you should know the answer if your "girlfriend" is 13, and you're, say, 25. If that's you, take this personal: Stop robbing the cradle. And if your "relationship" with her is sexual, you're breaking the law. Claim you didn't know how old she was or that consensual sex with her was against the law? Consider this your epiphany. As Assistant Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Alice Ekirch said last week, "Ignorance of the law and her age is no defense."
The billboards that made the blunt inquiry last summer are down, but the ongoing statewide public awareness campaign by the Virginia Department of Health continues to put out the crucial message that sex with an underage girl is a big no-no.
This is a prime example of the type of hypocrisy Ms. Zomparelli and Mr. Denton expose to their readers daily.
If you’ve read the column, you are sure to be wondering when the Roanoke Times ever endorsed Child Sexual Abuse. I'll be the first to admit that they haven't, at least not explicitly. And that brings me to the second thing for which there is no excuse. They most ceratinly have endorsed it implicitly.

At the time of her nomination, the records of the ACLU were freely available to the Times Editorial Board. If my memory serves me correctly, I seem to remember the Times even citing ACLU Board Membership as one of many qualifying features of her resume’.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views on child sexuality were also made known during her confirmation process. During the confirmation process, testimony was given that, Mrs. Ginsburg, as a member of the ACLU board, attacked the right of state and local governments to arrest and prosecute adult sex offenders who prey upon the young. She had even written a published study advocating reducing the age of consent to 12 (for females!). Yet, the Roanoke Times eagerly endorsed her for confirmation.

I would find it extremely hard to believe that Ms. Zomparelli or Mr. Denton or any other member of the Editorial Board would consciously endorse child sexual abuse. (Not now, and not in 1993, before Ms. Zomparelli and Mr. Denton rose to their respective positions.) But, in their zeal to endorse a Supreme Court Nominee that was certain to provide Court votes that would agree with their social agenda, The Roanoke Times did just that. They were only too willing to overlook items like these, if it would only mean another reliably liberal Supreme Court Justice.

I'm sure the Roanoke Times’ defense would be that the article cited here was an opinion column, not necessarily reflective of the Times Editorial Board. (Just as Mr. Denton repeatedly insists that the Editorial Page is a concensus, not any one person's opinion. Which is probably true, look at who makes up that concensus.) But, I submit, the article is not on the Editorial or Opinion Page, it has a distinctive “news” feel and tone, and the average reader would never disassociate this article from a legitimate news story. Or maybe it's a legitimate news story written by a columnist. That it is one or the other is irrelevant. It still points to the fact that what is unversally deplored by society, is sometimes ignored in deference to a "higher purpose".

Maybe today’s “Opinion Column” disguised as news is an unconscious attempt to rectify that gross mistake of 12 years ago.

Maybe now they truly do feel that a Supreme Court Nominee should be pressed much harder in order to discern all the "nuances" of his or her thought processes. Obviously they do, because in a recent Editorial critical of Jerry Kilgore, three paragraphs were expended complaining about Judge Roberts' "ambiguity".

Obviously, the last two parahraphs were facetious, but that facetiousness brings into a much clearer focus, at least in my mind, the reason the Liberal leaning Press, including the Times, and the Democratic Party are so insistent that they should know without doubt how a nominee will rule on certain cases. When the nominee comes from their own party, they DO know how that candidate will rule. Under those circumstances, the questioning need not be very hard or very probing. And a Roanoke Times Endorsement needn't be either.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Notes On The Latest Rasmusen Poll

While the latest Rasmussen Poll shows a dead heat in the Kilgore - Kaine contest. there are some interesting tidbits a little deeper into the Poll.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) say that voter approval should be required for "all tax increases in the state of Virginia." Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree.

Just 18% of voters believe that taxpayer dollars should be used to fund day laborer shelters that can be used by both legal immigrants and illegal aliens to assemble and find work. Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters oppose the funding of such shelters.
Tim Kaine has called Kilgore "Mean spirted" for opposing day labor sites because they are used (not exclusivly, of course) by illegal immigrants. Although, to be fair, Kaine has since said he opposes day labor centers as well, or did he? No, wait, I remember now. He said business needs illegal labor, therefore he opposes opposition to day labor centers. Oh, anyway, I'm sure he opposes something illegal regarding immigration, I just haven't been able to figure out what yet.

Also according to Rasmussen;
By an 88% to 8% margin, Virginia voters also say that illegal aliens should not be allowed to receive government benefits such as Medicaid.
Tim Kaine opposes the death penalty, but insists he will sign the paperwork. Jerry Kilgore does not oppose the death penalty.

According to Rasmussen;
Sixty-eight percent (68%) favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder. Twenty-two percent (22%) are opposed.
While the Polls are close as they concern the two candidates,they also show some extremely wide differences of oppinion on numerous other issues. The issues I highlighted are not the only ones that are reflected in this Poll. There are some that show Kaine with certain advantages. I chose the ones I did because, here in the Southwest/Western Southside area, I believe they resonate more with the average "non political junkie" voter.

The major reason the candidates appear so close is that most voters are simply not "tuned in" yet to the Governors Race. There have been many huge distractions this summer. The campaign traditionally begins in earnest on Labor Day which was only a little over three weeks ago. And each campaign is just now beginning to ramp up statewide TV advertisements.
I believe that once these ads start playing statewide,(and if Rita gathering off the coast of Florida doesn't create another "storm" of distractions to Virginia voters) and people begin to see the truly different stances taken by the two candidates that the Poll numbers will reflect it.

Just notes....

From the Carnival, I discovered Jerry, way up on Big Walker Mountain. His blog is From On High. An appropriate title I suppose. While there I spent quite a bit of time reading some of his other posts. I like this guy.

His post today is about being an early riser, as Norm described him in the Carnival. He has developed a morning regimen that works for him.

Unlike Jerry, I am most definately NOT a morning person. That's why I too get up at 4:00am. It gives me an hour or sometimes two to read, sip coffee out on the deck, and just slowly eeaaassse my way into the day.

He and Kilo make me miss the coalfields.

Even though I am a native of Henry County, I spent quite some time working in Kimper, KY while living in Hurley, VA. (No, I didn't get a coon dog..... But I have to admit to voting for one who did.)

Virginia Blog Carnival III

Norm has the honor of hosting this edition of the Virginia Blog Carnival.
Mash your mouse here---->One Man's Trash
Get a cup of coffee, and be prepared to read some really good stuff, and one from me too.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Yep, that just about sums it up

Rhymes with Right
Has found a cool quote. (click the title of this post)I'm still laughing..

I've Been Reflecting .......

A few days ago Chad posted this asking why George Bush is so hated by the left.
The #5 comment by Hillbilly Pundit was pretty much right on target. But it caused me to further reflect on that.

I think I may have it.

It’s simple, Chad. They are Joe Starrett. They feel themselves to be weak, and ineffective, while Shane moves with confident, deliberate grace under pressure.

Remember Joe? He grew to loathe Shane for the inherent goodness he possessed. Even though Shane was selflessly working to restore order in Joe’s world. To put it simply, Joe hated Shane for exposing Joe’s own weakness. Shane never worried about his popularity. He never consulted a Poll. He just did what had to be done.

Now, in their defense, it would be hard not to be Joe. Any man who watches another man protect his family, while he stands by helpless will go through two emotions. First he would be grateful that his family is safe. Next, he begins to reflect on his own helplessness and grows to hate not only the helplessness but also the thing that exposed that weakness to him.

Those in the Democratic Party that feel themselves to be the weakest or most helpless are his shrillest critics. They know that a good idea has not come from their ranks in 25 years, and with no power left to them except that of shrill criticism, they use the only tool they have.

Not Larry makes the front page....

Not Larry Sabato is featured in the Roanoke Times story on the staff member on Anne Crockett-Stark's campaign who was dismissed for disparaging remarks about the people of Southwestern Virginia.
From the Roanoke Times;
Staffer talks trash about S.W. Virginia
And no, Not Larry did not give away his identity, not even to Paul Dellinger. Brian Patton, however, is quoted, but it appears to be a quote from his site instead of an answer to the reporter.

Whoever is behind the "Not Larry Sabato" Web site is remaining anonymous, but it seems to bash representatives of both major political parties about equally.

Its name is derived from the frequently quoted Larry Sabato, who is director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

The postings attracted a flurry of online comments, including some doubting that any campaign worker would publicize such sentiments.

"As much as I would like to believe it, I just cannot," wrote Brian Patton, whose blog supports Democratic candidates. "No one is this stupid."

And finaly, this excerpt from her "Fear and Loathing in Wytheville" blog was prescient, in an amusingly ironic way.

"My next career move will definitely be based on location, not necessarily vocation… ”

Yes, dear, you were so right. I would say this career move was most definately based on location.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Comment on Chad's Post

Comm Con has this;
Mash your mouse here
Regarding hypocricy found on these sites, Raising Kaine And Waldo
A quick Google search turns up this;
Donor Profile: Money Out

It would seem that the Kaine supporters would know how to use Google, but apparently either they don't.....Or, could it just be that they don't expect the voting populace to know how to use Google.

My question is, which is worse?

Waldo has posted an update that reflects Kaine's acceptance of Smithfield donations. he recently requested that I acknowledge the same here. I did. Now, I have to comment.

I'm sorry Waldo, but if that's the case, why did it take a connection to the Kilgore campaign to draw out a post from you regarding Smithfield?
We all know by now that the Kaine contribution occured last year. You have had a lot of time to link it to oppression of the underpriveledged class. Why did you wait 'til now to attempt to distance your guy from it?

Hmmm... Now I'm not a lawyer, but this kinda smells bad.

Virginia Supreme Court Ruling;
Floyd County prosecutor loses argument
How would you like to go into court with an attorney appointed by the court, and then find out that the Commonwealth Attorney was also appointed by the Judge hearing the case? Can you say kangaroo?
Even if all is legitimate, fair, and clean, it still smells.

Chad, if you read this, (and only if courthouse ethics permit) please comment.

New ads to debut from Potts & Kaine

Today in the Times-Dispatch is this from Tyler Whitley & Jeff Schapiro
Everything but kitchen sink
Potts gets creative?
The commercial includes a cameo appearance by his wife, Emily, who is seen -- beaming -- along with a teacher and her students, all clanging on pots and shouting the ad's eponymous refrain.

The commercial closes with Potts, in shirtsleeves, addressing a rally in Winchester. He booms that his "vision for Virginia" includes making "education and transportation our top priority."

Potts then implores the sign-waving and pot-banging crowd, "This is Virginia. Let's make'em hear us."

While Kaine goes negative....
The spot makes its point with a sharp object: A large knife that is used to slice a brightly decorated cake that features a likeness of a little red schoolhouse and the words "Virginia Schools."

"Any way you slice it, Jerry Kilgore will cut education," a female announcer concludes.

A spokesman for Kilgore called the Kaine commercial "a blatant falsehood." The Kaine campaign stood behind it.

Who could possibly be accepted by the Senate Democrats..

I listened to much of the confirmation hearings via streaming audio this week. It struck me that there could be no nominee from a Republican administration that would pass the tests required by Schumer, Biden, Kennedy, or Feinstein.
Today's has this on that same subject.
OpinionJournal - Hot TopicHowever, the following paragraph shows me that President Bush made an excellent choice in this nominee.
Perhaps the most encouraging exchange of the week was Judge Roberts's reply to GOP Senator Jon Kyl on the growing trend in U.S. courts to cite foreign precedents to justify their decisions. "Domestic precedent can confine and shape the discretion of the judges," Judge Roberts said. "Foreign law, you can find anything you want. If you don't find it in the decisions of France or Italy, it's in the decisions of Somalia or Japan or Indonesia, or wherever." Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy have been especially aggressive in pushing this foreign legal buffet line on the High Court. But we're glad to say it doesn't sound as if the new Chief will be joining them.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Be vewy vewy quiet....I'm hunting wabbits.....

Bill Cochran's Field Reports - Comments on crossbows
From all the quail calls I have been hearing you’d think the good old days have returned. That’s not the case, but on the positive side I’m hearing more birds than anytime the past two years. The question: Will any of them be around when the hunting season begins?

This seems to be some great news for us "shooters of tweety birds".
I am guessing that turkey and grouse have had favorable nesting conditions. There has been an absence of long, cold rains. In fact, we are several inches below normal rainfall.

I have been seeing good numbers of doves and an occasional woodcock. Deer are moving into the meadows in impressive numbers.

I can vouch for the deer sightings, here in western southside/eastern blue ridge, we are "infested" with deer. I hope Bill is correct regarding turkey. I haven't been able to spend much time in the field, so I can't report personally on turkey.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Why I love to hate the Roanoke Times.

Some may be wondering why I bother to read the Roanoke Times if it gives me such angst. For recent examples click here or here.
That would be a very good question, to which I have several answers.
My choices "off the rack" are pretty limited. I live in Collinsville, (Not Charlottesville, not Centreville, but Collinsville. Very near Martinsville, not very near Bristol, or Williamsburg, but on the same road.) and work in Stuart (not very near anywhere but Floyd).
Those choices are:
The Martinsville Bulletin
The Greensboro News & Record
The Winston Salem Journal
The Enterprise
USA Today (But why even bother with a link?)

I thoroughly enjoy the Winston Salem Journal and highly recommend it for it's NASCAR coverage, but it is woefully inadequate in it's coverage of Virginia politics. The Greensboro News & Record has two (really, it does!) excellent crosswords each day, but it's also extremely inadequate in it's coverage of Virginia politics. The Enterprise, (a great little paper) is weekly. I am a slow reader, but not quite that slow.

But, finally, the three primary reasons I read the Roanoke Times are...(drum roll)
  • The Valero Fast Mart where I get my first cup of coffee has recieved it's delivery of Roanoke Times by 5:30.
  • It has not recieved any of the others.
  • And, most importantly, I have to have a paper to disguise the fact that what TRULY has my attention at 6:00am is the butt on the waitress at Kaye's Kitchen in Patrick Springs! - The Truth About Tim Kaine

CommCon today points us to the title's link. While there I checked to see what information this site had on the gun control situation, specifically the NRA. - The Truth About Tim Kaine
Anyone who has been here before knows one of my "most favorite things" is, shall we say, "ridiculing" The Roanoke Times. (Hey, I live in Collinsville, and work in Stuart, what the heck else is there to do? Well, OK, I can also ridicule Ward Armstrong, but some things are just too easy.)
On August 27, 2005 "that paper" published an account of the debut of "Sportsmen for Kaine" with this story.
Surprisingly, only three paragraphs into the story we are treated to remarks by Kilgore spokesman Tucker Martin.
However, we soon come to the paper's reporting of Kaine's response to the NRA "F" rating. (Emphasis mine)
Kaine fired back Friday, saying that the NRA is partisan and hasn't taken a hard look at detailed specifics of his gun record.
Surely the reporter, or at least the editor who approved the copy, is aware that among the politicians in Virginia who have recieved an "A" rating from the NRA are prominent Democrats such as Rick Boucher, Ward Armstrong, Roscoe Reynolds, Virgil Goode (before his excommunication). I may be mistaken, but I believe even "uber liberal" Barney Day was approved. I'm sure there are many others. But those are just my local guys. Of course this statement was allowed to stand unchallenged in the reporter's story. How many true sportsmen, who are not politically inclined, are unaware of this and will simply accept the story's implication that the NRA is a "politically biased" organization. Apparently the Roanoke Times believes it, and Tim Kaine desperately hopes others will believe it as well.

Barney Day leading book discussion today.

The Enterprise
Today at Reynolds Homestead Day will be leading a discussion of his co-written book "Notes from the Sausage Factory"

Manuel Miranda on "religious test"

OpinionJournal - The Next Justices
I'm glad to see I was not the only one surprised (though, on reflection, I guess I should not have been) that Judge Roberts' Catholicism was so openly questioned during the hearings.
As noted in the link above, Ms. Feinstein was especially abrasive.
"In 1960, there was much debate about President John F. Kennedy's faith and what role Catholicism would play in his administration. At that time, he pledged to address the issues of conscience out of a focus on the national interests, not out of adherence to the dictates of one's religion. . . . My question is: Do you?"

It would seem to me, that in linking her statement to JFK she hoped to hide the obvious intent of her questioning.

10th District Armstrong v Young

10th District Update
NLS says of Young,
If his campaign can get their act together, this has the setup of being the upset of the year.

He also says,
If Young begins moving everything is in his favor, except for the incumbent's personal popularity. To finish it off, this will have to get ugly. Either way, that will be fun to watch.

Believe me, locally, that personal popularity he speaks of has waned a bit in recent years. Sure, he's still the darling of the Martinsville Bulletin, but the "man on the street" is not nearly as enamoured with him as has been so in the past.

Bush Popularity Higher Than Being Reported?

Ankle Biting Pundits - Gallup: Bush Coming Out Okay
It certainly appears so....

But you would have a hard time finding these results
In the story on

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This is so cool!

Click here -----> LINK
For proof that engineering types are way too easily amused.....

Roberts Hearings online audio stream

Even though I have no way to watch the coverage of the Senate's Confirmation hearings for Chief Justice Nominee Roberts, I do have broadband internet access at work and can at least listen. The post title is a link to the audio stream.

CommCon links to an informative site for all things hearing related.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

It suddenly became clear to me.

I've been pondering Russ Potts' "campaign style" for weeks.
This morning, while having breakfast at Kaye's Kitchen in Patrick Springs, it came to me. Potts is not campaigning for actual votes. No, sir! He has a much loftier goal. His aim is to be endorsed by the Roanoke Times.
You have to admit, he has the perfect platform for this goal. If it moves, tax it. If it won't move, tax it. If it has any relevance to transportaion, tax it. If it smokes, tax it.

The only thing I have yet to figure out is, when will Tommy Denton come out of the closet as his campaign manager? Oh well, I'll be having breakfast at KK again tomorrow. Maybe I'll have another "Kaye's Kitchen epiphany".

Busy this morning...

We are still working to get the plant in Stuart up and running. Our August deadline was missed, obviously. Now shooting for early October, which I think is doable.

Meanwhile, I notice that Commonwealth Conservative is reminding us that today is "debate day". As Chad points out, Kaine will most likely go negative, hard.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Well, at least the Washington Post recognizes more than one....

The Commonwealth Conservative has this today;
Bob Lewis is a bright guy, and a good writer. So can someone explain this:
After a three way search ( search, Google, and my own memory), it seems that The Roanoke Times is only aware of one.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

If you were The Roanoke Times Editorial Staff, which would you choose to demonize?

Saturday’s Roanoke Times Editorial calls attention to Del. Ben Cline’s (Rockbridge County Republican) proposal for a 60-day moratorium on the State’s 17.5 cent gas tax. As well they should. It’s a dumb proposal, with terrible economic repercussions.

The editorial explains the bad economics of artificially holding down gas (or any commodity) prices in a clear manner. That the R T has published an editorial that is clearly written, with a conservative position on the economics of the proposal is remarkable enough in it's own right. But the striking thing to me is the clear bias it shows against the Republican Party in Virginia.

The disaster-induced disruption in the gasoline supply drives up prices, and the higher prices pare demand to the bare essentials and avert shortages.
If state lawmakers intervene to hold down prices artificially, they will encourage consumption and discourage needed changes in consumer behavior.
Or perhaps the theory holds only in off election years.
If Cline's proposal is not good economics, it's probably good politics. Everyone's feeling the impact of higher gas prices -- though not everyone feels the same pain.

Now, I'm not an economist. I'm an engineer, therefore I do think logically. For example, I have to use boolean logic evry day. (If this happens, then that must happen.) This RT editorial is probably the most logical I have seen in ages. In order to continue in a logical vein, one must ask, where does the Roanoke Times stand on an equally dumb campaign speech Lt. Gov. Kaine made in Vinton on Sept. 2? This page from Tim Kaine's campaign website, reposts the entire Roanoke Times article, (which I don't think is available in a free form on the Roanoke Times website after 7 days).

Roanoke Times, September 2, 2005
By Todd Jackson and Michael Sluss
Democratic candidate for governor Tim Kaine today called on all public officials — state, federal and local — to put pressue on the oil companies to freeze their prices, at least until the current hurricane-induced crisis fades.

The economic impact of the two proposals is indistinguishable. If anything, Kaine’s proposal may even be worse, calling as it does for local and Federal intervention in addition to State. Yet, in typical Roanoke Times fashion, the Republican proposal is the one they chose to editorialize against.

Letter From Senator Reynolds

Mr. Reynolds was once the Commonwealth's Attorney for Henry County. This letter makes one wonder about his legal knowlege. (Click on image to enlarge.)