Tom Joad's Place

Welcome to Tom Joad's Place! Join me for political discussion and banter on important national subjects and VA politics. I've also noticed that there are a lot of people looking for information on "Grapes of Wrath". Look for the sidebar and we'll discuss. Contact Kevin, at

Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Way to pay lip service to transportation "issues"!

Thank you VA General Assembly! Delegates who have no business in deciding how people from Northern Virginia are taxed have told us that we cannot put a .0025 on our sales tax. In other words for every $100 you spend, you would pay one friggin' quarter!

"The four delegates on the subcommittee who represent jurisdictions served by Metro and a Democrat from southwestern Virginia voted for the bill. Three Republicans from Northern Virginia whose constituents would not have been taxed voted against it, as did two GOP lawmakers from the Richmond suburbs."

Great...we have Delegates in other parts of Virginia making decisions for us here in NOVA. That would be akin to a state government in Kansas saying that they know our budget situation better than we do in Virginia!

"In discussing their opposition, delegates from the Washington suburbs said that they believed there were other ways to raise the money, though they did not cite any specific alternatives."

That's right there are no specific alternatives. It's like the Delegates who voted against this measure want a magical fairy to come along and sprinkle fairy dust on OUR transportation situation to make it all better. That might happen in the "No-tax even if our mother's needed it" Republican Fantasy Land, but it doesn't work in the real world!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Check out Andy Hurst's New Website!

The new website can be found here. I will put it in my blogroll soon!

I like the overall design and I'm glad to see that there are already issues up on the site. The blog feature is also a good touch. This site looks like it's all about getting information to the voters and Andy is definitely going to talk to every voter he can from here to the primary.

Any way to get a rotating photo for the "Headline" of the website?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

So much for believing in Personal Property Rights...

So the House of Delegates has made it's yearly push for people to carry guns almost anywhere they want. This time they are targeting private businesses.

Via The Washington Post:

"The parking lot bill, part of a nationwide push by the National Rifle Association, would require businesses, including restaurants, to allow employees and customers to keep guns in their cars on company property. Many U.S. businesses have enacted rules banning guns in cars in response to workplace shootings."

Why? Why? Why? Why would you need a gun at your workplace parking lot? What good can come from having a gun in your glovebox? For instance, if I were an employee at "Toys 'R Us", should I be able to have a gun in the parking lot in the proximity of children?

I understand the 2nd amendment and people wanting to own guns for personal safety. I do not understand the NRA's insistence on not having a modicum of common sense when it comes to guns and the respect of other people's personal property.

If a business bans guns, it does so for a damn good reason. The business has the right of their customer's and employee's safety that trumps any protection that gun owners might need.

Guns scare some people and for good reason. They can kill. People should be able to expect that guns are not within walking distance of them when they are peacefully shopping or eating. Anything less is unacceptable.

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

I won't be doing much today except for sitting in front of the TV and watching the Daytona 500. My girlfriend is absolutely thrilled!

Here is my Top 5 for today:

1. Tony Stewart
2. Jeff Gordon
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Carl Edwards
5. Bobby Labonte

Darkhorse pick:

Denny Hamlin

Want to see make the Top 40:

Kirk Shelmerdine

If you've watched NASCAR at all during the last 2-3 years, you might have noticed Shelmerdine limping around the track just trying to collect a paycheck. He would run about 10 laps and pull it into the pits. The highest finish he has had the last couple of years was 37th and that's because there was a wreck that knocked out five cars.

Why should we care? Quite frankly, NASCAR's system of qualification makes it tough for guys like Kirk to get a shot at qualifying. If you don't get enough starts, eventially you will run out of provisional chances. Since Kirk doesn't have a lot of chances to test, he doesn't move as fast as the other drivers. This makes him less likely to qualify!

I would like to see a small wreck at the beginning that knocks out a few drivers to give Kirk a chance at a Top 40 finish. There's no glory in finishing dead last!


Here is Brian Patton's post.


Update #2:

Lap 96: Kirk Shelmerdine is now 28th! Edwards is out...3 of my 5 picks are in the Top 10!

Update #3:

Lap 112: Tony Stewart talked about over-aggressive driving earlier this week. Today, so far, he has twice run into lead drivers. He should've been penalized a lap...he wasn't.

Update #4:

Lap 170: Jeff Gordon has made a STRONG comeback from his accident earlier today. Top 10 finish should be in the cards!

Update #5:

Jimmie Johnson wins the Daytona 500! Jeff Gordon faded after being involved in 2 accidents and no third gear and finished in 28th...Kirk Shelmerdine finished 20th!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Logical Deduction?

Via The Washington Post:

"We are not even two years removed from the largest tax increase in Virginia history," Howell said at the news conference where House leaders announced their plan. "Raising taxes further in a time of growing revenues wouldn't just be irresponsible. It would be wrong for commuters, wrong for taxpaying families, wrong for Virginia's economic future."

So would it be more responsible to raise taxes when revenues are flat or falling? Just wondering.

Republicans push for tax INCREASE!

I don't know what to make of this new proposed tax "relief" on gasoline. This proposal is certainly something that I've never thought about. Here's what intrigues me about the proposal:

"Twice a year, motorists could ship off a bundle of receipts and, weeks later, receive a check in the mail representing a rebate of the new gasoline tax. Based on today's gas price, the refund would amount to about 8 cents a gallon.

'No one would have to pay this tax if they didn't want to,' said Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), whom colleagues credit with coming up with the idea.

The thought of asking the DMV to manage a program that could involve compiling hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper painstakingly assembled by thousands of drivers had some delegates rolling their eyes."

So let me get this straight. Republicans are raising taxes on the average person but under the guise that you don't have to pay by preying on the fact that people are generally lazy and unorganized. Absolutely brilliant!

But I thought Republicans, in general, were against raising taxes. I know that the rebate is there but if you are going to raise taxes, raise them across the board. Don't sidestep the fact that you as Republicans are raising taxes. Just recognize the fact that it needs to be done for transportation and do it.

I wonder if there will be another Republican bloodbath in 2007 if they increase taxes? As a Democrat in NOVA, I'm all for it!


Here is Reily, Not O'Reilly with his prospective.

"There’s quite a bit of good stuff in the reforms packages here. I’d even be onboard with tolls and user fees (these are very libertarian ideas for funding roads.) Tax increases and a convoluted rebate program for the gas tax, though, are bad ideas."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Andrew Hurst

Andrew Hurst is running for the 11th Congressional District nomination for the Democratic Party. He is having a Campaign Kickoff this Thursday, February 16 at 7:00PM.

It's at 3310 Fairview Park Dr.
Suite 1400
Falls Church, VA

I met him for the first time this past summer at the Fairfax YD barbecue and again this past week at the Fairfax YD monthly meeting. He would be an excellent representative for this district (more on that later...I'm late for an appointment).

Happy VD!

I hate Valentine's Day. Loathe it. Detest it. I believe it's just another way for Hallmark, Russell Stover, florists and any jewelry store to milk hard earned money from the pocketbooks of consumers especially yours truly.

Look at these damn commercials that are bombarding people! "Eat more chocolate!" "Get her what she's been wanting all year! A diamond tennis bracelet!" "Nothing says 'I love you' like a dozen roses!" To those commercials and the people that produce them, I say, "Screw you!" It's just another way for men to feel worthless if they don't get their women the "perfect gift" and it endorses a level of entitlement and anger if women do not get said gifts.

It's ingrained into our heads at an early age. Remember those valentines that you received almost annually from everyone in the classroom in elementary? Everyone got in on the act. If you didn't give someone a "Transformer" valentine, all hell would break loose. (Personally, I loved the ALF valentine I got in 3rd grade...but that's because to me at age 7 ALF was GOD!) You were taught heartbreak and rejection at the age of six because some booger picking kid forgot to put you on a list to give you a mass produced paper card from some stupid cartoon. Not because they didn't like you but because you WERE SIX YEARS OLD and they probably forgot!!!

Back to today...What if you don't have anybody to love or nobody loves you? That certainly makes the day go by at a crawl. You are being pelted with Valentine images from almost every direction (TV, Radio, Newspapers, stores, restaurants, pop-up ads). All of this adds up to you being a loser because you can't share this "special" day with someone. What's up with that?

It's not that I do not like love or find the concept of love repulsive. I just find the idea that we have to concentrate all of this energy into one friggin' day idiotic at best insanely mean spirited at worst.

Why can't we spread the love to all 365 days of the year? Do you honestly think that by providing a box of chocolates to the one you love one day a year is really showing them you love them and that you care? Why not do good deeds every day for them? I'm not talking about buying anything...but just doing deeds.

For instance, everyday that my girlfriend works, I pack her lunch. It makes her morning easier and less stressful. I'm not saying it's the greatest thing in the world to most people but to her it counts.

How about actually fulfilling promises that you make? Cook dinner when he/she's not expecting it? Why not actually invest time in her life by making a concerted effort to talk to him/her? Don't worry about buying items that will eventually be eaten, forgotten or dead. Superficial gifts last only as long as their useful...good deeds last a lot longer.

Don't let this soft ending fool you. I'm still pissed at the system. Everyone have a safe VD!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sad, little blog...

No, it's not my blog although I'm sure someone could make the case because of my irregular postings. If a blog is written and no one reads it, is it really a blog?

But I digress (and digest...I just had a bowl of Corn Pops). I found this particular blog and I wonder if this person is serious or do they just want attention?

"Is life really precious?" Depends on how much you value it...

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