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

Friday, June 15, 2007

Offshore drilling bill defeated...

A bill that would have allowed offshore drilling was defeated yesterday in the U.S. Senate. The bill was offered as an amendment to the energy bill by Sen. John Warner. It was also supported by Sen. Jim Webb.

Warner stated that "our supply is not meeting our demand". This is true. The answer, though, is to find alternative sources that do involve fossil fuels. We have to pump as much money as possible to finding energy sources that are renewable and non-toxic to the environment. Sources that could be viable have not been fully explored. We're stuck in the mindset that we will magically find the solution to our energy needs before we run out of fossil fuels. That ain't going to happen.

Unfortunately, we're in a pickle. We need energy now but have yet to find acceptable alternative solutions because the upfront costs are too high. The shortsightedness of our elected officials dooms future generations to figure out solutions that we as a society do not have the gumption to solve. We can't even reap the benefits of drilling NOW.

"'We wish it had passed," said Patrice Harris, spokeswoman for Virginia Natural Gas, the primary gas supplier in Hampton Roads. "Eventually it would mean stabilized prices for our customers.'"

"Eventually" equals about 5-10 years from now if we're lucky. Not to mention the fact that we could be possibly screwing up our coastlines as a result.

I'm disappointed in Senators Warner and Webb for wanting to chase a solution that is not going to be a permanent fixture in our society a 100 years from now. I wish that they would explore other options such as wind, water, and solar and pump funding into them. It can happen but it's going to take lobbying from people across the country to do so. Unfortunately, I believe that they care about celebrities and scandals more than the sustainability of our energy resources.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Have blogs replaced the sports car?

Yes, it's a penis joke.

The dust has barely settled on the primary elections here in Virginia and yet we have some blogs crowing about how their endorsements panned out. That's right folks. Some in the VA blogosphere think that they are so watched and revered that they not only say how well they did but they also throw sand in the eye of people they have ideological differences with. They even have parrots who will pat them on the back and give them a nice neck massage.

Have blogs replace the sports car? Are some people trying to compensate for something else going on in their life? Hit counters, blog rankings, and now predictions are added to the list of things that nobody in the real world really give two craps about. With bloggers like this the only question is, who has a tape measure?

24th District: Kicking them when they're down...

The 24th Senate District Primary between Emmett Hanger and Scott Sayre was interesting from an outside perspective. There was an incumbent who voted for higher taxes, an energetic challenge from the right, and a cadre of bloggers and Republican committee members who fervently backed Sayre. In the end, Hanger hangs on to his seat for now and Sayre supporters are left scratching their heads. What happens next?

Well we could do this and kick the SWAC coalition when they're down. Some say that with their nutty antics and "get under your skin" mentality that this is their comeuppance. Fine so be it.

But I know from personal experience what it feels to stick your mind, body and soul into a campaign to only have it evaporate in one night. Granted, I've never done it while pissing off the establishment but I know what it feels to leave everything on the table and lose. Myron put it best on his blog. Our patriots in the Revolution had to put their heads on the chopping block for this nation. The SWAC coalition did the same thing...only less in the degree of magnitude.

I don't know what will happen with the SWAC bloggers and committee members now that they've backed themselves into a corner. Frankly, it doesn't concern me. I know that kicking them while they are down is not cool...I won't do it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

WTF Washington Post?

The editors over at the Washington Post are idiots. Dumb, stupid idiots. How else can you explain this editorial yesterday on the rail going to Tysons?

"We have supported the tunnel option. A subway would help transform Tysons from a pedestrian's nightmare into an urban space capable of supporting high-density development, smartly positioned astride a transit line. However, the priority must be to build the rail line, elevated or sunken."

So, what...continue to make Tysons "a pedestrian's nightmare". Do people realize that this subway will be with us for the next 100 years and that it would be prudent to make a system that will grow with us instead of box us in?

"Mr. Connolly, who would prefer a tunnel, nevertheless insists that disagreement among local authorities on the plans under review at the Federal Transit Administration, which call for an elevated track, could doom the project."

First of all, I doubt the first assertion. From everything that I've read, Connolly is doing everything in his power to make it an elevated track no matter what. Secondly, my parents always said "If you're going to do something worthwhile, make sure you take the time and care to DO IT RIGHT!" Building above ground rail is not right. It goes against everything that can make for sustainable living and traffic in Northern Fairfax County.

I'm sick and tired of myopic politicians (Gerry Connolly and anyone else on the board who supports this train wreck) who do not think about what this will mean for our children and grandchildren in 50 years. It's the NOVA mentality of build now and worry about the consequences later. Take for instance the "mixing bowl". We're still playing catch up from 15 years ago and our traffic situation then. By the time we get improvements built for that area of 95, it's already outdated and overwhelmed. The same is going to happen in Tysons and it's despicable.

Once you start building, you cannot stop. The WORST thing that can happen out of all of this is to delay our funding. If that means getting the rail done right, then the board should grow a backbone and do it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Done with the move!

Moved to a new apartment this past weekend! Hurt my knee a bit trying to move a couch up three flights of stairs but it's better now. I have Sen. Davis and Del. Shannon as my representatives in Richmond!!! Can't vote in the upcoming primary but I'll make up for that later.

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