This and That

Sorry for the light posting lately. Real life has been quite busy. Both Preston Jr. and Sally have been under the weather resulting in doctors appointments and billions of dollars worth of prescriptions. Well, that may be an exaggeration. I can’t wait until the government pays for my family’s prescriptions just like it does for those old handout-generation coots.

On Sunday, we took Preston Jr. on a Christmas train ride down by the Tennessee River, during which we were read to by Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. Also on the train was none other than Santa Claus himself. He was quite a bit shorter than he looks in all those animated Christmas specials.

As Santa Claus and the Mayor stood together socializing in the dining car, I pointed out to Mrs. Holmes the juxtaposition of the two characters. One (Santa Claus) gives things away to all the good children of the world, while one (Mayor Ragsdale) confiscates the income of their parents.

Knox County politics are probably not a big traffic generator, but in short, Ragsdale initially proposed a county-wide wheel tax to pay for a big shiny new modern downtown Library. As opposition grew to the plan, he changed his tune and said that the money was now going to go to build a new high school in West Knox County. When he realized that nobody in Knox Countay actually reads books, he played the “it’s for the children” card.

Shortly thereafter, a local anti-tax group put together a petition to put the wheel tax on the ballot and let the people vote on it. Yes, I signed it.

After it was clear that the wheel tax would be on the November ballot, the Knox County Commission, with more than a little prodding from the Mayor, made it known that there would be a substantial property tax hike if the wheel tax failed. So, thanks to Mayor Ragsdale, we were blackmailed into voting for the wheel tax.

It was a matter of choosing between paying an ass-load more money through a property tax or a $30 wheel tax – it was a no-brainer. And between the two options, the wheel tax is the fairer of the two options – especially if you buy the premise that the funds are really going to go to the Knox County Schools. All those folks who send their little crumb-crunchers to the Knox County schools should chip in to foot the bill and the wheel tax is a much fairer way of spreading the cost around rather than forcing the rest of us, who just happen to own our homes, into yet another government-mandated transfer payment.

Luckily, the wheel tax passed so Ragsdale and his county bureaucrats can squander that as well.

I hope everyone is having a delightful CHRISTmas season so far.

On an unrelated note, I have a bunch more of those damn g-mail invitations, so if you want one, e-mail or post in the comments.

On yet another semi-unrelated note, I’m still working behind the scenes to clean up the archives. I’ve got everything from September on finished. It will still take a little while to clean up April through August, but I hope to have that done over the next few weeks. Not that anyone goes back and reads those things, but you never know. All of the “Six Meat Classics” have been cleaned up as well.