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You can run, but you can’t hide

The death of Osama Bin Laden has been talked about, studied, rehashed, and dissected so many times that coming to any new conclusions or insights is almost impossible to do. What we do know, at least so far, is that a resolute US Navy SEAL team staged one of the most daring raids in history. They found the architect of 9/11, not to mention a half dozen other mass murders, and dispatched him.

Sadly, few men have impacted the world like Osama Bin Laden. Thanks to this evil man our entire view of the world has changed. As a nation we are far more nervous about the threat of attack than we were ten years ago. We’ve made massive investments in security,

Read more: You can run, but you can’t hide

American business is the envy of the world

The scope and character of the American Free Enterprise System is hard to capture in a few hundred words. But there are businessmen everywhere. Doctors are a good example. We rarely think of them as businessmen. Of course, they’re healers, but they’re also in business. My doctor, a truly gifted healer, is a businesswoman. Navigating a labyrinth of insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid forms, and old fashioned cash payments, she has to make enough money to cover the cost of her practice, make a profit, and still fulfill her calling, which is taking care of patients like me.

Businesses of all kinds define the American landscape and give us a standard of living that’s the envy of the world. Some don’t seem that profound,

Read more: American business is the envy of the world

Up early, with a cup of tea, to watch the Royal Wedding

If you read my column regularly, this won’t come as a big surprise. However, just to make sure you know from the start, I am what is called an “Anglophile.” That’s not a word I like that much. It makes me sound as if I have some sort of untreatable, even rather ominous sounding psychological disorder. Which, in spite of what you may think of my column, I don’t.

Rather, it means I like things that are British. That’s a function of several factors. I enjoy English literature, always have. I read British history and my family has strong British connections. I also had a very

Read more: Up early, with a cup of tea, to watch the Royal Wedding

Is the Republican 2012 campaign already losing momentum?

The 2010 elections were devastating for the Democrats.  Overnight, their majority in the House of Representatives disappeared and their edge in the Senate was whittled down to just three seats.  When the Congress convened in January 2011 Washington D.C. had more new Republicans in town than at any other time since 1946.  The GOP was joyous, and looking two years ahead, they began to see winning the

Read more: Is the Republican 2012 campaign already losing momentum?

The Republicans have another choice for Senate: Wittman

The 2012 Senate race in Virginia, just as it was back in 2006, will be a contest with national implications. It was Jim Webb’s surprise victory, late on that election night that gave the Democrats control of the Senate. While election night 2012 may not put the Commonwealth in the same pivotal position as it did six years before, when it comes to who controls the Senate the next day, the race in Virginia is going to be important. Unfortunately, the Republicans, with the all but given nomination of their long-time hero George Allen, aren’t

Read more: The Republicans have another choice for Senate: Wittman

The shame of Virginia’s redistricting process

If the election were held using the William and Mary model, we’d have competitive races across the commonwealth and democracy would be well served. But, of course, that’s not the way it’s going to happen.

Redistricting is not a pretty thing to watch. It’s the one time every 10 years when whatever party is in power does its best to subvert the principles of representative government. I know that sounds cynical. I didn’t mean it to be. But it’s completely accurate.
Using the recent census data, and sophisticated demographic software, they draw the district lines to make it as easy as possible to keep the party in power in its dominant position. It’s as simple as that. There is nothing democratic or representative about it.
This is easier to do than you think. Modern computer software, specifically designed for this purpose, uses income data, ethnic information, voting history, polling data, and other demographic tools to draw districts all but guaranteed to behave pretty much the way the politicians want them to. Opposition areas are often consolidated, to have as few as possible or heavily diluted, depending on how big they are, so they represent as little a threat as possible to the party in power. The emphasis is on creating as many solid seats for the party in power and giving the opposition as few seats as possible. Most of all, the goal is to keep the number of swing seats to an

Read more: The shame of Virginia’s redistricting process

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