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Last updateWed, 27 Dec 2017 12am

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Going off to campaign in a British Election

It’s a difficult thing for me to explain my involvement in British politics.  I am not a British citizen, and haven’t lived there for years.  But nonetheless, every time, during most of the past thirty years, that has been a general election in the United Kingdom, somewhere in Britain I can be found going door to door, leafleting, or standing in front of the polls.
That may seem odd, but it all began when I was a student at the University of Edinburgh.  I was actively involved with the Conservative Party or as they’re more commonly known, the Tories.  Given my ancestry, which includes at least one revolutionary war militia officer, as well, as more distant connections to the famed Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, all I can say is that probably my forefathers wouldn’t have been that amused.  The reference to Tories, in revolutionary war America, wasn’t a good one.  However, times have changed, and they might have understood, if I had explained that several of my young friends from my student days went on to run for public office, and in year’s since, whenever they, or friends I have met since, were running for office, I couldn’t wait to help.

Read more: Going off to campaign in a British Election

The Message of Earth Day: ‘Stop arguing and get to work’

 Those of us who have been alive since the 1960s have experienced something that the great scientists and explorers in our world’s history could have only imagined.  Thanks to the advances in space exploration, we have seen images of our planet as viewed from beyond our world.  We have seen images of Earth from our moon, and we have, quite literally, seen our planet in the rear view mirror of probes bound for the distant reaches of our solar system.  What that perspective has taught us is that our planet, as majestic and remarkable as it is, is still just a little dot in space.   
This is more than just an interesting factoid.  This view of Earth, to anyone who takes a good close look, is a reminder of just how fragile, how little, and how delicate our planet really is.  We may think it’s indestructible, we sure treat it that way, but when viewed from far away its surprisingly small and vulnerable.   

Read more: The Message of Earth Day: ‘Stop arguing and get to work’

Governor Bob McDonnell and the Civil War

Governor Bob McDonnell, during his first few months in office, has done just about everything right. He has been hard working, thoughtful, and has done his best to govern, as he promised, from the middle. It’s refreshing. However, last week, the governor managed to put a stain on his otherwise rather impressive start. He didn’t do it through any confrontational stand on education, transportation or health care. Rather, what caused all the fuss was “history.” Bob McDonnell failed to appreciate what he was signing when he issued his proclamation making April Confederate History Month.

Read more: Governor Bob McDonnell and the Civil War

Look who’s grabbing headlines in Richmond

There is a rare phenomena taking place in Richmond.  Usually, it’s the governor who gets all the attention during the first year of an administration while the lieutenant governor and attorney general are all but ignored.  
Indeed, for a moment, before writing this article it took me a moment to remember the name of our lieutenant governor. He operates just that far below the radar.  However, when it comes to the attorney general, I have no such problems.
 It’s Ken Cuccinelli.
During the first part of this administration, while our governor has been doing the hard work of governing, and going out of his way to just stay focused on the job, our attorney general has been out grabbing all the headlines.  

Read more: Look who’s grabbing headlines in Richmond

Looking at the other side of mortgage relief

I have lived in my house for more than 20 years.  It’s a nice size for two people, and I think it’s safe to say I know everything about it.  I know what the sub flooring is made of, the condition of the attic vents, where the leak is in the garage, and just how desperately the kitchen floor needs to be replaced.  I am keenly attuned to any change in pitch that might indicate that there is something wrong with the heat pump.
However, it’s not an expensive house.  Mind you, my income and that of my wife has gone up considerably over the past 20 years.  We’re very fortunate, but prudence, and yes, and being honest about it, a little bit of indecision, has kept us in the same property all that time.  I also have to admit that I have a low threshold for debt.  

Read more: Looking at the other side of mortgage relief

When Americans aren’t willing to move

There are three kinds of economic indicators: leading, coincident and lagging. Leading indicators include measures such as stock market prices and consumer confidence. Coincident indicators include production and Gross Domestic Product. Lagging indicators, sadly, include the one measure that’s on everyone’s mind — unemployment. In an economic recovery, which we’re probably in right now, as good as the numbers may seem, just about the last decision a company makes is to offer new jobs. They don’t want to make a commitment until they are sure sales are solid. That’s all very nice from a theoretical perspective, and it’s very easy to write about. But if you’re the one looking for a job, or the spouse of someone looking for a job, or the parent or a friend of someone looking for a job, then that’s another matter. Suddenly it’s personal, and these days, many of us fall into at least one of these categories.

Read more: When Americans aren’t willing to move

 

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