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Business as usual in Richmond

For most people, whether they follow politics or not, redistricting is one of those topics that has, to borrow a reference from Beatrice Potter’s Peter Rabbit, a “soporific effect.” In other words, it puts them to sleep.

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It’s time to raise the minimum wage

America’s minimum wage dates back to the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938. The idea behind this New Deal legislation was to set a floor to how low wages could go. It was nothing more than that. At the time, it was hotly debated. Those opposed to it said that it represented too much of an intrusion into the functioning of the domestic economy and if implemented would raise labor costs and force companies to lay off workers.

Read more: It’s time to raise the minimum wage

One company says no to tobacco sales

Neither I, nor this paper, endorse any particularly store or retailer over another and this is especially true when it comes to drugstores. Half the time, when the clerk asks me if I have this or that store card, or if I participate in the rewards program, I have to ask to be reminded which store I’m in. Don’t let the marketing folks know but, one drugstore checkout looks a lot like another and while there are of course differences, for the most part they all sell the same things.

Read more: One company says no to tobacco sales

The fulfillment of a dream

Even as its prospects for passage improved for many, it still seemed like a far off dream. A civil rights bill, nothing more than a strong and clear assertion of the principles already established in the Constitution had come before the Congress a half dozen times. But each time, the bills, some of which passed the House, all failed in the Senate. Southern Senators used every tactic they could to keep the bills from becoming law.

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Movie lines that have become a part of our popular culture

People have always enjoyed quoting poetry, lines in Shakespearean plays, and famous oratory. “For he that sheds his blood with me this day, shall be my brother,” from Henry V is stirring. And of course, Lincoln’s “…government of the people, by the people and for the people” from the Gettysburg address is legend. But, those of us who are products of the 20th and 21st centuries have yet another source of famous and memorable quotes. It’s hardly Shakespeare, some would say it’s the height of triviality, but movie lines, those snippets of wisdom and humor, whether said by Clark Gable or Sandra Bullock, have a way of making themselves a part of our popular culture.  

Read more: Movie lines that have become a part of our popular culture

Virginia needs tougher ethics laws

Several years ago, while working for the FAA, I had purchased a small amount of General Electric stock. There was nothing too remarkable about this, but the FAA, in reviewing my annual statement of financial interests, a requirement for many in the federal government, said I had to sell it. I didn’t handle anything remotely connected with General Electric, but corporately the agency did, and so I had to sell the stock. That’s how tight many of the conflict of interest rules are at the federal level. Also, I was strictly prohibited from accepting any gifts, and this included trinkets or other giveaways (usually found at trade shows) worth more than a small amount. And meals, save perhaps for coffee, and that was sometimes a matter of concern, were out of the question. 

Read more: Virginia needs tougher ethics laws

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