Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Home Among the Hills

Despite the fact that all of you know I lean left, I've tried hard to keep this place as apolitical as possible because, let's face it, you get enough of that elsewhere. Once in a while, though, I have to post something political because I don't have anywhere else to really do it. This is one of those times. Don't worry, it's not some partisan jag. Rather, it's a head shaking smile at my hometown.

I'm from Beckley, West Virginia. At least that's where I say I'm from. I moved there when I was 14, graduated high school from there, met the woman who would become my wife there, and consider it to have been the best of the three towns I lived in before going off to college.

Of course, Beckley has its issues, and Ben Smith at Politico has identified one of them:

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton heads to Beckley for Obama Thursday, campaigning in what may be -- besides Arkansas -- his best state. The crowds for the former President in West Virginia in the primary were huge, and during my recent trip there, his popularity seemed undiminished. If there's anywhere you might see him cut a TV or radio ad for Obama, that seems like a likely place.

One woman patiently explained to me that she's supported Hillary, despite believing that women can't really be president, because she knew Bill would really be in charge.

Leave it to me to have found one of the few modern, liberated, headstrong women down there who won't put up with me bein' all man-of-the-house all the time.



Crowhop said...

I have always related baseball in politics. Seems to me, and I have no idea what actually led me to think this way, Republicans are the NL, Democrats are the AL and the DH was the "New Deal". I mean really, isn't the redistribution of wealth just a catchy way of saying "Luxury Tax"?

Grant said...

I read an article in the WaPo yesterday about small-town Pennsylvania voters saying things like "if Obama wins the coloreds will go wild. I'm not a prejudiced guy."

It's not just your home town that's messed up. Lots of our country is.

tadthebad said...

No, redistribution of wealth is a catchy way of saying socialism. It's a catchy way of saying the government has discretion of how to use your property. It's a catchy way of saying those with wealth aren't smart enough to enjoy the freedom of deciding how to spend that money, so the government will just take it. What an absurd comparison.

Crowhop said...

Sorry. It was a joke and honestly had no idea it would be taken literally.

Craig Calcaterra said...

No worries, Crow: Tad and I have been having a political discussion offline, and I suspect that he's tired of arguing with someone as fiercely brilliant and indefatigable as me.

Tad: please realize I'm kidding. ;-)

Crowhop said...


So why is the comparison so absurd? To me, it seems solid...in one of those ironic kind of ways.

rob said...


This is the greatest country on Earth and all we have to do to live here is pay taxes? Man, I bet there are a lot of people out there who'd love to be offered that deal.

blaze said...

I think I shared with you my best Beckley story. Sigh.

Craig Calcaterra said...

You should totally share it with the rest of the class.

tadthebad said...

Craig, I know you're kidding. I feel like we've been arguing for years! But realize, I live in MA...not exactly a conservative hot-bed. I actively seek debate so I have no one to blame but myself for being "assaulted" on multiple fronts, but sometimes I get weary defending my political logic and as such, I write quick jabs when I don't have the time or will to draft a more comprehensive comment. Sorry, crowhop, if I misread your comment (great name, btw). The comparison is absurd b/c MLB consists of millionaires and billionaires trying to get more and pay less in the greater context of an exclusive club seeking to protect its shield. Luxury taxes involve monies directly associated with baseball generated revenue and have no implications to how a supposed "free" individual in this country should use his/her money. MLB revenue sharing speaks to a group of wealthy owners protecting themselves collectively. I don't see similar reciprocity when discussing a redistribution of wealth.

Rob, couldn't agree more and I wish more people expressed your gratitude. And while your comment could initiate an entire discussion, let me say that I'm happy to pay my fair share of taxes...I just don't want to pay anyone else's share. The fact is that plenty of people live in this great country without feeling the need or responsibility to pay any taxes at all (like 47% of the general population if I'm not mistaken...which I have been in the past so feel free to correct). In short, there are too many who feel your "deal", Rob, isn't quite sweet enough.

And Craig, I'll get to you later, pal!

Crissa said...

I fail to see how 'not making enough money to live on or be taxed' is 'feeling no need to pay taxes'.

Housewives don't pay taxes. Children don't pay taxes. Dependents don't pay taxes. Unemployed people shouldn't pay taxes. Hospitalized people generally don't pay income taxes. Volunteers don't pay taxes on volunteering. Etc.

And then, should you be paying taxes if you're not making enough income to live upon?

tadthebad said...

Crissa, I acknowledge there are those who legitimately cannot pay taxes, and I accept that. But are you telling me everyone who can afford to pay taxes actually does? I don't want to start a social war here, but there are millions of people who make enough money and use services for which they never pay in to. Why don't we reign in those people before we ask others to cover their share?