Natural ice rink?

The ice rink at Generations Park has mechanical refrigeration. (DN-R reported: “The rink at Generations Park is comprised of a gravel base and concrete; several coils are placed within the concrete and will channel refrigerant through them to make the top layer cold enough to form the icy surface for skating, Holton said.”) That only seems proper, because of how short the skating season would be without it. But why did so many of us think this was going to be a natural ice rink?

Independence Day: on tyranny

First, thank you Webmaster for the new look. It shows up fine on my phone.

Recent events in our nation remind me that some people are fine with tyranny because they think they have the tyrant’s favor, even out here in Shenandoah Valley flyover country. But don’t count on it. The only defense against tyranny is liberty, and the tyrant who oppresses your enemy today can turn on you tomorrow.

The founders of our nation understood that. Will we?

Harrisonburg K-Mart closing

The Harrisonburg K-Mart on Market Street is closing. I am sorry for those who will lose jobs and I hope they find new work without too much difficulty. That said, the store closing is part of the natural cycle of moving assets from those who do not use them well to those who do. This was a mismanaged store that — just to name one example — did not have all of its cash registers open, with many customers in line, on the biggest retail day of the year. That’s the last time I was in there. I look forward to new owners developing the potential of a truly prime retail location.

Ruling Class vs. the rest of us

The current fake budget crisis in Washington illustrates, better than most such episodes, that the big struggle in our nation today is not Republicans vs. Democrats. Rather, it’s the Ruling Class vs. the rest of us.

The Ruling Class has found it convenient to buy votes and reward its cronies with government spending. Democrats and Republicans alike have joined in, taking government far beyond its constitutional role. But they’ve also gotten so fat and lazy that they can’t even pass their budget on time — and therefore the government “runs out of money” unless a stopgap measure is passed. Dire things will happen, we are told, if the spending is slowed.

The only dire thing that actually happens in these government shutdowns is that a lot of money is wasted shutting down, and then giving federal workers back pay for staying home after they all come back, post-crisis. So I shake a symbolic fist and say (if the First Amendment hasn’t yet been repealed), “a plague on both your houses.”

Tilted Kilt and freedom

I’ve heard a lot of discussion about the Tilted Kilt, the new restaurant in Harrisonburg that features waitresses in skimpy outfits. Much of the discussion reflects a basic misunderstanding of liberty. You may not like the restaurant’s concept, but they’re free to operate within the constraints of law — and no one is suggesting that those outfits are illegal. Equally well, you may not like the restaurant’s critics calling on the community not to go there. The point is that all of those speaking for and against the restaurant are engaged in constitutionally protected speech. It’s not polite to tell your opponents to shut up, but even that is constitutionally protected speech. So, have at it — I have confidence that the right outcome will happen in the end.