Words to Warm Your Heart — and Ignite the Rebellion

In the depths of the cold, gloomy winter, there’s only one thing you can count on to set your hearts ablaze — not to mention the lord’s manors, the courthouses and debt records, and other symbols of oppression. The Bacon’s Rebellion e-zine! View the January 28, 2008, edition here.

To make sure you never miss an issue, click here for a free subscription.

Here’s our line-up of querulous commentary:

Tomahawk Chop
The departure of the R-Braves baseball team is no great loss to Richmond. Indeed, the region should take the tomahawk to other groups of marginal value and invest in institutions of knowledge creation.
by James A. Bacon

“They Played Us”
Talking trash instead of transit, federal officials used a New York minute to suggest an end to Dulles Rail.
by Doug Koelemay

Who Killed Rail-to-Dulles?
Many people share the blame for the collapse of the Rail-to-Dulles financing scheme. The feds are only the first in a long line of guilty parties.
by EM Risse

Lottery Options
Virginia should consider leasing out rights to operate the state lottery. Privatization could generate a steady income stream, reducing risks of revenue variability.
by Leonard C. Gilroy

Baptists and Bootleggers
When good intentions collide with self interest, self interest almost always wins. You can’t go wrong betting on politicians, whatever their high-minded principles, to do what’s expedient.
by Norm Leahy

A Matter of Exquisite Balance
In a world where the only constant is change, the State Corporation Commission is the keeper of economic balance in Virginia. A judgeship is open, and I would like to fill it.
by Barnie Day

A Sensible Tax
A 5-cent hike in Virginia’s gas tax as a way to fund transportation improvements is vastly preferable to the motley mash of taxes, fees and fines enacted last year.
by James V. Koch

Nice & Curious Questions
Millions of Kilowatt Hours: Nuclear Power in Virginia
by Edwin S. Clay III and Patricia Bangs

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  1. floodguy Avatar

    With regards to nuclear, it would be nice to read what the Rebellion’s opinion is regarding thorium as opposed to uranium.

  2. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    thanks floodguy.. I had NO idea!

    but I do have a problem with the numbers:

    Mr. Clay (probably using numbers supplied by Dom…

    North Anna plant (1,786 MW) serves 450,000 homes.

    Surry Power Plant (1,598 MW) serves 400,000 homes.

    divide and you get about 4000KW per

    but then the Energy Dept says this:


    Electricity consumption by 107 million U.S. households in 2001 totaled 1,140 billion kWh.”

    if you do the division, you get about 10,000 KW (per year)


    can anyone explain this discrepancy?

    This is an important number that has quite a bit to do with validating Dominion’s proposal for more power generation…. and the realistic potential for energy conservation if Virginia usage is higher than average.

  3. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Floodguy, I have no informed opinion on the thorium-vs-uranium question. Hopefully, I will have a chance to acquaint myself in the not-too-distant future.

  4. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    re: raising the gas tax.

    note the proposal is one penny a year.

    that’s $50 million dollars the first year then $100 million, etc.

    so one question is .. what will $250 million REALLY be in buying power in five years?

    Second, let’s take a look at what $50 million will buy.

    well.. the Springfield Interchange cost almost $700 million. So $50 million will probably buy one medium-sized interchange for ALL of Virginia…

    so who among the 100 counties and 20 cities will get their interchange?

    okay.. so maybe that’s a bad idea..

    how about some new interstate roads?

    well.. most RURAL interstate roads run $10 to $20 million per mile.

    Urban interstates $50 to $100 million and more. The ICC is well over $100 million per mile.

    The point I’m making here is that the MAGNITUDE of the costs of highway infrastructure is apparently not appreciated by the “raise the gas tax folks”.

    the Feds … just finished a study that indicated that to have a real impact on new construction that the gas tax would have to be raised 40 cents a gallon.

    and .. we all know what $50 million is worth.. is we don’t spend it until five years from now.

    So raising the gas tax.. to get the maximum use .. would require essentially that it be spent as soon as it was appropriated because every day it is not spent – it “shrinks”.

    Okay.. so WHERE is the top 10 list for Virginia that construction will start on starting with number 1 just as soon as the increased gas tax is approved?

    and that’s the real problem.

    where is the REAL “build list”?

    Virginia’s 6 year Plan is a joke even though they just cut 1/2 of the projects in it.

    Go to ANY project in that list and look at the initial cost estimate and look at the projected build date and you’ll see that from one year to the next – the costs are not updated.

    So a project estimated to cost $50 million five years ago..still is shown costing $50 million year after year.

    So it appears that the cost-estimating for many projects is not a rolling inflation-adjusted process….

    Raising the gas tax a penny a year is like saying you’re going to “save up” for a new home by putting aside $100 a month… !!!

    This is WHY Mary Peters and others are saying that TOLL roads are the right path.

    and for those who say that not every road can be tolled … correct.. but now what is going on is that some states (like New Jersey and others) INTEND for tolls on some roads to finance repairs and improvement on other roads (in the same vicinity) that cannot be tolled.

    The idea of raising gas taxes to “catch up” is so fundamentally flawed that I really am surprised to see the continued advocacy.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    “Raising the gas tax a penny a year is like saying you’re going to “save up” for a new home by putting aside $100 a month… !!!

    This is WHY Mary Peters and others are saying that TOLL roads are the right path.”

    You have outdone yourself in the dumb argument category this time.

    The gas tax hits everyone who drives, and hits thos that drive the largest and farthest the most.

    Toll roads hit a few people in a local area, and hits them the same no matter what they drive, or how far.

    If you need to raise the gas tax by 40 cents,then that is the money you need. To raise the same money through tolls would tgax far fewer persons far higher amounts.

    And you are the one who doesn’t like subsidies!


  6. Anonymous Avatar

    And the state gas tax would most likely be in addition to the federal gas tax hike already in the works. Since State money is usually augmented by federal money, the effect of gas tax increases will be higher than you claim.


  7. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    tolls “hit” the people who drive on that road on a voluntary quid-pro-quo transaction basis.. and it IS based on how far and how frequently they drive because every time they drive – they pay and when they don’t drive they don’t pay.

    .. as opposed to collecting gas taxes from everyone and then NOT spending it on roads that some people use even though they paid the tax.

    but you are right… as far as NoVa is concerned as there will be both toll roads and an increase in the gas tax as the new Transportation Authority is allowed a 2% increase but from what I understand, the proposals at the State and Federal levels are DOA… ten-foot-pole fodder.

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