Arlington idiots protest new business

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Because *GASP* it’s a…

GUN STORE!!

Have I mentioned that some Arlington residents really are hysterical, hoplophobic panty wetters?

The Nauck Civic Association sent out an email this week saying it heard from “reliable sources” that a gun shop was in lease negotiations with the owners of the Shirlington Heights Condominiums (2249 S. Shirlington Road).

“We, the members of the Nauck Civic Association Executive Committee are very concerned about locating this business in our community,” the email states. “Although, we are attempting to solicit businesses to locate within our community, we are not convinced that this type of business fits the description of what the residents seek.”

How cute. Nauck residents are protesting a lawful business, because… GUNS! And SHUT UP!

There are complaints in the comments section of the story above that the petition (or maybe if the county actually prohibits the store from opening in Arlington) violates the Second Amendment. That’s a stupid argument that makes gun rights advocates appear ridiculous and uneducated. This has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. No one has (yet) prohibited Arlington residents from keeping and bearing arms.

This is a market issue.

Obviously this store believes there is enough demand in the area for it to make a profit. Otherwise, why the hell would it try to locate here?

Idiots in Nauck have every right to protest the location of the gun shop in their neighborhood, and we have every right to call their mewls of opposition ridiculous.

Just what is the “type of business” these douchenuggets seek? Legitimate? Check. Small? Check. Quiet? I would think so, since I can’t imagine any criminal being stupid enough to try and hold up a gun store.  Well, OK… I can. But predictable results ensure, with nary a shot fired!

Ohhhhh…. not the eeeeeeevil gunssses! I guess they were all out of hemp clothing stores, Birkenstock outlets and organic  seed shops!

It’s a legal product, sold to people who treasure their rights, who are smart enough and courageous enough to take responsibility for their own safety. If you don’t like it, please by all means, rely on police to protect you. Maybe that average response time of 11 minutes will save your worthless hides, and maybe not, but those of us who are able to use tools of self defense to protect ourselves and those we love, would like to see these tools sold nearby.

Get over it.

Cowards, Corruption, and Conventions

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By now, most observers of Republican politics here in the Old Dominion know what transpired down in Virginia Beach Monday evening. Gary Byler, the current chair of RPV’s 2nd Congressional District Committee, is a supporter of conventions to determine our statewide nominees, and the establishment old boy network of our state party doesn’t like conventions anymore, so they wanted to replace him. He elected NOT to run for re-election, and the Vice Chair of the 2nd, Curtis Colgate, stepped up. He also is a supporter of conventions, and is a fairly big donor, has a long history of party activism, and notably owns the historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. Establishment Senator Frank Wagner (R-7th) put together a campaign for the chair of the 2nd before Byler announced he wasn’t running. You may remember Frank Wagner is the genius who introduced, along with his buddy Del. Scott Taylor (R-85th), bills in both houses of the General Assembly this past session to forbid any method of nomination except open primaries by ANY political party for statewide candidates. Thankfully, this effort went down to ignominious defeat after a popular outcry.

Senator Frank Wagner, the man who would be king.

Senator Frank Wagner, the man who would be king.

Back to Monday evening at the Virginia Beach Republican Party mass meeting. Sen. Wagner knew the Beach comprises 64% of the total voting strength at the 2nd Congressional District Convention this year, so he was kind enough to help slate the Virginia Beach delegation down to just 32, including himself and his most reliable minions. This was out of nearly 1,000 people who filed to be delegates. He disenfranchised all of these people simply because some of them were Colgate supporters. The hand count was NOT done through a ‘division of the house’, so that both sides get an accurate, fair count. It was orchestrated so Wagner’s people had every advantage. If it stands, he has 100% of the Beach’s voting strength, and is now guaranteed the chairmanship of the 2nd. Slating is something that’s done to remove ineligible or compromised voters, such as known members of another political party, etc. This was done so that Frank Wagner can win. No other reason. Del. Barry Knight (R-81st) and Sen. Jeff McWaters (R-8th), along with Taylor, helped organize and lead this effort. Del. Chris Stolle (R-83rd), chaired the mass meeting and played along. The rumor is that Sen. Wagner is planning to use this as a springboard to take control of the RPV State Central Committee over the next few years, and then run for Governor in 2017 in an open primary, which he will ensure is the mandatory method of nomination. Particularly distasteful is how Wagner, Taylor and co. hide behind the “Conventions disenfranchise members of the military!” canard. This is the worst, basest, craven cowardice. I’ll bet some of the nearly 1,000 folks you slated were military, Frank.

Senator Jeff McWaters, minion of both Bob McDonnell and Frank Wagner. He made his fortune off of Medicaid, through his firm AmeriGroup, which was then sold off to WellPoint. Real conservative.

Senator Jeff McWaters, minion of both Bob McDonnell and Frank Wagner. He made his fortune off of Medicaid, as CEO of AmeriGroup, which was then sold off to WellPoint. Real conservative.

Needless to say, I have no intention of standing by and letting this happen, and I know plenty of other grassroots Republicans leaders in the Commonwealth won’t either. If they get away with this sort of underhanded behavior here, it will happen all across Virginia. Not a chance. I plan to do my part to shine a light on this, have the Virginia Beach delegation either include everyone who filed, both at the RPV Convention in Roanoke and at the 2nd CD Convention, or have the delegation black flagged (disqualified). Then I plan to help ensure Wagner, McWaters, Taylor, Knight, and Stolle all face strong primary challenges next year. Should they gain nomination, I wouldn’t mind seeing conservative or libertarian independents in the general. These men are unworthy of being leaders, and certainly unworthy of the public trust.

A good business

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It occurred to me today that with all the BS I’ve been dealing with as far as bad businesses go, I have failed to make mention of good ones! There are plenty of those in the area, so I’m happy to give them a plug.

One such place is Sonic Sound in Arlington. This is a place that installs car audio, and since I got the Redhead a new receiver for his car for Christmas, I figured I’d call and see what it would cost to put the thing in this car.

I spoke with Kevin Juarez. I’m not sure if he’s the owner or the manager, but he couldn’t have been more helpful! We spoke for a while on the phone, I explained to him what I got, the car model and year and what I needed. I was disappointed when he said that if I had that receiver installed, I may experience an issue with sound degradation. But he was honest with me, and I appreciated that. We then discussed just putting an auxiliary jack in the car. He quoted me a price, and told me to go ahead and have the Redhead bring the car in.

I am more than thrilled with the results! Not only did they examine the car and determined that they could indeed put in the new receiver with no sound degradation, but they also charged the Redhead less than what they had originally quoted. That’s right. Less. Not only that, but they did the job in time to send him off to work on time.

The treated the Redhead with respect and kindness, even though he’s just a ginger kid. They did the job well. They did it quickly. And they did it without trying to jack up the price!

I can’t thank them enough for their professionalism, their courtesy and their skill, and I’m thrilled to give them a plug here, because they’re nothing short of fantastic. I’m betting that’s how they’ve been in business for 14 years!

So, thank you Sonic Sound!

They know how to take care of their customers, and I highly recommend these guys if you’re in the area!

Setting The Record Straight On Immigration

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Longtime readers of this blog know our views on illegal immigrants and immigration and border security. That said, there’s been some sentiment on the immigration issue lately in the Virginia righty blogosphere that I feel compelled to respond to. I wasn’t one of those offended by the (in)famous Super Bowl commercial featuring America the Beautiful sung in various languages, but Jim Bowden makes some very salient points otherwise about borders, culture, and the rise and fall of nations nonetheless.  On the other side of the ledger, many who should know better are rushing to the defense of the GOP establishment and their immigration ‘principles’ that came out of the GOP House retreat late last month.

Particularly galling at Bearing Drift today is the repeated use of the word ‘nativist’ to describe those of us who actually expect immigration laws to be enforced. In this same post, Shaun Kenney, whom I nearly always agree with otherwise, decries caricaturing of illegal immigrants using a graphic, and then does the exact same thing to those of us who demand border security and the rule of law, using a graphic of the memorable Bill “The Butcher” Cutting character, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, from the film Gangs of New York. We also apparently are demanding draconian violations of civil liberties and the rounding up of the 12 to 15 million illegals come hell or high water… News to me. He advocates for amnesty, well, because it’s mean to expect these poor, innocent illegal immigrants to show some respect for our laws and sovereignty. Oh, and the Catholic Church, represented on this issue by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wants amnesty, so for some reason that should settle it. I think not. Come on, Shaun, you’re better than that. That is the height of hypocrisy. And please, people, quit conflating legal and illegal immigration.

Over at Virginia Virtucon, a post is up taking Dave Brat, a candidate for U.S. House in the 7th District, to task for questioning the incumbent, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, on immigration, because Brat demands immigration laws be enforced, while opposing Obamacare. The author has the nerve to suggest it’s hypocritical because Obamacare is the “law of the land”. Respectfully, this is political weaselry at best. The Affordable Care Act is only in force because John Roberts chose to place his concern for the ‘reputation of the SCOTUS’ (or something) above the plain language of the Constitution. Even left-wing SCOTUS watchers were amazed that he sided with the four liberal justices. No one has ever credibly suggested that immigration and border security laws are unconstitutional.  Such a comparison is ridiculous on its face. Add to this that Brat would seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act should he be elected, and the attacks come off as even more patently ridiculous. Factor in that Cantor himself said on the House floor less than two weeks ago that “immigration reform could be an economic boon to this country” and it’s easy to see why conservatives are suspicious of Cantor, Bob Goodlatte, and House leadership on immigration issues.

Want to win the trust of conservatives on these issues? Enforce the law and secure the border. Once that’s done, then, and ONLY then, will we be interested in discussing immigration reform. The visa and immigration system is certainly broken, by over a century of lobbying by every industry, racial interest group, religious denomination and labor group imaginable, and cries out for repair. But just like the amnesty Reagan signed in the 80s, the business lobby will team up with others to prevent any meaningful enforcement, and this time we have an administration ulterior political motives to look the other way already. No amnesty, and no reform until enforcement. Learn it, practice it, earn it.

Another business you should avoid (UPDATE)

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I don’t know why customer service, honesty and integrity elude some business owners. After all, when you take care of your customers, it ensures they come back, right?

So why is it difficult for some business owners to do the right thing?

Some are simply thieves, who are out to steal your money. Others are just incompetent, and need a little goading to do the right thing. But it’s those who claim that customer service is important to them, and yet proceed to avoid personal responsibility for their screw-ups, that perplex me!

As an example…

In late November, I financed a vehicle for the Redhead. The goal was to find him a safe car that he would drive for a few years, and one for which he could afford to make the payments himself. Ultimately, even though I was the one who financed the car, it would be his – something he paid for on his own and something of which he could be proud.

We looked at a few vehicles, before connecting with Absolute Auto Sales in Fredericksburg, VA. The dealership apparently prides itself on its honor.

Absolute Auto Sales is founded on trust, integrity, and respect. We are proud to offer these values in our sales and business practices so our customers keep coming back. The vehicles on our lot have the best prices and quality in the area so come by and see us today!

Just remember the words, “integrity and respect.” You will see them later.

The owner appeared very knowledgeable, and helped me settle on a 2001 Mercedes CLK430 for the Redhead. Yes, it was a 2001 vehicle, but it had very low mileage (82,000, which is great for a car that old), and the engine sounded great when I test drove it. It was smooth other than a bit of a shimmy, which Derrick promised to have examined when an inspection was performed on the vehicle. He wouldn’t give me any more than $5000 for my 2010 Nissan Versa, because it did have some slight cosmetic damage and high mileage, and he explained thoroughly why, so I wound up with about $1000 of negative equity, but overall the Mercedes appeared to be a really good deal for my son at $8000.

The vehicle passed inspection, and Derrick told me he even had a mechanic put in a new wheel hub, because one of the lug nuts was stripped, and he did not want my son to have a blowout and not be able to change his own tire. He showed me a receipt that said he paid $550 for it.

He struck me as thorough and honorable, as well as knowledgeable.

That was November.

In December, the Redhead did, in fact, have a blowout, and it turned out that the lug nut was, in fact, still stripped. I note with interest that Derrick seems to have foreseen this happening. But the lugnut was stripped. Nothing was replaced. I wound up paying nearly $900 to replace the bent rim and tire that resulted from that incident. The mechanics at the nearby Mercedes shop said they did not believe the hub was new.  I contacted Derrick and told him that the person who claimed to have replaced the hub on that wheel may not have been completely honest. He said he would look into it.

It is now early February. I took the car in for a scheduled maintenance and had the mechanics at Mercedes run a diagnostic on the vehicle. Imagine my shock when they told me that the front brake rotors were worn 2mm below standard, which could not have happened in the 2 1/2 months we owned the vehicle! There are also significant oil leaks in the rear main seal. The front engine and transmission mounts are worn enough to be dangerous. The rear spring link bushings are worn and have caused significant damage to the rear tires (which now that I think about it, could explain Derrick’s interesting foresight), so the other tire in the rear has to now be replaced. Oh, and the lug nuts on that tire? Several of them are stripped as well.

The Mercedes mechanic told me he honestly had no idea how this car passed inspection! The grand total for this mess? $6000!

I’m certainly curious how this car passed inspection. The State Police requires that the rotors be checked during inspection. They also require that A MINIMUM of two wheels and drums be removed from each vehicle at the time of inspection. Had the person who performed the inspection done that much, they would have seen the worn rotors and would have certainly seen the problems that caused the problematic wear on the rear tires.

What else does the State Police require? This (pay special attention to the text I have bolded above).

8. – INSPECT STEERING & SUSPENSION FOR:
       (Jack up front end as shown in “Official Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual”.)

  • Wear in bushings, kingpins, ball joints, wheel bearings and tie rod ends.
  • Looseness of gear box on frame, condition of drag link and steering arm.
  • Play in steering wheel; leakage of power steering fluid in the system.
  • Wheel alignment and axle alignment.
  • Broken coil springs, spring leaves and worn shackles.
  • Shock absorbers.
  • Broken or weakened frame.
  • Broken or missing engine mounts.
  • Lift blocks.

9. – INSPECT TIRES, WHEELS & RIMS FOR:

  • Condition of tires including tread depth.

  • Mixing radials and bias ply tires.

  • Wheels that are cracked or damaged so as to affect safe operation.

I don’t know about you guys, but I doubt having the car for 2 1/2 months could have caused such significant wear so as to not be able to pass inspection!

It certainly does appear that whoever did the inspection did not do their due diligence, and Absolute Auto Sales wound up selling me a car that was dangerous to drive. Dangerous! I put my son in that car and let him drive it!

Let me repeat this. Because of this obviously faulty inspection, my child was driving an unsafe car!

Did Derek know about this? Did he know about the car being dangerous, and simply not tell me, choosing instead to make the sale? Did he not talk with the inspector who performed the inspection on the vehicle and ensure it was done properly? After all, the guy did claim that there was a stripped lug nut on one of the tires and claimed to have replaced it, charging Derrick $550! So was it negligence or just plain unethical fraud? What happened?

That’s a good question. It’s not one I can answer with any certainty, because as of this writing, he has refused to call me. I have sent numerous emails and texts to his phone. While he answered almost immediately in the past, he has pretty much ignored all my attempts at communication.

All I asked for was information about who performed the inspection. I did not ask for any kind of refund. I simply asked him to call me to discuss the problems and to give me the name of the person who did the inspection on this car – a car, which I bought for $8000, but which will cost me more than $14,000 thanks to this apparent fraud on the part of the inspector.

I realize I bought a used vehicle. I realize  there is no warranty on it, and I certainly do not expect a refund. But the damage to this vehicle should have been obvious to anyone performing the inspection, and I wonder if Derrick knew about it when he delivered the vehicle to my possession. The fact that he now refuses to get in touch with me and to give me the name of the person who did the inspection is telling.

It certainly appears that Absolute Auto Sales simply had someone stick a state inspection sticker on the car without actually… you know… inspecting the car! It certainly appears that if Derrick didn’t know about all the problems, he didn’t want to know and simply wanted to sell the car, without concern for my son’s safety.

And that is unacceptable! That is not the way to run a business.

Integrity and respect?

Is it honorable to avoid responsibility for your actions?

Is it respectful to ignore numerous messages from a customer, just because you already have their money?

Can putting a child in a car that is obviously unsafe to drive be considered respectful?

And I will be damned if I don’t at least let every person who reads this blog know that if you are in the Virginia area, you should never do business with this particular used car dealer.

Never.

UPDATE: If you were wondering about the emails I sent to Derrick, please see below.

Slide1

Slide2

Slide3

Now, I suppose it’s entirely possible that email could be screwy, but I also sent a message through the “contact us” link on the site, and two text messages.

text

I suppose all those means of communication were a fail? Interesting, given the fact that I used that number to have an entire conversation with Derrick just a few weeks prior to this.

Honesty. Honor. Integrity. Still a zero. And he still hasn’t contacted me despite numerous attempts on my part. Sad.

UPDATE 2: I just now finally got a phone call from Derrick King. He claims he never received my emails, never received my texts and only NOW looked at the second message I sent through the contact link on his website. Now, I understand if there are email issues, but here’s the thing, when I asked him for the name of the shop that performed the inspection, SEVERAL TIMES, he hung up on me. Just like that. I told him there was an easy way to resolve this: give me the name of the shop that performed the inspection. He refused.

OK… State Police here we come.

UPDATE 3: Just got off the phone with State Police. He took the car to an Exxon Station in Woodbridge, VA to get it inspected, and according to their files, this shop did the bare minimum. Looks like I will be lodging a complaint.

When you stick an inspection sticker on a vehicle, the assumption is that the vehicle is safe to drive. This one apparently wasn’t, and now I will be paying thousands to make it so.

UPDATE 4: After Mr. King rudely hung up on me when I demanded the name of the inspection station, I just received the following email.

Per our previous conversation the vehicle inspection was in the vehicle when it was sold.  We are not in the office as of yet but we will reseach the information for you. We apologize for not responding sooner as you emails we being filtered to our lead management system we are now aware of this problem are mitigating it immediately.  We appreciate you patience while we research our records. 

Thanks in advance

I would assume that as the owner, he would receive said emails, as well as the ones sent through the site, as well as the text messages. But, whatever…

I have the name of the station. I have the name of the manager of said inspection station. I have gotten the State Police involved.

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