People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Wild Turkey Could Learn From This

This is good news.

Citrus Department to Challenge Labeling of Low-Carb Juices

By Mike Schneider The Associated Press Published: Dec 15, 2004

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Department of Citrus wants to put the squeeze on producers of low-carb orange juice, claiming their labels confuse consumers into believing they're purchasing 100 percent juice when buying a product that's 42 percent juice.

I don't think they should stop there. The booze industry needs to be a bit more "revealing" about the contents of their products too. If you've ever sucked down a bottle of Bacardi's, you know what I mean. The bottle reads, "151 Proof. Have a nice day." Or something to that effect.

What it needs to read is, "BEWARE. The clear liquid contents of this bottle look benign, HOWEVER this rum will have adverse effects on your psyche, your IQ, your ability to drive, your ability to reason, your ability to father children, your ability to reach an old age, your respiratory system, your nervous system, your olfactory system, your eyesight, your depth perception, your sense of touch, your ability to form words, your cognitive abilities, your sense of place and time, your ability to hit the toilet, and your ability to find your car in the parking lot. Not to to mention the knots that will appear on your forehead when your wife gets finished beating you with a baseball bat after having shown up for supper two days late."

Not that I have any first hand experience myself, having never tasted the stuff.

But the alcohol industry had better be glad I'm not the governmental regulatory commission. They would have to prove to me, one product at a time, complete with accompanying chaser provided at their expense, that their packaging labels are fully and accurately representative of the contents.

I would consider it my civic duty.

Coca Cola Slowly Achieving Diversity

In today's headlines, we have good news and bad news.

The good news:

ATLANTA (AP) - The Coca-Cola Co. is doing a better job hiring minorities, but black employees continue to have negative feelings about the company's diversity efforts, an independent task force says.

In its third annual report analyzing Coke's compliance with a settlement of a huge discrimination lawsuit, the task force said the Atlanta-based company has improved its human resources department and the systems in place for identifying qualified minority candidates.

The bad news:

They can hire the entire Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, Coke still tastes like sewer swill.

A personal opinion of course.

Woman Smoked For Ninety Years

While we're in good news/bad news mode, there's this:

The good news:

A London woman reached the age of 105 even though she smoked for ninety years!

The bad news:

She's dead at the age of 105.
LONDON (Reuters) - Nursing home staff paid tribute to a 105-year old British woman who had smoked since the age of 15 by cremating her with a packet of cigarettes and laying a large floral cigarette on her coffin. Marie Ellis died -- of natural causes -- at the Eaton Lodge Nursing Home in Kent, southeast England, in early December and was cremated on Tuesday, clutching a packet of her favorite Benson and Hedges cigarettes.
For what it's worth, my mother has smoked all my life and yet she could whip me in a mud wrestling contest this very day. I don't know the scientific explanation for why one person succumbs to lung cancer at a young age and another person can smoke for decades seemingly without adverse effects, but someone should have checked this old gal out before she was cremated.

Maybe the Benson and Hedges kept her alive all these years.

Hard Time For Hardware Hacker

Let the word go forth. You steal a person's identity and attempt to use it for ill-gotten gain, you will become some big, ugly convict's girlfriend for an extended period of time.

As you should.

Hacker Who Tapped Into Hardware Chain's Computers Gets 9 Years

The Associated Press Published: Dec 15, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - One of three Michigan men who hacked into the national computer system of Lowe's hardware stores and tried to steal customers' credit card information was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in federal prison.

The government said it is the longest prison term ever handed down in a U.S.
computer crime case. Brian Salcedo, 21, of Whitmore Lake, Mich., pleaded
guilty in August to conspiracy and other hacking charges.

More sentences like this and the rampant internet identity theft problem might be brought under control.

Tell Me Again Why We Have A Republican Party?

For this I could have voted for a Democrat:
... Regrettably, Mr. Bush appears determined to curtail the free-speech rights of 527 organizations that use soft-money contributions to finance issue-advocacy ads. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said on Monday that the president was "committed" to eliminating soft money "through the courts." Failing there, Mr. Bush "would work with Sen. [John] McCain and look at legislative ways," Mr. McClellan promised. (link)

Republicans embracing the idea of stifling political speech, led, of course, by the most dangerous man in America, John McCain.

Maybe I should take another look at Howard Dean.....

... Or Not

Whenever I think I might find a more inviting home in the Democratic party, party leadership reminds me why that will never happen. Howard Dean, the 2004 candidate of primal scream fame, is campaigning to be the chairman of the party to replace Terry McAuliffe.

On Meet the Press last Sunday, Howard Dean returned to this poisoned well, protesting a little too much at what the "party was not." He said, "We're not the party of abortion," and "We're not the party of gay marriage." An appropriate response from moderator Tim Russert would have been a loud and sustained chuckle. Who launched America on one of its first major steps toward gay marriage? Howard Dean. He signed the nation's first gay-marriage-by-other-means, civil unions bill. Who would have been the first Planned Parenthood doctor to win the Democratic presidential nomination? Howard Dean. Should Dean become the head of the Democrats, its status as the party of gay marriage and abortion would be cemented.

As Vermont pro-lifers know well, Dean is pro-abortion to the hilt and has no use for pro-lifers. During the Democratic primary I interviewed Mary Hahn Beerworth, the executive director of the Vermont Right To Life Committee. "There is no abortion that Governor Dean doesn't think is a good idea and doesn't think the government should pay for," she said. "There is no more pro-abortion a politician in America." She recalled the time Dean refused to talk to Vermont pro-lifers because, as he put it on a Vermont talk show, he didn't want to meet with common criminals.

Dean represents the closest the Democrats have ever come to naming a Planned Parenthood doctor the presidential nominee of their party. Dean worked an OB/GYN rotation at Planned Parenthood in the 1970s. Later he was "proud" to serve on the executive board of Planned Parenthood New England, thus helping to oversee the largest abortion provider in the region. He ended up receiving its Margaret Sanger award. (link)

Well, I guess I'll keep looking.

Perhaps Hillary Clinton ...

Even Hillary Clinton is starting to sound more like a Republican than are most Republicans. As Alice would say, things are getting curiouser and curiouser.
In the last few weeks the ever cold-blooded Miss Hillary has started to stake out a position to the right of the Republican Party. Just listen to her Pat Buchananesque defiance: "[I do] not think that we have protected our borders or our ports ... we can do more and we can do batter? I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants ... Clearly we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we are going to let people in for ... work ... lets have system that keeps track of them ... People have to stop employing illegal immigrants." (link)
If John McCain seizes the Republican nomination in 2008, she's going to tie him in knots, just as George W Bush did in 2000. And it will be fun to watch.

... Or Kilgore For President!

Just when I start to lose faith in all politicians, I read this:
Kilgore proposes anti-tax agenda

[Virginia] Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore yesterday briefly put aside legal business to spotlight economic ideas - many rooted in Republican anti-tax orthodoxy - that he will likely emphasize in his bid for governor.

Kilgore met with his 31-member task force on regulatory reform and economic development, which recommended proposals that reflect such articles of faith within the GOP as lower taxes and less red tape.

The panel urged, among other things, repeal of the estate tax; tax breaks to jump-start the ailing rural economy; limits on sales and use taxes to promote film and television production, and tax credits to boost research at public colleges and universities.

"It is my strong belief that government should not be an obstacle to business," Kilgore said in a letter that accompanies the task force's 34-page report.

"Instead, it should provide a landscape where the entrepreneurial spirit of the businessmen and women of Virginia can create the opportunities of tomorrow."

Kilgore is contemplating a run for governor.

Now let's see. Republican Kilgore wants to reduce or eliminate an array of taxes. Current Democratic governor Mark Warner raised taxes and intends to take my hard-earned dollars and spend them on hiking/bike paths in a futile effort to stimulate business growth in southwest Virginia - somehow.

Hmm. Who to support? Such a tough choice.

NY Times Comes Out Against Tyrant

Finally, the day I've been waiting for has arrived. The New York Times has come out and clearly - and forcefully - denounced the attrocities that were committed by Saddam Hussein.
Saddam Hussein has been contemptuous of legal formalities for a very long time. His regime began in 1973 with a military uprising against the constitutionally elected government he was sworn to serve. From the start, there were arbitrary arrests, disappearances and summary secret executions. Tens of thousands thought sympathetic to the ousted government were detained and systematically tortured. Then, in a final act of contempt, the Saddam regime granted itself amnesty for most acts of state terrorism and left behind a constitution designed to dilute the new democracy.
Oh, I'm sorry. I have a typo in that quote. It isn't Saddam Hussein they choose to denounce. It's a General Pinochet, an old, old man who apparently ruled in Chile many, many years ago. The quote actually reads:
General Pinochet has been contemptuous of legal formalities for a very long time. His regime began in 1973 with a military uprising against the constitutionally elected government he was sworn to serve. From the start, there were arbitrary arrests, disappearances and summary secret executions. Tens of thousands thought sympathetic to the ousted government were detained and systematically tortured. Then, in a final act of contempt, the Pinochet regime granted itself amnesty for most acts of state terrorism and left behind a constitution designed to dilute the new democracy.
This is both pathetic and predictable. The people at the Times, for some mysterious, inexplicable reason, have always been appalled by the hundreds of executions that took place (allegedly) at Pinochet's direction. It's not that Pinochet didn't deserve to be hauled before a Chilean court to answer to the charges - twenty years ago. It's that the Times' outrage is so transparently phony.

Saddam Hussein slaughtered between 200,000 and 300,000 of his own people. Men, women, and children. And not just perceived political enemies. He murdered tens of thousands of Shiites just because they were Shiities. And Kurds. It is estimated that over a million Iraqis and Iranians were killed in the Iran-Iraq War that was started by Saddam back in the 80's.

It's pathetic because the Times' champions of those not able to speak for themselves have always considered Saddam's crimes to be a mere distraction. They were far more outraged by one of our soldiers pulling a pair of panties over the head of an Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib.

You might be wondering why, after all these years, these people at the Times care about an old man who may have committed crimes thirty years ago in a South American country that few Americans could even find on a map. There is a reason. To the leftists at the Times a very good reason. You see, the people that were eliminated by Pinochet in the 70's were fellow travellers. Communists. Socialists. Salvador Allende's Marxist followers. Friends.

So please, Gail Collins and staff, wipe away the tears. Unclench the fists. Put down your weapons. Chill. You will be able to sleep well tonight. General Pinochet will be removed from his wheelchair and will be locked up in a Chilean prison where he will spend the remaining days of his life. He'll not be harming any more of your idealogical brothers and sisters.

In the meantime, as I write this, mass graves are being unearthed across Iraq. The skeletons of babies are being discovered still being held in the arms of their executed mothers. Skulls by the thousands with bullet holes in them. Arms still clearly tied behind the backs of those who were brought to huge pits and thrown in. Films have surfaced of torture and executions that would turn the stomach of the most steeled among us. Arms being sliced off. Beheadings. Hand grenades being taped to the chests of victims and being set off. Records of slaughter the world hasn't seen since the days of Pol Pot and, before that, Mao, Stalin, and Hitler.

But I can't seem to find that story here in the New York Times this morning. Maybe its in the Leisure and Arts section.