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

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Don't Mess With Tech

Virginia Tech has supporters in far-off lands. Including many in the wilds of Aghanistan. Armed and dangerous. My kind of fan club.
Click on image to enlarge.
Phot courtesy of Virginia Tech News Posted by Hello

The Risk Of Xeroxing Boucher's Press Releases

Congressman Rick Boucher has certainly learned how to promote himself. I read two articles about his "wish-list" for Southwest Virginia just today. (link) (link)

  • He is wishing that American Electric Power (AEP) builds a coal-fired power plant in the area.
  • He's wishing for an airport to be built in the area servicing Dickenson and Buchanan counties.
  • He's wishing that corporations will relocate to the area.
  • He's wishing for a state data center to the technology park near Wise.
  • He's wishing we'd all forget that the area suffers from negative growth, inadequate infrastructure, declining population, substandard educational opportunities, and massive poverty. And that his "wishing" is getting really stale.

What caught my attention to one of the articles promoting our illustrious congressional representative, written by Suzanne Tate, Coalfield Progress Managing Editor, are the following two paragraphs;

* New business. Boucher has taken three telecommunications companies on tours of the former Travelocity center [my emphasis] at the technology park in Clintwood. Travelocity, which books airline reservations, hotel accommodations and more, shut down in December, after deciding to outsource some of the company's work to India.

And this:

* Showcasing Southwest Virginia. Boucher's economic development tour has brought a variety of businesses to the Ninth District, including Travelocity [my emphasis], the Verizon call center in the technology park outside Wise and the federal prison in Lee County.

Could I make a suggestion? If you're going to reproduce the horseshit that Rick Boucher faxes over to you, could you at least read it first? Isn't that what "editing" is all about?

This is rich. Boucher is touting his ability to attract new business to Southwest Virginia, and his efforts to replace those same businesses - after they closed down - in the same article. I know you are all enthralled by his happy hooliganism but this is worse than sorry. It's pathetic.

I wish you would open your eyes and see Boucher's "wishes" for what they are: political hot air. When Boucher touts - legitimately - that he brought the power plant to the area and the airport to Buchanan County and the new data center to Wise and new businesses to the area, then you can plant your lips on his butt. But until then, please, please read his press releases with your eyes open and your lips sealed.

Now He Goes and Says Something I Agree With

I have a general disdain for everyone who writes for the New York Times. They run the gamut; from an abhorrence for Paul Krugman to ridicule for the likes of ditzy Maureen Dowd. and then there are the insufferable types like Bob Herbert who are so detached from reality that I just don't read him much anymore.

But then someone at the paper writes something that I fervently agree with. Today, it happens to be Nicholas Kristof.

It's Time to Spray DDT


If the U.S. wants to help people in tsunami-hit countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia - not to mention other poor countries in Africa - there's one step that would cost us nothing and would save hundreds of thousands of lives.

It would be to allow DDT in malaria-ravaged countries.

I'm thrilled that we're pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the relief effort, but the tsunami was only a blip in third-world mortality. Mosquitoes kill 20 times more people each year than the tsunami did, and in the long war between humans and mosquitoes it looks as if mosquitoes are winning.

One reason is that the U.S. and other rich countries are siding with the mosquitoes against the world's poor - by opposing the use of DDT. (link)

Darn. I agree with him. I find myself in the disconcerting position of being in accord with a Timesiac. May God have mercy on my soul. I can only hope he has another article tomorrow. I have no doubt he will once again be in my bad graces.

But today, I fully agree. Bugs are killing humans. Kill the bugs.

What's Good For The Goose

People like those who slither through the halls of the New York Times somehow find satisfaction in an indictment of a man who allegedly participated in the murder of three civil rights organizers in Mississippi 40 years ago. Just as with the case of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile, leftists find glee in pursuing cases against right-wing or, in the case of Edgar Ray Killen, (alleged) racist wrongdoers regardless how ancient the incidents of crime are. Their seeming need for this kind of cathartic quest to right wrongs of long ago is inexplicable, but if these men did bad things, I say let the Times' folks have their fun.

Today's euphoria comes in the form of, as it often does, feigned sorrow and shallow reflections-of-what-might-have-beens had the noble, self-effacing, and heroic efforts of the three slain champions of ... oh, whatever. Pardon me for sounding insensitive (I've never been accused of that), but trying to wade through crap like this made me want to go out and kill somebody:
After 40 years, after all the ceremonies, the visits to Mississippi, the interviews, the strokes, the deaths of loved ones, births of grandchildren and the simple march of time, the news came, and two mothers, separated by 80 miles but locked together in history, came to realize the obvious. Their sons had not come back, but a painful part of their lives - and civil rights history - had.

Both in their 80's, they carried themselves yesterday with aplomb, and a bit of resignation, having believed for so long that someday, maybe, someone would be charged in the murder of their sons, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, and a companion, Michael Schwerner. They were young men - Goodman and Schwerner, white New Yorkers, and Chaney, a black Mississippian - killed in 1964 during a voter registration drive in Mississippi in a crime that shocked the conscience of the country. On Thursday, Edgar Ray Killen, described by officials as a former Ku Klux Klan leader, was charged with the murders. Mr. Killen pleaded not guilty yesterday.
As you might imagine, this was a 2-page article, featured on the front page of what someone once called a newspaper. The article was so sappy and lacking in substance, I began to root for Edgar Ray Killen, who is probably a dirtbag and deserves to be imprisoned for what's left of his life.

But then I got to thinking. Perhaps the Times people are not all wrong. Maybe we should pursue the same tactics of venguefully pursuing murderers, no matter how long ago those murders occurred.

Mary Jo Kopechne, the daughter of an insurance salesman, was born in the village of Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, on 26th July 1940. After graduating from Caldwell College for Women in New Jersey, she moved to Washington where she worked as a secretary for George Smathers and Robert Kennedy. During this time she shared an apartment with Nancy Carole Tyler, who worked for Bobby Baker.

On 17th July, 1969, Kopechne joined several other women who had worked for the Kennedy family at the Edgartown Regatta. She stayed at the Katama Shores Motor Inn on the southern tip of Martha's Vineyard. The following day the women travelled across to Chappaquiddick Island. They were joined by Edward Kennedy and that night they held a party at Lawrence Cottage. At the party was Kennedy, Kopechne, Susan Tannenbaum, Maryellen Lyons, Ann Lyons, Rosemary Keough, Esther Newburgh, Joe Gargan, Paul Markham, Charles Tretter, Raymond La Rosa and John Crimmins.

Kopechne and Kennedy left the party at 11.15pm. Kennedy had offered to take Kopechne back to her hotel. He later explained what happened: "I was unfamiliar with the road and turned onto Dyke Road instead of bearing left on Main Street. After proceeding for approximately a half mile on Dyke Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. The car went off the side of the bridge.... The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car. I was unsuccessful in the attempt."

Instead of reporting the accident Edward Kennedy returned to the party. According to a statement issued by Kennedy on 25th July, 1969: "instead of looking directly for a telephone number after lying exhausted in the grass for an undetermined time, walked back to the cottage where the party was being held and requested the help of two friends, my cousin Joseph Gargan and Paul Markham, and directed them to return immediately to the scene with me - this was some time after midnight - in order to undertake a new effort to dive."

When this effort to rescue Kopechne ended in failure, Kennedy decided to return to his hotel. As the ferry had shut down for the night Kennedy, swam back to Edgartown. It was not until the following morning that Kennedy reported the accident to the police. [my emphasis] By this time the police had found Mary Jo Kopechne's body in Kennedy's car. (link)

Kennedy had been drinking.

He was driving the car that went off the bridge into the water.

He failed to extricate Ms. Kopechne from the car, a task that was clearly easy to accomplish.

He ran from the scene.

Senator Edward Kennedy made no attempt to summon rescuers to help Mary Jo, who was trapped and running out of air in the car.

He chose not to call the police until the next morning.

And he was "found guilty of leaving the scene of the accident and received a suspended two-month jail term and one-year driving ban."

Mary Jo Kopechne died as a result of his gross negligence and criminal flight.

So. If it is worthwhile to take out retribution on the likes of a miserable wretch like Edgar Ray Killen, it most assuredly is right - it cries out for her right - for society to punish "Teddy" Kennedy. I call upon the proper authorities to reopen this case and rectify this travesty of justice. He deserves a long prison sentence - before he kills again.