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

Sunday, February 06, 2005

They Can't Be Serious

I hereby ask - no, I plead for - the people of Virginia to raise the annual salaries of our elected delegates and state senators. In doing this, surely to God, we will get representation from politicians who are not complete doofuses.

One soon-to-be legendary doofus is Norfolk Democrat Algie T. Howell. He has actually gotten a committee to pass his legislation to the full House dealing with young people who wear pants that are cut low enough to reveal their underwear. I swear to God.
Legislators yesterday couldn't agree on how to classify the trend among some to wear pants fastened so low on the hips that underwear shows.

With about 90 bills to get through yesterday afternoon, the House Courts of Justice Committee took time for a lively debate on Norfolk Democrat Algie T. Howell's bill that would fine people $50 for intentionally wearing their pants low enough to show underwear.

Even though some committee members said the bill was unconstitutional, the body approved a reworded version, sending it on to the full House for consideration. More than half of the committee's members work as attorneys.

"This bill is simply about respect for others," Howell said. "It has to do with character building." (link)
If I were an editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, I'd send a photographer over to the House chamber where this particular doofus hangs out with an assignment: When Algie T. Howell bends over, revealing his butt-crack, I want a picture of it.

A young woman exposing her thong underwear, or a young punk wanting to show off his Joe Boxers is nothing I'm going to fret over. Seeing a man's butt-crack in public, under any circumstances, on the other hand, should be a crime punishable by imprisonment.

But Algie doesn't seem to have included that in his sweeping, epic, groundbreaking legislation.

I'll bet there's a reason. What is it he is not wanting revealed here?

More Junk Science

Did you know that "the most exhaustive, longest-running study" ever done showed no "causal relationship between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke [secondhand smoke] and tobacco-related mortality?" (link)

That's right. There is no evidence to support the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it doomsayers who are out there legislating your rights away by scaring you into thinking that breathing cigarette smoke that lingers in the atmosphere causes cancer and emphysema and acne and ...

Let me make one thing clear. I have no problem with a bar or a restaurant banning smoking in their establishments. In the case of the tavern, it is probably not a wise business decision, but it is the saloon owner's prerogative to make stupid decisions.

By the same token, it is not part of a politician's purview to meddle in that which is none of their business. The biggest issue I have with liberal do-gooders (see the New York Times' attack on meat-eaters below as an example) is that they choose to determine how the rest of us are going to live our lives.

And I will not accept that.

Another problem I have with this business is the use these people make of junk science to support their arguments and to force cowardly and deceitful legislators into mandating those life-altering changes.

I made mention the other day of the lies being told by the global warming scientists that, if left unchallenged, will be used to destroy our economy - our very way of life.

The science used in the anti-smoking crusade is as good an example.

Studies have shown that smoking cigarettes is bad for you. Studies have not shown that secondhand smoke causes anything other than liberal angst.

Remember that the next time you hear some politician whine about wanting to save you from yourself.

More & More Junk Science

The Washington Post reports - breathlessly - of evidence that global warming is upon us. An Arizona rancher says the desert is more arid than it was twenty years ago.
Arid Arizona Points to Global Warming as Culprit
Climate Shift Is Blamed as Livelihoods Are Affected
By Juliet Eilperin Washington Post Staff Writer

TUCSON -- Reese Woodling remembers the mornings when he would walk the grounds of his ranch and come back with his clothes soaked with dew, moisture that fostered enough grass to feed 500 cows and their calves.

But by 1993, he says, the dew was disappearing around Cascabel -- his 2,700-acre ranch in the Malpai borderlands straddling New Mexico and Arizona -- and shrubs were taking over the grassland. Five years later Woodling had sold off half his cows, and by 2004 he abandoned the ranch. (
link)
Well, shoot. It must be a fact then. A cowpoke says so.

Is there a causal relationship between a lack of rain and increased atmospheric temperatures? Not that scientists have found. And if one was goofy enough to postulate that such a relationship exists, he or she would have to explain the flooding that has occurred in recent weeks in Southern California.

Not that they don't attempt to link the dryness with the wetness.
Dramatic weather changes in the West -- whether it is Arizona's decade-long drought or this winter's torrential rains in Southern California -- have pushed some former skeptics to reevaluate their views on climate change. A number of scientists, and some Westerners, are now convinced that global warming is the best explanation for the higher temperatures, rapid precipitation shifts, and accelerated blooming and breeding patterns that are changing the Southwest, one of the nation's most vulnerable ecosystems.
There you have it. Global warming doesn't cause dryness. It doesn't cause wetness. It causes "rapid precipitation shifts." Dryness and wetness.

It must have taken more than a few Bud Lites for those scientists to have come up with that explanation for what the rest of us call weather.

Upton Sinclair Wannabes

The vegetarians at the New York Times have a problem with people who eat meat. It's a vegetarian mantra. It isn't enough to just want to eat leaves and twigs for the rest of your life; you have to go on a campaign to force everyone else to give up your Jimmy Dean Whole Hog Sausage and eat vegetation as well. And like it.

Today, in a sophomorically transparent way, the editors at the Times attack all (the 99%) of us who enjoy a good Ribeye by going after - and let me say it is in a very lame fashion - the meat-packing industry.

What is most alarming at the slaughterhouse is not what happens to the animals - they have already met their fate. It is what happens to the humans who work there.

A large slaughterhouse is the truly industrial end of industrial farming. It is a factory for disassembly. Its high line speeds place enormous pressure on the workers hired to take apart the carcasses coming down the line. And because the basic job of the line is cutting flesh - hard, manual labor - the dangers are very high for meat workers, whose flesh is every bit as vulnerable as that of the pork or beef or chicken passing by.

The problem of worker safety is compounded by the fact that meatpackers, driven by the brutal economics of the industry, always try to hire the cheapest labor they can find. That increasingly means immigrants whose language difficulties compound the risks of the job. The result, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch, is "extraordinarily high rates of injury" in conditions that systematically violate human rights. (link)

As soon as I read that the report was "created" by Human Rights Watch, I knew any data or "resulting" conclusions were to be considered highly suspect. They certainly weren't watching when Saddam Hussein was slaughtering 300,000 Iraqi citizens. And now that a genocide is being perpetrated in Darfur, the vegetarians at HRW, instead of having their investigators in the Sudan, exposing what is truly the worst human rights travesty of the 21st century, they have their noses buried up the editors' butts at the Times.

Trying to score some major points with the vegetarians who count.

And as for the editors at the Times, let me explain what's going on here. Everyone working their way through journalism school learns the Upton Sinclair story. Sinclair became famous as a novelist a hundred years ago by exposing the abuses that were, at the time, taking place -- where?

You guessed it - America's meat-packing factories.

For those of you who have not read his most famous work, The Jungle, let me give you a brief synopsis.
As a writer Sinclair gained fame in 1906 with the novel The Jungle, a report on the dirty conditions in the Chicago meat-packing industry. Jurgis Rudkus, the protagonist, is a young Lithuanian immigrant. He arrives in America dreaming of wealth, freedom, and opportunity. Jurgis finds work from the flourishing, filthy Chicago stockyards. First he likes his work, and is astonished when his comrades hate it. "He had the feeling that this whole huge establishment had taken him under its protection, and had become responsible for his welfare. So guileless was he, and ignorant of the nature of business, that he did not even realize that he had become an employee of Brown's, and that Brown and Durham were supposed by all the world to be deadly rivals--were even required to be deadly rivals by the law of the land, and ordered to try to ruin each other under penalty of fine and imprisonment!" Gradually Jurgis' optimistic world vision fade in the hopeless "wage-slavery" and in the chaos of urban life. He loses his wife, who has been raped by a foreman, and their second child. Jurgis becomes a criminal and then a Socialist.
I'll bet there's a copy of The Jungle sitting on the desk of every junior reporter at the Times, and that all the Sinclair wannabes read it at lunch time (broccoli and bean sprouts, no doubt). They probably have group discussions during (protected) sex about the implications of the book on American society and the social ramifications of ... blah, blah, blah.

You think I exaggerate. Perhaps. So I encourage you to read the Times editorial. It makes the same points about the meat eating - er, meat-packing industry that Upton Sinclair made 98 years ago. Wage-slavery. Chaos. Danger. Misery. Even those abused immigrants, it seems, are still working there. There must be no retirement plan in the industry. Time to do an expose on that!

They inexplicably left the rape story out though. I suppose they didn't want to be accused of plagiarism. Instead, I hereby accuse them of being unimaginative lightweights who need to go out and get them a couple of juicy hot dogs and start enjoying life. They are all looking far too scrawny and pale.

White Guys Can't Rap

Well, I guess I've stirred up a hornet's nest. I said yesterday that I was going to be in big trouble for prejudging Ward Churchill, the nutty professor in Colorado who thinks he's a Cherokee warrior and has some sick affinity for Muslim terrorists. I suggested that I could look at his physical appearance and easily determine that he is no more a Cherokee chief than I'm an Apache squaw.

As a result of a comment about him - and Eminem - seemingly not wanting to be what they are - white guys - I received this scathing email:

I take exception to your referral to Eminem as being a white guy trying to be some ethnicity that he is not. He never claimed to be African American, nor does he claim that he wants to be. He writes and raps. I would like to know who decided that genre is an entirely black one. Have you never heard of Vanilla Ice? Okay,bad example... How about Cyprus Hill? Insane Clown Posse? Music is music, talent is talent. Rap is about telling a story.... the story of your life and experiences.

Marshall Mathers writes of what he knows. Born and raised in a trailer on 8 mile Road in Detroit. Father took off when he was 2 years old. Older brother killed himself when he was 13. Mother is drug addicted and has been his whole life. Wife is currently in jail and also drug addicted. Eminem is sole custodian and parent to his daughter, Hailey Jade, and by all accounts is an excellent and loving father. He has also filed for emergency custody of HIS WIFE'S baby (18 months old) that she had with another man. This baby, by all accounts, he also dotes on and adores.

This is not a black exclusive club. Anybody can make music about anything. To compare him to a terrorist supporting, American 9/11 death mocking, pretend Indian is not accurate.

Word.

With all due respect, and you know I love you, Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, is still a white (kid) man who tries his best to be a black rapper. Your very articulate email (which reveals that you know far too much about this guy) tells me that Mathers is a responsible person - and a swell dude - but it does not alter the fact that he comes across as trying to be something he's not.

And he's not all that talented either.

Word.