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

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Wie Sagt Man Das Auf Deutsch?

While liberals in this country continue to push to have school-age immigrants in our public schools taught in their native languages, the world is moving in the opposite direction.
English language domination

Paris - The dominance of English as the world's lingua franca continues to grow, with the number of pupils studying French dwindling every year, language teachers from several countries gathered at a Paris trade show this week said, many with regret.

The predominance of English on the Internet, the relative ease of learning basic English and the perception that English is "cooler" - thanks in large part to popular music and films - means French is becoming more and more restricted to older generations and the upper classes of many countries where it used to be the second language of choice in schools, they said. (link)
English is rapidly becoming the universal language. For those of you who still resist the irresistable, I have but one message: Bitte. Sie können es ohne Schwierigkeit tun.

Curiouser and Curiouser

The Associated Press has this interesting news:

College Official Resigns Over Speaker

CLINTON, N.Y. (AP) -- The head of a gender studies program at Hamilton College has resigned after igniting a furor by inviting to the campus a professor who likened the
Sept. 11 victims to Nazis.

Nancy Rabinowitz said she was stepping down "under duress" as director of the Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society and Culture. She will continue to teach comparative literature.

Rabinowitz resigned in a telephone call Thursday to the college's president.

On Feb. 3, she extended a speaking invitation to University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who in an essay written shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks compared the World Trade Center victims to "little Eichmanns," a reference to the Nazi bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann. (
link)

I don't think she should have resigned. My guess is, she had no idea that Cherokee Chief Churchill was a fascist and a loser.

What's interesting about this is the fact that Hamilton College has a Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society and Culture. What in the world does a gender studier study exactly? I hope the college doesn't charge for courses in such silliness. I have to believe this is a course offering for the mentally challenged, like Advanced Dish Washing 401.

If not, what exactly does a degree in such curricula get you when you graduate? A career as a lifeguard?

Your Tax Dollars at Work I

I love the performing arts. I would pay dearly right now for two tickets to see the Berlin Philharmonic in concert. I would even pay for their trip over here to Bland, Virginia if they promised to perform Wagner's Tannhäuser on my back porch. Well, I wouldn't go that far. But I enjoy the production of a good opera or symphony as much as anyone.

By the same token, I vehemently oppose this:

Arts center needs state funds to stay on track

BY Will Jones Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Plans to open a performing-arts center in downtown Richmond in 2007 probably would be delayed if the project doesn't get more than the $5 million offered by the state Senate, the project's top official said yesterday.


"At a $5 million level, I doubt we'll be able to stay on that schedule," said Brad Armstrong, president of the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation.

Even $10 million -- an amount initially offered by the House of Delegates -- might not be enough to keep the project on schedule, Armstrong said. That amount was reduced to $8.3 million Thursday as a result of partisan dickering. (link)

Look, we as citizens must come together at some point and decide what it is we can reasonably expect from our government(s). We also need to come to a concensus on what it is we can expect the government(s) to do well, and then demand that they do so. We cannot look to either the state or federal government to provide endless amounts of funds for everything. Not anymore.

It seems to me this is the perfect place to begin this citizen conversation. I believe that people who participate in the cultivation of the fine arts can afford to pay for those fine arts. So let them. Don't make my son, a firefighter and father of two (little angels), on a rather limited income, be forced to subsidize the arts so that wealthy patrons can sip their Chablis and wax orgasmic over Puccini or rymsky-Korsakov.


It is high time we began this conversation.

Your Tax Dollars at Work II

Whether to build a 249 foot tower or a 199 foot tower. Whether it should be a latticed structure or a monopole. Whether Montgomery County should allow another cellular tower at all. It's enough to make my hair fall out.
U.S. Cellular hopes 3rd time is lucky
By
Greg Esposito The New River Valley Current

U.S. Cellular will try for a third time Monday to get a 249-foot cell tower built in Riner.

The company first came to the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors in August 2002. The board voted against allowing the structure the company wanted and instead approved a permit for a 199-foot tower. U.S. Cellular took the issue to District Court, where the county's decision was overruled because, U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser said, it was based on aesthetics. The county, citing its comprehensive plan, appealed the decision in Circuit Court and won. (
link)
Somebody strangle me. Please.

Montgomery County, like all of Southwest Virginia, is littered with abandoned buildings - both residential and commercial. And the Board of Supervisors fights endlessly in court over the size and aesthetics of a cellular tower.

Your tax dollars at work, Blacksburgians.

Your Tax Dollars at Work III

I warned Algie T. Howell (D-Norfolk) that he was going to be viewed by the entire world as a doofus if he didn't abandon his goofy notion (and corresponding legislation) that we needed a law to keep young women from wearing low-cut jeans and, in doing so, showing off their cute little thong underwear.

He chose not to heed my warning.

Now he is a world-class doofus.

In the past week, his groundbreaking legislation has made the ABC News, Fox News, the New York Times, the Associated Press, Agence France-Press, and London's Guardian. He is now being ridiculed in languages he's probably never heard of by foreigners he'd probably like to create legislation to ban.

From Ray McAllister's column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
... the House of Delegates approved the droopy pants bill.

The world took note.

And laughed heartily.

The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, under an "An embarrassment of britches" headline, ran headlines from around the world yesterday, including:

"Why underpants must stay under in the state of Virginia" (The Guardian, England).

"Talk about a 'nanny state'" (San Francisco Chronicle).

"Pull up your pants or pay the price" (Independent Online, South Africa).

A Senate committee quickly killed the bill Thursday.

"Bill on droopy drawers dropped," the Times-Dispatch headlined the action. "After global mirth, panel kills measure on breeches of etiquette." (link)
It didn't have to be this way, Algie. Had you only listened to my advice when you had the chance.

Goofus.

Environmentalists Eat Their Own

It is admittedly with a certain amount of glee that I bring this news to you. Just as I enjoy watching the Swedish bikini team wrestling in the mud over a Bud Lite, I enjoy environmentalists attacking environmentalists for being anti-environmental.

As a famous literary personality once said: It don't get better than this.

Judge tosses lawsuit over wind farm in tallgrass prairie
By ROXANA HEGEMAN, Associated Press Writer

WICHITA, Kan. - A federal judge on Friday tossed out a lawsuit filed by a coalition of ranchers and conservationists seeking to block development of a large wind farm in one of North America's few remaining stands of native tallgrass prairie.


The Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Foundation is considering an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, said Victor Yannacone, Jr., attorney representing the foundation.

"This stretch of essentially intact tallgrass prairie is in great danger of being lost if it is fragmented by these industrial wind turbine facilities," Yannacone said. "These are not isolated windmills, these are enormous, gargantuan wind turbine generators."

The proposed wind farm, on 8,000 acres three miles south of Beaumont and about 45 miles east of Wichita, would be the state's largest producer of wind energy. The $190 million project would bring 100 wind turbines _ each nearly 400 feet tall. Construction is expected to begin in March. (link)

For more years than I can remember, these eco-idiots have been demanding that we eliminate our dependency on the use of nuclear energy, coal, and oil for the production of electricity. They have, with straight faces, suggested that we all get our power from wind and the sun. And from Santy Claus. Now it appears that wind power has slid into disfavor as well. The towers are unsightly, you see (note the previous case of tower-angst above). They ruin the bunny rabbit ambiance.

So now we are left with solar power. It seems I read a while back that if we built a solar panel that covered the entire state of Massachusetts, we could generate enough energy to supply our elecricity needs for the foreseeable future.

I vote in favor of doing just that.

Howie Dean: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This analogy from Brent Bozell - in the Washington Times - seems to work.
Consider this: If, on the cusp of the first President Bush losing the 1992 election, the Republican National Committee had united around the idea of having his conservative base-rousing primary challenger Pat Buchanan be the next party chairman, how would the media cover the story? You can bet the farm they would have shouted from the rooftops that the GOP had a death wish, that the lemmings were pouring over the cliff, that the Republicans were forsaking every American voter in the middle for the foam-flecked extremists. (link)
This says a lot about the "thinking" that went into the Democratic party's selection process as well as the mainstream media's indifference to the radical Vermont firebrand's ascendency to the chairmanship of the DNC. Dean epitomized the mindset of the people on the left - anti-war, opposed to social security reform, opposed to education reform, opposed to moderation of all abortion laws, supportive of higher taxes, supportive of gay marriage, soft on crime.

Every political position that Howard Dean espoused in his 2004 campaign has contributed over the last twenty five years to the Democratic party's loss of the presidency (7 of the last 9 races), its senate majority, its house majority, its majority of governorships, and statehouse majorities. And the party thinks it can win all of it back by ... doing more of the same. Doing it better. All it takes is a different messenger. Using more flowery words.

I heard a party "expert" claim that Howie will unite the party's base. What this genius chose not to consider is that the party's rabidly liberal base was as united in the November election as it will ever be, around one common theme - Bush must go.

The united base didn't draw enough voters to win in 2004. It will be an even smaller base in 2008. And will continue to decline until the Democrats figure out this simple truth; abortion, higher taxes, perpetual genuflection to old Europe as foreign policy are losing issues.