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

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Virginia Tech Pledges To Honor Diversity

Virginia Tech's governing board released the following statement Monday.

Virginia Tech Principles of Community

Blacksburg, Va., Va., March 14, 2005 -- The following text is the Virginia Tech Principles of Community which was affirmed by the board of visitors March 14 and signed by eight university organizations:

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members:

==> We affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain a climate for work and learning based on mutual respect and understanding.

==> We affirm the right of each person to express thoughts and opinions freely. We encourage open expression within a climate of civility, sensitivity, and mutual respect.

==> We affirm the value of human diversity because it enriches our lives and the University. We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity.

==> We reject all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others.

==> We pledge our collective commitment to these principles in the spirit of the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

Ben J. Davenport Jr., Rector, Board of Visitors Charles W. Steger, President
W. Samuel Easterling, President, Faculty Senate
Sue Ellen Crocker, President, Staff Senate
Sumeet Bagai, President, Student Government Association
Myrna Callison and Yvette Quintela, Co-Vice Presidents, Graduate Student Assembly
Kimball "Jay" Reynolds, President, Virginia Tech Alumni Association
Ray Plaza, Chair, Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity (
link)

Ah, the college life. It seems like only yesterday that I was attending classes by day and curing all the worlds ills of an evening. In my day, we were just as committed to ending bigotry and hatred, and involved ourselves in writing silly crap like this. How we found the time for those great off-campus drinking parties I'll never know.

The issues haven't changed either. War. Poverty. Racism. Exclusion. Kissing ass.

Do you suppose they mean what they've written? No. Of course not. But if it keeps the masses in check and Virginia Tech administrators' butts out of a sling, well, why not kill some trees and print up some 'o that promisin' o' healin' an' what not.

"We acknowledge and respect our differences while affirming our common humanity." I particularly enjoyed that one. I have no idea what it means, but it sounds so refined. So cerebral. So postiche.

Now That Must Have Been An Inspiring Speech

I always wondered why certain states have Secretaries of State and what they actually did for a living. Now I know. They foment hatred.

White Students Walk Out At Local Catholic School
Many Students Felt Like They Were Called Racist

HADDON TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Some white students at a South Jersey Catholic school walked out of classes Tuesday in protest over a speech by the New Jersey Secretary of State Regina Thomas.

Tensions have been building up at Paul VI High School since Thomas' speech on racial justice last week.

Many students and faculty members walked out of the speech offended. They said that she lambasted one student for not knowing his black history and that she insinuated that the students were racist.

"It's, like, really crazy right now. Teachers are just standing by the doors. Kids are trying to get out. Kids are in the hallway, they won't go to class," one female student said. (
link)
Regina Thomas - role model for America's youth.

Tax Dollars At Work

I rarely feel sorry for the people of Massachusetts. We live in parallel universes it seems sometimes. But the neverending saga relating to "The Big Dig" captured the imagination long ago. It is the quintessential government project. Originally projected to cost $260 million, the current price tag is now pegged at $14.6 billion. That's $1,460 million.

And it ain't over.

Big Doubts For Big Dig
The Associated Press, Published March 16, 2005

BOSTON (AP) -- The independent engineering specialist who led an investigation into leaks at the 14-year-old Big Dig project says he no longer can vouch for the safety of the tunnels in the $14.6 billion system.

Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, responded to the report by saying he would ask the state's highest court whether he has the power to fire the chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which oversees the system of bridges and tunnels that has been plagued for years by cost overruns.

"With the Big Dig, there's been a pattern of cover-up and stonewalling that has left the public with little confidence that the project is being managed well or that the road and tunnel system are safe to travel," Mr. Romney said.

The governor's comments were in response to a letter written to the Turnpike Authority by engineering specialist Jack K. Lemley, who stated he was "unable to express an opinion as to the safety of the I-93 portion of the Central Artery." A copy of the March 9 letter was obtained by the Boston Globe. (link)

$14.6 billion and it leaks. Watch next for the state of Massachusetts to condemn the tunnel.

And for the construction work to begin again. From scratch.

Even the people of Massachusetts - who generally enjoy big government and high tax rates - don't deserve this.

Detroit Airport Has Janitors?

Here's an interesting bit of news from the Detroit News:

Janitors fight airport expansion. Union, angry over job losses, leads drive to block financing of new Metro terminal.

By Joel J. Smith, The Detroit News

ROMULUS -- A petition drive mounted by a service workers union angry that 83 janitors at Detroit Metro Airport were replaced by nonunion workers could delay or block construction of the planned $403 million North Terminal.


Service Employees International Union Local 3 in Detroit said it has collected 20,000 signatures from registered Wayne County voters and will file a petition this week with the Wayne County Airport Authority. (link)

I don't care one way or another whether the janitors employed at Detroit Metro Airport are happy. What startled me was the news that there are actually janitors working there. It is - arguably - on an ongoing basis, the filthiest airport in the USA.

If I were to try to rank airports by their cleanliness, I'd put the Detroit facility last and in a class by itself. The Miami airport sometimes comes close but doesn't really compare. How do I rate them? I go to the bathroom. When I'm in Detroit, I'd rather relieve myself behind the Northwest commuter terminal in subzero weather than sit down on any toilet in the complex. There are diseases there that are intermingling and creating uncatalogued pestilences. If a pandemic begins to spread across the land, it will originate in Concourse B at Detroit Metro. Mark my words.

I remember reading this warning on a stall wall:
It Does No Good To Stand On The Seat.
Metro Germs Can Leap Five Feet.
It was signed, The Management.

More On the Ruling Oligarchy

William B. Rubenstein, a professor of law at U.C.L.A. and chairman of something called the Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law, has shown me the light. I was having difficulty yesterday grappling with the thought that a small number of judges in this country are now in charge - many of them unelected and answerable to nobody.

Rubenstein explains in an article for the New York Times entitled, "Follow The Leaders," that there is a consensus out there if seven judges say so. And shut up.
Los Angeles — When a California judge ruled on Monday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, the decision generated national headlines and scathing criticism. But the decision is hardly news, and the judge is hardly an activist.

The decision itself is just the latest in a long line of recent cases recognizing the rights of same-sex couples. In 1993, Hawaii's Supreme Court ruled that discrimination against same-sex couples likely violated that state's Constitution. The court sent the case back to a trial court, and the judge struck down the marriage restrictions. Hawaii's voters then amended their Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman, but court cases continued to follow Hawaii's lead.

In subsequent years, judges in half a dozen other states - Alaska, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington - have recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry, as have jurists in seven of Canada's 13 provinces. And cases are pending in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland and New Jersey. (
link)
Alaska, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. And of course we now add California. Why, it's darn near mainstream! And "a long line" it is, Rubenstein. A line of seven. Seven liberal judges in seven grossly liberal states. Out of 40,000 judges in the USA. I'd call that a trend!

Of course there is one tiny fact that Mr. Rubenstein had to confront in this story; that being the fact that the people of California had rejected what one judge - an electorate of one - has now declared the law of the land in California.
It is true that Judge Kramer declared a ballot initiative enacted by the state's voters unconstitutional. But that ballot initiative was not supported by voters in the Bay Area, and it does not appear to align with the views of a majority of the Legislature in Sacramento. One can disagree with Judge Kramer's ruling, but it is difficult to argue that his views are outside the mainstream.
Do these people actually read what they write? Why do they go out of their way to embarrass themselves (and in this case, the New York Times and UCLA)? In one paragraph the author acknowledges the fact that the people of the state of California - in a referendum, the purest form of democracy and the most effective means of gauging public sentiment - rejected homosexual marriage, but then he turns around and says, "it is difficult to argue that [the liberal San Francisco judge's] views are outside the mainstream."

You made the argument, genius.

I stand by my analysis from yesterday. Anarchy reigns. The law is whatever a handful of people says it is. As long as we continue to play along with these jokers, rulings by their handful of seven will outweigh the decisions of our handful of millions.

Then There's The Other Branch Of Gov't

Is there a reason why the judiciary has predominated over the legislative branch of government in recent years? This might provide the answer to that question:
Democrats threaten shutdown
By Charles Hurt, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Democrats yesterday said they will halt all Senate business except essential operations and national defense if Republicans use the "nuclear option" to unclog President Bush's judicial nominees.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada made the threat in a letter yesterday to Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has said he has the 51 votes needed for a parliamentary procedure that would force the nominees through the Senate on a simple majority vote. (link)
The Supreme Court, along with all the supreme-court-wanna-bes, are enacting new law every day while the Democrats in Congress pout and threaten to do ... nothing.

Everyone save yourself. All is lost.

Neumayr Lends Support

George Neumayr, executive editor of The American Spectator, reiterates my point about the anarchy that is becoming the law of the land, in an article this morning.

Lawless Judges
By
George Neumayr

If the law represents nothing more than the will of whoever has the most audacity to hijack it, won't it occur to the American people at some point that they too can join in the nihilistic jostling? What if the people thought, "the law is just the will of the strongest," and marched on courthouses and threw lawless judges out on the street? What appeal could these judges make to them -- "You must follow the laws that we don't"?


Lawless judges operate according to a very cynical assumption: that the people they abuse will never behave as recklessly and ruthlessly as they do. But this is not a durable assumption. Treating the people as docile chumps will work in the short term, but one of the more reliable patterns of history is that anarchy follows tyranny. Tyrants live by lawlessness and die by it. There is no reason to suppose that the convulsions that every other corrupted Republic has choked on through history won't eventually seize the throat of our tyrants.

Having no respect for the laws of God, modern liberalism is by nature lawless, and the judicial tyranny under which we now live is its natural outgrowth. Since liberalism rests on nothing that precedes human will, what else can the rule of law for it be but the rule of corrupt men? The idea that man would form laws on the basis of an order from which he came -- namely, the order that God established and promulgates to man through his reason -- is an outrage to liberalism. This idea of law is "authoritarian." However,
experience should have taught us by now that modern liberalism produces not an absence of authority but an explosion of new and abusive authority, a pitiless authority that tends toward totalitarianism. (
link)
I posted a good bit of the article. For those of you looking for brevity -- sorry.

But this is a troubling circumstance that needs everyone's attention. As Neumayr writes:
These tyrants do not want one nation under God; they want one nation under them. The tyrants and totalitarians we seek to overthrow abroad are in our midst.

NY Times Opposes Fake News...For Now

The New York Times has come out quite forcefully today against its longstanding practice of printing fake news.

And Now, the Counterfeit News

The Bush administration has come under a lot of criticism for its attempts to fob off government propaganda as genuine news reports. Whether federal agencies are purchasing the services of supposedly independent columnists or making videos extolling White House initiatives and then disguising them as TV news reports, that's wrong. But it is time to acknowledge that the nation's news organizations have played a large and unappetizing role in deceiving the public.

As documented this week in an article in The Times by David Barstow and Robin Stein, more than 20 federal agencies, including the State Department and the Defense Department, now create fake news clips. The Bush administration spent $254 million in its first four years on contracts with public relations firms, more than double the amount spent by the Clinton administration. (link)

Wait. My mistake. They're only opposed to it if it is produced by the White House and aired on network news shows. Lies, distortions, deceit, and shilling for the Democratic party are still appropriate on the front page of "the old gray lady."