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

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Nazi Guard To Be Deported

It's hard to believe that we are still finding and deporting former Nazi concentration camp guards. But it's true.

U.S. Citizenship of Ex-Nazi Guard Revoked
NewsMax.com Wires

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A federal court on Friday revoked the U.S. citizenship of a former Nazi SS member who served as a concentration camp guard.

John Hansl, 80, had argued that he freely disclosed he'd been in the German army when he and his family came to the United States in 1955.

Prosecutors said, however, that Hansl failed to reveal he'd been in the SS Death's Head battalion that guarded concentration camps at Natzweiler in France in 1944 and at Sachsenhausen near Berlin in 1943.

Thousands of people were imprisoned and murdered at the two camps.

Hansl, of German descent, was born in Croatia in 1925. When he was 18, he was drafted in the Nazi Waffen SS in 1943. He admits he served as a perimeter guard at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin. He was later transferred to the front lines, where he was captured by the Allies. (link)

There is a lesson here for Osama bin Laden. No matter how long it takes ...

Residents Get Clean Drinking Water

For those of you in Argentina, Japan, Great Britain, France, and beyond, who read this weblog daily, you need to understand that this is big news around here:
Clean drinking water available to more families in Smyth

MARION – Seventy-seven homes in eastern Smyth County soon will have clean drinking water through a new water system, U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher said Friday.

Sixty-two homes have been connected already.

Residents in the Groseclose and Atkins communities previously used private wells, some of which became contaminated. (link)
Here in Appalachia, we concern ourselves less with Christo's Central Park "artwork" and California's grape harvest and Abercrombie & Fitch's latest catalogue release ... and more with the amount of human waste we have in our drinking water.

We have 77 households taken care of. At this rate, we'll have the entire area brought up to 19th century standards by the time we reach the 22nd century.

Let's celebrate.

Elie Wiesel Coming To Virginia Tech

A crusader for human rights is coming to Virginia Tech.
Nobel Peace Prize winning author Elie Wiesel coming Wednesday

Blacksburg, Va., April 8, 2005 -- As part of Virginia Tech's recognition of Holocaust Awareness Week, Nobel Peace Prize winning author Elie Wiesel is coming to speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in Burruss Hall.

Wiesel, who won the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote Night, the internationally acclaimed book about his experiences in the Nazi death camps.

"Last year, the Holocaust Awareness Committee was looking to make a larger impact on Virginia Tech's campus," said Jay Reid, Virginia Tech student, Holocaust Awareness Committee member, and Hillel representative. "To do this we wanted to get a premier speaker on this issue. We all brainstormed, and one name came to mind: Elie Wiesel. There isn't a more moving and powerful Holocaust speaker than Elie Wiesel."

Born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, now a part of Romania, Wiesel was 15 when he and his family were deported by Nazis to Auschwitz, where his mother and younger sister perished, but his two older sisters survived. Wiesel and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945; he was 17. (
This is an opportunity to meet a man who strives to make the world a better place.

Our Judiciary Is Starving Another Woman

Another woman is being starved to death in a hospice, this time in Georgia. Per the decree of a probate judge.

Georgia Case Mirrors Schiavo Battle

Last month's fight over Terri Schiavo energized an Internet army and it has now jumped into a Georgia family tragedy. Unlike Terri Schiavo, this patient had a living will, but her case is still tangled.

Ken Mullinax's aunt, Mae Magouirk, suffered aorta damage in late March. She entered the Hospice LaGrange and in a living will, Magouirk said she wanted nourishment and fluids unless she went into a coma or a persistent vegetative state.

Mullinax and Magouirk’s granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, fought in court over who should be her guardian. Probate Judge Donald Boyd appointed Gaddy.

Mullinax says Gaddy has withheld nourishment and fought further treatment saying Magouirk needed to be with Jesus. He also charged that the judge went along though Magouirk was hardly comatose.

“This woman has a lot more years to live,” Mullinax, the woman’s nephew, said. “She recognized us and she looked at us, and said, please, please help me go home.”

Asked what he thought that to mean, Mullinax said, “It sure didn’t mean home to Jesus, and it sure didn't mean starve me to death.”

Judge Boyd called Mullinax's charges completely false and said all relatives agreed to let three doctors decide what was next for Magouirk. He said that everyone was happy with the compromise. (link)
"Everyone was happy with the compromise." Except the woman being starved to death, who specifically stated in her living will that she was to be given food and hydration.

The CEO of the West Georgia Health System told 11 Alive News, "No patient at our hospice is denied food or water."

Beth Gaddy could not be reached for comment.

Neither could Mae Magouirk or Terri Schiavo.

If I-81 Traffic Isn't Bad Enough

I was southbound on I-81 a few days ago and noticed northbound traffic at a standstill, with semis as far as the eye could see, and drivers out of their rigs and chatting with one another. When you see that, you know their day is not going well.

As it turns out, flying debris was the culprit.
Boulders back up I-81 after blasting
By Hattie Brown, Roanoke Times

A construction-related blast threw boulders into the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County, closing the road for nearly two hours Thursday afternoon. At one point, traffic was backed up for more than 10 miles, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

At 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Virginia State Police stopped traffic in the northbound lanes just before mile marker 184 so VDOT officials could conduct a scheduled blast, said Randy Kiser, district construction engineer with VDOT's Staunton district. The blast caused "a fair amount of material and some pretty big pieces of rock" to fall into the northbound lanes, delaying the reopening of the road, Kiser said. (link)

As if driving the nation's highways isn't risky enough, now I have to watch for flying boulders.

The Cost Of Doing Business

I have written on numerous occasions, asking - one could say even pleading - for our government officials to do what they have the power to do to ease the burden of government regulation and taxation on local businesses. While we still have a few.

This is the sort of government oversight that is destroying the local economy:
Pulaski Furniture to pay penalty to resolve clean-air case filed by EPA
By Paul Dellinger, Roanoke Times

The federal environmental agency has been monitoring emissions from the company's wood-fired boilers.

Pulaski Furniture Corp. has agreed to pay a $56,558 penalty to settle a Clean Air Act violation filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

As part of the settlement, the company has neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violation.

In March 2003, the EPA ordered the company to do particulate testing on the two wood-fired boilers at its plant in Pulaski. In June 2003, testing of one boiler showed particulate emissions above permit limits.

After that, Pulaski Furniture began a plan approved by the EPA to bring the mechanism into compliance. The plan included repair work and retesting and, by early 2004, tests showed that both boilers were complying with emission limits. (link)

Pulaski Furniture, one of the few remaining furniture manufacturers in the area, complies with an onerous EPA regulation, and they are fined anyway.

There are 800 employees working for the company, which makes it one of the largest employers left in Southwest Virginia. The United States government is going to throw all of them out of work because there are particulates being thrown into the air.

I wonder if the Indonesian government monitors the particulate emissions of all those furniture plants that operated here not that long ago.


The thought went through my mind a few weeks ago that there was something fishy about this story.

Officials: Diner finds finger in chili

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- A diner at a Wendy's fast food restaurant in San Jose, California, found a human finger in a bowl of chili prepared by the chain, local officials said Wednesday.

"This individual apparently did take a spoonful, did have a finger in their mouth and then, you know, spit it out and recognized it," said Ben Gale, director of the department of environmental health for Santa Clara County. "Then they had some kind of emotional reaction and vomited."

Local officials launched an investigation after the incident Tuesday night and the medical examiner determined Wednesday that the object was a human finger.

Officials are trying to determine whether the finger came in the raw materials Wendy's used to prepare the chili, Gale said. (link)

As it turns out, there may be a second chapter to the story.

Woman claiming finger in chili sues often
By KEN RITTER, Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The woman who claims she bit into a human finger while eating chili at a Wendy's restaurant has a history of filing lawsuits - including a claim against another fast-food restaurant.

Anna Ayala, 39, who hired a San Jose, Calif., attorney to represent her in the Wendy's case, has been involved in at least half a dozen legal battles in the San Francisco Bay
area, according to court records.

She brought a suit against an ex-boss in 1998 for sexual harassment and sued an auto dealership in 2000, alleging the wheel fell off her car. That suit was dismissed after Ayala fired her lawyer, who said she had threatened him. (link)

The police are now trying to find out from whom the finger came.

Nuclear Enegy Is Making Its Way Back

You're starting to hear more and more about the need for nuclear power in this country. And that is a good thing. When you read an article from a leftist - in the New York Times - you know we are on the verge of a breakthrough.

Nukes Are Green

If there was one thing that used to be crystal clear to any environmentalist, it was that nuclear energy was the deadliest threat this planet faced. That's why Dick Gregory pledged at a huge anti-nuke demonstration in 1979 that he would eat no solid food until all nuclear plants in the U.S. were shut down.

Mr. Gregory may be getting hungry.

But it's time for the rest of us to drop that hostility to nuclear power. It's increasingly clear that the biggest environmental threat we face is actually global warming, and that leads to a corollary: nuclear energy is green.

Nuclear power, in contrast with other sources, produces no greenhouse gases. So President Bush's overall environmental policy gives me the shivers, but he's right to push ahead for nuclear energy. There haven't been any successful orders for new nuclear plants since 1973, but several proposals for new plants are now moving ahead - and that's good for the world we live in.

Global energy demand will rise 60 percent over the next 25 years, according to the International Energy Agency, and nuclear power is the cleanest and best bet to fill that gap. Solar power is a disappointment, still accounting for only about one-fifth of 1 percent of the nation's electricity and costing about five times as much as other sources. Wind is promising, for its costs have fallen 80 percent, but it suffers from one big problem: wind doesn't blow all the time. It's difficult to rely upon a source
that comes and goes.

In contrast, nuclear energy already makes up 20 percent of America's power, not to mention 75 percent of France's. (link)

Of course, Kristof goes on to trash President Bush's plan for the rejuvenation of America's nuclear energy program; that's what he gets paid to do. But this is not to be taken lightly.

You're starting to get the impression that all our treasured environmentalists are getting together behind closed doors, dispensing their cabernet, snorting a little blow, and conversing - in hushed tones - about just how we are supposed to power our generators if coal is bad, and petroleum is bad, and wind energy is pie-in-the-sky, and solar energy has proven to be effective only in powering tiny calculators ... just what are we to propose?

Nuclear energy is back.

The Teacher's Dilemma

Mty sister, Suellen, sent me this. I enjoyed it. And there is a point being made.

After being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said:

"Let me see if I've got this right . . You want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning. And I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits.

You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self esteem. You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.

I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, make sure all students pass the mandatory state exams, even those who don't come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments.

Plus, I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap. And I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report card.

All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food

You want me to do all of this and yet you expect me . . not to PRAY??"

Our thought for the day.

What Is Going On Down There?

They should change the name of our neighbor to the south from Mexico to Bizarro.

Opposition Chief at Risk in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, April 7 - In a vote that casts doubt on the strength of Mexico's fledgling democracy, this city's popular leftist mayor lost a critical battle in Congress on Thursday over a measure that is likely to force him off the ballot in presidential elections next year and could lead to his imprisonment.

Hundreds of thousands of people were gathered in Mexico City's central square throughout the day to protest the action, a rare proceeding known in Mexico as a "desafuero," in which Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador was stripped of his official immunity so he could stand trial in a minor land dispute.

In terms of political rights, the Mexican Constitution holds suspects guilty until proved innocent, so Mr. Lopez will be banned from politics until the end of a trial.

Political analysts said that the proceedings were a critical test in this country's transition to a full-fledged democracy that began just five years ago when Mexicans broke seven decades of single-party rule with the peaceful election of Vicente Fox, the first president to come from an opposition party. (link)
Is it any wonder that so many citizens are running for their lives toward Tucson?