Quote

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

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A Solution Requiring a Problem

I've heard the arguments from people who feel that we need to codify the fact that English is our official language. To me, they fall flat. To the legislature of the state of West Virginia, however, they must make perfect sense.
English as state language slipped into W.Va. bill
Washington Times

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Two days after the end of the legislative session, state lawmakers are discovering something few were aware of: They voted to make English the official language of West Virginia.

The language amendment was quietly inserted into a bill addressing the number of members that cities can appoint to boards of parks and recreation. Among mundane details about record-keeping, the amendment adds the provision that "English shall be the official language of the State of West Virginia."

Efforts to make English the state's official language have been introduced annually since the late 1990s. (link)
Some people have this notion that there are cities in America - Miami, Los Angeles, San Antonio, El Paso - where English is now a foreign language. Having been to all four on numerous occasions, I can attest to the fact that there are parts of each of these cities where one is hard-pressed to hear anyone speaking English.

But I don't think it's anything to get worked up over, for several reasons.

1. Not being bilingual, I am always fascinated by the fact that most Hispanics in these cities are able to converse with me in my native tongue. They simply choose to communicate with each other in that language more familiar to them.

2. This prevalence of another language in certain locales is not a new phenomenon here in the USA. You might be surprised to learn that English was not my father's first language when he was young. And he was born right here in the good old USA. He couldn't speak or comprehend English until it was time for him to attend a public school in northern Wisconsin, where English was the only language in use. Prior to that, he spoke the language of everyone else in the small community in which he resided - German. People in "Little Havana" experience the same social forces. In order for a student to prosper, or a businessman to conduct business, he or she must be able to communicate in English.

3. English is becoming - unofficially - the universal language of the entire planet. Regardless of the efforts of the French to eliminate the propensity of Parisians to crave Le Big Mac, they will continue to déambuler the Golden Arches. The advent of the internet has spelled inevitable doom for all other languages on earth - in time. It only makes sense for people to be able to communicate with one another. Now they can. And must.

So I say take a breath and calm down. This non-problem is solving itself. We are not going to be overrun by a horde of Hispanics with whom we are not going to be able to converse.

Unless you find yourself in Hialeah and your car breaks down ...

It's Just a Matter of Time

The state of Massachusetts decided last year that there was a state constitutional right to homosexual marriage. The fact that no jurists or scholars had found this right before - in the 200 year history of the state - including those who wrote the document - made no difference to the state supreme court there.

I made mention previously of the fact that one cannot argue in favor of homosexual marriage rights and reject those of pedophiles.

This tells me we're getting closer to that day when all perversion is found to be protected - and sanctioned by the state.
Male inmates' bid to marry denied
State cites security of sex offenders

By Yvonne Abraham and Janette Neuwahl, Boston Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent


The state Department of Correction has denied permission to two male inmates to marry at a state facility for sex offenders, according to a letter signed by the prison superintendent and obtained by the Globe yesterday.

Essie Billingslea and Bruce Hatt, committed to the Massachusetts Treatment Center, requested permission to marry in early February. Superintendent Robert Murphy denied it because of ''very serious security concerns," and yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney's chief spokesman said the governor agreed with the decision.

''A wedding/marriage between you and resident Bruce Hatt would present a significant security risk to the Massachusetts Treatment Center and the Department of Correction," Murphy wrote in a March 23 letter to Billingslea. ''A marriage between two residents . . . would have a direct impact on the orderly running of the facility." (link)

Murphy came up with a lame excuse for not allowing two sexual deviants to marry. My guess is that the state supreme court will, once again, grant their right to wed.

That would be consistent with their earlier ruling.

Homosexuals. Sex offenders. Pedophiles. Sheep.

Disagree with the reasoning? Tell it to the Massachusetts supreme court.

If We Fire One, We Need To Fire Them All

What big media is doing to Representative Tom Delay is shameful. He is being persecuted by all the usual suspects for doing what many other congresspersons have done, but he is being singled out because he's conservative, powerful, a Republican, and a take-no-prisoners personality. In that order.

I've decided I'm going to post every one of these articles I come across showing how prevalent Delay's actions are in politics, how they are not out of the ordinary for our ruling classes, and how hypocritical the mainstream media is for reporting Delay's "transgressions" but - mysteriously - failing to report other similar stories involving legislators that happen to align with their worldview. It is rather telling that this particular story comes from a small Vermont newspaper. Not the venerated New York Times or the Washington Post. NBC or CNN. Time or Newsweek.

My position is this: If we fire Tom Delay, we fire them all.

Prepare yourself.
Sanders paid wife, stepdaughter for campaign efforts
By EVAN LEHMANN, MediaNews Group Washington Bureau, Bennington Banner

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - WASHINGTON -- Rep. Bernard Sanders used campaign donations to pay his wife and stepdaughter more than $150,000 for campaign-related work since 2000, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Jane O'Meara Sanders, his wife, received $91,020 between 2002 and 2004 for "consultation" and for negotiating the purchase of television and radio time-slots for Sanders' advertisements, according to records and interviews.

Approximately $61,000 of that was "pass through" money that was used to pay media outlets for advertising time, Jane O'Meara Sanders said in an interview. The rest, about $30,000, she kept as payment for her services, she said.

Carina Driscoll, daughter to Jane O'Meara Sanders and stepdaughter to the lawmaker, earned $65,002 in "wages" between 2000 and 2004, campaign records show. (link)

If you've been following the Delay crucifixion in the mainstream press, you know that one of the two charges against him involves his having paid family members, including his wife, out of campaign contributions, for services rendered to his reelection campaigns. In other words, they were in the employ of his reelection committee, just as Bernie Sanders' family members were working for his campaign.

The article also makes known the fact that there are no laws being broken in their having done this. It is somehow odd that I've not read that in the hatchet pieces that the Times and Post
have run.

So. If Delay goes, Sanders goes. The latter being an avowed socialist, that may not be a bad tradeoff anyway.

So Many To Fire

Here's another article that points up the hypocrisy being foisted upon us by the likes of the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etc. with regard to Tom Delay. I posted a link to an article relating to the charge that Congressman Bernie Sanders of Vermont paid his wife and daughter for working on his reelection campaign, just as Tom Delay has been accused of doing with his own family members.

The second charge against him has to do with a trip Delay took overseas, at the expense of some non-profit organization. It turns out, this is a common practice among congresspersons. Here is a list of legislators just from the state of New York who have done what people are wanting to execute Tom Delay for having done.
  • Democrat Maurice Hinchey, who - according to the News - "has clocked more miles than the other 28 members of [New York] state's delegation." The well-traveled liberal took 27 trips costing private groups $157,000 over the past five years. And Hinchey traveled in style; luxuriating at resorts like the Four Seasons in Punta Mita and other sumptuous retreats in Morocco, Madrid, Budapest, Helsinki, Tunisia, Cancun, Italy, Vancouver, Shanghai and Grand Cayman Island.
  • According to the News, Democrat Elliot Engel "has whisked his wife to first-class resorts in San Juan and Las Vegas, Wyoming and Florida - and barely spent a nickel." He even scored a $5,300 junket to New Orleans for his daughter and took his teenage son to Seattle and London and Jerusalem, gratis.
  • Democrat Charlie Rangel jetted off to the Dominican Republic three times in recent years, courtesy of the Punta Cana Beach Resort in 2001, American Airlines in 2002 and the Dominican/American Roundtable in 2003.
  • Democrat Gregory Meeks has taken 37 trips in the last five years - 30 privately funded and seven government-paid. Destinations included Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Venezuela and Honolulu. Total cost for Meeks' meanderings: $150,000.
  • Democrat Jerrold Nadler has traveled with his wife, Joyce, courtesy of the Association of American Railroads, on a pair of trips costing $5,500 and $6,600, respectively - while serving on the House Railroad Subcommittee.
  • Democrat Anthony Weiner took the longest and most expensive taxpayer-paid trip in the delegation - a fact-finding expedition to Antarctica. According to the Daily News, taxpayers wound up shelling out more than $350,000 for the nine-day, 12,500-mile marathon two years ago - with Weiner traveling as part of the 13-member Science Committee.
  • Democrat Joseph Crowley took the New York delegation's longest trip on record, a 13-day, $8,900 getaway to India and Bangladesh sponsored by an Indian trade group. Crowley has also taken his wife, Kasey, on freebies to India, New Orleans and the Dominican Republic. (link)

So. Tom Delay deserves to be fired? The list of terminations is starting to lengthen.

Say What?

This is a tragic story made odd by the local police and a staff writer for the Roanoke Times.

Mother backs over son with car
By Joe Eaton, Roanoke Times

Blacksburg police said that the toddler may have been under the car.

A 1-year-old boy suffered serious head, facial and internal injuries in Blacksburg on Tuesday when his mother backed over him with a car.

Deborah Norman, 35, was backing a Volvo station wagon out of her garage when the child was run over, said Lt. Bruce Bradbery of the Blacksburg Police Department.

Bradbery said it appears that Norman put her son in the car and went back into her house because she had forgotten something.

When Norman got back in the car, she put it in reverse, backed out and then saw that she had run over her son, Bradbery said.

Police are not sure how the child got out of the car but said he may have been under the car at the time of the accident. [my emphasis] (link)

My sympathies go out to the Norman family and I hope the child fully recovers.

But what's up with that last sentence? The child "may have been under the car at the time of the accident?" How else would the little boy have sustained "serious head, facial and internal injuries?" From the car seat harness being too tight?

Jeesh. Come on, fellas. You can do better than this.

No 2nd Amendment Rights On Tech Campus

The Constitution of the United States and the laws of the state of Virginia do not apply when you enter the Virginia Tech campus. A student there is learning that lesson, the hard way.
Va. Tech's ban on guns may draw legal fire
By Kevin Miller, New River Current

Some people question whether the university has the authority to ban the carrying of firearms.

BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech's recent action against a student caught carrying a gun to class could draw unwanted attention from groups already angry about firearms restrictions on public college campuses.

University officials confirmed that, earlier this semester, campus police approached a student found to be carrying a concealed handgun to class. The unnamed student was not charged with any crimes because he holds a state-issued permit allowing him to carry a concealed gun. But the student could face disciplinary action from the university for violating its policy prohibiting "unauthorized possession, storage or control" of firearms on campus.

Tech spokesman Larry Hincker declined to release the student's name or specifics of the incident, citing rules protecting student confidentiality. But Hincker said Tech's ban on guns dates back several decades. (link)
One can argue that a person feeling the need to carry a concealed firearm onto the Tech campus is a bit paranoid.* Accepting that, it still is a matter of Constitutional law that he has the right to bears arms and, as a matter of state law, he has the right, with the proper permit, to carry one on his person.

The folks in charge over at Tech need to come to terms with a changing reality.

* Confession: I carried a handgun with me in my travels a number of years ago - often illegally. My intention was to prevent some bad-ass from messing up my itinerary - or something worse. I gave up the notion when I came to the realization that my chances of having it at the ready when I needed it were remote. And it kept falling into the toilet when I ... well, you know.

Just kidding about the toilet. I thought I'd throw a little jocularity into a story that some poor shmuck at Virginia Tech is probably not finding very humorous.

Campbell's Announces Recall

Breaking news from the Associated Press:
SpaghettiOs recall
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Campbell Soup Supply Company is recalling hundreds of thousands of cans of SpaghettiOs. (
link)
All I can say is ... it's about time.

Immigration Policy Is a Joke

There has been a great deal of talk of late about the unaccountability of the judiciary here in the USA. About judges who routinely write their own rules and ignore the will of the people. Well, in some instances, the same problem extends to the executive branch.

There is no more glaring example in the news - daily - than law enforcement's refusal to do anything about the ten million illegal immigrants wandering the streets of America.

Today's outrage:
11 illegal aliens caught, then released in Fairfax
By Gary Emerling, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Federal authorities released 11 illegal aliens who were detained during a traffic stop in Annandale because immigration officials said they did not pose a threat to the public.

"The 11 passengers were processed and released," said Ernestine Fobbs, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. "There were children involved, so it was better that we released them."

Authorities ordered the 11 Mexican nationals, three of whom are children, to return to immigration offices tomorrow for further processing. Ms. Fobbs said officials do not know where the illegals are in the meantime. (link)
Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Ignored law is bad law." Just how long can this sort of thing go on with the government continuing to make the assumption that we will abide by the laws it blatantly ignores?

Socialists Can't Get Along

This is telling. A society of delusional leftists has broken up because their organization lacked ... democracy.
Socialist Scholars' Split Cancels Confab
BY JEREMY SMERD - Special to the New York Sun


For 23 years, the Socialist Scholars Conference was a big tent under which leftist activists and academics took shelter in an increasingly conservative America. Last June, however, seven of the group's 16 board members resigned, "in protest of the lack of democratic and participatory governance procedures." (link)
You can usually count on these gatherings to produce innocuous calls for government to be more intrusive. Less democratic. More elitist. Consolidating power in the hands of a ruling plutocracy in order to equalize outcome for the citizenry whether they go along with it or not.

But theories are one thing. Trying to put a conference together is another. Members of the Socialist Scholars Conference want their democracy back.

Sharpton Blames Racism. Go Figure.

"The Reverend "Al Sharpton has been accused of wrongdoing ... again. He is blaming racism ... again.

AL SMELLS RACISM
By DAN MANGAN and IAN BISHOP, New York Post


The Rev. Al Sharpton insisted yesterday he did nothing illegal while raising money for his presidential campaign — and suggested racism could be behind an FBI investigation into his fund-raising.

"I assure you that everything handed to us was properly filed," said Sharpton, referring to $140,000 in donations collected by two shady businessmen who later were caught by a wiretap speculating that Sharpton had not reported most of that money to the Federal Election Commission.

"It is very suspicious that we have a pattern here," Sharpton said yesterday, citing both the FBI's secret videotape and bugging surveillance of a 2003 meeting he had with the fund-raisers and an FBI microphone found in the office of Philadelphia Mayor John Street, who also is black.

"People understand what this smells like," Sharpton said at a press conference outside The Post, which detailed the federal probe yesterday in a front-page story. (link)

Scoff at this lame defense if you want to but it's kept him out of prison all these years. My guess is law enforcement won't touch him this time either.