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

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sir John Mills Dies

Sad news comes to us from Reuters this evening.
Oscar-Winning British Actor Sir John Mills Dies
By Gideon Long

LONDON (Reuters) - British actor Sir John Mills, who won an Oscar in 1971 for his portrayal of a mute village idiot in "Ryan's Daughter," died on Saturday aged 97, a trustee for his estate said.

"Sir John died this morning at around 6:30 (1:30 a.m. EDT). He'd been ill for about a month with a chest infection," the trustee told Reuters. "He remained remarkably lucid until the end."

Mills made his name in patriotic films during and after World War II including "The October Man," "Scott of the Antarctic," "Dunkirk" and "Ice Cold in Alex."

Handsome and dapper, he embodied to many the archetypal British war hero, either as the cool-headed gentleman officer or the resigned working class soldier.

His first big break came in 1946, when he played Pip in a film version of Charles Dickens' novel "Great Expectations."

He always maintained his favorite movie was the 1960 production "Tunes of Glory," in which he co-starred with Alec Guinness as a highly-strung English officer given the job of leading a hostile Scottish army battalion.

He won the best actor award at the Venice Festival for the film and went on to take an Oscar as best supporting actor a decade later for "Ryan's Daughter," directed by David Lean. (link)

He was a good actor and a wonderful gentleman.


Sunshine. A warm day. My granddaughter. Fishing. It don't get better than this.
Click on image to enlarge. Posted by Hello

Renegade Judges Right Here At Home

You don't have to travel all the way down to Pinellas Park, Florida to find an activist judge. Nor to the Supreme Court, where dreaming up new laws has become routine. We have our own renegade judges right here in Virginia.
Virginia To Issue New Birth Certificates
By Kristen Gelineau, ASSOCIATED PRESS

RICHMOND -- The Virginia Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the state must provide new birth certificates for children born in Virginia and adopted by homosexual couples in other states.

The 5-2 ruling overturned a lower court's decision that the state is not required to issue new birth certificates for such children. It means the state will be required to issue new birth certificates and substitute the names of two men or two women for those of the child's biological parents.

Three same-sex couples filed a lawsuit in 2002 after they were unable to get the state Department of Vital Records to give new birth certificates to their adopted children.

The two male couples adopted the children in Washington, D.C., and now live in Bethesda, Md., and Lancaster, Pa. The other couple adopted in New York, where they still live.

Richmond Circuit Judge Randall G. Johnson ruled in February 2004 that requiring the state to issue new birth certificates with the names of the children's adoptive parents instead of their birth parents conflicts with Virginia's policy of prohibiting joint adoption by unmarried couples.

Virginia law also prohibits same-sex couples from adopting. (
Virginia has a policy of prohibiting joint adoption by unmarried couples. Virginia law also prohibits same-sex couples from adopting. The policy and related laws were brought about through the legislative process originating with a concept we once held dear. It was called "the will of the people."

Now we defer to the will of the ACLU.
Kent Willis, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, which represented the couples, said the case is "evidence of the deep bias against gays and lesbians that still permeates our society."
Thus the will of the people of Virginia was overridden. Don't ever think your vote counts for more than Kent Willis' attitude toward you as a bunch of neanderthals.

There was actually an argument made in favor of including the people of Virginia in the decision-making process, no matter how archaic that concept is.
Virginia Deputy Attorney General David Johnson argued that changing the documents for some people would not only be cumbersome for the record-keeping agencies but would intrude inappropriately into the public policy debate.
The public policy debate. I remember reading about that in civics class. Once, long ago, we referred to that as representative democracy, a rather quaint notion in this modern era. It's so much more enlightened to subvert the will of the people and to simply rely on a bunch of liberal judges to manufacture our laws.

We Are Expected To Respect The Judiciary?

If there was ever an example of an out-of-control, completely detached renegade judiciary, it has to be the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. You may remember these guys. They're the jokers who gained fame by declaring the pledge of allegiance to be unconstitutional because it had a word in it we are no longer allowed to utter. God has been banned out west.

Now they've taken "the law" to the next level of inanity. They've allowed a convicted murderer to (perhaps) walk free because his victim's relatives had the audacity to wear badges into the courtroom with photos of the victim on them. You can't make this stuff up.
Court Tosses Murder Conviction

San Francisco (AP) -- A federal appeals court on Friday overturned the 1995 conviction of a man who was convicted of murdering his estranged wife's fiance, ruling that courtroom spectators who wore pictures of the slain man may have biased jurors.

In ordering a new trial for Mathew Musladin, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the buttons murder victim Tom Studer's family wore while they sat in the front row gallery might have influenced the jury.

"The buttons essentially argue that Studer was the innocent party and that the defendant was necessarily guilty," Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote for the 2-1 court.

In dissent, Judge David Thompson wrote that the buttons were a symbol of a family's grief. (link)
I am reluctant to point out the obvious to these "judges" but, had the trial judge been wearing a similar badge, I'd say there was a point to be made. Or if a juror was wearing a badge with a picture of the victim I'd be inclined to throw out the conviction. But not spectators in the back of the court. Not the relatives of the slain victim for Christ's sake.

This just reinforces my point made earlier and will continue to make:

When the law becomes whatever judges, on any given day, through whim or fancy, insanity or political calculation, say it is, the law no longer exists.

NY Activists Upset There Aren't Enough Homeless

The city of New York sent 1000 volunteers into its streets and subways on March 7 to take a physical inventory of the homeless population. Their count came to just 4,395, a number far short of the tens of thousands that homeless advocates thought were there.

Now, you'd think the advocates would be overjoyed by this news. It means there are far fewer people suffering the indignities and the hardships of living on the streets, scrounging and begging for food and clothing.

Well you'd be wrong. The advocates are upset. They want the count to be much higher.

There are about 4,395 homeless people regularly sleeping in the streets and on the subways, according to the city's recent count.

The most homeless people were found in Manhattan (1,805), while the fewest were counted on Staten Island (231). In the subways, 845 were reported.

Advocates for the homeless immediately dismissed the city's figure as gross undercount.

Patrick Markee, a senior analyst at the Coalition for the Homeless, said the 4,395 figure was a gross underestimate and "flies in the face of everything from folks working on the front lines. "We think their methods are unreliable and inaccurate," he said.

He pointed to soup kitchens bursting at the seams, and questioned the select areas officials went to look for homeless people.

"They only went to about 800 out of 6,000 areas in the city [that homeless are known to congregate] (sic), and they do a statistical guess-timate to those areas that no one has been to," Markee said. (link)
I've always thought the "soup kitchen method" of counting the number of homeless was a grossly unreliable method. It would serve well in determining the number of people in the city that aren't particularly discriminating when it comes to haute cuisine, and to the number of people that appreciate a free meal (Shoot, I'll never turn down a free meal myself. Don't be surprised if you see me standing in line one day with plate in hand). But there is no direct relationship between soup kitchen traffic and the number of homeless.

Pity the poor homeless advocates. The suffering in New York City isn't as bad as they'd thought. Or hoped.