Quote

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Environmentalism Is Dead


The most recurring theme I read or heard on Earth Day was that the environmental movement is dead. Or almost dead. A good indication that there is some validity to the rumor is reflected in this photo.

Pictured is the crowd that gathered on the drillfield of the Virginia Tech campus to celebrate Earth Day. As you can see, if you look closely, the throng was overflowing, resembling St. Peters Square during the recent Pope John Paul II assemblage in Vatican City.

I count 28 people.
Earth Day fair stresses environmental awareness
Jerry Kim, Collegiate Times Staff Writer

Yesterday marked the third annual Earth Day fair at Virginia Tech on the Drillfield. Over 60 student groups and local businesses took part in the event.

The community participated in making and flying kites from recycled materials, learning about hybrid vehicles, looking at a grease-run car or a leave-no-trace campsite and even making buttons. In addition, attendees were able to watch bike parades held every hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (link)

People interviewed for the article included the event coordinator, a rep for the Advisory Council for Environmental Sustainability, a rep for something called Hokie Spokes, an environmentally friendly bike shop, a rep for Young Democrats, a rep for the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team, and a representative from the Earth Sustainability Pilot Course.

Not mentioned or interviewed were any spectators. None.

5 tents, 60 booths, 28 visitors, and lots of hot environmentally-unfriendly air. Yup. This does not bode well for the future of the movement.

Shucks.

Click on image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of Collegiate Times Posted by Hello

Follow-up To A Disgusting Story

I brought to you a rather loathsome story last month that revealed the discovery of a pile of over 150 dead dogs down in Gate City, VA. It seems the authorities are close to cracking the case and bringing those who dumped the animals to justice.
Closed Knoxville pet crematory investigated for dumping dogs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former Knoxville pet crematory is being investigated by the FBI and authorities in Virginia and Tennessee after the carcasses of 150 dogs were found on the side of a rural road, Virginia officials said Monday.

Some of the remains found near Gate City, Va., were traced to a Knoxville veterinary clinic that had an agreement with RossAnn Services to incinerate them. RossAnn Services also burned drugs for the FBI, old case files and financial records for the Knoxville Police Department, and animal carcasses and tissue samples for the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

The crematory, owned by Mikel Lateef Bradley, was closed April 18 by the Knox County Health Department after an inspector found the carcasses of several dogs inside the crematory.

Tennessee and Virginia officials are looking into a link between the crematory and the dog remains discovered on March 24. (link)

Enough Is Enough

In a race to the bottom, CBS News has taken a commanding lead over both NBC and ABC.

CBS News hits record low
Peacock, Alphabet in close race
By
MICHAEL LEARMONTH, Variety

CBS' "Evening News," led by interim anchor Bob Schieffer, saw its lowest viewer tally
on record last week, while the sprint for first in the evening news race remained incredibly close with 150,000 viewers separating NBC and ABC.


CBS' 6.1 million average nightly viewers last week was its lowest total since record-keeping started in 1987 [my emphasis].

Meanwhile, NBC's Brian Williams held a hair-thin margin over a Peter Jennings-less ABC. The Peacock retained the overall lead, which it has kept for 42 straight weeks, but the two newscasts tied in the 25-54 demographic on which advertising is sold. (link)

This is starting to get scary. I'm calling on at least twelve of you to tune in to network news again before all three go out of business.

I'm Losing Touch With Reality

I'm a pretty smart guy. I sailed through graduate level statistics classes, aced business law classes, and soaked up all the Information Technology training I could get. I could probably even do my own taxes, if it weren't for the fact that Paula is so much more adept at finding all the tax code nuances.

But this, from Reuters, is beyond my ken.
He Sues Lover After Sex Change Hitch

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian who became a man to marry a female relative was dumped after the surgery, a newspaper reported Monday.


Twenty-nine-year-old rubber tapper Kuttiyamma, born with both male and female genitals, had been in love with the relative, Laura, 25, for 15 years before having surgery to become a man and change her name to Binu, the Hindustan Times reported.

But Laura became engaged to another man and Binu is suing her for breach of trust after spending 50,000 rupees ($1,150) on the sex change in southern Kerala state.

Laura's fiance has since backed out of the wedding after hearing of Binu. The paper did not say how Laura and Kuttiyamma/Binu are related. (link)
Let's see. A woman wants to marry a relative who also happens to be a woman, so the first woman (who taps rubber for a living ...) decides to become a man, but after having done so, the second woman - or is she now in fact the first woman by default- decided she liked him better as a woman so she dumped him for another man (So she didn't like Kuttiyamma as a woman after all?) who then found out about the other man - or is he a woman? - and dumped Laura. Now he/she is suing her because of him.

If I was appointed their legal counselor, I'd shoot the lot of them, just to save the world from this menace.

Jesus.

Irreality 2

The Swedes are world renowned for their subtle wit and quirky sense of humor. That would explain why, when they determined they needed a governmental ombudsman to cope with sexual discrimination, they termed the new department ... HomO.

Don't blame me. I'm just the messenger.
Restaurant Fined for Throwing Out Kissing Lesbians

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish lesbian couple who were thrown out of a Stockholm restaurant in 2003 for kissing won an appeal Monday against an earlier court ruling that cleared the restaurant owner of sexual discrimination.


The Court of Appeals in Stockholm ordered restaurant owner Aziz Cakir to pay 50,000 crowns ($7,100) in damages and to cover the legal costs of Sweden's ombudsman against sexual discrimination, HomO [my emphasis], which filed the appeal. (link)
Rumor has it they are in the process of developing a similar department that will be promoting liberal causes nationwide. It will be called ... AsshO.

Think This Through, Big Al


I hope he comes up with a stronger defense.
REV. AL CITES ASHCROFT AS PROOF HE'S INNOCENT
By ED ROBINSON, New York Post

The Rev. Al Sharpton says he did nothing wrong when he took questionable campaign checks two years ago — and the lack of an investigation by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, who is no fan of his, is proof of his innocence.

Ashcroft "was the attorney general who had me put in jail for nonviolent protests in Vieques," Sharpton told NY1, according to transcripts of an interview. "If he had tapes that were incriminating me two years ago, I'm sure we'd all know by now."

The FBI videotaped Sharpton accepting checks for his 2004 presidential campaign from Philadelphia powerbroker Donald White on May 9, 2003. (
link)
Now, I've not studied the law to any great degree so I'm reluctant to pass judgement here. But my guess is that Al's defense is not going to work.

I'd go back to the "Whitey is out to get me" defense. It worked for O.J.

Click on image to enlarge.Posted by Hello

My Brain Hurts

When it came to the Battle of Iraq, one of the myriad of complaints that the folks on the left voiced was that President Bush was acting unilaterally. Today, one of them, Nicholas Kristof, complains that, when it comes to North Korea, President Bush is not acting unilaterally.

Say what?

N. Korea, 6, and Bush, 0
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

The single greatest failure of the Bush administration's foreign policy concerns North Korea. Mr. Bush's policies toward North Korea have backfired and led the North to churn out nuclear weapons, and they have also antagonized our allies and diminished America's stature in Asia.

... if the Bush administration had just adopted the policies that Colin Powell initially pushed for - and that Mr. Bush largely came to accept several years later - then this mess could probably have been averted.

Instead, Mr. Bush refused to negotiate bilaterally, so now we have the worst of both worlds: that uranium program is still in place, and the plutonium program is churning out weapons material as well. (link)
"Mr. Bush refused to negotiate bilaterally." Meaning between North Korea and the USA. Instead he has insisted that Korea's neighbors be included. Multilaterally.

As Kristof and others demanded in the run-up to the Iraq liberation.

Somebody help me with this.

Anti-God Crowd Going Apoplectic

The New York Times crowd never said a word about the Democratic party running a minister (or purported minister) - for president in 2004. It had no problem with ministers, particularly those extremely liberal National Council of Churches ministers, spewing their hatred towards conservative politicians. They praised Bill Clinton when, as president, he made a speech in an African-American church, quoting from Scripture and invoking the name of God.

But let a Republican address a church gathering - via closed circuit tape - and they react like the world is coming to an end. And God is going to get them.

The Disappearing Wall

To the dismay of many mainstream religious leaders, the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, participated in a weekend telecast organized by conservative Christian groups to smear Democrats as enemies of "people of faith." Besides listening to Senator Frist's videotaped speech, viewers heard a speaker call the Supreme Court a despotic oligarchy. Meanwhile, the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, has threatened the judiciary for not following the regressive social agenda he shares with the far-right
fundamentalists controlling his party.

Apart from confirming an unwholesome disrespect for traditional American values like checks and balances, the assault on judges is part of a wide-ranging and successful Republican campaign to breach the wall between church and state to advance a particular brand of religion. No theoretical exercise, the program is having a corrosive effect on policymaking and the lives of Americans.

The centerpiece is President Bush's so-called faith-based initiative ...

Offices in the White House and federal departments pump public money to religious groups ...

A recent want ad posted by a taxpayer-financed vocational program of the Firm Foundation for inmates in a Pennsylvania jail stipulated that a job seeker must be "a believer in Christ and Christian Life today" and that the workday "will start with a short prayer."

The Bush administration and Congress have turned over issues bearing on women's reproductive rights to far-right religious groups opposed not just to abortion, but to expanded stem-cell research, effective birth control and AIDS prevention programs.

The result of this open espousal of one religious view is a censorious climate in which a growing number of pharmacists feel free to claim moral grounds for refusing to dispense emergency contraception and even birth control pills prescribed by a doctor. Public schools shy away from teaching about evolution, and science museums reject scientifically sound documentaries that may offend Christian fundamentalists. Public television stations were afraid to run a children's program in which a cartoon bunny met a lesbian couple. (link)

There is another way of looking at these encouraging developments. After enduring the irreverent Bill Clinton years and the resulting damage that was done to the fabric of our society, perhaps having decision-makers who are grounded in the Ten Commandments and are, therefore, moral leaders is a good thing.