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

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I Want To Have Her Children

I know she keeps saying she is not interested in running for president, and I'll take her at her word. But Condoleezza Rice is still too good to be true.
Rice: Gun Rights Important As Free Speech
By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free speech and religion.


In an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," Rice said she came to that view from personal experience. She said her father, a black minister, and his friends armed themselves to defended the black community in Birmingham, Ala., against the White Knight Riders in 1962 and 1963. She said if local authorities had had lists of registered weapons, she did not think her father and other blacks would have been able to defend themselves.

Birmingham, where Rice was born in 1954, was a focal point of racial tension. Four black girls were killed when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham church in 1963, a galvanizing moment in the fight for civil rights.

Rice said she favored background checks and controls at gun shows. However, she added, "we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important."

Rice said the Founding Fathers understood "there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you."

"I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution," she said in the interview, which was taped for airing Wednesday night. "The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment." (link)
I know she didn't mean that last comment the way I took it, as a slap at John McCain, who has no difficulty distorting the meaning of the Constitution, or simply ignoring it all together. She is too apolitical for that. But how often do you hear anyone in Washington be so unequivocal about critical issues of the day? John Kerry she ain't.

Since she has signaled her disinterest in being president, I wonder if she would accept the alternative position of Empress For All Time.

This is my kinda woman.

Pat, Go Away

There was a time when I thought Pat Buchanan made a lot of sense, back before he started his anti-semitic and anti-immigrant harangues. I wouldn't admit that to anyone anymore, but I try to be frank and honest with (you and) my weblog.

These days I just wish he would crawl under a rock.
WWII comments blasted
BY ANDREW METZ, Newsday Staff Writer


Was World War II worth it?

In the inflammatory world view of Pat Buchanan, the short answer is no. The war that stopped the Nazis' global campaign and the mechanistic extermination of European Jewry was actually not worth the effort.

The commentator yesterday offered equally provocative answers to other questions: Why destroy Hitler? And why venerate FDR and Churchill?

On the radio and Internet, Buchanan framed his positions as amplification of remarks made over the weekend by President George W. Bush that the pact ending the war brought on a Stalinist domination that was "one of the greatest wrongs of history."

But Buchanan's comments on the Don Imus radio show and in an essay posted on the Web site of his organization, The American Cause, went much further. He suggested that because Germans voted Hitler in, they did not need to be liberated, and that Britain and France drew Germany into the wider conflict. (link)
I'll defend Pat's right to express his opinions but where on earth is he getting these notions? I put this mindset of his in a category with those (like Ariel Sharon) who distort the history of World War II in mind-numbingly bizarre ways. In the case of Sharon, he recently castigated western countries for not doing enough to prevent the Holocaust.

Like our losing 800,000 young men in the war wasn't effort enough or something.

I think good old Mayor Koch has it right about Buchanan. He said:
"I believe that no decent human being should ever sit down at the same table with Pat Buchanan and I am shocked that otherwise responsible, respectable citizens share platforms with him on Sunday shows."
Amen.

Cellphone Rage

I mentioned a problem I was trying to overcome with regard to hotel rage (it's like road rage only it's aimed at the intelligence-challenged people who work the desk at hotels). This article (from Reuters) reminded me that I've also been experiencing a lot of cellphone rage lately.
Gates sees mobile phones overtaking iPods

Microsoft founder Bill Gates sees mobile phones overtaking MP3s as the top choice of portable music player, and views the raging popularity of Apple's iPod player as unsustainable, he told a German newspaper.

"As good as Apple may be, I don't believe the success of the iPod is sustainable in the long run," he said in an interview published in Thursday's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. (link)

He's right, of course.

Motorola is in a race with Nokia to see which company can cram the greatest number of peripherals into their (ever smaller) cellphones. Text messaging, two-way, picture-taking, internet surfing, gaming, emailing, data downloading, and soon digital music downloading.

All that's swell. But I can't get decent reception with my fancy new Motorola phone.

Rumor has it (don't sue me; it's just what I've heard), Motorola has had signal problems ever since they started adding GPS chips and upgraded software to their new phones. I heard it was only in their Verizon-type technology but my AT&T (Cingular) phone is awful.

I can judge the new phone's relative success at providing a clear, crisp signal by comparing it to the areas I once (recently) traveled with a cheap Nokia phone (no email, no color screen). The new phone doesn't compare. I was in suburban Washington yesterday and people I was trying to converse with were complaining about my phone.

It's making me really mad. And I don't need to be mad.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

The United States government will spend more than $2.4 trillion this year. And more the next. The burning question is: How? There aren't enough hours in the day to spend that kind of dough. But I suppose these guys are professionals.

From an editorial in the New York Times:

The Roads Are Paved With Pork

An immense pork-laden highway spending bill is trundling through Congress like some surreal demonstration vehicle for the nation's skewed values. The Senate is busy angling to balloon the plan beyond the $284 billion maximum approved by the House, prompting the Bush administration to threaten a veto and gruffly lecture lawmakers against resorting to "accounting gimmicks" that promise "to spend money that doesn't exist." But lawmakers, who have heard those veto threats before, are greedily ignoring lessons in fiscal prudence from a White House that rewrote the book on runaway tax cuts and deficit spending.

Lawmakers are hardly embarrassed by their trophy projects. The most successful earn affectionate nicknames like "Mr. Concrete" - that's Representative Don Young, the Alaska Republican, who as chairman of the Transportation Committee earmarked 39 projects worth $722 million for his state. Mr. Young is already famous for his "bridges to nowhere." One $200 million project would create a span almost the size of the Golden Gate Bridge for 50 residents of Gravina Island. That's a boondoggle of $4 million per capita. A project for another sparsely populated tract has a price tag of $2.3 billion. Meanwhile, about one in four existing bridges are badly in need of repair across the nation. (link)

I'm told your congressman will need $2.7 trillion next year.

More bridges.

Going nowhere.