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

Monday, June 27, 2005

'I'll Always Tell You Where I Stand'

Those are the words uttered by Tim Kaine, Democratic gubernatorial candidate here in Virginia in his most recent TV ad.
I'm Tim Kaine and I'll always tell you where I stand.

This came just after he advised that his religious beliefs call for him to oppose capital punishment but, as governor, he will support the death penalty because it is the law of the land.

He also said - I'm still chuckling after hearing this one - that he supports our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Tim Kaine's pro-gun control efforts are now legendary here in the state. For him to say that he supports our Second Amendment rights after having done his part as a loyal Democrat to actively and enthusiastically promote laws restricting our right to firearms ownership, makes him sound like a weasel.

My only thought, when I heard him say, "I'll always tell you where I stand," was "You'll have to keep telling us where you stand, Tim, if where you stand is forever changing."

The Times Are Changin'

The people of West Virginia represent one of the most heavily taxed groups of citizens in the USA. (Special note to vacationers: If you're northbound on I-77, gas up here in Bland County before crossing the state line. The price per gallon jumps dramatically, due exclusively to a higher tax there.) And West Virginians know it. And want it to stop.
West Virginia Voters Reject $5.5 Billion Pension Bond Plan

(Bloomberg.com) -- West Virginia voters in a special election Saturday rejected a plan to sell as much as $5.5 billion of bonds to help pay for unfunded pension liabilities.

The measure failed by a vote of 86,657 against the proposal, or 54 percent of the total, to 73,871, or 46 percent, in favor, according to preliminary results posted on the Web site of West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland.

Governor Joseph Manchin III, who in January won consent from the state legislature to sell debt to meet pension and workers' compensation liabilities, needed voters to approve amending the state's constitution before going ahead with his plan. West Virginia's pension fund covers just 25 percent of its obligations, with the Teachers Retirement System falling short by more than $5 billion.

"Now that the voters have spoken, it's time to move on,'' Manchin, a Democrat who took office in January, said in a statement after the election. "It will be up to future governors and legislators to address this further down the road.'' (link)
Yes, Joe, the voters spoke. But you didn't read their lips. You tried to foist this scheme on them thinking "What could be less politically painful than the issuance of bonds to help alleviate the problem with the pension fund shortfall?" The people want the bloated pension system fixed, Joe. Along with the crushing corporate and individual state tax burden.

Keep passing your problems "further down the road" and there'll be noone left in West Virginia to pay for anything. Joe.

Dick Smothers Is Still Alive?

It seems that Dick Smothers, he of short-lived (The Smothers Brothers) fame, is upset that anti-war voices are being stifled these days. All 24 million of them. To be found whining in every mainstream media publication in the USA. Every day.
Comedian criticizes patriotic groupthink
By MICHAEL ZITZ, The Free-Lance Star

Our freedom of speech is in greater danger now than it was when CBS censors drove "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" from the air for its criticism of the Vietnam War, Dick Smothers says.

"The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" was yanked by the network in 1969 after a series of battles over monologues and skits critical of the war.

But Dick Smothers says he believes America's political climate is far more repressive today, during the Iraq War, than it was at the height of resistance to the war in Vietnam.

"Today, you have the [Bill] O'Reillys saying you're a fricking traitor if you don't back the government," he said in an interview with The Free Lance-Star. (link)
Got that? Our freedom of speech is in danger because O'Reilly exercises his freedom of speech and criticizes idiots like Dick Smothers. Smothers, who some say is a comedian, longs for the day to return when there were no O'Reillys on television and we were forced to get our information from the likes of Walter Cronkite who, as a matter of coincidence, was - and is - an anti-war liberal. Life was so much easier back then.

I'd bet, if given the chance, Dick Smothers would silence Bill O'Reilly in a heartbeat. Freedom of speech indeed.

We Search For Answers

I've been asked, over the years, how it is that God allows the tragic deaths of innocent children. I've been asking the same question myself. Two distressing stories make the news today.

First this:
Search Expands for Lost Yellowstone Scout

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) -- The search for a 13-year-old Boy Scout who fell into the fast-moving Yellowstone River expanded Sunday as nearly 250 park officials and volunteers scoured the river by kayak and on foot.

Luke Sanburg, of Helena, Mont., was pushing logs into the river with other scouts Friday when one of the logs clipped his legs and knocked him into the river. He was last seen floating downstream with his head above water, the National Park Service said.

Two white tennis shoes, fitting the description of one worn by Luke, were found about five miles downstream from where he entered the river. No other clothing was found. (link)
Then this:
Father Can't Fathom N.J. Car Trunk Deaths
By CHRIS NEWMARKER Associated Press Writer

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- As authorities began investigating why police failed to search a car trunk where three missing boys were found dead, the father of one of the children said Sunday he could not understand how they died so close to home.

Officials said the boys suffocated after climbing into the trunk on their own. Their bodies were found by David Agosto, whose 6-year-old son Daniel had gone missing along with 5-year-old Jesstin Pagan and 11-year-old Anibal Cruz. (link)

There is nothing more heartrending than to have to deal with the loss of a young child. The pain never goes away. Trust me on that.

And if there is an answer to the question, "Why would God allow that?" I don't know what it is. In other times, I might turn to my church for the answer, but church officials these days have more pressing matters to deal with relating to homosexuals and declining attendance and the like. I get the impression they'd rather not be bothered right now.

A Day Late

Except to get all our politicians on record, this is a waste of time.

Virginia General Assembly Certain To Bar Home Seizures For Private Uses
By BOB LEWIS, Associated Press Writer

(AP) - Shocked at a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows cities to raze homes so developers can build private hotels, malls and office parks on the land, Virginia lawmakers called for legislation to ban the practice Friday.

The high court split 5-4 in a Connecticut case Thursday that under the Fifth Amendment, municipalities could take private property for private development because the project in question met a public purpose: creating jobs and revenue.

In conservative Virginia, the ruling stunned and angered legislative Democrats and Republicans, some of whom began exploring ways to nullify the ruling in the state. (link)

So they're going to nullify a ruling of the United States Supreme Court. O...K...

Here's how the scenario plays out, at least until a few of the goofballs on the court retire and the issue can be revisited.

A local municipality, let's use Bland as an example, wants to seize my property with the intention of turning it over to a corporation whose intent is to build a whorehouse on Big Walker Mountain. The state of Virginia steps in to prevent Bland's seizure of my property, citing a brand-spanking new law forbidding the "taking" of private property unless it is for "public use." (It would be kind of cool if the legislation that was crafted used the exact wording found in the Constitution. Call me an original-intentist.)

Anyway, Bland officials chuckle and take the state of Virginia to federal court.

Now is a federal court going to give precedence to state law or to a Supreme Court ruling that specifically allows for a municipality to seize private property in its effort to increase tax revenue?

Nice try, guys. But you're too late. The old people on the Supreme Court have decided this issue for you. At least for now.