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

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Wisdom Is Knowing When You're Out Of Your League

Lieutenant Rhett Fleitz, an officer with Roanoke's Fire/Ems Department, doesn't suffer fools well. He slices and dices (here) Chris G. Muse who had written a piece for the Roanoke Times that both condemned and ridiculed the efforts of some - including the brave Lieutenant - to save Roanoke Fire Station # 1, Virginia's oldest continuously active firehouse.
Muse later writes "If Fire Station No. 1 was on fire, Station No. 3 would be called. Let me repeat that. If Fire Station No. 1 was on fire, Station No. 3 would be called. That's funny, right?"

No sir that is not funny. To think that you are so naive to say that a Ladder Company has nothing to do with fire suppression. If you ask any ladderman in the city if they have assisted with fire suppression in the past year they will say yes.
I had read the original column and knew better than to submit my two cents on the subject - because that's exactly what my opinion in this matter would have been worth. And I have a special admiration and respect for the opinions of those who have put their lives on the line in order to fight what we fear, as the saying goes.

As this weblog is devoted to imparting wisdom, let this be today's bit of thought provocation ... for people like Chris G. Muse:
It is a wise man who knows what he knows and knows what he doesn't know.
So shall it be written ... From On High.

Justice Robert Byrd?

Steve over at SW Virginia Law Blog has an interesting post on Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). According to a book that Steve is reading - one that, when I first came upon it, I found to weigh at least seven pounds in hardback and one, therefore, I'll never again pick up ... or read) - Byrd was on a short list of Supreme Court nominees many years ago.

I have to be honest. It has been so many years since Byrd lost his mind that I don't remember whether he was worthy or not.

It is interesting to learn that he was so highly thought of many, many years ago. Sometimes, as in the case of so many Hollywood legends and Irish poets, it is better to go gentle into that good night and let people remember you when you were at the top of your game.

Another VA Weblog Keepin' 'Em Honest

I encourage everyone to check out a relatively new weblog coming to us from beautiful Caroline County (for those of you who don't get out much, that's up Port Royal/Ruther Glen way between Ashland and Stafford). It's called Caroline County, VA JUSTICE and provides a good deal of information regarding local politics, etc.

Add it to your favorites.

This Is Starting To Make Me Mad

While certain of Southwest Virginia's legislative representatives in Richmond and in Washington are pushing the futile and pathetic notion that our economic salvation lies in luring pimple-faced, lice-infested, scab-encrusted - and woefully impoverished - hikers to the area to spend their ... well, I'm not sure what Congressman Boucher and Delegate Benny Keister expect them to spend since they have no money. Anyway, their plan is to promote tourism. They figure that people will pay good money to come down here to see our rocks and bushes. Rest assured, McDonald's, at least, is sure to benefit.

Will being the key word because it ain't happened yet (although someone took a dump behind my barn recently; it may have been one of those coveted tourists; my tax dollars at work).

As for the rest of the population, you might as well pack your bags and prepare to follow your brethren who have already moved north looking for work. Either that or encourage the little woman to endure a bit of discomfort and have her install massive breast implants so that we can open Dollywood North and she - and Benny - can sing "Islands In the Stream" to the several tourists we will be expecting to someday show up down here.

Until we are able to find the magic (and to teach Benny how to carry a tune), expect to read more and more and more of this kind of news:
Ethan Allen change to cost 250 jobs
Angela Manese-Lee, The Roanoke Times
About 75 of the 325 workers affected by the plant conversion likely will stay in other jobs.

Furniture maker Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. will convert its Dublin manufacturing plant into a large regional distribution center - a move that will cost about 250 employees their jobs. (
250 residents of the area, along with their families, heading north. And our response is to rename roads and create hiking paths.

For the love of God.

A Winning Strategy?

I suppose if your frame of reference allows for the government to be all things to all people and molds your belief system in such a way as to make you believe that government can solve any problem and right any wrong then you will want to be a big supporter of Russ Potts.

It may be only a recent epiphany on his part but Potts - independent candidate for Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia - has decided he can be everything you want him to be - as long as you're willing to fork over the dough.

For example, old Russ intends to solve the problem with road conditions in Northern Virginia by paving them with your hard-earned income. Here's how (as reported in The Roanoke Times):

Potts ... proposes creating a new fund specifically for transportation revenues ...

To generate the $2 billion annually, Potts proposes a mix of options:

- A 1 percent sales tax increase;
- A 1 percent state sales tax on the sale of new cars;
- Tolls on major interstate highways;
- A tobacco tax of $1 per pack of cigarettes;
- An increased state income tax for people with adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 or more;
- A special levy on vehicles that achieve less than 15 miles per gallon in city driving;
- An eventual increase in the fuel tax after the petroleum industry recovers from the production and refining damage it suffered in the Gulf of Mexico and the Deep South from Hurricane Katrina (link)

Is that all? No plans on confiscating the kiddies' piggy banks?

Hey, Russ. I have just the campaign slogan for you. How's this sound?
Vote for me. I'll do for you what the Soviets failed to do for Russia.
Actually I have a better idea, Russ. Why don't you get with our elusive Congressman Boucher of the "Fighting Ninth" District and see if you can talk him out of spending all those transportation dollars on remote parks, horseback riding trails, and tourist visitor centers that noone will visit and have him spend those transportation dollars on the transportation infrastructure. I know this is a bold departure from what your kind normally consider good government, since it doesn't involve any more confiscation of taxpayer wealth, but it will do a heck of a lot more to boost your candidacy than will a promise to seize all our worldly possessions.

Just trying to help you out with some campaign strategy, Russ. You'd do well to accept it.

It's Party Over Principle

Arlen Specter. Just typing his name still raises the hair on the back of my neck. Specter, for those of who who don't know of him, is a liberal Republican from Pennsylvania. In his last reelection bid, he was opposed in the GOP primary by a wonderfully talented - and conservative - challenger, Pat Toomey. The Republican Party, rather than support its core ideologies and back Toomey, went with the (almost) sure thing - Specter - and orchestrated a victory for the latter. The liberal Specter ended up narrowly defeating a liberal Democrat in the general election.

A sorry spectacle it was.

Well, they're at it again. This time in Rhode Island, where the GOP has the distinction of having the (arguably) most liberal (and unarguably most idiotic) member of the United States Senate occupying space in that august body. Lincoln Chafee is not only a goof but his only accomplishment in life, the one that brought him to the Senate, was in not doing anything foolish to hurt or maim himself (his parents, I hear, never let him handle knives at the dinner table) until his old man, John, who previously held the same seat, died. The old man died, little Lincoln won his seat on a sympathy vote, and we've been stuck with him ever since.

Now reelection time is coming around and the GOP is backing this goofball again and is, in the runup to the primary, attempting to destroy a conservative challenger who has the audacity to think the Republican Party should actually stand for something. Here's the story from the Washington Times:
R.I. mayor defies GOP in Senate bid
By Donald Lambro, The Washington Times

White House adviser Karl Rove and Senate Republican campaign chairwoman Elizabeth Dole tried to discourage the mayor of Cranston, R.I., from running against the party's liberal Sen. Lincoln Chafee next year, but to no avail.

Now Stephen Laffey, a former investment banker who announced his candidacy Thursday, is the target of a National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) broadside that accuses him of sharply raising property taxes on his city's residents.

Both Mr. Rove, who is President Bush's chief political adviser, and Mrs. Dole fear that a successful primary challenge by the more conservative Mr. Laffey could endanger Republicans' chances of holding onto the Senate seat in a state that is overwhelmingly liberal. (
I have a really wild and crazy suggestion for Rove and Dole (who is very smart and conservative but way too nice for this business): Let's win over the people of Rhode Island to the conservative cause.

How do you do that? Certainly not by ceding the field to your opponents. You support leaders who are willing to send - and are capable of sending - Ronald Reagan's message to the citizenry and of winning the hearts and minds of the people.

But no. In Rhode Island the GOP would rather stick with a hairbrained liberal who, on too many key issues, votes with the Democrats.

For the love of God.