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

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

You Thought I'd Forgotten

It was a year ago that I launched my personal boycott of Target Stores. I hope you all remember how shabbily America's second largest retailer treated the Salvation Army, refusing to allow bell ringers to stand out in front of Target stores and ask for donations for the poor. (link)

Well, I haven't forgotten. And I haven't relented.

With my boycott entering its second year, it isn't clear that my refusing to shop at Target has had a measurable effect, except that I feel good about doing right by the Salvation Army. But it has had a profound effect on my relationship with the bell ringers. I donate every time I run into one. I encourage you to do the same.

Quote Of The Day

It should now be clear--if it wasn't already--that the Democratic Party is the party of withdrawal. Had John Kerry won the election last year, the U.S. would today be packing its bags and preparing to leave Iraq under something similar to the Murtha plan. The fallout from that would be disastrous. "Rapid reaction force" or not, Iraq would descend into political chaos and then perhaps fall under the power of a dictator. Maybe Saddam Hussein himself would return, though there is no shortage of Saddam wannabes in that part of the world. Following that, no U.S. president for a generation or maybe two would have the political muscle to topple a rogue regime anywhere. In the meantime, the U.S. would be on the run, while terrorists and the dictators who nurture them would have the upper hand.

Brendan Miniter, "Friendly Fire," The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 22, 2005 (link)

Does This Guy Get Paid For Such Wisdom?

EJ Dionne has a pretty good gig at the Washington Post. He writes a couple of columns a week and is routinely lauded in the mainstream media for his insightful analysis of the progressive putrefaction otherwise known as the conservative movement sometimes personified by the Republican Party here in the USA.

As for me, I continue to think he's not all that bright.

Take today's column, entitled "Bring Democracy to Congress." (link) I must admit, I don't read much of Dionne's work anymore. His wisdom and insights are most often lost on me. And he makes my brain hurt trying to figure him out. But I made the mistake of reading this particular opinion piece because of the header.

My mistake.

According to EJ, we need to democratize Congress because he doesn't like the outcome of a vote that was taken. I kid you not:
Perhaps we should redeploy the democracy experts we have sent to the Middle East and ask them to work on our Congress. The past few days have confirmed that our national government is dysfunctional.

After immense pressure from Republican leaders, the House passed $50 billion in budget cuts -- including reductions in Medicaid, food stamps and child support enforcement -- on a 217 to 215 vote. Republicans who pride themselves on being moderate had their arms twisted into backing the bill, partly on the basis of promises that many of the cuts it contained wouldn't survive in House-Senate negotiations.

Now in the sane world voting is the essence of democracy. But this vote was illegitimate, you see, because all Democrats voted against the measure.
Not a single Democrat was willing to vote for the budget, because there are far better ways to cut the deficit.
So Dionne pouts that Republicans won't call for a do-over.
The current leadership in Congress simply refuses to revisit any of the tax cuts it has passed since President Bush took office. On the contrary, the leaders plan to push through $70 billion in tax cuts after Thanksgiving, including dividend and capital gains reductions that go overwhelmingly to the wealthiest Americans.
So it turns out EJ isn't calling for more democracy; he wants a different outcome.

Ugh.

This guy continues to baffle ... as does the reason he's still employed.

Welcome To Boston

I'm here in Boston for the next couple of days (then I'm heading home for Turkey Day). It 's such a beautiful city with magnificent and often radically unique downtown architecture.

And to think you can drive down the street and come upon the very harbor where the Boston Tea Party took place back in ... the old days.

Not that you necessarily wanted to see the harbor. City planners here make you go through the exercise anyway having turned the city streets into a complex maze of detours for those wanting to get on I-93 out of Logan International Airport. I've never followed a more convoluted maze in my life. I have a sneaking suspicion the road construction - and the massive traffic problem - are results of the infamous Big Dig - but I didn't stop to ask one of the seven thousand cops sitting in their cars staring at the rest of us sitting in our cars. After about an hour, I just wanted to conduct my own Boston Tea Party and heave my Hertz rental into the harbor in protest. Or road rage. Or middle age.

Anyway, if you're looking for a good time and want to see the sights, come to Boston.

But don't do it in the next fifteen years or you'll spend your entire &$#!*&! vacation stuck in traffic!