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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Something Smells

Alton Foley over at ImNotEmiril goes after the Roanoke Times editorial page editor for having distorted the facts relating to Georgia's controversial voter ID law (see the Times' "The Civil Wrongs of the Administration"). As background to the story, the state would have required (an injunction has been issued putting a temporary halt to the law's implementation) that people who show up at the polls to vote be able to prove they are who they say they are by providing a picture ID. The controversial aspect to the law is that the state would sell a photo ID to anyone who didn't have a drivers license or other official ID.

Although the editorial was actually about the Bush Justice Department's Civil Rights office ignoring the plight of America's minorities - giving the Times a chance to trash our president again - I, like Alton, was curious (out of distrust) about the underlying story. Does the state of Georgia require that poor people buy a photo ID in order to vote? That would indeed smack of the infamous poll tax of old.

Here's Alton's take:

What this piece goes to great pains to avoid telling the reader is that Georgia's law contained a provision that would have provided the ID at no cost to anyone who simply claimed they could not afford it. (link)
As it turns out, Alton is right. Not only is the state offering free photo identification cards to the poor, a bus is going on the road to take the campaign - and free ID's - directly to the impoverished.

From a local blogger:

Under attack for Georgia’s new voter ID law, state officials are putting a bus on the road to issue photo identification cards to low-income people.

The bus will roll Sept. 1, with the goal of helping Georgians meet the requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls - and defusing criticism that the law will disenfranchise the poor, elderly and minorities. Georgians who haven’t previously had a valid driver’s license or state identification card can obtain a free ID card if they sign a form saying they can’t afford the $20 fee. (
Knowing that the state of Georgia requires that poor people obtain a free ID card in order to vote kind of takes the wind out of the Roanoke Times' sails. It turns out there's nothing for the Justice Department to investigate - unless the Times editorial staff finds it unacceptable for people to be forced to possess a plastic card that was hand-delivered to their front doorstep and cost them not one red cent.

So, what to make of all this?

Perhaps that one shouldn't believe everything one reads. And in the case of certain sections of certain publications, believe nothing one reads.

Have You Noticed?

I commented to Paula the other day that I had never seen in my entire life such a disparity between gasoline and diesel prices at the pump. While gasoline here in Bland has gone down to $1.83, diesel remains high at $2.49.

The Wall Street Journal, having obviously been listening in to our conversation, has the story:
Tight Supplies Keep Diesel Prices Up

While gasoline supplies are bouncing back after the disruptions of a busy hurricane season, diesel fuel is showing less resilience.

The cost of diesel has eased in recent weeks, but U.S. diesel prices still remain significantly higher than gasoline prices as refiners struggle to meet global demand for the fuel after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The average U.S. retail price for diesel is $2.51 a gallon, 40 cents higher than a year ago, and 31 cents higher than the average price of regular unleaded gasoline. (
link requires subscription)
I have no vehicles that run on diesel but I buy food and clothing and stuff that are transported in vehicles that do. Someone needs to fix this.

PBS To Be Unbiased!!

The New York Times advises that PBS isn't going to be biased any longer. Boy, that's a relief:
Public Broadcasting's Enemy Within

As chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Kenneth Tomlinson proved to be a disastrous zealot. Internal investigators found he repeatedly broke federal law and ethics rules in overreaching his authority and packing the payroll with Republican ideologues.

The inspector general's report is a case study of how dangerous ideological cronyism is as a substitute for nonpartisan expertise. Defenders of public broadcasting now must guard against still another conservative putsch - a Congressional move to cut financing for the corporation's $400 million budget of vital aid for local stations. This time, the "balance" zealots may resort to irony by citing the very chaos wrought by Mr. Tomlinson. (link)
"Nonpartisan expertise." That's funny.

I guess I can be considered a "'balance' zealot'" but I know better than to cite chaos at PBS as a reason to shut it down. I'd rather make mention of the fact that it is now lost in a sea of television channels, that its programming isn't so much "public" as it is elitist, and that it is boring beyond words. Oh, I should mention too that we own the dreadful thing.

I'll at least find some solace in the fact that those evil Republicans won't be meddling with it.

Can You Imagine?

Four percent of America shopped at Wal-Mart Friday morning. This astounding statistic came out of an article in The New York Times that analyzed preliminary Christmas shopping data that suggests too few of you are going to the Mall and too many to the discount stores.
Mall Stores See Trouble in Sales Data

ShopperTrak, which measures purchases at 45,000 mall-based merchants, found that sales for the day after Thanksgiving fell 0.9 percent from last year, to $8.01 billion, a figure not adjusted for inflation.

The winners ... were the discount chains with locations outside the malls, apparently the beneficiaries of an 11.4 percent increase in weekend spending among Visa USA cardholders. Wal-Mart reported that a record 10 million shoppers walked through its doors before noon Friday. (link)
I feel like the lone wolf. I may have been the only person in America not to have squeezed myself into a Wal-Mart store over the weekend.