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

Monday, December 05, 2005

On The Road

As the crow flies, I'm about 140 miles from the Canadian border this evening. You all back home in Southwest Virginia will rejoice in knowing that you have more snow on the ground right now than they do here in the Great Frozen North. It just ain't right, is it?

Earlier this evening, I took time out at Philadelphia International Airport to consume a world- famous philly cheese steak (I know, it was an airport philly chesse steak but it wasn't bad). For those of you who don't get out much, when you come to Philly, you have to buy a philly cheese steak (I think it's the law) just as you crave crab cakes the moment you set foot in Baltimore. In Boston its lobster. In Bland, it's ... well, hotdogs at the Citgo station; that's all we have.

Anyway, I'm on the road again. A meeting here in the morning and another down in Easton, PA on Wednesday. Then I'll be making my way back to the Great Frozen South.

Do something about all that snow before I get there, would ya?

That's Not The Way I Heard It

I'm reminded by the following, appearing in the Charleston Gazette, of a joke I heard years ago.
Current e-mail joke: The U.S. Supreme Court banned a nativity scene in the nation’s capital this holiday season. But it wasn’t to protect the separation of church and state. It was because sponsors couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin in Washington. They did find, however, numerous asses for the stable display. (link)
Interestingly, here's how the joke went - in its original iteration:
"You know why Jesus Christ wasn't born in West Virginia?"
"Because they couldn't find three wise men or a virgin."
Now, getting beyond the bigotry, if we can, isn't the original version more humorous? And does the more recent version even make any sense? And what prompted the writer to morph the original into the inane?

The Things You Find On eBay ...

From the Lynchburg News & Advance:
EBay skull confirmed as area American Indian remains
By Dan Reany, Lynchburg News & Advance

After as many as 300 years on the road, it appears a local American Indian has finally come home.

Tests have confirmed that a skull for sale on eBay was that of an American Indian; the remains will now find a permanent resting place in Amherst County.

A New York doctor had listed the skull on eBay in February, noting in the description that it had two stickers on it - one listing the years 1671-1701, and another that said, “Roanoke, Va.” and included an undisclosed family name.

The doctor, who wishes to remain anonymous, didn’t realize the name on the skull, Suponi (or Saponi), wasn’t a family name, but the name of a local tribe. (link)

As you may know, eBay forbids the sale of firearms and tobacco products on its website, a policy for which I will never forgive them. But apparently one can traffic in human remains.

In someone's world, this makes perfect sense.

My Kind of Exam

What good is an exam if it doesn't truly test the testee? Well, they have a doozy of a bar exam in California it would seem. Even Constitutional scholars can't get past it:
Raising the Bar: Even Top Lawyers Fail California Exam
Former Stanford Law Dean, Becomes Latest Victim; A Mayor Tries Four Times
By James Bandler and Nathan Koppel, Staff Reporters of The Wall Street Journal

Kathleen Sullivan is a noted constitutional scholar who has argued cases before the Supreme Court. Until recently, she was dean of Stanford Law School. In legal circles, she has been talked about as a potential Democratic nominee for the Supreme Court. But Ms. Sullivan recently became the latest prominent victim of California's notoriously difficult bar exam. Last month, the state sent out the results of its July test to 8,343 aspiring and already-practicing lawyers. More than half failed -- including Ms.

Although she is licensed to practice law in New York and Massachusetts, Ms. Sullivan was taking the California exam for the first time after joining a Los Angeles-based firm as an appellate specialist. (link requires subscription)
Gee. I guess my two classes in business law in graduate school aren't going to get me past the bar exam. I'll need to go back and take a third ...

Keep It Up; It Still Won't Work

New Yorkers seem to be united in their belief that if they just add a few more gun laws to the pile, they'll achieve Nirvana.

From an editorial in the New York Post:


New York's streets are awash in illegal guns; this is no secret.

But while Gov. Pataki has proposed, and the state Senate has unanimously passed, legislation addressing this critical issue, [State Assembly Speaker Sheldon] Silver is blocking passage.

Briefly, the notion is that if you illegally traffic in guns, or even store them illegally, you need to pay a steep price.

Steep enough to deter you — and other would-be gun-peddlers, and buyers. (link)

"You need to pay a steep price." In New York. Sure.

But won't driving the lucrative gun market underground encourage the burgeoning black market and have the opposite effect from that intended? Oh, wait. The editorial confesses just that:
The sad truth is that New York law makes it worthwhile to traffic in illegal weapons.
So the Post editorial staff admits that the most restrictive gun laws on planet earth make breaking those laws worthwhile. And they propose ... more of the same.

Well, you know how this song is sung. We need to make those laws more punitive:

Even for those who get caught, existing penalties are unconscionably lenient. Far too many gun dealers never even see the inside of a jail cell.
But most do. And it still doesn't stop them. They're criminals. They, by definition, ignore your laws. It is the law-abiding who get punished by your muddle-headed thinking.

How many more years will it take before these people come to understand that their ten thousand gun laws have been counterproductive?

Quote of the Day

Why doesn't the President explain that business doesn't pay taxes, but consumers do? Why have we allowed the people who create goods and services to be protrayed as the villains in America?

I know that we can't compete with the slave labor in China in all things. But to give up on all manufacturing is going to lead us all into slavery when we can no longer make what we need, if we ever become a country under seige by and outside enemy....China perhaps?

Tugboat Phil. via email, December 5, 2005

Quote of the Day II

Liberals need war perspective

California homicides dwarf Iraq deaths. The state lost 2,394 to murder in 2004 compared with 905 coalition lives.

Perhaps U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California could turn their cheeks away from the Botox and take a look at the report “Crime in California 2004.”
This thing called “perspective” is tough for liberals. How many Americans died today in California?

J.D. Andary, Letter to the Detroit News Editor, December 5, 2005