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

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I Want One Of These

You'll never know how difficult it was to come up with a title for this post that wasn't going to get me in big trouble with Paula. And with the parents of small children who might read this.

Pictured above is Eva Longoria from the hit TV show "Desperate Housewives." She's going to be the spokesbabe for the new Chrysler Imperial. Nice move on the part of the marketing department, if you ask me.

Beauty. Style. Grace. And what a great ride it must be.

The car, Paula. The car.

Photo courtesy of DaimlerChrysler and The Detroit News (link)
Click on image to enlarge.

Words Have Meaning

Here's the title and first sentence of an editorial on the op/ed page of The Roanoke Times this morning:
Still exploiting 9/11 to justify secret spying
Vice President Cheney's shameless claims ignore the difficulty of monitoring elusive suspects.

The Roanoke Times

Vice President Dick Cheney's national security rationalizations and evasions have become shameless. (link)
One of the many things that annoy me in life is the misuse of the English language - especially when that misuse occurs here in this weblog. I hate grammatical errors, misspellings and gross abuse of words. Even typos. (Email me examples if you like. I learn from them.)

But with regard to the word "shameless," I see it used more and more these days when the writer(s) probably should have used the word "shameful" instead (I could be wrong about the Times' usage; I'm not a mind reader)

Let's look at the definitions of the two words:

Shameless: Feeling no shame as in "a shameless imposter"

Shameful: (1) Deserving or bringing disgrace or shame as in "a shameful display of cowardice" (2) Giving offense to moral sensibilities and injurious to reputation as in "the wicked rascally shameful conduct of the bankrupt"

Did the author of the editorial mean to say Dick Cheney felt no shame when he "rationalized" and "evaded"? Perhaps but I doubt it since that doesn't fit the rest of the editorial and it would conjure up an odd and unncessary distraction.

It seems to me the proper word to have been used here is "shameful." As in:
The Roanoke Times editorial staff, apparently feeling no shame (undeservedly), continues to put forward the misguided - and shameful - notions that 9/11 was an abberation, that we're not at war, that the President isn't, according to most legal scholars, fully justified and operating within Constitutional parameters - given the fact that he assumes broad powers in time of war - in spying on terrorists who make calls to individuals in this country without a warrant being obtained, and that we couldn't have prevented 9/11 had the government been monitoring phone calls in a similar manner prior to to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks even though it has been widely reported that we had identified, according to The New York Times, four of the hijackers - including ringleader Mohammed Atta - a full year before the attack through what has come to be called "data mining," or the gathering of millions of bits of information each day through the NSA's clandestine eavesdropping on emails and phone calls.
Shameful being the operative word.

Quote Of The Day

As strongly as social conservatives deplore commercialized sex, liberals deplore cigarettes, Big Macs, firearms, fur coats, SUVs, pornography not printed on recycled paper, pornographic movies produced by nonunion studios, holiday trees provocatively labeled "Christmas trees," and much more.

But do we really want to march down this road paved with moral pronouncements? When government uses subsidies to moralize, as with tax preferences for bonds that can be used to finance this but not that, government is speaking. It is expressing opinions about what is and is not wholesome. And once government starts venting such opinions, how does it stop?

Government could spare itself the stress of moralizing about so many things if it decided that the choices people make with their money is their, not its, business. And government could avoid having opinions about so many things if it would quit subsidizing so many things.

George Will, "Gov't-Made Morality," The New York Post, January 7, 2006 (link)

A Soldier's View of Murtha's Treachery

An Iraq War veteran has the same attitude toward Congressman John Murtha as that which I expressed yesterday, that being that Murtha is betraying his country.
MURTHA THE TURNCOAT
By Kieran Michael Lalor, The New York Post

I felt ... rage last weekend just watching Rep. Jack Murtha declare on TV that, were he younger, he wouldn't join today's military.

I expect that kind of rhetoric from the washed-up anti-war rabble that congregate on street corners to relive their glory days — not from retired Marine colonels.

Murtha's call last year for a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq was one thing — irresponsible and unwise, but basically just stating a policy position. This is different.

What a nice New Year's treat for the beheaders and suicide bombers to know that a decorated Marine and lawmaker thinks the U.S. military is not only "broken" but not worth joining. Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi will no doubt use Murtha's words to inspire his band of thugs to hold out longer and kill a few more Americans assuring them that ultimately we will wilt like Murtha.

Fortunately for the United States, a turncoat blowhard like Murtha won't stop the tens of thousands of good men and women inspired to serve this great nation. (link)
We are fortunate indeed for having so many young brave men and women who are willing to sacrifice themselves to secure our freedoms - and to protect Murtha's right to call for us to surrender.

Thanks so much, again, to all of you.

What Have We Come To?

In America. The land of the free. 2006:
Chaplain ends 18-day fast
By Tarron Lively, The Washington Times

A Navy chaplain ended an 18-day fast outside the White House yesterday, proclaiming victory in his bid to use Jesus' name when praying in public.

"The Navy has finally given me back my uniform and let me pray publicly in Jesus' name," said Lt. Gordon James Klingenschmitt. He said his supervisor, Capt. Lloyd Pyle, told him Friday that he can now give Christian prayers while uniformed. (
link)
I'm inclined to thank the Navy for allowing a Christian chaplain to invoke the name of Jesus in his prayers, but then I'm also inclined to wonder what kind of morons are running things over there.

Here's something the morons probably never learned in their Annapolis education - the first two verses of "The Navy Hymn":

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

This is, by the way, a beautiful hymn. Listen to it here.

Food For Thought

Here is how the incomparable Evelyn Waugh described the present American situation [with regard to the Arab world as depicted in the movie, "Syriana"]: "There is no more agreeable position than that of dissident from a stable democratic society."

The reason is simple: In a stable democratic society — in which you are protected by the law — you can lie, cheat and mislead, all in the name of political dissent, and be rewarded with fame and fortune.

AS for the American self- loathing party, its members would do well to ponder the second part of that quotation from Waugh: "The more elaborate the society, the more vulnerable it is to attack, and the more complete its collapse in case of defeat."

The self-loathing party in the United States, which includes a disturbingly large part of the elite, is doing three things.

First, it says that America, being the evil power it is, is a legitimate target for revenge attacks by Arab radicals and others.

Second, it tells the American people that all this talk about democracy is nonsense, if only because major decisions are ultimately taken by a cabal of businessmen, and politicians and lawyers in their pay.

Lastly, and perhaps without realizing it, the self-loathing Americans reduce the Arabs to the level of mere objects in their history. In the "Syriana" view, it is the almighty America that decides every single detail of Arab life with the Arabs as, at best, onlookers and, at worst, victims of American violence. The Arabs are even denied the dignity of their own terrorist acts as "Syriana" shows that it is not they but the CIA that decides who kills whom and where.

Amir Taheri, "Hollywood Arabs," The New York Post, January 7, 2006 (link)

An Update on The Sole Survivor

I'm going to try to keep everyone informed with regard to the recovery progress of the lone survivor of the Sago Mine disaster, Randal McCloy. It will be difficult. The Alito confirmation hearings and NFL playoffs are going to crowd this news - which is rapidly becoming a West Virginia story again - off the evening telecasts. But here's the latest, from The New York Post:

SURVIVOR SHOWING SIGNS OF RECOVERY
By Lukas I. Alpert, The New York Post


The sole survivor of the Sago mine tragedy showed such marked improvement yesterday that he was flown to a hospital closer to his home, doctors in Pittsburgh said.

Randal McCloy Jr., 26, is still in a medically induced coma, but when his medication is stepped back, he exhibits signs that he "is awake underneath our coma," said Dr. Richard Shannon of Alleghany General Hospital.

"We think he is clinically stable," Shannon said. "He is not out of the woods yet. There are still issues. This is going to be a long recovery."

Progress has been seen in McCloy's liver, muscle and heart function, and swelling to his brain has decreased, Shannon said. (link)

He's going to make it. He's going to make it.

The Character Assassination Begins

The assault on Judge Samuel Alito's character has begun. The New York Times launches the attack with this:

Judging Samuel Alito

Judicial nominations are not always motivated by ideology, but the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito certainly was.

Judge Alito's confirmation hearings begin tomorrow. He may be able to use them to reassure the Senate that he will be respectful of rights that Americans cherish, but he has a lengthy and often troubling record he will have to explain away. As a government lawyer, he worked to overturn Roe v. Wade. He has disturbing beliefs on presidential power - a critical issue for the country right now. He has worked to sharply curtail Congress's power to pass laws and protect Americans. He may not even believe in "one person one vote."

There are other areas - including civil rights, sex discrimination, the environment and criminal law - where Judge Alito's record appears extreme. (link)

If all this is true, the man should be arrested and tried for treason, for God's sake.

Of course none of it's true.

The New York Times editorial staff would have you believe that we've had an extremist sitting on the second highest court in the land and that he has been working - feverishly - to destroy the foundations of our democratic republic. Odd how Judge Alito rarely made the headlines in all those years in the very same New York Times. Perhaps he's become an extremist only late in his life. Or something.

It will be interesting to see if this is part of an orchestrated attack on the good judge. You can count on the network news talk shows (all of which I gave up watching long ago) this morning featuring ranting wild-eyed Democrats holding up copies of the Times editorial and crying in breathless tones about pubic hairs on coke cans and racial segregation soon to be once again the law of the land.

It probably won't work but the only people who stand in the way of another high-tech lynching are Arlen Specter and his band of Wienie Wepubwicans.

For that reason, all bets are off.