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

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Puckett Votes For More Plant Closings

State Senator Phil Puckett decided it was more important to fix the roads up around Washington DC than to stem the tide of factory closings and job losses here in Southwest Virginia. He voted yesterday to raise taxes - again.

SB708 details:

The bill generates revenues for these new funds, for existing funds, and for local transportation needs from a variety of revenue sources. The bill would raise vehicle registration fees by $10 for most vehicles and $20 for large passenger cars and pick-up or panel trucks; impose the retail sales and use tax on labor and service charges for vehicle maintenance and repair; increase the tax levied on diesel and alternative fuels to the same seventeen and one-half-cents currently levied on gasoline; impose an additional tax on gasoline, diesel, and alternative fuels based on a percentage of the statewide average retail price of gasoline; and would phase-in an increase of the motor vehicles sales tax. (link)

Puckett, a very nice guy who is well-liked by everyone in his district, has lost touch with the people here. The devastating plant closings in the area attest to the stark and inescapable fact that the cost of doing business in Southwest Virginia is too high. Our employers cannot compete in the global marketplace. Puckett voted yesterday to make the problem worse. If his vote stands, the cost of transporting goods out of the area will grow as a result of higher taxes on fuel.

The important point to make, one lost on our Senator, is that India will not be paying Phil Puckett's tax. India, in case he's forgotten already, is where all those Travelocity jobs went when the company shut down its facility over in Clintwood - throwing 250 people out of work. (link) (link) (link)

We have to now hope there are area representatives in the House of Delegates who still remember where they're from.

I'm told the folks in Fairfax love Phil Puckett. He will have to live with that. We don't have to.

No More 'Investigating' The Hookers

The sheriff over in Spotsylvania County decided he didn't want his department to be the laughingstock of the entire western world any longer (read the sordid story here). He's no longer sending his deputies down to the (alleged) local brothel - frequently - to check out the ... uh ... illegal activities going on there:

Spotsylvania ends massage parlor policy
Police no longer to engage in sex acts as part of investigation
BY Kiran Krishnamurthy, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

SPOTSYLVANIA -- Spotsylvania County authorities have suspended their much-ridiculed practice of allowing undercover officers to take part in sex acts while investigating alleged prostitution at massage parlors.

Spotsylvania Sheriff Howard Smith said his decision was in response to county residents' concerns about the unorthodox tactics. (link)

Actually I hear the local outrage had more to do with the deputies being seen going into the massage parlor dressed in Little Bo Peep outfits or toddling in undressed and wearing Pampers. But that's only a rumor.

Sarah Brady Is Going To Be Upset

Good news on the freedom front. Although Canada has nothing resembling our cherished 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, the citizens to the frozen north know a bad idea when they ... pay $1 billion - and counting - for it.

From the Toronto Star:
Tories load up to kill gun registry
Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The Conservative government has created a committee of two cabinet ministers and a backbencher to figure out how best to kill the long-gun registry as soon as possible.

Registry critic Garry Breitkreuz, who is working with Justice Minister Vic Toews and Public Security Minister Stockwell Day, said he has been given wide leeway to deal swiftly with the registry.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised voters during the election campaign that the long-gun registry would be scrapped and money redirected to public safety.

When the Liberals added the registry to the federal gun control program in 1995, they said it would cost taxpayers no more than $2 million. But the most recent estimates put the figure in the hundreds of millions of dollars, bringing the total cost of the gun program to more than $1 billion. (link)
Worse yet, the $1 billion gun registry program hasn't yet helped put one criminal behind bars.

This should send a message to the liberal elites in this country. It won't, of course. But it should.

Get In Line

There are apparently two new television shows on cable that are slanted toward liberalism:

Two New TV Series Are Liberal and Proud
FELICIA R. LEE, The New York Times

The filmmaker Robert Greenwald and others on the political left say real-life stories dealing with issues like gay rights, racial profiling and environmental pollution are needed in an era of conservative political leadership. To that end, Mr. Greenwald has helped the Sierra Club and the American Civil Liberties Union create their own television series. The two liberal groups see this as only the beginning of more such shows to get their messages out. (

How these two shows will be distinguished from every other godawful series on television - all liberal - isn't made clear.

That's Not Fair!

Momentous news in the New York Times:

Prosecutor Says Libby Seeks to Thwart Criminal Case

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 — A federal prosecutor has said I. Lewis Libby Jr., former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is trying to sabotage the criminal case against him by insisting through his lawyers that he be given sensitive government documents for his defense. (link)

You don't say. It would seem the prosecutor would rather Libby not defend himself by any legal means necessary and would rather he simply plead guilty.


The Pickle Jar

A story:

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window.

When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to hold you back."

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly "These are for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life like me."

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. "When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again."

He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You'll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But you'll get there. I'll see to that."

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.

Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done.

When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me. No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar. To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me. "When you finish college, Son," he told me, his eyes glistening, "You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you want to."

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms. She probably needs to be changed," she said, carrying the baby into my parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room. "Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

A gift - one of many - passed down from generation to generation.

Author unknown