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

Saturday, March 25, 2006

'Ah, The World of illusion ...'

"No matter how many coats of lipstick you put on a pig, it's still a pig." *

The Roanoke Times this morning makes a feeble effort (in an editorial entitled, "Virginia Is Not Awash In Cash") to lather some more lipstick on that hog-of-a-budget-surplus and to explain away the fact that the state of Virginia is awash in cash:

Let's put to rest the most tired refrain in the Virginia budget impasse: "Legislators shouldn't even think about raising taxes when the commonwealth has a billion-dollar surplus."

Surplus or no, the commonwealth is not awash in cash.
Well. The numbers we're watching grow exponentially are all wrong. The learned economists at the Roanoke Times say so. That surplus - now up to $1.4 billion and growing - isn't really cash that the state has not been able to spend; it's ... well ... it just isn't. It's actually cash that is needed for expenditures ... someday.

Reminds me of Pharoah's oft-spoken incongruous decrees in the movie, "The Ten Commandments":

"So it shall be written, so it shall be done."

Or the frenetic commands of The Great and Powerful OZ in "The Wizard of Oz":

“Don't look behind the green curtain! Ignore the man behind the green curtain!”
Here's the irreality a la Roanoke Times:

Surplus or no, the commonwealth is not awash in cash. Needs continue to outstrip resources in many areas -- not just the transportation shortfall that gets the most ink.
"Needs continue to outstrip resources." Yeah. Right. For the folks at the Times, I offer up two definitions I learned in Econ 101":

Surplus: A sum of cash (resources) a state government has remaining after all obligations (needs) are met.

Awash: When that surplus exceeds $1.4 billion.

To the genius who thought he could make it seem to be something other than what it obviously is - nice try.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone," it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master -- that's all."**
* Author Unknown
** Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking Glass."

It Must Be Race Season

So I'm driving north out of Knoxville on I-81 toward Bristol yesterday when I began noticing RV's and trucks pulling campers all having signs plastered on them and slogans painted on their windows. It took me a few minutes to understand what #4 Forever and #8 Rules! meant. Then it came to me: NASCAR season has begun and there must be a race scheduled this weekend in Bristol.

Tens of thousands of wild and crazy - did I mention drunken? - race fans are descending on tiny little Bristol to wreak their havoc, cheer on their favorite driver, stock up on pennants and beer mugs - and make the close-in property owners who turn their pastures and fields into parking lots and campsites rich.

Works for me.

I just have one question. I don't follow the sport much anymore. What does #24 Sucks! mean?

GOP Fights Back

While Governor Kaine drops by Southwest Virginia long enough to feel our pain - and then to call for massive tax increases to worsen it, and Senator Phil Puckett (D-Tazewell), a local politician who should decide who he's in Richmond to represent, tries to frighten his constituents with dire warnings about road projects in Southwest coming to a grinding halt (“I think the governor was pretty direct and forthright about road projects. He did talk about the Coalfields Expressway, and he certainly reiterated his support for it. Sadly, it’s hard to build any highways if you don’t have money.”), and with those mindless radio ads and annoying taped phone calls, the full-court press is underway. Governor Kaine intends to be on the cover of the New York Times magazine come hell or high water.

But the House Republicans are not cooperating this time 'round:
Kaine ads, 'robo calls' draw ire of GOP
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times

RICHMOND -- House Speaker William J. Howell called yesterday for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, to stop radio ads and automated telephone calls that blame House Republicans for the state budget deadlock and fail to mention his plan for a "$1 billion tax increase."

"The governor of Virginia has a responsibility to the citizens of the Commonwealth to tell it straight," Mr. Howell said. (link)
I certainly wouldn't count on that ever happening (Kaine is the sleazy politician, after all, who - a few short months ago - said he would not raise taxes). But Speaker Howell is absolutely right.

The French Are Idiots

I think we should plow France under and grow another crop of inhabitants. Those there today have gone stark raving mad:
Chirac gives use of English tongue lashing
By Leigh Thomas, Agence France-Presse

BRUSSELS -- French President Jacques Chirac yesterday defended his eyebrow-raising exit from an EU summit session, accusing the French head of Europe's employer union of insulting French pride by daring to speak in English.

An ardent defender of the French tongue, Mr. Chirac said he was stunned to hear English on the lips of the Frenchman in a speech at the two-day European summit.

"I was deeply shocked that a Frenchman would speak at the council table in English," he told journalists, explaining for the first time his abrupt walkout when the summit opened on Thursday. (link)
Wait until this moron finds out the rest of the planet is starting to communicate in English as well. He'll really be upset.