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

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Another News Hoax?

You probably heard the news today about some disturbing video appearing on the Terror News Network, otherwise known as Al Jazeera, that purports to show a downed helicopter and a dead pilot being pulled from the wreckage and dragged through the streets. Reuters then picked up on the story.

Well, it may be a hoax.

Reuters hoaxed?

Bareknuckle Politics believes that Reuters may have been hoaxed when “It aired the footage from the Rashedeen Army which appeared to show part of the helicopter’s fuselage and rotor lying in a field,” purporting to show a recent US helicopter loss in Iraq. Bareknuckle Politics notes that the video in question displays a timestamp date of March 19, 2000, and wonders whether Reuters is showing recycled video. (link)
The blogosphere will quickly get to the bottom of this.

More to follow ...

A Man With A Memory

It appears I'm not alone in calling the governor deceitful in the way he's hyping his "the government is in crisis" scheme. Bart Hinkle has much the same take on current shenanigans, ending his Times-Dispatch article entitled "Broken Vows: On State Taxes, the Burned Hand Teaches Best" with this:
If Kaine is having a hard time stirring enthusiasm for his roads-and-taxes plan, perhaps that is because Virginians do not wish to be fooled again. (link)
As I said.

Hattip to Chad Dotson.

Uh, Changed My Mind

Nobody can ever accuse me of never admitting my mistakes. I said yesterday that I don't watch NBC's Today Show. Although accurate, you can put that in the past tense. I'm now an avid fan.

Former CBS newsbabe Meredith Vieira is coming:
By Don Kaplan, The New York Post

April 5, 2006 -- Meredith Vieira is on the verge of a $40 million payday to take over for Katie Couric on the "Today" show, sources revealed.

The deal, which could be completed as soon as today, would put "The View" star on the couch of the No. 1 morning show next fall.

Vieira's move marks her triumphant return to news, after being forced out of "60 Minutes" in the early 1990s because she wanted to start a family. (link)

I've seen Meredith's work on TV. I want to have her children. She's that attractive.

As for the lump she's replacing, I will never be able to look at Katie Couric without remembering the occasion when she felt it necessary to expose her colon to world view on her show. I don't ever want to look at my colon; I sure as hell didn't want to see hers. It was a life-altering experience.

Anyway, Meredith is coming back to network news & babble. I'm altering my work schedule.

Click on image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of Google Images

Update 04/05/06 7:12pm - Paula emailed to scold me for being too harsh. She reminded me that Katie Couric had the colonoscopy performed on live national television because her husband had died of colon cancer and Katie wanted to show the world how a checkup is performed and how pain-free it is. I trust Paula's judgement and therefore I apologize to Ms. Couric for the offensive remarks. Why she couldn't have used computer animation rather than a camera traveling ... well, never mind.

I Thought It Was What Jesus Wanted ...

Well, so much for principle. The Episcopal Church is considering limiting its fraternity of homosexual bishops to one:
Episcopalians consider freeze on gay bishops
By Julia Duin, The Washington Times

U.S. Episcopal leaders will try to safeguard their membership in the worldwide Anglican Communion by holding back, at least until 2008, on electing new homosexual bishops and on allowing same-sex unions, according to two Episcopal bishops.

Church leaders are even considering "repentance" for the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, an active homosexual, according to Arizona Bishop Kirk S. Smith. (link)
I savored that "at least until 2008" line. Jesus must be so proud of these moral crusaders.

This is the sort of thing we've come to expect from liberal clergymen who take their counsel from the New York Times rather than from the Bible.
Until now, the 2.2-million-member Episcopal Church has only used the word "regret" for its actions. But with its legal standing as the U.S. representative of worldwide Anglicanism at peril and dozens of parishes fleeing the denomination each year, its leaders are having second thoughts.

The polls say ...

For the love of God.

When Will They Learn?

While the state of Tennessee is struggling to work its way out of a self-inflicted universal healthcare mess known there as TennCare (read up on it here and here) and the citizens of Maine are in revolt over the rapidly rising costs of that state's (once) highly touted Dirigo universal healthcare plan that has made the price of health care the second most expensive in the land (here), Massachusetts, never to play second-fiddle when it comes to looney leftist causes, has now decided to get into the universal healthcare game:
Mass. Lawmakers OK Mandatory Health Bill
By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) -- Lawmakers have approved a sweeping health care reform package that dramatically expands coverage for the state's uninsured, a bill that backers hope will become a model for the rest of the nation.

The plan would use a combination of financial incentives and penalties to expand access to health care over the next three years and extend coverage to the state's estimated 500,000 uninsured.

The measure does not call for new taxes but would require businesses that do not offer insurance to pay a $295 annual fee per employee.

The cost was put at $316 million in the first year, and more than a $1 billion by the third year, with much of that money coming from federal reimbursements and existing state spending, officials said.

The bill requires all residents to be insured beginning July 1, 2007, either by purchasing insurance directly or obtaining it through their employer. (link)
So the cost of doing business in Massachusetts is going up.

And the cost of healthcare in Massachusetts is going up.

And the cost of providing free healthcare for those who can't afford it is going to skyrocket.

And when businesses pass along their state-mandated cost increases to consumers in the form of higher prices, the cost of commodities is going up, including the cost of medicines and doctor visits and MRI's and hospital beds and ...

Let's hear from those who have gone down this misguided road:

Maine Representative Kevin Glynn:
... the "Dirigo tax," a sneak attack on Mainers is now expected to cost a typical family an additional $300 to $400 a year for health insurance.

Mind you, this is on top of premium increases already forecast in the 15 percent range.

Health insurance has become a backbreaking expense for companies and individual consumers alike. Due to ruinous mandates imposed by state government in the early 1990s, Maine now has the second most expensive health insurance in the country.

Now we are being forced to pay even more, to subsidize the governor's "signature issue" - Dirigo Health.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen:
“In my heart I believe the right thing to do is to continue providing full health care to children and at least some level of care to as many adults as we can,” the Governor said. “It might not be the level of care we want to provide, but it’s the level of care we can afford without bankrupting our State. (link)
At least the geniuses up in Massachusetts are trying their best to make the cost of doing business here in Southwest Virginia look much more attractive. I think we should thank them for that.

You go, guys.

The State Now Has Long-Term Needs?

We the people support our state government. We are, after all, the state government. We accept the fact that a substantial amount of our hard-earned income must be sent off to Richmond to fund the many initiatives that we rely on our elected representatives to formulate and to implement. But when we start talking about "long-term" needs and making "long-term" commitments - guarantees - to the state, we pause.

How many of you reading this are assured of a long-term paycheck? Has someone assured you that there will be a lavish meal on your dinner table on April 5, 2008? Any meal? You hope that's the case. You are preparing each day for that to be the case. You work toward that goal.

But shit happens. Ask the soon-to-be-former employees at National Textiles in Galax. They don't know where their next meal is going to be coming from.

So why has the maintenance of our state government become more important than the people of the state? Why are we being told that we need to commit to some long-term scheme so that the state can plan with confidence two years out? Five years? Twenty years? Why isn't it more healthy to demand that planners live paycheck to paycheck like everyone in the real world does?

Who gave them exalted status?

The leadership in the state and their buddies at the Roanoke Times (see today's "That's no budget deal; that's a joke" here) think that's what we're now obligated to do:

The no-new-taxes-no-way true believers in control of the GOP-dominated House refuse to take up transportation funding for the long haul, an increasingly critical need in gridlocked parts of the state. In the long term -- beyond the coming two-year budget cycle -- transportation building and maintenance projects will require continuing, dedicated money.

Only an increase in transportation taxes can assure that the money will be there without robbing the general fund of revenue for other necessities -- such as education, health care, police.
Since when? In Virginia's 300 year history, we've never needed to allocate funds in such a manner. So why all of a sudden is it a problem? Not a problem - a crisis, for God's sake.

Of course there will be transportation needs in years to come. And we'll have the money to meet them. Some years we'll have more money available than others - just as the taxpayers will. But why are we all of a sudden being told that we have to do for our state legislature that which we know we cannot accomplish for ourselves? For our children?

It's a ruse, folks. These jokers don't really have a concern about long-term allocations of funds. They want your money. They want the government to grow. This is just the latest in their bi-ennial schemes to fill the coffers to overflowing.

The crisis in 2004 was with education. Remember? So we paid - dearly - to put out that raging fire (for now). In 2006 it's transportation. In 2008 it will be Medicaid. 2010 - avian freeking flu. You can take it to the bank. If there is still a bank. If you still have an account.

The budget of the state of Virginia has nearly doubled in the last ten years. (link)

The budget of the state of Virginia has nearly doubled in the last ten years.

The budget of the state of Virginia has nearly doubled in the last ten years.

And there's not enough money to fix the roads up in Alexandria.

They need more. They are demanding more.

Has your income doubled in the last ten years?

How many of you have seen your income decline in recent years?

Here's the part that'll bring tears to your eyes: The Commonwealth of Virginia is awash in cash it is unable to spend. The treasury has $1.4 billion over and above what the legislature needs.

And the surplus will be even greater tomorrow.

The state is in crisis. Spare me.

On The Road

I had need to make a trip over here to Ashland, Kentucky this week. I've a meeting this morning in Catlettsburg - if it's still there - and then I'm off again.

So much to do.