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

Sunday, May 07, 2006

It's Getting Curiouser and Curiouser

“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”

Will Rogers


Alton Foley has some fascinating information to add to the caption contest debate regarding one of the politicians who has called for Will Vehrs to resign or be fired for the jokes Will wrote. It seems the politician, one Ward Armstrong, is something of a jokester himself. Alton doesn't provide a reference for the passage he cites or a link so I googled it and found one dated Friday, August 12, 2005 over at Sic Semper Tyrannis:

David Young brings in Northern Virginia power

In the 10th District, Republican David Young is firing the heavy artillery early in his race against Ward Armstrong.

On Thursday, Young, a retired agriculture teacher and current member of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors, launched his first major volley against Armstrong. He appeared in Bassett with state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, R-Fairfax County, who cited an incident when she was a state delegate in 1998.

On the House floor, Armstrong used his imitation of President Clinton to joke about that night's legislative basketball game, saying Devolites Davis would be his team's center and that she was coming over to his place to review the playbook. Later, at a post-game party, Armstrong again spoke about her, saying, "She's no Monica Lewinsky, but she can be taught," Devolites Davis recalled Thursday.

Armstrong later apologized. (link)
Not Larry Sabato apparently had heard the same story.

Now I'm confused. What is it again in this story about the caption contest that's a firing offense?

I'm googling "Delegate Ward Armstrong tenders resignation" but so far I can't find any ...

The Latest On The Caption Contest Kerfuffle

While the folks over at the Martinsville Bulletin persist in making a mountain out of a caption contest molehill (read the latest here), Bill Wyatt of the Martinsville Daily brings the discussion back down to earth:
Bulletin’s antics likely to tag community as not having sense of humor
by Bill Wyatt

The Martinsville Bulletin apparently didn’t like their picture being used on the
www.vaconservative.com website by responding with a frontpage article titled “No contest: Blog’s a bust: Writer apologizes for poking ‘fun’ at jingle contest photo.”

Vehrs apologized to the Bulletin reporter in case someone here thought he was being derogatory about Martinsville.

Meanwhile, well-known and outspoken former Delegate Barnie Day posted comments of his own on the same website encouraging everyone to “try breathing into a paper bag for a few minutes.” Day vouched for Vehrs professionalism and ability and said we should not “blame our failures on the brilliant satire of one individual.” (
How ironic it is that, with all the job terminations that have occurred in Martinsville in recent years, local politicians there are calling for another one - that of Will Vehrs.

How ironic it would be as well if those same politicians started devoting the same kind of energy to improving the lot of Martinsville's citizens.

What If Gov't Shuts Down And Nobody Notices?

This should come as no surprise to anyone here in the Commonwealth:
Latest Budget Standoff Met With Shrugs
No Resolution in Sight in Battle Over Proposed Tax Increase to Fund Transportation
By Rosalind S. Helderman and Chris L. Jenkins, Washington Post Staff Writers

The prospect of better roads and railways in 2006 does not elicit the dramatic emotional response that the specter of pink slips for teachers did in 2004.

A rain-soaked February rally by those opposed to raising taxes drew a small crowd. So too did an April lobby day organized by Kaine's political action committee, designed to give ordinary commuters a chance to voice their anger. (
What could be the cause of this lack of interest on the part of the citizenry?

Could it have something to do with the passion that fires the debate?
[Governor Tim] Kaine said ... "I think the first time they're like: 'Wow, what will happen?' And the second time: 'Well, what's gonna happen?' And by the third time, the people just feel like: 'They'll get their act together and do something.' "
Like ... wow is right.

The Ripple Effect

It's certainly no secret that the "Big Three" automakers are in the throes of a major economic downturn. GM and Ford in particular are struggling mightily to regain market share - and profitability.

But the auto industry's troubles extend well beyond GM and Ford. To borrow a phrase, when these guys cough, Delphi and Dana and hundreds of other suppliers get the cold.

And communities far removed from Detroit suffer. Like Bristol, Virginia:
'Even though we're losing our jobs, we're not giving up'
David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier

BRISTOL, Va. - Richard Cunningham soon will lose his job, but that didn't stop him and other Dana Corp. employees from helping people they've never met.

He's one of more than 200 people who work at the local auto drive-shaft plant, set to close later this year.

The Ohio-based automotive parts manufacturer announced in October that it planned to shutter the Bristol plant and two others and move much of their manufacturing operations to Mexico. (
Dana is bankrupt. Delphi will probably declare bankruptcy - a certainty if the UAW follows through on its threat to strike. GM is struggling to not go that route. Manufacturing jobs are fleeing to Mexico. And the community of Bristol, Virginia is caught in the middle of it all.

The New World Order.

A Good Beginning

I mentioned yesterday that all hell was about to bust loose when it was announced that a private company (a corporation!) is looking into constructing wind turbines (wind turbines!) up in Roanoke County (Virginia) and that the locals were going to have a fit about it when they get word. Well, it appears they haven't gotten word yet. Either that or they're going to be okay with it.

Judging by The Roanoke Times message board put up to retrieve input from concerned citizens, it seems the community may well be wanting those windmills. See the responses here.

Of course we haven't heard from the folks whose "scenic vistas" will be disturbed by the metal monsters (the neighbors) but this is a good beginning. Let's see how it plays out.