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

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Good Cause

I was heading toward the estate the other day on my ATV when I came upon my mailbox at the entrance and noticed a big bag of canned goods and assorted other groceries sitting on a rock nearby. I picked the bag up - rather bemused by the occurrence - and wondered who would be dropping off food stuffs and what made them think I would be in need of a handout. Paula has warned me that I need to toss my tattered paint-spattered coveralls but, am I leaving that kind of impression on the neighbors?

Anyway, it took a moment and then I remembered Paula talking to me earlier about getting involved in this:

Letter carriers’ food drive nets 8,500 pounds of goods
By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Local postal carriers collected more than 8,500 pounds of food over the weekend as part of the national “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

[Coordinator Richard] Akers said the postal service wishes to thank all of the area residents who helped with this year’s campaign by donating food to the postal carriers.

All of the food collected was distributed to six area food banks Saturday evening with help from the United Way of the Virginias. (
link)
A good cause to be sure.

And I'm keeping my coveralls.

I Thought This Was Fixed ...

Didn't Mark Warner's massive tax increase fix this problem?
Governor Kaine says more funding is needed for higher education
WDBJ7

Governor Tim Kaine says the state is not doing enough to fully fund higher education. Kaine made those comments during a press conference just before Virginia Tech's graduation on Friday.

Over the past few years, Tech has lost millions in state aid which has prompted the university to make cuts and raise tuition. Kaine says he feels their pain. The state has a formula for funding higher education, but Kaine says it's missing the mark by $300 million. (
link)
The state has a formula. Here it is:

Mark Warner's tax + Tim Kaine's tax = Never enough.

Good grief.

There's Good News And There's Bad News

Driving north on I-77 one enters Bland County, Virginia by entering the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel. One leaves Bland County twenty minutes later when exiting the East River Mountain Tunnel. We are sandwiched - so to speak - between two humongous "barriers."

I've often thought what would happen if a major problem occurred with either tunnel. Little Bland, I think, would quickly descend into third-world status. Pack mules hauling supplies over the old treacherous mountain turnpike to a starving populace, and all that (well, we have the IGA but how would we divide up the Twinkies and Gatorade; that's the dilemma).

This then is good news ... sort of:
‘Rehabilitation’ of tunnels to bring driving delays for foreseeable future
By Samantha Perry, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Summer motorists planning to travel Interstate 77 through the tunnels need to add a little extra cushion in their travel time.

A major “rehabilitation project,” which began Monday, will cause lane closures in the East River and Big Walker tunnels, Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Earl said. (
link)
I remember reading a while back that the crews that work the tunnels are occasionally called upon to escort frightened motorists through the long, dark, forbidding passages. Those folks are going to love to hear that both tunnels are in need of being fixed.

As for the rest of us, delays are part of the daily routine. If you figure I have to drive 20 miles to buy a light bulb, what's another ten minutes.

An Epitaph

Abe Rosenthal died the other day. He was eulogized far and wide by many who worked with him and considered him to be a friend and a great man.

I'm not sure this eulogy is high praise or scornful condemnation:
Paradise Regained
By Yale Kramer, The American Spectator.

During the A.M. Rosenthal epoch of the New York Times, the editorials were written by serious, educated people -- mostly white, middle-class men -- who had transcended their adolescence, concurred in a set of Western values that had stood the test of time, knew what was important and who they were.

The Times has indeed changed. Its editorials seem to be written by ignorant, feckless people, barely out of their jeans and sandals and still in the sway of a social-political fantasy of paradise. (
link)
Sometimes great leaders are judged by the impact they had on the world they left behind. Poor Abe.

Business As Usual

The plan:
BORDER 'GUARD'
By Deborah Orin, The New York Post


May 16, 2006 -- WASHINGTON - President Bush admitted last night that "we do not yet have full control of the border" - and vowed to send 6,000 National Guard troops to try to beef up security there.


He also renewed his push for a guest-worker program and a chance for up to 12 million people already here illegally to become U.S. citizens - two ideas strongly opposed by many of his fellow Republicans. (
link)
So we're going to put 6,000 National Guard troops down at the 2,000 mile border with Mexico. That's 3 per mile. Yeah, that'll stop the invasion.

And they're not even going there to "guard" the border. They're going there to go through their routine training exercises.
The Guard troops would mostly serve two-week stints as part of their annual training, so it could take 156,000 to fill those border slots for a single year - with Uncle Sam paying the bill.
For the love of God.

It's downhill from here, folks. How 'bout we just throw a party for those who have entered the country illegally and send Greyhound buses to Mexico City to pick up all those who are hoping to make their way north?

At least that way, the Guard can go through their exercises without having to work around all those illegals flooding the border. Worse case, someone might even get hurt.

'We Will Bury You'

I suggested moments ago that we might as well fascilitate the arrival of millions more illegal aliens, now that the President has given them the green light. The United States Senate, in response, is doing its part:
Bill permits 193 million more aliens by 2026
By Charles Hurt, The Washington Times

The Senate immigration reform bill would allow for up to 193 million new legal immigrants -- a number greater than 60 percent of the current U.S. population -- in the next 20 years, according to a study released yesterday.

Although that "amnesty" would be granted to about 10 million illegals, the real growth in the immigrant population would come later.

As part of the bill, the annual flow of legal immigrants allowed into the U.S. would more than double to more than 2 million annually. In addition, the guest-worker program in the bill would bring in 325,000 new workers annually who could later apply for citizenship.

That population would grow exponentially from there because the millions of new citizens would be permitted to bring along their extended families. Also, Mr. Sessions said, the bill includes "escalating caps," which would raise the number of immigrants allowed in as more people seek to enter the U.S. (
link)
In 1956, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, in a warning to the American people, said:
"We will bury you."
Little did we know - exactly 50 years later - he would have the United States Senate doing the digging.

When Awash In Tax Revenue ...

New York City taxpayers must be pleased to know their hard-earned cash is being spent on silliness like this:
MIKE HITS GUN SLINGERS
By David Seifman and Stephanie Gaskell, The New York Post


May 16, 2006 -- Accusing federal officials of shirking their duty to halt illegal weapon sales, Mayor Bloomberg filed the city's own lawsuit yesterday against 15 gun dealers nationwide that have "New Yorkers' blood on their hands."


"These dealers are the worst of the worst," declared Bloomberg in announcing the suit, which will use evidence from an undercover video sting operation. (
link)
So what are these businesses accused of, besides doing a lot of what businesses do - maximize sales? It isn't really clear but there is this:
With a hidden video camera rolling, the male investigator would ask about a gun, ply the dealer with questions and when it came time to make the purchase ask his female partner to fill out the paperwork.

Bloomberg said that constitutes a "straw purchase," which is illegal because federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to people the dealer has a "reasonable belief" aren't the intended end user.
It seems like there's a better case for harrassment - if the gun dealers band together and file a countersuit against the mayor.

What To Make Of This?

Is this a good thing?
Link Is Cited Between Smell and Sexuality
By Nicholas Bakalar, The New York Times


Lesbians react to the smell of certain bodily odors in ways similar to heterosexual men and different from heterosexual women, new research suggests.

Building on their previous studies that showed significant differences in the ways heterosexual and homosexual men's brains process odors, the researchers may be narrowing the search for the elusive human pheromone. (
link)

Somebody's tax dollars at work ...