Quote

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

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Wrapped In Self-Importance

I read this (with regard to the recent Senate primary election) and had to laugh:
Even in the Roanoke area, you can see the value of what the blogs are doing. The more people that turnout (sic), and the more the electorate gets away from the "party leadership(,)" the better nominee it produces. (link)
I have a great deal of respect for the political analysis provided by Ben Tribbett over at Not Larry Sabato. But these two sentences make no sense. The "value of what the blogs are doing" is to be judged by the turnout? There was an embarrassing 3.45% turnout Tuesday. If there is an association to be made, it is that all the blog hype leading up to the election turned people en masse away from the polls. 3.45%, Ben! Your candidate received all of 1.8448% of the total votes that could have been cast by Virginia's registered voters, for Christ's sake.

The question has to be asked - and answered: What would that 1.8% have been without the active involvement of all the bloggers in the commonwealth? Any more hard work on the part of bloggers and we'd have had to declare a winner by drawing straws.

And that second sentence, "The more people that turnout, and the more the electorate gets away from the "party leadership" the better nominee it produces," By what standard are you judging Jim Webb being a "better" nominee? And define "party leadership." It would seem to me that John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic party nominee for President and Chuck Schumer, the current chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, both of whom endorsed Jim Webb with the former actively campaigning for their candidate prior to the primary, can be considered "party leadership." But you know their status better than I do.

And exactly how did "the value of what the bloggers are doing" bring that election of the "better nominee" about? At most, you can argue that you turned a handful of Miller voters into Webb voters, which you have every right to do. But handful must be the key word.

So, methinks thou givest thyself far too much credit. You won. Leave it at that. Mover and/or shaker you ain't.

For All You Fathers Out There

We men have to endure such as this every day of our lives:

Subject: FW: 2006 classes for men

WINTER CLASSES FOR MEN AT THE LEARNING CENTER FOR ADULTS REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED BY Wednesday, Jan 20, 2006

NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM.

Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays --- Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself? Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub? --- Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor - Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM

Class 6
Loss Of Identity --- Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other. Help Line Support and Support Groups.

Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.

Open Forum . Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch --- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health. Graphics and Audio Tapes.

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost --- Real Life Testimonials.

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM. Location to be determined.

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks? Driving Simulations.

4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live --- Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife. Online Classes and role-playing.

Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.

Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy --- Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late. Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.

Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven --- What It Is and How It Is Used. Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

The things we have to put up with just to get a pork chop and a Bud Lite on the dinner table each evening ...

God Love 'Em

Their hearts - and minds - are in the right place. It's just that what they're trying to do ain't ever going to happen:
Some residents push for tax plan alternative
WDBJ7


Some people in the Roanoke and New River Valleys are fed up with the current tax system. Those folks met in Salem Saturday.

The Fair Tax event was part of a grassroots effort to spread the word about the tax alternative. This afternoon, Genie Hayes, grassroots director of Fair Tax, taught folks how to interact with the media and how to network and educate others.

"It's a progressive national sales tax that completely repeals all federal income taxes so Americans get to keep all of their pay check and they get a pre-pay check every month so no American, no legal citizen pays any taxes on poverty level consumption," said Genie Hayes ... (
link)
The fair tax, not to be confused with Europe's growth-stifling value-added tax (VAT) or with the popular (in some circles) flat tax, is an attractive idea because it would eliminate the confounding year-end income tax, would be a tax levied when you spend and not when you earn, and is very simple to understand and to implement. Best of all, it provides an individual an understanding of just how expensive government has become - at time of purchase. No federal withholding and all that.

The problem is, your government is never going to permit the fair tax to replace the income tax, etc. Perhaps the most powerful man in Washington when it comes to taxation is Congressman Bill Thomas (R-Calif), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. I remember he was asked a few years ago what he thought of the fair tax. He replied (in so many words) that he thought the possibility existed for it to be incorporated into the existing federal system as a supplement to current tax policy. In other words, an additional tax.

An additional tax. That ain't going to happen. But neither is the fair tax.

Those Silly Politicians

Here's a chuckle to start your morning:

Impasse on budget hurt state image
Reputation for fiscal reliability took a hit, some lawmakers say
By Michael Hardy and Pamela Stallsmith, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writers


Virginia narrowly dodged a fiscal and constitutional crisis, but the record budget impasse tarnished the state's sterling reputation for efficient financial management, some lawmakers say.

Some of the 11 legislative negotiators who reached a deal late Friday on the two-year, $74 billion state spending plan to be considered by the General Assembly this week agree that the marathon session -- the legislature convened for its 60-day budget session on Jan. 11 -- hurt the state and must not be repeated.

"It damaged Virginia's image," said Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, R-Newport News. "We have a responsibility to appropriate the funds" on time.

"I think it casts serious doubts on our ability to appropriately adopt the state budget and manage the state's finances," said state Sen. R. Edward Houck, D-Spotsylvania. "It should not take us six months to develop a biennial budget." (link)

Let me ask you. Did the legislature tarnish its reputation because of the budget impasse or because certain of its members tried to foist an unwarranted tax increase on the people of Virginia at a time when the state's coffers are overflowing with the largest cash surplus in history?

These guys crack me up.

Next!

Well, it looks like wind power is out:
Wind turbines' effects on Appalachians' ecology worries scientists
The Roanoke Times

Preliminary research shows wind turbines kill thousands of bats and birds in the Appalachian Mountains, which are a major migratory flyway, scientists say.

Mary Wells, a spokeswoman for Florida Power and Light, said it was unknown whether the bat and bird deaths at the company's wind energy centers in Tucker County, W.Va., and Somerset County, Pa., were significant compared with their total populations.

State and federal scientists say the deaths are alarming because bats and birds are crucial to the ecosystem's natural balance, including keeping insect populations in check. (
link)
Let's see. Nuclear is bad. Coal is bad. Petro is bad. Even wood-burning fireplaces are bad. And now wind. That leaves solar and hydro.

When those two sources of energy are found to harm the environment, we'd all better hope and pray for global warming or it's going to get mighty cold around here in December.

Where'd That Global Warming Go?

This isn't possible if we are to believe all those learned scientists who have staked their reputations on shaky global warming models:
Freeze decimates state's juice grapes, hurts other crops
James Prichard, Associated Press


PORTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Tim Seppala was hoping for a full crop of juice grapes for his vineyard to merely break even in 2006 because a surplus last year was expected to keep down this year's prices.

Instead, because of a late April freeze that nearly wiped out his Concord and Niagara grapes, the Van Buren County farmer is now counting on the federal government to help him recover tens of thousands of dollars' worth of losses. (
link)
Global cooling! It's global cooling!