Quote

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What Has He Been Smokin'?

Dick Morris is the most skillful political operative in America (which means I wouldn't trust him babysitting my neighbor's daughter). That having been said, his latest prognostication makes me question his competence:
PRESIDENT MIKE? YES, HE CAN WIN
By Dick Morris, The New York Post


July 11, 2006 -- IF Mike Bloomberg runs for president as an independent, he can win. Yes, not just hurt Hillary Clinton or the Republicans, but actually win the White House.

Obviously, he has his bank account in his favor. Like Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996, he wouldn't have to convince skeptical donors that a third-party candidate could succeed for the first time in American history. He can cut short the conversation by just writing a mega check.

But he can succeed where Perot failed, because he knows how to handle himself in the public spotlight. (
link)
He isn't serious.

Dick Morris is highly gifted when it comes to the art of politics. That in itself makes him a scoundrel and not to be trusted. My guess is there is something else going on here. This is the second time in recent weeks that he has promoted the preposterous notion that Mike Bloomberg is a player on the national stage. I think someone's angling for a job ...

Blah Blah Blah

The Palestinians are upset - again - over Israel having invaded Gaza - again:
Aggression Under False Pretenses
By Ismail Haniyeh, The Washington Post


GAZA, Palestine -- As Americans commemorated their annual celebration of independence from colonial occupation, rejoicing in their democratic institutions, we Palestinians were yet again besieged by our occupiers, who destroy our roads and buildings, our power stations and water plants, and who attack our very means of civil administration. Our homes and government offices are shelled, our parliamentarians taken prisoner and threatened with prosecution.

The current Gaza invasion is only the latest effort to destroy the results of fair and free elections held early this year. It is the explosive follow-up to a five-month campaign of economic and dipl... [you get the idea] (
link)
This is such horse shit.

Let's take a stroll into recent history: There was relative calm on the borders (relative being a very key word). Hamas kidnaps an Israeli soldier and ambushes and kills an innocent Israeli civilian. Israel gives Hamas a choice - return the soldier or face invasion. Hamas and the Palestinian people refuse. Israel follows through on its pledge - as it always does - and sends in the troops.

And we now are subjected to the usual whining about Israeli injustices, destruction, mayhem, genocide, cruelty, ...

Tell you what, Ismael. Get your buds to release the soldier and see how quickly the Israelis return to their borders.

Or witness the latest round of destruction of Palestinian communities in Gaza continue.

It's up to you, pal.

The Old Alma Mater Brings In New Blood

The school from which I obtained my graduate degree has a new hire:
David Allardice, Ph.D., Joins Walsh to Direct Executive Leadership, MSIB Programs

Troy, Michigan – David R. Allardice, Ph.D., has joined Walsh College as director of the new Executive Leadership Program and director of the recently launched Master of Science degree in International Business. He is also teaching a graduate-level investments course this semester. (
link)
Allardice is a former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve in Chicago. Good credentials. Great school. Nice opportunity.

Why Not 1 Trillion?

When computer "models" and statistical extrapolations, permutations and combinations take the place of hard scientific evidence, you end up with this:
Tobacco's toll: 1 billion?
21st century's death toll could be 10 times 20th's toll
Richmond Times-Dispatch


WASHINGTON -- Tobacco will kill a billion people this century, 10 times the toll it took in the 20th century, if current trends hold, health officials said yesterday.

Today, tobacco accounts for one in five cancer deaths, or 1.4 million deaths worldwide each year, according to two new reference guides that chart global tobacco use and cancer. When deaths from tobacco-related cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases are included, the yearly death toll rises to nearly 5 million, and it's expected to keep going up. (
link)
They're making all that up of course.

In an effort to scare the bejeebers out of smokers, "health officials" release numbers that get ever greater and ever more fantastic. And implausible.

They would do well to simply pound home the message that you will harm yourself if you smoke and give up these silly scare tactics.

Who's Side Are They On?

We need to fire everyone in the U.S. Senate and start over again. The members thereof have lost their collective minds:
Senate bill may restrict police
By Charles Hurt, The Washington Times


State and local police would be prohibited in key ways from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement combat illegal immigration under Senate legislation, a wall that opponents say would lead to rampant fraud, hamper efforts to deport future illegals and threaten national security.


Out of deference to the confidentiality concerns of foreigners in the U.S., the bill would bar state and local police from detaining aliens simply for being in the U.S. illegally. Police could arrest the aliens only if they commit certain additional violations of federal immigration law such as marriage fraud or document counterfeiting. (
link)
Out of deference to, and concerns of lawbreakers ...

I fear for my country.

Be Careful When You Open The Inbox

I occasionally get emails from people who launch into venomous tirades about things I've written in the past. Usually the violent denunciations relate to evolution or homosexuality and always come from individuals who invariably accuse me of being either narrow-minded or closed-minded(!). I even received a message the other day from someone who was completely enraged over something I didn't even remember writing. I had to go back and research the subject matter ... before I deleted his correspondence.

That having been said, this may be the blog buddy from hell.

It's after reading things like this that I remember why I'm heavily armed at all times.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

The Civil War devastated this country. In four short years (1861 - 1865), 3/4 of a million Americans were killed and unknown numbers of properties were laid waste.The cost of the war is estimated to have been around $6.6 billion.

Four years is a blink of the eye and $6.6 billion is chump change compared to The Big Dig. It is the most expensive highway project in the history of the planet. Not only that, it, like the Civil War, has a death toll:
Ceiling of Boston Traffic Tunnel Collapses, Killing Woman
By The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- A woman was killed when part of the ceiling in a Big Dig tunnel fell on a car in South Boston, and a man believed to be the driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, authorities said.

The $14 billion Big Dig highway project, which buried Interstate 93 beneath downtown and extended the Massachusetts Turnpike to Logan Airport, has been criticized for construction problems and cost overruns that state officials have said did not compromise safety.

State Police Trooper Kara England said the tunnel was shut down until state safety engineers could assess its condition after the 11 p.m. incident. Authorities later also closed the connector's westbound side. (
link)
The Big Dig may go down in history as not only the most wasteful goverment (state/federal) project ever, but the most expensive to be abandoned as well.

$14 billion and its coming apart ... And it's killing us ... One by one ...

Three Red Marbles

A story:

Babs Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed, as I waited, a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.

"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. Sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"

"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."

"Would you like to take some home?"

"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I got's my prize marble here."

"Is that right? Let me see it."

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

"Not zackley. but almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."

"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."

I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man.

A short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering.

Several years went by, each more rapid that the previous one.

Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.

Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts, all very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size, they came to pay their debt."

"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ." With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

Author unknown