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

Friday, July 21, 2006

What's Become Of Country Music?

I suppose it was inevitable that, with billions of dollars flowing into country music, simple people who once felt grateful when they were able to find a gig at a local honky tonk in Nashville and could make enough to pay for a few beers and a change of underwear now find themselves fabulously wealthy and therefore feel it their duty in life to preach to the rest of us.

Call it the Dixie Chicks syndrome.

The latest annoyance comes from none other than the king and queen of country music, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

The Ballad of Tim and Faith
By Alanna Nash, Ladies' Home Journal, August 2006, pg. 108

... McGraw, who grew up in Louisiana, and Hill, who is, as her song says, a "Mississippi Girl," got tough about the government's woeful lack of progress on the [Katrina] cleanup and rebuilding effort. "It's wrong," Hill said. "It's embarrassing. It really gets us fired up. That's our homeland."

McGraw took it one step further, focusing directly on President Bush. "There's no reason why someone can't go down there - who's supposed to be the leader of the free world - and say, "I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done," he said. [print version only available]
I've never been much of a Tim McGraw fan, in part I think because he tries his best to come across in his mannerisms and dress as being, for some inexplicable reason, gay (although Paula tells me she'll throw me over the side in a heartbeat if he knocks on her door) and because he has no range in his singing voice. And, as far as I'm concerned, Faith Hill hasn't sung a country song in several years, preferring instead - like the Chicks - to belt out pop hits (and misses) these days.

To their point, Congress has appropriated $63 billion for Katrina relief thus far and some estimates put the final cost to the government (that would be you) at somewhere around $200 billion, making the reconstruction of the Gulf coast more costly than all other post-hurricane cleanup efforts in the history of the USA combined. And President Bush isn't doing enough ...

So what explains the attitude of Hill and McGraw? The fabulous wealth? The daily dose of servile flattery? What gives?

The article does mention that McGraw, a Democrat, "might want to run for governor of Tennessee" some day. Perhaps he's testing his political wings and feels the need to be part of the looney left that rules his party these days. Or maybe he just seized on the opportunity to bitch about our President - a la Natalie Maines.

To quote Don Williams: “Fame and riches are fleeting. Stupidity is eternal.”

In any case, it would do both of these spoiled stars well to reflect on the fact that they're not that far removed from the days when they were yodeling for their supper - and were thankful for the opportunity.

As a great American advises, "Shut up and sing."

This Has To Be a Record

When would he eat?
2 from VCU give swimmers music
By Jeffrey Kelley, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Sheldon Retchin has been swimming for 30 years. (
In order to pass a lifesaving course years ago, I had to swim 40 laps without stopping.

But 30 years ...

Remembering Terri Schiavo

A story upon which to reflect appears in today's Wall Street Journal. It has to do with those who are hell-bent on inflicting "death with dignity" on those who cannot defend themselves.

Bush Wastes Some Breath

The one organization here in the USA that best represents those who still live off the slave trade is the NAACP. And a pretty good living it is.

So President Bush's decision to speak before the assembled throng of racists and bigots was a bit disappointing. But since the group is on its way to that trash heap of history, only a bit.

The news:
Bush reaches out to NAACP
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

President Bush yesterday told the NAACP that slavery and years of discrimination continue to "wound" and "stain" America but said he will work with black leaders on issues such as education, homeownership and AIDS, where they agree on the goals.

"I want to change the relationship," the president said at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's annual convention at the Washington Convention Center, his first appearance after five years of declining invitations. (
Whatever ...


New York City, as you may recall, is one of the locales that decided several years ago to sue gunmakers out of existence. It didn't work but the resulting legal bills did prove to be costly for the gunmakers (that was the city's intent) and costly for the taxpayers of New York (who apparently don't care how their confiscated earnings are wasted).

The Mayor of New York pulled another stunt recently, sending undercover agents to a number of out-of-state gun dealerships in order to make some political point. Michael Bloomberg, a Republican by the way, may have violated federal privacy laws by using information that was not his to use in order to track down the dealers that he decided to harass.

And now it's payback time:
By David Seifman, New York Post City Hall Bureau Chief

July 21, 2006 -- One of the 15 out-of-state gun dealers snared in a city sting filed a $400 million lawsuit against Mayor Bloomberg yesterday, claiming Hizzoner didn't have the authority to send undercover agents to Georgia.

Ed Marger, a lawyer for Smyrna, Ga., gun dealer Adventure Outdoors, said he regretted not asking for even more from the billionaire mayor for the "clearly illegal" move that "damaged" his client. (
Bloomberg, in response to the lawsuit, says he's thrilled that he's the defendant in this case.

Not as thrilled as the rest of us, Mike.

Oh Yeah. That'll Work.

What would we do without those whose purpose it is to save our lives?

Minnesota Has a Warning for Tailgaters, Every 255 Feet
By Gretchen Ruethling, The New York Times

... a new Minnesota initiative using big white dots painted on a state highway ... 94 of them painted on a two-mile stretch of a rural highway about 35 miles northwest of Minneapolis, were unveiled last month in a pilot project that officials hope will teach drivers about safe following distances.

The idea of the dots on the highway here, explained on roadside signs, is for drivers to keep a distance of two dots between vehicles. The 225 feet between dots represents a driving interval of three seconds at the speed limit of 55 miles per hour. (
So I'm driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour, looking down at the pavement counting dots so as to keep a safe distance behind the car in front of me and ...

"Officer, you need to understand. I was concentrating on dots like I was instructed to by the state of Minnesota and didn't notice the car in front of me - into the trunk of which I've buried the nose of mine - had hit the brakes."

Save us, Lord, from those whose job it is to save us.

Discipline Within The Ranks

Funny how scorn and threats of reprisal can change a man's thinking:
Bolton’s First Year at U.N. Wins Over a Critic
By Jim Rutenberg and Carl Hulse, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, July 20 — Since last year, John R. Bolton has had the title of United States ambassador to the United Nations, and the work that goes with it.

But he has not had the formal approval of the United States Senate for his appointment. Instead, President Bush installed him in the job when Congress was out of session.

Now a former Republican critic of Mr. Bolton has changed his mind, giving the White House impetus to try again to get the Senate’s endorsement. Senator George V. Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, urged the Senate on Thursday to approve Mr. Bolton’s nomination, saying the United States needs a fully sanctioned United Nations representative in the tumultuous world climate. (

Voinovich was savaged by the entire party after he pulled his Bolton-is-the-wrong-man-for-the-job stunt (tears accompanying) last year. The real reason the "former Republican critic" changed his mind was because he was well on his way to becoming a "former Republican."

Voinovich ain't no fool. He just acted the part for a short time.