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

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Swatting At Flies In The Lion's Den

We have tens of thousands of poor people in Southside and Southwest Virginia. We have a problem with poverty that has ensnared families in some areas for generations. We have an estimated 6000 homes in Southwest Virginia alone that have no indoor plumbing. We have a large handful of counties that have lost staggering numbers of citizens who have packed their bags and headed north - forever - looking for work. We continue to see our manufacturing base erode. We see our two large metropolitan areas, Roanoke and Bristol (the Tri-cities), ranked 179th and 170th out of America's 200 largest cities in terms of future prospects for economic growth (with Danville ranked 111th out of 118 small cities) by a leading economic think tank that provides such data.

And a federally funded organization this morning boasts of being able to track the movements of 89 Southside homeless people. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.

The story:
Survey racks up numbers on homeless in rural Va.
The system being used by eight agencies shows more homeless people than expected in Southside Virginia.
Megan Watzin, The Roanoke Times


An electronic system launched in January to track the homeless in Southside has found a population exceeding previous counts, making officials hopeful that they're on track to better gauge the extent of the problem.

The West Piedmont Better Housing Coalition, a group working to eliminate and prevent homelessness in Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties and Martinsville and Danville, started the system with a federal grant.

Using the program, agencies have counted 89 homeless people since January. The last homelessness survey in that area, conducted in January 2005, found 78 who were homeless. (
link)
I guess we're supposed to applaud. There are 11 more homeless people wandering Southside than we knew previously to exist. Eleven.

At the same time, there are tens of thousands of people who have fled Pittsylvania County because they've been thrown out of work in recent years. There are tens of thousands of people living today in Southside and Southwest Virginia who live below the poverty line. The average income of a person living in Danville is 60% of that of the average Virginian. The county has the worst unemployment problem in the state, Danville having the dishonor of being the only city in the commonwealth with double-digit unemployment.

And we're making a science out of the meanderings of the homeless.

For the love of God.

I'm Not Sure They Meant This

Sometimes you have to step back and look at what you're creating in order to determine if it makes any sense. On occasion, the end product isn't what you anticipated.

Take as a rather amusing example an article that appears in today's New York Post entitled "FAUX-TOGRAPHY A CRYING SHAME." In it the following is stated:

August 10, 2006 -- Is this wailing woman from Hezbollah central casting?

These pictures - taken nearly two weeks apart and which some observers say seem staged - show an unidentified woman wearing all black, raising her hands to the sky as she stands in front of different scenes of devastation, apparently in the same neighborhood.
My guess is the print version has two separate photos as described. But the on-line version of the article has one photo of the "unidentified woman wearing all black, raising her hands" and another photo - an advertisement of sorts - of Mel Gibson in an identical pose (a reach to the heavens that may in fact have something to do with a devastation of his own making).

Anyway, it's funny.

I'm capturing the two photos as I'm sure this will be altered as the day progresses.

Take a look:

Quote Of The Day

In Connecticut's primary, Democratic voters rejected three-term incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman - a man of courage and principle who understands the stakes in the War on Terror and the need to fight it.

Instead, they chose neophyte politician Ned Lamont, who rode to victory on a one-trick pony: a promise to push Washington to hold up a white flag in Iraq.

Now the question is: Will Connecticut's voters - and those throughout America - follow in the defeatist path that Lamont & Co. are blazing?

New York Post Editorial, "Sen. Joe's Good Fight," August 10, 2006 (link)

Tying Us In Knots

Just as the Russians and the Chinese defeated us in the Vietnam War (don't let any history book try to convince you that we were fighting only North Vietnamese; the planning, the military advisors, and the war materiale were supplied in lavish quantities from outside), Iran is fast becoming the western world's real enemy in Iraq and in southern Lebanon.

Here's only some of the proof:

IRAN CAUGHT DEAD-HANDED
By Uri Dan, New York Post Mideast Correspondent


August 10, 2006 -- JERUSALEM - The bodies of members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard were found among Hezbollah fighters killed by Israeli forces in southern Lebanon - conclusive proof that Tehran is supporting the terror group, it was reported yesterday.

Israel's Channel 10 television said the Iranians were identified by papers on their bodies, but gave no further details on how many were soldiers or where or when they were found.

Revolutionary Guard members have been training Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, sources said. (link)

Iran is flagrantly fomenting war throughout the region, has vowed to destroy Israel, its leader speaks openly - and enthusiastically - of mass martyrdom and of the coming of the 12th Imam to bring an end to the world ...

... and these lunatics are on the verge of having nuclear weapons.

How long are we going to let this go on?

O The Inhumanity

The New York Times cries out in anguish this morning over a dastardly proposal put forth by evil Republicans in Missouri that will require that citizens who show up at the polls there to vote be able to prove they are who they say they are. The miserable sunsabitchas:

Voter Suppression in Missouri

Missouri is the latest front in the Republican Party’s campaign to use photo ID requirements to suppress voting. The Republican legislators who pushed through Missouri’s ID law earlier this year said they wanted to deter fraud, but that claim falls apart on close inspection. Missouri’s new ID rules — and similar ones adopted last year in Indiana and Georgia — are intended to deter voting by blacks, poor people and other groups that are less likely to have driver’s licenses. (
link)
What's missing from this editorial is any mention of the fact that vote fraud in Missouri has reached epidemic proportions. Read about some of it here. The effort put forth by Republicans is simply one to stem the tide and bring legitimacy to what is fast becoming a state - and national - scandal.

And what's with the flagrant condescension? Photo ID requirements are evil because they target black people? Like black people are too stupid to be able to figure out how to get a free voter ID card? What's with that?

As has come to be the norm, Republicans are going to bring sanity to the program at the same time the New York Times will whine about the atrocities that are sure to result from such efforts.

Black people are too ignorant to get a photo ID. For the love of God.

'Into The Mouth Of Hell'

As many of my regular readers know, I've been pretty tough on the Roanoke Times editorial staff in the past. You also know why. It's made up of a motley collection of leftist lunatics who write crap most Southwest Virginians can't comprehend or relate to.

Well. I'm here to report that I've now met most of them and found them to be a rather nice bunch. Still lefties and still looneys but nice just the same.

I bring this up because I am now one of them ... sorta. Beginning today and for the foreseeable future, you'll find once a week a column written by me for the Times. It will appear every Thursday and you can find it in the Op-Ed Commentary section of the paper. As you might expect, the first column is about Southwest Virginia and our ... burgeoning ... tourism industry. You can access it here:

http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/commentary/wb/77493

I generally hold liberals in low regard, considering most of them to be today's version of the 50's John Birch Society - with a twist. But I will give the editorial page editor of the Times, Dan Radmacher, credit for this. Despite the fact that I've gone after him on more than one occasion on the pages of this weblog, ridiculing some of his leftist nonsense, he invited me to bring the discussion to his page of the Times. He certainly didn't have to do that.

Such open-mindedness from a flaming leftist I'm not used to, but he's to be thanked - and commended for it.

So, I'm going to take this opportunity to change the way people view the Roanoke Times, one subscriber at a time. And when I've been able to wean them all from their (perceived) dependency on big government and their naive notions that we don't live in a hostile world and their twisted belief that George W. Bush is the great satan, I'll then work on the editorial staff.

A tougher row to hoe.

Anyway, I hereby thank Dan for the opportunity to bring to the readers of the Roanoke Times a different perspective (one held by most Americans, ahem), a conservative perspective, a Southwest Virginia perspective.

Believe me, in discussions with Mr. Radmacher, I've warned him about what's going to happen. Some of his readers are not going to like that which they are going to read. The namby-pamby limp-wristed Democrat types. I told him that it may reflect on him. And will without doubt come down on him. He accepts it (poor fool) and welcomes the dialogue that will ensue.

I just hope they don't kill him.