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

Monday, October 23, 2006

Quote Of The Day

The other day President Bush signed into law Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte's bill to outlaw Internet gambling. The bill constitutes a triumph of remarkable short-sightedness.

To begin, the legislation doesn't outlaw other forms of gambling, such as state lotteries or horse-track betting. Or Las Vegas casinos. Or investing in the stock market. Or real-estate speculation. Or charity raffles and bingo games. Instead, it singles out one specific venue for gambling on the dubious premise that the medium -- the Internet -- is particularly pernicious.


Goodlatte proposed his measure because of what he considers gambling's "ill effects on society." Alas, there is no legislative remedy for the congressional addiction to meddling in other people's lives -- whose ill effects are vastly greater.

Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial, "Lousy Bet," October 23, 2006 (link)

Over Here! Over Here!

It just isn't fair. Bland County is a burgeoning community of 85,000 (of course 78,000 are cows and deer) and we have no Wal-Mart. Even though we'd desperately love to have one. So I read in this morning's paper that folks up in Roanoke County don't want a new one locating there.

If you all don't want it, can we have it?
County to consider new Wal-Mart
Clearbrook residents are worried about the proposed development’s impact on traffic and a school nearby.
By Cody Lowe, The Roanoke Times


Supporters and opponents of a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter in the Clearbrook section of Roanoke County will have a final chance to speak out Tuesday night before the county’s board of supervisors.

One Clearbrook resident offered a list of 11 proffers or conditions ... They included wider setbacks, thicker tree coverage in buffer zones, limitations on trash collection and idling trucks, and no overnight hours in the auto-repair shop. (
link)
As long as there is no commerce there and nobody can find the darned thing, the local folks will be accepting of the new store.

Wal-Mart executives take note: We here in Bland are prepared to construct a new store atop Big Walker Mountain overlooking I-77. And we'll pay for a honker of a new sign, neon with serious megawattage, on top of it that will light up the western sky for all the world to see as they drive by.

We don't look at prosperity as a bad thing here.

Pants On Fire

Well, Virginia senate candidate Jim Webb finally opens his mouth and says something and ... he's caught in a lie:

A Jim Webb fib?
By Milton R. Copulos, The Washington Times


There's a lot to admire about Jim Webb.

On paper he looks good. Among the accomplishments his campaign bio trumpets was that: "In 1982 he first proposed, then led the fight for, including an African American soldier in the memorial statue that now graces the Vietnam Veterans memorial on the National Mall."

Impressive, if true, but it isn't. I know, because I was there. Instead, like a crinoline-swathed antebellum debutant attending her first Cotillion, Mr. Webb came to the party late and left early. His claim to have "first proposed" an African American figure is made up of whole cloth.

It was the sculptor, Frederick Hart, who chose to include an African American figure, not Mr. Webb or anyone else. (
link)
Ouch.

I've never thought of Jim Webb as "a crinoline-swathed antebellum debutant." But if the hoop skirt fits ...

May The Best Man Win

I've often said, if the racial makeup of California's college system is 95% Asian, so be it. As long as those Asians earn their positions there. Which they can if affirmative action types who demand non-quotas would get out of their way.

The same holds true for Indians. If this country's top jobs go to (legal) immigrants from Mumbai, you have nobody to blame but yourself. For refusing to do what's necessary to compete. Such seems to be happening:

Indians finding their niche in U.S.
The Washington Times

Roughly every third person who lives [in] Edison, a New York suburb, is of Asian Indian ancestry. Many are new immigrants who have come to work as physicians, engineers and high-tech specialists.

Although a steady stream of Indians have settled in the United States since the 1960s, immigrants have poured into the country from 2000 to 2005 -- arriving at a higher rate than any other Asian group.

Roughly 2.3 million people of Indian ancestry, including immigrants and the American-born, call the United States home, according to 2005 census data. That's up from 1.7 million in 2000. (link)

You find this disturbing? Then do something about it. Get off your dead ass and go in the kids' bedroom(s) and get them off their dead asses and demand that they turn off Girls Gone Wild and STUDY.

Or prepare them to work for some gentleman in the near future who has a whole lot of vowels and consonants in his first name ...

Where's Waldo?

Now, children. One of the boys in this picture doesn't belong. Can you tell me which one it is?

Yes, Johnny?

That's right, Johnny. It's the chunky little homeless Elvis wannabe with the funky hair and clueless expression.



* Note the faces of the soldiers directly behind Li'l Chunky. They just caught a whiff of ...

Photo courtesy of AP

News Flash! Partisan Warfare Coming Soon!

Has this guy been living under a rock?
GOP Losses Could Spark Partisan Warfare
By Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer
Breaking news! Polio vaccine may soon be discovered!

This Is Funny

Smug:
Adjective smug (smugger, smuggest) smúg
1. Marked by excessive complaceny or self-satisfaction.
"a smug glow of self-congratulation"

I've been a student of American history all my life. And I can't ever remember reading any account of the Civil War (and I've read hundreds) where the author comes across with an air of self-satisfaction about the issue of slavery. At least, that is, any author who hasn't been dead for 100 years. But the fellas at the New York Times seem prompted to use the word "smugness" when admonishing you for actions taken by people you don't know against people you don't know in an era none of you have but an inkling of understanding about:
Brown University’s Debt to Slavery
Editorial

A long-awaited report on Brown University’s 18th-century links to slavery should dispel any lingering smugness among Northerners that slavery was essentially a Southern problem. (
link)
A report on slavery that's been "long-awaited." If only I were a writer for Jay Leno.

In any case. Any of you northerners who worked to free the slaves and always felt that it was just a southern problem, you can wipe that smugness off your face right now. Assuming any of you still have a face ...

Glory Be The Day!

Who would have ever thought the rabidly liberal New York Times editorial page would come out in favor of oil drilling in the Gulf. Today it did. Of course the editorialists make up some hokey excuse for their turnabout but the message is clear and unmistakable:
A Reason to Drill in the Gulf
Editorial

It is time to make a serious effort to save the vanishing wetlands and barrier islands along the coast of Louisiana. The best chance is a bill passed by the Senate that would guarantee Louisiana and three other coastal states a share of oil and gas revenues from drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The states would be expected to use the proceeds largely for coastal restoration and related projects. The House should adopt this measure in its present form during the coming lame-duck session, and President Bush should sign it. (
link)
Knowing that they are hereby dumping on their environmentalist allies, the folks at the Times lamely add this:
Our support for this bill should not be taken as a blanket endorsement of offshore drilling ...
Whatever. Our gas-guzzling, oversized, ass-kickin' SUV's will live with that distinction having been made.

What, Your Church Hasn't Lost Enough Members?

The Episcopal church seems hell-bent (I debated for a moment but the word just seems to fit) on wrecking itself:

Connecticut Episcopal Bishop Will Bless Gay Unions
By Fernanda Santos, The New York Times


The leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, Bishop Andrew D. Smith, has authorized priests to give blessings to same-sex unions during religious ceremonies. The move threatens to further alienate the conservative wing of his church and deepen a fissure between progressive and orthodox Episcopalians nationwide.

“I believe in my heart and soul that it is time for this church, this diocese, formally to acknowledge and support and bless our sisters and brothers who are gay and lesbian, including those who are living in faithful and faith-filled committed partnerships,” Bishop Smith said on Saturday in a speech at a diocesan conference in Hartford. (
link)
Let me rework that last sentence. "...," Bishop Smith said on Saturday in a speech to the twelve remaining members of his diocese who gathered at the McDonald's Playland in Hartford.

I find it fascinating that the Episcopal Church (USA) has proven itself over and over again willing to exclude its entire membership in order to be more "inclusive." Remarkable.

Empty Suit

Boy, he sure looks good. And he speaks well. Nice duds too. Oh, and he's (partially) black. That's the resume. And it sends shivers of excitement through the ranks of the Democratic party:
Crowd-Pleaser From Illinois Considers White House Run
By Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times


Washington, Oct. 22 — Senator Barack Obama, the first-term Illinois Democrat who has emerged this year as one of the most popular figures in his party, said Sunday that he was considering a run for the White House in 2008, a shift in position that he said had come in response to many Democrats’ pressing him to join the field.

The remarks by Mr. Obama sent ripples through Democratic circles ...

[An adviser] said, “The reaction that Obama got in Iowa was like nothing I’ve ever seen before with another politician.” (
link)
Gosh. I'm impressed.

Now I hate to be the one to pee in everyone's wheaties. So I'll let Joe Klein do it. He interviewed Obama for Time magazine recently and found there to be no there there. Obama's labyrinthine understanding of the issues facing America is, to be kind, in the maturation stage:

A few weeks ago, I watched Obama give a speech about alternative energy to an audience gathered by MoveOn.org at Georgetown University. It was supposed to be a big deal, one of three speeches MoveOn had scheduled to lay out its 2008 issues agenda, a chance for the best-known group of activist Democrats to play footsie with the party's most charismatic speaker, and vice versa. But it was a disappointment, the closest I had seen Obama come to seeming a standard-issue pol, one who declares a crisis and answers with Band-Aids. In this case, he produced a few scraggly carrots and sticks to encourage Detroit to produce more fuel-efficient cars. The audience of students and activists sensed the Senator's timidity and became palpably less enthusiastic as Obama went on.

He transcends the racial divide so effortlessly that it seems reasonable to expect that he can bridge all the other divisions--and answer all the impossible questions--plaguing American public life. He encourages those expectations by promising great things--at least, in the abstract. "This country is ready for a transformative politics of the sort that John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Franklin Roosevelt represented," he told me.

But those were politicians who had big ideas or were willing to take big risks, and so far, Barack Obama hasn't done much of either.

... his record has been predictably liberal. And the annoying truth is, The Audacity of Hope isn't very audacious. (link)

But he's (to some degree) black, grooms himself well, and is a tolerable public speaker. That's good enough for the average Democrat. So what he has no understanding of the issues.

It's Bush's Fault! Still!

To hear Democrats tell it in their cute fanciful way, George Bush controls the global price of oil. Since gasoline prices have been dropping of late and there is an election coming up soon, he obviously is driving the pump price down (how that helps Republicans is a mystery unless Democrats want everyone paying higher prices). They must be on to something:
Oil Down 1 Pct Despite Saudi Cut
By Reuters

Singapore/London ( Reuters) - Oil fell one percent on Monday despite confirmation leading exporter Saudi Arabia was curbing November supplies after an OPEC agreement to cut output. (
link)
I notice the Reuters news item emanates from Singapore and London. Shouldn't it rightfully be CRAWFORD, TEXAS?

For those of you who seek the truth, it's all in what's called Supply and Demand. As it always has been and always will be:
Some OPEC ministers said another cut of 500,000 bpd [barrels per day] could follow when the cartel meets next in Nigeria in December. They said they were concerned about high fuel stocks [supply] in consumer countries and a projected drop in demand [demand] for OPEC oil in 2007.
Or you can believe the Democrats.