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

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Quirky Rule

It's been many years since I've flown Southwest Airlines. So long, in fact, that I remember my roundtrip flight from Detroit to Chicago but I don't remember why I was on it. Anyway, someone suggested recently that I could get a good price on a ticket to Norfolk out of Baltimore so on Wednesday I became, once again, a Southwest customer ($98 one way; not bad).

I had forgotten that the airline is unique in having an operating procedure that doesn't call for assigned seating. Your boarding pass simply designates a particular section on the plane to occupy. No big thing, although I usually prefer a window seat and work to secure one in advance.

Anyway, what's fascinating about this is the way it plays out. Because there isn't an assigned seat for the passengers, people start lining up at the gate early, presumably to get the best seat in the house, whatever that is. Think of it as festival seating at a concert (without the deaths).

This flight lasted approximately 50 minutes. To get a "good seat," some passengers waited in line for an hour and a half.

Now, I may be missing something here, but unless there are dancing girls and free champagne (I waited with eager anticipation; it wasn't offered in the section in which I sat), there's not a seat on a plane worth standing in line 90 minutes for.

But to each his own.

The plane went up. It came down. I live to tell the tale. No complaints from me.

A Macaca Postmortem

The Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning offers up a postmortem on the Allen defeat here in Virginia. Unfortunately, the paper gets it completely wrong, failing to see - or avoiding - that large pachyderm in the room. First the analysis:

Spotlight singed the Allen campaign
Senator who skillfully ran earlier campaigns became the issue
By Peter Hardin, Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Washington - -- Sen. George Allen suggested that Democrat Jim Webb and his team enjoyed "the prevailing winds" that led the challenger to victory and, in turn, a Democrat-controlled Senate.

But Allen's own missteps and his campaign's responses contributed strongly to the breathtaking fall on Election Day of a rising Republican star. (

This, of course, goes to the now-infamous macaca affair. George Allen's "misstep."

Let me pose a question. If in Bill Clinton's day, the Washington Post had run 100 articles and editorials on Juanita Broaddrick's allegation that she had been raped years before by our president, and every newspaper in the country had chimed in with similar stories, exploring every innuendo, giving ink to every crackpot who ever had a related tale to tell, analyzing the troubling implications of the dastardly act ad nauseum, etc., would the citizenry have turned against him? Of course. But the Post refrained. Something about journalistic integrity.

But the Post found it acceptable to run 100 articles and editorials on the subject of macaca and its implications of racism and bigotry.

Anyone who thinks the active effort on the part of the Post and most every other newspaper connected to the commonwealth to promote the macaca story, to blow it completely out of proportion (it wasn't even a word prior to Allen's utterance), and, in doing so, to derail the Allen campaign, didn't in itself bring about Allen's defeat, is blind.

Sour grapes? Think what you will. But more importantly, let this be a lesson for those of you in the GOP who are contemplating running for high office in the future. Your Democratic challenger will not be your primary opponent. That reporter, with pencil in hand and a license and eagerness to destroy, will be your worst enemy. You would do well to prepare accordingly.

What It's All About

The purpose of a Democratic win in 2006 isn't to bring about a change in Washington after all. It's to bring a Democratic win again in 2008.

Don't take my word for it:
By Joe Trippi, Writing in the Washington Post

Wham! The 2006 midterm elections are over, and the modern conservative era has come to an end.

For the Democrats, a party so long on the outs, it feels good to be back in power. But we can't just revel in yesterday. Democrats have to start looking now to maximize our mandate for the 2008 presidential election. (link)
There you go. It was never about Iraq. Or Medicare. Or the economy. It was about winning. And about the next election. And the next. And the next ...

Let's Choose

On one side we have a collective group of organizations that feed, clothe, house, mend, and minister to millions of poor and elderly people around the world. On the other we have a degenerate drug addict who thinks we should ban the former. Tough choice, yes?

November 12, 2006 -- London - Organized religion fuels discrimination against gay people and other groups, Elton John said yesterday.

"Religion promotes hatred and spite against gays," the singer and songwriter told The Observer's Music Monthly Magazine.

"I would ban religion completely. Organized religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings - and it's not really compassionate." (
... said the aged rock star, with all the compassion of Vlad The Impaler.

It's the drugs. It has to be the drugs.

You Wanted Them. You've Got Them.

Thought you were sending all those fresh faces to Washington to solve problems? Guess again:
Let the Investigations Begin
By Stanley Brand, Writing in the New York Times

THE Democrats’ victory has stoked the fire beneath an already brewing debate within the party regarding the need for investigations of the executive branch during ... (
You deserve every bit of this.

A Republican We Won't Miss

Let me get this straight. You were supported mightily by the President of the United States and the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee going into the GOP primary. You were showered with campaign contributions by the national party. You were graced with the unprecedented move by the White House of having the party establishment openly work to defeat your opponent in that primary so that you could be re-elected. You were decisively re-elected in that primary by Republicans in your state of Rhode Island. You lost overwhelmingly in the general election to a Democrat. And it's the fault of the Republicans.

God, am I glad you're gone.

From the soon-to-be-ex-senator and forever beanbrain:
Holding to the Center, Losing My Seat
By Lincoln Chafee, Writing in The New York Times

Last Tuesday, I was one of the many moderate Republican casualties of the anti-Bush virulence that swept the country.

[blah blah blah] ... I was startled to hear the vice president dismiss suggestions of compromise and instead emphasize an aggressively partisan agenda

I was incredulous. Instead of a new atmosphere of cooperation and civility which, after all, had been the promise of the Bush-Cheney campaign, we seemed ready to return to the poisonous partisanship that marked the Republican-Congress — Clinton White House years. (
Chafee asks a simple question:
Despite my having voted against the Iraq war resolution, my reputation for independence, the editorial endorsement of virtually every newspaper in my state, and a job approval rating of 63 percent, I did not win. Why?
Yes. With all that going for him, how on earth was he defeated? It could indeed be that Chafee was caught up in the anti-Bush wave that swept the USA. Or, as is actually the case, a whole mess of citizens saw him for what he is - a nitwit.

Go home, man. You've embarrassed us enough.

Now They Ask

If Iraq was the most important issue facing voters last Tuesday, wouldn't it have been the wise thing to do for the New York Times to have asked how the Democrats would fight the war there before Tuesday? Key word being wise.

So now that they've put that bunch in charge, and there's no reason for the Democrats to answer questions on that or any other subject, the editorialists want to know. A day late and ...

Democrats and Iraq

The Democrats will not be able to savor their victory for long. Americans are waiting to hear if they have any good ideas for how to get out of Iraq without creating even wider chaos and terrorism. (
"Americans are waiting to hear ..." Expect that to become a lament. But don't expect answers from the Democrats.

This would have made for a great editorial a month ago. "Americans are waiting to hear if they have any good ideas ..." Today, however, they - and we - are stuck with the idealess gang they helped elect.

God help us all.