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

Monday, November 13, 2006

Come Out From Behind Your Monitor

Is this the community I live in and have come to love so much?
Southwest Virginia is for haters
By Christian Trejbal, The Roanoke Times

Voters' choices do more than just pick Election Day winners. They shape how the rest of the world views a region.

Voters in our region heavily backed Allen and a hateful gay marriage ban that spites their single neighbors and children just to prevent the state from recognizing the unions of loving same-sex couples.

When outsiders look at Southwest Virginia, they see people stuck in the past, resistant to change and new ideas, and willing to overlook racism and discrimination to promote an exclusionary, right-wing agenda. They see Confederate flags, gun racks, Civil War monuments and Christian conservatives. Heck, the local National Public Radio station even airs a Civil War story every week.

In their eyes, we might as well adopt a special motto for the region: "Southwest Virginia is for haters." (
This is so delusional, I don't know where to start. So, let me just take the distortions one at a time and throw out a few bullet points:
  • Who are those outsiders who view us in Southwest Virginia as being promoters of hate (because we voted overwhelmingly to support the institution of marriage)? Perhaps the more enlightened crowd in those bastions of liberalism (and of the "more politically aware") Oregon, Ohio, Maryland, and Wisconsin? Can't be. Each of those states has banned gay marriage in recent years as well. In fact, 37 states in all have passed Defense of Marriage Acts that ban homosexual marriage. Here in Virginia, the gay marriage ban passed by great margins in nearly every county in the state - north and south. There is a whole lot of hate to be had, it would seem; not just here in klan country.
  • As for "Civil War monuments," I had a weblog post a month ago about the largest (and most fantastic) one I've ever seen, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I've also come across others in such right-wing hellholes as Washington DC, New York City, the Peoples Republic of Madison, Wisconsin, and even in the center of reactionary right-wing America - Boston (go downtown to Fanueill Hall and check out the monument to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment of black history fame). Here in Virginia, the most beautiful Robert E. Lee monument you'll ever see is to be found just off the rabidly liberal University of Virginia campus in radically liberal Charlottesville. You were saying?
  • Confederate flags and gun racks? I think someone's been watching too much Dukes of Hazzard.
  • We find ourselves awash in Christian conservatives here in Southwest Virginia. Thank God.

Speaking for those outsiders who moved to the area from more enlightened parts of the country (in my case, I escaped a number of years ago from that shining liberal city on the hill - Detroit - before it turned completely to rubble), and who actually get out and rub elbows with the citizenry, one will find, if one opens one's mind, a vibrant, diversified, caring, politically astute (if somewhat economically depressed and poorly led) populace with the same goals in life as Americans across this great land. They want to marry. And have children. They want to prosper. And see their children prosper. They love their country. And want to protect it from enemies hell-bent on destroying it. And they have unwavering faith in God. As does the overwhelming majority of America. And they don't appreciate being talked down to by condescending half-wits who know nothing about them or the lives they lead.

So, one is prompted to ask the obvious: Just where do you hang out, man? From whom do you get such a twisted view of our neighborhood? Have you ever even talked with an honest-to-God Southwest Virginian? Where does that perverted worldview come from?

Why do you hate us so much?

Wisdom From The Roanoke Times

Food for thought:

Talking point
Roanoke Times editorial

"The people have spoken all across America. They want the Democrats and Republicans to work together. I think the president now is going to have to talk to the Democrats. I think that's going to be good for America."

-- Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee, R-R.I., who was one of many Republicans who lost election last week. The liberal Chafee is considering doing his own bit for bipartisanship by switching parties. If he had done that before the election, he might have won. (
link) [my emphasis]
Actually Chafee switched sides long ago. But, as far as political affiliation goes, is there a Republican out there who doesn't wish this nitwit had been a Democrat all along?

It Don't Get Better Than This

For those of you who think we on the right are wallowing in sorrow over the GOP's recent election debacle, think again. We are about to have the time of our lives watching the many looney Democrats who have risen through seniority to positions of soon-to-be power make complete fools of themselves.

As an example, take the aging and often confused congressman - the Democrats' most influential military strategist -
who wants to relocate all our 140,000 troops that are currently stationed in Iraq to the far-removed island of Okinawa. He may soon be their number-two guy:
Pelosi Endorses Murtha as Next Majority Leader
By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writer

House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) yesterday as the next House majority leader, thereby stepping into a contentious intraparty fight between Murtha and her current deputy, Maryland's Steny H. Hoyer. (
Murtha, who comes across in interviews as being extremely inarticulate and who often seems befuddled, will be making pronouncements for the party to the press every day.

This, friends, is a political weblogger's dream. We're gonna have some fun.

The Myth That Is James Webb

Columnist Paul Krugman thinks our new senator here in the commonwealth is a populist:
True Blue Populists
By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

[Senator George] Allen, a reliable defender of the interests of the economic elite, found himself facing an opponent who made a point of talking about the problem of rising inequality. And the tobacco-chewing, football-throwing, tax-cutting, Social Security-privatizing senator was only one of many faux populists defeated by real populists last Tuesday. (link)
Webb the populist. That will come as news even to him.

Oh sure, he mumbled in the campaign something about the travesties of having a low minimum wage (that is harmful to the 0.5% of the populace, mostly young part-time employees who are supported by a primary breadwinner in the household) who are affected by it, but, other than that, can anyone think of a "populist" position Webb advocated in the recent election? Neither can I.

But, as long as scheming members of the mainstream press continue to grow this myth (as well as that of the biggest empty suite on the American scene today - Barack Obama), "new Democrats" like Webb will continue to ride the white charger into historical fame and glory.

Jim Webb the populist. Spare me.

Time To Run

You folks in Iraq who thought the USA was going to bring your country out of the Middle East and into the 21st century should probably start packing your bags and be prepared to flee. The Democrats are now calling the shots:
Democrats Push for Troop Cuts Within Months
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times

Washington, Nov. 12 — Democratic leaders in the Senate vowed on Sunday to use their new Congressional majority to press for troop reductions in Iraq within a matter of months, stepping up pressure on the administration ... (
Our worst fears are becoming reality. It is now Vietnam all over again.

When the Democrats forced us to leave Southeast Asia to its fate in 1975 (they had a detailed withdrawal plan then too; it brought about utter chaos in the streets of Saigon and across the region), millions in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia were slaughtered. After we abandoned them. Millions more fled for their lives (we had a term for the refugees we created - boat people). And the Democrats, who only weeks before were overwhelmed with grief over the lives being lost as a result of our involvement there, didn't give a damn.

We are heading down that road again.

How utterly disgraceful.

A Recipe For Failure

Want to know why readership of the New York Times is plummeting? Besides having stiff competition both from weblogs and from the New York Post, there is the matter of the company's business plan.

How many of you care about social attitudes in Slovenia? I'll give you a moment to find it on your map before I proceed ...

Here's front page "news" this morning:
Hounding of Gypsies Contradicts Slovenia’s Image
By Nicholas Wood, The New York Times

Ambrus, Slovenia, Nov. 6 — Half a mile short of this picturesque village in central Slovenia, two brick houses and a cluster of sheds lie empty. A baby’s stroller sits abandoned outside, and chickens and geese race about, apparently unfed, all evidence of a rapid departure by the family that lived here until just over a week ago.

The Strojans, an extended family of 31 Gypsies, 14 of them children, fled the property on Oct. 28, after it was surrounded by a mob from Ambrus and nearby villages, threatening to kill them and demanding their eviction. While the police kept the crowd back, Slovenian government officials negotiated the family’s removal to a former army barracks about 30 miles away. (

One family in a remote village in a far-away eastern European country is driven from land it was living on but didn't own and it's worth a headline in the Times. At least some think it is worth a headline. Pity the poor trees that had to die to bring that earth-shaking news to the paper's ever-shrinking subscriber list.

Meanwhile the New York Post focuses on news of a local and regional nature (for the most part). And, as the Times implodes, the Post explodes.

When the business plan is failing ...