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

Monday, December 11, 2006

What a Howler

How does one respond to this?

U.S.A. Is Number One
By Howling Latina

The United States has the dubious distinction of being the number one country in prison population as well as prison rate (sic), Reuters reports.

That's right, America, home of the brave and land of the free leads China and Russia, according to the "International Center for Prison Studies at King's College in London."

The prison population has escalated exponentially (sic) after folks like soon-to-be Sen. George Allen (sic) got tough on crime and started locking every lawbreaker up. One out of 32 Americans is either "behind bars or on probation."

What a waste of human capital. Now ain't we proud of ourselves?!?
Rapists, thieves, and murderers are being incarcerated against their will and it's all George Allen's fault ...

Waste of human capital or human waste? It's all in the eye of the beholder, I guess...

This Fad Is So 20 Minutes Ago

I was reading an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning about condoms and I was thinking about how they are another of the many fad issues taken up by the left that have faded in importance as time has gone by (think acid rain, depletion of the rain forest, ozone holes in the stratosphere, AIDS ...). Well, an article in the Danville Register & Bee reminded me of another:
Danville schools prep for potential avian flu
Four-phase plan would work to keep students safe in school
By Mac McLean, Register & Bee staff writer

DANVILLE - The Danville School Board is ready for a possible avian flu outbreak after it unanimously approved a pandemic flu plan for Danville Public Schools Thursday night.

Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Kathy Osborne told the board the system’s avian flu plan is divided into four phases ... (link)
It seems like just yesterday that we were being told that millions - no, billions - no, hundreds of billions - of people around the world were going to die from chicken flu (there were at least two dozen cases that supported the prediction). But lately it has been drowned out by the alarm raised regarding the impending Category 6 hurricane assault on our southern coast... er, never mind that one, the looming global warming holocaust.

God love the Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services of the Danville schools though for keeping the bird flu pandemic fad alive, long after everyone else moved on ... to E. coli in our tacos ...

Bringing Jesus To Where He's Needed Most

The Episcopalians here in this country who have watched their ranks shrink alarmingly in recent decades could learn a lesson from one of the faster-growing (and proudly non-mainstream) Christian denominations in the USA. The Assembly of God doesn't just hold worship service on Sunday at 9 and noon; it hunts down the sinners and brings 'em to Jesus wherever they're to be found:

Soon, church will have own trailer in park
It'll let Chesterfield church expand outreach in troubled community

By Meredith Bonny, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

They came together in a circle inside Shady Hill Trailer Park.

Holding Bibles, they bent their heads in prayer. A flag with the words "New Life in Christ" fluttered in the wind.

Members of Cornerstone [Assembly of God church in Chesterfield County] , a sprawling middle-class congregation nestled among large-lawned homes in central Chesterfield, have been reaching out for months to the residents of Shady Hill Trailer Park. It's one of the county's toughest mobile-home communities, where drugs, prostitution and crime are part of daily life for some.

Members of the church have formed bonds with the residents and their children. They have provided a hot meal or a toy and kind words when needed. But recently, this bond between two unlikely groups has grown deeper. (link)

Forming bonds. Hot meals. Toys for the children. Kind words. And Jesus. In the lion's den. A formula for success.

A formula for failure? Instructing the flock to not have children and to "pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion."

An Odd Need For Racial Stereotyping

There it happened again. Adam Nagourney, a genuinely meticulous reporter of great renown writing for the New York Times, labels Illinois Senator (and the leading candidate for the Second Coming of Christ) Barak Obama an African-American:
The Pattern May Change, if ...
By Adam Nagourney, The New York Times

After a 217-year march of major presidential nominees who were, without exception, white and male, the 2008 campaign may offer voters a novel choice.

But as Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois whose father is from Kenya, spends this weekend exploring a presidential bid in New Hampshire, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first woman to represent New York in the Senate, calls potential supporters in Iowa, the question remains: are Americans prepared to elect an African-American or a woman as president?

Or, to look at it from the view of Democrats hungry for victory in 2008, is the nation more likely to vote for a woman or an African-American for president? (link)
Why the subterfuge? Why the "Barack Obama, ... whose father is from Kenya..." phraseology which naturally leads one to believe that Obama is in fact an African-American?

In fact, Obama's father was a black Kenyan, which would, by itself, make Obama an African-American. But his mother is a white Kansan.

So, if one were to be meticulous in that which one provided one of the most widely read newspapers on the planet, one would refer to Obama as being half black ... if one felt the need to make a racial distinction at all.

But not in elite circles. There is a mold. And everyone must fit it. Either black or white. He's black; I'm white.

It seems to me, Barak Obama provides us with a unique opportunity to make a larger point. We are, ever so slowly, getting beyond the issue of race. "We" being everyone outside of elitist liberal circles where the need seems to exist to perpetuate the stereotype.

It's both unfortunate and shameful. And discouraging.

Maybe This Explains It

So why do liberals feel the need to label Barak Obama (see previous post) as being African-American when in fact he is as much white as he is black? Maybe there is a motive for the deception to be found in the story of another politician in today's news:
Jefferson Win Poses Dilemma for Party
By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post Staff Writer

New Orleans, Dec. 10 -- Rep. William J. Jefferson may be a pariah in some Washington political circles, but voters in this storm-battered city weighed in over the weekend with their own verdict regarding their scandal-plagued congressman: He's still our guy.

Voters gave the Louisiana Democrat an emphatic reelection victory over state Rep. Karen Carter, even though his campaign had been weighted with revelations that federal authorities had videotaped him taking $100,000 in alleged bribe money, and that $90,000 of it had been found inside a freezer in his apartment in the District.

But while the allegations were widely discussed here, exactly what people made of them seems to have depended at least partly on race.

Though both candidates in the runoff were African American, voters generally split along racial lines.

Jefferson won 57 percent of the vote to Carter's 43 percent. He won 79 percent of votes in largely black precincts, while she won 76 percent of votes in largely white precincts, according to a post-election analysis by Greg Rigamer, a consultant for the Carter campaign. (link)
This is customary. And it's certainly no accident. The Democratic Party can expect as much as 90% of the African-American vote in presidential elections these days and only somewhat less in state and local races, even though, in this case, the other party fielded a black candidate too. The Democratic Party in 2006 is the black party.

So it's important that Democrat Barak Obama be black. It cultivates the stereotype and pays off in votes.

Such a shame.

Government Is The Answer

I knew it would come down to this. The outbreak of E. coli in Taco Bell outlets in the northeast could have been prevented, if you choose to believe those who believe that government can solve problems, by our having more laws and hiring more regulators:

Has Politics Contaminated the Food Supply?
By Eric Schlosser, writing in The New York Times

This fall has brought plenty of bad news about food poisoning. More than 200 people in 26 states were sickened and three people were killed by spinach contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. At least 183 people in 21 states got salmonella from tainted tomatoes served at restaurants. And more than 160 people in New York, New Jersey and other states were sickened with E. coli after eating at Taco Bell restaurants.

Part of the problem is that the government’s food-safety system is underfinanced, poorly organized and more concerned with serving private interests than with protecting public health. It is time for the new Democratic Congress to reverse a decades-long weakening of regulations and face up to the food-safety threats of the 21st century. (link)

Oddly, the author then undermines his own argument by noting the fact that there are far fewer processing plants to regulate these days, making it, one would presume, easier to monitor compliance standards:
Over the past 40 years, the industrialization and centralization of our food system has greatly magnified the potential for big outbreaks. Today only 13 slaughterhouses process the majority of the beef consumed by 300 million Americans.

And the fast-food industry’s demand for uniform products has encouraged centralization in every agricultural sector. Fruits and vegetables are now being grown, packaged and shipped like industrial commodities. As a result, a little contamination can go a long way.
How will more funding and more overseers help if the number of facilities needing monitoring has decreased from "thousands" to a relative handful and we still have contamination outbreaks? That question isn't addressed.

What we get is: More government = safer food, and the obligatory - and outmoded - reference to Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle."

You'll have to do better than that, pal.