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

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

He Can Only Be An Improvement

I have no dog in this hunt but that has never stopped me from commenting before. So ...

I had the opportunity to meet and talk with state Senator Roscoe Reynolds (D-Rocky Mount) a few months ago and walked away with the impression that he wasn't the smartest puppy in the litter.

With that in mind, this news is welcome:

Roscoe Reynolds readies for competition
The Democrat will face an Army veteran and former state trooper for the 20th District.
By Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times

Southside Democrat Roscoe Reynolds will face opposition next year in his campaign for re-election to the Virginia Senate.

Jeff Evans, an Army veteran, former state trooper and current vice chairman of the Carroll County Board of Supervisors, has announced he's seeking the Republican nomination to run in the 20th District against Reynolds, a Democrat from Henry County.

Evans, 50, is a native of Grayson County. He spent three years with the Army before being hired by the Virginia State Police in 1978. He remained there until retiring in 2002.

Evans was elected to the Carroll County Board of Supervisors and is approaching the end of his first term.

He said he's running because he believes Reynolds doesn't adequately represent the district. (link)

Reynolds is a good soldier and does what he's told, so the Democratic Party will fight hard to keep him in office. But he comes across as a complete lightweight. The district that Virgil Goode made famous deserves better.


Update 12/13/06: Alton says Roscoe is from Ridgeway. I think I may have gotten his place of origin confused with that of his handler that was in the same conversation. Or I may not be the smartest puppy in my litter ...


Update II 12/13/06: Brian Patton reminded me that Alton Foley was the first to report this ages ago.

And He's Teaching Our Young

You may remember my definition of art. Simply put, it's any creation that I am incapable of ever replicating. Which leaves out about 90% of the garbage that's produced in this our "modern" world. And I now know why there's so much of that which is being vomited onto art museums around the country these days. It's being taught in our schools:
School butts in on artist's creations
The bottom line is, art teachers who paint with their butts don't win over school officials.
By Kristen Gelineau, Associated Press

RICHMOND -- To hear the students tell it, Stephen Murmer is a fun, popular art teacher who is always quick to crack a joke.

But there is another side to Murmer. A side that has agitated school officials and resulted in his suspension. A side that focuses, almost entirely, on the crack in his backside.

Outside of class and under an alter ego, the self-proclaimed "butt-printing artist" creates floral and abstract art by plastering his posterior and genitals with paint and pressing them against canvas. His cheeky creations sell for hundreds of dollars. (link)
"Butt-printing." Art. An art teacher.

For the love of God.

A Place For Dog Doo Doo Gets My Support

Some residents in Roanoke want another park to be carved out of the city's rubble:
Unleashed hope for dog parks
A group has renewed its efforts to secure a park in Roanoke.
By Jessica Marcy, The Roanoke Times

Nate Jones is a champion for dogs and their owners as the leader of the Roanoke Dog Owners Group.

His group's mission: to get the city to provide an enclosed area for dogs to frolic --frisky and free.

Throughout Roanoke and Roanoke County, it is illegal for dogs to run without a leash and no public parks exist where leashless dogs can exercise. (link)
I am hereby going on record in support of this effort. If Mr. Jones and his group intend to purchase land, turn it into a park at their expense, and maintain it at their expense, so as to have a place for their dogs to poop, who are we to stop them?

You go for it, Nate.

Watch Your Step

Here's something you people in Omaha don't have to worry about:

Civil War-era shell causes a stir in Shockoe
Richmond Times-Dispatch

A standoff in Shockoe Bottom between the Richmond police bomb squad and what appeared to be an unexploded Civil War-era artillery shell brought traffic on Interstate 95 to a stop last night.

At 7:47 p.m., the confrontation ended with a loud boom, flying dirt and intravenous bags when the bomb squad blew up the shell, setting off a couple of car alarms and clearing the way for normal traffic on I-95.

A bomb squad member had stacked standard intravenous bags filled with saline solution around the shell to absorb the blast, police spokeswoman Karla Peters said.

She said Richmond police had requested that traffic on I-95 be halted as a precaution. The interstate, which reopened at 8:02 p.m., was closed for less than 30 minutes, state police Sgt. Kevin A. Barrick said.

A construction worker operating a backhoe unearthed the shell shortly after 5 p.m. in an undeveloped lot in the 1500 block of East Cary Street beneath I-95 , police said. (link)

We have to deal with this sort of thing all the time. Here in Virginia, we expect, come Autumn when we get out and rake the leaves, to dredge up bullets, cannonballs, muzzleloaders, swords, and the like.

It gets to be such a nuisance.

On That 'Outside Ethics Panel'

There appears to be a growing call for the U.S. House of Representatives to create an outside panel of do-nothings experts to monitor the ethical doings of the House membership.

Another cry:

The Foley Fallout
By Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post

Soon-to-be-speaker Nancy Pelosi is fond of mentioning that she's the mother of five, grandmother of six. The California Democrat should keep that in mind as she reviews the House ethics committee's report on former representative Mark Foley and considers proposals for tougher ethics enforcement.

Pelosi should ask herself: What would she think if the pages whom Foley pursued with his smarmy e-mails and even worse instant messages were her own children? (link)

Three responses:

1) What would this outside panel that will serve no purpose cost the taxpayers?

2) In answer to Ms. Marcus' question, Ms. Pelosi would probably do what she did. She had one of her most sinister henchmen - Rahm Emanuel - take the story to the press so that it could get maximum exposure.

3) There is already a committee set up to monitor such ethical lapses of Congresspersons. It's called "the people," a committee that meets (in the case of the House) every two years to decide such matters.

Let the people deal with this sort of thing. As they did in 2006. We've got enough bodies in Washington DC stumbling over each other, wasting taxpayer dollars, and getting nothing done.

Quote Of The Day

From The Washington Times this morning:

Sanctimonious nonsense from Annan
Today's Editorial

Whatever one thinks of outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, it's clear that he suffers no shortage of chutzpah -- as evidenced by his willingness to lecture the United States about ethics and our supposed failure to live up to the values that made America great in the current struggle against international Islamofascism. Of course it would be absurd to pretend that the United States hasn't made mistakes in its conduct of this war -- just as we made them in World II, World War I and every other conflict the nation has been involved in. But Americans need no lectures from United Nations apparatchiks about what we can and cannot do to defend ourselves -- especially from Mr. Annan, whose U.N. career has been marred by ethical lapses and serial incompetence, which include the looting of the oil-for-food program, the erosion and collapse of international sanctions against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government, Rwandan genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. (link)

Not to mention Annan's failure to deal with Iran and North Korea and al Qaeda and ...

Crazy Al's Heating Up The Planet

Let me get this straight. Al Gore makes a movie to warn us to cut back on our way of life so as to reverse the inexorable advance of the global warming scourge that is, in his mind, going to ravage the planet sometime soon (and to meet some really hot, large-breasted chicks), and he then flies all over the planet - spewing fossil fuels the whole way - begging for an Oscar for his efforts. It don't get better than this:
Gore stumps for 'Inconvenient' prize
By Beth Fouhy, Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Al Gore is waging a fierce campaign for recognition and an Oscar statuette for his global warming documentary, while reviving talk that he's pursuing a bigger prize: the presidency.

His recent itinerary has been the ultimate in high profile. The former vice president made self-deprecating jokes on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," offered ideas on preserving the environment to Oprah Winfrey and parried questions on Iraq from Matt Lauer on the "Today" show. (link)
I know it's unfair to assume that Crazy Al flew to California to appear in person on the Leno show and then flew to Chicago to meet Oprah and then to New York to appear with Matt Lauer. So we'll give him a break and just assume that Gore videotaped the interviews from one of his several fuel-sucking, heat-wasting, fossil fuel-expending, global warming-contributing homes around the country.

Al Gore: Champion of the Environment. What a guy.

A Creative Mind

I've mentioned more than once that the New York Post has the best headline writer in the business.

Another example: I touched on a news item yesterday about the Democrats' new House Intelligence Committee head, Silvestre Reyes and his seeming lack of intelligence, reflected in part by the fact that he hadn't a clue as to the difference between Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis.

With more on the story this morning, the Post offers up this headline:

A good laugh to start the morning.

Save The Taxpayers The Money

I hear our men and women in uniform over in Iraq can't stand the sight of John Kerry. But it doesn't matter. He's going to go over there and annoy them anyway:
Kerry to Meet Soldiers, Leaders in Iraq
By Andrew Miga, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. John Kerry, whose botched joke about U.S. troops in Iraq dealt a blow to his presidential ambitions, will travel to Iraq this weekend to meet with soldiers, political leaders and military officials.

"I've talked to plenty of guys who've come back from Iraq, who are there now, who understand exactly what happened," Kerry said of his joke in a telephone interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. "They laugh at it." (link)
They may be laughing (while dodging IED's), pal, but not at your crude and insensitive joke. They laugh at the fact that 48.3% of the American people in 2004 didn't recognize you for the doofus that you are.

Get Control Of Yourself

Who's going to win on American Idol? Did Britney Spears find her underwear? What is going to happen to Allen Iverson? Have you seen Apocalypto?

Oh, and have you heard you're nation is in crisis?
Without Deliberate Speed
New York Times editorial

Mr. Bush has no more time to waste on “listening tours” and photo ops. The nation is in a crisis, and Americans need to hear how he plans to unwind the chaos he has unleashed in Iraq. If the president is delaying because he is searching for a good option, he can stop. There are none. But Americans need to see that he is prepared to choose among the undesirable alternatives, and clear the way for a withdrawal of American troops that does not leave even more killing and mayhem behind. (link)
Get the impression these guys don't get out much?

But What Good Are They?

The New York Times came out with an editorial yesterday decrying "cuts" in FDA funding, and intimated that the E. coli outbreak in the New York City area wouldn't have occurred had there been more overseers monitoring food production.

Today's news doesn't lend a whole lot of support to such a notion. Not only did the inspectors not prevent contamination, they can't even figure out what caused that which has already occurred.

From that same New York Times:
With Onions No Longer the Top Suspect, the Search for E. Coli Resumes
By Andrew Martin, The New York Times

Nearly two weeks ago, on Nov. 30, Taco Bell officials learned that several customers had become sick with a virulent strain of E. coli after eating at one of the chain’s restaurants in New Jersey.

By the following Monday, Dec. 4, it became clear that the outbreak was spreading beyond that restaurant, in South Plainfield in central New Jersey, and Taco Bell issued its first public statement, saying it had closed nine restaurants in New Jersey and New York.

Two days later, Taco Bell appeared to have a major break: Preliminary tests by a private laboratory showed that green onions were the probable culprit, and it ordered them out of all 5,800 restaurants nationwide. Now, almost a week after saying they had zeroed in on a possible cause of the outbreak, investigators say that those early indications appear to be wrong and that they may never learn the cause with certainty.

More sophisticated testing of the green onion samples — the required next step — actually found no traces of E. coli O157:H7. Although additional testing continues, the authorities now say the source of the E. coli outbreak could be any number of ingredients used by Taco Bell, but probably not onions. (link)
The obvious question needs to be asked: If an army of investigators can't track down the cause of the E. coli outbreak after the fact, what good will they do standing at an assembly line watching the bean sprouts go by on a daily basis?

Maybe we don't need inspectors at all. Maybe we just need to handle this the good old-fashioned way - the American way - if a farmer or processing plant is negligent and brings about an outbreak such as that which occurred in New York and New Jersey, those affected sue the living hell out of them.

That makes for a sound prevention regimen. And saves us a pile of money.

Makes For a Good Headline Anyway

In the "I'll believe it when I see it" column:

Consider? Like I consider sprouting wings and flying off to Oz.


I'm starting to enjoy this game:

Could? Like I could sprout wings and ... well, you understand now how this works.