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

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Problem Will Never Be The Solution

The more government gets involved in our health care system, the more complex, adulterated, ineffectual, and expensive it becomes. The solution? To many, the answer is more government involvement - and with it an ever-more complex, adulterated, ineffectual, and expensive system.

To wit:

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) Calls for Universon (sic) Health

By The Virginia Progressive

If there’s a way to set up a competitive health care market that fits into a universal health care system, and ensures that no one will lose their health care when they lose their job, that no one will be stricken with a debilitating illness when they just didn’t think they needed insurance, that we can finally begin to provide incentives for preventative care, that we can stop the constant expansion of the nation’s health care costs and do something good for humanity at the same time — I’m down.
Here's the cold hard reality:

● We can create a universal health care system ...
● ... and we can ensure that no one will lose his or her health care when he or she suddenly becomes unemployed
● ... and we can see to it "that no one will be stricken with a debilitating illness when they (sic) just didn’t think they needed insurance" (Well, only God can do that but dream with us)
● ... and we can provide incentives that will encourage preventive care
● ... and we can do something good for humanity (I don't know what that means either)

But, as for that "we can stop the constant expansion of the nation’s health care costs" pie in the sky:

Sorry, Charlie.


You either have the government provide comprehensive coverage for everyone at great expense or you have the government ration care and hold costs down (or you open up the health care delivery system to free market forces, which will never happen in my lifetime). There's little middle ground.

Ask the Canadians. You can't have it all.

What A Wonderful Idea

The state tourism bureaucracy has figured out a way to turn around the economic fortunes of Southside Virginia. It is now going to be called Beverly Hills, California. The problems experienced there in the way of plant closings, layoffs, unemployment, and widespread misery can be resolved just that simply. Or so they would have us believe:
'Southern Virginia' region to be marketed
State senator says 'nothing sounds romantic' with 'Southside' moniker
By Jamie Ruff, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Victoria -- Goodbye, Southside; hello, Southern Virginia.

State and area officials gathered here Tuesday to tout the new Southern Virginia tourism region that will be mass-marketed in the 2007 Virginia Travel Guide.

The region consists of the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg and Pittsylvania, and the cities of Danville, Emporia and Martinsville.

As part of the effort, local residents hope to drop the moniker "Southside" and become known as "Southern Virginia." (link)
The key to success is in dumping ...side and picking up ...ern.

Let the good times roll.

To think: We have a whole department in Richmond that dreams crap like this up and a whole host of citizens in Southsi ... er, Southern Virginia who'll buy into it.

We're Winning The War

If you are reading only the mainstream press headlines each day that give nothing more than the Baghdad box score of bombings, killings, and maimings, you are missing a developing shift in the war itself. Al Qaeda's assault on western civilization is rapidly being pushed aside and is being supplanted with a new war - one pitting Shia against Sunni. Saudi against Irani. Hamas against Fatah.

And if you decry the loss of civilian life that is occurring in Iraq and Gaza (in truth, most Americans on the left could give a rat's ass about it; their anguished cries of sorrow just make them feel good) that is resulting not from terrorist attacks on Americans but, for the most part, sectarian attacks on rival sects within Islam, my take on the shift won't set well with you.

But here's my take anyway: This is a positive development.

Ralph Peters is thinking along the same lines and takes it a step further:
Iraq: It's Time To Take sides
By Ralph Peters, The New York Post

American diplomats and politically correct generals want to be honest brokers in the Middle East, to achieve peace through forbearance and negotiated compromises. It may be the most-hopeless dream in the history of foreign affairs.

Although Israel's existence is increasingly threatened, the unavoidable struggle is between Sunni and Shia. Transcending their internal fault lines - for now - these two competing forms of Islam are already at war in Iraq. It's only a matter of time until the fighting spreads.

The question isn't "How can we stop it?" We can't. Even delaying the confrontation may come at too high a price. The right question is "How do we make sure we're on the winning side?" (
Peters goes on to suggest that Shia Islam is destined to dominate the Middle East. I'm not sure I go along with that prediction, but I will predict this: The fanaticism that has been directed toward the West in recent decades is now turning inward. The Islamist radicals are eating their own. Peters says we should take sides and support the Shiites, who he claims are the inevitable winners. I say let them fight it out with the Sunnis. We can then rejoice in the winner's victory, whoever that is.

Despite the rising level of violence, there is a light at the end of this long, long tunnel. We are witnessing the end of the Reign Of Terror.

You Dreamer

Oh sure. This'll stop the nuts in their tracks:
Report May End Princess Di Conspiracies
By Jill Lawless, Associated Press Writer
LONDON (AP) -- A three-year police inquiry into the death of Princess Diana has concluded that her death in a 1997 Paris car crash was an accident, news reports said Thursday before the release of the investigative report.
[Investigator John] Stevens "has dismissed the mass of conspiracy theories around the deaths and says that they were the result of a traffic accident," The Times reported. The Daily Telegraph said Stevens agreed with an earlier French investigation that Paul was drunk and driving too fast. (link)
A new report? Released on the anniversary of Diana's having shopped at Mohammed al Fayed's downtown London department store? This is no coincidence. I smell a conspiracy ...

Why Doesn't This Surprise Me?

From Shaun Kenney comes the news that the James Webb organization, with shades of Richard Nixon, developed an enemies list consisting of bloggers during the recent senate campaign:

Oppo Research on Bloggers???

If you are a Virginia blogger, chances are that the Webb campaign has an opposition research book on you. Bloggers that made the cut include Chad Dotson, Jim Hoeft, Ben Tribbett, Waldo Jaquith, Josh Chernila, Lowell Feld, Jim Riley, J.C. Wilmore, Jon Henke, and a host of others. These are not your typical background checks either... a significant amount of money was spent crafting the kind of opposition research one would typically find on a candidate running for public office.

It seems as if the Webb campaign made a strategic decision to unleash this opposition research if something damaging came out against their candidate, simply to personally slander the blogger making the claim.

I have no way of knowing if this is true but it certainly fits the mold. Jim Webb's recent antics at the White House reception that was being held in his honor in which he went out of his way to become enraged when President Bush asked a simple, cheery "How's your boy?" gives credence to the idea that he sees enemies (of the Viet Cong kind?) all around him.

But you enter this arena knowing that creeps like Webb and his toadies will stop at nothing to win, and you therefore need to prepare yourself for such underhanded tactics.

Besides, in my case, there's not a whole lot that Webb's sewer-dwellers could reveal about me that I haven't already disclosed myself on the pages of this weblog over the years ...

There's A Time And A Place

This will come as a shock to 2/3rds of you in the blogosphere: Life is not about politics.

I'll let you catch your breath ...

For those of you who get caught up in the game, don't you start to feel a bit ashamed when you find yourself writing things like this:
Stricken Senate Democrat Undergoes Surgery
By Kate Zernike, The New York Times

Washington, Dec. 13 — Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat from South Dakota, was hospitalized on Wednesday after what his office at first called a “possible stroke,” highlighting the fragility of the Democrats’ new majority in the Senate. (link) [my emphasis]
So Mr. Johnson, at this moment fighting for his life, is reduced from the status of human being to nothing more than a vote.

You all really need to get a life.