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

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Come Back When You've Figured All This Out

Here's our problem in micrcosm. Two separate letters to the editor of the Roanoke Times in recent days:

No way out of Iraq or this administration
By H.C. Nash

Will Bush's continued intransigence on U.S. policy in the Middle East drive up impeachment numbers nationwide? Will the Iraq Study Group headed by Baker and Hamilton simultaneously provide cover for Bush to postpone troop withdrawal from Iraq in time for the 2008 election campaign and for the Democrats to continue funding for this catastrophic war? (link)
And this:

How do we allow Darfur to continue?
Susan D. Blanding

As a Christian during the season of Advent, I refuse to believe there is nothing the world can do except sit back and watch. I ask myself what difference one person can make. Why do the complexities of politics, money and power limit the moral conscience of the world?

Difficult as a complex problem may be, clearly what is happening in Darfur is wrong. For the love of God, how does one turn a blind eye to the reality of deliberately perpetrated human suffering? (link)

We should get out of Iraq despite the fact that there's suffering beyond measure being experienced by the people there, and we should go into Darfur because there is suffering beyond measure being experienced by the people there.

For the love of God indeed.

Jobs Lost. Weeds Gained. Let's Celebrate.

Beginning sometime just after Christmas, Volvo will begin laying off over 1,000 employees at its Dublin, Virginia truck plant. It is expected that many of the layoffs will be permanent.

1,000 Southwest Virginia families will soon be without a paycheck.

But don't worry for them. They're going to have a few more parcels of wasteland in the area in which to frolic their cares away. That, don't ever forget, is what's important ... to the Roanoke Times:

Preserving Southwest Virginia

In this season of giving, three landowners in Southwest Virginia have given the commonwealth something special: nearly 5,000 acres of land protected from rampant development.

Conservation easements, like the three filed in the last month, take place thanks to the generosity of private landholders who recognize a public good in preserving their holdings. They restrict future development and resource extraction so that historic, environmental and scenic value will not someday be lost.

Most people will never visit these lands nor see their stunning vistas, but it is wonderful to know that they exist, that there are places that bulldozers and chainsaws will not touch. (link)

"Most people will never visit these lands nor see ... "

One thing's for certain, there'll be a few hundred Volvo employees and their children who will never see them.

For the love of God.

On Racism

Racist thoughts and tendencies are a fact of life in contemporary white society. Just ask any black person.

That's the message from one Star Parker, writing in the Washington Times this morning:

Racism graver than rants
By Star Parker

Paula Zahn devoted two of her hourlong CNN shows last week to the topic "Skin Deep: Racism in America." After taking the time to watch, the question I walked away with was: "What was the point?"

In my view, the shows told us little that most of us don't already know -- strong racist sentiments exist in the country -- and really never asked the deeper and more important questions about what this means and why we should care.

Most blacks picked at random off the street could tell you by rote everything this CNN show reported. That maybe drills down to what bothered me about the show.

The point had to be to communicate with white America (sic), because there certainly was no news for blacks. (link) [my emphasis]
There is a minor flaw in this oft-stated proposition: White people are racists; they just don't know it. Not like black people know it. Black people know white people better than white people know themselves. Doesn't racism necessarily involve a mindset and a thought process?

Apparently not.

As for me, I've listened to this idiocy my entire adult life. They know me better than I know me.

To be called a racist after all these many years of hearing it is meaningless. To suggest to them that we - some of us - actually believe in, and work toward, a color-blind society, drives them into an even greater frenzy, making us even greater racists. When you figure that out, let me know.

So this woman is certain that racism is rampant in America, 2006. I'm certain I've got other things to think about this morning.


And adulterating issues that should be of equal importance don't help your cause either.

On Democrats And 'Change'

On the foreheads those of you who voted for "change" last month, someone should tattoo the word, FOOL, so that you never get sucked into such utter deceit again. For fraud and deceit it was always destined to be:
Democrats’ Pledge to End Individual Financing of Pet Projects May Change Little
By David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times

Washington, Dec. 20 — The Democrats taking over the Congressional appropriations committees next year have boldly pledged to place a moratorium on earmarks, the pet spending items that individual lawmakers insert into major spending bills behind the scenes.

But like much resolute talk in the Capitol, the declaration may not have the sweeping effect that the plan’s backers have suggested and its critics have denounced.

... the scope of the declared moratorium may be far more limited than it sounds. For one thing, the Democrats have not said they will delete financing for earmarks that lawmakers included in spending bills for the 2006 fiscal year and hoped to renew for 2007, a category that may include the majority of earmarks.

Instead, what the Democrats will omit is the long explanations usually appended to each spending bill to instruct federal agencies how to spend the money. Their resolution will include only total numbers for each agency, without the instructions. (link)
As it turns out (surprise!), the Democrats won't eliminate the wasteful spending. They're going to end the "long explanations" that went along with the wasteful spending.

For the love of God.

I will keep repeating this until it sinks in: You wanted these snakes to take charge. Now you're going to have to live with them.

Gittin' Along With All God's Creatures

I got off to a slow blogging start this morning. Had to go on a Paula mission.

Besides the seven cats she feeds here in the house, she also has five up in the barn she takes care of (not counting the dozen or so that she raises that live under the abandoned house up the road ...).

On a regular basis, we get other little creatures coming along at night and partaking of Paula's cat food - either in the barn or in the garage (we don't want our cats to have to walk all that way should they be closer to the latter and find themselves to suddenly be hungry so she puts down food in both places). Generally, we'll see possums and raccoons stopping by, and of late, there's been a gray fox (actually he likes the wild birds' sunflower seeds ...).

Well, out of concern for rabies and an interest in not seeing little cat entrails one morning should a wild animal decide to eat one of her pets instead of the cat meal, she has me occasionally trap them and take them off far, far away and release them (don't ask; Paula would rather I be bitten by a rabid raccoon than think about one suffering a gunshot to the head).

So she caught another possum in the trap last night and there I was this morning, in total darkness, on my ATV, heading up the old logging road with a panicked possum in a cage strapped to the ATV rack, splashing through puddles, gooshing through the mud, wondering at times if I was going to go off the side of the road and plummet to my death, so that I could release Paula's furry (and plump) little friend into the wild.

The things we do for love.

I may be wrong, but I swear I think that possum beat me back to the barn ...

Mission Accomplished

The space shuttle came back down yesterday.

After going up. And floating around ...

Everyone survived.

I guess we're to celebrate.

A New Iraq

While the wienies and Democrats here in this country spend their time whining, "We gotta get out! We gotta get out!" Iraq is correcting itself:
Shiites Remake Baghdad in Their Image
By Sabrina Tavernise, The New York Times

Baghdad, Dec. 22 — As the United States debates what to do in Iraq, this country’s Shiite majority has been moving toward its own solution: making the capital its own.

Large portions of Baghdad have become Shiite in recent months, as militias press their fight against Sunni militants deeper into the heart of the capital, displacing thousands of Sunni residents. At least 10 neighborhoods that a year ago were mixed Sunni and Shiite are now almost entirely Shiite, according to residents, American and Iraqi military commanders and local officials.

For the first years of the war, Sunni militants were dominant, forcing Shiites out of neighborhoods and systematically killing bakers, barbers and trash collectors, who were often Shiites. But starting in February, after the bombing of a shrine in the city of Samarra, Shiite militias began to strike back, pushing west from their strongholds and redrawing the sectarian map of the capital, home to a quarter of Iraq’s population. (link)
For those of you who don't know the 20th century history of Iraq, the Shiite majority there was ruthlessly suppressed by Saddam Hussein and the smaller Sunni minority ("He who has the guns ...") through Saddam's Baath Party and his military/domestic intelligence apparatus during the 1980's and into the 90's.

What's going on in the streets of Baghdad today, though not being what anyone in the civilized world wants to see, is part of the natural order of human existence. History is replete with just such reorderings of societies. From the Reconquista in Spain in which tens of thousands of Moors were either summarily executed or driven out by their Christian (re)conquerers, to the Chetniks in post-World War II Serbia who exacted horrific retribution on their former Nazi occupiers, examples, sometimes of the most sanguinary nature, exist.

Stability will come to Iraq. And it won't be the result of any actions taken by the U.S. government (and certainly not by the feckless U.N.). It will come about at the point of the sword. As it always has.