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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

When That Door Just Won't Open

Medicare. Medicaid. Social Security. Billions in wealth redistribution. And one-sixth of the population of Southwest Virginia still lives in poverty.

We've been working at this, folks, for seventy years - 70 years - and this is where we are. This is our reality.

Knowing that, what do we do now?

To those who bought into all this way back when, those who know we can make it perfect if just keep trying longer and spend a few billion more, we do more of the same. We do the same and lots lots more.
Let's resolve to fix health care
By Tommy Denton, The Roanoke Times

Gov. Tim Kaine didn't couch his recent budget amendments as new year's resolutions, but the provisions dedicated to improving health care in Virginia would serve as commendable resolutions that the General Assembly should enact under the current circumstances.

With 1 million Virginians -- nearly one of seven -- lacking health insurance and the rate of infant mortality -- two babies die each day -- among the worst in the nation, Kaine was right to urge dedication of greater public resources to serve those most in need of health assistance.

The problem is not merely with Medicare or its companion program for the poor, Medicaid. The problem is with the entire system, which not only has left some 45 million Americans without health insurance coverage but also compiled a record among the world's advanced industrial societies for having the most expensive system yet with regrettably poor health outcomes to show for the investment. (link)
Take a moment and analyze that paragraph:

● We have 45 million uninsured in this country ...

● ... and even without the participation of those 45 million Americans, we have the most expensive system on the planet ...

● ... and that system has produced "regrettably poor health outcomes."

Am I the only one thinking that maybe we need to go in a completely different direction, rather than advocate this "stay the course" mantra? That maybe there's a causal relationship in Denton's charges? That maybe it is all the government interference in "the system" that has made it so unwieldy and ineffective?

Keep pushing on that door, Tommy, keep trying to "fix" health care, and there'll be no health care.

Cartoon courtesy of The Far Side.

Poster Girl For Virginia's Looney Left

Rather than try to convince readers in a rational, cogent, well-reasoned way, I should just quote beanbrains like this:

Saddam's Last Words Belie His Previous Published 'Letter'
By Howling Latina

Howling Latina wept as she saw a picture of Saddam Hussein next to the rope that would soon end his life, as posted earlier this evening on the Web site of a national newspaper and thankfully taken down.

And what about all those kinds words [sic] from media pundits, including the Washington Post on the subject of Pinochet, another bloody tyrant? Why no justice for U.S. client-state tyrants?!?

Hell, there is not one single national leader today that does not have the stench of the death of thousands on their blood soaked hands.

Leaving aside the fact that Pinochet died three weeks ago [Earth to moonbat ...], making "justice" a little difficult to mete out, she expects us to believe that she cried when she was confronted with a photo (which is still readily available on the front page of every major newspaper on the planet - Earth to moonbat ...) of Saddam Hussein being hanged?

I couldn't do to this genius anything more than that which she does to herself.

I may just provide a link to Howling Latina and quit posting. She does a great job of engendering ridicule all by herself.

Hat tip to Doug Mataconis

So Much More We Need To Accomplish

The following column originally appeared in the Roanoke Times on Saturday, November 25, 2006

The job's not done
By Jerry Fuhrman

I am proud of you guys. I knew the outcome of the marriage amendment vote on Election Day was never in doubt, but I had no idea the turnout would be so high and the support for the amendment would be so overwhelming.

In the 9th Congressional district, 141,511 citizens of Southwest Virginia voted to permanently protect the much-beleaguered institution of marriage (75.2 percent of the total vote), and in the 6th, which includes the city of Roanoke, 137,902 did the same (64.3 percent).

Compare this to that bastion of liberalism in the commonwealth, the 8th district (much of Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria, Falls Church), where 143,794 voted to oppose the amendment, and it is clear that we together not only drowned out the clarion call for amorality, we sent an unequivocal message to liberal newspaper opinion editors and leftist legislators around the state:

We rule.

But our work doesn't end here. There is much yet to be done. If our purpose in passing an amendment to the state constitution was to prevent rogue judges from someday reinterpreting the fundamental tenets of the document that serves as the cornerstone of all laws that govern our great state, reinterpretations that occur all too frequently in this era of activist political judges, we now need to turn to other vital areas of concern and chisel in stone in a similar way our collective will, to prevent them from making further mockery of our way of life.

We should now turn our attention to the most divisive social issue of our time: affirmative action. Whereas the concept originally called for positive steps to increase the representation of minorities and women in the areas of education, employment and business opportunities from which they had been historically excluded -- a concept with which few of us ever disagreed -- affirmative action evolved into a harsh, negative sociopolitical policing program, used as a cudgel to beat down certain groups not protected in favor of others that were.

It is today a quota system advancing the opportunities of those often less qualified over others because of their gender or the color of their skin (in some areas of the country, even their sexual orientation).

You may recall the firestorm that engulfed Blacksburg in 2003 when the Virginia Tech board of visitors decided to implement in policy form that which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sought many years before -- that his "four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

The board had decided to bar the consideration of race and gender in admissions, hiring and financial aid programs at Virginia's largest institution of higher learning. The decision was, by every poll ever conducted, supported by an overwhelming percentage of the populace.

Then-Gov. Mark Warner and a coalition of liberal organizations throughout the state and nation thought otherwise, denouncing Tech's actions and rejecting any notion that the university would be color- and gender-blind in its practices. The university quickly retreated.

Because the issue hasn't been on the front page of your local newspaper of late doesn't mean it isn't an issue we need to confront. Just this past Saturday, an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal about a young male who had a perfect 2400 on his SAT and a near-perfect 2390 on SAT2. Despite this, he was rejected by the University of Michigan, Stanford, MIT and three Ivy League schools.

Why? He was Asian-American, that ethnic group lowest on the affirmative action quota totem pole and the most discriminated against in the country. His case is being investigated by the Justice Department because -- get this -- a white student with lower scores was admitted to Princeton at the same time he was turned away.

Affirmative action is un-American. It goes against every ideal we hold dear. And it breeds nothing but contempt and racial hostility.

We the people have the power to put a stop to it forever by amending the state constitution.

Righting Wrongs

Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble ...

George Will has a fascinating column this morning in The Washington Post that deals with the most egregious law Congress has passed - and the Supreme Court has supported - in the last thirty years, McCain-Feingold. He also zings those who benefit from its passage:

A Retreat on Rationing Free Speech?
By George F. Will

A three-judge federal court recently tugged a thread that may begin the unraveling of the fabric of murky laws and regulations that traduce the First Amendment by suppressing political speech. Divided 2 to 1, the court held -- unremarkably, you might think -- that issue advocacy ads can run during an election campaign, when they matter most.

Editorial writers at The [Washington] Post and the New York Times, ever eager to regulate political advocacy not done by newspaper editorial writers, approved, although the Times thought the fines insufficient, and although The Post, calling the current law "murky," thought the FEC should have enforced the murkiness quicker.

The Times no longer bothers to pretend that its rationale for speech regulation is fear of corruption or the appearance thereof. Rather, the Times justifies suppressing 527s on aesthetic grounds -- they are run by "hard-edged activists" and their ads are too negative. Presumably, suppressing 527s will elevate political discourse -- and, presumably, it is the government's business to enforce the elevation. (link)
It would do you well to read the whole thing.

We can only hope, now that Sandra Day O'Connor has moved on, that the Supreme Court will right this horrible, horrible wrong.

The Left Mourns The Death Of Saddam

Showing once again which side they're truly on and why, leftists in this country are upset that the Iraqi people have executed a cruel and oppressive dictator who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his fellow countrymen:
Protest Lefties Rip 'Lynching'
By Jana Winter, The New York Post

December 31, 2006 -- While the world rejoiced at the death of Saddam Hussein, a tiny fringe of dissenters protested his hanging yesterday.

Marching in a circle in front of the Times Square military recruiting station, about a dozen hard-line lefties held up signs against the war.

"I feel something is very wrong about the lynching of Saddam Hussein," said Ann Roos, holding a sign that read: "Bush Kills for Oil."

Another protester, Sara Flouders, called Bush a war criminal, then lashed out at the reporters her organization had invited to the event. "You're a Nazi fascist," she told one. (link)
Saddam was "lynched." "Bush kills for oil." Reporters are "Nazi fascists."

And their party is now in power.

I fear for my country.

On Media Bias

The New York Times ombudsman reveals a startling case of media blindness this morning. At issue is an abortion story that appeared in The New York Times Magazine on April 9. His findings are jaw-dropping:
Truth, Justice, Abortion and the Times Magazine
By Byron Calame, Public Editor

THE cover story on abortion in El Salvador in The New York Times Magazine on April 9 contained prominent references to an attention-grabbing fact. “A few” women, the first paragraph indicated, were serving 30-year jail terms for having had abortions. That reference included a young woman named Carmen Climaco. The article concluded with a dramatic account of how Ms. Climaco received the sentence after her pregnancy had been aborted after 18 weeks.

It turns out, however, that trial testimony convinced a court in 2002 that Ms. Climaco’s pregnancy had resulted in a full-term live birth, and that she had strangled the “recently born.”

The care taken in the reporting and editing of this example didn’t meet the magazine’s normal standards. Although Sarah H. Smith, the magazine’s editorial manager, told me that relevant court documents are “normally” reviewed, [reporter Jack] Hitt never checked the 7,600-word ruling in the Climaco case while preparing his story. And Mr. Hitt told me that no editor or fact checker ever asked him if he had checked the court document containing the panel’s decision.

One thing is clear to me, at this point, about the key example of Carmen Climaco. Accuracy and fairness were not pursued with the vigor Times readers have a right to expect. (link)
Earth to Times ombudsman: Neither accuracy not fairness were intended. It's the politics, stupid.