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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Fallout Continues To Rain Down

I wonder if Roanoke Times columnist Christian Trejbal wishes he had never stirred up the hornet's nest by publishing the names and addresses of all those Virginia concealed weapons permit holders a month ago, or if he's enjoying the notoriety. For notoriety he continues to receive.

The latest from the Galax Gazette:
Sayers takes shot at gun permit listing
By Brian Funk, Galax Gazette Staff Reporter

A Carroll County woman isn't concealing her ire after her name and address - and those of 135,000 Virginians - showed up in a listing of concealed weapons permit holders published by The Roanoke Times.

Teresa Sayers, who works with local violent crime victims in the Twin Counties, feels that gun owners were treated unfairly when their names appeared in a list published March 11 as part of an opinion column by editorial writer Christian Trejbal about open records that ran in the newspaper's New River Valley Current section.

“As a crime victim, it got me concerned,” Sayers told The Gazette on Monday, just after a news crew from CNN left her home.

The CNN crew filmed a piece on Sayers for a story about the controversy surrounding the newspapers' concealed weapons permit listing. The story is set to air Friday at 8 p.m. on the Paula Zahn show.

Sayers said CNN producers plan to include her story in the show. “They photographed my permit and all my guns,” Sayers said.

Sayers also showed the crew photos of wounds she received in March 2003 when, she said, her ex-husband stabbed her eight times. (link)
Ex-husband. Stab wounds. CNN. A victim's ire.

Trejbal makes the big-time. How fortunate he must feel right now.

We Are At War, You Morons!

Would someone see if they can get through to the Democrats and tell them that we have American men and women in harm's way who need their help?
Iraq war funding in limbo on Hill
By S.A. Miller, The Washington Times


House and Senate negotiators won't meet to hammer out a final emergency war-funding bill until Congress' spring break ends April 16 -- a day after Pentagon officials say money starts running out for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid balked at the deadline yesterday and cited a congressional report that showed war funds will not expire until July.

"This study confirms that the president is once again attempting to mislead the public and create an artificial atmosphere of anxiety," said Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat." (link)
Yeah. Why all the anxiety? We only have U.S. soldiers dying in battle. So lighten up.

Besides, Reid needs his spring break to go home and water the lawn.

A Step Backward

I have to be honest. I would be an enthusiastic supporter of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney if it weren't for his bizarre swerve from straight-arrow conservatism into ultra-liberalism with what is now being referred to as RomneyCare, or universal (mandatory) health care for all citizens of the Bay State (read his explanation for it here).

It isn't like he wasn't warned (read my admonition from April 2006 here).

Now it appears the chickens are coming home to roost. Too bad for him:
Mitt's Biggest Flop
By David Hogberg, The American Spectator

Mitt Romney's most-heralded achievement as governor of Massachusetts was his overhaul of the Bay State's health care system. However, ... "RomneyCare" began running into problems pretty quickly. After much initial self-promotion, Romney now is slowly backing away from his health care plan, hinting that the Democrats now in charge should be blamed if it flops.

In 2006, then-governor Romney promoted his plan with enthusiasm and aplomb. He also did his best to mollify conservatives he sought to court for his presidential campaign who were concerned that his plan was little more than big government in disguise.

But the problems RomneyCare now faces can be traced back to the legislation that Romney signed back in 2006.

One problem stems from the fact that whenever a government mandates that people must buy health insurance, it has to decide what constitutes "health insurance."

Of course, when government bureaucrats are given this type of power, they seldom let individuals decide such matters for themselves. Earlier this month, the Connector published regulations dictating what would constitute minimum coverage. Among other things, all plans sold under the Connector must have prescription drug coverage, no limitations on benefits per year or per sickness, and cannot have annual deductibles higher than $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a family. The Connector marvels that "No other state in the nation has set such a high standard," and that the regulations are "a landmark in raising the floor for coverage." However, the Connector concedes that this will require about 250,000 Bay State residents who are already insured to buy even more coverage because the health insurance they currently have doesn't meet the Connector's minimum standards. (link)
And the inevitable result: "In April 2006, Romney claimed that his plan would 'need no new taxes.' By November, as he was leaving office, it was clear that the plan would cost $150 million more in 2007 than Romney had initially claimed."

Mitt. What possessed you, man?

It Ain't Gonna Happen

I sometimes wonder what goes through their minds. Occasionally I wonder if they even have minds.

They seem to be incapable of equating terrorism in Iraq with acts perpetrated in Indonesia. They don't see a relationship between the deeds conducted by fanatical Muslims in Madrid to those carried out in New York City. They ignore the fact, or are incapable of understanding the fact, that the vile hatred being spewed by imams in mosques around the world results in anti-western riots being fomented in the streets of Lahore.

Those on the left just don't understand that their defiant opposition to military action against the terrorists in the streets of Baghdad has negative, depressing, heartrending consequences elsewhere.

Case in point:

Talking Darfur to Death
New York Times editorial

The world has been discussing the genocide in Darfur for more than three years. But some 200,000 deaths later, it has yet to take effective action to force the Sudanese government to stop sponsoring the mass murder, rape, torture and forcible evictions being carried out on its orders in the region.


Yesterday, the United Nations Human Rights Council at last expressed its deep concern over human rights violations in Darfur. That modest advance was made possible by the welcome willingness of several African countries to set aside their usual reluctance to talk about their continent’s human rights problems.

But in practical terms, it was only a baby step. Despite an earlier finding by ... (link)
They just don't get it.

Earth to American leftists. We refuse to end the slaughter going on in Sudan because you have forced us to. On alternate days, you wail about our heavy-handed intervention in Iraq. Your efforts in that regard have paid off, in the process sealing the fate of the poor people of Darfur, thousands more of whom are yet to die.

We are not going to lift a finger to help them. Your actions have brought about that consequence. You should be happy.

Congratulations. You should be celebrating Darfur.

Another Consequence

In addition to the West's refusal to get involved with internal affairs in Darfur, what with the relentless criticism it has received for having stopped Saddam Hussein's ongoing transgressions in Iraq and for attempting to stand up to the growing terrorism menace globally, we also now find ourselves reacting to Islamist provocation in a most feckless and peculiar way:

Dithering Dialogue
By Rich Lowry, The New York Post


March 31, 2007 -- Iran wants to quit the international community - but the international community won't let it. No act of warfare against the civilized world, no defiance of the United Nations, no violation of international norms, no brazen lie is ever enough to mark Iran as unworthy of outreach, dialogue and the art of sweet persuasion.

When the Iranians seized 15 British sailors in a blatant hostage-taking, the commander of the British ship purred that it might be a "simple misunderstanding." If so, Iran is cursed with terrible luck. Another such misunderstanding lasted 444 days back in 1979-81. In the latest incident, the accident-prone Iranians have had the misfortune of showing the captured British sailors on television and of telling provable lies about where they seized them.

When the Iranians seized 15 British sailors in a blatant hostage-taking, the commander of the British ship purred that it might be a "simple misunderstanding." (link)


It's no wonder they now laugh at us. And rathet up the level of aggression.

On a Lighter Note

Paddy was in New York. He was patiently waiting, and watching the traffic cop on a busy street crossing. The cop stopped the flow of traffic and shouted, "Okay pedestrians." Then he'd allow the traffic to pass. He'd done this several times, and Paddy still stood on the sidewalk. After the cop had shouted "Pedestrians" for the tenth time, Paddy went over to him and said, "Is it not about time ye let the Catholics across?"

Friday, March 30, 2007

O Ye Who Suffer From Allergies

I'll admit to having lived a sheltered life. But I had an experience Wednesday morning that I'd never had before. I left the hotel I had stayed at the night before in Atlanta and went to my car, only to find it covered in what I first thought was a thick layer of dust. On closer observation, though, I determined that it was actually pollen. More pollen than I'd ever seen in my life.

Tis the season:

Pollen power
Jennifer Wig, Bristol Herald-Courier


It isn’t just love in the air during springtime. Tree pollen is flying about now, leaving a yellow and green layer on everything from cars to porches.

And those with allergies notice a difference, said Dr. W. Jan Kazmier, allergy specialist for Wellmont Health System.

"Because of the mild winter, a lot of the trees are starting [to] pollinate early," he said. "If we have sunny, windy weather there is pollen everywhere."

The Tri-Cities area has been on an "allergy alert" since Monday, according to the Allergy Diseases Asthma and Immunology Clinic in Bristol.

The clinic has recorded a pollen count of 854 particles per cubic meter in the Tri-Cities Thursday. A reading of 120 is considered high. (link)

Not being an allergy sufferer, I didn't know a good pollen count from a bad one. But if 120 is considered high, this would explain that heavy coating on my car: "Sufferers in Georgia and South Carolina witnessed pollen counts as high as 5,449 particles per cubic meter this week."

It's enough to give you the sniffles.

The Sad Thing Is ...

... one could get the same information out of a public library for free:
NYU Freshmen To Pay $50,000
By Leela de Kretser, The New York Post


March 30, 2007 -- The cost of partying - er, studying - at NYU will jump 5 percent in the upcoming school year.

The Class of 2011 will pay $49,996 during their freshman year for tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies and personal expenses, an NYU spokesman said.

That includes $11,880 for room and board on campus - but actual housing costs could go as high as $15,650 a year. (link)
When I think of Abraham Lincoln sitting in front of the hearth, late at night, in his one-room log cabin, book in hand, preparing to be the greatest President this country has ever had, I wonder ...

A Matter Of Semantics?

The difference between a conservationist and an environmentalist, according to an expert on the subject:
Montana's Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer: "'Environmentalist' -- that sounds like someone who lives naked in a tree and eats nuts with the big nose ring. But when you say, 'I want [to] protect the places where you like to hunt, camp, and fish,' well, you bet [voters are] for that."
"Enough Said," Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 30, 2007

Ah, Some Things Never Change

A warm feeling of deja vu sweeps over me this morning. This sounds so much like the Democrats I came to know and love over the years:
House Budget Is Clear on Spending, Vague on Revenue
By Edmund L. Andrews, The New York Times


Washington, March 29 — House Democrats passed a five-year spending plan Thursday that offers something to almost everybody but leaves many questions unanswered — much like the plan passed last week by the Senate.

The House plan, approved 216 to 210, envisions a balanced budget by 2012. It would provide an additional $50 billion over five years for medical care to low-income children, $7.9 billion more next year for education and social service programs and $3.5 billion more than President Bush has requested for veterans programs.

But both the House and Senate budgets implicitly require tax increases in the years ahead. Neither offers any guidance about where the needed extra revenue would come from. (link)
Oh, details, details.

Be happy. We have us a balanced budget; the Democrats say so: "'After years of reckless budgets and skyrocketing debt, Democrats have brought fiscal sanity back to Washington,' said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus."

A helpful and instructive bit of advice: Anytime you read the words sanity and Democrats in the same sentence, you might want to start backing away.

In this case, a hearty chuckle might be in order as well.

Gun Control Is Controlling Everything But Crime

From Dave Kopel, writing for the Independence Institute, we learn how restrictive the city of Denver is when it comes to a person's right to keep and bear arms:

On Concealed Carry: Denver Revised Municipal Code 38-117 forbids the concealed or open carrying of any firearm, any knife with a blade greater than 32 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon.

● On guns that melt (This is no joke): It is unlawful for any person engaged in the business of selling handguns to sell, rent, exchange, or deliver any handgun having a melting point of less than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or tensile strength of less than 50,000 lbs. per square inch, or metal having a density of less than 7.5 grams per cubic centimeter.

● On guns that look scary: The ordinance forbids the carrying, storing, keeping, manufacturing, selling, or otherwise possessing any firearm defined as an assault weapon. It also includes any detachable magazine with a capacity of 21 or more rounds.

● On juveniles and weapons: In Denver, it is currently illegal to allow anyone under the age of 16 to even touch a gun, even during a safety training class.

It is even illegal for a father and son to drive to a hunting trip with an unloaded rifle in the rack of a pick-up truck.

● On property confiscation: Denver's property confiscation law does not create additional gun controls, but does impose draconian penalties based on the other gun ordinances.

Among other things, the ordinances allow the confiscation of the gun and the car of people with concealed handgun permits who travel through Denver. (source) *

***

Gosh, it's comforting to know that Denver has crime under control.

Or not:
Shootings Add to Denver’s Anxiety, and Its Unsolved Crimes
By Dan Frosch, The New York Times


Denver, March 29 — A rash of seemingly random shootings last weekend has baffled the police here and added to the unease of a city that in recent months has experienced a series of unsolved violent crimes.

The same two men are believed to have shot six people in 48 hours starting March 23. The shootings included an attack on a group of college friends, most of whom had traveled from Kansas to see a concert.

Denver has drawn attention recently for a number of other unsolved violent crimes, such as the slaying last month of Ken Gorman, a supplier of medical marijuana, and the killing of Darrent Williams, the Denver Broncos cornerback who was gunned down on New Year’s Day as he left a nightclub. (link)


How are these crimes explained, considering the fact that Denver has the strictest gun control laws this side of Havana?

“You hear about the frustration from the black people who have lived here for a long time. They can’t afford to move, they also can’t afford to fix up their homes,” said Diane Mourning, executive director of the nearby Curtis Park Community Center. “This is a neighborhood where you have very poor, desperate people living side by side with people who are upper middle class.”
Time to bring on some more gun control.

* So you know, despite the fact that these laws and ordinances sometimes conflict with state and federal law, the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld Denver's right to regulate the sale, ownership, and use of firearms.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm

Food for thought:
Great Moments in Political Honesty

From the Web site of KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa:

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack gave Sen. Hillary Clinton his endorsement for her presidential campaign.

The Clinton campaign has promised Vilsack to help pay off a $400,000 campaign debt he built up during his run for the White House. . . .

The campaign said there is no connection between Vilsack's endorsement and their commitment to help pay off his campaign debt.
We're sure Mrs. Clinton would have been happy to pay off Vilsack's debts even if he'd endorsed Barack Obama.
From James Taranto, Best of the Web Today, March 28, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Carrico To Run Again

Delegate Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County), the man who should be our 9th district congressman today (had he decided to actually pursue the office), has announced that he will seek reelection:
Carrico to seek fourth term
By Christopher Brooke, Galax Gazette Staff Reporter

Hillsville - Del. Bill Carrico stood on the steps of the historic Carroll County Courthouse on Monday to make it official that he will seek a fourth term in the Virginia House of Delegates.The Republican legislator from Fries told about 15 supporters under the courthouse's arched portico that he feels the best place he can serve the public during the next two years is from the Virginia General Assembly.


“Together we have made great strides to improve the 5th District, but there is still work to be done,” he said. “As you all know, we have battled staggering unemployment rates, but we are moving in the right direction.” (link)
Carrico is a good man. A man destined to take on a leadership role here in the commonwealth. Here's a hearty Go For It, Bill.

What's This 'Maintain' Stuff, Guv?

This news out of West Virginia this morning made me chortle*:
Manchin vetoes ‘pike bill
By Tom Colley, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Charleston — Despite a strong southern West Virginia effort to move control of the West Virginia Turnpike to the state legislature, Gov. Joe Manchin on Wednesday evening said “no.”

Manchin vetoed a bill Wednesday crafted by a unified regional delegation, which aggressively pushed House and Senate approval.

It would have established legislative oversight on toll rates on the 88-mile Princeton-to-Charleston highway.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Wednesday evening, Manchin said he was aware of the strong feelings about the bill, and defended his veto by saying, “We’re doing everything we can do to protect the maintenance of the highway. Its future must be protected.” (link)
I'm not sure what that "protection of the maintenance" verbiage is all about but it obviously, based upon the non-maintenance of the Turnpike (I-77) between mile markers 40 and 45 in Beckley, a stretch of highway that is on the verge of being impassable, has nothing to do with protection OR maintenance of the road.

Its future must be protected? How about protecting the safety of the driving public, there Joe?

And, though I'll save the thought for another day, why make the poor schlubs in southern West Virginia pay an extra $37.50 a week in taxes (in the form of highway tolls) if they want to work full time in - and commute to - Charleston?

* I must tell you, I chortled when my caffeine-drenched brain coughed up that word.

Quote Of The Day

From James Taranto:
The Palestinian Sewer

"Further deadly sewage floods are feared after a wave of stinking waste and mud from a collapsed septic pool inundated a Gaza village, killing five people, including two babies," the Associated Press reports:

The collapse has been blamed on residents stealing sand from an embankment.

It highlighted the desperate need to upgrade Gaza's overloaded, outdated infrastructure--but aid officials say construction of a modern sewage treatment plant has been held up by constant Israeli-Palestinian fighting.
The report gets a bit more specific as to the meaning of "constant Israeli-Palestinian fighting":

Umm Naser is about 300 metres [300 million microns] from the border with Israel, in an area where Palestinians have frequently launched rockets into Israel and Israeli artillery and aircraft have fired back. The situation worsened after Hamas-linked militants captured an Israeli soldier last June in a cross-border raid, and Israel responded by invading northern Gaza. The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this month that metal provided by Israel had been used in the construction of those terrorist rockets. And why was Israel selling the Palestinians metal? "For the construction of a sewage system in Gaza."

Palestinian babies drown in sewage because of the bloodlust of Palestinian grown-ups. What a fetid political culture.
Best of the Web Today, March 28, 2007

How Do You Spell Peeyeeeuu?

Lid not shut on McDowell County landfill project

An Idea That Will Some Day Be Given Its Due

I'm not sure that the way they're going about it is all that legal, but its time has come:
Md. Senate Advances Bill To Dodge Electoral College
By John Wagner and Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post Staff Writers


Maryland is poised to become the first state to agree to bypass the electoral college and effectively elect U.S. presidents by national popular vote under legislation moving briskly toward the desk of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

But the bill comes with a big caveat: It would not take effect until enough other states agree to do the same.

The bill, which the Senate approved 29 to 17 yesterday, would award the state's 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide -- not statewide. (link)
I believe in majority rule. It should apply to the most important election process we will ever particpate in.

Abolish the electoral college. Power to the people!

George Will Signs On To My Proposal

Let it be noted. I made this suggestion a full two weeks ago:
The Seat Congress Can't Offer
By George F. Will, The Washington Post


Lincoln supposedly said: If I call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Five? No, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg. Which brings us to the proposal to treat the District of Columbia as if it were a state.

Today's Democratic-controlled Congress wants to give the District, by legislation, a full voting member in the House of Representatives.

Many clauses in the Constitution leave room for conflicting interpretations.

Regarding the composition of the House of Representatives, however, the Constitution is unambiguous. Article I, Section 2 says the House shall be composed of members chosen "by the people of the several states."

If majorities in both houses of today's Congress want the fewer than 600,000 District residents to be fully represented, they can accomplish that with legislation shrinking the city to the core containing the major federal buildings and monuments, and giving the rest back to Maryland. (link)
Mr. Will then adds this: "Democrats are uninterested in that because it would not serve their primary objective of increasing their Senate seats." Which is why it won't happen in our lifetime.

But it is gratifying to find the smartest man in journalism glom onto one of my proposals. Although accreditation would seem to have been in order. Ahem.

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder


Ever seen a surface mine that has been abandoned, made whole, and returned to nature? If you haven't, let me provide a few photos (courtesy of the federal Office of Surface Mining). Looks like a nature park, doesn't it?

And it looks a whole lot more appealing, with all due respect, than do the rugged, twisted, inhospitable mountains that God originally created in Southwest and West Virginia.


This, friends, is beautiful. Transformed. Inviting. Pleasurable.

And Americans earned a living from it. Families were made whole. Children fed and clothed. People prospered. The area we live in was made slightly, ever so slightly, better.

Well, not to those who see human activity inherently ugly:

Mountaintop Rescue
New York Times editorial

Mountaintop mining is a cheap and ruthlessly efficient way to mine coal: soil and rock are scraped away by enormous machines to expose the buried coal seam, then dumped down the mountainside into the valleys and streams below.

Mountaintop mining has also caused appalling environmental damage in violation of the Clean Water Act. According to a federal study, mountaintop removal has buried or choked 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams and damaged hundreds of square miles of forests.

Now a federal judge has inspired hopes that this destructive nonsense can be brought to a halt. In a case argued by two advocacy groups, Earthjustice and the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, Judge Robert Chambers of Federal District Court halted four mountaintop removal projects on the grounds that the Army Corps of Engineers — which issued permits for the projects — had failed to demonstrate that the damage would not be irreversible. He also said the corps had failed to conduct the necessary environmental reviews.

Local residents who have watched the destruction of their landscape hope the ruling will lead to tighter regulation of other mountaintop mining proposals. The greater hope is that the government can be persuaded to stop the practice altogether. (link)

This written by people who have probably never been to the area, who don't give a damn about the well-being of our residents, and who, in all reality, wouldn't be caught dead in the same room with us. We are to them, after all, unhygienic, smelly, toothless, degenerate half-wits, who are required to provide them with a warm, gratifying view of pristine, unretouched mountains as they fly over this land-that-time-forgot, at 27,000 feet, in their Gulf Stream V's, Dom Perignon in hand, on their way to Palm Beach, to do their part to save the environment by ordering their manservants and maidservants to eat on paper rather than plastic, and look down.

Personally, I love the look of the mountaintop redesign work.

It sure as hell beats the rugged, twisted, inhospitable confines of downtown Manhattan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

This Is Your Editorial Staff On Drugs

If this makes any sense whatsoever, I need some of the drugs these guys have consumed great quantities of:
Macaca Treatment
Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial


An aide to Virginia's Jim Webb recently tried to enter a U.S. Senate building with a loaded pistol. Authorities charged him with the illegal possession of an unregistered firearm.

Webb called the aide's action an "oversight." We agree. Wits called the poor fellow half-cocked. Yesterday's scuttlebut said the gun belonged to Webb. The senator denied giving the weapon to his aide, and attributed the situation to a mixup involving cars.

The incident complemented Webb's born-fighting persona. Yesterday had moments resembling a macaca frenzy.

Cynics might consider the whole thing a ploy to shore up the Democratic senator's sagging standing in Virginia's rural regions. (link)
Born fighting persona? Macaca frenzy? The beaners in the boonies will be able to relate to Webb's stupidity?

Is there an intern running the Times-Dispatch editorial page today?

Let It Go

I still get upset when I think about Boleslaus I, the first King of Poland, invading my ancestral homeland of Pommern and enslaving my ancestors. Enslaving those that his armies didn't slaughter that is.

In 995.

995 A.D.

Kinda bizarre, you say.

Yes:
Richmond, Liverpool Teens Talk Slavery
Spotlight cast on reconciliation
By Lindsay Kastner, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

In Richmond, Thomas Jefferson High School students said yesterday that the effects of slavery linger.

In Liverpool, England, 3,600 miles away, students said reconciliation is making headway, in part because local leaders listen to young people.

About two dozen students from Thomas Jefferson and a smaller group from Liverpool's Broadgreen High School chatted about slavery and its ramifications for about an hour yesterday morning.

On Friday, a slavery reconciliation statue will be unveiled in Richmond. (
link)
Stop it. Except for making for another tiresome Oprah episode, this serves no purpose. We won. Slavery was abolished. Civilization advanced. Your time is too precious to be wasting it on such silliness. We need you to be concentrating on the next century, not sniveling over one long past.

Move on.

Or join me in wallowing in my ancestors' unfortunate fate. In freaking 995 A.D.

On The Road To Ruin

This bit of (non)news has to strike some in the Democratic Party the same way I looked upon the inevitability of the Bob Dole For President freight train in 1996.

With a sense of overwhelming dread:
No Way, Hillary
By Ian Bishop, The New York Post


March 28, 2007 -- Washington - A poll released yesterday shows that half of all voters will not back Hillary Rodham Clinton for president.

Despite her front-runner status in the Democratic primary field, a full 50 percent of those questioned say they won't vote for Clinton if she's the party's presidential nominee, a new Harris Interactive Poll found.

The Clinton bashers include a surprising 21 percent of fellow Democrats and 48 percent of crucial independents - swing voters expected to determine President Bush's successor. (link)
Now I'll admit I'm not a mathematician but it seems to me that if that 50% opposed holds steady to election day, 2008, Hillary doesn't have much room for error. And this poll doesn't involve those, in addition to the 50% who despise the woman, who might actually favor a particular Republican opponent.

Sad thing is, there's nothing the Democrats can do to stop her.

Having been there, I feel your pain, fellas.

In Other Words

From the New York Times editorial, "In Defense of Day Laborers":

"One can oppose illegal immigration and still approve of hiring sites, places where laborers can find shade, toilets and a safe place to negotiate jobs with contractors and homeowners."
.
Translation: One can oppose illegal immigration in theory but should ignore it in practice.

Good grief.

Yeah. That'll Teach 'Em.


What is the punishment for criminal aggravated battery? In the sane world, 3 to 15. Hard time. At Columbia University, it's a note to be sent home to Mom:

Columbia Disciplines 8 for Disrupting Speakers
By Karen W. Arenson, The New York Times


Columbia University has warned or censured eight students who were involved in disrupting speakers from the Minuteman Project last October in a melee that cut short the program, a university spokesman said yesterday.

In the televised fracas, protesters stormed a stage at the university and were attacked by others, shutting down speeches by the group, which opposes illegal immigration and has mounted civilian border patrols.

The warnings and censures will be noted on the students’ transcripts for varying lengths of time, said Robert Hornsby, a Columbia spokesman. None will remain on the records after graduation.

“All of these punishments have a gravity to them and they should not be taken lightly,” Mr. Hornsby said. (link)

Mr. Hornsby, again, is the university spokesman, whose words are to be taken lightly.

How disgraceful.

Photo courtesy of Key Nguyen.

Our Prayers Go With Him

Snow's cancer returns, spreads

Earth To Webb. Day 2.

I was a bit tough on Senator James Webb yesterday when I called him a megalomaniac. Now that I've had a chance to read the entire story about his loaded gun being given to an aide who then tried to take it through government security and ended up in the slammer, I realize I was off the mark.

He's not a maniac. He's a dumbass.

The latest:
Senator Calls Gun Incident Inadvertent
By Michael Luo, The New York Times


Washington, March 27 — Senator Jim Webb, facing a barrage of questions about the arrest of an aide who tried to take a loaded handgun into a Senate office building, said on Tuesday that the move was “inadvertent.”

At a news conference, Mr. Webb, Democrat of Virginia, denied reports that he had given the weapon to his aide, but he otherwise deflected questions from a crush of reporters seeking answers about the specifics of the case and instead used the opportunity to declare his right to bear arms and “defend myself and my
family.”


The aide, Phillip Thompson, 45, was arrested Monday morning when he put a bag with a 9-millimeter handgun and two clips of ammunition into the X-ray machine at the entrance to the Russell Senate Office Building, where Mr. Webb’s office is located. (link) [my emphasis]
Is that feeble or what? "I have the 2nd Amendment right to have a momentary attack of stupid."

This is painful to read. And there's no Washington Post and editorials about macaca to help him this time.

A right to bear arms. Time for a rewrite, Mr. Novelist.

The Church Of Inclusion Continues To Drive 'Em Out

The Episcopal Church made the decision to be more "inclusive" a few years ago. The radically liberal church leadership wanted to invite homosexuals into the fold with loving arms.

They've been forcing congregants out ever since.

The latest in the march toward Inclusion:
Episcopalians in Colorado Plan to Leave Denomination
By Neela Banerjee, The New York Times


One of the largest Episcopal parishes in Colorado has decided to leave the Episcopal Church, prompting the diocesan bishop to dissolve the leadership of the congregation and heightening tensions between theological traditionalists and liberals in the denomination.

The parish, Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish in Colorado Springs, is a largely conservative congregation that disagrees with the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate gay bishops and sanction same-sex unions.

The parish decided to leave the denomination over the weekend, in large part because of a decision made last week by the denomination’s House of Bishops, said Alan Crippen, a parishioner and spokesman for the congregation. Answering an ultimatum from archbishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal bishops rejected a demand to create a parallel leadership structure for the minority of Episcopalians, like the members of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s, who oppose the church’s stand on homosexuality. (link)
The church hierarchy viciously retaliated by lashing out at the congregation's leadership and dissolving it.

A hate crime, if you ask me.

The Democrat Betrayal Plays Out

The Democrats in the House of Representatives, in an act of betrayal unlike any in American history, gave a boost to al Qaeda a week ago by demanding that we withdraw from the battlefield by a date certain. Yesterday the Senate followed suit.

The outrageous news:
Senate Backs a Pullout Date in Iraq War Bill
By Jeff Zeleny and Carl Hulse, The New York Times


Washington, March 27 — The Senate went on record for the first time on Tuesday in favor of a withdrawal date from Iraq, with Democrats marshaling the votes they needed to deliver a forceful rebuke to President Bush’s war policy.

By a vote of 50 to 48, with a few crucial votes shifting in favor of the Democratic position, the Senate rejected a Republican effort to strip from the military spending bill any mention of a withdrawal date. The legislation will now move forward with a nonbinding goal of beginning a gradual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq within 120 days of the measure’s enactment, with a pullout by March 31, 2008.

“When it comes to the war in Iraq, the American people have spoken, the House and Senate have spoken,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate. “Now, we hope the president is listening.” (link)
Durbin, you may recall, once compared American soldiers to Nazis. He speaks here for the Democrats.

How fitting.

A Story

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One morning, they were eating breakfast in a little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests.

The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn't come over here." But sure enough, the man did come over to their table.

"Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.

"Oklahoma," they answered.

"Great to have you here in Tennessee," the stranger said. "What do you do for a living?"

"I teach at a seminary," he replied.

"Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well,I've got a really good story for you."

And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple.

The professor groaned and thought to himself, "Great, just what I need--another preacher story!"

The man started, "See that mountain over there?" (pointing out a restaurant window). "Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question. "Hey boy, who's your daddy?"

Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question. "Who's your daddy?"

He would hide at recess and lunchtime from other students. He would avoid going into stores because that question hurt him so much.

When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, "Who's your daddy?"

But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast, he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, "Son, who's your daddy?"

The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, "Who's your daddy?"

The new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to the scared little boy. "Wait a minute!" he said. "I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God."

With that, he patted the boy on his shoulder and said. "Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it."

With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, "Who's your Daddy?" he'd just tell them, I'm a child of God."

The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, "Isn't that a great story?" The professor responded that it really was a great story!

As the man turned to leave, he said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably would never have amounted to anything!" And he walked away.

The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, "Do you know that man who just left that was sitting at our table?"

The waitress grinned and said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's the former governor of Tennessee!"

* Authour unknown

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Southwest Virginia Dodges a Bullet

Well, the transportation financing deal agreed to by Governor Tim Kaine could have been a lot worse. It will raise the tax on diesel fuel, which means the cost of doing business here in Southwest Virginia just got higher (how many job losses will result?...). Car purchase fees are going up as well. But all in all ...

Here's the gist of it:

Kaine solves road block [and if you believe that ...]
Republicans say they're likely to sign off on the compromise plan April 4
By Michael Hardy and Jeff E. Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writers

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine yesterday announced a deal with Republicans on a $3 billion transportation fix, an issue that threatened to derail his administration and imperil lawmakers in the fall elections.

Kaine's long-awaited revisions include additional bonds -- up another $500 million from $2.5 billion -- as well as new sources of cash to finance them. He also retooled regional remedies for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Members of the Democratic minority credited Kaine with finding a substitute for what he and they considered its most offensive feature: using almost $200 million a year for schools, human services and police to repay bonds to build roads.

Kaine is recommending, with Republican consent, to finance the bonds with $137 million to $170 million a year from the tax Virginians pay on their motor-vehicle insurance. That transferred cash too comes from budget dollars for schools and other vital services. (
link)
Here's why we should support this compromise (let's call it The Kaine Mutiny Surrender):

● It meets all the demands that our courageous Republican delegates have been making the last two years with regard to financing. As Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling put it in a press release:

"I am pleased that the Governor’s amendments endorse every key provision of the transportation plan previously adopted by Republican legislative leaders. By agreeing to the basic structure of the Republican plan, and by abandoning his demand for massive statewide tax increases, the Governor has helped us move one step closer to finding a solution for Virginia’s long term transportation needs."

● It utilizes the General Fund for financing after all (the Democrats' biggest bugaboo) as well as considerable bond debt.


Bolling: "I am also pleased that the Governor appears to have abandoned his opposition to the use of existing general fund resources for transportation. In fact, by some estimates his amendments may increase the amount of general funds going to transportation."

● It does not contain the massive tax increase that the Democrats and Chichester pushed (on income, gasoline, sales, etc.).


Attorney General Bob McDonnell in a press release: "The Governor has maintained the important reforms in land use decisions and the delivery of transportation services. He has abandoned his previous request for a large, statewide tax increase. He has added to the Republican plan to use more bonds and surplus revenues to fund transportation."

Taxes will be levied on those who need their roads fixed. The state will require regional taxation in Northern Virginia and in Hampton Roads (where the local economy can easily withstand the blow) to pay for the costly upgrades the citizens there desperately need.

● The hero of the moment, Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford), in yet another press release, provides a summation:

“With the Governor’s announcement today of his proposed changes to House Bill 3202, Virginia is now another step closer to enacting landmark legislation this year that will comprehensively address its transportation challenges well into the future.

"Throughout this process, leadership and compromise have been key components to achieving progress. In January, House and Senate Republicans united and unveiled our initial proposal, which formed the foundation and basic tenets integral to a comprehensive transportation plan.

"In February, the House of Delegates approved the conference report on that bill by a strong, bipartisan vote of 64-34 and the Senate of Virginia did so by a vote of 21 to 18, advancing this far-reaching proposal to the Governor. Today, Governor Kaine added his assistance to our advances by agreeing to compromises on several important points and returning his proposed amendments.

“First, the Governor has agreed with the General Assembly’s position that utilizing significant General Fund revenues for transportation – a core service of government – is both prudent and fiscally responsible. Although our legislation designated a specific dollar amount to this purpose, the Governor’s decision to rededicate an existing General Fund revenue source, the Recordation Fee, works similarly. Ultimately, that legislative commitment will provide a substantial increase in overall transportation funding. If current growth trends remain, this General Fund source can be expected to provide $182 million annually for transportation within a decade.

“The Governor’s decision to stay within the structure of the legislation – eschewing his previous positions to insist upon massive statewide tax increases without regional components – is a very positive development. The fact that, for the first time, he has demonstrated a commitment to a judicious use of the Commonwealth’s AAA bond rating is certainly welcome news to those of us who have advocated this reasonable and widely accepted approach for many years."

The only menacing part of this legislation as proposed is in the fact that the Governor wants to use 2/3rds of the existing budget surplus for road repairs. That means that (a) you're not going to get it back in the form of a refund or a reduction in your tax rate, as should have been done, and (b) you can expect these guys - about a year from now - to be pleading poverty, ruination, and impending doom if we don't raise taxes - again - to alleviate the ... (fill in the blank) ... problem.

So it's not perfect. Taxes are going up. But, had Kaine and the Democrats (and Chichester and Potts and ...) gotten their way, we'd be seeing an even greater acceleration of business exodus from our area. That, at least, won't occur.

So let's celebrate. Embrace compromise. Feel the love.

A Good Fit

The Roanoke Times comes out this morning in favor of moving the Museum of the Confederacy to Lexington:
Bring Confederate history to Lexington
editorial

The city could provide an excellent home to the Museum of the Confederacy.

Lexington might become the new home for the Museum of the Confederacy. The city already hosts several Civil War landmarks and would make an excellent fit for the museum.

The museum, now located in Richmond next to the White House of the Confederacy, is feeling the squeeze from growth at Virginia Commonwealth University's medical campus. The museum lacks room for its large collection and is becoming increasingly difficult to reach by car.

Museum officials are therefore looking for a new location.

[They] have a tough decision ahead of them as they seek a permanent home before 2011's 150th anniversary of the start of the war. They should give Lexington a serious look. (link)
Next to relocating it to a more prominent place in Richmond, this makes great sense. It is the perfect fit.

And, for those of you who are big on tourism as the economic be-all-end-all, they ain't a better draw than this.

Here's to the final resting place of Lee. And Jackson. And Pendleton. Home of the renowned Rockbridge Artillery. VMI.

Somebody Is Playing With Somebody

Let me ask you a question. If a local official in Grayson County paid a consulting firm to conduct a survey and come up with a profile of "the tourist," do you suppose that tourist would be described thus?

Tourists tend to be middle-aged, relatively wealthy couples that are interested in everything from rest and relaxation to specialty stores and historic sites.

Doubtful, right? In these parts, the tourist is thought of this way:

Tourists tend to be young, upwardly mobile individuals who enjoy the outdoors, with a particular appreciation for the environment, a penchant for healthy exercise, who have considerable disposable income with which they invest in such recreational activities as biking, canoeing, camping, and hiking.

So why the difference? It all depends on who's paying for the survey, it seems:
Valley tourism likely to swell
The Associated Press


Harrisonburg -- Tourism officials have a survey to help them attract more visitors to the Shenandoah Valley.

Among its findings, the survey concluded that tourists tend to be middle-aged, relatively wealthy couples and that they're interested in everything from rest and relaxation to specialty stores and historic sites.

The survey, conducted for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, will be used to develop a comprehensive guide for an area from Frederick County to the counties of Augusta and Highland, said Carolyn Brackett of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The valley anticipates tourism to swell in 2011 during the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. (link)
Spend any amount of time on the Blue Ridge Parkway and you come away with the perception that this survey is accurate. Visitors to Meadows of Dan are all old to middle-aged and are in high-end vehicles, signifying the fact that they aren't poor - like the scrawny, haggard, lice-infested, impoverished teenagers who stagger down the Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus (all twelve of them in a day's time).

Anyway, someone is going to capture the tourist dollar. My guess is, the Harrisonburg area, with its rich Civil War history (Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, Cross Keys ...) is going to win out over the Creeper's newly refurbished abandoned train trestle.

But that's only a guess ...

The Other Shoe Falls

I read the following headline in the Roanoke Times on Sunday and let out a guffaw:


My reaction was: Ponders my ass. I know these guys (and their public relations departments) too well.

Today's headline:
Tech decides to raise tuition
By Greg Esposito, The Roanoke Times


Blacksburg -- The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors voted Monday to raise tuition and impose special fees on undergraduate students taking engineering courses.

Tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students will be $7,397 this fall, up 6.1 percent from this year. The total cost, including room and board, for in-state undergraduates will rise from $11,739 to $12,503, an increase of 6.5 percent. Out-of-state undergraduates will pay $24,881 for tuition, fees and room and board. That's an increase of 4.5 percent from this year. (link)
Now I know you're thinking that the massive tax increase that former Governor Mark Warner foisted upon a doting and foolishly acquiescent citizenry just a few short years ago was supposed to nullify the demand for such increases.

Fool.

These Guys Crack Me Up

In the You Can't Make This Stuff Up category this morning:
Trouble Times Two
By Janet Whitman, The New York Post

March 27, 2007 -- The New York Times is suffering from two bouts of fresh humiliation after admitting to being duped by a woman claiming to be an Iraq veteran and ...

In a lengthy Editors' Note printed over the weekend, the Times revealed that one of the servicewomen profiled in the cover story on female veterans of the Iraq war in last week's New York Times Magazine never served in Iraq and may have made up her story.

... the Times said Amorita Randall, a formal naval construction worker, never served in Iraq, as the Sunday Times Magazine reported.

The servicewoman had told the Times she saw combat in Iraq in 2004 and suffered a brain injury when a Humvee she was riding in was blown up.

The Times said it learned after it published the article that Randall served in Guam and that the medal she received was due to a clerical error, not her heroic deeds in Iraq.

In the note published over the weekend, the Times said, "it is now clear that Ms. Randall did not serve in Iraq, but may have become convinced she did." (link)
"Ms. Randall did not serve in Iraq, but may have become convinced she did."

Convinced. Yes. And convincing.

Ms. Randall may have a brain injury. What excuse can the Times use?

She's Doing The Right Thing

Well, it appears there is someone in the White House who understands what's really going on with regard to the attorneygate non-scandal:
DOJ Official Won't Testify About Firings
By Lara Jakes Jordan, Associated Press Writer


Washington (AP) -- A senior aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has decided against testifying before lawmakers about her role in the ousters of eight federal prosecutors, the latest flare-up in the controversy surrounding the Justice Department.

Monica Goodling's announcement that she would take the Fifth Amendment to avoid possibly incriminating herself came as the embattled attorney general cast himself as misunderstood in his conflicting accounts of his involvement in the firings. Goodling is the Justice Department's liaison to the White House. (link)
Goodling knows what's going on here. And she's protecting herself. Because she knows there is no one else in the White House who will do it for her.

You go, girl.

Earth To Webb

I once described our junior senator here in the commonwealth as suffering from a severe case of megalomania, brought on by uncontrollable delusions of grandeur - and macaca.

My hypothesis gains credibility this morning with this bit of disturbing news:


Senator’s Aide Held on Gun Charge
By Carl Hulse, The New York Times


Washington, March 26 — A close aide to Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, was arrested on Monday and jailed after trying to take a loaded handgun into a Senate office building, officials said.

The aide, identified by Mr. Webb’s office as Phillip Thompson, 45, had a semiautomatic, 9 millimeter pistol and two magazines that were discovered after he put his bag through an X-ray machine at an entrance to the Russell Senate Office Building, said Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a spokeswoman for the United States Capitol Police. Mr. Thompson faces felony charges of carrying a pistol without a license and possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.

Another Congressional official briefed on the case said the aide had told the authorities that Mr. Webb gave him the pistol while being dropped at the airport and that he inadvertently took it to the Capitol complex. (link)
What in God's name is this all about?
Is someone out to get him?
Is Webb's life in danger?
Does he know something about national security - or the lack thereof - that we don't know?
Should the rest of us be packing too when we travel?
Is he writing another novel? Is he acting out some role? Is his mind off in another dimension?

Megalomania
Noun: megalomania megulow'meyneeu
1. A mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur.
2. Psycopathy.

And They Probably Believe It

Only those suffering from a severe case of psychoneurosis could believe this (or write this for that matter...):


A headline in the New York Times. Need I say more ...

We Make Progress

We have encouraging news out of the state of New Jersey:

1) New Jersey
2) Only 14

Things are looking up.

Monday, March 26, 2007

This Requires a Book?

In the category of "Earth Found To Be Rotating Around Sun" news category:
Potpourri
The Chaleston (WV) Gazette

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Pamela Druckerman is completing a book, Lust in Translation, analyzing why extramarital affairs inflict more harm on couples in Puritanical America than in many foreign cultures, where more people are casual about infidelity. (link)
I wonder how much time was devoted to this revelation.

I Have a Better Idea

Far be it from me to question the rationale exercised by Virginia Tech students but ...

... wouldn't it be cheaper and more effective and more useful to buy a boatload of Ray-o-Vac batteries?

Virginia Tech engineering students help Kenyan village
The Associated Press

Blacksburg, Va. (AP) -- Some Virginia Tech engineering students are combining academic know how with the sun's power to bring a healthier future to an African village.

The nine Tech seniors have designed a system that will use solar panels to channel sunlight into electricity powering a clinic in southwestern Kenya.

The Tech students have designed a system to provide about 24 kilowatt hours of solar energy to the clinic each day. The average U-S household uses about 30 kilowatt hours a day.

For now, the students are still raising money for the project. They need about 120-thousand dollars to build and ship the equipment to Kenya. (link)

$120,000. To power a handful of lightbulbs and a refrigerator.

Now I don't have an engineering degree from Virginia Tech but ...

Silicon Valley Should Be Afraid

... very afraid:
Intel Plans $2.5B Chip Factory in China
By Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer


Beijing (AP) -- Intel Corp. announced Monday it will build a $2.5 billion chip factory in China, giving the U.S. company a bigger presence in the booming Chinese market and boosting Beijing's efforts to attract high-tech investment.

The factory will supply chipsets to customers in China, which Intel expects to be the largest information technology market by the time the facility opens in 2010, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said. (link)
And none of those inexpensive Chinese chips meant for Chinese customers will find their way into the U.S. market. No, that'll not happen.

Be very very afraid ...

Counter Talking Point

From this morning's Roanoke Times editorial page:
Talking point

"What matters is whether or not we produce a product today that puts pressure on this administration and sends a message to Iraq, to the Iraqi politicians, that we're going to end the permanent long-term dead-end baby-sitting service."

-- U.S. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., after the House voted Friday for an Iraq funding bill that set a firm deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops. (link)
Counter Talking Point

What matters is whether or not we produce a product today that funds the troops who are in harm's way. Mr. Obey decided that his funding bill would be some kind of "message" instead.

You can't shoot messages at the enemy, Dave.

But I think you know that. And don't care.

Foreclosure Wave Bears Down On Idiots

That should have been the title of this article in today's Washington Post:
Foreclosure Wave Bears Down on Immigrants
Economic Success Story Turns Sour as Thousands May Face Losing Homes
By Kirstin Downey, Washington Post Staff Writer


Immigrants are emerging as among the first victims of a growing wave of home foreclosures in the Washington area as mortgage lending problems multiply locally and across the country.

Nationally, 375,000 high-interest-rate loans were made to Hispanics in 2005, and nearly 73,000 of them are likely to go into foreclosure, said ...

Nahid Azimi, who immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan 22 years ago, recently stood in the upstairs hallway of her home in Loudoun County, silently sobbing as she removed the last of her personal items from the $410,000 townhouse in South Riding she bought with pride last summer. She said she was persuaded to buy the house by an Afghan real estate agent she considered a friend and by an Afghan mortgage broker who promised to get her a good loan.

Instead, Azimi, a cashier at Giant who makes $2,400 a month, found herself strapped into a no-down-payment loan with payments of $3,800 a month. She knew it would be impossible to make the payments, but ... (link)
This woman makes $2,400 a month.
Her monthly mortgage payment is $3,800.
Good grief.

There is a story here. But the focus shouldn't be on immigrants.

Putting Their 'Faith' To The Test

While most Americans now accept the fact that child molesters are incorrigible and will never be reformed, requiring that they be removed from society forever, liberals still cling to the notion that, in fact, prisons are bad and bad people are, deep down inside, good. This despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Well, a liberal church in Carlsbad, California has a chance to put its "faith" in rehabilitation to the test. A child molester there wants to walk in their midst:
Sex offender's request fuels church debate
UPI

A sex offender's request to join a California church congregation has sparked debate on the tough issues of criminal re-entry.

The Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad is wrangling with the emotional issues that surround Mark Pliska, 53, a registered sex offender and an ex-con who was accused of molesting two boys and exposing himself to children.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that congregation members have been meeting to talk about Pliska's joining the church. The talks revealed certain congregation members who had been abused as children. But the question still remained over what it means to be a church, particularly because Pilgrim has a reputation for being liberal and accepting, the newspaper said. (link)
"What it means to be a church." To liberals, it means nothing more than being a social club. Sometimes a social movement. Where all are welcomed with open, loving arms.

This animal is soon to walk amongst them. And their children. We'll see how open and loving those arms become.