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

Friday, August 31, 2007

Exciting News Out Of Wytheville!

Southwest Virginia's favorite place to shop brings relief to thousands of worried homemakers:
Wal-Mart doesn’t cut fabrics
By Wayne Quesenberry, Wytheville Enterprise Staff


Local quilters, crafters and seamstresses can stitch in peace. Their cries of distress about the potential closing of Wal-Mart’s fabric and craft department were heard. “Wal-Mart continues to carry cut fabric in most of our stores,” stated Marisa Bluestone, media relations manger for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Bentonville, Ark. “Decisions about the fabric department were made in keeping with our emphasis on being a store of the community.”

Word in January that the company was considering closing some of the departments in the spring had local customers in a bind. (link)
Many a mommy will rest easier tonight.

Ask a Stupid Question ...

Danville has a new director of economic development. One Jeremy Stratton.

Having now settled into his new job, Jeremy sat down for an interview with the Register & Bee the other day and was confronted with this challenging question:

"You have been here for about two weeks now - what do you think of Danville so far?"

His reply (in part):

"It’s a great place."

Quote Of The Day

From this morning's Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Today's Staggering Stat: If the federal government had simply divvied up the $127 billion it has spent so far on rebuilding New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina hit two years ago, each of the city's residents would have had $425,000 cash in hand with which to buy a house and start life over somewhere else.
"In Brief," August 31, 2007

Kiss Me. My Lips Are Burning.

A line legitimately used over in Pittsylvania County, where local residents are rumored to glow in the dark:
Mining of uranium in Va. proposed
By Greg Edwards, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

The renewed prospect of uranium mining in Virginia's Piedmont has been raised by a state energy plan being developed by the Kaine administration under a General Assembly mandate.

Marline Corp. began searching for uranium deposits in the East in the late 1970s and in 1982 said it discovered 30 million pounds of uranium oxide in Pittsylvania County, potentially worth $1 billion or more. The company obtained leases on 40,000 uranium-rich acres in the county and 16,000 acres in Fauquier, Madison, Culpeper and Orange counties. (link)
30 million pounds of uranium oxide in Pittsylvania County. I think I now know why the tobacco grown over there tasted so good. It had this latent aftertaste. Like I'd just smoked a welding torch.

I wonder if they could bottle that ...

Time To Toss 'em Some Crumbs

Looks like Governor Kaine had such fun decreeing our "profound regret" for slavery several months ago (I was holding out hope for "sincerely profound" ...) that he's taking time out from pressing matters of state ... to revisit the subject. This time, by God, with official pardons in hand.

You go, Tim:

Kaine issues pardon in slave revolt
By Jeff Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine is informally pardoning Gabriel Prosser, hanged for leading a failed slave revolt in Virginia more than 200 years ago this week.

In restoring Prosser's "good name," Kaine said the slave, put to death in 1800 with 34 other African-Americans, was motivated by "his devotion to the ideals of the American revolution -- it was worth risking death to secure liberty."

Gabriel's cause -- the end of slavery and the furtherance of equality of all people -- has prevailed in the light of history," Kaine said in a recent letter to Linda Thomas, president of the Virginia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Thomas sought the pardon. (link)


Meaningless apologies. Even more meaningless pardons. The Virginia chapter of the NAACP asks for so little.

And Governor Kaine is there to oblige.

But What If They Were History Majors?

Post-graduate students look to future

The People Be Damned

This is why we passed a constitutional amendment here in the commonwealth of Virginia. To block judges from overruling the democratic process and imposing their twisted liberal beliefs:
Judge: Same-Sex Couples Can Wed in Iowa
By David Pitt, The Associated Press


Des Moines, Iowa -- A county judge struck down Iowa's decade-old gay marriage ban as unconstitutional Thursday and ordered local officials to process marriage licenses for six gay couples.


Gay couples from anywhere in Iowa could apply for a marriage license from Polk County under Judge Robert Hanson's ruling. (link)
Tradition. The law. Common sense. Out the door.

A judge - a county judge - overrules the legislative process and hundreds of years of precedent.

If We The People let him that is.

Want to know why we now have this codified in our state constitution? We can't trust the Judge Robert Hansons of the world.

It Comes Down To This

A 300-page report was released the other day regarding the April massacre of 32 students and faculty on the Virginia Tech campus. It was, as I remember it being described, long on recommendations and short on accusations.

Whatever.

But the Washington Post, in an editorial this morning, sums up the tragic saga in relatively few words:
The Failure at Virginia Tech
An information breakdown in an information society


" [A]s the report made clear, by the time Cho started firing, there was probably nothing that could have prevented him from inflicting great harm. The larger failure had already taken place -- a failure on the part of Cho's parents, professors, university administrators and local officials to identify the danger posed by a student who provided plenty of clues that he was a time bomb.

The fault here lies both in laws that limit the ability of educational institutions to share pertinent information regarding mental health and the misunderstanding of those laws by university officials." (link)
But it goes well beyond that. Cho isn't unique and his freedom of action, despite fears having been expressed about his mental state, isn't some rare phenomenon. America's inner cities are plagued with homeless men and women - by the tens of thousands - who are mentally disturbed and living in sordid squalor. Some disturbed in the extreme. Yet these people - many seriously psychotic - wander the streets each day undisturbed. Just as was the case at Virginia Tech, we are powerless to stop them from inflicting harm - on themselves and on others. Institutionalization went by the wayside in the 70's - along with common sense.

"Sharing pertinent information" is important. But what we do with that information is critical.

And my guess is, we - starting with the editorialists at the Washington Post - have no intention of acting on that information flow.

So we wait ...

Somehow I Don't Think So

If Bill playing hide-the-cigar with one of his under-age female employees didn't embarrass the woman, I doubt that this will:

Fugitive fundraiser embarrasses Hillary

Yeah, sure ...

Mountains From Molehills

I saw this headline and reacted with: "What on earth is this all about?"

'White power' chanted during immigration discussion at school

Turns out, one young boy in a high school in Colorado, engaged in a class discussion about immigration and the Spanish language, started chanting.

One.

It make national news.

The planet trembled.

They Make a Good Point

As much as it pains me, I have to agree with this New York Times assessment of senatorpervertgate:
Disowning Senator Craig
editorial

The Republican Party is in quite a rush to keelhaul Senator Larry Craig for his run-in with the vice squad in an airport men’s room. Disclosure of the senator’s guilty plea to disorderly conduct set off a frenzy to demand an investigation by the Senate’s somnolent Ethics Committee and to strip Mr. Craig of his committee seniority. Some of the senator’s peers simply demanded that he resign.

No similar leadership chorus for judgment has been heard about any number of other scandalous revelations on the party’s plate.

The rush to cast him out betrays the party’s intolerance, which is on display for the public in all of its ugliness. But it also betrays their political uneasiness as the next election approaches. (
link)
That broadbrush intolerance accusation is a stretch but the fact that there is a good bit of political uneasiness on display can't be denied. But that's how Republicans in Washington function on a daily basis. Hint of scandal? Head to the hills.

You have to give the Democrats credit. When it was found that another pervert, Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts, had a homosexual prostitution ring operating in his home, the party shrugged, and went back to raising taxes. Bill Clinton accused of rape? What's for lunch?

The Republicans, on the other hand, can be counted on to run like scared rabbits.

Larry Craig played footsy with a vice cop in a public restroom?

Eeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!

There Were No WMD!

No?
Chemical From Iraq Discovered at U.N.
By Robert D. McFadden, The New York Times


No unconventional weapons were found in Iraq after the United States-led invasion in 2003. But a potentially deadly chemical agent produced by Saddam Hussein’s regime has turned up, improbably, in an office at the United Nations in New York, and it had the F.B.I. and the city police scrambling yesterday.

Federal, city and United Nations officials said the small quantity of the chemical, phosgene, was contained and appeared to pose no immediate danger. But unanswered questions about its risks and about how material from Iraq’s notorious chemical warfare center wound up in New York swirled all the way up to the State Department, the Senate and the White House yesterday.

The chemical believed to be phosgene, an old-generation nerve-gas component used extensively in the later stages of World War I and in Iraqi attacks that killed thousands of Kurds in the late 1980s, was discovered in a steel box last Friday by personnel cleaning out files and old boxes in a weapons inspection agency that is to be closed soon, said Ewen Buchanan, a spokesman for the agency.

A check of records indicated that the chemical was phosgene that had been taken by United Nations inspectors in 1996 from Iraq’s chemical weapons facility at Al Muthanna, near Samarra. (link)
Saddam didn't have any WMD! Except ...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Martinsville Continues To Falter

The numbers speak for themselves:

Martinsville's unemployment still highest in the state
Written by Bill Wyatt, The Martinsville Daily


Martinsville still has the highest unemployment rate in Virginia. The record has stood for the past 90 days. At 8.7 percent unemployment is up 0.3 percent from the month beofre, but down from 9.1 percent over the same period last year. Hooker Furniture's closing is cited as a major factor in the number.

Neighboring Danville is second on the list at 7.0 percent. Henry County is third at 6.6 percent. To our west, Patrick County is at 4.5 percent.

Statewide, Virginia is at 2.4 percent, the lowest number for the Commonwealth in 7 years. (link)
An accompanying chart shows that Henry County's unemployment rate has gone up 29% in the last year (from 5.1% in July, 2006 to 6.6% in July, 2007). It's on its way to being number one in the state. With a bullet.

Not a record to be proud of.

Now You're Talkin'

Congressman-for-Life Rick Boucher can fund his bike paths and hiking trails until the end of time (or until he expires; whichever comes first). Nobody's going to stop him. And, if you think about it, being a Democrat, he could be inflicting much greater harm on this tortured region. Nothing will ever come from his 20-years-and-counting effort to create a job or two here in Southwest Virginia, of course, but at least he's killed no one (no, I'm not going to tie his name to that collapsed bridge in Minneapolis - again). And, from all accounts, he doesn't molest travelers in public restrooms.

So what will pay dividends? What will bring prosperity to the land that time forgot?

This:
Carroll, Galax vie for enterprise zone status
By Christopher Brooke, Galax Gazette Staff Reporter

Hillsville - Carroll County is attempting to get new businesses to undeveloped Interstate 77 exits by designating those areas as state enterprise zones.


As part of an effort to get public utilities to exits 1, 8 and 19, Carroll will explore the opportunity to amend and extend the current enterprise zone designation at Exit 14 to cover the other interchanges, as well.

Enterprise zones typically allow localities to offer state and local incentives, such as tax credits, to businesses that invest and create jobs within the zones.

Significant activity has been occurring at Carroll's undeveloped interstate interchanges of late, with a 100-acre pad being graded by private developers at Exit 19, members of the Fancy Gap community trying to get public water and sewer at Exit 8 and engineering work underway to in hopes of getting water and sewer service there in time for a private investment at Exit 1. (link)
You want to turn the area's economy around? Think corporate tax amnesty.

Shoot. There aren't enough bodies in Southwest Virginia to fill all the jobs that will be created.

I Enjoy Reading The Washington Post

The editorialists there put me in a good humor each morning.

First, though, a definition:

Tolerance
Noun: tolerance tŏl'ər-əns
1. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.
2. The act of tolerating something

***

Now, an example of leftist intolerance of "the intolerant," to be found in this morning's "Mr. Craig's Secret":

"I am not gay. I have never been gay," said conservative Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig on Tuesday as he tried to explain the stunning revelation of his June arrest on charges of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in a men's room at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Once again, the party that embraces a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and blocks laws that would stop discrimination against homosexuals finds itself with a loyal foot soldier who votes one way and allegedly acts another. Mr. Craig voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.
I wonder if these guys felt the need to twist the charges brought against Senator Craig out of hatred (intolerance?). Duplicity maybe? Craig wasn't brought up on "charges of soliciting sex from an undercover police officer." He was charged with disorderly conduct.

But more importantly, what are conservatives being accused of here? Hypocrisy? Or just weakness? Is Craig a phony or is he simply a weak man suffering from an inability to control his (alleged) abnormal urges? Could it be that he's a man who truly believes that which he advocates but fails to measure up on rare occasions to the standards he himself sets?

That's not hypocrisy. That's the mark of an imperfect man.

A little more tolerance might allow for that possibility to be explored.

But no.

Setting aside the feckless attempt at indicting a sizeable majority of the American citizenry, shouldn't we be a tad more tolerant of those who are obviously struggling with their inner demons? Must we be so intolerant?

Yeah. They make my morning ...

While We're Dishing Out Blame ...

... let's not forget those most responsible for students getting a good education.

The students themselves:
20% of D.C. students absent Day 2
By David C. Lipscomb, The Washington Times


About 20 percent of students enrolled in D.C. public schools were absent on the second day of class this week, according to attendance records provided by school system officials.

Many students who had enrolled were not present because they had not registered for classes, Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee said last night. It was not clear yesterday how much of the attendance problem was due to students who had not registered on time and how much was due to students who didn't show up for other reasons. (link)
"Other reasons." Starting with the fact that they just don't care.

The school system might as well start filling out their McDonald's applications for them.

Stupid, stupid people.

The Reason I'm No Longer a Democrat

They have no brains.

John Edwards, one example in a long line of examples, makes the case. Again:

Edwards: Americans should sacrifice their SUVs
The Associated Press

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a labor group he would ask Americans to make a big sacrifice: their sport utility vehicles.

The former North Carolina senator told a forum by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, yesterday he thinks Americans are willing to sacrifice.

Edwards says Americans should be asked to drive more fuel efficient vehicles. He says he would ask them to give up SUVs. (link)

Does this joker have a campaign manager? Isn't there someone who can get to him and advise him that his call for Americans to sacrifice while he's in the process of building a 28,000 square-foot mansion and flying all over the country giving laughable speeches smacks of hypocrisy? If not idiocy?

Man, your fifteen minutes are so up. Go away.

Like Nobody's Going To Be Looking

Of course, after Edwards delivered his speech in which he announced that he was going to ask Americans to give up the use of SUV's in order to save the planet, he was photographed leaving the convention hall ...



Yes. That's an SUV.

The boy wants to be president. I'm not sure he should be allowed to wander the streets without adult supervision.

Photo courtesy of The Politico.

Spot the Crook

Someone in this photo is a lawbreaker. Can you point him/her out?

Is it ...

a) the Democratic fundraiser on the left who is wanted in California for evading a fraud case?

b) the Democrat on the right with the shit-eating grin and wads of potentially ill-gotten campaign dough in her wonderbra (it must tickle, from the smile on her face)?

c) all of the above?

The Courtroom Of Public Opinion

Well, it looks like Senator Larry Craig can find some solace in knowing that his attempted homosexual liaison bowel movement wasn't illegal. According to lawyer Dale Carpenter, writing in the most famous lawyer blog on the planet, The Volokh Conspiracy:
... assuming for the sake of argument that Craig did everything the officer alleged, how was it the basis for a criminal charge that could get him a $1,000 fine and/or ten days in jail?

Disorderly conduct is a notoriously nebulous crime, allowing police wide discretion in making arrests and charges for conduct or speech that is little more than bothersome to police or to others. The "disorderly conduct" statute to which Craig pleaded guilty provides that one who knowingly “[e]ngages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others” is guilty of the misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. Minn. Stat. § 609.72, subd. 1(3) (2004).

More specific criminal charges were not advanced. A charge of interference with privacy was dismissed. Craig was not charged with any other crime, like public lewdness, indecent exposure, public sexual conduct, solicitation of prostitution, harassment, resisting arrest, or assault.

Craig's conduct was not obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy. The officer might have considered Craig's actions "offensive . . . conduct . . . tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others." But if that's so, it seems a pretty thin basis for charging him.
I'm no lawyer so I'll defer to one who knows the relevant statutes. But there's Minn. Stat. § 609.72, subd. 1(3) (2004) and then there's the smell test. As Dale writes:
From the arrest report, here's what Craig allegedly did: (1) put a duffel bag at the front of his stall; (2) peered through a crack into an adjoining stall; (3) tapped his foot; (4) moved his shoe over until it touched an officer's; and (4) ran his fingers along the underside of the stall divider. That's it.
If old Larry wants to argue that these actions didn't violate the law, more power to him. It looks like he has a case (now that he's pled guilty). But if he wants to try and argue that they are the actions of a normal man sitting in a public restroom stall, I welcome the explanation.

His having been arrested for doing whatever he was attempting to do is harsh punishment. Looking at the societal aspects of the incident though, his having been made an example of by law enforcement sends a message to all the other perverts out there. That is:

We enter the public restroom to relieve ourselves. Not of tension. Not of our worldy woes. Not of pent-up sexual desires. But of bodily wastes. We then move on. You want to get your kicks? Take it to San Francisco.

Keep your fingers and your feet and every other appendage out of my restroom stall. Or you'll wish you'd only been arrested.

Deja Vu

Can sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom be far behind?

Can sales of top secret spy data to China be in the offing?

Can cigars in the Oval Office be in vogue again soon?

Clinton Donor Under a Cloud in Fraud Case
By Mike McIntire and Leslie Eaton, The New York Times


Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign said yesterday that it would give to charity $23,000 it had received from a prominent Democratic donor, and review thousands of dollars more that he had raised, after learning that the authorities in California had a warrant for his arrest stemming from a 1991 fraud case.

The donor, Norman Hsu, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates since 2003, and was slated to be co-host next month for a Clinton gala featuring the entertainer Quincy Jones. (link)


For those of you who are reading this kind of story now - every day - and shaking your head in despair, wondering if history is repeating itself, look on the bright side. At least she won't be accused of sexually molesting a female staffer.

Then again, there are those rumors ...

I Have Those Days Too

Little buggers ....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And Our Governor Doesn't Want To Get Involved

We were treated to the news yesterday that Governor Tim Kaine doesn't want to get his state police force involved in the illegal immigration problem, saying, through one of his spokespersons: "The governor does not object to localities choosing to enter into localized agreements with [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement]. He has concerns, however, about asking state troopers to assume primary enforcement of federal immigration responsibilities."

That means, of course, that the state of Virginia is washing its hands of the problem.

It'll be up to local sheriff's deputies and Immigration & Customs Enforcement officials to deal with the growing menace.

Well, you can pretend there isn't a real problem, Tim, and you can try to push it off on others, but you're not going to run from this one. It's your problem, like it or not.
Up to 10% in Virginia jails illegals
By Natasha Altamirano, The Washington Times


Richmond — Illegal aliens comprise between 6 percent and 10 percent of Virginia's jail population and about 2 percent of the state's prison population, according to a report released by the state crime commission yesterday.

The 13,735 illegal aliens in jail committed 27,148 offenses in fiscal 2007, according to the report. (link)
Expect this to blow up in our governor's face at some point. And expect him to blame President Bush.

Leadership, Tim. L.e.a.d.e.r.s.h.i.p. You might get acclimated to the concept.

Looks Like The Feds Won't Be Involved Either

Not only is Governor Kaine washing his hands of his illegal immigration problem, so is Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
ICE reassigns agents to customs
By Sara A. Carter, The Washington Times


Immigration and Customs Enforcement criminal investigators will no longer be involved in immigration work site enforcement or conduct checks for illegal alien prisoners.

Almost 1,000 ICE Office of Investigations agents will be reassigned exclusively to customs investigations, reducing the manpower involved in detention and removal of illegal aliens to 4,000 nationwide, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times and interviews with ICE union representatives. (link)
Let's see ...

... the state of Virginia is going to do nothing about the tens of thousands of illegal aliens in our midst and ...

... the federal government is going to do nothing (virtually) about the millions of illegal aliens in our midst.

That leaves Bland County deputies to clean up the problem. All seven of them.

May God have mercy ...

And Local Gov't Ain't Gonna Deal With It Either

The feds are washing their hands of the illegal alien problem.

Governor Kaine thinks it's swell that local government and the feds deal with it. He won't be participating.

And local government considers it a federal problem.

Anyone wonder how we ended up with twelve million lawbreakers in our midst?

Welcome to the insane asylum:

In Manassas Park, Sanity Taking a stand against illegal-immigrant bashing
Washington Post editorial

The little town of Manassas Park is an unassuming place -- not the sort of town you'd necessarily expect to take a courageous stand on illegal immigration. Yet that's exactly what it's done.

Manassas Park is bounded on all sides by Prince William County, which has lately joined the nationwide rush to hound illegal immigrants by denying them public services and siccing the police on them in hopes of driving them away. Prince William's neighbor to the north, Loudoun County, has done the same. But Manassas Park, its diminutive size notwithstanding, is refusing to be bullied into joining in the immigrant-bashing.

Instead, the City Council has taken a stance opposing the nativist fever* all around. The mayor, Frank Jones, and council members rejected what they characterized as vigilante actions against illegal immigrants.

Elected officials in Manassas Park say that they oppose illegal immigration but that stopping it is a federal responsibility. (
link)
So here's what we end up with, an exercise in American bureaucratic pass-the-buck:

12,000,000 and more coming every day ...

* Slick choice of terms. Nativist means advocating the perpetuation of native societies. We in fact advocate the enforcement of our laws. Nothing more. But these jokers know that. They just wanted to sneak that pejorative expression into the dialogue.

Might As Well Start Impeachment Proceedings

She's not even president yet and she's taking us down the path her husband walked.

Hillary has responded to charges of (alleged) illegal campaign contributions by announcing that she is keeping the cash and you can just get over it:

The Bunga-Lowdown
By Maggie Haberman, The New York Post


August 29, 2007 -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign aides yesterday said they won't return tens of thousands of dollars contributed by a seemingly low-income family living in a tiny bungalow tied to one of the Democratic Party's biggest donors.

The campaign's response came a day after The Wall Street Journal reported on the donations from the Paw family of Daly City, Calif.

The father, William, is a mail carrier, and the mother, Alice, is a homemaker. They live in a one-story green bungalow - yet six Paws have given a combined $45,000 to Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns in the past two years.

They also ranked up with some of the most affluent addresses elsewhere in the country by giving roughly $200,000 to various Democratic White House hopefuls during that time - and their donations hewed closely to those made by apparel executive Norman Hsu, the Journal reported. (link)
I fully expect that she'll next be charged with sexually molesting her employees.

Deja vu all over again.

***
Another shot of the home of the mailman who has donated $45,000 to Hillary's campaign (and a total of $200,000 to Democrats generally), courtesy of Ryan Anson and the New York Post:

It's More Fun Than Legislating

Democrats Say They Will Press Gonzales Inquiries

I'm Trying To Understand All This

Senator Larry Craig is getting vilified in the press this morning for his alleged homosexual tryst - or attempted tryst - in a Minneapolis public restroom sometime last month.

At the same time, the Episcopal church is championing its resident lesbians.

My head hurts ...
Lesbian Among Episcopal Bishop Nominees
The Associated Press


Chicago -- The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago included an openly lesbian priest among five nominees for bishop Tuesday, as fellow Anglicans demand that the church bar gay bishops.


The Rev. Tracey Lind, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, who has a female partner, will be on the Nov. 10 ballot.

If she wins, she would be the second bishop living with a same-sex partner in the Episcopal Church. (link)
If Senator Larry Craig met the Reverend Tracey Lind in a public restroom in Minneapolis, and proceeded to do unmentionable things to one another, are we supposed to cheer them on or be aghast?

I'm not following all this ...

Ban This, Troll!

Hillary wants to ban smoking.

Let her start by taking away this gal's cigarettes. I want to watch our future commander-in-chief get her ass kicked:
100-year-old celebrates her birthday by smoking 170,000th cigarette
London Daily Mail

An iron-lunged pensioner has celebrated her 100th birthday by lighting up her 170,000th cigerette from a candle on her birthday cake.

Winnie Langley started smoking only days after the First World War broke out in June 1914 when she was just seven-years-old - and has got through five a day ever since.

She has no intention of quitting, even after the nationwide ban forced tobacco-lovers outside. (link)
Looks like the British are one step ahead of Hillary in the fascist confiscation and prohibition realm.

Make that two steps. Hillary can only inflict her damage on New York. As of now ...

Can We Fight a War On Two Fronts?

The enemy in our front. Now one comes at us from the rear:

CBS sending Couric to Iraq, Syria

I fear for the war effort.

Every Day Is Memorial Day


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Birds Of a Feather

Fidel Castro tips Clinton-Obama as winning team

Someone's Making Us Look Bad

Well, I've got my fifteen. Who among you isn't holding up his end here?

U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people

10% of you are unarmed and defenseless? And you call yourselves Americans?

It Worked Here In Virginia

A suggestion: Try a hollow and insincere slavery apology.

Healing Katrina's Racial Wounds

Look, tens of billions in tax dollars haven't made a dent, so why not try it?

From Under What Rock Did This Guy Crawl?

Once in a great while a "journalist" will come forward and speak what the rest are thinking but are too afraid to put into words. An example that comes to mind is a Nightline broadcast of many years ago on which then-ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson argued that the news media had no obligation to the public to be accurate in that which they report. Now that's honesty.

Likewise, Steve Outing, columnist for Editor & Publisher, has a revealing moment of veracity as well. You ain't gonna believe this:

Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers
By Steve Outing

I've ... been thinking about the newspaper industry and global warming. And frankly, I don't think newspapers are doing enough. Indeed, newspapers' fabled commitment to "objectivity" has been a detriment to efforts to combat global warming.

The industry still has a lot of power to influence people. How about if newspapers abandon their old way of doing things when it comes to the issue of global warming, and turn their influence to good? It just might be that through this issue alone, newspapers revive themselves to some extent. Editors are shirking their responsibility to improve our world, in my view, so let's change that. (link)
And I'll bet he still wants us to respect him and his profession.

One's lunch begins to rearrange itself within the digestive tract with the words "... newspapers' fabled commitment to 'objectivity' ..." For fabled it is.

But give this dude points for honesty. News be damned. We want activism! We want a rant! We want ...

I wonder how he's going to feel when he finds out there are people out in the real world who actually have a point of view that conflicts with his.

Another One Bites The Dust

Laura Ingraham. Rush Limbaugh. Hannity. Glenn Beck.

With that powerhouse lined up against them, these poor schmucks didn't have a chance:
With Low Ratings, Post Radio Venture To End Next Month
By Paul Farhi, Washington Post Staff Writer


Washington Post Radio, which brought the newspaper's journalists to the local airwaves, will go off the air next month after failing to attract enough listeners and losing money during its 17-month existence.

Post Radio, which is broadcast regionwide on 107.7 FM and 1500 AM, , was not able to draw even 1 percent of listeners during its first year. Although ratings have improved somewhat in recent months ... (link)
Every now and then I'd find myself flipping through channels while stuck in D.C. traffic and I'd eventually turn to WaPo Radio. I found it to be marginally entertaining, in an esoteric sort of way (an outsider peering into the inner sanctum kinda thing).

But marginally entertaining doesn't bring in listeners when you have the likes of Michael Savage down the radio dial screaming epithets at everyone from President Bush to ... well, everyone else.

It's too bad these guys couldn't make a go of it. They had their place in the arena of ideas. Just no listeners, alas.

* Special note: I missed this story in this morning's paper. I had to learn the news while reading Tim Blair, an Australian blogger. Such are the times in which we live ...

Apartheid

As only the enlightened progressives in San Francisco can pull it off.

An Education Success Story

While we bemoan the poor showing recently of so many Southwest Virginia schools in terms of accreditation and No Child Left Behind standards, Carroll County, according to the Galax Gazette, seems to be doing everything - well, nearly everything - right.

Keep up the great work, fellas. Our kids are our future.

How To Observe Labor Day

Labor Day became a national holiday in 1882 as a sop to organized labor. To honor their contribution toward making this country the mighty nation that it is, America's union members take the day and sit on their asses and drink beer. Ain't gonna be doin' no labor on the day that's set aside to honor America's laborers.

I was reminded of the impending holiday with this announcement that most Montgomery County offices and facilities will be shut down on Monday.

As for me, I plan on laboring on Labor Day. It somehow seems more fitting. If we were going to have a day when we sit around doing nothing, we should call it "Sit on our Fat Asses and Do Nothing Day." "Message approved by the AFL-CIO."

The More Things Change, The More ...

Hillary is at it again:


Big Source of Clinton's Cash Is an Unlikely Address
By Brody Mullins, The Wall Street Journal

Daly City, Calif. -- One of the biggest sources of political donations to Hillary Rodham Clinton is a tiny, lime-green bungalow that lies under the flight path from San Francisco International Airport.

Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show.

It isn't obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative.

The Paws' political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. (link)
I thought we were done with this kind of sleazy nefariousness. It seems, like jock itch, the Clintons just won't go away.

***

Update 7:04pm: Drudge has posted a photo of the home out of which that $49,000-a-year mailman has donated $200,000 to Democrats.

No. I don't see anything to be suspicious of ...

Enough Already

Shanna Flowers' column in the Roanoke Times ("Vick case unworthy of all the public hype") reminded me of the Bengals vs. Falcons game I watched a brief portion of last night. It was as much about Michael Vick as about football. Being pre-season, I was prepared for boring. But not annoying.

Please. Give it a rest.

Here's Shanna:
... the venom dog lovers and animal advocates have unleashed in this case is over the top. Never mind that dogfighting goes on all the time in this country. These folks found their poster child.

At every turn in the case or at each of Vick's dropped endorsements, the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or whoever has fired off an e-mail news release to my box. I received one while writing this column. (link)
Of course, it didn't take Shanna long to remember why she was brought from Detroit to work at the Times. She goes off babbling something about the war in Iraq and about our racist America.

Still, she had a point. If only for a brief moment.

Michael Vick deserves punishment. But not crucifixion. Get a grip, people.

Same Old Song

I'm looking toward a day when some government official paints a brighter past ...

New Roanoke City superintendent paints brighter future

Whatever.

Remembering The Source

Jamie S. Gorelick has some words of advice ("A New Agenda For Justice") in this morning's Washington Post for President Bush as he begins his search for a replacement to fill the soon-to-be vacant attorney general slot in his administration. She offers some choice nuggets of wisdom such as:

● Restore credibility and comity ...

● Restore order ...

and ...

● Bring the professionals back ...

But then I remembered. Jamie Gorelick worked for the most incompetent boob in the history of the Justice Department.

Is this one of those "don't do as we did" offerings?

Now That's Leadership

Governor Kaine: We're all for it. We encourage all Virginia localities to participate. We choose, however, not to get involved.

That, folks, is how wars are won. Crises are overcome. Victories are achieved.

NOT.
Kaine opposes expanding troopers' role on aliens
By Natasha Altamirano, The Washington Times


Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine does not want to create a statewide partnership with federal immigration officials that would allow state agencies to identify illegal aliens and begin deportation procedures, despite calls from the state's attorney general and anti-illegal-immigration groups.

"The governor does not object to localities choosing to enter into localized agreements with [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement]," said Kevin Hall, Mr. Kaine's spokesman. "He has concerns, however, about asking state troopers to assume primary enforcement of federal immigration responsibilities." (link)
So you understand, Governor Tim considers it to be acceptable for a Bland County sheriff's deputy to take on the responsibility of apprehending illegal Mexicans and turning them over to the feds; it's just not something he wants a more qualified state police force to get involved in. They have more important things to do, like write traffic tickets at mile marker 42 on the southbound side of I-77 every day.

Is he for real?

On Riding Trails & Peoples' Lives

While the federal government spends precious dollars on home improvements and bike trails, funds that should have gone to bridge repairs, bridges around the country become ever more dangerous:
Bridge Woe In Memphis
AP

August 28, 2007 -- Memphis - Officials shut down a major Mississippi River bridge yesterday after one of its piers settled nearly four inches during the night in a construction zone.

The pier that settled is between two other piers, so the was still supported.

The bridge links Memphis, Tenn., to West Memphis, Ark. Traffic was diverted to the nearby I-55 bridge. (link)
Meanwhile, Congresspersons are focused on more important things, like the Alberto Gonzales saga and on tooting horns in public restrooms ....

As Bridges Collapse Around Us ...

If only they were as eager to save American lives:

Democrats insist probes will continue

I'll save you the time of clicking through. It's about Bush.

No word yet on a Congressional probe of federal bridge repair spending. Apparently there's not enough time in the busy schedule ...

Return To The Days Of Speakeasies?

We as a nation went through this once before. We had even gone so far as to pass a Constitutional amendment. But all our ancestors' arrogant feelings of moral superiority, and actions that flowed from them, brought about was to drive the consumption of booze underground.

That was 1919.

In 2007:

Hill Eyes National Cig Curb
By Geoff Earle, New York Post Correspondent


August 28, 2007 -- Washington - Hillary Clinton lavished praise on New York City's tough anti-smoking laws yesterday - and said she supports smoking bans in public places across the country.

Asked at an Iowa forum on cancer whether banning smoking in public places would be good for America, Clinton replied, "Well, personally, I think so. And that's what a lot of local communities and states are starting to do."

... she boasted ..." (link)
Students of history look back on the days of prohibition with a sense of astonishment. How did Americans allow themselves to be sucked into (a failed attempt at) controlling - in a very invasive way - the personal lives and activities of the citizenry? *

In thirty years they'll be looking upon this period in the same way. The actions of unscrupulous politicians - eager to mollify - like Hillary Clinton will be a case study - another case study - in government intrusion into the personal lives of a free citizenry.

A free citizenry that, once again, allowed prohibition to become the law of the land.

If only for a time ...

* I'll answer that. Liquor was bad for us. And a sin.

Makes Perfect Sense To Me

Congress is hell-bent on giving middle-class Americans free health care for their children. Why not cover their monthly mortgage obligations as well?
In Washington, Aid to Homeowners Debated
By Edmund L. Andrews, The New York Times


Washington, Aug. 24 — Faced with a possible tidal wave of home foreclosures beginning this fall, Democrats and Republicans are battling over a philosophical question with huge practical implications: should the government ride to the rescue?

Both the Bush administration and Democratic leaders in Congress agree that legions of homeowners could be overwhelmed in the next 18 months, as low teaser rates expire on more than two million adjustable-rate mortgages, causing monthly payments increase sharply.

Democrats, though opposed to a broad bailout, are proposing an array of measures to help lower-income people renegotiate their loans and stay in their homes. (link)
Those "lower-income" homeowners are, in fact, middle-class Americans. Middle-class Americans who made some poor choices. Who gambled on rising home prices and stable interest rates, and lost.

But they're also voters.

So print some more money, fellas! We got us a constituency to bribe!

Next!

The Democrats and their media buddies were crowing yesterday. They put another notch on the gun handle.

Delay, Rumsfeld, and now Gonzales.

It's on to the next target.

Who will it be? Who will it be?

Quote Of The Day

From Rich Lowry:
Alberto Gonzales's tenure as attorney general, and now his departure, represent a triumph for what departing White House adviser Karl Rove calls "the mob" - the howling mass of Democratic members of Congress, bloggers and media commentators who despise all things Bush.

The Gonzales case is sad all around: for what happened to the reputation of a decent man over-matched by his responsibilities; for the distraction at a crucial department of government; and for the blood-lust that masquerades as political opposition in Washington. But it's never very edifying when the mob wins.
"Gonzo Goes - 'Mob' Wins," The New York Post, August 28, 2007

I Don't Even Want To Know

It gets to the point where you can't have a moment of quiet solitude without some pervert bothering you, wanting some kind of twisted sexual gratification. In a public restroom, no less.

I'm not sure what "lewd" means in this case, nor do I want to.

For the love of God ....

A side note: I wonder how many homosexual-rights advocates will come to this conservative Republican's defense.

***

This is funny. Drudge has the following headline up: "BROKEBACK BATHROOM: SENATOR BUSTED IN AIRPORT SEX STING... "

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Agree, To a Point ...

I agree with Michael Paul, except when it comes to white boys with no ass:
Baggy-pants plan hits below belt
By Michael Paul Williams, Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist


A proposed amendment to Atlanta's indecency laws would make illegal baggy pants that show boxer shorts or thongs, according to an Associated Press story.

"Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing," Councilman C.T. Martin said in the story. "I don't want young people thinking that half-dressing is the way to go. I want them to think about their future."

In addition to barring women from showing a thong-underwear strap, it would prohibit them from wearing sports bras in public or showing a bra strap.

An ACLU official quoted in the story said the proposal constitutes racial profiling because it targets black youth culture.

I don't know about that. I see kids of various races and ethnicities sagging their pants and flashing their thongs.

... for me, this proposal is not the way to go. It's way too American Taliban for my comfort. (link)
I agree. There should not be a law.

Except in the instance(s) involving snot-nosed, pimple-faced white kids who are trying to be something they're not (and who are doomed to walk the earth trying to figure out just where they fit in in life). They should be imprisoned. And their parents spanked.

'nuff said.

Oh Those Darn Statistics

The Roanoke Times ("Virginia Arms The Region") finds what the geniuses there consider to be a damning statistic and proceeds to tie it to our esteemed attorney general. If only they understood something about the numbers they massage:

The commonwealth, a federal study finds, has become a top supplier of firearms to many nearby states. Yet Attorney General Bob McDonnell is so in tune with the NRA he does not see the problem.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives last week released data about gun traces it ran in 2006 at the bequest of local law enforcement. Half of the more than 10,000 guns police found interesting in Virginia, Maryland and Washington originated here.

I'm going to skip over that clause that reads, "..."guns police found interesting." God knows what that means.

But looking at the statistic itself ... 50% (half) of the 10,000 guns found in Maryland, DC, and Virginia originated in Virginia? Off with McDonnell's head!

But wait.

Let's look at that number and give it some perspective ...

Based on 2006 census bureau estimates, what is the population of each?

Virginia ....... 7,642,884
Maryland ... 5,615,727
D.C. ............. 581,530

Put in terms the kids over at the Times can understand:

Virginia represents 55% of the population within the dataset, but only 50% of the guns considered by the FBI to be "of interest" originated here.

Seems to me there should be a big Thank You to - and a big kiss for - Attorney General Bob McDonnell emanating from the hollowed halls of the Roanoke Times for his having held the illegal use of legitimately purchased firearms down.

I'll not be holding my breath, of course ...

What Difference Does It Make?

In someone's universe, this (from the Charleston Gazette) makes sense:

Federal cuts may put more W.Va. families on welfare

The government reduces welfare payments, throwing families onto welfare.

... uh.

As If Walls An Education Provided

The Washington Post is all atwitter this morning over the fact that the Washington D.C. public school system has made some building repairs:

D.C. School Repairs
editorial


The district's public schools open their doors today after an unprecedented summer of repairs. Improvements have been made in the condition of many buildings, and city officials should be applauded. It's difficult, though, to forget the incompetence and neglect that led to the disgraceful state of the schools -- or to overlook the hard reality that much more work still needs to be done.


About $80 million has been spent on repairing 71 of the system's 141 schools as well as on refurbishing some athletic fields. The vigor of the effort led by ... (link)
Earth to Washington Post: It makes no difference. IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE.

From a source that hasn't swallowed the kool aid:

Problems Plague D.C. Schools Opening
NBC4

Washington -- With just over two weeks before the new school year begins, District officials say only half of the city schools have all the textbooks they need.

New School Chancellor Michelle Rhee said officials are working overtime to get the books where they belong, but 56 percent still don't have what they need. And some won't have them opening day.

Last week, Rhee and Mayor Adrian Fenty toured a cluttered schools warehouse, promising to clear the back log of undelivered orders.

But Rhee said the job won't be finished by the first day of school. (link)


So the school kids will have no books, they'll grow up ignorant and illiterate, and they'll drop out when they reach the age of sixteen. But they will be at peace, knowing that they had a nice roof over their heads the many years they were warehoused by the D.C. public schools.

May God have mercy.

We've Lost Our Collective Minds

What's wrong with the reasoning here?
Insuring Poor Children
Washington Post editorial

President Bush and congressional Democrats are battling over how high up the income scale states should be allowed to go in offering health insurance to poor children under the decade-old program known as SCHIP. Now, the administration has moved to short-circuit the legislative debate and, in effect, impose by administrative fiat a limit of 250 percent of the federal poverty level, about $43,000 for a family of three. (link)
Well, nothing's wrong with that, you say. SCHIP was meant to be made available to the poor, and families with incomes above the poverty line - especially those with earnings 250% above the line - should not be on the public dole. They're middle class, for goodness sake!

You, then, will never work at the Washington Post:

"But for SCHIP the administration's income cap is too strict, given variations in the cost of living and the price of health insurance."

The threshhold limiting federal assistance to middle-class Americans is too harsh.

Thank God the same people who believe in such idiocy are printing the money ...

Quote Of The Day

From a Washington Times editorial:
... Mr. Warner has once again stated his disagreement with President Bush over the war — this time calling for a withdrawal of 5,000 of the 160,000 troops from Iraq by Dec. 25 in an effort to prod the Iraqi government to take steps toward political reconciliation. While we share Mr. Warner's frustration with the Iraqi government and admire his long record of service to this country, his proposal is nonsensical. It sends precisely the wrong message to the jihadists and their backers in Tehran, Damascus and elsewhere in the Middle East: that we lack the stomach to continue a serious counterinsurgency campaign and that they are wearing down the American people and weakening our resolve. It makes no sense to try to send a "message" to the Maliki government by shooting ourselves in the foot.

"Still Invested In Failure," August 27, 2007

A Return To Yesteryear

Looks like the Clintons haven't changed a bit. They's them, and they's us, the subhumans:

Clinton Camp Turns Fan Into Obama Man
By Angela Montefinise, The New York Post


August 27, 2007 -- A former "die-hard" backer of Hillary Rodham Clinton says he switched his allegiance to Barack Obama after spending three weeks volunteering for the former first lady's Iowa office, and witnessing abusive higher-ups and crying campaigners.

James Henson, 26, who works in Oklahoma politics, said he's now supporting Obama because of the "pretty bad treatment" he received from the Clinton camp's Des Moines office.

"I've always been torn between Hillary and Obama, but Obama was always my second choice," he said. "My experience changed that. It completely turned me off to Hillary's campaign."

He felt unwelcome from Day 1. "It was like I was a nuisance or something."

Henson said volunteers were in tears, "probably from the abuse they were taking" from higher-ups. (link)


Her volunteers won't be the last to shed tears over Hillary's candidacy. I suspect the entire nation - some day - will be wailing in despair.

Appalachia, As They See Us In Manhattan

I read the editorial header in this morning's New York Times and thought for a brief moment that the highbrows there were finally going to lend their support to those Americans in the coalfields who suffer in abject poverty and to those who had to flee the area, by the tens of thousands, who were unable to find gainful employment:

Ravaging Appalachia

But no.

They're concerned about our rocks and dirt.

Breaking News!

Unknown to Va. Tech, Cho Had a Disorder

Warner To Join The Democratic Opposition

I think that headline was first written in about 1979. And Virginia Republicans have sat on their hands and accepted it. For nearly three decades.

His treachery continues unabated:
Warner May Back Dems' Bill on Withdrawal
By Hope Yen, The Associated Press

Washington (AP) - GOP Sen. John Warner, who wants U.S. troops to start coming home from Iraq by Christmas, said Sunday he may support Democratic legislation ordering withdrawals if President Bush refuses to set a return timetable soon.

"I'm going to have to evaluate it," Warner said. "I don't say that as a threat, but I say that is an option we all have to consider."

Warner, a former ... (link)
Over the years, when he had to choose between being a good media lapdog and being a solid, loyal Republican, Warner has always barked in submission. Always.

That retirement announcement can't come soon enough. The man is a disgrace.