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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

On The Road To Socialized Medicine

I read the other day in the Wall Street Journal that if the Democrats' plan to expand SCHIP (the State Children's Health Insurance Program), the federal plan that was designed to provide assistance to children whose parents don't qualify for Medicaid and can't afford private health insurance, were to be enacted and fully implimented by the states, that 71% of America's children would qualify for government aid.

71%.

I also read a Heritage Foundation publication ("Expanding SCHIP into AMT Territory: SCHIP Plan Would Extend Welfare to Wealthy Families") that reveals the fact that 70,000 of America's wealthy families will be required to pay what's called the AMT (alternative minimum tax), a special assessment "created to force extremely wealthy taxpayers to pay income tax by limiting their credits and deductions," but will be, according to SCHIP standards, poor enough to qualify for government welfare.

70,000.

As the accompanying chart shows:

Screwy, no?

If your head is about to explode as your brain tries to process this bizarre set of events, it would do you well to read Congressman Eric Cantor's essay in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch ("
Expansion Is Bad for America, But Even Worse for Virginia") on the subject, and how it will affect the average Virginian.

This is nothing more than HillaryCare at its worst.

These people must be stopped.

Chart courtesy of the Center For Data Analysis, Heritage Foundation

Virginia Tech Helping Southwest Virginia ...

... one high-tech start-up at a time:
VT KnowledgeWorks helps companies succeed
In three years, VT KnowledgeWorks has worked with more than 30 new technology businesses.
By Angela Manese-Lee, The Roanoke Times


Blacksburg -- Walk down a VT KnowledgeWorks hallway and you're likely to find a variety of small businesses brewing.

Opened three years ago to help entrepreneurs turn ideas into successful companies, KnowledgeWorks is now home to 34 businesses representing a range of technology, from water purification to online study help.

Of those, [KnowledgeWorks Director Jim ] Flowers said most -- 20 of 34 -- are in the preparation phase, meaning they have yet to launch.

"In an area our size, just from a sheer population numbers standpoint, we don't have nearly as many people writing business plans or even conceiving businesses," Flowers said. So "what we do is open up the door to people who are just thinking about opening a business and help them from the very beginning ..." (link)
There's a good reason why Blacksburg is ranked number one in the country (among small cities) in high tech industrial development. It's called Virginia Tech.

Keep up the good work, fellas. We need ya.

If She Were White ...

... this hate-monger wouldn't be invited to participate in the Maryland Humanities Council's speaker series. Nor would she be feted by the Washington Post, as poet and Virginia Tech professor Nikki Giovanni is this morning in an article entitled "Professor Laments Wall Of Privacy's Rigidity."

But she's not white. So her racial hatred is perfectly acceptable.

Then There's This Moron ...

... the Roanoke resident who thinks he's a badass nazi.

It's Payback Time

The Virginia GOP is going to be pounding this theme round the clock to Election Day.

"Make no mistake about it, Mark Warner is a politician who can't be trusted to keep his promises to voters."

As well they should.

In today's news:

GOP site challenges Warner
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times


Two weeks into Democrat Mark Warner's U.S. Senate bid, national Republicans have started a Web site challenging his record as Virginia's governor.

"Make no mistake about it, Mark Warner is a politician who can't be trusted to keep his promises to voters," said Rebecca Fisher, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The party is not expected to decide for several months on a candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Warner, but officials already have gone online with the site challenging the former governor on the $1.38 billion tax package he ushered through the General Assembly in 2004 after vowing in 2001 not to increase taxes.

A Web site administered by the NRSC at www.dontmarkwarner.com reads, "Mark Warner PROMISED 'I Will Not Raise Taxes' — But he broke that promise. How many more promises will he break?" (link)

Mark Warner said "'I Will Not Raise Taxes." Then immediately raised our taxes.

Any thing this prevaricator now says should be judged accordingly.

Maureen Dowd Is An Idiot XVIII

Nepotism
Noun: nepotism néppə tìzzəm
1. Favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power (as by giving them jobs)
___

From "The Nepotism Tango," by Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist:

"Without nepotism, Hillary would be running for the president of Vassar. But then, without nepotism, W. would be pumping gas in Midland — and not out of the ground."

It's pure torture to read this woman's attempt at humor.

But beyond that, what favoritism was shown to George W. Bush by his brother or father when he was elected Governor and President (twice)? And, except for that temporary appointment as health care czarina, what special favors did Hillary get from Bill?

The columnist is trying to make the case for coattails, not nepotism. But she doesn't understand the meaning of the words she writes.

Maureen Dowd works for what was once the leading newspaper in the country.

How embarrassing.

This Reminds Me Of Virginia's Rainy Day Fund

Much to its residents' surprise, a Vermont town has built up a massive revenue surplus.

But the taxpayers there are not being overtaxed, according to the town manager.

Huh?

Town Watched Wallet, but Maybe Too Well
By Katie Zezima, The New York Times


Fair Haven, Vt., Sept. 26 — This town of about 3,000 has a problem that most municipalities would envy: a budget surplus of nearly $1 million, or about two-thirds as much as it spends annually. But many residents are not pleased with the news. They say the town mishandled their money or overtaxed them, and some want the town to issue each resident a reimbursement check.

“I’m not happy they have all that money,” said a resident, Neil Belden. “I’m pinching pennies. I’d appreciate a check.”

It appears the surplus, which has accrued since 1994, came about because each year the town did not spend the full amount allotted for projects like road paving. Rather than apply the money to the following year’s budget, the town treasurer invested the extra money in interest-bearing certificates of deposit and bank accounts, and a new budget was created from scratch.

The town manager, Serena Williams, and the treasurer, Suzanne Dechame, say the surplus has always been public knowledge, listed on the town budget as “unreserved funds.”

“No one is being overtaxed,” Ms. Williams said. (link)

Don't you just love government bureaucrats? The taxpayers aren't being overtaxed. The local government is simply bringing in more money than it has projects to invest in.

That's somewhat the same philosophy that supports Virginia's "rainy day fund." Money is extracted at the point of a gun and goes into an account to be used at some unspecified point in time in the future. The government takes money out of your savings to build up its own. It's called fiscal responsibility ...

Neat trick. And they get away with it.

Keeping This Country Safe

The war claims so many of our best and brightest. A war that they entered into willingly. Because they understood the mounting dangers at hand.

Here's to 2nd Lt. John Wroblewski.



"We implore the Congress to show the same courage that our son had."

A Strange Defense Argument

Washington D.C. residents are allowed to own hatchets. Therefore they have their 2nd Amendment protections. That's one of the arguments (in so many words) now being put forth by the city in Parker v. District of Columbia, the gun ban case that is making its way to the Supreme Court.

That's according to one of the plaintiffs' attorneys anyway.

It Was Never About Iraq

Despite what you hear from the whining left about the Iraq War being lost (they, after all, can't see past their buried-in-the-sand noses), our invasion was never about Saddam Hussein, or even about Iraq. It was about the rising menace of global Islamist terror (how many times have I written that in recent years?).

As a part of that larger war, Iraq has proven to be a tough nut to crack, to be sure. But it had to be cracked. And reports of late are finally showing that to be the case.

There and in other corners of the world, we appear to be turning the tide:

A Quiet Triumph May be Brewing
By Ray Robison, The American Thinker

There are signs that the global Islamic jihad movement is splitting apart, in what would be a tremendous achievement for American strategy. The center of the action is in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the very territory which is thought to harbor Usama, and from which Al Qaeda was able to launch 9/11. Capitalizing on existing splits, a trap was set and closed, and the benefits have only begun to be evident.

The Bush Administration, most likely through the CIA and DIA, has pulled off a fantastic maneuver to split the global Islamic jihad movement at its base. This is the kind of stuff we may not hear about in detail for another fifty years. Congratulations to our President and our brave soldiers and intelligence assets for making this happen.

Al Qaeda is losing in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The fact is now inescapable that they have lost the ability to impose their political will on the West, although this does not mean they still can't hurt us.

Those politicians, Democrats or Republicans, who are calling for disengagement now are severely misinformed. (link)


The severely misinformed, of course, would include our own Senators Webb and Warner. You might want to remember that.

As for the analysis, read the whole thing.
___

In a related story, read "Taliban Debating Peace, Karzai Says."

Murtha Called To Account

Jack Murtha inches closer to being in big trouble. The following is only the first of many incidents in which the Congressman's fat ass will be hauled into court. Unfortunately it isn't because of his ABSCAM dealings or his ongoing - and shady - earmark quid pro quo arrangements. It's for his slandering an innocent Marine:

Murtha Must Testify in Defamation Case
By The Associated Press


Washington (AP) -- A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition in the case.

A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 18-term congressman for alleging ''cold-blooded murder and war crimes'' by unnamed soldiers in connection with the deaths of Iraqi
civilians in the town of Haditha.


The deaths became prominent in May 2006 when Murtha, who opposes the Iraq war, said at a Capitol Hill news conference that a Pentagon war crimes investigation will show Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians in the town in 2005. (link)

Sadly, because this is a civil action, Murtha won't be sent to prison when he's found guilty. But a hefty fine might ease some of the pain. He has the funds to cover it to be sure.

Just another earmark ...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rush Limbaugh On Rush Limbaugh

You mess with the Big Guy at your peril.

Rush Limbaugh: Anatomy of a Smear



Our junior senator, James Webb, comes into the conversation. He swallowed the left-wing/media Kool Aid and embarrassed himself. Again.
.
* Double-click on the triangle to activate.

I'm Getting Really Confused

Does this mean they are for the war again?
For a Democrat, Options in Iraq Could Be Few
Hopefuls Seen as Unlikely To Effect Rapid Change
By Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Staff Writer


In their debate Wednesday night in Hanover, N.H., none of the three top Democratic presidential candidates would promise to have the U.S. military out of Iraq by January 2013 -- more than five years from now. (link)
Do you get the impression that these nitwits will still be massaging their position on the war long after it is won?

Senator Webb Makes Headlines

After having been slapped down every time he tried to introduce substantive legislation, Virginia's junior Senator James Webb changed tactics. He rolled out something just this side of a gimme. And makes huge headlines for having done it:

Defense amendment glides through Senate
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times


U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia and fellow freshman Democrats won unanimous approval Thursday night for a measure creating an independent commission to investigate U.S. wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The amendment creates a bipartisan panel similar to one created by Harry Truman to examine ... (link)
Harry F. Byrd move over.

A note to Michael Sluss: Nice ass-kiss.

What's Up With This?

So I'm looking through the list of senate legislation that had been dealt with yesterday and came across this - the Boxer Amendment. It reads:
Boxer Amdt. No. 2947; To reaffirm strong support for all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and to strongly condemn attacks on the honor, integrity, and patriotism of any individual who is serving or has served honorably in the United States Armed Forces, by any person or organization.
Her amendment was rejected 50 to 47 (a 3/5th majority was required for passage).

What red-blooded American would vote against such an amendment (?!), I asked. I know Barbara Boxer is a leftist and - hands down - the least intelligent member of Congress but are those reasons for voting against support for our troops?

In fact, it has to do with the language - the baggage - that came with the amendment. Republicans and Democrats were going at it over that reprehensible MoveOn.org ad that attacked the patriotism of General David Petraeus, and Babs Boxer wanted to cite other attacks on other patriots who had served their country - like Max Cleland (although I don't remember his patriotism ever being under assault) and John Kerry (whose patriotism or lack thereof should be under assault).

Still, to vote against such an amendment - support for the troops - seems ... odd.

Is Hillary Up To This Task?

I keep thinking: She couldn't control her husband's penis, how on earth can she think of herself as Leader of the Free World and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force in history?

If things go right for her, we're most assuredly going to find out. Because this is about to erupt into a major war, and Hillary will (perhaps) have to make some momentous decisions:
Taiwan Plans Missiles Able to Hit China
By David Lague, The New York Times


Taipei, Taiwan — Faced with a threatening military buildup by China, an increasingly outgunned Taiwan is quietly pushing ahead with plans to develop missiles that could strike the mainland, defense and security experts say.

Taiwan successfully tested its first cruise missile with that kind of range this year, one that could send a nearly 900-pound warhead more than 600 miles, to targets as distant as Shanghai, military analysts said.

Some Taiwanese military specialists have argued for decades that Taiwan should develop offensive weapons, including missiles, as a deterrent to the mainland, which has threatened to attack the self-governing island if it moves toward formal independence. The Pentagon estimates that China has deployed 900 missiles across from Taiwan. (link)
Military confrontation is a certainty. And the United States over the years has pledged to come to Taiwan's defense, should the communist Chinese invade.

Is Hillary up to the challenge?

I keep thinking about her husband's philandering and her sheepishly looking the other way ...

A Looming Crisis?

This may be bigger than anyone imagines:
As Prices Soar, U.S. Food Aid Buys Less
By Celia W. Dugger, The New York Times


Soaring food prices, driven in part by demand for ethanol made from corn, have helped slash the amount of food aid the government buys to its lowest level in a decade, possibly resulting in more hungry people around the world this year.

The United States, the world’s dominant donor, has purchased less than half the amount of food aid this year that it did in 2000, according to new data from the Department of Agriculture.

“The people who are starving and have to rely on food aid, they will suffer,” Jean Ziegler, who reports to the United Nations on hunger and food issues, said in an interview this week. (link)
I have unwavering faith that the law of supply and demand will rectify the imbalance that has suddenly been created between the need for grain foods and the inadequate supplies that exist, as a result of so much corn and soy bean production going to the ethanol plants (though it's that same law that has created this mess).

But until more land is cleared and crops are put in, there are a whole lot of the world's poor who may suffer because of a lack of available food.

This could get ugly.

To The Global Warming True-Believers

You're convinced that the theory being pushed by a huge majority of the scientific community - that (a) the planet is warming, (b) human activity is causing it, and (c) the trend can be reversed - is no longer theory but fact.

I'll bet you bought the same snake oil back when the same bunch was hawking their ozone depletion theories.

Well, guess what:

Chemists poke holes in ozone theory
News@Nature

As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change. (link)
Read the whole thing. And learn.

It's probably worth taking a quick trip about now down memory lane.

The ozone hole problem went away (we had been on the brink of global catastrophe then too) as quickly as it surfaced, after Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1990 and we removed R12 refrigerant from our automobile air conditioning systems and replaced it with R134A (which cost five times as much), and we replaced the aerosol that contained chloroflourocarbons in our hair spray cans with other chemicals. The problem with the ozone immediately - miraculously - evaporated (pun intended).

How we eliminated the ozone hole dilemma globally by passing a law in Washington was never adequately explained but ...

Anyway, we now begin to learn that which many of us suspected all along. It was a hoax cooked up by devious and/or incompetent "scientists."

Now, let's go back to your global warming theory ...

***

I'm thinking of guys like Bill McKibben, who is absolutely certain that man-made global warming is a fact and that neanderthals like me are in denial. I rejected the ozone problem in 1990 too. Bill.

Assuming It's Not Too Late

Another reason to keep the Museum of the Confederacy in tact and move it to Lexington.

To You Wi Fi Users Up In Roanoke

I feel for ya.

You thought you were going to get a reliable wireless signal downtown - for free - only to find out, once it deployed, that it is ... less than reliable?

Well, I hate to sever that already frayed lifeline you're desperately clinging to but that service that has proven to be unreliable probably won't be free for long either.

From Tim Wu:
Where's My Free Wi-Fi?
Why municipal wireless networks have been such a flop.

It's hard to dislike the idea of free municipal wireless Internet access. Imagine your town as an oversized Internet cafe, with invisible packets floating everywhere as free as the air we breathe. That fanciful vision inspired many cities to announce the creation of free wireless networks in recent years. This summer, reality hit—one city after another has either canceled deployments or offered a product that's hardly up to the hype. What happened—was the idea all wrong?

Not quite. The basic idea of offering Internet access as a public service is sound. The problem is that cities haven't thought of the Internet as a form of public infrastructure that—like subway lines, sewers, or roads—must be paid for. Instead, cities have labored under the illusion that, somehow, everything could be built easily and for free by private parties. That illusion has run straight into the ancient economics of infrastructure and natural monopoly. The bottom line: City dwellers won't be able to get
high-quality wireless Internet access for free. If they want it, collectively, they'll have to pay for it.
Read the whole thing. Then decide how much you're willing to pay for the convenience of wireless internet. It's a great concept. Almost as wonderful as this. But "great" never comes cheap. We now await the actual price tag.

The first rule in capitalism: You get what you pay for.

How Times Have Changed

Yet they haven't changed at all.

From Andrew Breitbart:
In liberal Hollywood -- just like in the mainstream media and academia -- the decks are stacked against conservatives and Republicans. We know it.

My father-in-law, Orson Bean, an author, comedian and actor, was once blacklisted as a Communist back in the '50s. Ed Sullivan called him to say he could no longer book him on the show. Fifty years later, and after a sharp ideological metamorphosis, Orson says it's harder now to be an open conservative on a Hollywood set than it was back then to be a Communist.
Narrow-minded bigots have existed throughout my lifetime. When I was young, they included a lot of the virulent anti-communist right among us. Today they're the Hollywood left.

Will anyone come forward in L.A. to challenge this subtle bigotry, to call these people - Sean Penn, George Clooney, Barbra Streisand - out? To shame them, as a handful of brave Americans did Joe McCarthy those many years ago?

Doesn't seem likely ...

And It Goes Back Further Than That

Today's narrow-minded leftist reactionaries can be linked not only to the anti-communist right of the 50's, but also to the lynch mob of the 20's.

From Powerline, on the Duke Rape Case:
When the rape charges arose, [Duke University president Richard] Brodhead's options were to appease Duke's leftist faculty or to grant Duke students the presumption of innocence. The faculty made it clear to Brodhead that he could not do both. At an emergency meeting of the Academic Council on March 30, 2006, Brodhead urged caution and asked faculty to wait for the facts to come out. But the assembled professors, around 10 percent of the arts and sciences faculty, responded with vitriolic attacks against the team.

Knowing that Harvard president Larry Summers had recently lost a faculty no-confidence vote at Harvard, Brodhead made his choice. Shortly after the March 30 meeting with the faculty "lynch mob," Brodhead cancelled the lacrosse season and appointed a “Campus Culture Initiative” to explore issues raised by the case. Three of the four subcommittees were chaired by gang of 88 members. And one of the four student members had sent a nasty and arguably threatening email to the Duke lacrosse coach, a fact known to Brodhead. Thus, Brodhead "got out of jail" with his faculty by, in effect, throwing overboard three student athletes who faced the possibility of 30 years in jail, along with the rest of the lacrosse team and its coach.
This gets to be really frightening. These people are that dangerous.

Who's The Racist?

While Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are flying off to the deep South to get in the middle of a local dispute between teenagers over a tree and whether or not white kids are going to allow black kids to stand under it,* they ignore the blatant - and quite astounding - prejudices of their very own friends.

Today's example, from Jim Geraghty:
Asked about what he could do about "inner-city kids partaking in violence" at the MTV/MySpace Forum yesterday, Democratic candidate John Edwards offered an apocalyptic prediction for young black males:

“We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”
It's no wonder liberals like John Edwards want to hand black Americans money and provide them with food, clothing and shelter. They don't think black males are anything other than potential losers (and criminals) in this society and will never amount to anything.

How narrow-minded. How twisted. How sad.

* A good spanking all-round is in order.

Why Just $5,000?

You'll be printing the money, babe. Why not $5,000,000?

Clinton: $5,000 for Every U.S. Baby
By Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States. (link)
She did not offer an estimate of the cost or how she would pay for it.* In fact, she wouldn't be paying for it. We would. Our children would. Our grandchildren would. Our great grandchildren ...

She's not only dangerous, she's intellectually lazy.

***

I burst out laughing when I read James Taranto's take on this:
Baby On Board

"Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 'baby bond,' from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home," the Associated Press reports. Mrs. Clinton drew applause from at least one lawmaker:

"I think it's a wonderful idea," said Rep. Stephanie Stubbs [sic] Jones, an Ohio Democrat who attended the event and has already endorsed Clinton. "Every child born in the United States today owes $27,000 on the national debt, why not let them come get $5,000 to grow until their [sic] 18?"

Uhh, maybe so they won't owe $32,000 on the national debt?
Unbelievable. And goofballs like Stephanie Tubbs Jones are running things.

May God have mercy.

* At 4 million babies per year, your cost would be $20,000,000,000. Per year.

Friday, September 28, 2007

This The Best Ya Got?

It must be hard to make a good case for America being the land of bigotry and hate these days.

If only Bull Connor hadn't died ...

Not that certain Roanoke Times columnists don't make the attempt, if ever so feckless.

We start with the obligatory:

From imperialism to a nation of law
By Luanne Traud


[editor's note: Actually we start out with some boring blah blah blah]

... minority parties, two groups in particular, have horrifying stories to tell.

For Native Americans, the arrival of the Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant spelled the beginning of their end.

For blacks -- referred to in the Constitution as peculiar forms of property -- the story is equally as brutal. (link)

So we are to be ashamed of the hardships brought on minorities by our ancestors of a few hundred years ago. Okay. Certainly not groundbreaking stuff there, still accurate just the same.

But in order to bring the argument forward to a century some of us might actually have some familiarity with, one in which we might share culpability - to slavery, genocide, etc. - what we are accused of gets almost laughable by comparison:

We don't condone violent acts upon individuals, but we haven't as yet backed away from discrimination.

We amend state constitutions to provide that "marriage is between a man and a woman" to explicitly* tell gays and lesbians we don't approve of their kind.

We demand action be taken against "illegals" moving into our communities by requiring identification be shown by anyone who doesn't look quite like most of us.

We proffer that our founders practiced Christianity; most of us are Christians; therefore, we do indeed have a national religion.

We allow a school in Louisiana to remain trapped in the pre-civil rights era so that black children must ask permission to sit under a whites-only tree.
This is beyond silly. But qualifies as pathetic.

We go from the enslavement of blacks, with all the brutality and inhumanity that went along with it, to the notion of a - horror of horrors - national religion.** The genocide of a race of "indigenous" peoples (we'll save that argument for another day) to the shame of declaring that marriage is to remain what it has always been.

And that unspeakable and dastardly requirement that Mexicans enter the country legally - I feel just like the commandant at Auschwitz must have felt when he went before the tribunal at Nuremberg. The cruelty. The heartlessness.

About now, I feel like I've been lynching my field hands for having picked cotton too slowly.

If that ain't bad enough, there's that whites-only tree. Somewhere.

Somebody give me a rope. I may hang myself. I feel that guilty.

...

It must be tough to try to fit the mold of save-America-from-itself crusader in an age when we are pretty darn good to our fellow citizens.

* Actually we implicitly told tell gays and lesbians we don't approve of their deviant behavior. We explicitly affirmed the traditional state postion that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

** We'll fight that battle another day.

Crisis? What Crisis?

The Democrats here in the commonwealth haven't given up on the idea that taxes must be raised in order to solve that transportation crisis that our Democratic governor told us was solved during the last legislative session. They intend to pursue the issue further (until we are completely sucked dry).

I would ask you to remember, next time you hear one of these jokers talk about that or the impending fiscal crisis, this:

Kaine pushes schools program
In a visit to Patrick Henry High, the governor said a prekindergarden plan is key to his agenda.
By David Harrison, The Roanoke Times


Gov. Tim Kaine visited Roanoke's Patrick Henry High School on Thursday to pitch his early childhood education plan to a receptive audience: the city's PTA parents.

Kaine has made pre-kindergarten education a centerpiece of his agenda and promised the roughly 200 parents, teachers and school administrators that he would work to expand it again during next year's General Assembly session.

Kaine has said his "Start Strong" initiative would cost $125 million and enroll an additional 17,000 at-risk 4-year-olds by the time it is fully rolled out in 2012. (link)

Setting aside my urge to remind our governor that he is utterly incapable of creating conditions that allow for the teaching of our children to read and count - with thirteen years of effort - and that there is no indication that his idea of thrusting 4-year olds into that same environment won't produce the same result, where does he intend to find the funds for this little venture? Transportation? Education? New taxes?

We're in the middle of a full-blown crisis, Tim! Remember?

Or so we're being told ...

Anyone else get the impression we're being played for fools here?

Judge 'Em By Their Standard-bearers

I don't even need to ridicule this idiocy:
Convicted Lynne An 'Ethics' Expert
By Jehhifer Fermino, The New York Post


September 28, 2007 -- Lynne Stewart - the disbarred lawyer convicted of helping her terrorist client smuggle messages to his murderous followers - has been tapped to lecture law students on legal ethics at Hofstra University.

In 2005, Stewart was found guilty of providing material support to terrorists by helping her jailed client, blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, communicate with his cohorts.

Abdel-Rahman was a key figure behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

She was sentenced to 28 months in jail and is appealing her conviction. (link)
A terror handmaiden. An authority on ethical behavior.

For the love of God.

This Explains a Lot

Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, is a strange bird. Purported to be an economist, he's been wrong on predicting future economic trends since ... well, since he first appeared on the national scene. Which makes one wonder what the definition of economist is?

Anyway, Krugman clears away some of the fog this morning. I now understand how it is he is so wrong so often. He hasn't a clue as to what he's talking about.

To wit:
Hired Gun Fetish

Sometimes it seems that the only way to make sense of the Bush administration is to imagine that it’s a vast experiment concocted by mad political scientists who want to see what happens if a nation systematically ignores everything we’ve learned over the past few centuries about how to make a modern government work. (link)
He goes on to explain his inability to "make sense" of the Bush administration by citing the government's use of mercenaries (private soldiers hired by foreign governments) in Iraq:
As far as I can tell, America has never fought a war in which mercenaries made up a large part of the armed force. But in Iraq, they ...
Now it all becomes clear. Paul Krugman is simply an ignoramus.

Ever heard of Bay of Pigs?

The mujahedeen?

The contras?

These involved fighting forces made up of civilians financed by the United States government. Mercenaries.

Krugman ...

A Mystery Solved

Well, this only leaves Jimmy Hoffa:
Remains May Be Children of Last Czar
By The Associated Press


Moscow (AP) -- There is a ''high degree of probability'' that bones found recently near the Russian city of Yekaterinburg are those of a daughter and son of the last czar, an official said Friday, citing preliminary forensic work.

If confirmed, the latest find would fill in a missing chapter in the story of the doomed Romanov family, whose reign was ended by the violent 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, which ushered in more than 70 years of communist rule.

The bones were found by archaeologists in a burned field near Yekaterinburg, a city in the Ural Mountains where Czar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their five children were held prisoner by the Bolsheviks and then shot in 1918. The discovery was announced in August. (link)
After all these years ... closure.

Islam Will Rule The World

"Smoking is banned here, sir. Put out that cigarette. Oh, you're a Muslim? That's okay then."

Hookah lounges exempt from bylaw
Frances Bula, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver's hookah-parlour [a
definition] owners are celebrating after winning an exemption Thursday from a proposed new bylaw that will ban smoking on most sidewalks in commercial districts, in bus shelters and even in taxis passing through Vancouver.

In giving the bylaw unanimous approval-in-principle, Vancouver city council members bowed to arguments that hookah lounges provide an important cultural space for the city's Muslims and granted them a temporary exemption.

The bylaw, which provides for fines of $100 to $2,000, won't come into effect until the legal department has drafted Thursday's amendments. No firm date for its implementation has been set.

... Vancouver's planned new bylaw will prohibit smoking in any taxi travelling through Vancouver, even if the driver and all the passengers don't have a problem with it and even if the taxi is licensed in another municipality.

It will also prohibit smoking within six metres of any entryway, window or air intake for a public building, which will effectively ban smoking on most sidewalks in commercial areas, since sidewalks are only three metres wide and doors are often less than six metres apart.

And it will prohibit smoking on restaurant patios and at bus shelters. (
link)
Oh, and if you've still not been convinced that the Canadians have lost their minds, consider this:
"The one foggy point in the new bylaw was whether it will apply to crack cocaine and crystal-meth smoking."
We're doomed as a species.

Hat tip to Mark Steyn.

The Great Divide

The average American is so far removed from the positions being taken by the leading Democratic candidates for President, it's astounding. Take, as an example, the debate that took place the other night ...
Forget Clintonomics--This Is Mondalenomics
By James Pethokoukis, U.S. News & World Report


If you've a hankering for higher government spending and higher taxes—and I know plenty of people who do—you most likely got a bellyful at last night's Democratic debate in Hanover, N.H. Here are a few takeaways:


1) Democrats do realize that America exists in a hypercompetitive global economy, right? Mentions of "compete" or "competitiveness," zero; "China," one; "India," zero; "Asia," zero; "innovation," zero; "productivity," zero; "technology," two.

2) Thank goodness for global warming. Without it, Dems would seem to be hard pressed to come up with a strategy to grow the economy faster. This from Dennis Kucinich: "I'm talking about a new WPA, a Works Green Administration, creating technologies for a green America—we have to believe in economic growth. We should raise the ceiling." (Here's why climate change and massive government spending may not be an economic plus.) A skeptic might say that global warming provides a handy excuse for more government spending. (link)
Read the whole thing.

It's baffling how these people can be taken seriously.

Well, This Certianly Changes My Mind

I may want to reconsider my firm opposition to Hillary's candidacy. Democratic anti-war Senator George McGovern is coming out in her support.

(editor's note: I thought he was dead.)

McGovern Set to Endorse Clinton
McGovern Says He 'Never Forgot' Clinton's Work on His 1972 White House Bid

By Jake Tapper, ABCNews.com

ABC News has learned that former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, is planning to endorse the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in Iowa City, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 6.

The Clinton campaign declined to comment. (link)
The question becomes: If this loser offers his endorsement, is she required to accept it?

They're Getting Way Too Smart

Thursday, September 27, 2007

That's The Best You Got?

Coal-fired power plant technology has improved to the point where opponents (those who take a moment now and then to have deep, heartfelt, sincere thoughts about the environment and those who think electricity comes from that little doohickie along the base of the wallboard in the double-wide) now find themselves with so little to argue their point anymore.

So they either make new shit up - like that CO2 canard (carbon emissions from the plants are destroying the planet ... while carbon emissions from human beings - oddly - aren't) or they change the subject. And speaking of the Roanoke Times ...

So why is that new power plant that is going to be built in Wise County such a bad thing for Wise County - other than the fact that all the new jobs it will create and all the new cash that will flow may put a strain on the inventory levels at the Wal-Mart in Norton when newly cash-lavished workers come down to buy their children some new clothes, food, and medicine?

Surface mining.

Huh?

The Times:
Editorial: Act now to protect our mountaintops
Mountains need not be decimated to extract coal and support jobs.


It is unlikely environmentalists will prevail in their fight to stop Dominion Virginia Power from building a coal-fired plant in Wise County. The project, after all, has the blessing of the General Assembly to meet two objectives: increase the supply of electricity in Virginia and create economic development in job-scarce far Southwest.

Dominion's planned 585-megawatt power station will create 75 jobs at the plant and support an additional 350 new mining jobs; it more than fits lawmakers' intent.

Yet it is the unintended consequences that have rightly alarmed environmentalists. Their concerns that the plant will worsen air pollution and encourage the incredibly destructive practice of mountaintop removal mining need to be addressed. (link)
I always get a big kick out of the hyperbole that must be invoked when trying to make the case against surface mining. It's not just a "destructive practice" when we rearrange the rocks, it's "incredibly destructive." If that doesn't block the creation of jobs down in Wise, expect these jokers to invoke the dreaded "super-incredibly destructive" practice of landscape beautification (my descriptor; not to be confused, probably, with theirs).

It's odd these guys never use the same adverb when decrying the fact that forests must be destroyed in order to produce newspapers. But these environmentalists will probably argue that such destruction is incredibly beneficial to mankind.

Anyway, here's where my reading of this editorial begins and ends:

"Dominion's planned 585-megawatt power station will create 75 jobs at the plant and support an additional 350 new mining jobs"

Anything after that is nothing more than incredibly hot air.

Like I've Been Saying

I wonder if the children who write for the editorial page of the Roanoke Times read the Roanoke Times.

If they did, they'd find out why we need those 350 good-paying jobs down in Wise County. Desperately.

I encourage them - and you - to read "Virginia: a tale of two states? " Dan B. Fleming, professor emeritus of education at Virginia Tech, makes the case I've been making for years. (here) (here)

The money quote:
"As Virginia has moved from an agricultural and manufacturing base to a high-tech economy, parts of the state have suffered severe job and population losses. Virginia is a wealthy state, but a recent government study found that Southwest and Southside Virginia had a per capita income of $21,000, lower than any of the 50 states, making even Mississippi look good."
The good professor goes on to list a number of taxes that the commonwealth should look to raise which, in my opinion, would drive more business out of the area and make Southwest Virginia more of a welfare-basket-case. But his assessment of our situation is stark and spot-on.

Read the column. Food for thought.

I Must Be 'Dreaming'

What in God's name is with these people in Congress? They want to provide special favors to illegal Mexicans that they wouldn't dream of offering American citizens? Are they nuts?

Is the grass brown? ...
Kill this nightmarish bill
Washinton Times editorial

Advocates of amnesty for illegal aliens may be about to suffer another political blow. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, Sen. Dick Lugar and Sen. Chuck Hagel have been trying to attach an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would enact the so-called Dream Act, which would permit illegals to attend college while paying lower in-state tuition rates.

The Dream Act would also provide illegals with a generous new path to amnesty — provided that they unlawfully entered the country prior to age 16 and have been in the United States for at least five years. How's that for a nose-thumbing at law-abiding citizens and immigrants. (link)
This is far worse than that awful legislation that Ted Kennedy tried to force on us a few months ago. This is amnesty AND tuition breaks AND a fast-track to citizenship.

They've gone stark raving mad.

And they must be stopped.

I'm shocked. Shocked!

Who would have guessed that the Democratic plan for combatting global warming would involve raising taxes?

As hard as it is to believe, it seems to be so:
Plan Uses Taxes to Fight Climate Change
By H. Josef Herbert, The Associated Press


Washington -- Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won't like _ a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks for some home owners.

"I'm trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it's going to have a measure of pain that you're not going to like," Rep. John Dingell, who is marking his 52nd year in Congress, said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. (link)
* a 50-cent gasoline tax

* a carbon tax

*and scaling back tax breaks for some home owners.

... to theoretically reduce the temperature of the planet an estimated 0.25 degrees centigrade.

These people are dangerous to our way of life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Speaking Of Small Minds ...

Some environmental activist who lives far, far away has announced that he is gathering opposition to the construction of that new power plant down in Wise County that will provide inexpensive electricity, government revenue, and most important, much-needed jobs.

Apparently his employment with the Sierra Club demands that he opposes the creation of jobs for needy folks down this way ...

The news:
Coalition opposes power station
Dominion Virginia Power has proposed building a coal-fired plant in Wise County.
By Michael Sluss , The Roanoke Times


Richmond -- A coalition of environmental groups formally launched a campaign Tuesday to derail a proposed coal-fired power plant in Wise County, arguing that the plant will encourage destructive mining practices and worsen air pollution.

"We're going to the grass roots, we're going to the corporate suites," said Glen Besa, the Appalachian regional director for the Sierra Club. "We're going to fight this power plant wherever we can."

Dominion is seeking approval for a 585-megawatt power station on a 1,700-acre site near St. Paul. The plant, which would have about the same generating capacity as Appalachian Power Co.'s Smith Mountain Lake hydroelectric project, could provide enough power to serve 146,000 residential customers, according to the company.

Dominion hopes to get approval from the State Corporation Commission next spring and begin operating the plant in 2012. Dominion officials said the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center would have 75 full-time workers and create 350 new mining jobs in far Southwest Virginia. And it will help meet a growing long-term demand for electricity, officials said. (link)
a) 425 new excellent-paying jobs are to be created in a part of the country where they are desperately needed.

b) The project is opposed by a left-wing organization, the Sierra Club (one that isn't a club and isn't headquartered in the Sierras), that is headed up by the kind of elitist individuals who'd rather be tortured than be forced to breathe the same air as Wise County, Virginians.

c) The opposition is led by an individual, that Glen Besa cited above, who isn't from the area either. He works out of comfy digs over in Richmond.

a+b+c= SUPPORT THE POWER PLANT. WISE COUNTY NEEDS YOUR HELP!

There's Hope Yet For The Episcopalians

Oh, wait. Never mind.

I thought the headline read:

Leaders Pledge Gay Bishops Will Practice Restraint

But no:

Leaders Pledge Restraint on Gay Bishops

Deviant behavior to be tolerated ongoing.

Nothing More Need Be Said

George Will on the New York Times violation of the very campaign finance laws that it championed:

"The Times, a media corporation that is a fountain of detailed editorial instructions about how the rest of the world should conduct its business, seems confused about how it conducts its own."

"Sauce for the Times," The Washington Post, September 26, 2007

Kiss This Goodbye

Here's the bottom line, people:

You can have the finest health care delivery system on the planet. And pay dearly for it.

Or ...

You can have Hillary's universal rationed care. And pay dearly for it.

Before you decide, think about this:
Healthy Report
Reuters


September 26, 2007 -- The quality of U.S. health care is steadily improving, with more patients getting recommended treatments, according to a report released yesterday.

"Since 2000, improvement in just four areas of care - beta-blocker treatment for heart attack patients, cholesterol management, controlling high blood pressure and improving blood-sugar control among diabetics - has saved the lives of almost 125,000 Americans," the National Committee for Quality Assurance said. (link)
Beta-blockers. It's this sort of cutting edge research and application that will be the first to get sacrificed when Hillary tries to control the cost of care. Those 125,000 lives that were saved will be sacrificed.

But, by God, they at least had health care coverage before they died.

Don't believe me? Go to Canada or Europe and inquire about such treatments. Just make sure you either plan on staying a long, long time or plan by obtaining a round-trip ticket.

Dems Vote To Enrich The Rich

Well, they did it. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted yesterday to expand SCHIP to include health insurance coverage for rich kids. To the tune of $35 billion. An amount that the government doesn't currently have on hand. But will soon enough. The taxman cometh.

Rich kids? Well, specifically families with annual household incomes of $83,000. I'd call that rich. And, if enacted, those kids' parents will be able to plan that vacation in Cancun after all. Such the helping hand.

The news:

House Votes to Expand Insurance for Kids
By Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer


Washinton, (AP) -- The House voted Tuesday to expand health insurance for children, but the Democratic-led victory may prove short-lived because the margin was too small to override President Bush's promised veto.

Embarking on a health care debate likely to animate the 2008 elections, the House voted 265-159 to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, by $35 billion over five years. Bush says he will veto the bill due to its cost, its reliance on a tobacco tax increase and its potential for replacing private insurance with government grants.

The Bush administration says the legislation could qualify some New York families of four making about $83,000 a year, or four times the poverty level. (link)
To highlight the fact that this was a mean-spirited attempt to expand the omnipresent tentacles of the growing universal health care menace, the Democratic proposal called for massive new taxes on the poor:

Eight Democrats opposed the bill. Some, from tobacco-growing districts, object to raising the federal cigarette tax to $1 a pack, a 61-cent increase.
Those in the bottom buckets of the income scale are disproportionately cigarette smokers. This effort to fund health care for rich kids would therefore fall most heavily on those least capable of paying for it. So much for all that compassion blather.

In any case, President Bush has vowed to veto this beast. He can't do it quickly enough.

***

For the record, Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon), overseeing some of the most poverty-stricken precincts in the nation, voted to raise taxes on the poor. Thanks for taking care of us, Rick!

Same Old Ditsy Dowd

Now that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has come out from behind that TimesSelect firewall, we're offered a vivid reminder of the fact that the woman is afflicted with an inability to have a coherent thought. Her trying to express the resulting confusion-of-the-mind makes for entertaining - and amusing - reading.

This morning, in a wildly rambling, painful-to-try-and-follow screed dealing with the recent visit of the Iranian president to the the USA, Dowd chastises a host of people - from Katie Couric to the staff at the New York Daily News - for being unkind to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But she saved her vitriole for Columbia University's president:

A snippet from ‘Fruitbat’ at Bat:

[Ahmadinejad's] irrelevant U.N. speech was a bad combo with the schoolyard name-calling of Lee Bollinger. Even some in the anti-Ahmadinejad audience gasped a bit as Columbia’s president gave the meanest introduction in the history of introductions — one that only managed to elevate the creep sitting on stage with his thugs. Once you’ve made the decision to invite a tyrannical leader, you can’t undo it by belittling him in public. Universities are supposed to be places where you can debate and hear dissenting voices; it would have been far better just to hand the mike to the students and let it rip.


How dare President Bollinger call that worm names!

This from the woman who routinely makes up childish schoolyard names for the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State ...

Maureen Dowd thinks we were wrong in mistreating an avowed terrorist. She routinely expresses her belief that we should instead mistreat President Bush.

The woman is back. And hasn't changed.

Who's Running The Museum?

As you know by now, those who are in charge of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond have decided to break up its fabulous - and priceless - collection of Civil War memorabilia, the largest in the world, in order to bring an end to the controversy revolving around the word confederacy, and send its thousands of historical objects to various museums scattered around Virginia. If you're not familiar with the story, start here and follow the links.

There's some irony here, if that's the right word.

If you go to the Museum's very own website, you find out that the Museum is recognized by its administrators as being "endangered."

The details:

Museum recognized by Civil War Preservation Trust

The Museum of the Confederacy is recognized as one of 2007's "History Under Siege" sites. "History Under Siege" is the Civil War Preservation Trust's (CWPT) annual report on endangered Civil War battlefields. According to CWPT, although not a battlefield, the Museum and White House of the Confederacy "are as endangered as any battleground in the U.S.," and are "literally being strangled" by the neighboring urban medical complex of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Those responsible for the maintenance of the Museum acknowledge the fact, by posting this finding to the official Museum website, that it is endangered, and they choose to destroy the Museum of the Confederacy anyway.

A few questions: Who is behind this? Does the president and CEO of the Museum have the authority, even with the Board's acquiescence, to do this? The leadership has been given the task of preserving the museum; does killing it fall under that purview?

Do the people not have a say in the matter?

The Museum of the Confederacy is an invaluable treasure trove of Virginia and Southern history. It is an historical entity unto itself. To break up the collection is to destroy a piece of that history.

This decision must not stand.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This Whole Endorsement Thing Makes My Head Hurt

Stop the presses. Cooter has endorsed Eric Ferguson for delegate over in the 9th District. The Democrat is now a shoo-in.
Democrat, Republican endorsed
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times

An area sheriff candidate and a House of Delegates candidate picked up endorsements over the weekend.

Eric Ferguson, a Democrat running for the 9th District House of Delegates seat, received an endorsement from former U.S. Rep. Ben "Cooter" Jones, who starred in the popular 1980s television series "Dukes of Hazzard."

Jones, who played Cooter Davenport in the "Dukes of Hazzard" and was elected to the House of Representatives from Georgia in the 1990s, endorsed Ferguson during a fundraiser.

"For too long we've had 'Boss Hogg'-style politics, and we need Eric to put a stop to it," Jones said. "Whether it's health care, transportation, education or taxes, Eric is right there fighting for the working men and women of Virginia."

Ferguson is running against Republican candidate Charles Poindexter and independent candidate Jerry Boothe, in the race to replace Del. Allen Dudley, R-Rocky Mount. (link)
"Eric is right there fighting for the working ..." Get the impression that ol' Cooter doesn't know the first thing about this attorney he's endorsing (who "fights" in the following areas of law: "Personal Injury; Wills; Probate; Trusts and Estates; Insurance; Real Estate; General Practice")?

Cooter endorses Eric. Give it the weight and treat it with the dignity it deserves.

Bland County Will Take Those Jobs

The folks over in Salem apparently are satisfied with their way of life and have enough good-paying jobs. They don't need any more , thank you.

Works for me. Maybe Conmat Properties should consider building its cement plant over here in Bland County where those 12 to 15 jobs will be greatly appreciated. And thank you. I'm tired of seeing sweet potatoes piled up on the lawn over at the Bland Ministry Center , where volunteers are working to feed the hungry (and provide clothing, free haircuts, and free dental care to the poor).

The news from Salem:
Salem puts proposed concrete facility on hold
The city council heard objections from many who attended Monday's meeting.
By Marquita Brown, The Roanoke Times


A request for a special permit to build a concrete mixing plant in Salem has been temporarily halted.

Salem City Council voted Monday night to postpone making a decision on Conmat Properties' request for a special-exception permit to build and operate the "concrete batch plant" off Kesler Mill Road. The council will readdress the issue at its Oct. 8 meeting.

More than 30 people attended an hour-long public hearing on the proposed plant. Those who spoke said they were concerned about damage to area roads, as well as noise and dust that could be created by the plant.

Eddie Harris, an executive vice president of plant builder ConRock, further explained the company's plans at the meeting. He said the $2.2 million plant would bring 12 to 15 jobs to Salem. He also said the company uses technology to reduce dust and particle emissions and adheres to environmental requirements. (link)
I hereby side with the residents of Salem who have no interest in their neighbors prospering. Bring that plant over here, fellas. I want to see my neighbors prosper.