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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So Is This a Happy Ending Or Not?

The kids on the editorial staff at the Charleston (WV) Gazette are about as rabidly anti-gun as anyone around. Or are they?

From something called "Potpourri" a few days ago:

Bearing arms in West Virginia: Stephanie Holsinger and Dexter Dewayne Gilmer pleaded guilty to accompanying former Capital High School basketball star L.B. Hooker on an armed robbery — but the robbery victim pulled his own pistol and killed Hooker with a bullet in the back. (link)
An innocent man is confronted by armed would-be felons.
He has exercised his 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and is packing.
He drops one of the assailants.
He apparently subdues the others.
A success story.

Thanks, Founding Fathers.
Thanks, NRA.
Thanks, Charleston Gazette, whether you meant for this to be taken properly or not.

But These Are Your Heroes

The Charleston (WV) Gazette is keen on the government taking over our health care system. Starting with that idiocy relating to expansion of SCHIP to nearly every citizen of the Mountaineer State.

The same government, ahem, that supervises the mines:
Mine deaths
● Failed government

Charleston Gazette editorial

Every few weeks, it seems, West Virginia gets a fresh reminder of what happens when the government does not do its job. Unfortunately, the reminder comes when another coal miner is killed.

Although federal law requires each underground mine to be fully inspected four times annually, the mine where Keeney died had not been inspected for almost a year.

It is outrageous that the federal government has brushed aside its legally obligated duty. West Virginia’s workers are paying for it. (link)
Think about this next time you read on these same pages a call for the government - that same government - to step in and begin oversight of the health of your children.

May God then have mercy on us.

We Need McCain-Feingold II?

This is almost humorous, it's so devious.

John McCain (and a host of other Big-Government types) continue to try to separate political campaign cash from political campaigns, with McCain-Feingold being, memorably, the last in a long line of many legislative attempts to bring donations - influence - under control.

It seems that each time a new barrier is erected, those most interested in affecting election outcomes in this country find a way to blow right past them. This is really kind of shrewd:

A Drive-By Swift-Boating
By Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post


The glossy fliers turned up in mailboxes in Massachusetts's 5th Congressional District the weekend before the election. "No one should be signing blank checks to President Bush!" announced one, urging recipients to "Call Jim Ogonowski and tell him you don't agree with his spending priorities!"

Another showed a young girl blowing on a dandelion. "President Bush feels she doesn't deserve healthcare," it said. "Under the Niki Tsongas Plan, kids get the healthcare they need!"

[T]hey were produced by a group with the audaciously ironic name Democracy Still Works. Staffed by Massachusetts Democratic strategists, it was created Sept. 28; it won't have to report the source of its money or how much it spent until January.

Unlike the candidates' own committees (which are limited to $2,300 donations) or regular political committees that register with the Federal Election Commission (limited to $5,000 checks), groups such as Democracy Still Works claim they can accept unlimited donations from any source, including corporations and labor unions.

This is the electoral equivalent of a contract hit, conducted by a mysterious assailant specially created for the mission at hand. (link)

Where's McCain when we need him? More laws, man. We need more laws. More ...

But Isn't That The Point?

Rudy Giuliani got to the nut of the HillaryCare matter the other day with the release of a campaign ad in which he began the process of informing the American people as to that which they could expect from government-run health care. In the ad he said the following:

I had prostate cancer five, six years ago. My chance of surviving prostate cancer — and, thank God, I was cured of it — in the United States? Eighty-two percent. My chance of surviving prostate cancer in England? Only 44 percent under socialized medicine.
A shocking comparison.

Naturally, the British government/medical establishment is fighting back. Though how this is supposed to nullify Giuliani's argument is beyond me:
Giuliani’s Prostate Cancer Figure Is Disputed
By Julie Bosman, The New York Times

In a radio advertisement playing in New Hampshire and in speeches along the campaign trail, Rudolph W. Giuliani has cited statistics to cut at the heart of his Democratic rivals’ health care proposals, which he has derided as European-style “socialist” plans that will lower the standard of care in the United States.

Mr. Giuliani’s Democratic rivals would argue that they are not advocating government-run health care in their plans to extend coverage to the uninsured. But, beyond that, the 44 percent figure that Mr. Giuliani has been citing is in dispute. The Office for National Statistics in Britain says the five-year survival rate from prostate cancer there is 74.4 percent. And doctors also say it is unfair to compare prostate cancer statistics in Britain with those in the United States because in the United States the cancer is more likely to be diagnosed in its early stages. (link) (my emphasis)

That last point is exactly the point that Giuliani is trying to make. Because Britain has adopted a HillaryCare-like health care system, long lines, poor quality care, inadequate staffing, and equipment shortages have become the norm. People can go for months waiting to see a physician. Thus, cancers are more likely to not be diagnosed early in Britain. And thousands are dying as a result.

A line worth remembering in Giuliani's ad that went unreported by the Times is this:


“Government has never been able to reduce costs. Government never increases quality.”

Of that axiom, the British are a glaring example.

Finally, Rudy has this:

“We have the best health care system in the world. We just have to make it better.”

And we will. If we keep Hillary Clinton and her ilk away from it.

We Need A Lot More Smokers

If Congress is going to cover all those children of parents who can afford their own health care insurance but don't wish to, we are going to need a whole lot more cigarette smokers out there. It's a massive tax increase on cigarettes, you see, that is going to be the funding mechanism for the program, called SCHIP. So no cigarette purchases and the kids suffer.

Makes no sense? Follow along:



Buy a carton of Marlboros today. It's for the children.


Double-click on the triangle to activate.

1984 Comes to 2007

Where once the free exchange of ideas was encouraged, there is now the heavy hand of GroupThink imposed. How did our once-fabulous institutions of higher learning sink to this level?
University of Delaware Requires Students to Undergo Ideological Reeducation
FIRE Press Release


Newark, Del., October 30, 2007—The University of Delaware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech.

The university’s views are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to “sustainability” door decorations. Students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The RAs who facilitate these meetings have received their own intensive training from the university, including a “diversity facilitation training” session at which RAs were taught, among other things, that “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.” (link)
These people must be stopped. For all we hold dear ...

Nobody's Stopping You

You'll never read me criticizing Warren Buffett when it comes to investment strategy. The man knows his stuff. However, when it comes to his liberal Democratic politics, he's as boneheaded as the best of them.

Apparently, mysterious forces are preventing him from writing a big fat check to that United States government that he is so enamored with:
I should pay more tax, says US billionaire Warren Buffett
By Andrew Clark, The Guardian

The United States' second-richest man has delivered a blunt message to the Bush administration: he wants to pay more tax.

Warren Buffett, the famous investor known as the "Sage of Omaha", has complained that he pays a lower rate of tax than any of his staff - including his receptionist. Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52bn (£25bn), said: "The taxation system has tilted towards the rich and away from the middle class in the last 10 years. It's dramatic; I don't think it's appreciated and I think it should be addressed." (link)
Buffett is a big Clinton supporter. Can you tell?

"I'm not paying enough! I'm not paying enough!"

Put your money where your mouth is, Warren. Get out the checkbook. Make that check out to:

BIG BLACK HOLE
WASHINGTON D.C.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If Only They Were Consistent

The Roanoke Times this morning lashes out at those Virginia politicians (which included ... ahem ... the Governor) who supported the "abusive driver fees" initiative in an attempt to fund transportation expenditure needs:
Editorial: Easy fees instead of hard decisions

Abusive driver fees are the type of leadership voters can continue to expect from a Republican majority.

Candidates hope voters remain hopping mad over abusive driver fees and will vote against those who enacted them. Trouble is both Democrats and Republicans blame the other. Who's really to blame? The people who think it's good public policy to pay for roads this way, that's who.

House Republicans first came up with the idea of abusive driver fees. It wasn't a terribly horrible idea to think of ways to heap an extra dose of punishment on aggressive drivers who repeatedly flout traffic laws and endanger the lives of others.

But those reasons pale in comparison with the greater outrage: This is how the majority party believes fundamental government services should be funded.

"It was an attempt to pave roads with gimmicks and it got figured out," said House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong. (link)
The kind of gimmick, so you know, that this same bunch is totally supportive of when it comes to government-funded middle-class health care coverage. Somehow advocating in favor of increasing the cigarette tax on the poor (while decrying the manufacture, sale, and use of cigarettes) to pay for the expansion of a federal program is just swell but finding a compromise that involved an increase in driver fees is a really bad thing.

Such principled individuals ...

No, We Meant Afghanistan

All hope is lost. The war is a complete and utter failure. The terrorists are winning in Iraq Afghanistan.
Foreign Fighters of Harsher Bent Bolster Taliban
By David Rohde, The New York Times


Foreign fighters are coming from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, various Arab countries and perhaps also Turkey and western China, Afghan and American officials say.

Their growing numbers point to the worsening problem of lawlessness in Pakistan’s tribal areas, which they use as a base to train alongside militants from Al Qaeda who have carried out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Europe, according to Western diplomats.

They are also helping to change the face of the Taliban from a movement of hard-line Afghan religious students into a loose network that now includes a growing number of foreign militants as well as disgruntled Afghans and drug traffickers. (link)
You thought the war was all about Iraq? You were wrong. The REAL problem is Afghanistan.

That's our story and we're sticking to it.

That Elusive Global Warming Evidence

Glenn Reynolds on the latest global warming news:
THE LOWEST LEVEL OF HURRICANE ACTIVITY IN THIRTY YEARS. But I thought that global warming was going to produce an ever-growing number of hurricanes like Katrina . . . .

Now, however, it's going to produce an ever-growing number of wildfires like in California. So we should be safe from those for a few years . . . . (link)
Well, we still have those vanishing polar bears. Right?

Where's Big Al? We need another wild scenario, quick!

Mitt Gets It Right

Governor Romney appearing on Hannity & Colmes touches on Hillary's "experience" for the job:
Excerpts From Romney’s “Hannity & Colmes” Interview
Time.com

I think the greatest drawback beyond the direction she’d take us is that she’s never run anything. She’s never had the occasion of being in the private sector, running a business, or, for that matter, running a state or a city. She hasn’t run anything, and the government of the United States is not a place for a president to be an intern. You need to have experience actually leading and running things.

I’d suggest it makes her uniquely unqualified in that she is one of the few that really has not had experience in leading in a significant way an enterprise of some kind, to know how you bring teams together, how you work on key challenges, how you’re able to bring together public support and pull the organization in a direction that allows it to be successful. (link)
Call me wrongheaded but it seems like the Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful military force in the history of the planet and the leader of the free world should have something on her résumé besides "Blindly loyal wife to an habitually cheating spouse."

And yet millions will be voting for her. It's frightening.

As That Audacious Hope Fades ...

Rich Lowry on Barack Obama's flameout:
Obama: Navel-Gazer-In-Chief

October 30, 2007 -- When it comes to self- reflection, Barack Obama is an overa chiever. At 46, he's already written two memoirs when most people in public life (sometime at the end of their career) will be lucky to write one.

So far, what Obama seems set to get out of his presidential campaign is yet another memoir - this one an agonized, personal account of how his campaign went nowhere despite all the media hoopla, crowds and fund-raising. It turns out that voters aren't as interested in Barack Obama as Barack Obama is. (link)
Yesterday we received the delightful news that no one in America cares about Jimmy Carter's compelling life story. Today Obama.

Can Hillary's house of cards be far behind?

Rudy Gets It Right

About this, I have no doubt:
Giuliani: Dems Will Change Minds on Iraq
By Holly Ramer, Associated Press

Londonderry, N.H. (AP) - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Monday that two of the Democratic candidates will change their minds again about the Iraq war and agree that it was the right decision.

Asked at a town-hall meeting to characterize the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq, Giuliani said they have done an admirable job.

"Do I think the mission overall in Iraq is the correct one, I think without a doubt it is," the former New York mayor said at Insight Technologies, which makes tactical weapon lights and laser systems for the military.

"And I think the Democrats are going to change their minds about it again," Giuliani said, noting that Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards voted as senators for the initial invasion in 2003. (link)
Expect Hillary to come out in favor of the noble cause. It was the manner in which the war was fought that she'll say she opposed all along the way.

And the mainstream media will buy it and move on ...

Roscoe Reynolds: Warrior For The People?

Delegate Bill Carrico has something to say about that.



Double-Click on triangle to activate.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'll Not Waste My Time

The Roanoke Times this morning comes out in support of retiring Senator John Warner's plan to bring an end make a microscopic reduction in global warming temperatures.

The Europeans have been there. And done that.

And now they're looking for Plan B.

The Times would be wise to as well.

They Just Don't Get It

To the people at the Washington Post, changing the SCHIP eligibility threshhold so as to exclude upper-middle class Americans but allow for the expansion to include government-funded health care for middle-class Americans - at the expense of the poor (who smoke cigarettes) - is an improvement. To rational people, it's still a travesty.

Their take:

More Health-Care Politicking
editorial

The latest version of the measure expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program makes significant changes to address the criticisms of President Bush and some Republican lawmakers. The compromise focuses more resources on enrolling the poorest children; further reduces eligibility for childless adults; and strengthens protections to ensure that illegal immigrants do not receive benefits. It caps SCHIP eligibility at three times the federal poverty level, ending the bogus argument about covering children in families earning as much as $83,000 a year. And it seeks to lessen the risk that families will drop private insurance to put their children on SCHIP by making more SCHIP money available to help pay premiums for private insurance. Mr. Bush's assertion that the measure "fails to do what needs to be done to put poor children first" is unconvincing. (link)
Cut out the weasel words and you get this: If signed by the President, SCHIP will be made available to people who can afford their own insurance. And, despite the fact that "it seeks (seeks? What in God's name does that imply?) to lessen the risk that families will drop private insurance to put their children on SCHIP," families will drop private insurance to put their children on SCHIP.

The expansion of government-funded health care to include citizens who aren't living in poverty is wrong. A slippery slope if there ever was one. A slippery slope these people are well aware of and are most assuredly pushing us toward.

---

A perfect example of middle-class Americans feeling deserving of government welfare can be found in this article in today's Roanoke Times. No mention given as to why a Montgomery County couple earning $43,160 a year should be on the dole or why the husband, a skilled technician, can't find a different employer that provides health care insurance coverage. Questions never asked. An assumption that money grows on trees assumed.

NASA On A Missionless Mission

It's come down to this: NASA missions now amount to keeping the space station functional. Something that could be done in a warehouse in Omaha. Instead, at great expense, it's done in deep space. Some mission:
Astronauts Discover Damage to Space Station
By John Schwartz, The New York Times


Spacewalking astronauts yesterday found evidence of damage to a crucial part of the International Space Station’s power system.

The discovery of what appear to be metallic shavings in one of the station’s enormous rotating joint assemblies suggested problems for the orbiting space station that could affect ambitious plans to add two power-hungry laboratories. (link)
So now resources will be diverted from remodeling the space station to repairing the space station. Precious resources.

And about those unmanned exploratory flights to Venus? Venus who?

Now Do You Understand That He's Irrelevant?

This weekend movie box office news is rather pathetic:

A high-profile documentary, Sony Pictures Classics' "Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains," had a poor debut, taking in just $10,573 at seven theaters. The film from director Jonathan Demme ("The Silence of the Lambs") follows the former president during a tour to promote his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." (link)
You'd think Hollywood and the always-fawning news media elite would have accounted for more turnout than that.

Alas.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cutting Off Their Noses ...

Can the people running the Roanoke Times be any more boneheaded? Are they infected with the same disease that plagues their editorial boardroom? Do they operate in a vacuum, totally devoid of interaction with the community within which they operate?

A news flash from the NRA:

A "Pillar" Of The First Amendment Discriminates Against The Second

Friday, October 26, 2007

Earlier this year, Virginia’s Roanoke Times newspaper came under intense scrutiny and near-universal condemnation after its editors made the irresponsible and dangerous choice to post a searchable database of Virginia’s Right-to-Carry permit holders on its website. In doing so, the paper provided anyone with access to the internet (including criminals) the name, home address, and permit issuance and expiration date of more than 135,000 Virginia permit holders.


Thankfully, after hearing from outraged, law-abiding gun owners and non-gun owners alike, the paper prudently decided to remove the database from its website and not repost it, citing a “concern for public safety.”

Now, after igniting and enduring that firestorm of criticism, the Roanoke Times is once again up to its anti-gun antics.

Local gun show promoter “Showmasters” recently contacted the paper to advertise for its upcoming Roanoke Valley Gun Show and was told in no uncertain terms that the Roanoke Times would no longer accept advertising for gun shows. Specifically, Mary Whelchel, the Retail Advertising Manager for the paper said in an e-mail to Annette Elliott of Showmasters, “The Roanoke Times has amended their policy after the Virginia Tech massacre. It was initiated in the advertising department to be more in line with our editorial stance [emphasis added] and I think you know what that is. I have nothing good to tell you. We will no longer accept advertising from The Roanoke Valley Gun Show.” In a subsequent e-mail, Welchel qualified the paper’s stance, saying “To restate our policy, we only accept advertising for firearms and accessories from licensed dealers [emphasis added].”

In the first place, the horrible murders at Virginia Tech had nothing to do with gun shows whatsoever. Further, by mentioning the tragedy, and worse, using it for justification for their illogical decision, the paper exposes its apparent intent to exploit and sensationalize the murders to further its own internal anti-gun agenda. What’s more, Welchel plainly states the outrageous admission that the paper’s editorial stance dictates what’s allowed in the paper! How’s that for unbiased?

Secondly, the paper’s decision to accept advertising for firearms and accessories only from licensed dealers is blatantly discriminatory. If an auto show were coming to town, would the Roanoke Times demand the licenses of every car dealer and individual vendor displaying at the show before the editorial department would grant permission to advertise the event in its paper? Of course not. That would be an arbitrary and absurd reaction. And that’s the point.

Members and pro-gun citizens should contact the Roanoke Times to express their outrage over the paper’s blatant, ongoing anti-gun stance.

You can reach the paper at: www.roanoke.com/; or Mary Whelchel (Retail Advertising Manager) by e-mail at mary.whelchel@roanoke.com, or by phone at (540) 981-3378.

You can cancel your subscription by calling (540) 981-3211, or (800) 346-1234.

So the rabidly liberal (and not all that bright) editorial staff of the Roanoke Times is now leading the publisher around by the nose?

I wonder how the parent company, Landmark Communications, feels about this?

I think some answers to a few questions are in order.

Those 'Code Words' Raise Their Ugly Heads

I've always gotten a chuckle out of liberals who take what conservatives say and translate the words into "what they really mean." You'll sometimes see those words referred to as "code words." Asking that America truly become a color-blind society really means we want blacks lynched, and such.

Despite the fact that we couldn't make our thoughts any more clear, more well-defined, more understandable, these guys take our declarative sentences and tell you what we meant by that, really.

Take for example, this guy who writes in today's New York Times:
What Part of ‘Illegal’ Don’t You Understand?
By Lawrence Downes


America has a big problem with illegal immigration, but a big part of it stems from the word “illegal.” It pollutes the debate. It blocks solutions. Used dispassionately and technically, there is nothing wrong with it. Used as an irreducible modifier for a large and largely decent group of people, it is badly damaging. And as a code word for racial and ethnic hatred, it is detestable.

Since the word modifies not the crime but the whole person, it goes too far. It spreads, like a stain that cannot wash out. It leaves its target diminished as a human, a lifetime member of a presumptive criminal class. (link)
Really.

All that from the fact that we consider those who entered our country illegally to be illegals.

They know what we really mean by that, you see. They always know.

That code word thing. In this case, the espousal of a belief that these undocumented aliens are wandering our streets illegally is code exposing our racial and ethnic hatred.

That's funny.

If we meant it, do you honestly think we'd avoid shouting it from the rooftops?

What part of illegal don't you understand, genius?

A Reason To Cheer Global Warming

Warming Revives Flora and Fauna in Greenland

Two Stories, One Message

This is rather revealing about the mindset that drives the bias at the New York Times. The message?

Liberal religious leaders who are active politically are righteous. Conservative religious leaders who are active politically have strayed.

Read the following two articles in today's paper.

"Evangelical Crackup" is about Pastor Terry Fox of Wichita's Immanuel Baptist Church, who veered too far from the Gospel and was forced to leave the pulpit. His crime? He was too politically active. Too Republican.

Then go to "Death Penalty Tests a Church as It Mourns" about a very liberal congregation in a trendy part of Connecticut. Here you'll learn that "[t]he United Methodist Church here is the kind of politically active place where parishioners take to the pulpit to discuss poverty in El Salvador and refugees living in Meriden," and where the pastor is anguishing over whether he should temporarily cease speaking out against the death penalty out of deference toward a family of parishioners who were murdered in cold blood by a pair of sociopaths. Oh the despair. Oh the heroism.

Interesting twists on news. A good lesson to learn. Next time you pick up this rag ...

Score One For Lantos

How do you get Europeans riled up? Throw a little truth at them. As did Representative Tom Lantos (D-Los Angeles) the other day. And oh how it stings:
Dutch lawmakers offended by US lawmaker
By Desmond Butler, Associated Press Writer

Washington - Dutch lawmakers who recently visited the Guantanamo Bay military prison said they were offended by a testy exchange in Washington with a senior congressional Democrat.

The lawmakers said that Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told them that "Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay."

Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, was responding to arguments that the United States should shut down the prison, located on a U.S. naval base in Cuba, the lawmakers said. Mariko Peters, a member of the Dutch Green Party, who began the exchange with Lantos, said she took notes of the remarks.

Before the Guantanamo exchange, the lawmakers had discussed a debate in the Netherlands about whether the country should maintain its 1,600 troops serving in NATO's Afghanistan operations.

"You have to help us, because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany," Lantos said, according to the Dutch lawmakers.

"The comments killed the debate," said Harry van Bommel, a member of the Socialist Party. "It was insulting and counterproductive." (link)
Yeah. Insulting. Lantos didn't get the memo. He was supposed to kiss this guy's ass. That's what American foreign policy, as it relates to the Europeans, is all about.

I rarely agree with Tom Lantos. But in this instance, hat's off to you, dude.

So We're Going To Start Apologizing?

Taking advice from a man whose crowning foreign policy achievement was to allow Iranian terrorists to mock him and our country for well over a year while holding and torturing American hostages, and from another who was so committed to his mission that he was having one of his underage female employees performing oral sex on him while he was talking on the phone to a Congressman about going to war, doesn't seem to me to be all that productive. Or smart.

But then, Condi knows best:
Rice taps Clinton, Carter for Middle East advice
Reuters

Washington (Reuters) - Anxious not to repeat mistakes of past Middle East peace-making, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has turned to former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for tips ahead of her own conference this year.

Rice invited Carter, a vocal critic of Bush administration policies, to the State Department on Wednesday where the two discussed his Arab-Israeli peacemaking efforts in the 1970s, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Friday.

A Soviet specialist, Rice also telephoned another former Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who tried, and ultimately failed, in his eight years in office to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together. (link)
Key word being failed. As in two nitwits who accomplished nothing positive while in office (I had to use that qualifier; Clinton did manage to accomplish the establishment of a new set of standards for White House conduct).

Asking for their advice on Middle East matters would be like asking Saddam Hussein for strategic and tactical military advice. Just having been there doesn't make them experts.

If this is true and Condoleezza Rice acts on whatever she learned from these two cowards, expect a declaration of surrender to be announced soon.

And watch for stains to appear on someone's blue dress.

Funny Halloween Pranks

A chuckle to get you through the day.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Boucher Pep Rally to Be Held In Wytheville

I read somewhere a while back that - and this was intended to be a compliment - Congressman Rick Boucher has been working for twenty years now to build us a tourism economy here in Southwest Virginia. Twenty years.

Probably twenty years from now - perhaps long after most of us are dead - we'll still be reading bullshit like this (from the editorial staff at a local newspaper that is devoid of critical thinking):

According to Boucher, the Ninth Congressional District of Virginia has just begun to realize its tremendous potential for tourism.
Soon folks. Soon.

What that means is, if you're trying to measure Congressman Boucher's rate of success, after twenty years of promises, and you come up with squat, well, that's because we've just begun to realize its tremendous potential ...

Twenty Years.

That quote above, so you know, appears in an article in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph announcing a group hug that is scheduled to take place on Monday down in Wytheville, starring that same crusader for that just-begun decades-long tourism strategy implementation - Rick Boucher - and attended no doubt by a host of loyal sycophants:

Promoting Southwest Virginia — Growth in tourism economy critical

Tourism is now the third largest employer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, lagging only behind automotive sales and food, according to U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va.

In hopes of stimulating continued tourism growth in the coal producing counties of Southwest Virginia, Boucher is hosting a tourism conference to be held on Monday, Oct. 29, at the new Wytheville Meeting Center in Wytheville. The conference is open to the public.

At the upcoming tourism conference, called “Tourism: Putting Southwest Virginia’s Unique Heritage and Culture to Work,” officials will explore how communities in Southwest Virginia have created identities based on their unique cultural heritage in order to attract visitors to our region, Boucher said. (link)

To show what kind of meeting this is going to be, the folks at the Daily Telegraph plant their lips squarely on Boucher's butt with this:

We join Boucher in calling for a renewed and aggressive promotion of tourism in Southwest Virginia.

Boucher is correct. The Ninth Congressional District is now just beginning to realize its true tourism potential. In many ways, the vast tourism opportunities of scenic Southwest Virginia remain largely untapped.

We must begin working today to take advantage of this growing tourism market, which promises a tremendous potential for the future of Southwest Virginia.

The tourism conference in Wytheville is certainly a good start in unifying and promoting our regional tourism efforts.
Twenty years.
Millions of tax dollars in expenditures.
"The Ninth Congressional District is now just beginning to ..."
"We must begin working today to ..."
"... promises a tremendous potential for ..."
"The tourism conference in Wytheville is certainly a good start ..."

TWENTY YEARS.

I'm not going to be able to attend this bacchanal conference. I'm in meetings in Myrtle Beach next week.** But I hope, when Rick or any of the other attendees start spouting fabulous tourism numbers from a recently released Virginia Tourism Corp. report*, numbers that are in fact not tourism numbers at all, someone (I hold out no hope that it will be a reporter; perhaps one of you taxpayers out there who have been paying through the nose for this huckster's snake oil over the years) will raise his or her hand and call the good congressman to account.

Ask this seemingly important question:

In which future decade should we demand results, Rick?

* Here's what makes this report a useful sleight of hand. A quote from the document itself: "The word tourism is avoided in this report because of its vague meaning." Thus it becomes a "travel" report, with related travel data cited and analyzed. It reverts to a tourism report after its release. Slick move.

Worthless. Intentionally deceptive. And slick.

** To illustrate the flawed nature of this report, my visit to Myrtle Beach where I'll be in business meetings for two days, is considered, by the perameters set in this report, to be a "tourist" visit.

Useful Idiots

From the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:
Scenic designation — Bill will protect SW Virginia wilderness
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

The U.S. House Tuesday approved bipartisan legislation to create new federal wilderness areas and new national scenic areas in southwest Virginia, and we can thank U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher for that.

Known as the Virginia Ridge and Valley Act of 2007 and authored by Boucher, the bill would add six existing wilderness areas in portions of Bland, Craig, Grayson, Giles, Lee, Montgomery and Smyth counties within the Jefferson National Forest.

We applaud Rep. Boucher and the House for passing this important bipartisan legislation. The measure will not only help to protect the natural and scenic beauty of Southwest Virginia, but also help with enhancing the region’s tourism economy. (link)
Yeah. We desperately needed more wilderness around here. For that burgeoning tourism economy.

Economic Prosperity Just Around The Corner

New trail opens on Buffalo

Get Out Your Wallets

Governor, Warner coming

They Come. They Go.

A local family-owned pizzeria closed its doors here in Bland a few weeks ago.* As anticipated. Prices were substantial and the pizzas were mediocre. A business model not tailored toward success and longevity. Too bad.

On a brighter note:

Grabbing a slice of the pizza business
By Nate Hubbard, Wytheville Enterprise Staff


A new pizza business is coming to Bland County – plus it even serves breakfast.

Pizza Plus will have a grand opening on Nov. 5 as it opens its doors as the first tenant in the new Bastian shopping center, located just off Exit 58 on Interstate 77.

The pizza joint will include a party room with video games and space to host birthday parties. A spot in the main dining area will also hold a lunchtime buffet that is planned to be available daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Breakfast menu items include a breakfast pizza (eggs, bacon, sausage and mozzarella cheese on a thin pizza crust), biscuits and pancakes. (link)
We wish Pizza Plus all the success in the world.

Let me think about that breakfast pizza though ...

* Yes, by God, Bland had a restaurant. No seating, of course, but it still served as a restaurant. Now we're back to the Citgo station's fine dining.

On Hillary & Her 'Experience'

They want to tout her years of experience as being that which puts her head and shoulders above her competitors? They might want to be careful.

From one who worked with Hillary on the only government project she's ever been responsible for in her entire life:
My two cents' worth--and I think it is the two cents' worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994--is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn't smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly. (link) (my emphasis)
And this is going to be our next commander-in-chief.

I fear for my country.

Hat tip to James Taranto.

Bland & Goochland Have Something In Common

In Goochland, growth is on many minds

Kaine Urges Indifference On Illegality

Kaine urges care on immigration

Uh Oh. This Can't Be Good.

The Roanoke Times is endorsing Dave Nutter in the 7th? Is this some sinister plot to get him defeated? Have the people in the editorial boardroom taken up mind-altering drugs again? A Halloween prank?

Anyway:

Editorial: In House District 7, stick with Nutter

Del. Dave Nutter, R-Christiansburg, is a generally thoughtful and independent-minded conservative who has served the 7th House District well in his three terms in the Generally Assembly. Voters should send him back on Nov. 6.

The 7th District includes the city of Radford and parts of Pulaski and Montgomery counties.

Nutter, economic development coordinator at Virginia Tech, has been a staunch advocate for higher education, recognizing the value of the commonwealth's investment in what he calls "human capital."

Voters should stick with the known quantity here. Nutter has been a responsible, thoughtful, forward-looking and effective legislator. (link)

We agree.

For The Record

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Slumbering 9th) voted - again - to raise taxes on the poor to pay for health care coverage for his upper-middle class neighbors in Washington D.C.

That's lookin' out for us, Rick.

Rats Are Leaving The Ship ...

... as it sinks beneath the waves:
Obama Aide Jumps Over To Clinton
AP


October 27, 2007 -- Washington - A longtime Democratic fund-raiser has abandoned Barack Obama's campaign to help rival Hillary Rodham Clinton win the party's presidential nomination.

Bob Farmer, a top fund-raiser for several past Democratic presidential candidates, did not respond to a request for comment left at his Bal Harbour, Fla., home.

But Kirk Wagar, Obama's Florida finance chair, said Farmer let him know he was switching sides but didn't say why. (link)
Yes. I wonder why ...

A Message Being Sent

Remind me not to ever go on the Beverly Hills Diet:
Judy Mazel, Creator of Best-Selling ‘Beverly Hills Diet,’ Is Dead at 63
By Dennis Hevesi, The New York Times


Judy Mazel, author of the 1981 best-selling book “The Beverly Hills Diet,” which recommended eating nothing but fruit, and lots it, for the first 10 days of a six-week regimen, and which drew strong criticism from medical authorities, died in Santa Monica, Calif., on Oct. 12. She was 63 and lived in the Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles.

The cause was complications of a stroke, her sister Carol Friduss said. (link)
What have we learned from this? Eat lots of red meat. Live a long life.

Well, At Least They're Doing SOMETHING

If you can call going in circles "something."
Democrats Plan a Shorter Workweek
By David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times


Washington, Oct. 26 — Shortly after winning a majority last year, Democrats triumphantly declared that they would put Congress back to work, promising an “end to the two-day workweek.”

But 10 months into the session, with their legislative agenda often in gridlock with the Bush administration and a big election year looming, the Democrats are now planning a lighter schedule when the 110th Congress begins its second year in mid-January. (link)
A lighter schedule. All that legislating an end to the war must have tuckered 'em out.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Keep On Pushin'

What's that saying about trying to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result being the quintessential definition of stupidity?
House Defies Bush and Passes Insurance Bill
By Robert Pear, The New York Times


Washington, Oct. 25 — Once again defying a veto threat from President Bush, the House on Thursday passed a bill to provide health insurance for 10 million children. But supporters did not have enough votes to override the promised veto.

The bill was approved by a vote of 265 to 142, less than the two-thirds needed to override a veto.

Of the Republicans who voted against the bill last week, none voted for the new version. And one Republican who supported the old bill, Representative Vernon J. Ehlers of Michigan, voted against the new one, citing concerns that the measure had been brought up on short notice, without enough input from Republicans. (link)
Keep pushing, fellas. Keep pushing.

Now You're Talkin'

A liberal Democrat against a conservative Republican. All the talk in recent years about how the state of Virginia is going blue? It's th'ow down time:
Warner, Gilmore likely to face off
Davis' choice not to run for Senate sets up battle between ex-governors

By Tyler Whitley, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

A matchup between two former governors appears likely after 11th District Rep. Thomas M. Davis III withdrew his name yesterday from the 2008 U.S. Senate race.

While former Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore did not formally announce his candidacy yesterday, aides indicated he would do so after the Nov. 6 General Assembly elections.

Former Gov. Mark R. Warner, a Democrat who succeeded Gilmore in the Executive Mansion, already has announced.

The winner of the Senate race will succeed retiring Sen. John W. Warner, a Republican who has called Northern Virginia his home since first winning election in 1978. The two Warners are not related. (link)
Virginia becoming the land of limp-wristed pantywaists? Let's put it to the test.

The Truth Will Out

Remember this wild-eyed and somber-toned missive penned by a Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist a few weeks ago about the painful and disturbing implications engendered by those nooses that were hanging from that "whites only" tree in Jena, Mississippi? I particularly enjoyed this line:

"We must end the silence on this legacy of terror, or that wall of mistrust will never be dismantled."

Up to this point in time I just assumed that the silence had to do with the fact that America had moved on to a happier place. Perhaps not.

Anyway, we now come across some disturbing news out of that den of iniquity - Jena, Mississippi. Disturbing because, if it proves to be true, there is no reason for that Times-Dispatch columnist to have his undies abunch:

Media myths about the Jena 6
A local journalist tells the story you haven't heard.

By Craig Franklin, Christian Science Monitor

Jena, La. - By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they've all heard the story of the "Jena 6." White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests – the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics.

There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.

Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a "whites-only" tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree.

Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team. (link)

The reporter goes on to list and expound upon a total of 12 media myths relating to this incident. All as flagrant as these two.

You'd do well to read the whole thing. It's yet again an example of how poorly those in the mainstream media do their jobs.

This of course won't stop our modern-day slave traders - Sharpton, Jackson, Times-Dispatch columnists - from plying that trade, finding dire implications in the most discrepant of places. They'll continue to see a noose hanging from a doorknob or from a tree limb - in a fruit salad - and set out to indict 300 million people for its existence.

But most of us now know what's going on. And, as that columnist made clear above, we'll remain silent. By choice. We all have better things to worry about.

Knowing Your Enemies

Had you dialed into this weblog a few years ago, you would have seen something called Google AdSense in the sidebar. It's one of those innocuous and rarely noticed blurbs that pushes, on a rotating basis, (as best I can remember) various products of its admin's choosing. I thought it was kinda cool so I put it up.

And soon after, I took it back down. Out of disgust.

You see, I found out what the people behind it - behind Google* - really think of guys like me. For example, see
this jaw-dropping weblog post describing an exchange between a blogger and "The Google AdSense Team." The blogger was notified that he was being dropped by Google because his weblog was deemed to be in violation of the company's policy. His crime? He devoted space to the discussion of firearms.

Then there is this instance where Greg of BVBL fame ran afoul - apparently - of Google for having tried to edit the ad content flow on his own blog (though it's permissible to filter the type of ads that appear, he did the impermissible - he filtered out Barack Obama ads). This, admittedly, happened long after I parted company with Google AdSense but the internet is rife with such examples.

So, just how politically motivated are these people who make the decisions at Google?

This should give you pause:

New questions raised on Google, MoveOn.org relationship
By Robert Cox, The Examiner

Washington - Internal documents obtained by The Examiner shine new light on MoveOn.org’s “General Betray Us” ad and raise fresh questions about the far-left advocacy group’s misleading statements on the issue and its relationship with Google, a major donor to its political action committee.

The documents show how MoveOn.org used dubious claims of trademark infringement and threats of litigation to silence critics of its recent controversial full-page ad in The New York Times attacking Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. general in Iraq, which appeared the day he was testifying before Congress on the war effort. Among those critics was Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is seeking a third term.

After The Examiner exclusively reported Oct. 11 that Google had banned four anti-MoveOn.org ads placed by the Collins campaign, Google and MoveOn.org each sought to portray the ban as unrelated to the Petraeus ad controversy. The documents obtained by The Examiner, however, show a direct link between the two events. (link)
Read the whole thing.

What caught my eye was that "... Google, a major donor to [MoveOn.org's] political action committee." Google appears to be in cahoots with one of the most radically leftist smear campaigns operating within our borders today.

What can we do about it? Well, nothing really. Just file it in the memory banks. Know and understand who we're up against here. We have powerful enemies. The leadership at Google has decided to be one of them.

* A disclaimer: This website is powered by Blogger, which was purchased by Google back in 2003.

Despite The Media's Best Efforts ...

... the American people know that we fight the good fight.

From a soldier being sent out on another tour of duty into the combat zone yesterday:

We arrived in Atlanta with only about a half an hour before my report time to the USO for processing for my flight to Shannon, Ireland and then Kuwait. I had to get a quick nicotine fix and find something to eat. They formed us into a line upstairs at the USO, probably 200 or more of us, and took us downstairs in two long lines. Soldiers and Marines paired two by two in a long line snaked through the airport towards the Army Personnel Command desk to do our formalities. As we wove through the airport, the throngs of travelers began to applaud. (link)
America, you rock.

The GOP Choice For a Democratic Candidate

If you were to sit down and talk to Republican strategists, I have a hunch they'd tell you they'd prefer to go up against Hillary than Barack Obama. For two reasons. One has to do with magic. The other is Hillary.

But she has the machine. And she has the powerbrokers. And she has a good chunk of Hollywood. So ...
Analysis: It's Clinton's Race to Lose...
By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) - Memo to the Democratic presidential candidates: You can still beat Hillary Rodham Clinton, but you better act fast.

The former first lady looks more likely to win the nomination every day, showing strength in polling, fundraising and setting the campaign agenda.

She's so strong, in fact, that the race has become about her. And Democratic operatives from presidential campaigns past and present say the only way for any other candidate to win the nomination is to make an even stronger case against her. (
link)
A suggestion to Obama's handlers: It's not too late. Start the drumbeat. There has never been, in the history of this great nation, a phenomenon to develop like this:

Poll: Half say they would never vote for Hillary for president

While she is winning wide support in nationwide samples among Democrats in the race for their party’s presidential nomination, half of likely voters nationwide said they would never vote for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The online survey of 9,718 likely voters nationwide showed that 50 percent said Clinton would never get their presidential vote. (
link)
That's an astounding number. It should give Democratic strategists pause. And Republican strategists the warm & fuzzies.

It's not too late ...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On That Pitiful Thomas Endorement ...

I heaped derision on the Roanoke Times editorial team yesterday after it made a ridiculously feeble attempt to turn Democratic challenger Bill Thomas (6th District, D-Pulaski) into some kind of larger-than-life John McCain-like maverick, bucking his party at every turn. I still chuckle when I read it.

Having done that, I'll not go there again.

But what I will do is challenge one of the assertions made in that editorial regarding my favorite delegate in all of Richmond, Annie B. Crockett-Stark. That being:

Crockett-Stark has toed the party line and continues to defend egregious legislation such as the transportation bill.

Crockett-Stark is an entrenched loyalist with a majority party that has proved itself incapable ...
Tsk. Tsk. "Loyalty" raises its ugly head. Must be something bad.

Whether it is or not, I was reminded of some work that fellow blogger Waldo Jacquith had performed not long ago on this very subject - party loyalty.

May I refer you to an analysis ** he did of the General Assembly's membership - by party - as it relates to "toeing the party line." Here's Jaquith:
I’ve been working on metrics by which to measure the ideological positions of members of the General Assembly for Richmond Sunlight. Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on a ranking metric to determine how closely that legislators hew to the party line in their voting behavior.
So where does Anne B. Crockett-Stark rank, according to Waldo? On a scale from -3 to 100 (with Republican Majority Leader Morgan Griffith sitting at 100), she racks up a 7.

Seven.

To Griffith's slash-and-burn reactionary neanderthal McCarthyite one hundred.

7.

A mindless tool of the politburo of the central committee if there ever was one.

Want a do-over, Roanoke Times people?

** While I have profound disagreements as to Jaquith's methodology, his efforts are appreciated. I sure don't have time to do such things. Thanks, Waldo.

This Guy's a Keeper

I don't know if the Roanoke Times' resident cartoonist is new to the organization or not but the boy has talent. Copyright laws prevent me from reproducing his latest so I'll just link to it and demand that you check it out.

Chris Obrion has a future.

Too bad he's stuck working for the Times ...

Earth To Tom Davis:

To borrow a phrase, we simply ask that our Republican candidates here in Virginia be from the Republican wing of the GOP. That's all.

This is highly offensive*:

Sources Say Rep. Davis Won't Run for Senate
Discontent With GOP Cited as Factor
By Amy Gardner, Washington Post Staff Writer


Rep. Thomas M. Davis III will not make a run for the U.S. Senate next year, in part because of what he sees as the Republican Party's increasingly narrow focus on candidates who pass conservative litmus tests on taxes and abortion, several people close to his office said yesterday.

... to try to replace Sen. John W. Warner (R), who will retire at the end of next year, at a time when Davis considers Democrats to be strong and Republicans in disarray -- particularly in Virginia -- would be counterproductive, they said. (link)


You can bet your last dollar that it wasn't this reporter who dialed a number and got this scoop. That Davis "source" sought her out and handed her the story proactively in advance of Davis's formal announcement this morning.

Expect Davis to take the high road and talk about his ongoing efforts to provide for his constituency in northern Virginia and how his services are required in the House now more than ever. Critical period in our nation's history, and all that.

The message is received and understood, Tom.

But that works both ways.

Glad you got our message before things got ugly here in the commonwealth. We already have plenty of liberal politicians asking for our vote these days. We didn't need another. Thanks for not forcing us to turn you out.

* Caution: This is coming from the mainstream press.

Come On, Virgil

So I'm looking through a list of House appropriations bill earmarks pork and what do I come across? This:

For those of you who don't have your reading glasses on, or who can't click on the image to enlarge it, the fourth line down reads:

$100,000 Develop a Walking Tour of Boydton, Virginia House Transp-HUD Goode

That's 5th District Congressman Virgil Goode (R-Rocky Mount).

That's a Transportation/Housing & Urban Development bill.

That's a $100,000 appropriation.

For a "walking tour" of tiny Boydton, Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Population 454.

Say it ain't so.

Click on image to enlarge.

America Votes ... At The Box Office

Pay me $250 and I'll watch Robert Redford's new anti-war/anti-America movie, "Lions For Lambs." Otherwise, count me out. I've seen his storyline before. Every night on the evening news.

Apparently I'm not alone in wanting assholes like him to just go away:
Audiences reject Iraq war — at the box office
By Christian Toto, The Washington Times


It doesn't matter how many Oscar winners are in front of or behind the camera — audiences are proving to be conscientious objectors when it comes to this fall's surge of antiwar and anti-Bush films.

Both "In the Valley of Elah" and, more recently, "Rendition" drew minuscule crowds upon their release, which doesn't bode well for the ongoing stream of films critical of the Iraq war and the Bush administration's wider war on terror.

"Rendition," which features three Oscar winners in key roles, grossed $4.1 million over the weekend in 2,250 screens for a ninth-place finish. A re-release of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" beat it, and it's 14 years old. (link)
A 14-year old movie beat out Susan Sarandon's latest. Amusing. Heartwarming. Encouraging.

This Was So 15 Minutes Ago

Kaine Requires Labs To Report Staph Cases

When You Have Nothing Cogent To Say ...

... spew.

An anti-war protester confronting the Secretary of State yesterday.

An avid contributor to Daily Kos, no doubt.

Photo courtesy of the New York Post

A Good Line

Gail Collins on Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee:

"[W]hy aren’t the social conservatives rallying around this guy? Unlike any of the major candidates, he’s still on his first wife and first position on abortion."

"Who Doesn’t ♥ Huckabee? " The New York Times, October 25, 2007

Good News. I Hope.

Judging our success at winning (or losing) a war by some statistical trend relating to friendly casualties sustained isn't a smart thing to do, so I'll just throw this out there for your consideration:

Sharp Drop Seen in US Deaths in Iraq
By Steven R. Hurst, AP


Baghdad (AP) — October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths and Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists.

As of Tuesday, the Pentagon reported 28 U.S. military deaths in October. That's an average of about 1.2 deaths a day. The toll on U.S troops hasn't been this low since March 2006, when 31 soldiers died — an average of one death a day.

In September, 65 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq. (link)
Some in this country will be disappointed by this news. You know who you are. But let's hope this is an indication that the tortured nation of Iraq is finally coming under control.

Can victory be far down the road? Hopes are high ...