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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Not Necessarily

The Richmond Times-Dispatch asks. I answer:
Packing Heat

The wires report that in 2007, New York City likely will record the fewest murders in more than 40 years. Gotham boasts some of the toughest gun restrictions in the country.

Supporters of gun rights often cite high murder rates in, for instance, Washington, D.C., as proof gun laws don't work.

Does New York's dramatic drop in murders suggest the effectiveness of gun control? (link)
The answer is no. Since there have been no substantive changes in New York City's gun laws (either more or less restrictive) in recent years that might have led to this decline, one would more likely conclude that gun laws have no effect on crime whatsoever. And that there are other factors contributing instead, perhaps to be found here: "The Rise and Decline of Hard Drugs, Drug Markets, and Violence in Inner-City New York."

As we've been arguing all along.

But you're welcome to "suggest."

As The General Almost Said

William Tecumseh Sherman on military fame:

"To be killed on the field of battle and have our names spelled wrong in the newspapers."

In this morning's Roanoke Times, an obituary:
Historian Bland was Marshall authority
Larry Bland devoted 30 years to the career and life of statesman Gen. George T. Marshall.
As the tribute goes on to make right, General Marshall's middle initial was C.

It should be noted that he wasn't killed on the field of battle ... at least.

They'll Never Stop

Yesterday I made mention of the obesity nazis and the smoke nazis. Today, we must deal with ... salt nazis:
FDA Is Urged To Toughen Rules on Salt Intake Causing Deaths, Consumer Group Says
By Sally Squires, Washington Post Staff Writer

A consumer group prodded the Food and Drug Administration yesterday to regulate salt as a food additive, arguing that excessive salt consumption by Americans may be responsible for more than 100,000 deaths a year.

The government has long placed salt in a "generally recognized as safe" or GRAS category, which grandfathers in a huge list of familiar food ingredients. But in an FDA hearing yesterday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urged the agency to enforce tougher regulations for sodium. (
link)
Be it understood who these jokers are at the "Center for Science in the Public Interest." At various points in time, these "scientists" have "attacked" alfalfa sprouts, apple pies, baby food, bacon, baked potatoes with sour cream, baklava, beef, beef burritos, beer, belgian waffles, berries, BLT sandwiches, brie, buffalo wings, butter, caffe latte, caffe mocha, caffeine, candy, canned fish, cantaloupe, cappuccino, cereals, cheese, cheese fries, cheese manicotti, cheese nachos, cheese ravioli, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, chef's salad, chicken enchiladas, chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, chicken pot pies, chile rellenos, chimichangas, Chinese restaurants, chocolate cake, chocolate chips, chocolate mousse, clams, condiments, cookie dough, cookies, corned beef, crackers, cream cheese, cream of broccoli soup, creamed spinach, croissants, danish, desserts, dips, donuts, eggplant parmigiana, eggs, enchiladas, family restaurants, fat-free cakes, fat-free cookies, fat-free ice cream, feta cheese, food coloring, french fries, french toast, fried calamari, fried clams, fried fish, fried mozzarella sticks, fried rice, fried shrimp, frozen dinners, frozen turkey, fruit cocktails, fruit drinks, fruit juice, fudge brownie sundaes, garlic bread, General Tso's chicken, granola bars, Greek salads, grilled cheese, gyros, ham sandwiches, hamburgers, home-canned vegetables, homemade eggnog, homemade frosting, hot fudge sundaes, Italian restaurants, Kung pao chicken, lasagna, lettuce, lo mein, luncheon meats, macaroni and cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, meatloaf, meat-stuffed grape leaves, melons, Mexican restaurants, milk, milk shakes, movie popcorn, mushrooms, mussels, Olestra, omelets, onion rings, orange beef, oysters, pancakes, pastries, pizza, pork chops, potato chips, prime rib, pudding, quick service restaurants, rotisserie turkey, saccharin, salad dressings, salads, salt, sandwich shops, sandwiches, sausage, scones, seafood, seafood restaurants, shellfish, soft drinks, soups, spaghetti and meatballs, steakhouses, stuffed potato skins, sweet and sour pork, taco salads, veal parmigiana, waffles, and wine. (source)

Oh, and for what it's worth, add salt to the list.

A Counterargument

From Frederic V. Malek, co-chairman of the McCain campaign for president and finance chairman for the Republican Party of Virginia, in "McCain and Virginia":
Why Mr. McCain, and why can he win, especially in Virginia? There are four core reasons: Principles, consistency, character and national security.
Why not Mr. McCain, and why shouldn't he win in Virginia? There are four core reasons: Amnesty, McCain-Feingold, ANWR, gun bans.

Let's see who's core reasons gain traction here in Virginia.

A Rarity In Washington

A man of conviction ...
Republican 'giant' Hyde dies at 83
By Donald Lambro, The Washington Times


Former Illinois Rep. Henry Hyde, who led the House's impeachment of President Clinton for lying under oath in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and was a hero to the anti-abortion movement, died yesterday. He was 83.

The white-maned, six-foot-three Republican, a man known for his wit as well as his dramatic rhetorical skills, died at Rush University Medical Center from renal failure associated with heart trouble. He had undergone triple-bypass heart surgery in July and had been in failing health ever since. (link)
I hope Henry Hyde is not remembered in the history books for that unfortunate impeachment affair (which should never have been launched in the first place; it allowed Clinton to become some kind of martyr, for God's sake). Hyde was a stalwart advocate for the unborn, fighting the good fight to end the scourge of the 20th century - abortion.

Henry Hyde was a good man. That rare politician who was also ... a good man.

How Embarrassing

Well, they don't call it the Clinton News Network for nothing:
The YouTube Debacle
New York Post editorial

November 30, 2007 -- Wednesday night's CNN/YouTube debate was barely over before the net work was forced to make an embarrassing admission: One of its supposedly disinterested questioners, retired gay Army officer Keith Kerr, has an official position with the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Wait.

There's more.

Within hours, resourceful bloggers had uncovered the even more embarrassing fact that at least three others who'd been selected to grill the Republican presidential hopefuls had all declared, in various online forums, that they're backing Democratic candidates.

For its part, CNN said it had only checked to see whether any of its so-called citizen questioners had donated to a candidate. Obviously, a little more scrutiny was called for ... (link)
Pathetic.

And The Executive Will Rebuff Right Back

It's called "checks and balances."

Senate Panel Rebuffs White House Privilege Claim

And so it will go.

Who'da Thought?

Remember me telling you that I don't get overly concerned about English being declared our "official" language? Or about areas of the country that find themselves with inhabitants who use Spanish as the first language with which to communicate?

You may also remember me writing about my father who grew up in northern Wisconsin and who spoke only German (living in a village in which German was the primary language spoken), until he went off to public school and had to learn English.

Some things haven't changed:

From this morning's New York Times:
Latino Immigrants’ Children Found Grasping English
By Julia Preston, The New York Times


Most children of Hispanic immigrants in the United States learn to speak English well by the time they are adults, even though three-quarters of their parents speak mainly Spanish and do not have a command of English, according to a report released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington.

Only 23 percent of first-generation immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries said they spoke English very well, the report found. But 88 percent of the members of the second generation in Latino immigrant families described themselves as strong English speakers, a figure that increased to 94 percent for the grandchildren’s generation.

“The ability to speak English and the likelihood of using it in everyday life rise sharply from Hispanic immigrants to their U.S.-born adult children,” the survey reported. (link)
It's worth remembering too, because of the advent of the internet, that the entire planet is moving toward a day when we all will be speaking the same language. And that language will be ENGLISH. If modified - enhanced - somewhat by others.

Fret not. On this front, all will be well. If these immigrants are going to succeed in this country, they will learn our language.

Chart courtesy of the New York Times

'The Worst Of All Worlds'

No, not the USA, as the archbishop of Canterbury would have you believe, but the Muslim world. Truly the worst of all:

British Teacher Found Guilty in Sudan
By Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times


Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 29 — The British teacher in Sudan who let her 7-year-old pupils name a class teddy bear Muhammad was found guilty on Thursday of insulting Islam and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation.

Under Sudanese law, the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, could have spent six months in jail and been lashed 40 times. (link)


Ms. Gibbons is lucky. At least she wasn't sentenced to be stoned to death.

Welcome to 9th century Islam.

Is An Apology Coming Next?

What was it John McCain said the other day? If the Democrats had their way six months ago, Osama bin Ladin would be declaring victory in Iraq by now?

The most vocal of those snakes - the congressman who demanded immediate retreat - the scumbag who called our troops in Iraq cold-blooded murderers - at the time was this guy:
Murtha finds military progress in trip to Iraq
By Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Washington - U.S. Rep. John Murtha today said he saw signs of military progress during a brief trip to Iraq last week, but he warned that Iraqis need to play a larger role in providing their own security and the Bush administration still must develop an exit strategy.

"I think the 'surge' is working," the Democrat said in a videoconference from his Johnstown office, describing the president's decision to commit more than 20,000 additional combat troops this year. But the Iraqis "have got to take care of themselves." (link)
Is this an admission that he was wrong? Murtha owes every American serviceman and woman a sincere apology.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gotta Go

Light blogging this morning. Got a meeting.

A Point To Consider

James Taranto on "defeat":
Some Guys Just Can't Win
Critics sometimes accuse the Bush administration of "moving the goal posts" on Iraq--that is, of changing the definition of victory so as to justify America's continued presence there. But on "Hardball" yesterday, host Chris Matthews redefined "defeat" in such a way as to make victory impossible:

"Lots of publicity lately, and maybe it's fair, maybe it's not, that things may have calmed down over there, less Americans killed in action in the last several of months but before. But my definition of a defeat is you can't leave. If we can't leave that country in the foreseeable future, we are losing. The purpose of the American Army is to get home and be ready to defend this country against possible threats to this country."

"As long as we're stuck over there, it seems we're losing."

Of course, the U.S. still has troops in Germany and Japan. By Matthews's definition, we're still losing World War II.
Best of the Web Today, November 28, 2007

Uh Oh

This is going to disappoint the obesity nazis:

Study Sees Signs of Obesity Rates Stalling
By Gina Kolata, The New York Times


Obesity rates in women have leveled off and stayed steady since 1999, long enough for researchers to say the plateau appears to be real. And, they say, there are hints that the rates may be leveling off for men, too.

Dr. Ogden added that the trend for women was “great news.” Obesity rates have held at about 35 percent since 1999, convincing her that the tide had changed. “I’m optimistic that it really is leveling off,” she said.

Men’s rates increased until 2003, when they hit 33 percent and stayed there through 2005-6. Dr. Ogden said she would like to see a few more years of data before declaring that men’s rates had stopped increasing. (link)


Does this mean they won't be trying to ban McDonald's after all? Probably not. Those who want to tell us how we're going to live our lives aren't deterred by such things as facts.

Lest We Forget The Smoke Nazis

In Maine, there is a law requiring a delivery driver to check the recipient's age when handing over a carton of smokes from his or her truck. Can you imagine?

Well, the idiocy has made its way to the Supreme Court:
Supreme Court Weighs Maine’s Tobacco Law
By Linda Greenhouse, The New York Times


Washington, Nov. 28 — The latest battleground in the federalism wars at the Supreme Court is an unlikely one: the state of Maine, which is trying to prevent under-age consumers from buying cigarettes over the Internet.

Maine maintains that it is doing nothing more than protecting public health and carrying out the desire of Congress to curb smoking among young people. Its 2003 law requires those who sell tobacco products directly to consumers to use only those delivery services that verify the age of the recipient.

The trucking industry, supported by the federal government, warns to the contrary that the Maine statute opens the door to the very patchwork of conflicting state regulations that Congress meant to pre-empt when it deregulated motor transportation. (link)
Nowhere in this discussion will you find the word ... parents.

The Existential Ex-President

I once wrote - in 1993 - that Bill Clinton was probably our first existential president; that anything he said at any given time was true - to him - and that you'd not be able to convince him otherwise. In his mind, he was always truthful, even in instances where he said one thing that completely contradicted something else he'd said a few days before.

Nothing's changed in all these years:
"Good Bill" vs "Bad Bill"
By Ron Fournier, Associated Press Writer

Des Moines, Iowa - As only he can do, Bill Clinton packed campaign venues across eastern Iowa and awed Democratic voters with a compelling case for his wife's candidacy. He was unscripted, in-depth and generous.

He also was long-winded, misleading and self-absorbed.

Late in his 50-minute address, Clinton told the crowd that wealthy people like he and his wife should pay more taxes in times of war. "Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers," he said.

In truth, Clinton did not oppose the Iraq war from the start — at least not publicly.

The former president also put his own spin on the history of free-trade agreements under his watch, blaming President Bush for ... (list)
Ah, the memories.

And this guy wants to be back in the White House.

Perception vs. Reality?

Elizabeth Strother, writing for the Roanoke Times, made yesterday the following point ("On a fruitless hunt for illegal aliens") with regard to illegal aliens and their eligibility to receive SCHIP funding:

It's fair to ask ... just where the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is coming from, whether it has an agenda. It does.

Its Web site states: "The Center conducts research and analysis to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates."

Public officials across the political spectrum make the same claim, with varying degrees of seriousness. SCHIP is a crucial issue for the working poor. Let the debate on expanding it be informed by facts, not driven by perceptions.
Well, someone's playing with someone. Whether SCHIP providers per se are feeling the pinch or not, there is a serious problem - a growing problem - out there. And everyone knows it.

The latest in a long line of many such stories on the subject, this from today's Washington Times:

Immigrants, illegals use welfare more often
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times


Both immigrants and illegal aliens are more likely to be poor and to use welfare programs than native-born Americans because they come to the country with lower levels of education, according to a new study looking at U.S. Census Bureau data.

The public burden is a major issue, and it was one of the disputes, along with border security and increased enforcement, that helped kill the Senate immigration bill earlier this year.

[Steven A. Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies] whose group calls for a crackdown on illegal aliens and a slowdown in legal immigration, said his numbers show that the family-based system puts a strain on taxpayer-funded services. (link)
So are states screening out illegal aliens or is Mr. Camarota giving us the truth? Are SCHIP-funded programs somehow shielded unlike all other welfare programs?

And to argue that firewalls have been erected to prevent illegals from receiving care defies the reality that we've now been dealing with for years. See "Los Angeles Emergency Care Crisis Deepens."

Then there are the legal children of illegal aliens who are entitled to care. Tell me SCHIP doesn't apply to them?

There's a smell test to be applied here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Controversy Rages At Virginia Tech

Breaking news: The heavy hand of "the man" has come down on a poor English major in Blacksburg who just wanted a rippling six-pack and gunboat biceps. What's up with this?

Towel troubles
A letter to the editor of Collegiate Times

As a senior here at Virginia Tech, I have worked out at McComas Hall for several years.

Earlier this semester I was asked to leave because the staff member at hand deemed my gym towel, which is understandably required, not large enough.

Up until this point I had used that very same towel, which measures 11" x 15," every time I had worked out since becoming a student. I thought this was ridiculous, especially when you take into account that a friend I was working out with also had a towel that was large enough for the both of us. We left enraged by the fact that two decent sized gym towels were somehow not enough.

The next time we worked out, we brought two towels of the same size, 21" x 37," and continued to work out with these towels until this Monday when we were again asked to leave because they were too small. Until then I was actually wondering if my towel was too big. (link)
The poor kid keeps getting kicked out of the gym. Because his towel is - according to the gestapo anyway - too small. I'd be a little ticked too.

A couple of suggestions:

1) Put all those workouts to good use and kick that staff member's butt.

or ...

2) Keep things in perspective. This problem of yours is a far cry from those Virginia Tech was dealing with back in April. Do yourself a huge favor and get a bigger towel. Live long and prosper.

The Cause Loses Steam. Fast.

Now that it has been determined that human embryos need not be slaughtered in order for scientists to obtain human embryonic stem cells (see that news here), you can expect the campaign by Democrats around the country (a good example) to fund embryonic stem cell research at taxpayer expense to quickly die away. Why? It no longer relates to the abortion issue. Thus there is no longer that ulterior motive.

From Joseph Bottum, writing in the Wall Street Journal ("Trading Places," November 28):
Shake loose from the narrative of anti-science fundamentalists and pro-science liberals ... and a different story starts to be visible. Abortion skewed the political discussion of all this [the embryonic stem cell debate], pinning the left to a defense of science it doesn't actually hold. The more natural line is agitation against Frankenfoods and all genetic modification, particularly given the environmentalism to which the campaign against global warming is tying the left.

Narratives about positions on public policy are like enormous steamships: It takes a long time to turn them around. But if the news of stem-cell breakthroughs prove accurate, we may well see over the next few years a gradual reversal in news stories and editorials. Watch for it, now that abortion is out of the equation: much less hype about all the miracle cures that stem cells will bring us, more suspicion about the cancers and genetic pollution that may result, and just about the same amount of bashing of religious believers--this time for their ignorant support of science.
A quote from one John Edwards, uttered during his first failed attempt at being important, seems appropriate:
"If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."
Christopher Reeve is dead. As are the aspirations of all those abortion fanatics around the country who desperately wanted to cling to this stem cell lifeboat.

Good riddance.

You Knew It Was Coming

Just yesterday, when I read that the Republican Party of Virginia was going to require a loyalty oath in order for voters to participate in future GOP primaries, the term "loyalty oath" coming with a good bit of baggage from the anti-communist days of the McCarthy era, I wrote that leftists here in the commonwealth would have a field day with the decision ("much is going to be made of that").

A mere 24 hours later, that field day dawns, and much is being made of that:

The GOP accepts no presidential dissent
Primary voters must sign loyalty oaths. Where's a third party when you need it? *
Roanoke Times editorial

The Republican Party of Virginia has no interest in thoughtful voters. It only wants mindless party loyalists who will vote Republican no matter what.

That's the sad message of a new GOP policy for next year's presidential primary approved by the State Board of Elections this week. People who want to vote in it must sign a loyalty oath swearing their intent to vote in November for the party's nominee, whomever that winds up being. (link)
"Mindless party loyalists."

The editorial continues with some goofy explanations and scalp-scratching illogic but the point is made.

I'm not sure what the GOP honchos might have done differently to ensure that Republican primary voters were actually Republicans, but to call this requirement a loyalty oath just invited rabid anti-Republicans like the kids at the Times to launch.

And launch they did.

* "Where's a third party when you need it?" That's hilarious. If these guys had their way, there'd be but one party - theirs - here in Virginia.

** My apologies to the RPVa if the term "loyalty oath" did not originate with them.

Can Bland County Be Far Behind?

As more and more counties give up on those hated decals that must be displayed in the windshield of every vehicle one owns - the ugly little stickums that serve absolutely no purpose other than to bring tax dollars into county coffers - the question becomes: When is Bland County going to follow suit?

The latest to (potentially) fall in line:

Botetourt Co. considers peeling away from decals
By Jay Conley, The Roanoke Times


Daleville -- Botetourt County could decide next month to join Roanoke and Roanoke County in no longer requiring residents to display a county decal on their vehicles starting next year.

The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Dec. 18 to vote on the matter.

Botetourt collects $720,000 annually from the $20 it charges residents for the decals. Botetourt County Treasurer Benton Bolton suggested Tuesday to supervisors that the county could save $25,000 in costs for the decals by no longer requiring them.

But he said the county could still collect the $20 per vehicle by renaming it a registration fee or including it in personal property tax assessments. (link)


In my case (I thought I paid $30 for the decal), believe it or not, I'm willing to pay the tax. I just wish the county would roll it into my (ever-skyrocketing) personal property tax. The decal requirement is annoying. It necessitates a special trip to the treasurer's office. It's a sticky decal. It gums up my windshield. It's a driving hazard, obstructing my view (ok, I got carried away on that one).

Anyway, here's hoping that clear heads prevail in Botetourt County and that godawful decal is relegated to the trash heap of history.

- - -

The city of Radford is grappling with the issue as well.

It's Not About The Money

It's about a powerful and influential man from a powerful and influential family walking away from a charge of involuntary manslaughter (and worse) and, to this day, not having to confess to his actions:

Will Ted Tell Mary Jo Truth?
The New York Post

November 28, 2007 -- The publisher of Sen. Ted Kennedy's autobiography won't likely recoup his $8.5 million advance unless the 75-year-old Democrat finally tells what really happened in 1969 at Chappaquiddick, where Kennedy's car went off a bridge, drowning campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne.

But Jonathan Karp, head of the Twelve imprint at Hachette Book Group USA, isn't worried. Karp told Page Six yesterday, "When we met with Sen. Kennedy, he assured us he would be candid."

Kennedy, who didn't report the Martha's Vineyard crash to police for many hours, eventually pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and was given a two-month suspended jail sentence. (link)


For the complete story - the one that will never appear in that fat bastard's book no matter how much he's paid - go here. A quote from the site:
George Killen, former State Police Detective-Lieutenant, and chief of a never-revealed investigation, lamented that the failure to bring the case to a satisfactory conclusion was "the biggest mistake" of a long and distinguished police career. Senator Kennedy, he said, "killed that girl the same as if he put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger."
The darling of the Democratic Party never served a day in jail.

Why I Participate

... and why I'm a member of the NRA, even though I rarely pick up a firearm:
The United States has been blessed with more than 200 years of a strong democracy, so it's easy to yield to a comforting -- and lazy -- conviction that it's magically self-sustaining and doesn't need to be defended, an idea that would have horrified the Founders, who knew that our democracy would be a fragile thing.

Few young Americans understand that the Second Amendment keeps their homes safe from the kind of government intrusion that other citizens suffer around the world; few realize that "due process" means that they can't be locked up in a dungeon by the state and left to languish indefinitely.
Naomi Wolf, "Hey, Young Americans, Here's a Text for You," The Washington Post, November 25, 2007

A Multiple Choice Test

Hmmm ...
Art work courtesy of Bill Quick.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A New Blogger Enters The Fray

Actually he's leaving the fray, but I don't want to confuse you. The news:
State Senator Brandon Bell launches new political action committee & blog
WDBJ7.com

State Senator Brandon Bell will not be returning to the General Assembly in January, but he plans to keep his hand in Virginia politics.

He is launching a new political action committee and blog.


In Roanoke Red Zone, Bell says he will draw on his experience as a politician and legislator to offer commentary on state and national politics. His first post argues that former Governor Jim Gilmore is not the Republicans' best choice for next year's U.S. Senate race. (link)
It says something that a Republican state senator who was recently bounced from office by his constituents (losing to a staunch conservative in the GOP primary who then won handily in the general election) for being too liberal when it comes to the state's tax-and-spend addiction writes his first blog post about a conservative politician - Jim Gilmore - being unelectable!

Anyway, welcome to the hot tub, Brandon. Come on in. The water's warm. We look forward to your insights and ... most of your opinions.

I Guess That'll Work

In a number of other states, one declares at the time he or she signs up with the board of elections that party to which he/she affiliates (Dem, Rep, Ind, Green, Commie, etc.). Here in Virginia, The Republican Party is going to handle it a bit differently:
GOP will demand 'oath' of February primary voters
WDBJ7.com


Richmond, Va. (AP) -- If you're planning to vote in Virginia's February Republican presidential primary, be prepared to sign an oath swearing your Republican loyalty.

The State Board of Elections on Monday approved a state Republican Party request to require all who apply for a GOP primary ballot first vow in writing that they'll vote for the party's presidential nominee next fall. (link)
A loyalty oath. Right out of the 50's. Much is going to be made of that.

Still, I wonder how many Republicans in the state senate would be willing to sign it ...

It Don't Get Any Plainer Than This *

From Virginia's brightest columnist par excellence:
[R]easonable interpretations of the Constitution are rare in certain circles, so in the coming months the public will be told that the second item in a Bill of Rights written explicitly to protect individual liberties does not apply to individuals. In the reading of gun-control advocates, the Founders wrote the First Amendment to protect individual rights -- then took a wide detour exempting individual rights in order to preserve only
a collective right to state militias . . . then doubled back to the protection of individual rights for the rest of the amendments.


In this reading, "the people" means one thing in the First Amendment, something entirely different in the Second, and in the Fourth and Ninth Amendments reverts to the meaning used in the First. Even more oddly, in this reading the Founders used the term "the people" to refer to "the states" in the Second Amendment -- but took pains in the Tenth Amendment to draw an explicit distinction between the powers "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." (Why'd they do that? It's a complete mystery!)
A. Bart Hinkle, "Listen to Reason: The Bill of Rights Is a Package Deal," Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 27, 2007

* It's baffling that, despite the clarity expressed above, it is an accepted fact that at least three Supreme Court justices will think otherwise when the D.C. gun ban case is decided.

Dawn Of a New Day

Somebody pinch me. Chichester is gone. Potts is gone. Hawkins is gone. And now this:
Senate Republicans oust Stosch
In leadership shuffle, Norment is new head of chamber's caucus

By Tyler Whitley, Richmond times-Dispatch Staff Writer

In what appeared to be a peaceful coup, Republican senators shoved aside their leader, Sen. Walter A. Stosch of Henrico County, yesterday and elected two conservative senators to new leadership positions.

Stosch was made Republican leader emeritus, a new position. Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. of James City County, who had been floor leader, will now be the leader.

Conservative Republican senators had been pushing for a leadership change after the loss of the party's majority in the state Senate in the Nov. 6 election.

Sen. Stephen D. Newman of Lynchburg, who had been a leader of conservatives seeking a change, was elected caucus chairman, a position previously held by Sen. Martin E. Williams of Newport News. Williams was defeated for re-election in a primary.

Another conservative, Sen. Mark D. Obenshain of Harrisonburg, was made a whip along with Sen. Frank W. Wagner of Virginia Beach. Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle of Virginia Beach will be Republican leader pro tempore, a new post. (link)
Conventional wisdom amongst the talking heads here in the commonwealth had it that Republicans, after losing several seats in the recent election, needed to ... well, be more like Democrats. Better informed heads have instead prevailed.

Liberal Republicans in the Senate (see list above) prevented much of the GOP's agenda from going to the governor's desk in the last session. That coupled with their siding with the most fanatical tax-and-spend Democrats in Virginia, who pushed for a massive tax increase to pay for transportation fixes they claim were desperately needed, had independent voters around the state wondering why they should consider supporting Republicans when their opponents offered the same solutions to our many problems (taxes, taxes, taxes ...).

This - a two-party system! - is a welcome change. You go, guys.

While They Ban Handguns ...

... maybe Washington D.C. officials need to consider banning men who don't use rubbers.

This is unbelievable:

'A Modern Epidemic'
Washington Post editorial

The statistics in the "District of Columbia HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Annual Report 2007" -- the first to detail the local reach of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS -- are harrowing. [next sentence deleted because it is laughable; something about a new HIV-AIDS director, "plenty of funding," and data now possibly making all the difference!].

AIDS is devastating the District. While there are 14 cases per 100,000 people in the United States, the rate is a staggering 128.4 cases per 100,000 here. That's higher than New York, Baltimore or Philadelphia. More people became HIV-positive through heterosexual sex (37 percent) than through men having sex with men (27 percent) or intravenous drug use (14 percent). Twenty-two percent of infections occurred by unknown modes of transmission. (link)


According to another Washington Post article, 10,000 D.C. residents (of the total population, that's one in fifty) are infected with AIDS. 1 in 50. Another 17,000 to 25,000 have contracted HIV.

This truly is an epidemic. Sadly, an epidemic of our own making. One that is easily prevented from spreading. But spread it will ...

They're So Easily Won Over

Get the players in the Middle East together on occasion "to talk" and the mainstream press goes climactic. The fact that the Israelis and Arabs have been "talking" - when they weren't slaughtering one another - for half a century, and still hate one another seems, just for the next few days, to be unimportant. Today we have bliss:

Restrained Optimism For Mideast Peace Talks
By Michael Abramowitz and Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Staff Writers

On the eve of President Bush's most ambitious effort to forge peace between Israelis and Palestinians, White House aides played down expectations for an immediate breakthrough, while Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, made clear that it expects an aggressive administration attempt to broker a final deal.

Officials from about 50 countries and organizations arrived in Washington yesterday for today's Middle East peace conference in Annapolis. U.S. officials describe the event as the beginning of negotiations they hope will lead to a Palestinian state,
perhaps before Bush leaves office in January 2009. (
link)
Here's the way this will play out, the way it always plays out:

● The Israelis will be expected to make concessions (note the issue raised above benefits only the Palestinians).

● The Israelis will make concessions.

● The Palestinians will continue to fire rockets into Israel.
● The Palestinians will continue to call for the destruction of Israel.
● The Palestinians will continue to launch terror attacks upon Israeli civilians.
● The Palestinians will continue to hold those Israeli soldiers hostage.
● The Palestinians will continue to make demands of the Israelis.

● More "peace" talks will be held.

● The Israelis will make more concessions.

● There'll be more rounds of happy talks. In perpetuity (or until the end of the Israeli state, whichever comes first).

● The mainstream press will be hoodwinked overjoyed - again.

On and on and on ....

Boucher Gets It Right

The campaign that is being waged against the XM-Sirius merger sometimes comes across as being ... well, less than serious. The argument being made is that the merger would violate anti-trust laws, since the two are the only two subscription-based satellite radio companies on the planet. The combined corporation would have a monopoly on space-based broadcasting. That, of course, is true.

The only problem is in the fact that there isn't a huge audience in space to pick up the signal being generated. Most of the listeners, and potential listeners, are here on Mother Earth, where there is a massive amount of competition. What was that about monopolizing the airwaves again?

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) comes down on the side of reality:
A beneficial merger
By Rick Boucher, writing in the Washington Times


By the end of the year, the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission should have completed their review of the proposed merger of satellite radio providers XM and Sirius. Because the merger will promote competition and benefit consumers, it should be approved. The key questions for both agencies are whether the merger would hinder competition in the relevant market and the effect the merger will have on consumers. In each instance, a close examination supports merger approval.

In the radio marketplace of both satellite and terrestrially delivered radio services, XM and Sirius occupy less than a 4 percent share of listeners. The balance is held by AM and FM stations. In the broader audio entertainment market of radio and Internet-based news and entertainment, XM and Sirius have an even smaller share. When one concludes that the broader market is the proper measure, it is clear that the merger would not hinder competition. (link)
There's another good reason to support the merger. One (or both) of these companies is going to go belly-up if it doesn't happen (see related article here) and this technology is too valuable to be squandered.

So, here's to Rick Boucher, who comes forth in support of the XM-Sirius merger.

*** You might wonder why Mr. Boucher has gotten involved in this feud. He has a dog in this fight.

He Might Want To Think About This

The British archbishop of Canterbury, who made the statement the other day that the U.S. has brought about "the worst of all worlds" should each day read the newspaper headlines before he shoots off his mouth.

The world's headlines tell a different story. Today's:
British teacher held over prophet 'insult'
Agence France-Presse


Khartoum, Sudan — A British teacher in Sudan yesterday faced lashes and deportation as she languished in police custody, accused of insulting the Muslim prophet for allowing young children to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Sudanese police arrested Gillian Gibbons in Khartoum on Sunday after parents complained that she allowed 6-year-old boys and girls at an expensive English school to name the bear, and so "insult" the prophet Muhammad. (link)
The U.S. is the worst of all worlds? Only if you disregard all the others.

Such Promise. Such Disappointment.

He won't be missed:
Mississippi’s Lott to Leave Senate Seat
By Adam Nossiter and David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times


Pascagoula, Miss., Nov. 26 — Senator Trent Lott’s announcement on Monday that he would resign in a few weeks added to the growing Republican exodus from Congress, but may have strengthened Mr. Lott’s post-Senate job prospects.

Mr. Lott insisted Monday that he was not ending his 35-year career in Congress because of the rules, pointing instead to “financial commitments” made before Hurricane Katrina, a desire to “do something else” and other reasons.

Mr. Lott made the surprise announcement in this Gulf Coast city where he grew up and ... (link)
Whatever.

Trent Lott could at times come across as the staunch conservative. At other times, he was just a butt boy for the Democrats in the Senate. (Then there was that ghastly scene that played out several years ago in which he had been accused of being a racist and he went around pleading, "But I like negroes." He should have resigned for that reason alone.) He, like so many others that come to mind, was a good man who simply stayed in Washington too long, and let it affect his judgement.

So long, Trent. Don't let that door slap ...

On The Global Warming Scare

Tucked away in an article appearing this morning in London's Telegraph about global atmospheric temperatures actually declining in the last decade is a nice bit of slice-and-dice regarding the global warming fear campaign, a particular politician, and his no-there-there:
Planet-saving madness
By Christopher Booker

On the other hand, we had [British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown last week, in his "first major speech on climate change", airily committing his own and future governments to achieving a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 - which is rather like prime minister Salisbury at the end of Queen Victoria's reign trying to commit Winston Churchill's government to achieving some wholly impossible goal in the middle of the Second World War.

Mr Brown's only concrete proposal for reaching this absurd target seems to be his plan to ban plastic bags, whatever they have to do with global warming (while his government also plans a near-doubling of flights out of Heathrow).

But of course he is no longer his own master in such fantasy exercises. (link)
Plastic shopping bags. Sounds awfully similar to Al Gore's call for everyone to go out and buy a curlicue lightbulb ... as he (private) jets around the planet, picking up awards for his wildly successful environmental crusade.

And the world buys into it ....

I'm Surprised It's Only Five

When 50% of eligible voters say they'd never vote for Hillary under any circumstances, the math involved tells me that this is at least the case:

New poll shows Clinton trails top 2008 Republicans
Reuters

Washington (Reuters) - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trails five top Republican presidential contenders in general election match-ups, a drop in support from this summer, according to a poll released on Monday.

Clinton's top Democratic rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, still lead Republicans in hypothetical match-ups ahead of the November 4, 2008, presidential election, the survey by Zogby Interactive showed.

Clinton, a New York senator who has been at the top of the Democratic pack in national polls in the 2008 race, trails Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mike Huckabee by three to five percentage points in the direct matches. (link)



When you get down to names like Thompson and Huckabee beating Clinton, names that most voters are still unfamiliar with, and they still beat her in a hypothetical match-up, I have to believe that those polled are simply reflectiive of the ANYONE BUT HILLARY crowd.

Something the DNC should think long and hard about. They nominated a doofus in 2004. The she-bitch-from-hell in 2008?

Monday, November 26, 2007

On Deer Hunting

I've given you my reasons in the past for my having given up hunting deer. The mystique died long ago. My favorite line is this: It takes some of the fun out of the sport when I can simply walk out in my back yard and club one over the head with a hammer.

You think I exaggerate.

See the cute little creature in the photograph below? He (she?) is about to raid the bird feeder in my back yard. I walked to within eight feet of the animal this morning, snapping photos along the way, before it sauntered off. Unafraid. Unconcerned. At a leisurely pace. A bit annoyed, I think, that I interrupted breakfast. It's momma was about fifteen feet further on.

My choices:

Hunting license, wallet with IDs, topographical maps, aerial photos, toiletries, medicines, toilet paper, toothbrush & toothpaste, soap & shampoo, comb, first aid kit, binoculars & lens cleaner, spotting scope, seat cushion, water and other beverages, food & snacks, watch, knife (skinning/pocket), sunglasses, scents, backpack w/ pack frame, gambrel and pulley, game/meat cloth or bags, bone saw, electronic rangefinder w/ GPS, flashlight (small & large), extra batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9volt), headlamp, camera w/tripod/lenses/film/batteries, camcorder w/tripod/light/mic/charger, AM/FM radio, ammo, gun cleaning kit, bipod, camo clothing, fanny pack, gloves, mittens, wool/Nomex rain gear, poncho, cold weather boots, jacket/light/heavy, socks, wool/Polypro thermal underwear, hat, blanket, blaze orange jacket, deskunking kit, space blanket, lighters, firestarter & waterproof matches, compass, handheld two-way radios and chargers, cell phone w/ cigarette lighter cord, signal mirror, survival signal strobe, water filter/tablets, ax, tables & chairs, lanterns w/ extra mantles, cook stove w/ propane, trash bags, shovel for latrine, sleeping bags, pillows, chain saw (w/ fuel/oil/sharpener), portable heater, rope, tree limb loppers, playing cards, tarp/canopy, tent, ground cloth, water jug(s), 5 gallons of water.

Oh, and a gun.

Price tag $4,285.26.

Or:

Bird seed - 79¢ - and a pocket knife - $3.88.

Now you understand.

They Did Indeed Fall Off That Turnip Truck

I remember 20 years ago picking up the local newspaper the day after Thanksgiving and finding it to weigh three times what it did on any other day. On that one Friday, it was chock full of advertisements, from every major retailer on the planet, all going after the Christmas shopping crowd. All of whom would be shopping on that very day. This will come as a shock to the people who write for the New York Times but many of those retailers actually offered bargains on the items they advertised. Discounts. They were called "sales."

Twenty years ago. And counting.

To the geniuses (who must live under a rock) at the Times, however, ... shock!!!

Retail Sales Rise, but Stores Relied on Discounts
By Michael Barbaro, The New York Times


Black Friday was big — but with a big caveat.

With stores dangling steep discounts and consumers worried about the economy, retail sales surged on the day after Thanksgiving, yet the amount of money each shopper spent fell, according to two reports released yesterday.

The reports suggest that jittery consumers are flocking to rock-bottom prices and to little else — a boon for discount stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy and trouble for higher-end chains, like Nordstrom and Abercrombie & Fitch, which are averse to discounting. (link)

Who would have ever predicted? Retailers (other than Nordstrom and Abercrombie & Fitch, perhaps) thought it wise to discount their merchandise on the day that nearly everyone in the USA is out looking for someplace to shop, to spend their entire worldly wealth.

A sudden phenomenon. To the kids at the Times, a troubling one.

To the rest of us (I'll refer to us as normal people), it ain't called Black Friday for nothing.

Perhaps He Should Get Out More

I made mention yesterday of the detestable comments that spewed from the mouth of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the other day, to a Muslim magazine regarding U.S. "imperialism" creating "the worst of all worlds." I somehow think Mr. Williams knows nothing about that world. For if he did, he'd be bringing up incidents like this to the reporter for that Muslim magazine:

Ruling Jolts Even Saudis: 200 Lashes for Rape Victim
By Rasheed Abou-Alsamh, The New York Times


Jidda, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 15 — A Saudi court on Tuesday more than doubled the number of lashes that a female rape victim was sentenced to last year after her lawyer appealed the original sentence. The decision, which many lawyers found shocking even by Saudi standards of justice, has provoked a rare public debate about the treatment of women here.

The victim’s name has not been released. She was raped about 18 months ago in Qatif, a city in the Eastern Province, and has become known in the Saudi media as “the Qatif girl.” She was 19 years old at the time of the assault.

Her case has been widely debated since the court sentenced her to 90 lashes a year ago for being in the same car as an unrelated man, even after it ruled that she had subsequently been raped. For a woman to be in seclusion with a man who is not her husband or a relative is a crime in Saudi Arabia, whose legal code is based on a strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islamic law. (link)
The archbishop prefers to overlook this sort of thing and instead decries his own culture (being molded of course by the hated USA). A quote from that Muslim magazine interview:

“Our modern western definition of humanity is clearly not working very well. There is something about western modernity which really does eat away at the soul.”
He prefers the Wahhabi way of life, one must assume.

When we start whipping 19-year old rape victims in the public square, I'll agree with this old fool.

Hollywood vs. America

Kurt Loder on Brian De Palma's anti-America flick that is bombing at the box office (in "'Redacted': Battle Casualty"):
What is there left to say about the Hollywood assumption that Americans are too clueless to realize that war is hell, that the war in Iraq is particularly troubling and that only moral instruction from, well, Hollywood can bring a benighted nation to its senses?

De Palma's use of an abominable crime as an emblem of U.S. conduct in Iraq is a gross insult to American soldiers who've never done such things — which is to say, the overwhelming majority of them. But the director thinks he's courageously lobbing a truth-grenade into the cultural conflict over the Iraq war, and no doubt he's hoping that any attendant controversy will help sell tickets.
If De Palma thought he could exploit the controversy to sell tickets, he lost.

The Bottom Line

From a housewife in Somerset, Pennsylvania:

"She couldn't keep her own home together, so how can we trust her to manage America?"

I'll let you figure out who she's referring to.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

An Odd Way To Go About It

A Lee County company is trying to find a new owner. So it has laid off all its employees. What's missing in this story?
Powell Mountain Coal shuts down mine
By Walter Littrell, Kingsport Times-News


Jonesville — Owners of Powell Mountain Coal Co. have notified its approximately 140 employees that the mine is closing as part of the company’s plan to sell the mine.

The parent company is providing affected employees with 60 days of salary and benefits. Employees were given notice of the pending closure on Nov. 15.

As part of this divestiture plan, Progress Energy [the parent company] has determined that it was not economical to continue production at Powell Mountain ... (link)
Things must be pretty bad for the management of the mine to lay off most of its employees while, at the same time, look for a buyer. What is a prospective buyer to think?

In any case, let's hope, for the sake of those 140 employees (and their families), who have been notified of their termination just before Christmas, the mine finds new ownership pronto.

My State Of Perplexity

Mark Steyn is grappling with the same issues, as they relate to the various presidential contenders, as I am (in "Mark Steyn: GOP looks like the party of diverse ideas," The OC Register):
Only five weeks left to the earliest Primary Day in New Hampshire history, and still, whenever I'm being interviewed on radio or TV, I've no ready answer to the question: Which candidate are you supporting?

If I could just sneak out in the middle of the night and saw off Rudy Giuliani's strong right arm and John McCain's ramrod back and Mitt Romney's fabulous hair and stitch them all together in Baron von Frankenstein's laboratory with the help of some neck bolts, we'd have the perfect Republican nominee. As it is, the present field poses difficulties for almost every faction of the GOP base.

if you're a pro-gun anti-abortion tough-on-crime victory-in-Iraq small-government Republican the 2008 selection is a tough call.
I'm not a Republican but the rest fits. Pro-gun. Anti-abortion. Tough on crime. Victory in Iraq. Small government (with taxes assessed accordingly).

And a tough call.

On any given day, I could easily pull the ALL OF THE ABOVE lever. The Republican candidates all come that close. But the next, depending on the news coverage and the candidate pronouncements, it would more likely be the NONE OF THE ABOVE lever. It's maddening.

There's still plenty of time, thank God. And someone will emerge; will break out of the pack. And there is that looming urge that floats on the fringes of my thoughts - ANY LEVER BUT HILLARY's.

But today I honestly haven't a candidate (since Michelle Malkin isn't running). Perhaps tomorrow ...

What They're Trying To Say

The Washington Post this morning has the right idea. They are just unable to express it properly. The boys there must have been educated in D.C. public schools. With that noted, the headline (and subheading) of an editorial relating to farm subsidies says (or intends to say) it all:
Farm Follies
Is limiting federal subsidies to farmers with incomes over $750,000 unreasonable?
I think what they mean to ask is: Is limiting federal subsidies to farmers with incomes under $750,000 unreasonable?

In any case, the editorial is spot on. We are making the rich richer through government payouts of farm supports. It's time to end the practice.

On That Nixon Comparison

Was it just this past Friday that I wrote:
The comparison is startling. And you'll hear it made more often as we get closer to election time, and to her coronation. Hillary is so paranoid, so distrustful of others, probably distrustful of herself, that she comes across just as did Richard Nixon all those years ago.

Secretive. Suspicious. Humorless. Wary. Vengeful. Dark.
Someone else picks up on that theme. On Hillary, "the most disliked politician in the country":
Nixon 1968, Clinton 2008
By John Ellis, Real Clear Politics

All good strategies have an antecedent. The antecedent strategy for the Clinton campaign of 2008 is the Nixon strategy of 1968. Then, the problem was: how do you make the country's most disliked politician electable? Frank Shakespeare and Fred McWhorter started by trying to make Nixon warmer, friendlier, your next door neighbor. A young turk named Roger Ailes came in, took a look and said (and I am paraphrasing here): "forget it. No one will ever warm to the guy. He's un-likeable. We've got to change the narrative. This is about a man in the arena; this is about grit and determination and hard work and brains and perseverance." Ailes went on to create televised "Man in the Arena" town hall meetings, at which Nixon answered voter questions, by himself, being himself. Voters didn't need to like Nixon to elect him. He only needed to earn their respect.

Like Nixon, Senator Clinton is widely disliked. Like Nixon, she cannot be made warm, even by a modern-day Roger Ailes. Like Nixon, she is a politician whose resentments are always close to the surface. And like Nixon, she is a politician about whom her peers have real doubts. (link)
Like Nixon ...

'A Suicide Cult'

Mark Steyn on the eco-nut who had herself sterilized in order to save the planet ... from the likes of her:



Double-click on the little triangle to activate.

We Expect No Less

One shakes one's head in wonder and dismay:

Disabled veterans jeered at swimming pool
By Thomas Harding, Lucy Cockcroft and Brendan Carlin, London Telegraph

Injured soldiers who lost their limbs fighting for their country have been driven from a swimming pool training session by jeering members of the public.

The men, injured during tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, were taking part in a rehabilitation session at a leisure centre, when two women demanded they be removed from the pool. They claimed that the soldiers "hadn't paid" and might scare the children.

The unpleasant scenes broke out at Leatherhead Leisure Centre in Surrey when the wounded veterans, who are at Headley Court Military Hospital, had to use the 25-metre public pool because the hydro-pool at the defence rehabilitation centre is not big enough for swimming.

The servicemen were about to begin their weekly swimming therapy in closed-off lanes when they were verbally abused by the swimmers.

One woman in her 30s was said to be infuriated by the lane closures saying the soldiers did not deserve to be there when she had paid. (link)


I'm reminded of a quote I picked up many years ago:

"Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves."

The British. The poor fools.

Tying Themselves In Knots

Well, it looks like the Democrats are now going to be FOR the war again. From the John Kerry School of Political Bounce Off The Walls:
As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts
By Patrick Healy, The New York Times

As violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates are undertaking a new and challenging balancing act on Iraq: acknowledging that success, trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.

Advisers to Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama say that the candidates have watched security conditions improve after the troop escalation in Iraq and concluded that it would be folly not to acknowledge those gains. At the same time, they are arguing that American casualties are still too high, that a quick withdrawal is the only way to end the war and that the so-called surge in additional troops has not paid off in political progress in Iraq. (link)
It's just a matter of time. Hillary will soon be touting her prior votes in favor of the war. The one she opposed after she supported it but now supports after opposing it ...

For the love of God.

So They Shift Their Whine ...

... to Afghanistan:
U.S. Notes Limited Progress in Afghan War
By Karen DeYoung, Washington Post Staff Writer

A White House assessment of the war in Afghanistan has concluded that wide-ranging strategic goals that the Bush administration set for 2007 have not been met, even as U.S. and NATO forces have scored significant combat successes against resurgent Taliban fighters, according to U.S. officials.

The evaluation this month by the National Security Council followed an in-depth review in late 2006 that laid out a series of projected improvements for this year ... (
link)
There must be some template for a news article floating around on some journalism intranet site that has the following beginning ...

U.S. Notes (pick one) No Failed Little Limited Progress in (pick one) Iraq Afghan AIDS Poverty Lice Bigotry Illiteracy War

... and the rest flows from there.

Like a broken record.

You Must Be Very Proud

It's no big secret that the Episcopal Church (USA) has steadily fallen away to the left in this country. Way left. As in extremely liberal. Perhaps this has occurred because its Anglican leadership in England wants it so. This Anglican leadership:

US is ‘worst’ imperialist: archbishop
By Abul Taher, The Times of London

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the United States wields its power in a way that is worse than Britain during its imperial heyday.

Rowan Williams claimed that America’s attempt to intervene overseas by “clearing the decks” with a “quick burst of violent action” had led to “the worst of all worlds”.

In a wide-ranging interview with a British Muslim magazine, the Anglican leader linked criticism of the United States to one of his most pessimistic declarations about the state of western civilisation. (
link)
I'm sure the readers of that British Muslim magazine ate his words up.

The archbishop has a few other hateful things to say about us, if you care to read the whole thing.

As for you Episcopalians, it's fair to say you need to decide whether you're with him or against him; with us or against us. Many of your brethren have already made that decision, with their feet. Many more are preparing to do so.