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

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Developing Scandal, Chapter II

We were made aware recently of the suspension of a judge over in Wise County for inappropriate behavior in his courtroom. The reason given was ... well, actually there was none given. We were only informed that he had acted inappropriately - whatever that means. Now we get more of the story:

Scott JDR Judge Suspended
From staff reports, Scott County Star

A local juvenile and domestic relations court judge has been suspended following an incident that happened last month in Wise County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Thirtieth Judicial District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge James Michael Shull of Gate City was officially suspended after a formal complaint was filed against him for inappropriate behavior that occurred Dec. 15 in Wise.

According to courtroom witnesses, Shull was presiding over a case involving a woman, who was seeking a protective order from an abusive partner. The woman removed her pants two times in the courtroom to show injuries she alleged were caused by her partner.

After the second incident, Shull left the bench to “get a closer look” and went to look at the woman’s injuries. (link)

What did Shull do when he took that "closer look?" We still don't know. The story ends there, for God's sake, except for this:
An employee of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission declined to comment on the proceeding but did say all information found during the investigation remains confidential.
It is all confidential except for this judge's ignominious suspension and the disqueting news of it (along with his photograph) being splashed across the front page of assorted area newspapers for all the world to see and draw conclusions.

Good grief.

Are We Going To Go To War Again?

And here I'd been hoping that we could reconcile with those wayward western counties that departed in 1862. Somehow, thanks to the Galax Gazette, I don't think that is going to happen any time soon:

From the Charleston, West Virginia (formerly Virginia) Gazette:
In The Gazette of Galax, Va., columnist Chris Brooke says he drove through Charleston and was dismayed by what he saw as a mass of wooden homes jammed in a narrow valley and covered by coal dust. Well, we haven’t seen any coal dust for years — and we’ll bet that Charleston is just as attractive as Galax. (link)
Uh oh. I think someone has offended someone ...

I Ain't Alone

I speculated yesterday that it had to be mighty dangerous to bring down support pillars in coal mine shafts in order to extract the last of a vein's precious material. It wasn't idle speculation. The practice resulted in the deaths of two miners over near Tazewell (thanks to Kilo for the detailed explanation).

Apparently, I'm not alone in thinking it to be a hazardous procedure:
McDowell mine practice long considered risky
By Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette Staff writer

More than five years ago, West Virginia regulators were urged to consider banning a practice in which coal miners pull coal from the pillars meant to hold up underground mine roofs.

This weekend, two more West Virginia miners died “pulling pillars,” in the first deaths for the state’s coal industry this year.

In a November 2001 report, then-Gov. Bob Wise was encouraged to closely examine — and possibly ban or much more tightly restrict — “retreat mining.”

During this especially dangerous procedure, miners remove the last bits of coal possible from pillars meant to hold up the mine roof, or remove entire pillars.

This is done as miners are moving out of a section, and mine roofs are expected to fall as miners pull the pillars. (link)
So many things to go wrong ...

So many lives lost ...

Resurrecting The Past

I knew, when I read the headline, that the story is not what it is touted to be:

For Webb, economy's a priority
By Peter Hardin, Richmond Times-Dispatch Washington Correspondent

Washington -- On a day that Iraq debate would dominate Washington, Sen. Jim Webb carved out time to highlight what he has labeled the most important issue in politics -- economic disparity.

... hours after President Bush's speech announcing his plan to send more troops to Iraq, the Virginia Democrat made time for a keynote speech underscoring his fervor for fighting for economic fairness. (link)

Let's get one thing straight: The confiscation and redistribution of America's wealth is not about "the economy." Unless one considers the negative effect Jim Webb's boneheaded plan to punish those who produce will have on it.

Webb, once a stalwart conservative, has found himself thrust into a position of power without having established for himself a clear set of goals beyond cut-and-run, and he therefore has seized upon a worn-out discredited class warfare campaign.

Ronald Reagan, once a hero to our new senator, is rolling over in his grave.

So Jim Webb has a plan to help the poor. May God have mercy on us.

Reining In The Kelo Monster

I just started Michael Crichton's new book, Next. It provides, in part, a wake-up call to all America that the right of the government to assert eminent domain claims over your genes (for research purposes designed to improve the lives of the citizenry) is in the not-too-distant offing.

As for the here-and-now:

Reform eminent domain
Jeremy P. Hopkins, writing in the Washington Times

Any Virginian outraged by the United States Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. New London should examine Virginia law, which often gives Virginians less protection than the court gave the property owners in Kelo. Virginia law allowed a housing authority to take an owner's house without the owner's notice and at a price set by the authority in the owner's absence.

The law specifically singles out owners whose property is taken by eminent domain and excludes them from the protections given to all other Virginians. Virginia law allowed a city to take an owner's property and give 82 percent of the property to a private developer to build a shopping center. Virginia law allowed a county to take a farmer's land to build a driveway for the farmer's neighbor. Virginia law allows housing authorities to take the well-maintained property of a law-abiding, taxpaying property owner solely because his neighbor refuses to maintain his property.

As the [General Assembly] has repeatedly proven, it will not act to protect Virginians and their private property. The people must demand that these needed protections be placed into the fundamental law of the land: the Virginia Constitution. (link)

And we must do it soon. Before they start extracting your DNA at the point of a gun.

Why Johnny Can't Read

In Alexandria, it's because liberals consider it to be more important that he be taught how to slaughter children in the womb and about how to be a sexual deviant:
Abortion, gay studies considered
By Arlo Wagner, The Washington Times

A residents advisory committee is preparing studies on abortion and sexual orientation to be used in classes required for early teens in Alexandria public schools.

Proposed additions to the curriculum include studies about why women seek abortions and about homosexuality, heterosexuality and sexual discrimination.

The Alexandria Board of Education must approve any additions.

The Family Life Education Advisory Committee began preparing the studies in ... (link)
They may not know how to add and subtract but they'll at least know all about partial-birth abortion procedures.

Abandon hope, all ye who send thy children to Alexandria public schools.

Headline Of The Day

As only the New York Post can do it:


The Stuff That Hollywood Dreams Are Made Of

This is intriguing:
Hunt For The Lost Da Vinci

January 15, 2007 -- Rome -The search is resuming for a lost Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece believed to be hidden within a wall in a Florence palace.

There, researchers believe, a cavity in a wall may have preserved Leonardo's unfinished painted mural of the "Battle of Anghiari" for more than four centuries.

The search first began 30 years ago with the discovery of a cryptic message on one of the frescoes saying, "Cerca, trova" - "seek and you shall find." (link)
What treasures await behind those walls...

Cheney For President

I can't tell you how much I admire a man (or a Condoleezza) who listens to the relentless whine of America's critics - and they are legion these days - and dismisses them with a wave of the hand, knowing that these troubled times call for leadership, not cowardice.

Dick Cheney is the man:

Cheney: War Critics Don't Have "Stomach" For The Fight
By Geoff Earle, The New York Post

January 15, 2007 -- Washington - Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday that critics who want to pull back from Iraq don't have the "stomach" for a long fight, and accused opponents of the administration's new strategy of playing into Osama bin Laden's hands.

Cheney said Congress has "every right to express their opinion and to agree or disagree with administration policy," but added that you can't "run a war by committee," and said the president would follow his own judgment - not the judgment of Congress or even public opinion.

"And if we have a president who looks at the polls and sees the polls going south and concludes, 'Oh, my goodness, we have to quit,' all it will do is validate the al Qaeda view of the world. It's exactly the wrong thing to do." (link)
The "al Qaeda view of the world." Supported by most of America today. He'll have none of it.

Dick Cheney. American hero.

Jimmy Carter - Terrorist?

The Democrats' most revered ex-president is making them proud. He's calling for terrorist attacks to continue :
Jimmy For Terror
New York Post editorial

January 15, 2007 -- Has a former president of the United States - a Nobel Peace Prize winner, no less - given his blessing to wanton murder and terrorist assaults against Israel?

Sure looks that way.

How else to read that astonishing statement on page 213 of Jimmy Carter's new anti-Israel screed, "Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid"?

To wit: "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel." (Emphasis in the original)

You don't have to read between the lines here. (link)
Reworked, that reads: It is imperative that the terrorists continue the suicide bombings and other acts of wanton slaughter until the Islamists gain victory.

How vile.

Where's The Beef?

When you make an accusation as serious as this one, you'd better have some facts to back it up:
Politicizing Prosecutors
New York Times editorial

The Bush administration has appointed an extreme political partisan as the new United States attorney for Arkansas. (
Wow. So what makes this appointee an extremist? Did he advocate the overthrow of the government? Did he renounce God? Did he call for the disbanding of Congress? Is he a known subversive?

Here's the accusation in its entirety:
H. E. Bud Cummins, the respected United States attorney in Little Rock, recently left office. He has been replaced on an interim basis by J. Timothy Griffin, who has a thin legal record but a résumé that includes working for Karl Rove and heading up opposition research for the Republican National Committee.
He worked for Karl Rove. Hang the bastard.

Funny. We're not even told what this gentleman did for Karl Rove. But that's unimportant.

If Griffin had simply been accused of stealing top secret national security documents from federal archives and stuffing them in his Speedos, intentions unknown, the geniuses at the Times wouldn't give it a thought. But he worked for Rove. Rove!

A good laugh to begin the morning.

Now There's Leadership For You

Democratic strategists (and their buds in the media) made the determination that if they complained enough about Bush and the war and the economy and the plight of the poor and Katrina and Cheney and ... that they could drive Republicans from power. It proved to be a very effective strategy.

There were those of us at the time though who were saying, "Yeah. But how would you do things differently?"

We never got an answer. Because they had no answers.

That hasn't changed:
Democrats Are Unified in Opposition to Troop Increase, but Split Over What to Do About It
By Jim Rutenberg and Patrick Healy, The New York Times

Washington, Jan. 14 — The White House sought Sunday to head off building pressure in Congress to cut off or limit financing for sending more troops to Iraq.

But even as President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made it clear that they would proceed with their plan to increase the United States military presence in Iraq in the face of opposition from the House and Senate, Democrats exhibited splits within their ranks over how aggressively to oppose the plan.

While most Democratic leaders have not endorsed taking steps beyond seeking to pass nonbinding resolutions opposing the troop increase, pressure ... (link)
The blind leading the blind.