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

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I Think I Like This Guy

I've decided that I have no problem with the state legislature apologizing for an institution that brought about the enslavement of people we don't know by people we don't know in an age we know nothing about. If it keeps the legislators distracted, and blocks their attempts at confiscating more of my hard-earned income, then I say: Let's apologize once a day. Every day.

But there are those who don't see it quite that way. I don't know who Delegate Frank Hargrove is, but I think I like him. He has a different opinion but he makes good sense. Even if he is going to be strung up by his neck for saying it:
Slavery apology legislation ignites 1st spark
Republican Del. Frank Hargrove said blacks should "get over" slavery.
By Michael Sluss , The Roanoke Times

Richmond -- A resolution that would have the General Assembly apologize for Virginia's role in slavery has aroused passions in the legislature even before the measure gets its first hearing from committees in the Senate and House of Delegates.

A Hanover County lawmaker's published comments that blacks should "get over" slavery were denounced on the House floor Tuesday by two black delegates who are supporting a resolution of apology. The comments by Republican Del. Frank Hargrove lit the first spark in what figures to be an emotional debate in coming weeks.

Hargrove made the remark in a story published Tuesday by the Charlottesville Daily Progress. In explaining his opposition to the resolution, Hargrove said today's Virginia has no responsibility for slavery and added: "I personally think that our black citizens should get over it."

The same story also quoted Hargrove saying: "Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ? (link)
... apologize for killing Christ. Good line.

Now we all know that Frank here is in big trouble for saying what 70% of Virginians think. Despite that, he's right. You all need to get over it. And move on. Apologies serve absolutely no purpose (above exception noted) other than to promote modern-day slave traders - those who capitalize on such meaningless idiocy. Al Sharpton comes to mind.

Bill Clinton apologized for slavery. Tim Kaine has already apologized for slavery. Neither made a difference to those who demand more and more and ...

Beyond that, 800,000 Americans gave up their lives to end the institution of slavery. And the entire South was laid to waste because of its transgressions. I'd say that's apology - and punishment - enough.

Get over it. The rest of us moved on long ago.

Now For What He REALLY Meant

Why is it conservatives' words can never mean what we intend for them to mean?

From a Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial:
During debate regarding official apologies for slavery, Frank Hargrove, a Republican delegate from Hanover, asked:

"Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?"

Hargrove is a decent man, but his words suggest how easily 2,000 years of indefensible attitudes can burst out of the West's subconscious. Despite urging African-Americans to "get over it" and reminding them that "we're living in 2007," Hargrove repeated a slur that ... (link)
This is laughable. Hargrove couldn't have been more clear about his views but the mind readers at the TD see some subconscious thing going on here. In saying "Get Over It," he really meant ...

Perhaps this says more about those who occupy space in the editorial boardroom than it does about the good delegate from Hanover.

On The 'As Long As It's Someone Else' Syndrome

It appears that most Virginians support government restrictions... as long as someone else is getting it in the shorts:

Poll says 71% of Virginians support ban on public smoking
By Christina Nuckols, The Virginian-Pilot

Seventy-one percent of Virginians support a law banning smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces, according to a new state poll released Tuesday.

The poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. in November and paid for by a coalition of health care organizations. (link)

Soak the rich!
Tax that beer!
Go after those helmetless motorcyclists!
Make big pharma pay!
Imprison Tom Delay!

What? You want to tax my gasoline 3 additional cents?!

Smaller government!
Less intrusion!
Big Brother!
Jackbooted thugs!

You're all hopeless.

Talk About Torture ...

Our brand spanking new senator is going to make a speech to that 1.25% of the nation that hasn't gone to bed an anxious nation one night next week after the president gives his State of the Union address. Guess they couldn't get anyone else to do it so they assigned it to the probie.

Somebody shake me when it's over. I'm not up to this. I'm going to be holding my hands over my ears and my eyes closed:
Webb to give response to State of the Union
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times

National Democratic leaders have selected Virginia Sen. James H. Webb Jr. to deliver the party's response to President Bush's State of the Union address next week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Mr. Webb, a Vietnam War veteran, "understands personally how ... (link)
Webb, during his recent election campaign, gained a reputation for dodging large crowds and of avoiding making speeches in public, preferring instead his "kitchen table" meetings with small groups of avid supporters.

And for good reason.

James Webb is, without doubt, the most inept public speaker since William Hung. And he's going to be the Democratic Party standardbearer. On national television.

This is going to be grueling. I can't bear to watch.

Osama Obambi Throws His Hat In The Ring

Barack Oramabama has decided to seek the office of president in 2008. The Earth shudders:

Obama Starts ’08 Bid, Reshaping Democratic Field
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

Washington, Jan. 16 — Two years after arriving in Washington, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois made clear on Tuesday his intention to enter the Democratic presidential race, creating an exploratory committee while preparing to open a full-fledged campaign next month to become the nation’s first black president.

The announcement by Mr. Obama, his aides said, removed any doubt about his candidacy and ended weeks of speculation — fueled, in part, by the senator himself — that sent ripples through the ranks of other Democrats eyeing the presidential nomination. He said he would formally declare his intention to run on Feb. 10 in Springfield, Ill., the home of Abraham Lincoln.

“Our leaders in Washington seem incapable ... (link)

[insert pithy remark about upbringing here]

[insert glowing commentary on electrifying personality here]

[refer to his black father here]

[avoid any mention of ears]

Food For Thought

James Taranto on the mystery that surrounds Barack Obama and the "civil rights" establishment:
It's common enough for black "leaders" to attack black Republicans like Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele--[Harry] Belafonte has even made racist remarks about Colin Powell--but Obama is a Democrat, so the hostility toward him isn't partisan in origin. Nor is it ideological, really. Obama may not be as ultraleft as Belafonte, but he is a very liberal Democrat--certainly more liberal than either of the Clintons, whom the "civil rights" crowd lionize.

Our view is that Obama threatens ]Jesse] Jackson, [Al] Sharpton and Belafonte precisely because he has an appeal that transcends race. If Obama is able to gain widespread appeal as a national political figure, it undermines the basis of white guilt, namely the assumption that America remains a deeply racist society. Men like Jackson, Sharpton and Belafonte have made their careers on the exploitation of white guilt. Obama is a threat to their power and livelihood. (link)
Makes sense to me.

How Would They Know?

You may recall the cowardly actions of the United Nations leadership in 2003 after a terror bombing of its offices in Baghdad sent its remaining staff fleeing from Iraq in a panic. If not, read up on it here. In brief, the U.N. higher-ups decided that it was too dangerous to keep their office there - among innocent civilians who had counted on their help and who had no choice but to stay - so they packed their bags and moved to the remote island of Cyprus, a safer (if completely isolated) vantage point from which to monitor the war. Oh, and the wine there is primo.

That same U.N. has now come up with a number. Casualties of the war - 2006. Strategically released on the same day as the Golden Globes:
Iraqi Death Toll Exceeded 34,000 in 2006, U.N. Says
By Sabrina Tavernise, The New York Times

Baghdad, Jan. 16 — The United Nations reported Tuesday that more than 34,000 Iraqis were killed in violence last year, a figure that represents the first comprehensive annual count of civilian deaths and a vivid measure of the failure of the Iraqi government and American military to provide security.

The report was the first attempt at hand-counting individual deaths for an entire year. It was compiled using reports from morgues, hospitals and municipal authorities across Iraq, and was nearly three times higher than an estimate for 2006 compiled from Iraqi ministry tallies by The Associated Press earlier this month. (link)
You're probably wondering about now: How did the U.N. come up with that number if it has no presence anywhere near Iraq?

It relied on secondary sources of course. Democrats. MoveOn.org. Jimmy Carter. Osama. Sean Penn. César Chávez.

Now I don't want to be labeled a Doubting Thomas, but ...

The War Is Being Won

For those of you who are not measuring the success of our war on terror by the number of car bombs that go off in the streets of Baghdad, you'll find this to be a very encouraging development:

Hangings Fuel Sectarian Split Across Mideast
By Michael Slackman, The New York Times

Cairo, Jan. 16 — The botched hanging of Saddam Hussein and two lieutenants in Iraq by its Shiite-led government has helped to accelerate Sunni-Shiite sectarianism across an already fragile Middle East, according to experts across the region.

The chaotic executions and the calm with which Mr. Hussein confronted the gallows and mocking Shiite guards have bolstered his image among many of his fellow Sunni Muslims.

But something else is happening too: a pan-Muslim unity that surged after the summer war between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia, is waning.

And while political analysts and government officials in the region say the spreading Sunni disillusionment with Shiites and their backers in Iran will benefit Sunni-led governments and the United States, they and others worry that the tensions could start to balkanize the region as they have in Iraq itself. (link)

Somehow this reporter for the Times has gotten his facts all wrong, but his conclusions right.

There has never been, since before the days the prophet Mohammed walked the Earth, such a thing as "pan-Muslim unity." Ever. Tribalism and sectarianism in the Middle East - often bitter - have always been the rule.

And the Muslim world doesn't care about Saddam. His image faded away the day he was deposed. And his execution was met with one big yawn.

But the growing tensions between Sunnis and Shiites is real. And it is a good thing - for us.

Where once Arab rulers focused on a relatively small radical segment of their communities that wanted to destroy western civilization (al Qaeda et al) , they now find themselves having to look inward. And to their neighbors. To survival.

Baghdad is unimportant in the final analysis. Mecca is the hotspot. Damascus. Tehran. Cairo.

George W. Bush has altered the equation. Changed the equilibrium. Refocused the animosities. Channeled the hatreds away from New York City.

We benefit. And we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.

Is This How Movies Are Made?

When is a bribe not a bribe?
Big Stone Gap (the movie) may be filmed in Big Stone Gap (the town)
By Stephen Igo, Kingsport Times-News

Wise - State Sen. William Wampler Jr., R-Bristol, and Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, announced Wednesday a $300,000 pledge grant in incentives to help woo a movie production to Big Stone Gap, the setting of a novel on which the film is to be based.

"Big Stone Gap: A Novel" was published in 2001 by Wise County native Adriana Trigiani, now living in New York City. The novel concerns a 35-year-old bookmobile nerd of a plain-Jane spinster in the 1970s dealing with quirky family and romantic issues.

Wampler said the Tobacco Commission board approved the $300,000 grant to the Virginia Film Office to help the state office convince the film's producers to film some if not most of the footage in Big Stone Gap, the setting of the novel. (link)
I don't know about you but a third of a million dollars would go a long way toward convincing me. But how are those tax dollars being spent? I can see taking the movie producer and director out to lunch at the new Applebee's over by the new Wal-Mart Super Center, but that tab might run 65 bucks. A tour of The Breaks Interstate Park? $10. A back rub? $35. Hookers? Not in By God Southwest Virginia!

The remainder of that $300,000 must be intended for beer. And you're all invited. Should be a hoot. Wear your best duds. We're all going to be in a movie. Me? I'm going for the Justin Timberlake look ...