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

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Can't Be Usin' That General Fund

As I predicted just yesterday, the tax-happy media here in Virginia have started howling that the Republicans' plan to pump much-needed money into transportation was going to end all life on this planet. Hear them roar.

From the Roanoke Times this morning:

A wreck of a road plan

Virginia's Republican lawmakers at long last have a transportation plan. We applaud them.

The plan itself, though, is seriously flawed and extremely fragile.

... desperately needed

... empty coffers

... face angry voters

Adequate revenue for transportation must not come at the expense of other core state responsibilities. Therein lies a critical flaw of the Republican plan: It would rob hundreds of millions of dollars from the state's general fund. (link)

"... other core state responsibilites" are at risk he wrote with a smirk, knowing that state government spending on all its various responsibilities has exploded in recent years, and knowing that the state is sitting on a massive surplus that it can't force feed to the general fund quickly enough.

A question: What's so sacrosanct about the general fund that it shouldn't ever again be used for transportation spending? It was devised over 200 years ago to serve just such a purpose. And we've somehow survived.

Look, this is all nothing but noise. A whining, sniveling pout.

These people and the governor had their chance to raise our taxes again. They lost. Their day is done and they know it.

Their world is indeed crashing down around them.

Now There's A Cause To Champion

Of all the issues facing us in 2007 - global warming, Islamist terrorism, flu pandemic, AIDS - poop just doesn't make my list. But to others ...
Activist speaks out on sludge
Thomas Linzey stopped in Bedford County to discuss an ordinance to ban spreading sludge.
By Beth Jones, The Roanoke Times

Thomas Linzey stopped in Bedford County on Friday as part of a regional tour to spread his ideas on restricting corporate rights.

Specifically, Linzey, executive director of the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, met with a group of Bedford County employees, elected officials and residents to discuss an ordinance that might prohibit companies from spreading sludge on county land.

If passed, it would make it illegal for any corporation to apply sludge in Bedford County. (link)
Somehow you're expected to know what sludge is; the reporter chooses not to define the term.

For those of you who are now wondering, sludge is poop. More specifically, human poop. And they're spreading it on farm fields around the world to serve as high-quality fertilizer.

Gives those corn flakes you're munching this morning a different flavor, yes? I empathize...

What's odd about all this is the fact that animal waste has been used as fertilizer since humans went from being hunters/gatherers to husbandmen. Don't believe me? Run down to the local garden center. Cow manure is a hot seller. And the phosphates in chicken poop are highly sought-after commodities because of their pH balancing value.

But they're not human poop. They're cow and chicken poop. A distinction, quite honestly, to this homeboy, without a difference.

The way I see it, if you've ever spent any time in a farmer's pasture and had the opportunity to see a cow's butt, you'll wonder why this activist is limiting his efforts ...

Slavery No. Jim Crow Yes.

Colbert King makes a point in his Washington Post column this morning that I was going to bring up yesterday but couldn't, because I ran out of time (one of us gets paid for this stuff; one of us has to work for a living). After enduring the obligatory, "I'll never get over slavery because someone in my family tree whom I never met and know little about was owned by someone else" (how many of us can't say the same thing about our ancient European ancestry?), he has this (from "In Virginia, More to 'Get Over' Than Slavery"):
[Delegate Frank] Hargrove was correct when he told the House of Delegates on Tuesday that "not a soul in this legislature" had anything to do with slavery. It was before their time. But Virginia's shameful history on race is not limited to slavery.

Hargrove, who will be 80 next week, cannot escape the fact that he and many white Virginians alive today were present when the spirit of Jim Crow reigned supreme in the Old Dominion.
If there are apologies to be sought, I'd start there. For the reason King gives.

For some inexplicable reason, though, he doesn't develop the idea. Instead he chooses to attack Hargrove (again) for the dastardly crime of being alive at the time:
When Hargrove was 29, Sen. Harry Byrd declared massive resistance to the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown decision desegregating public schools. Did he miss that?

What did 31-year-old Hargrove think in 1958 when the General Assembly passed a series of laws to prevent school desegregation, including a measure forbidding state funds to be spent on integrated schools? That was a memorable year. And the next year ...

And contrary to what Frank Hargrove and others may wish to believe, the state's legacy of segregation and discrimination in education and employment has harmed many black Virginians, depriving them of the tangible benefits enjoyed by their white counterparts.
Somehow poor Frank has been sucked into a conversation about something he had nothing to do with. Such is the nature of racial politics.

In any case, Colbert King makes a good - if tortured - point. While the institution of slavery is beyond even a distant memory, and most of us have gotten over it and moved on, Jim Crow segregation is very much a part of our recent past. On that, we all need to pause and reflect.

That 'Free Speech' Sure Looks Like a Lethal Weapon

This gal has to be one of those mentally-challenged Young Democrats I read about:
Columbia Coed: Just A Minute!
By Carl Campanile, The New York Post

January 20, 2007 -- A Columbia University student who helped prevent the head of the anti-immigrant group the Minutemen from speaking there last fall defended her actions yesterday - after officials said seven students were facing disciplinary charges.

Karina Garcia, president of the university's Chicano Caucus, and others who stormed the stage on Oct. 4 to confront Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrist insisted they did nothing wrong.

"We didn't stifle his free speech; we exercised our free speech," Garcia told The Post. "We weren't protesting the man's ideas; we were protesting his actions." (
First, let it be noted for the record that the reporter of this piece intentionally misrepresented the purpose of the Minuteman Project. It isn't "anti-immigrant." It is anti-illegal immigrant. Big difference.

Secondly, regarding this underaged and undereducated champion of free speech, who says she was just exercising her right to challenge someone's ideas, pictures speak a thousand words.

The photo to the left is a shot of her free speech group "confronting" physically assaulting Gilchrist while he was trying to deliver his address to the Columbia audience. You look at this and wonder why this genius isn't in prison.

So spare us the histrionics, kid. Exercising your free speech rights? Not even.

Trailer Trash

Our petite new Speaker of the House has shown us once again that her political party is more interested in stopping Bush than it is in stopping those who plot to slaughter our children and grandchildren. This is reprehensible:
Pelosi Pilloried
By Lolita Baldor, AP

January 20, 2007 -- Washington - In a critique the White House labeled as "poisonous," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi charged yesterday that President Bush is wading too deeply into Iraq and said it should not be "an obligation of the American people in perpetuity."

Pelosi said Bush "has dug a hole so deep he can't even see the light on this. It's a tragedy. It's a stark blunder."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino retorted that Pelosi's comments were "poisonous," referring to the portion of Pelosi's statement that asserted Bush is rushing new troops there and betting that Congress won't cut off funds once they're in battle. (link)
I don't know that I've ever heard one of America's leaders, while we were at war, say anything as outrageous and offensive.

I've occasionally compared Nancy Pelosi to a stripper I once encountered in Cleveland years ago. I hereby apologize to that stripper.

How Dare You Speak The Obvious!

Retreat from Iraq is only part of the agenda. Now the Democrats are wanting us out of Iran ... before we go into Iran ... before we even contemplate going into Iran.

Like frightened children ...

Leading Senator [*] Assails President Over Iran Stance
By Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times

Washington, Jan. 19 — The new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday sharply criticized the Bush administration’s increasingly combative stance toward Iran, saying that White House efforts to portray it as a growing threat are uncomfortably reminiscent of rhetoric about Iraq before the American invasion of 2003.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who took control of the committee this month, said that the administration was building a case against Tehran even as ... (link)
What's particularly pathetic about this is the fact that President Bush hasn't said anything about the madmen in Iran, who are soon to go nuclear, that their maniacal leader hasn't boasted of himself, including his intention to wipe six million people off the face of the Earth.

No, we don't want to be bringing that up in conversation.

Just as with the situation in Iraq, the Democrats are hoping we can just leave the threat coming from Iran alone and it will miraculously go away.

While we're still recovering the bones of our dead from the sewers of New York City.

God help us.

* What is a "leading senator?"

What Weapons Test?

The president best not mention this looming threat either:
China Shows Assertiveness in Weapons Test
By Joseph Kahn, The New York Times

Beijing, Jan. 19 — China’s apparent success in destroying one of its own orbiting satellites with a ballistic missile signals that its rising military intends to contest American supremacy in space, a realm many here consider increasingly crucial to national security.

The test of an antisatellite weapon last week, which Beijing declined to confirm or deny Friday despite widespread news coverage and diplomatic inquiries, was perceived by East Asia experts as China’s most provocative military action since it testfired missiles off the coast of Taiwan more than a decade ago. (link)
Democrat foreign policy: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no ...