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

Friday, March 30, 2007

O Ye Who Suffer From Allergies

I'll admit to having lived a sheltered life. But I had an experience Wednesday morning that I'd never had before. I left the hotel I had stayed at the night before in Atlanta and went to my car, only to find it covered in what I first thought was a thick layer of dust. On closer observation, though, I determined that it was actually pollen. More pollen than I'd ever seen in my life.

Tis the season:

Pollen power
Jennifer Wig, Bristol Herald-Courier

It isn’t just love in the air during springtime. Tree pollen is flying about now, leaving a yellow and green layer on everything from cars to porches.

And those with allergies notice a difference, said Dr. W. Jan Kazmier, allergy specialist for Wellmont Health System.

"Because of the mild winter, a lot of the trees are starting [to] pollinate early," he said. "If we have sunny, windy weather there is pollen everywhere."

The Tri-Cities area has been on an "allergy alert" since Monday, according to the Allergy Diseases Asthma and Immunology Clinic in Bristol.

The clinic has recorded a pollen count of 854 particles per cubic meter in the Tri-Cities Thursday. A reading of 120 is considered high. (link)

Not being an allergy sufferer, I didn't know a good pollen count from a bad one. But if 120 is considered high, this would explain that heavy coating on my car: "Sufferers in Georgia and South Carolina witnessed pollen counts as high as 5,449 particles per cubic meter this week."

It's enough to give you the sniffles.

The Sad Thing Is ...

... one could get the same information out of a public library for free:
NYU Freshmen To Pay $50,000
By Leela de Kretser, The New York Post

March 30, 2007 -- The cost of partying - er, studying - at NYU will jump 5 percent in the upcoming school year.

The Class of 2011 will pay $49,996 during their freshman year for tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies and personal expenses, an NYU spokesman said.

That includes $11,880 for room and board on campus - but actual housing costs could go as high as $15,650 a year. (link)
When I think of Abraham Lincoln sitting in front of the hearth, late at night, in his one-room log cabin, book in hand, preparing to be the greatest President this country has ever had, I wonder ...

A Matter Of Semantics?

The difference between a conservationist and an environmentalist, according to an expert on the subject:
Montana's Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer: "'Environmentalist' -- that sounds like someone who lives naked in a tree and eats nuts with the big nose ring. But when you say, 'I want [to] protect the places where you like to hunt, camp, and fish,' well, you bet [voters are] for that."
"Enough Said," Richmond Times-Dispatch, March 30, 2007

Ah, Some Things Never Change

A warm feeling of deja vu sweeps over me this morning. This sounds so much like the Democrats I came to know and love over the years:
House Budget Is Clear on Spending, Vague on Revenue
By Edmund L. Andrews, The New York Times

Washington, March 29 — House Democrats passed a five-year spending plan Thursday that offers something to almost everybody but leaves many questions unanswered — much like the plan passed last week by the Senate.

The House plan, approved 216 to 210, envisions a balanced budget by 2012. It would provide an additional $50 billion over five years for medical care to low-income children, $7.9 billion more next year for education and social service programs and $3.5 billion more than President Bush has requested for veterans programs.

But both the House and Senate budgets implicitly require tax increases in the years ahead. Neither offers any guidance about where the needed extra revenue would come from. (link)
Oh, details, details.

Be happy. We have us a balanced budget; the Democrats say so: "'After years of reckless budgets and skyrocketing debt, Democrats have brought fiscal sanity back to Washington,' said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus."

A helpful and instructive bit of advice: Anytime you read the words sanity and Democrats in the same sentence, you might want to start backing away.

In this case, a hearty chuckle might be in order as well.

Gun Control Is Controlling Everything But Crime

From Dave Kopel, writing for the Independence Institute, we learn how restrictive the city of Denver is when it comes to a person's right to keep and bear arms:

On Concealed Carry: Denver Revised Municipal Code 38-117 forbids the concealed or open carrying of any firearm, any knife with a blade greater than 32 inches in length, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon.

● On guns that melt (This is no joke): It is unlawful for any person engaged in the business of selling handguns to sell, rent, exchange, or deliver any handgun having a melting point of less than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or tensile strength of less than 50,000 lbs. per square inch, or metal having a density of less than 7.5 grams per cubic centimeter.

● On guns that look scary: The ordinance forbids the carrying, storing, keeping, manufacturing, selling, or otherwise possessing any firearm defined as an assault weapon. It also includes any detachable magazine with a capacity of 21 or more rounds.

● On juveniles and weapons: In Denver, it is currently illegal to allow anyone under the age of 16 to even touch a gun, even during a safety training class.

It is even illegal for a father and son to drive to a hunting trip with an unloaded rifle in the rack of a pick-up truck.

● On property confiscation: Denver's property confiscation law does not create additional gun controls, but does impose draconian penalties based on the other gun ordinances.

Among other things, the ordinances allow the confiscation of the gun and the car of people with concealed handgun permits who travel through Denver. (source) *


Gosh, it's comforting to know that Denver has crime under control.

Or not:
Shootings Add to Denver’s Anxiety, and Its Unsolved Crimes
By Dan Frosch, The New York Times

Denver, March 29 — A rash of seemingly random shootings last weekend has baffled the police here and added to the unease of a city that in recent months has experienced a series of unsolved violent crimes.

The same two men are believed to have shot six people in 48 hours starting March 23. The shootings included an attack on a group of college friends, most of whom had traveled from Kansas to see a concert.

Denver has drawn attention recently for a number of other unsolved violent crimes, such as the slaying last month of Ken Gorman, a supplier of medical marijuana, and the killing of Darrent Williams, the Denver Broncos cornerback who was gunned down on New Year’s Day as he left a nightclub. (link)

How are these crimes explained, considering the fact that Denver has the strictest gun control laws this side of Havana?

“You hear about the frustration from the black people who have lived here for a long time. They can’t afford to move, they also can’t afford to fix up their homes,” said Diane Mourning, executive director of the nearby Curtis Park Community Center. “This is a neighborhood where you have very poor, desperate people living side by side with people who are upper middle class.”
Time to bring on some more gun control.

* So you know, despite the fact that these laws and ordinances sometimes conflict with state and federal law, the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld Denver's right to regulate the sale, ownership, and use of firearms.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm

Food for thought:
Great Moments in Political Honesty

From the Web site of KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa:

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack gave Sen. Hillary Clinton his endorsement for her presidential campaign.

The Clinton campaign has promised Vilsack to help pay off a $400,000 campaign debt he built up during his run for the White House. . . .

The campaign said there is no connection between Vilsack's endorsement and their commitment to help pay off his campaign debt.
We're sure Mrs. Clinton would have been happy to pay off Vilsack's debts even if he'd endorsed Barack Obama.
From James Taranto, Best of the Web Today, March 28, 2007