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

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Some Have Rights & Some Don't

Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams likes to think of himself as a champion of civil rights. Except on those occasions when he opposes them. How does he justify this dichotomy? He simply rejects the existence of certain rights:

Losing rights in smoking ban? Wrong!
By Michael Paul Williams

The freedom to smoke in a restaurant does not exactly evoke images of the framers gathered around the Constitution, quill pen in hand, or the sound of a fife playing "Yankee Doodle."

But to some folks, sparking up a Marlboro in a restaurant has been elevated to an essential freedom.

Beneath all the patriotic smoke and mirrors lies a fundamental question: Does a "right" to smoke in a public place actually exist?

Don't let the hype cloud common sense: Smokers have no right to infringe upon our right to breathe carcinogen-free air.

Restaurateurs have no more right to pollute our lungs than they do to poison our stomachs. Public health considerations should trump profit. (link)

There you have it. From Virginia's numero uno civil rights advocate. Neither smokers nor property owners have rights. Dichotomy dedichotomized.

Now, I'll not argue that a smoker has the right to light up wherever he pleases. He doesn't.

But neither does a non-smoker have the right to enter onto the private property of another and make demands on that property owner based on the non-smokers needs, wants, and desires.

At least not in an America still interested in fairness, and in protecting the rights of individuals. An America that understands what civil rights are really all about.

The America that Russian immigrant Ayn Rand came to know and love.

Pulaski Fights

Despite grievous economic setbacks in recent decades, the town of Pulaski (Virginia) knows what's required to bring prosperity to its people:

Pulaski to sell 1,700 acres for development
By Paul Dellinger, The Roanoke Times

The town of Pulaski will sell some 1,700 acres of watershed property in Pulaski County for development into lake homes and large vacation home tracts.

Pulaski Town Council voted Tuesday night to have documents drawn up to sell the acreage, which includes Hogan's Dam and a 41-acre lake, to the Thornspring Group LLC. Details of the planned sale were not immediately available.

[One] reason is their hope to bring in a development which will boost the area's economic picture. (link)
Kudos to the Pulaski town council, the members of which understand the age-old adage:

More grows in the garden than the gardener sows.

Another Local Employer Struggling

This one might surprise you since it doesn't fall into the traditional categories of blighted industries:
Virginia Intermont almost out of money, can't offer faculty contracts
NET News Service

Bristol, Va. - Virginia Intermont College lacks enough funds to offer faculty members contracts for the 2007-08 academic year, a college leader announced Tuesday, prompting pleas for donations and talk of merger with another college.

"Like all small private institutions of higher education, financial stability continues to be a challenge for us because tuition revenue falls short of operational expenses," VI President Michael J. Puglisi said in a news release.

Despite the deficit, Puglisi said in the news release that the college would remain open as leaders attempted to shore up finances.

The VI president said the college was exploring all options, including a possible merger with another institution. (link)
No mention of the number of people employed by the college.

We're Doomed. Part LMXXVII.

Take a good, long look at your health care delivery system. It won't be the same for long.

As the government gets more and more involved in its administration, it is going to become far more costly and much less efficient.

Court OK's Boy's Boob Battle
By Dareh Gregorian, The New York Post

April 4, 2007 -- A state appeals court yesterday shot down an insurance company's third bid to get out of paying for a teenage boy's breast-reduction surgery.

A five-judge panel of the state Appellate Division unanimously found Group Health Inc.'s argument that the then-17-year-old's operation was "elective cosmetic surgery" and not "medically necessary" ridiculous.

"The condition suffered by the plaintiff's son was ... (link)
Those of you out there who think this insurance company is going to pay for the boy's breast reduction, raise your hand.

For those of you with your hand in the air, next time you bitch about the cost of your health insurance, remember this story.

This Will Put Him Over The Top

In many polls, Rudy Giuliani leads the pack - early on - in the Republican Party presidential race. What will seal the deal for him, and propel him past any spineless, flip-flopping Democrat in the general election is the message that he sounded yesterday:
Rudy Rips 'Retreat'
By Maggie Haberman, The New York Post

April 4, 2007 -- Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Republican White House front-runner Rudy Giuliani, on his first official swing through Iowa, yesterday billed himself as the strongest candidate on terror and slammed Democrats for "announcing retreat" from Iraq.

Telling reporters outside a community center here that he had reviewed the Constitution just yesterday morning, Giuliani said:

"Congress has to have power to declare war. Congress has the power of the purse. The president has the sole power to direct the war."

He said he hoped both sides would "all get together and figure out how to, kind of, do it the way" it was originally intended constitutionally.

But, he added, "This idea that I find the most difficult is this idea of announcing your retreat. I just think it's fundamentally irresponsible." (link)
In response, and to prove that she fits into the categories of both spineless and flip-floppish, Hillary had this to say:

"I'm not ready to concede that."

How bold.

Rudy in a cakewalk.

Well, It's Done Okay By Oprah

As Rudy Giuliani works to wrap his campaign around the need for the United States of America to ramp up the fight against global terrorism, another candidate, John Edwards, unctuously gloms onto his wife's fight against cancer. And, not surprisingly considering the age in which we live, the ploy is working:
Hill's Slide Is Edwards' Gain In Critical N.H.
By Ian Bishop, The New York Post

April 4, 2007 -- Washington - Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton's popularity has plummeted in New Hampshire, while rival John Edwards' has soared in the wake of his wife's cancer diagnosis, according to a new poll showing he has leapfrogged Barack Obama into second place in the crucial primary state.

The CNN/WMUR poll shows Clinton falling 8 points since a survey in February, and ... (link)
I wonder how many Democrat candidates are searching their family trees for cancer victims or alcohol victims or AIDS victims or tainted pet food victims about now.

Don't put it past them ...

Get Him a Cage

In the "I refuse to read any further" category this morning:

For the love of God, make him go away.

Hating The Rich

In my short-lived career as a columnist for the Roanoke Times, the one piece I wrote that drew more negative responses than any other (those dealing with homosexual marriage were more hate-filled but fewer in number) had to do with the penchant of those on the left toward despising wealth and on how wrong-headed they are.

I've never quite been able to understand the mindset but there are Americans, seemingly intelligent, who, just like the Bolsheviks of pre-Soviet Russia, would, it seems, prefer to see everyone poor than to have any of us rich.

We've seen this peculiar hatred manifest itself in recent days in stories like this:
It Didn’t End Well Last Time
New York Times editorial

Not since the Roaring Twenties have the rich been so much richer than everyone else. In 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the top 1 percent of Americans — whose average income was $1.1 million a year — received 21.8 percent of the nation’s income, their largest share since 1929.

Over all, the top 10 percent of Americans — those making more than about $100,000 a year — collected 48.5 percent, also a share last seen before the Great Depression.

Those findings are no fluke. They follow a disturbing rise in income concentration ... (link)
These guys are not upset that people are poor. They're disturbed that people are rich.

A very strange bunch indeed.

This Will Be Next

They're frightened by cigarette smoke.
They're frightened by climate change.
They're frightened by cancers in cell phones.
They're frightened by cancers in high tension lines.
They're frightened by guns.
They're frightened by electronic voting machines.
They're frightened by corporations.
They're frightened by the Bible.
They're frightened by the rich.
They're frightened by Wal-Mart.
They're frightened of irradiated foods.
They're frightened by oil.
And coal.

Did I leave anything out?

Oh, yeah:

Drugs Are in the Water. Does It Matter?
By Cornelia Dean, The New York Times

Residues of birth control pills, antidepressants, painkillers, shampoos and a host of other compounds are finding their way into the nation’s waterways, and they have public health and environmental officials in a regulatory quandary.

On the one hand, there is no evidence the traces of the chemicals found so far are harmful to human beings. On the other hand, it would seem cavalier to ignore them.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, researchers have found these substances, called “emerging contaminants,” almost everywhere they have looked for them.

Most experts say their discovery reflects better sensing technology as much as anything else. Still ... (link)
They're frightened of our drinking water ...

For the love of God.

What Next? Supplying Them Arms?

First, regarding the photo above, don't ever do that again. Mother Teresa you ain't. You darn near made me swallow my gum.

Second, a bit of advice. If you're going to go out of your way to provide aid and comfort to the enemy, expect to be called names:
[Traitor] Meets With Syrian Leaders
By The Associated Press

Damascus, Syria (AP) -- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met Syrian government officials Wednesday for talks criticized by the White House as undermining American efforts to isolate the hard-line Arab country.

The California Democrat and accompanying members of Congress began their day of talks with Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and were expected to meet President Bashar Assad later in the day.

Pelosi's visit to Syria was the latest challenge to the White House by congressional Democrats, who are taking a more assertive role in influencing policy in the Middle East and the Iraq war. (link)

Going behind the government's back and meeting (conspiring?) with those who supply arms, ammunition, and jihadists who slaughter little children in the streets of Tel Aviv and Baghdad, and even, perhaps, with those who were in on the 9/11 terror attacks on New York City.

Another first for the Democrats. A record for which we should start holding them accountable.