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

Saturday, April 07, 2007

You Need To Get a Life

First Law of Weblogging: When entering this arena, never take yourself too seriously.
I received an email the other day announcing the fact that, according to BlogNetNews, From On High is the seventh most influential weblog in the state of Virginia. I couldn't tell you why, nor how that opinion was derived. I made note of the fact that I was ranked just behind the kids-with-keyboards over at Raising Kaine and just ahead of Ben Tribbett at Not Larry Sabato.

I gave the news cursory thought, and I then deleted the email and went about my life.

But I got to thinking this morning that, as much as I don't care about such things, I know someone who does. I resolved to see what Ben has to say about this affront to his very being. From on High is more influential than that which he devotes his every waking moment, his very existence to? That can't be sitting well.

As I suspected, his undies are in a major bunch:

BlogNetNews has a new ranking for most influential Virginia blogs. Here's the top 10:

1) Virginia Virtucon
2) Black Velvet Bruce Li
3) Mason Conservative
4) Ward View
5) Bearing Drift
6) Raising Kaine
7) From On High
8) Not Larry Sabato
9) VB Dems
10) Below the Beltway

Lowell has some thoughts up- including the fact the guy doing this ranking used to be a Bush speech-writer. Unbelievable. Like Lowell, I'm mad- this is bordering on an outright lie-and I feel personally smeared.

By the way only four of the "Top 10" use Sitemeter, but here are the traffic levels in the last week:

Not Larry Sabato 15,979 (40,958 page views)
Raising Kaine 12,877 (36,057 page views)
Black Velvet Bruce Li 4,390 (10,063 page views)
Bearing Drift 2,517 (7,979 page views)

I don't appreciate this guy lying and misleading people. That's f***ed up.

Whew. This over a silly weblog ranking. I wonder how he'd react if I had stolen his bicycle.

Ben, three things:

1) You accuse "this guy" of misleading people and, at the same time, you mislead people by suggesting that I don't use Sitemeter. I do. I see your error as a simple oversight, however, not some plot against our democratic way of life, and certainly not an attack on my manhood.

2) The ranking is accurate. Deal with it.

3) Get your arms around the concept of influence: A power to affect persons or events, especially power based on prestige, etc.

You write gobs of stuff each day. And you have a sizeable teenage following. It can probably be said with confidence that you even influence them to want to vote some day when they are old enough. But when it comes to the power to affect adults and to affect events of consequence, well ...

... some got it and some don't, big guy.

Here's hoping you can move out of the "also ran" category when the next ranking comes out.

In the meantime, I'm seventh and you're not. Bummer.

Oh, and (4) Don't forget The First Law of Weblogging.

Get a Room!

I finally got a good look at the Richmond Slavery Reconciliation Statue, shown above.
It's intended, we're told, to symbolize "forgiveness."
I have to tell you, I know something about forgiveness. I ask my wife for it quite frequently.
And I know something about coitus. But I won't go there, except to say ...
... that ain't forgiveness these two are doing to each other.
Photo courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch

Go Hokies

I will confess. I'm not much on Virginia Tech football (I know, so shoot me). I read the headlines. I cheer when they've won. I'm mildly disappointed when they lose. But the Hokies just aren't high on my list of things on which to concentrate.

Until now:

$60 million hotel to deliver game day luxury
Many developers are tapping into Virginia Tech's popular athletic program and affluent alumni base.
By Angela Manese-Lee, The Roanoke Times

In 2009, a six-story, $60 million sports condominium hotel will rise on South Main Street in Blacksburg.

Dubbed The Colosseum, the project promises unrivaled luxury to avid Virginia Tech sports fans willing to plunk down between $170,000 and the low $800,000s for one of its 172 units.

Fully furnished and equipped with wedding space, a private clubhouse and a day spa, The Colosseum punctuates a game day condo-development trend that first arrived in Blacksburg in 2005 and has changed the face of several college towns. (link)

When I lived near Detroit, I wasn't much of a Pistons fan either. But put me in a climate-controlled luxury suite in The Palace of Auburn Hills, high above the court, with closed-circuit television, a refrigerator full of food, a bar full of booze, babes cleaning the cigar ashtray, plush seating accommodations, a halftime computer printout showing game stats, and a guard downstairs to keep the lesser mortals at bay, and I can quickly and enthusiastically get into the game. You go, Rodman. Isiah. Dumars. Laimbeer, Salley. Do your thang. Bring me a Makers n Coke.

Yeah. Count me in. I'm now an avid VT fan.

Go Hokies. Where's the Bud?

Oh, Those Unintended Consequences

It looks like Roanoke Times columnist Christian Trejbal has done gun owners in the commonwealth a great favor. At the same time, he has struck a blow against sunshine and openness.

Way to go, dude!
State police close list of gun permits
The attorney general said the list contained sensitive information.
By Laurence Hammack, The Roanoke Times

An editorial writer's botched attempt [ouch] to highlight an open record -- the list of Virginians licensed to carry a concealed handgun -- resulted Friday in the record being closed.

Acting on the advice of Attorney General Bob McDonnell, the Virginia State Police said they will no longer release the information under the state's open records law.

The issue of hidden handguns, who gets to carry them and whether their names and addresses should be publicized hit a flash point last month when Roanoke Times editorial writer Christian Trejbal used his column to encourage readers to check up on who in their community was "packing heat."

The column carried a link to a database, obtained by the newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act and published on its Web site, that included the identities of more than 135,000 state residents licensed to carry concealed handguns.

Gun owners and their supporters were outraged, and the newspaper quickly pulled the database after receiving hundreds of complaints. (link)
So now Trejbal, who when last I looked, was relegated to writing stories about fuzzy puppies, "botched" his attempt to promote openness, resulting in the CCW permit database being shrouded, by government decree, in secrecy, and scorn being heaped upon the editorial staff of this once-proud newspaper.

To the woodshed, fellas.

This Is Very Disappointing

I'm not sure why I expected Rudy Giuliani to have relaxed his position on abortion, but I did. My expectation proves to be unfounded.

From James Taranto:

Rudy Giuliani has done a remarkably good job of appealing to socially conservative voters despite his record of liberalism on some social issues, notably abortion and gay rights. But here's something that may change that, from CNN:

Giuliani told CNN Wednesday he supports public funding for some abortions, a position he advocated as mayor and one that will likely put the GOP presidential candidate at odds with social conservatives in his

"Ultimately, it's a constitutional right, and therefore if it's a constitutional right, ultimately, even if you do it on a state by state basis, you have to make sure people are protected," Giuliani said in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash in Florida's capital city.

A video clip of the then-mayoral candidate issuing a similar declaration in 1989 in a speech to the "Women's Coalition" appeared recently on the Internet.

"There must be public funding for abortions for poor women," Giuliani says in the speech that is posted on the video sharing site YouTube. "We cannot deny any woman the right to make her own decisions about abortion."

When asked directly Wednesday if he still supported the use of public funding for abortions, Giuliani said "Yes."

"If it would deprive someone of a constitutional right," he explained, "If that's the status of the law, yes."

Abortion is of course a "constitutional right" under current case law. Giuliani seems to be asserting that a constitutional right implies an entitlement to a subsidy for those who lack the material resources to exercise the right.

This is true of some such rights--for example, the right of criminal defendants to legal representation. But it is not true of "negative" rights--i.e., rights that simply say the government may not prevent people from doing something. The First Amendment doesn't mandate that Uncle Sam subsidize failing newspapers, nor does the 21st require him to buy the next round for a broke drunkard. (link)

A major letdown.

What Will It Take? Genocide?

This story reminds me of the New York Times correspondent who received universal praise in the west and was awarded a prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his bootlicking and fawningly ingratiatory reporting from the Soviet Union on Joseph Stalin at the very time that the latter was unmercifully starving to death six million of his own people:
Mugabe may lose honorary degree
The Washington Times

Springfield, Mass. (AP) -- For the first time since it began awarding honorary degrees in 1885, the University of Massachusetts is considering taking one back -- from Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe.

When Mr. Mugabe received an honorary doctorate of law from the UMass.-Amherst campus in 1986, he was hailed as a humane revolutionary who ended an oppressive white rule to establish an independent Zimbabwe in 1980.

But two decades later, Mugabe has been condemned for attacks on dissidents and accused of overseeing a corrupt government that has ruined the economy.

On Wednesday, the student senate of the UMass.-Boston campus passed a resolution asking the university to revoke Mr. Mugabe's degree, and officials said they are considering it. (link)
Can you imagine, if that honorary degree had been awarded to Jack Abramoff, how long the college would have taken to pull it back in? And Abramoff killed nobody. He was just a louse.

What is there to "consider" here? Why hasn't the university acted before now? Why did it take a student senate vote to get the blockheads who run things to this point? Have they lost their collective minds?

The world's most brutal dictator is in possession of an honorary degree (root word being honor) from the University of Massachusetts, and the administration can't decide if the murderous thug still deserves it.

This goes beyond the Pulitzer debacle. This is a crime against humanity.

We Rock

Job creation is up. Unemployment is down. The economy is hitting on all cylinders.

Do we really want to ruin a good thing by ending President Bush's tax cuts?

Chart courtesy of the Department of Labor

Is She This Stupid?

Consorting with the enemy is bad enough. Making idiotic excuses for her irremissible behavior is far worse:

On a Fool's Errand
By Ian Bishop, New York Post Correspondent

April 7, 2007 -- Washington - Embattled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday bizarrely insisted she carried President Bush's diplomatic message to Syrian strongman Bashar Assad - even though she blew off White House demands that she scrub the summit with the "sponsor of terror."

"Our message was President Bush's message," Pelosi told The Associated Press from Portugal, where she stopped en route back to America.

"The funny thing is, I think we may have even had a more powerful impact with our message because of the attention that was called to our trip," she said, deflecting the political uproar her meeting Wednesday with Assad touched off in Washington.

Her statement drew a harsh slap from the White House.

"There is nothing funny about the impact her trip to Syria has had," said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

"On the contrary, these visits have convinced the Assad regime that its actions in support of terrorists have no consequences." (link)

This gal makes Crazy Cindy Sheehan seem downright intelligent. And sane.

I would suggest, since Pelosi is third in line to the White House, that you start digging a deep hole and prepare for the end-times.

This Is Now a Pandemic

May I recommend Swanson TV dinners?

22 Brands of Dog Biscuits Are Added to Pet Food Recall
By Katie Zezima, The New York Times

A recall of pet food tainted with melamine, a chemical used to make plastic products, has been widened to include 22 types of dog biscuits, the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday.

The biscuits, made by Sunshine Mills Inc., contain wheat gluten imported from China that contained melamine, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the F.D.A.

Sunshine Mills, of Red Bay, Ala., manufactures branded and private label dry pet food and biscuits. The recalled biscuits include ... (link)

I saw on TV last night that frightened pet owners are now preparing their own meals for their dogs and cats, rather than risk buying poisoned food at the local market.

And here we were worried about a chicken flu epidemic...

Building Their Own Coffin

The Japanese continue their relentless drive to force America's Big-Three auto makers out of business, bringing about the termination of tens of thousands - ultimately hundreds of thousands - of American workers.

The Chinese are soon to make it a gangbang. They're set to introduce their own lines of inexpensive autombiles into our market, guaranteeing the end of Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors - as we know them.

How does the once-venerable powerhouse of Detroit respond? By bending over and spreading the legs:
Detroit Decides to Help Shape, Not Resist, Regulation of Emissions
By Micheline Maynard and Nick Bunkley, The New York Times

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from automobiles. The primary way that can be done, carmakers and environmentalists say, is to increase automobile fuel economy.

In normal times, that would raise hackles from Detroit carmakers, which have a long history of fighting regulations covering both fuel economy and tailpipe emissions. But this week, company executives were saying something different.

Rather than openly battle regulations that would force them to make vehicles more efficient, automakers and their Washington trade group are saying they want an active role in the movement to reduce the damage vehicles do to the environment. (link)
Expect the auto makers to next beg Al Gore for a role in the making of An Inconvenient Truth II - Beyond World Superpower.

As we learned yesterday, "Emissions of hydrocarbons from cars and trucks in the U.S. have fallen 99.3 percent on a per-mile basis since 1968, and carbon monoxide emissions have declined by 96 percent." Despite this, American auto executives are prepared to drive their companies right off the cliff.

Kiss this goodbye:

Say hello, er 你好 to this:

God have mercy.

Crossing The Line

The luster of Don Imus's schtick wore off for me long ago, so I rarely tune in to his morning radio or TV show anymore. But I read this morning that he called some women "nappy-headed ho’s” on his program the other day and, well, I'm not at all shocked by America's number two shock jock.

But apparently others are:
Networks Condemn Remarks by Imus
By David Carr, The New York Times

On Wednesday morning, Don Imus called the students who play for the Rutgers University women’s basketball team a bunch of “nappy-headed ho’s.”

Even for Mr. Imus, a nationally syndicated radio host who knows his way around an insult, it was a shocking remark, one that seemed to impugn both the physical and moral characteristics of a team composed mostly of black players.

MSNBC, which simulcasts Mr. Imus’s show on cable television, issued an apology, noting that the program is not a production of the network; NBC, its parent company, called the comments “deplorable.” (link)
Bad move on his part, it would appear. Had he stuck to calling the President of the United States a moron and an idiot and a murderer and a criminal and a liar and a crook - or a nappy-headed ho - Imus wouldn't be in trouble today.

Lesson learned.