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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good Time Had By All

We had tons of fun yesterday at the book-signing benefit held in Roanoke for Kevin Jamerson, the Moneta firefighter who was injured on the job and who is facing staggering hospital and medical bills. I took quite a few photos of the event. I'll share a few.

You can see we had a huge turnout of fire equipment from area departments. The response is greatly appreciated.

Author and Roanoke firefighter Lt. Rhett Fleitz is seen here talking to one of the many people who came in to buy his autographed book and chat with him. As you can see, (click on the image to enlarge it) Rhett also pitched in and helped sell some of the merchandise there at the First Due Gear store.

Here, left to right, are the sponsors of the benefit drive, Jarrod and Sarah Fuhrman, and the man of the hour, Kevin Jamerson.

Thanks to everyone, and especially to Sarah and Jarrod, for making this a success. Hopefully we helped pay a few of Kevin's bills.

Thanks also go out to all of you who stopped by. My greatest reward was in being able to chat with you and get to know some of you I've only communicated with via email in the past. Such is the America we've created for ourselves ...

Again, thanks from the bottom of my heart.

It's True, Except For That Which Is False

In this morning's Roanoke Times, an editorial:

Talking point

"I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary."

-- Former Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch, testifying about the Pentagon's attempt to paint her as a "female Rambo" after her capture and supposedly dramatic rescue in Iraq. (

Uh, fellas. you've made a mistake. An honest mistake, I'm sure.

In her testimony, Lynch never mentioned the Pentagon. Nor did she accuse the military of attempting to do anything with regard to the story that came out after she was released. In fact, if you read the transcript carefully (try your best), you'll see that the only attribution she makes to the fostering of lies is the media.

Here's the pertinent part of her testimony before that Congressional committee on April 25:
When I remember those difficult days, I remember the fear. I remember the strength. I remember the hand of a fellow American soldier reassuring me that I was ok now.

At the same time, tales of great heroism were being told. My parent’s home in Wirt County was under siege of the media all repeating the story of the little girl Rambo from the hills who went down fighting.

It was not true.

I have repeatedly said, when asked, that if the stories about me helped inspire our troops and rally a nation, then perhaps there was some good. However, I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary. People like Lori Piestewa and First Sergeant Dowdy who picked up fellow soldiers in harms way. Or people like Patrick Miller and Sergeant Donald Walters who actually fought until the very end. (my emphasis)
Read the whole thing. There is not one mention of the military - or the Pentagon - attempting to "paint her as a 'female Rambo.'" She cites only the media.

Someone at the Times has allowed his hatred for President Bush to cause him to do bad things here. To make things up. Again.

The Jig Is Up

I'm not sure how Al Gore thought he was going to get away with this but, as reporters delve deeply into his carbon offsets scheme, the smellier the scam becomes. From today's New York Times:
Carbon-Neutral Is Hip, but Is It Green?
By Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times

THE rush to go on a carbon diet, even if by proxy, is in overdrive.

In addition to the celebrities — Leo, Brad, George — politicians like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are now running, at least part of the time, carbon-neutral campaigns. A lengthening list of big businesses — international banks, London’s taxi fleet, luxury airlines — also claim “carbon neutrality.”

Also, a largely unregulated carbon-cutting business has sprung up. In this market, consultants or companies estimate a person’s or company’s output of greenhouse gases. Then, these businesses sell “offsets,” which pay for projects elsewhere that void or sop up an equal amount of emissions — say, by planting trees or, as one new company proposes, fertilizing the ocean so algae can pull the gas out of the air.

But is the carbon-neutral movement just a gimmick?

On this, environmentalists aren’t neutral, and they don’t agree. Some believe it helps build support, but others argue that these purchases don’t accomplish anything meaningful — other than giving someone a slightly better feeling (or greener reputation) after buying a 6,000-square-foot house or passing the million-mile mark in a frequent-flier program. In fact, to many environmentalists, the carbon-neutral campaign is a sign of the times — easy on the sacrifice and big on the consumerism. (link)
Buy a Gulf Stream IV to add to the fleet and offset the purchase by having the Guatemalan maid go out and pick up a curlicue lightbulb. Mother Nature is then appeased, and you'll feel good too.
Ouch. You know Crazy Al's carbon "offsets" silliness is doomed when the eco-rabid New York Times finds fault with it.
At some point Al and his "friends of the Earth" are going to have to actually practice what they preach to the rest of us. Or shut up.
Cartoon courtesy of Ron Barrett.
Click on image to enlarge.

A Weird Attempt At A Hatchet Job

I'm no fan of former Senator and now Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey. And, because he's a radical liberal, I relish the moments when he, or any of his ilk, get blistered in the mainstream press - a rare occasion indeed.

That having been said, I'm still trying to get my arms around the purpose behind this New York Times National Enquirer-like exposé:
New Jersey’s Governor Often Wasn’t in New Jersey
By David W. Chen, The New York Times

Trenton, April 27 — Long before his devastating car accident, New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine often handed the reins of power to State Senate President Richard J. Codey, as he frequently traveled out of state on business or for pleasure — far more frequently than did his recent predecessors.

Mr. Corzine designated Mr. Codey, a fellow Democrat, for the first time the day after he was inaugurated, for a day trip to Washington on Jan. 18, 2006. Before the April 12 crash on the Garden State Parkway, Mr. Corzine did so most recently for the Easter weekend, to spend time in the Hamptons with his family.

In all, Mr. Codey, or the next official in the line of succession, has been called on to substitute for Mr. Corzine for nearly one in four days of his 15-month governorship, according to official records reviewed by The New York Times. (link)
The governor, who only days ago was fighting for his life, travels a good bit. Stop the presses.

There's something nefarious behind this. I don't know what it is, but ....

We Can Play This Game All Day

There are a lot of guns in the hands of American citizens. That causes a lot of murders to be committed. There are few guns in the hands of the British and the Japanese, where there are few homicides.

Cause and effect.

Sounds so simple:
A case for more gun control
By Michael J. McManus, writing in the Washinton Times

Katie Couric asked a legitimate question after the horrific mass murders at Virginia Tech: "Should government impose restrictions on what kind of guns are sold, and to whom? Would these restrictions make us any safer?"

The answer is a resounding yes. Consider the facts.

In 2004, there were 73 firearm murders in all of England and Wales. Seung-hui Cho killed almost half as many 32 plus himself. That was more than half of the 49 gun murders in a year in Cho's native South Korea.

Japan prohibits handguns. Shotguns are strictly regulated, and rifles can be bought only after owning a shotgun for 10 years. Result: only 35 murders and 47 gun suicides in a nation of 127 million.

By contrast, in the United States, 11,344 were shot and killed, plus 16,750 by suicide. That's 343 times Japan's rate. (link)
McManus makes a very simple argument: There are more guns in circulation in the USA and we have more murders being committed because of it.

But correlation does not causation make.

Darned if there isn't a related story in the other Washington paper this morning:
An Armory in Gun-Shy Europe
By Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post Foreign Service

Switzerland, a country of 7.5 million people with an estimated 2 million or more guns in circulation, sits as a heavily armed exception in the heart of Europe, where most countries have strict gun-control laws. Virtually all able-bodied Swiss men are required to serve in the military, which issues them assault rifles or pistols, or both, which they store at home and keep when they leave the service.

No one knows exactly how many guns are in Switzerland -- estimates reach 3 million or more -- in part because military guns have been passed down through generations. The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey estimates that the country has 46 guns per 100 people ... (link)
And how about McManus's contention that more guns breed more crime? To his detriment but to our edification, he just had to cite England and Wales:
According to Swiss police, there were 204 homicides in Switzerland in 2005, including 48 that involved guns. That is about the same number of gun-related killings as took place last year in England and Wales, which have strict gun control and a population seven times the size of Switzerland's.
Notice it says England and Wales had the same number of homicides in a country with seven times the population. To draw a fair conclusion from that stat, Mike, more guns equal fewer murders. If we want to draw overly simple conclusions.

So. What have we learned? Two things:

● There is no causal relationship necessarily between gun proliferation and homicide.

● There are no simple answers to Virginia Tech. Mike.

We Need More Gun Control

Isn't that the rote response to sensational stories like this?
Ex-Senator Injured in Chicago Mugging
By Herbert G. McCann, Associated Press Writer

Chicago (AP) -- Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun suffered a broken wrist when a mugger tried to steal her purse, authorities said Saturday.

Braun, 59, was standing at her front door late Friday when an assailant came out of the bushes and tried to take her purse, said her spokesman, Kevin Lampe. When Braun resisted, the man pulled a knife and cut the strap of the purse.

During the struggle, Braun fell, fracturing her left wrist. She was later treated and a released from a hospital. (link)
Expect to read the following editorial in the liberal Roanoke Times tomorrow morning:
Virginia should have closed its gun-show loophole, long ago. Perhaps the mugging of a former United States senator will finally convince state lawmakers of that.

No, the mugger did not buy a handgun at a gun show. Nor did he use a gun in the commission of his crime

Still ...
I can't wait.

'We're No Longer Number 1. Three Cheers.'

This is so like the New York Times:

"As global competition heats up, Americans will have to get used to having more of their companies fall from the top spot."

From "Better To Be The Best," April 29, 2007