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

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You Can't Have It Both Ways

Don't argue (you know who you are) against the development of a decaying Roanoke's meager assets and then be shocked by this kind of news:
Roanoke schools announce plan to cut 11 teaching jobs
Officials said the cuts are necessary to balance the school system's $144 million 2008 budget.
By David Harrison, The Roanoke Times

The Roanoke school system will cut 11 unfilled teaching positions and lay off three support staffers under a budget plan approved Tuesday evening.

The cuts are necessary to balance the school system's $144 million 2008 budget, school officials told the school board.

"In my five years on this board, this is the worst year for new money that I can recall," said board member Will Lindsey, who is leaving the board in June. (link)
All you people who want to preserve the area as it is so that future generations can partake of the wondrous natural beauty of the Roanoke Valley need to understand that, in the end, there is no such thing as preservation. There is progress or there is decline.

You need to decide which way you want your community to go.

When Is a Citizen Better Than a Citizen?

The United States of America is now in the business of creating über-citizens. A bill introduced by goofball Jim Moran in the House of Representatives to have six Virginia Indian tribes recognized as being ... well, Indian tribes has been passed by voice vote. And the tribes are dancing for joy:

U.S. Recognition of Va. Tribes Advances
By Brigid Schulte, Washington Post Staff Writer

Nearly 400 years to the day that English settlers first landed in Virginia, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that would grant federal recognition and status as sovereign nations to six Indian tribes from the state.

U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who introduced sovereignty legislation in 2000, said that Virginia, after centuries of state-sanctioned racism and discrimination against the tribes, wants to see history's wrongs righted -- and preferably by May 14, the 400th anniversary of the day Capt. John Smith and the English settlers waded ashore to found Jamestown.

"Here we have the queen at the White House and all this pomp and circumstance, and the Indians that welcomed the settlers have not been recognized by our government," Moran said. "Today's vote is the arrowhead needed to pierce these long-standing injustices." (link)

The bullshit is hip deep here. These Indians who have been subjected to "state-sanctioned racism and discrimination," until yesterday were just American citizens, run-of-the-mill shlubs like you and me. Now they are über-citizens. Why? The freebies:
[Steve Adkins, chief of the Chickahominy tribe] said the tribes, which have been recognized by the state of Virginia in recent years, want federal recognition not just for their pride and to preserve their culture but for access to housing and health grants, as well as scholarships available only to children in federally recognized tribes.
As normal U.S. citizens like you and me, Adkins and his fellow warriors weren't entitled to all this government largesse. Now - poof! - they are. Neat, eh?

You would do well to get out those genealogy tables and family tree charts. There may be manna-from-government available to you.

I'm already ahead of you. I think I have found an ancestor from an ancient Germanic tribe who ...

On To The Supreme Court

We are one step closer to having the right to keep and bear arms being recognized as a right - as strange as that sounds. But then we are emerging, ever so slowly, from a very dark and un-American era, where the elites among us decided how our Constitution was to be interpreted:

Court denies D.C.'s gun appeal
By Gary Emerling, The Washington Times

A federal appeals court yesterday denied a petition by D.C. officials to reconsider a March ruling that overturned the District's 30-year-old gun ban.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 6-4 to deny the District's request that the entire court review a previous ruling in which a three-judge panel found some of the District's gun restrictions to be unconstitutional. The one-page order contained no explanation for the court's decision. (link)
The only circumstance that will prevent a hearing on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment before the Supreme Court will be if the D.C. attorneys who lost in lower federal courts decide, under pressure from powerful gun control groups who don't want Alito, Roberts, Thomas, and Scalia sitting in judgement, to drop their appeal.

Let's hope they pursue their case to the Supremes. It's time we settled this once and for all.

A Good Buy

How about this for a coincidence? I was talking to a friend on Monday who works for Alltel, the cellular company, and asked in passing how it was that his company, having solid financials for so many years in an industry where it's hard to turn a buck, hasn't been bought up by a larger rival. I mentioned to him how it would be a good fit for Verizon. He didn't think much of the idea, Alltel being more rural than other providers.

Well, somebody must have been listening in on our conversation:
Three Private - Equity Groups Eyeing Alltel: WSJ
By Reuters

New York (Reuters) - U.S. rural wireless telecoms service provider Alltel Corp. (AT.N) is being pursued by at least three groups of private-equity buyers about a potential purchase, the Wall Street Journal said on its Web site on Wednesday.

The groups include Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners; TPG Capital (TPG.UL) and the private-equity arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS.N); and Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR.UL), the Journal said, citing unnamed sources.

Analysts had said that the company could be sold for $25 billion to $30 billion, with potential suitors including private equity firms and rivals such as Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications (VZ.N) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD.L), AT&T Inc. (T.N) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S.N). (link)
I need to give up this management stuff and go into takeover consultation.

A Trend Emerges

The governor of Kansas has taken a natural disaster that caused horrendous loss of life and made a political issue out of it. While the hunt for bodies continues. She should be ashamed.

But then she's a Democrat.

The news:

Kansas Tornado Renews Debate on Guard at War
By Susan Saulny and Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times

Chicago, May 8 — For months, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and other governors have warned that their state National Guards are ill-prepared for the next local disaster, be it a tornado a flash flood or a terrorist’s threat, because of large deployments of their soldiers and equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then, last Friday night, a deadly tornado all but cleared the small town of Greensburg off the Kansas map. With 80 square blocks of the small farming town destroyed, Ms. Sebelius said her fears had come true: The emergency response was too slow, she said, and there was only one reason.

“As you travel around Greensburg, you’ll see that city and county trucks have been destroyed,” Ms. Sebelius, a Democrat, said Monday. “The National Guard is one of our first responders. They don’t have the equipment they need to come in, and it just makes it that much slower.”

Tony Snow, the White House press secretary, said the governor should have followed procedure by finding gaps after the storm hit and asking the federal government to fill them — but did not.

“If you don’t request it, you’re not going to get it,” Mr. Snow told reporters on Tuesday morning. (link)

You live in Kansas, lady. Did it come as a complete surprise to you that tornadoes strike often in your state in the spring? Were you caught completely unprepared? Are you that incompetent?

This is forming a pattern. Reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina and Governor Blanco, a natural disaster strikes a Kansas town and the Democrat in charge fails in her duties, and immediately starts whining about the federal government, in this case a thousand miles away, not being there to take charge.

Note, by the way, that Mississippi Governor Haley Barber, a Republican who dealt with Hurricane Katrina damage masterfully, had far more destruction facing him than does Sebelius and performed his duties as his residents expected, without a whimper.

Governor Sebelius - and the people of Kansas - should be ashamed of her antics.

The Constitution Remains a Mystery To Them

I've tired of making these points to the small minds at the New York Times.

(1) Prisoners of war have no habeas corpus rights.
(2) Foreigners being held overseas have no right to access to American courts.

Still, they persist:
The Democrats’ Pledge

Last year, Congressional Democrats allowed the Bush administration to ram through one of the worst laws in the nation’s history — the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This year, the Democrats pledged to use their new majority to begin repairing the profound damage the law has done to the nation’s justice system and global image.

But there are disturbing signs their pledge may fall victim to the same tactical political calculations and Bush administration propagandizing that allowed this scandalous law to pass in the first place.

Rewriting the act should start with one simple step: restoring to prisoners of the war on terror the fundamental right to challenge their detention in a real court. So far, promised measures to restore habeas corpus have yet to see the light of day, and they may remain buried unless Democratic leaders make them a priority and members of both parties vote on principle, not out of fear of attack ads. (link)
In fact, the terrorists being held in Guantanamo have been afforded the opportunity to have their cases heard in court, a military court, so don't let these jokers at the Times lie to fool you.

More opportunity, I might add, than has been afforded those slaughtered by these same terrorists. Those who get no mention in the New York Times - the victims of global terror.

Pull The Troops Out!

Just as we must get out of Iraq, we need to flee the USA. There are terrorists here:
6 Men Arrested in a Terror Plot Against Fort Dix
By David Kocieniewski, The New York Times

Camden, N.J., May 8 — Six Muslim men from New Jersey and Philadelphia were charged Tuesday with plotting to attack Fort Dix with automatic weapons and possibly even rocket-propelled grenades, vowing in taped conversations “to kill as many soldiers as possible,” federal authorities said.

The authorities described the suspects as Islamic extremists and said they represented the newest breed of threat: loosely organized domestic militants unconnected to — but inspired by — Al Qaeda or other international terror groups. (link)
Memo to Democrats: When we remove our troops from Iraq, so as to avoid all harm coming to them at the hands of terrorists, where do we hide them? Okinawa?

Al Sharpton Should Be Fired

Does the former Democratic candidate for president work for a living? If so, he needs to be shown the door:

Sharpton Denies Disputing Romney's Faith
By Glen Johnson, Associated Press Writer

Boston - The Rev. Al Sharpton, who recently urged that radio host Don Imus be fired for making a racially insensitive remark, said in a debate that "those of us who believe in God" will defeat Republican Mitt Romney for the White House. But Sharpton denied he was questioning the Mormon's own belief in God.

"As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation," Sharpton said Monday during a debate with [Christopher] Hitchens at the New York Public Library's Beaux-Arts headquarters.

The Romney campaign, which has been wary of campaign trail criticism of Romney's faith, jumped on the Sharpton comment. If elected, Romney would be the first Mormon to serve as president.

"It is terribly disheartening and disappointing to hear Reverend Sharpton offer such appalling comments about a fellow American's faith," said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden. "America is a nation of many faiths and common values, and bigotry toward anyone because of their beliefs is unacceptable."(link)

I want to be careful in my denunciation of Mr. Sharpton. He is after all an idiot and can't control himself. In fact, forget denunciation. I think the Democrats should put him back up on the podium as a legitimate representative of the Party of Inclusion.

Will Sharpton, of nappy-headed hos fame, be called upon to remove himself from American politics for having made such an insensitive remark? Fat chance.

He Has A Point

A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop. The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?"

The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I make $12 an hour and you get the really big bucks when you and I are doing basically the same work?"

The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic...

"Try doing it with the engine running."