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

Friday, May 11, 2007

People Living In Glass Houses Shouldn't ...

This is rather brazen:

Talking point
Roanoke Times editorial

"We wish Attorney General [Bob] McDonnell was as aggressive in enforcing the laws that prevent illegal guns from getting in the hands of criminals as he was in enforcing the laws that protect the gun lobby."

-- Jason Post, a spokesman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, responding to a letter from McDonnell informing New York that out-of-state agents targeting Virginia gun dealers in undercover stings could be charged with a felony. (link)

Let's see:

528 people were murdered in New York City in 2005, the last year for which numbers are available. (source)

That same year, there were 461 murders in all of Virginia. (source)

It's possible that those guns being purchased (legally) are finding their way into the hands of bad guys in New York City disproportionately.

Or it is just as likely that the mayor of New York, deciding that he is powerless to do anything about rampant crime in the streets of his city, finds it preferable - and politically expedient - to piss and moan about legal transactions taking place in far-away places that, in reality, have little to no impact on his community.

Tend to YOUR problems, Mike. We are not of their making.

The Clean-Up At Virginia Tech: What You Won't Read Elsewhere

This story in the Roanoke Times this morning reminded me of something I heard the other day about the clean-up that is ongoing in Norris Hall, the Virginia Tech classroom building where a psychotic madman slaughtered 30 students and faculty members.

The crews that have been brought in are stripping everything, right down to the chalkboards, and are carefully and methodically destroying it all - desks, chairs, fixtures, lab equipment, etc. - so that none of it ends up on eBay or in some cult worship chapel.

I was also told that a crewmember, when removing a classroom podium one day, watched as a shell casing dropped and bounced across the floor, requiring that all work be temporarily halted and an investigation be launched.

Once completed, the sober work to erase all vestiges of the tragedy recommenced.

A job I welcome others to perform.

GOP'ers Find Their Gonads

Well, it took long enough. But at least they're starting to realize that they are not simply there to shake their heads in dismay and follow the Democrats off the cliff:
House GOP Stands Behind Gonzales
New Details of White House Pressure to Fire U.S. Attorneys Do Not Sway Republicans
By Dan Eggen and Paul Kane, Washington Post Staff Writers

House Republicans rallied around embattled Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales yesterday during intense questioning by Democrats, even as revelations emerged about attempts to fire U.S. attorneys singled out for criticism by White House political adviser Karl Rove.

Appearing more confident as he has kept his job and the support of President Bush, Gonzales rebuffed questions by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee about the firings of eight U.S. attorneys and repeated his defense of the dismissals as warranted, if poorly handled. (link)
House Republicans let this Salem witch hunt go on far too long. They should have attacked, with a vengeance, the Democrats and the Washington Post the day this silly non-story about political appointees being fired for (ostensibly) political reasons broke. Instead they did what Republicans do best - they ran for cover.

At least they are finally coming around. Constituent fury with do that to even the most cowardly of our esteemed politicians.

We Need To Make A Change

How long are we here in Southwest Virginia going to put up with our elected representative in Congress going out of his way to give aid and comfort to Al Qaeda and strangle our troops who are locked in a desperate fight in Iraq?

Less than two weeks ago, the President had to veto a funding bill because it contained a provision requiring military retreat - a bill that Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) voted in favor of - a bill that Boucher voted in favor of despite the fact that President Bush warned him that the bill was unacceptable because it promised defeat in the War on Terror.

Boucher voted for it anyway. And Bush axed it.

Yesterday, after being warned by President Bush that a similar measure making its way through the House will be vetoed as well, Boucher and his Democratic ilk voted for it again. Another shameful attempt at stabbing our troops in the back will prove to be another utter waste of time:

House Approves Revised War Bill
Two-Part Funding Faces Veto Threat
By Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writer

The House last night pushed through its second plan to fund the Iraq war and reshape war policy, approving legislation that would provide partial funding for the conflict but hold back most of the money until President Bush reports on the war's progress in July.

Coming only a week after the Democrats' first war funding bill was vetoed, the House's 221 to 205 vote defied a fresh veto threat and even opposition from Democrats in the Senate. (link)

You'll find Boucher's name on the lengthy list of those Democrats responsible for the Support-the-Terrorists-Lose-the-War effort here.

We have all come to accept the fact that Rick Boucher does only what he's told. He is the good soldier stooge. He was instructed to vote YES; he voted YES.

But there comes a point at which, in his effort to serve his masters (and that ain't you and me) with abjectly submissive obedience, he puts the lives of our brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons in jeopardy. He's now being reckless.

Rick Boucher has to go. American lives depend on it.

I Need a Smoke

So let me get this straight. "Kill Bill: Vol. 1," "Reservoir Dogs," and "From Dusk Till Dawn," movies replete with scenes of beheadings, exploding bodies, severed limbs, splattering blood, hunks of human flesh clinging to walls, eyeballs gouged out, quivering cadavers, ears sliced off, not to mention ghoulish, blood-sucking vampires, now get the same industry rating as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" if Dopey lights up a Marlboro on screen.

Hollywood is such a goofy place:
Puffing Away That PG Rating
By Michael Ceply, The New York Times

Los Angeles, May 10 — WARNING: Smoking may be hazardous to your movie rating.

In a significant change to its movie ratings system, the Motion Picture Association of America on Thursday said portrayals of smoking would be considered alongside sex and violence in assessing the suitability of movies for young viewers. Films that appear to glamorize smoking will risk a more restrictive rating, and descriptions of tobacco use will be added to the increasingly detailed advisories that accompany each rated film.

Antismoking groups, already successful in much of the country in banning smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places, have ratcheted up the pressure on Hollywood in recent years to purge movies of images that might promote tobacco use. Some have even demanded that virtually any film with smoking be rated R, shutting out those under 17 unless they are accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. (link)
Sadly enough, this extortion will have its effect. It's my understanding that movie producers consider an R rating some kind of kiss of death and strive, more often than not, to construct their products such that they can obtain that coveted PG or PG-13.

So, don't expect to see too many actors puffing away on screen. They'll wait until shooting has been completed and then they'll join the director and the producer and the stage hands for a round of celebratory dope smoking and cocaine snorting.

Hollywood. I generally oppose the indiscriminate use of nuclear weapons, but I'd consider one exception ...

If Only He Were A Muslim ...

... or a black separatist, and not a Republican, the New York Times wouldn't give a hoot about this:

Romney Works to Put Skeptics’ Doubts to Rest
By Michael Luo, The New York Times

In national polls, Mr. Romney is still sometimes in single digits. But his more immediate problem, given his need to do well among Republican primary voters in the first contests early next year, may be the continued concerns of many conservative Christians about his religion — some evangelicals view Mormonism as something akin to a cult — and his relatively recent shift from supporter of abortion rights to opponent.

Still, the increasingly unsettled state of the Republican field has given him his best chance yet to make progress. He received generally positive reviews in the first Republican debate last week. He has shown he can raise substantial sums of money to finance his bid. He has put together an experienced staff and has begun an effort to reach out to evangelicals in Iowa, South Carolina and other states where social conservatives are an influential voting bloc. And he has an opportunity to capitalize on the problems afflicting his main competitors, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of
New York and Senator John McCain of Arizona. (
I'm not at all concerned about Romney's religion. My experience with those in the Latter Day Saints Church has been nothing but positive. Of all Americans, they are - generally - the best of the best. Good family-oriented, God-respecting people.

My only problem with the man has to do with the nutty scheme he signed on to as governor of Massachusetts involving universal health care, a plan that is already plunging the state into debt and thus is doomed. What was this champion of conservatism thinking?

In any case ...

Note to the New York Times: Go after RomneyCare if you want to do damage. Republicans, by and large, don't give two squirts about Mitt Romney's faith.

This is more like it: Can the G.O.P. Accept Giuliani’s Abortion Stance?

This Isn't Good

Are gas prices starting to take a bite? Perhaps:

Retailers Issue Gloomy Sales Report for April
By Michael Barbaro, The New York Times

It was, in a word, dismal.

From department stores to discounters, the nation’s retailers today reported the worst monthly slump in sales in at least six years for April, blaming wet weather, higher gas prices and a quirk in the calendar.

Sales slid 1.8 percent during the month, well below analysts’ expectations, with bellwether companies like Wal-Mart Stores and Target being the hardest hit. (link)
To adapt an old adage: As goes Wal-Mart, so goes the nation. Let's see how this plays out.

The Washington Times sees the same culprit: Gas prices cut into retail sales in April