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

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

As For Those Who Cannot Speak ...

This, from this morning's Richmond Times-Dispatch, is not disputable:
A Choice

Rudolph Giuliani says that although he personally opposes abortion he does not support forbidding the option. While his position may seem more commonly associated with Democratic candidates than with Republican, he likely speaks for many in his party. (link)
Likely he does.

Just as likely is the fact that the overwhelming majority of Republicans wish Giuliani would speak as fervently for all those tiny Republicans-who-will-never-be-because-his-friends-in-the-abortion-industry-slaughtered-them-in-the-womb. Most would be encouraged if he just made the casual mention that they once existed.

That silent throng of forgotten souls. The most innocent among us. Those millions of dead children that Giuliani chooses to callously refer to as "an option."

No, he won't be speaking for them. Or for me.

I Should Have Known Better

I learned long ago to avoid reading Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen's idiotic ramblings. It keeps the heartburn at bay. The man has these thoughts that are always searching desperately - and futilely - and, I'm sure, disappointingly - for a coherent articulation.

But this morning, I was distracted by this on the front page of the newspaper:

Richard Cohen: Unfitness for the Presidency?

As it turns out, his column, "Politics by the Pound," is about fat politicians and their diet regimens - as best I can tell.

But in the middle of this jumbled and incomprehensible waste of bytes about health and eating habits ("... I admonish you to remember your Shakespeare and recall that "lean and hungry" is not a compliment but a dire warning about ruthless ambition -- and only half the story at that. There is, alas, not lean and still hungry."), and about "saumagen -- pig's stomach stuffed with potatoes, carrots and pork," Cohen swerves - violently - into this:
As for the present occupant of the White House, he is as fit as the proverbial fiddle -- albeit an instrument woefully out of tune. George W. Bush used to run; now he bikes. It looks to me that he has gained almost no weight in the past decade. But the discipline he has brought to his body has been missing when it comes to his mind. Not only does he subscribe to silly nostrums -- celibacy instead of condoms for the young and restless, for instance -- but he has also led us into a disastrous war for which there appears to be no end in sight. Still, the man looks good.
Bush is physically fit but he got us into a disastrous war? What in God's name is that?

Is there not an editor at the Post who can sit this guy down and suggest to him that his train left its station long ago and that he might want to consider the home for people like him?

I can't take this. I swear - again - to you now, I'm never going to read this guy - again.

But What Happened To The Professor?

The kid won. Duke lost. But what about the professor who should have been summarily fired?
Duke Settles Suit

May 15, 2007 -- Raleigh, N.C. - Duke University has settled a former lacrosse player's lawsuit accusing a professor of failing him because he was on the controversy-plagued team.

Kyle Dowd, a 2006 grad, was not one of the three team members accused of raping a stripper hired to perform at a March 2006 party.

The suit, which sought $60,000 in damages, said visiting professor Kim Curtis gave Dowd an F in a course on politics and literature despite his having gotten C's on his assignments. The school changed the grade to a D on appeal. (link)
And what of this Kim Curtis? The only person at Duke who has been found, based upon this settlement, to have committed a grievous wrong? We don't know.

I'm sure Al Sharpton will take her in. After all, he's still pushing the Tawana Brawley hoax ...

The Do Nothing Congress. Act XIV.

There will be no legislation this year. Sorry. Congress will be absent. It has a dead horse to beat.

The putrefying organic matter:
Senate to Vote on Ending War Funding
By Anne Flaherty, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) -- Senate Democrats are staging a dramatic anti-war vote this week, with moderates collaborating behind closed doors on legislation that could call on President Bush to rethink his war strategy.

Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Monday that members will decide whether to cut off money for the Iraq war next year, as well as consider a softer proposal calling for troops to leave this fall. (link)
A dramatic anti-war vote? How dramatic can it be when this bunch went through this purposeless little exercise just a few weeks ago and ended up accomplishing nothing?


How about you guys dramatically do something about Iran's accelerating nuclear weapons program?

How about you - dramatically - do that which you guys promised when you were put in charge to curtail the power of those lobbyists you enjoy vacationing with?

How about you actually do something about all those earmarks you are now feverishly tring to hide from public view?

How about you do something dramatic about those tax cuts that will soon expire?

How about you do something?

Well, Okay. I'll Give You That One.

So it's not a do-nothing Congress. It has actually done something. If you want to call this something.

From James Taranto yesterday:
Oh No, Not Agana!
Who says the Democratic Congress isn't getting anything done? By a vote of 288-133, the House last week approved the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, described by Congress.org as follows:

Recognizes the suffering and the loyalty of the people of Guam during the Japanese occupation of Guam in World War II.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to make specified payments to: (1) living Guam residents who were killed, injured, interned, or subjected to forced labor or marches resulting from, or incident to, such occupation and subsequent liberation; and (2) survivors of compensable residents who died in war or survivors of compensable injured residents (such payments to be made after payments have been made to surviving Guam residents). Defines "compensable Guam decedent" and "compensable Guam victim."
In fairness, the bill, whose text you can read by clicking
here and going to the fourth version listed, doesn't actually refer to "living Guam residents who were killed." Still, isn't there something screwy about the idea that the U.S. taxpayer should be paying reparations for atrocities committed by the enemy more than six decades ago? No wonder we can't afford the war in Iraq. (link)
I made mention of this travesty one day last week, before the final vote. Now it's official. We are paying reparations, as Taranto puts it, "for atrocities committed by the enemy."

I think I'd rather have the do-nothing Congress back.

Some Fools Were Never Meant To Grow To Adulthood

A fool:

'Gunning' For Scrap Mishap
Associated Press

Lake Luzerne, N.Y. - An upstate teenager who put bullets in a vise and whacked them with a hammer to sell the empty brass shell casings for scrap was wounded in the abdomen by about the 100th bullet he hit, according to Warren County deputies.

Police were called to the Lake Luzerne home of Damion Mosher after 5 p.m. Saturday, when one .223-caliber bullet went about a half-inch into his abdomen, cops said. Mosher was treated at Glens Falls Hospital and released. (link)

For the love of God.

Liberals Twist Themselves In Knots

Can a private school here in the USA discriminate in its admittance policy against children of a certain racial background? Should segregation be permitted if the state has no direct interest and is not funding the school in question?

I've always argued YES. A private school should be allowed to do whatever its owners wish - short of inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on its little charges - and the community can decide if it wishes to partake of that private school's services, based on that admissions policy and all the other factors that go into the decision-making process.

It's a privately owned school.

Our learned solons from the legal community, however, long ago ruled otherwise, decreeing that, despite the fact that the school may have private ownership, it still cannot discriminate against minorities.

But what if that minority child is a white kid trying to gain entry to an all-Hawaiian school?

Well, according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, that's different. To these champions of desegregation and all 'round righters of past wrongs, well, that's just different. It just is. Extenuating circumstances and all that.

In the subtext of a story this morning about a settlement having been reached in a Supreme Court case involving a child who was rejected (his identity and his race are unknown) by an Hawaiian private school because he didn't have any Hawaiian ancestry is this:
Prestigious Private Schools Settle Rights Suit by a Non-Hawaiian
By Adam Liptak, The New York Times

The private Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii announced yesterday that they had settled a civil rights lawsuit brought against them by a student denied admission because he did not possess Hawaiian ancestry. The settlement avoided the possibility of a decision by the United States Supreme Court on the status of Native Hawaiians.

In its decision in December, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that students without Hawaiian ancestry could be denied admission to the schools based on their race without running afoul of a civil rights law. The majority cited what it said were unique factors in the history of Hawaii, the plight of Native Hawaiians and the schools’ distinctively remedial mission. (link)
So what have we learned from the 9th Circuit? This: Sometimes, apparently, it is permissible to segregate our schools.

In broader terms, what have we learned from the 9th Circuit? That they make this shit up as they go along.

Scientists Change Their Minds

This may seem like another in an endless string of your run-of-the-mill global warming stories, but to a person who views these pronouncements with a high degree of skepticism, it is so much more:
Scientists Back Off Theory of a Colder Europe in a Warming World
By Walter Gibbs, The New York Times

Oslo — Mainstream climatologists who have feared that global warming could have the paradoxical effect of cooling northwestern Europe or even plunging it into a small ice age have stopped worrying about that particular disaster, although it retains a vivid hold on the public imagination.

The idea, which held climate theorists in its icy grip for years, was that the North Atlantic Current, an extension of the Gulf Stream that cuts northeast across the Atlantic Ocean to bathe the high latitudes of Europe with warmish equatorial water, could shut down in a greenhouse world. (link)
So why is this story special?

Climatologists changed their minds.

Here you had a theory that "held climate theorists in its icy grip for years," probably tested and verified over those years in a lab using sophisticated computer models, the same computer models that give support to all the global warming theories that we've come to know and trust, and those who developed those hypotheses have now changed their minds.

I repeat: Climate scientists changed their minds.

This says a lot about how much humankind really knows and understands about our universe. And even about whether it is going to rain tomorrow.