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

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In Memoriam

Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrows,
We gave our today.
-- The Kohima Epitaph

A headline in this morning's Richmond Times-Dispatch allows for some perspective as to exactly what sacrifices have been made to keep this wonderful country free over the years:

Nearly 1,000 died in Iraq in a year

Then there were the 1,000 who died in Virginia in one minute.

Let's celebrate the service to their country and mourn the passing of all who paid the ultimate price.

Talking Counter Point

From this morning's Roanoke Times:

Talking point

"The war on terror is a slogan designed only for politics -- it is not a strategy to make America safe. It is a bumper sticker, not a plan. It has damaged our alliances and weakened our standing in the world."

-- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards in a foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations last week. (link)
This from the man whose list of accomplishments, after having made millions as a blood-sucking trial lawyer, could fit on a bumper sticker.

Beyond that, consider this:

Edwards presidential campaign removes 'war on terror' from Web site
Nick Juliano, The Raw Story

In his latest attempts to attract support from the anti-war wing of the Democratic party, former Sen. John Edwards is criticizing the administration's use of the phrase "global war on terror," though the senator has used the same or similar constructions several times in his political career.

Until Wednesday, Edwards' site said he believed "winning the war on terror requires wisdom and moral strength, as well as military might ..."

Prior to last month's debate, Edwards had referenced the "war on terror" in speeches, interviews and other public forums. References to the phrase can still be found in other parts of his Web site.

"To win the war on terror," Edwards wrote on his campaign blog in September, "we must preserve our moral authority to lead the world." (link)

Stick that on your bumper sticker, beauty queen.

Are These Guys For Real?

Do the geniuses at the Roanoke Times even read that which they write?

Today they decry the high price of gas and consider it "unfortunate" that Congress (and Big Oil) won't do anything to reduce it:

How do you spell relief?

Just as surely as American flags are brought out to mark Memorial Day, prices at the gas pump rise and give members of Congress their annual bout of indigestion.

Congress has proposed some gas relief to quiet Americans pain at the pumps.

Unfortunately, the proposals -- an anti-price gouging bill and a windfall profits tax among them -- will turn out to be feel-good measures that evaporate during the summer.

Just two days ago, however, this same bunch demanded an increase in the price of gas:
Time to raise the gas tax
State and federal coffers are falling short. To avoid certain shortfalls in transportation funding, the gas tax must be increased.

No lawmaker will win any popularity contests by proposing a gas tax increase at a time when a gallon of regular is averaging $3.22.

But an gas-tax hike [sic] at both the state and federal levels, however unpopular, needs to be seriously considered. Both are weak funding streams destined to become even less reliable if lawmakers don't muscle up the guts to raise them. (link)
Kinda makes your eyes cross, doesn't it?

I rarely expect these guys to be right. But consistent wouldn't be too much to ask.

Property Taxes Are The Most Execrable Of All

Just ask the people of Christiansburg, where local politicians lowered the property tax rate so as to hold property tax assessments to an increase of 15%. Makes no sense? Welcome to the world of wealth confiscation:

Learning a tough lesson the hard way
The Roanoke Times

Christiansburg is learning a tough lesson other cities and towns around the nation have already discovered: Growth rarely pays for itself.

The town has welcomed commercial growth with open arms, hoping that would enable it to keep taxes low on homeowners.

But now a debate is brewing in town council about a 15 percent increase in taxes some say is needed to keep up with a rising demand for services.

The increase won't be in the tax rate, which is going down. But the rate won't go down enough to make up for values increased by the latest property reassessment.

As Councilman Ernie Wade said after Mayor Richard Ballengee noted the rate decrease, "It is a tax increase. I don't care how you slice it. People don't pay rates -- they pay dollars." (link)

The tax went down. The tax went up.

Imagine the elderly on fixed incomes who see the property they have no intention of selling increase in value and, in turn, increase their property tax assessment. They are paying taxes on income they will never earn.

After a time, the nursing home, I'm sure, looks inviting.

The answer? Either more government handouts to compensate, or ... abolish the property tax.

Your Gov't Knows What's Best For You

George Will has a fascinating article in the Washington Post this morning on "modern urban sharecroppers" and the role government plays in keeping them locked in poverty. It's also the story of one American - an immigrant from Ecuador no less - who holds to the belief that this is still the land of opportunity.

What Border Enforcement?

The Washington Post raises questions this morning about the deeply flawed immigration amnesty bill that is sailing through Congress. Not because it is a repeat of the 1986 law that encouraged 12 million Central and South Americans to flood across our borders, but because it is too hard on those 12 million lawbreakers who are now in our midst and on the next 12 million who are lining up to join them.

We're doomed as a nation:

Immigration Bill's Point System Worries Some Groups
By Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post Staff Writer

For weeks, U.S. senators wrestled among themselves and with White House officials over the question of what mix of skills, background and experience prospective immigrants should bring to their new country.

The answer they came up with, embodied in the immigration bill now on the Senate floor, would represent a radical shift in the philosophy of the U.S. immigration system. Rather than focus on reunifying families, the system would emphasize bringing in better-educated, higher-skilled immigrants who would help the United States compete in the world economy.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is raising concerns about a new point system for permanent residency in the bill, which would favor new immigrants with advanced degrees or who work in engineering or the sciences.

Why is this a bad thing (in the eyes of those who can't see)? Barack Obama sums it up:
Obama has called the point plan a "radical experiment in social engineering." In a speech last week, he said the bill "fails to recognize the fundamental morality of uniting Americans with their family members. It also places a person's job skills over his character and work ethic. How many of our forefathers would have measured up under the point system?
The primary goal of a new immigration bill ought to be the reunification of family members living in Mexico with the 12 million lawbreakers in our midst.

For the love of Christ.

The Broader Implications

What politicians don't realize, for some inexplicable reason, when they argue that an immigration law that was passed in 1986 - and was completely ignored by those who were its intended targets - can be fixed by passing another similar law is that before too long, they and their laws become one big joke.

The law becomes one big joke:
Cig Ban? What Cig Ban?
By Angela Montefinise, The New York Post

May 27, 2007 -- While Mayor Bloomberg tries to make the world safe from greenhouse gases, his cigarette ban is going up in smoke.

Scores of trendy clubs and neighborhood pubs across the five boroughs [of New York City] have become smoking speakeasies, where bartenders and bouncers regularly ignore the prohibition launched in 2003.

Smoking has been prohibited in bars, nightclubs and restaurants since March 2003, after the Bloomberg initiative became law in the fall of 2002.

"They used to" enforce the smoking ban, Brett, a Marquee regular, told The Post last week. "But they barely pay attention now." (link)
As goes New York, so goes the USA.

When those in government choose to ignore 12 million lawbreakers, anarchy reigns.

Light 'em if you got 'em.

So We Should Pray For Global Warming?

Study Finds Hurricanes Frequent in Some Cooler Periods

Leaders Of Tomorrow?

Tell me this: How are Hillary, Obama, and Edwards going to stand up to global terrorists when they run in fear from Fox News?