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

Sunday, June 17, 2007

As Only A Democrat Could Write It

According to a couple of reporters for the Roanoke Times, sitting Senator Brandon Bell having been given his walking papers by GOP voters in the recent primary (Montgomery, Botetourt, Roanoke) opens the door for a moderate to capture his seat.

Well, to be accurate, a careful reading of the report tells us that it is actually a Democrat, along with the two reporters, who believe it, because there isn't anyone else mentioned who voiced that opinion:

Bell's loss may make district competitive
Moderate conservatives in the 22nd District, dismayed by the fall of Brandon Bell, could turn to Democrat Mike Breiner.
Mason Adams and Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times

When the General Assembly convenes in January, there will be a new state senator representing the 22nd District.

The question among state Republicans and Democrats is whether it will be Ralph Smith or Mike Breiner.

Smith changed the dynamics of the race Tuesday when he defeated incumbent Brandon Bell, R-Roanoke County, by fewer than 100 votes in the Republican primary.

Democrats hope that the defeat of Bell, a moderate, by Smith, who is much more conservative, will drive moderates to Breiner, a Roanoke County plastic surgeon.

"The political party that captures the center governs," said Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County. (link)
So who are these "moderate conservatives in the 22nd District" who are "dismayed by the fall of Brandon Bell?" We're left wondering. There's nary a mention. Their dismay must have been edited out of this report. Either that or it's in Moderate Voters Turning To Moderate Democrat Party, Chapter 2, which will appear next week.

The only person voicing that opinion, oddly, is an elected Democrat. And a rabidly liberal one at that. Creigh Deeds.

Thus we have what might be called wishful thinking on someone's part.

As for the realities of electoral politics in the Roanoke Valley? There is this:

The district, which includes Botetourt County, Salem, Radford and parts of Montgomery and Roanoke counties, is clearly favorable for Republicans. Since it was redrawn after the 2000 census, it has gone red in every statewide election.
Red. Meaning conservative. Not pink for moderate. Not gray for Any-Of-The-Above. Certainly not yellow for Democrat. Blood red, by the grace of God.

Brandon Bell was an aberration. A liberal in a solidly conservative district.

And he is gone. Much to the liberals' dismay.

Just Who Is Engaged In This Debate?

I've noticed in recent months that there are two sides in the immigration debate - the American people opposed and Congress in favor, with Congress getting the support, albeit silent, from a very powerful, but small in numbers, group of special interests. I went over that here yesterday.

What's missing in this debate is the liberal side. It's as if the issue is of no importance. Where are the lefty bloggers on this subject? Where are the Democrats? Why do they remain silent and seemingly disinterested?

Why aren't they attending pro-illegal immigrant rallies?
Turnout low at immigration rally
By Juan Antonio Lizama, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

As the immigration debate sizzles, Alexcia Monk lives in fear for her husband, who is in the country illegally.

She worries that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will come knocking on her door, take him away and break the family apart.

Monk led an immigration rally yesterday at Richmond's Monroe Park, but only about 50 people converged for about 90 minutes for what had been scheduled as a four-hour rally.

Yesterday marked the lowest turnout in the past three immigration rallies at Monroe Park. (link)
Cynics would argue that the Democrats are sitting back and watching as the Republican Party self-destructs. And no doubt there are those doing just that, with glee.

But where are the grassroots supporters of this amnesty plan that is once again being put forth by a totally detached and hell-bent Congress?

The silence is deafening. And revealing.

Our Senator a Lawbreaker?

The fact that Senator James Webb had an aide busted up in D.C. for illegally carrying a handgun is old news.

The fact that James Webb as much as admits that he himself has defied the law in that regard is not. Did our very conservative very liberal Republican Democrat senator break the law?

His silence when asked says it all:

Webb says gun that aide had was his
By Peter Hardin, Richmond Times-Dispatch Washington Correspondent

Washington -- Sen. Jim Webb has dispelled any lingering mystery about it: The pistol involved in the arrest of a top Webb aide was the senator's.

"It's my gun," Webb, D-Va., acknowledged in an interview last week. Webb declined again to talk about whether he complies with the District of Columbia handgun ban. (link)
He declined to tell us that he obeys the law. Our United States senator.

For the love of Christ.

Beauty Is In The Eye ...

The boys over at the Roanoke Times might be careful when they go after Virginia's landfill industry. After all, a sizable percentage of the garbage that is being processed at the many dumps around the commonwealth involves once-towering trees cut from pristine forests that were slaughtered in order to print their garbage.

But complain about waste they do:

Trash talking

While the state's annual trash report contains no surprises, it still stinks: Out-of-state garbage is rapidly piling up here, and the life span of available landfill capacity has decreased.

The latest report shows landfill capacity is dwindling. Without any growth in population and without an increase in out-of-state trash, both of which are unlikely, Virginia will have no space left for household garbage in about 17 years.

Worse, space for construction waste will be gone in about half that time. (link)

Nonsense. I could find the necessary space to accommodate the tons of refuse generated by the entire East Coast right here in Bland County. Where we could use the jobs and revenue, by the way.

You fellas need to view this in another light. Taking in the garbage of others (as well as those diapers and beer bottles that come from your house, ahem) is commerce. Virginians, to one extent or another, prosper because of it. That is a good thing.

It may not be aromatic. And garbage may not be environmentally friendly. And it is not appealing aesthetically. But neither are those smelly, filthy, lice-infested, scab-encrusted hikers you guys are so fond of.

We put up with them.

You put up with the garbage.

And if someone makes a buck off of it, that's a good thing too.

Why Not Let The Consumer Decide?

I get absolutely fried by this. Democrats are so good at proposing that which is best for us. Whether what they're proposing is best for us or not.

Take fuel economy standards for example. The Democrats, professing their desire to do right by us, want to make available to us more fuel-efficient vehicles. Or so they say:

Democrats Call for Higher Mileage Standards
Associated Press

In their weekly radio address, Democrats yesterday called for a new direction in energy policy, away from gas-guzzling automobiles and reliance on foreign oil.

"America deserves more-fuel-efficient cars," said
Sen. Maria Cantwell
of Washington. But she added that "the only way consumers are going to get more out of a tank of gas is if the president and his party help deliver votes in a narrowly divided Congress." (link)
Is there anyone out there who believes the selection of vehicles available to us for purchase does not include high-gas mileage automobiles? Ever heard of Hyundai?

The assortment is out there. And it includes plenty of little cars that get great gas mileage. And many Americans are buying them.

But many others aren't. And there's the rub.

Maria Cantwell and her ilk don't simply want us to have little cars with excellent fuel economy ratings made available to us. They want those inconvenient little cars to be made the only vehicles available to us.

SUV's? Heavy-duty trucks? Forget about it.

This isn't an issue of our having "more fuel-efficient cars." The sales lots are chock full of them. So, when this gal talks about what "America deserves," what she is in fact telling us is what America must be forced to accept. SUV's need to be mandated out of existence and those F-350's are a goner.

Understand this and your ability to understand Democrat-speak in general will become a whole lot simpler as well. When these jokers start talking about "doing things for you," what they are really talking about is "doing things to you."

Photos courtesy of Smart Car of America and Ford Motor Company

This Is Editorial Writing?

The New York Times editorial page takes the Supreme Court to task this morning because it refused to bend a rule:

Don’t Listen to What the Man Says

If the Supreme Court, with its new conservative majority, wanted to announce that it was getting out of the fairness business, it could hardly have done better than its decision last week in the case of Keith Bowles.

Mr. Bowles, an Ohio inmate, challenged his conviction in federal district court and lost. The court told Mr. Bowles that he had until Feb. 27 to appeal. He filed the appeal on Feb. 26, and was ready to argue why he was wrongly convicted. But it turned out the district court made a mistake. The appeal should have been filed by Feb. 24. (link)
So what was the Supreme Court's ruling? According to the editorialist, Bowles is "out of luck."

The Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, in a majority opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, that Mr. Bowles was out of luck, and his appeal was invalid.
So the ruling stated, "Mr. Bowles, we find you to be out of luck."

Sure it did.

In fact, we're not told in this editorial exactly what the court's reasoning was. All we get is that crack about Bowles being out of luck.

This is nothing more than undisciplined laziness.

The New York Times is considered by many to always be wrong-headed in its opinions. Now, it seems, the editorial page is to be considered second-rate in its ability to articulate a viewpoint as well.

And I'll bet these guys make a tidy sum writing this drivel.


I'm really surprised that the legal community would actually punish one of its own so harshly:
Prosecutor in Duke Case Is Disbarred by Ethics Panel
By Duff Wilson, The New York Times

Raleigh, N.C., June 16 — A state ethics panel on Saturday disbarred Michael B. Nifong, the Durham district attorney who pursued a false accusation of sexual assault against three Duke University lacrosse players, shortly after Mr. Nifong said through his lawyer that he thought disbarment was appropriate.

After Mr. Nifong offered to be disbarred, the ethics panel said it still had to decide on a penalty, and 40 minutes later it issued a scathing opinion.

“There is no discipline short of disbarment that would be appropriate in this case,” said F. Lane Williamson, a Charlotte lawyer who led the panel. (link)
A fitting end to a tragic story.

Less There Than Meets The Eye

I was startled by this New York Times lead-in to a story about on-line marketing:

Online Sales Lose Steam as Buyers Grow Web-Weary
By Matt Richtel and Bob Tedeschi, The New York Times

San Francisco, June 16 — Has online retailing entered the Dot Calm era?

Since the inception of the Web, online commerce has enjoyed hypergrowth, with annual sales increasing more than 25 percent over all, and far more rapidly in many categories. But in the last year, growth has slowed sharply in major sectors like books, tickets and office supplies.

Growth in online sales has also dropped dramatically in diverse categories like health and beauty products, computer peripherals and pet supplies. Analysts say it is a turning point and growth will continue to slow through the decade. (link)
So on-line sales are dropping? This despite the fact that even small retailers are adding an on-line option for their customers? (see the link to First Due Gear's on-line set-up in the left sidebar; their internet sales to firefighters and first responders is doing quite well)

Well, no. The devil is in that tricky "growth has slowed" phrase:
The slowdown is a result of several forces. Sales on the Internet are expected to reach $116 billion this year, or 5 percent of all retail sales, making it harder to maintain the same high growth rates.
That's all it is. The internet sales channel is maturing. Therefore the growth rate is slowing. Business 101.

But grow it will. The convenience factor is a force to be reckoned with.