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

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On Race, Then And Now

Here's a great article comparing the racial overtones surrounding the Duke rape case we are all familiar with and the case of the Scottsboro Boys with which many aren't.

The more things change ...

Gimme a Break

Radford University up in ... Radford ... is looking for a tourist. The school, best known for its raucous party animals and wild beer parties, is going adult, creating a laboratory that will do research into finding a way, any way, to get tourists to finally visit Southwest Virginia.

Anyone seen a tourist these guys can borrow?
Radford University opens new tourism lab
The space will allow students to help promote sites throughout the Appalachian region.
Lindsay Key, The Roanoke Times

Radford -- The goals of Radford University and the city of Radford have not always gone hand in hand, but when it comes to boosting tourism, they're interlocked.

The university recently opened a Tourism Resource Lab in Waldron Hall, complete with a podcasting booth, computers, a conference room and shelves of tourism resource books, journals and maps.

Students majoring in recreation, parks and tourism will use the space to develop promotional materials for attractions throughout the Appalachian region with a focus on Southwest Virginia.

More specifically, they will work with the city of Radford, completing projects assigned by the city's recently appointed tourism committee. The city allocated $60,000 in the 2007-08 budget for a new visitor's center, and officials plan to meet today to determine its location and employees. (link)
This is rich. The city of Radford shells out $60,000 for a visitor's center (which amount could only possibly cover the cost of the center's port-a-toilet) and now the local university is going to go to work to lure a tourist to said center.

That's teamwork.

It's also foolishness.

But when you have no other ideas to boost the economy of our region, you keep trying to put that round peg (tourism dollars) into that square hole (a region lacking viable tourist attractions).

Tourism. With the millions Southwest Virginia has spent on it, you'd think we would have seen some return on our investment by now.

*** In fairness, I'm here to report that there were two hikers ("tourists") outside the Bland post office the other day - unkempt, unshaven, unwashed - airing out their socks. I wanted to take a picture.

Statistics Don't Lie, But ...

This attempt at reporting is so wrong:

A Slow Demise in the Delta
U.S. Farm Subsidies Favor Big Over Small, White Over Black
By Gilbert M. Gaul and Dan Morgan, Washington Post Staff Writers

Shelby, Miss. -- From 2001 to 2005, the federal government spent nearly $1.2 billion in agricultural subsidies to boost farmers' incomes and invigorate local economies in this poverty-stricken region of the Mississippi Delta.

Most residents are black, but less than 5 percent of the money went to black farmers. They own relatively little land, and so they generally do not qualify for the payments. Ninety-five percent of the money went to large, commercial farms, virtually all of which have white owners.
So America's farm subsidies are discriminatory? Racist?


Here's the important statistic to get your brain around: "Ninety-five percent of the money went to large, commercial farms ..."

The policy of awarding subsidies, it can be argued, favors rich people. Therefore, it might be considered classist. But racist?

A question: How do you suppose the dollars handed out to poor black farmers in Mississippi compare to those doled out to poor white farmers? You know the answer.

But that wouldn't make the tired and stereotyped-to-death point, would it? So we get that disingenuous "U.S. Farm Subsidies Favor ... White Over Black."

Stop it. You have an obligation to come across as not being inflicted with a case of stupid. Meet that obligation or go into another profession.

A Good Line

George Will on union organizing:

"Democracy is rule by persuasion, but the unpersuasive often try to coerce the unpersuaded."

"Dues and Don'ts," The Washington Post, June 20, 2007

Time To Give This Guy Some Attention

It appears that I need to start giving this fella some notice, even though he isn't running for anything ... yet:
Fred Leads Rudy In New Shock Poll
By Carl Campanile, The New York Post

June 20, 2007 -- Newcomer Fred Thompson tops Rudy Giuliani in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a shocking poll released yesterday.

Thompson received support from 28 percent of likely GOP voters, compared to 27 percent for Giuliani, the Rasmussen survey of 618 respondents said.

When the views of only registered Republicans are counted and independents are excluded, Thompson's lead over Giuliani expands to 5 points - 29 to 24. (link)
This is truly a phenomenon for the experts to sort out. Thompson hasn't formally announced his candidacy yet and he leads the pack of Republican presidential contenders.

I think (and I could be wrong) that Thompson's popularity has more to do with that mystical personality trait known as "gravitas" than it does with conservatives flocking to his banner because of his position on the issues of the day. I pay relatively close attention to this stuff and I don't know what he stands for, discounting the usual politicial platitudes that all candidates disgorge.

Fred Thompson comes across like a president. That's why he's often compared to Ronald Reagan. As to his policy positions? Who knows?

Anyway, Fred's in the lead (can America deal with a president named Fred?). All hail.

A Weak Link

I have sometimes over the years told customers who were upset about something that one of my employees (I've had hundreds and hundreds) did to upset him or her: "Try as we might to be perfect, we're only as strong as our weakest link." I was reminded of that saying when I read about one of presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's links down in South Carolina:
Giuliani's Top Man In S.C. Hit With Coke Rap
By Carl Campanile, The New York Post

June 20, 2007 -- The state chairman of Rudy Giuliani's campaign in South Carolina was indicted yesterday for peddling cocaine, authorities said.

South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel - a rising star elected to the statewide post last year - was charged with distributing less than 500 grams of coke in 2005.

Giuliani political director Mark Campbell said Ravenel stepped down from his "volunteer responsibilities with the campaign." (link)
I can only imagine the collective uggghhh that came from the Giuliani campaign.

These Guys Make My Head Hurt

Wasn't it just a few months ago that the New York Times editorial page was all apoplectic over government invasion of private phone accounts?

So why is it encouraging intrusions into private email conversations?
Well, We Found 140,000

The post-Watergate law requiring the preservation of presidential records has proved to be no match for the Bush White House’s stealthy use of back-channel e-mails via the Republican National Committee’s computer system. Congressional investigators have discovered that while 88 White House staffers had accounts over at the G.O.P. computer banks, there are no e-mail archives to be found for 51 of them.

Congress has demanded that the White House and the R.N.C. provide the full e-records as it tries to figure out the story of the political purge of United States attorneys. Claims by the White House and the R.N.C. that they’re trying their best to comply are increasingly hard to believe, and we strongly urge Congress to continue the search.
"... we strongly urge Congress to continue the search" of non-governmental email accounts. The "we" being those who decry government spying on private citizens.

Hypocrites. They're complete and utter hypocrites.

Is Weed Really So Demonic?

Disclaimer: I don't smoke dope. Alcohol is my (occasional) poison.

That having been declared, tell me what's wrong with using marijuana for medicinal purposes? Or for recreational purposes, for that matter?

This seems so wrong:
Medical Marijuana Measure Falls With Connecticut Governor’s Veto
By Matthew J. Malone, The New York Times

Stamford, Conn., June 19 — After struggling with what was described as one of the most difficult decisions in her three-year tenure, Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed a measure today that would have legalized the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions.

Supporters of the measure were quick to express their disappointment. Gabriel Sayegh, a project director with Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group, called the governor’s veto “unconscionable.”

“It guarantees the continued criminalization of people who are trying to relieve pain and suffering,” Mr. Sayegh said.

The law would have allowed residents 18 or older suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS and other diseases to grow marijuana in their homes with a doctor’s recommendation and a state permit. (link)
What's fascinating about this is the fact that the liberals in Connecticut (and across this great land) who support the use of marijuana are the same bunch who work day and night to have tobacco banned from existence. This despite the fact that both tobacco and marijuana have been found to provide a whole host of repsiratory problems for those who consume great quantities of either.

Just goes to show. What exactly I'm not sure, but it certainly reveals something.

They Just Don't Get It

It's as if the aliens who have seized control of the White House don't understand the English language.

It's not about immigrants!

White House Report Lauds Immigrants’ Positive Effects
By Robert Pear, The New York Times

Washington, June 19 — Hoping to influence Congressional debate, the White House issued a report on Tuesday saying, “Immigration has a positive effect on the American economy as a whole and on the income of native-born American workers.”

But it acknowledged that some research had found small negative effects” on the wages of the least-skilled American workers.

The report, prepared by the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, says immigrants enhance the productivity ... (link)

That's swell. But what argument are these guys trying to influence? The percentage of Americans who are opposed to legal immigration is miniscule.

But the number of people here who are sick and tired of a government that refuses to lift a finger to stop illegal immigration, perhaps because the employees thereof are distracted writing these goofy reports, is immense.

It's the illegals, stupid!

You Learn Something Every Day

How about this? Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a Republican. Who would have thunk it?
Bloomberg Severs G.O.P. Ties, Fueling Talk of ’08 Bid
By Diane Cardwell and Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

Los Angeles, June 19 — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Tuesday that he was dropping his Republican affiliation, a step that could clear the way for him to make an independent bid for the presidency.

The announcement was released during a campaign-style swing through California, during which Mr. Bloomberg, 65, a billionaire businessman, used increasingly sharp language to criticize both parties in Washington as too timid to take on big problems and too locked into petty squabbling to work together. (link)
So this guy has gone from being a Democrat to a Republican to an independent. There's a man of conviction we can all admire, eh?

Anyway, Michael Bloomberg is preparing a run for the presidency. Why do I as a conservative feel good about that?