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

Friday, July 20, 2007

Now This Ain't Bad

The Roanoke Times editorial staff must have a new addition. Someone with a little creativity flowing through his or her veins. This is actually a pretty good one-liner:
Talking point

"I don't know what I'll do long-term. I'm a terrible long-term planner."

-- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, responding to a question from Business Week about her long-term career goals. Anyone surprised that long-term planning isn't her forte? (link)
Keep this up and you guys may actually have people start reading your paper again.

Paper Folds. Trees Saved.

I always wondered how the save-the-earth activists who "published" the New River Free Press could sleep at night knowing that trees had to die every time someone had another hackneyed thought that just had to be expressed in print.

Guess they won't have to be conflicted any longer:

New River Free Press has published its last issue
By Paul Dellinger, The Roanoke Times

Blacksburg -- The New River Free Press kept its final scoop secret for months.

But the announcement came out in the July issue of the 24-year-old alternative monthly: the Free Press is ending its quarter-century of against-the-grain advocacy journalism.

Kim Kipling, who has written most of the free publication's editorials since joining it in mid-1985, and Susan Anderson, who joined the staff a year earlier and has been its treasurer and office manager, decided to pull the plug several months ago. (link)
As I read this, a tear slowly worked its way down my cheek:

"Aha! This is the rally that we met at," [staff member Susan Anderson] said, showing the front-page article of an anti-apartheid rally to [editorial writer Kim] Kipling.

Another front-pager involved the 1989 Pittston Coal Co. strike in Southwest Virginia, with a photo of striking United Mine Workers members holding and reading copies of the Free Press.

Other key stories involved resistance to an American Electric power line in Floyd County; the formation of a peace activist group in Blacksburg; coverage of Ku Klux Klan rallies in Western Virginia when the organization was staging parades in 1986; rallies opposing the Iraq war (which started before the war itself); and, most recently, covering efforts to keep Wal-Mart out of Blacksburg.

They went from fighting apartheid (the trendy way, from 2,000 miles away) to opposing the construction of a retail store that makes inexpensive food and clothing available to the underclasses. Get the idea they ran out of things about which to get their undies abunched?

Anyway, the planet's trees - and more than a few readers - thank the management of the Free Press for calling it quits.

He Still Doesn't Get It

What part of the words illegal immigration is so hard to comprehend?

Bush: Americans will realize need for aliens

America: Bush will someday realize the difference between aliens and illegal aliens.

How Do You Blog This?

Most political bloggers here in Virginia line up with either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. Some religiously (can one follow the Democratic Party religiously without being excommunicated? Just wondering.). Down the line. A few even get paid (a pittance; they'd do better selling themselves on the street) to tow the party line.

That being said, it's been interesting to watch the two sides of the weblog world get fired up over the traffic fees scandal that is unfolding. Unfortunately, this one isn't so easy to score.

Exactly whose side are we supposed to be on?

Kaine backs GOP on fees for bad drivers
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times

Richmond — A bipartisan coalition led by Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and top Republicans in the General Assembly yesterday refused to bow to public pressure to repeal new fees against bad drivers that have drawn statewide criticism.

The fees were tucked into a multibillion-dollar transportation package that Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved earlier this year. The plan has come under fire in recent weeks, with voters and some Republican lawmakers demanding Mr. Kaine call the General Assembly into special session to repeal or amend the law. (link)
Me? I'm for the taxpayers. They benefited greatly by the transportation compromise that was struck. And dodged a bullet.

As for those who will be paying these huge fines? You've been forewarned. Don't drink and drive. Don't drive recklessly. Or pay the man. You'll get no sympathy from me.

I'm for the Republicans and the Democrat. Call me Mr. Bipartisan.

This Is Just The Beginning

You thought the relationship between Bill Clinton and the military was strained? Wait until the warriors at the Pentagon have to answer to the PMS-in-Chief. It could get ugly.

A glimpse of things to come:

Pentagon: Hill Is Helping Foe
By Ian Bishop, New York Post Correspondent

July 20, 2007 -- Washington - The Pentagon yesterday launched a blistering attack on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for boosting "enemy propaganda" by demanding the U.S. military whip up plans for withdrawal from Iraq.

The forceful pummeling - in response to Clinton's request that the Defense Department "prepare plans for the phased redeployment" - came in a terse letter to the Democratic presidential front-runner from Defense Undersecretary Eric Edelman.

"Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia," Edelman wrote in the July 16 letter.

"Such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks," he added. (link)
I think she just got spanked.

This might be fun to watch.

I See Cheney Behind This!

Punched-card voting machines in Florida got George W. Bush elected in 2000.

So we switched to electronic touch-screen equipment.

And that got Bush reelected in 2004.

So we decided to switch to touch-screen-with-print-backup for 2008.

And we'll keep changing the #*&$%!# machinery until American voters get unstuck off stupid!

But wait. What's this?

Overhaul Plan for Vote System Will Be Delayed
By Christopher Drew, The New York Times

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are slowing their drive to revamp the nation’s voting systems, aides said yesterday.

Under pressure from state and local officials, as well as from lobbyists for the disabled, House leaders now advocate putting off the most sweeping changes until 2012, four years later than planned.

Overhauling voting systems before next year’s presidential election had once been a top Democratic priority, primarily to allow greater accountability and be certain that all votes registered on computerized touch-screen systems were counted. But state and local elections officials told Congress they could not make the changes in time for the balloting in November 2008 ...
So .....

The fix is in. 2008 goes to the Republican candidate. Again.

Even though the Democrats are now in control of the process, we all know who's behind this ...

And He Controls The Courts Too!

The vice president's tentacles reach even into the court system where he can manipulate verdicts at will:
Cheney Wins Dismissal of Suit Brought by Valerie Wilson
By Neil A. Lewis, The New York Times

Washington, July 19 — A federal district judge on Thursday dismissed a civil suit brought by Valerie Wilson and her husband seeking damages from Vice President Dick Cheney, his former chief of staff and two others for the disclosure of Ms. Wilson’s role as an operative of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The judge, John D. Bates, said that while the suit raised “important questions relating to the propriety of actions taken by our highest government officials,” there was no statutory or constitutional way for the plaintiffs to obtain damages. (link)
Oh sure. That's the "official" reason. But we know better ...


Feds Say Classified Material Was Stolen


Wake me when they start selling sleep-overs in the Lincoln Bedroom:
Federal Hustings Administration
New York Times editorial

The politicizing of federal workplaces for partisan gain is a crime, but don’t tell that to the Bush administration appointees busy on their rounds as in-house promoters of Republican candidates.

Taxpayers must wonder what happened to the notion of governance. The White House nonchalantly insists both parties have laced the duties of federal office with partisanship. (link)
This bunch will never be able to match the on-the-job campaign doings of the Clintons.

Odd, I don't remember the Times having a problem with Dick Morris being second-in-command in the years before Bush came along.

Beer Run!

RU director hopes to send more students overseas