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

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Someone Needs To Look To Covington

According to data released by the Annie B. Casey Foundation regarding America's children, their health, and well-being, a disturbing statistic relating to lead should have folks over in Covington (Alleghany County) very concerned.

If this information is accurate***, and if the number of those tested is of significant size, Covington, Virginia has a serious problem with lead in childrens' bloodstreams.

To better understand the magnitude of the problem, I've taken the numbers for the worst ten counties/municipalities in the state in terms of lead content - as tested - along with, for comparison's sake, that which came in with the best score, and converted them into graph form: Click on the image to enlarge it.

The accompanying statistics provided reveal the fact that, among the children tested over the last four years, Covington's rate of elevated lead levels in the bloodstream has gone from 9.7% (in 2002) to 15.7% to 36.6% to 75.1% (in 2005).**

If this is right, Covington has a serious and growing problem.

* "These rates were calculated using populations for 0-5 matching the year of the lead testing. Rates on VDH website use 2000 populations. Results based on one test per child per year. A confirmed elevated blood lead level (EBLL) is defined as a single elevated venous test ≥10 µg/dL or two elevated capillary tests within 84 days/12 weeks and is only counted once in the year in which it initially occurred. The reporting of elevated blood lead levels is required under the Regulations for Disease Reporting and Control. Effective July 1, 2001, regulations require the reporting of all lead tests performed on children under 72 months of age. The number of children tested each year is influenced by several factors that include the number of children born in Virginia each year, migration of children into and out of the state or to a different locality, and the number of children tested in compliance with the regulations. Regulations only require testing at 1 and 2 years of age if determined to be at risk. These statistics are preliminary, as the database will accept historical data as made available and continuous data quality control may depict minor changes in data."

** The last year for which data is provided.

*** In the world of statistics, this would be viewed as an outlier (an extreme deviation from the mean). How about we find out if that's the case.

Alms For The Poor

Here's great news for those who support the notion that tourism jobs will replace all those manufacturing jobs we've lost in the last decade:

Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Interpretive Center gets grant
By Clifford Jeffery, Kinsport Times-News

Gate City - Scott County economic development and tourism officials are one step closer to full funding for an ambitious project designed to promote a historic trail through Southwest Virginia.

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority awarded a $200,000 tourism capital improvement grant to the Scott County Economic Development Authority for the development of a historical interpretive center near Duffield. (link)
The expenditure is apparently going toward the construction of a building in which "the history surrounding the route used by Daniel Boone when he crossed Kane Gap into Powell Valley" will be outlined.

Why a paragraph in a chapter in a history book won't do isn't made clear.

Who the interpretive center is going to interpret for isn't either.

How many interpretive centers we're going to end up with here in Southwest Virginia when all this finally runs its course is anyone's guess.

Quote Of The Day

From Jeff Schapiro:

"It's a good time to think badly of lawyer-legislators."

Amen to that, brother.

Still, every day is a good day ...

There Is a Place ...

... just not in our government buildings.

Both the Roanoke Times and the Richmond Times-Dispatch have editorials this morning calling on the government in Richmond to keep the Confederate Battle Flag from being reinstalled in the Old House Chamber, now that the room has been remodeled. Apparently the flag was on display there for some 80 years as a memorial to Robert E. Lee and those who fought alongside him.

General Lee and his exploits have been relegated to the history books. And to museums, where he is honored as a Son of the Old South. The Confederacy itself is long gone, with its many flags now collecting dust in repositories far and wide. That's where they belong.

Just as we didn't need to go through the silly exercise in February of apologizing for the institution of slavery, an economic system and a culture long dead, one we know little about, an exercise in futility if there ever was one, we need to put the Confederate Battle Flag in its proper place.

And move on.

Breaking News

Muslim community stands up for peace

More Breaking News

DC Area Faces Affordable Housing Crunch

Talking Counterpoint

In today's Roanoke Times:

Editorial: Talking point

"He tells the half-truth, the partial truth and anything but the truth."

-- Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, accusing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of perjury in his recent congressional testimony.
Talking Counterpoint

"[H]alf-truth, the partial truth and anything but the truth" doesn't constitute perjury.

Perjury, in so many words, is the criminal offense of making false statements under oath. What Schumer, and presumably the jokers at the Roanoke Times, are complaining about is the fact that they didn't get the answers from Gonzales they wanted. Nothing more.

If that's perjury, we're all in trouble.

It All Gets So Confusing

A question:

In a state where sexual deviancy is championed (the city of San Francisco has a new president of its police commission who is neither male nor female, or is both), should it be a punishable offense if a man wants to have sex with children?

Are there good deviants and bad deviants?

Just asking.

There's Always Breast Augmentation

It seems Hillary is sensitive about her cleavage, or lack thereof. The Washington Post reveals the news that she's got her grunts out there trying to squelch the discussion that came up in the same newspaper on Friday about her revealing herself (there'll be a metaphor flow from this; I can see it coming) while making a speech on the senate floor.

On this, I agree with Hillary. Enough is enough. I've seen all of her I want to see.

This Is Not Encouraging

One of these two Democrats may be our next president:

The Kow-Tow Club
New York Post editorial

... Sen. Barack Obama last week displayed an astonishing lack of depth - giving Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a chance to show again that she's capable of taking five positions on just about every issue.

It all happened during Monday night's debate, when the candidates were asked whether, as president, they'd be willing to meet personally - and without preconditions - with the leaders of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and Syria.

Obama's response: Absolutely.

Obama's response, she maintained, was "irresponsible and, frankly, naive."

But here's where it gets complicated.

Even while ridiculing Obama's position, Clinton repeatedly has ripped the president for saying "he will not talk with bad people." Indeed, she complained, "you don't make peace with your friends - you have to do the hard work of dealing with people you don't agree with." (link)

This illustrates once again the fact that Obama is proving to be the lightweight that many said he is.

But Clinton. She's reminding me more and more of her husband. He too could claim, at any given time, to be on every side of any issue. With a straight face.

Surely we can do better than this.

You Gotta Love The New York Times

How about this for chutzpah. The editorial page of the New York Times is concerned that President Bush hasn't paid enough attention to a post-war Iraq.

Unbelievable ...
Saudis Going South on Iraq

So far, neither Washington nor Riyadh is spending any time thinking about containing the chaos that will follow the inevitable American withdrawal. (link)
These guys chastise the president for not giving the issue enough consideration, and call for serious study about that which will occur when our troops leave Iraq, three months after this same bunch called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

Do they deserve any credence?