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

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Like I Said

We were strong enough a nation to whip the nazis. And the commies.

I think we can handle the Methodists, should it become necessary.

That's why I don't cower in fear of a concept we call Freedom of Religion. Or, out of some kind of angst, pretend that the Bill of Rights or the Constitution says something - anything - about "separation of church and state" or "freedom from religion."

In fact, I believe our government should actively nurture and support our many participants in it.

Freedom of expression, especially our right to express our faith in our God through worship, is one of our most treasured, most fundamental rights. We should defend it. Celebrate it. Promote it in the public square. All faiths. All expressions.

As I've said before, and the Wall Street Journal makes clear this morning:
Cleansing the ACLU
Michigan and the case of Muslim footbaths.

The latest battle of religion in the public square is unfolding in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with one of the highest Muslim populations in the country. At the University of Michigan's local campus, administrators have recently refitted several school bathrooms to include small footbaths in the corner--an accommodation for Muslim students who must perform ritual washing as part of their daily observance.

For our part, we see no reason to object to University of Michigan's gesture to some of its Muslim students. Freedom of religion has never meant freedom from religion, and making it easier for people of different backgrounds to practice their faiths is a perfectly American thing to do. Many schools have chapels on campus, a fact that bothers very few. And few places object to kosher offerings in school cafeterias--an accommodation for Jewish students causing no inconvenience to others. (link)
Now, about the College of William & Mary and its decision to banish that Christian cross to a locked showcase ...

And that Mt. Soledad cross that has been in place for nearly a century ...

And that portrait of Jesus that adorned a wall in a public school in West Virginia for forty years ...

And the Seattle airport that removed a Christmas tree last December for being offensive to ... somebody ...

What are they afraid of? A putsch by the Methodists?

Remember The Source

I was completely befuddled reading "Warner Warning: Watch Virginia's Republican senator," in this morning's Wall Street Journal. The author, Chuck Todd, contends that the state of Virginia has finally come around to Senator John Warner's "moderate" views (his view; mine is that he's been a liberal his entire life) after the citizens thereof having been in the conservative/Confederate (I'm not making that up) wilderness for so long, and that, just as Warner is on the verge of being able to secure a Republican return to power, he's (perhaps) decided to retire. Alas.

I then read, at the bottom of the page, who this author is:

"Mr. Todd is political director of NBC News."

It all becomes clear.

Raise Taxes. More Bridges Will Collapse.

I read an article in this morning's Washington Times ("O'Malley: Spend for roads, bridges") in which it was announced that the governor of Maryland, Martin O'Malley, is going to be introducing a legislative package that will call for the repair of the state's many unsafe bridges and deteriorating roads. One might rightly ask: Wasn't his government supposed to be doing that all along?

Beyond that, the quotes that caught my eye:
He did not say how much he expects the transportation package to cost, nor did he identify a funding source.

Mr. O'Malley also did not say whether he will propose to increase the state's gas tax to pay for the initiative, but a spokesman for the governor said the gas tax is not the only way to raise money for transportation projects.
I was reminded of another article I read just yesterday on that very subject - gas taxes and bridge repair - in the Wall Street Journal ("Of Bridges and Taxes"). It stated, in part:
Some things in politics seem to be inevitable -- and one of them is that any road or bridge tragedy will be followed by an argument to raise the gasoline tax. That's what is now happening in the wake of the terrible Minnesota bridge collapse, but that state's transportation and tax record shows precisely why voters are skeptical.

The gas tax pleas are coming from the usual suspects ...

As it happens, these are the same men who played the lead role in the $286 billion 2005 federal highway bill. That's the bill that diverted billions of dollars of gas tax money away from urgent road and bridge projects toward Member earmarks for bike paths, nature trails and inefficient urban transit systems.

We suspect most voters would indeed be willing to pay more for better roads and bridges, if they had any reason to believe that is where the money would be spent. But they have long experience with politicians promising them that new taxes will go to such projects only to see it diverted for parochial ends. [emphasis in the original]
You might think about this if you happen to be riding any time soon along that horse trail down in Scott County, Virginia - the one that the federal government devoted funds to instead of bridge repairs. The one that helped get our congressman reelected.

New taxes to pay for desperately needed bridge repairs? It didn't work before (except in Rick Boucher's bid to keep his job). There's no reason to believe it'll work now.

Avoiding The Real Problem At All Costs

The entire nation was shocked to read the story about the three college students who were lined up and summarily executed by thugs in Newark, New Jersey (a 4th barely survived and later helped nab the perps). In response to the outcry from an enraged populace, the Democrats in control of the state and the city reverted to the only response they know - they cracked down on guns. Again.

But the New York Post details this morning ("Jersey Justice'") the background of one of those who shouldn't even be walking the streets, or be in this country, had the system created by this same bunch not allowed it to happen.

On suspected murderer Jose Larchira Carranza, an illegal alien:

● Carranza was first arrested on Oct. 1 after a bar fight and charged with aggravated assault and weapons possession (using a bottle on three men in the fight). The processing judge set bail at $50,000.

Three days later, Judge JoAnne Watson reduced bail to $20,000, with the consent of the Essex County prosecutor's office. After posting $2,000 cash bond, Carranza was set free that day.

● On Jan. 18, he was arrested on 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, 15 counts of child endangerment and five counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of five.

The same Judge Watson set bail at $200,000.

On Jan. 29, Superior Court Judge John Kennedy reduced bail to $150,000 with the consent of Essex Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Scott.

Carranza posted a $150,000 bond on Feb. 6 and was out the next day.

● On May 3, Carranza was arrested on six counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child, two counts of sexual assault on a four-year-old and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Judge Michael Ravin set bail at $300,000.

On May 17, Superior Court Judge Thomas Vena consolidated Carranza's two sexual-abuse cases - and lowered bail to $150,000.

As The Newark Star-Ledger reported, the vacationing Vena dropped by his chambers - with neither defense attorneys nor prosecutors present - to reduce and consolidate the bail.

Having already posted $150,000, Carranza walked without having to put up an additional dime.

A few weeks later, after slaughtering three innocent human beings, this illegal immigrant finally got his bail revoked. At least temporarily.

The governor and mayor, both liberal Democrats, are focusing on guns ...

It's About Subprime Loans, Stupid

As is to be expected, the New York Times this morning finds - and is on the verge of hysteria about - the unforeseen but clearly visible implications of the subprime mortgage lending crisis. Something about the USA teetering on the edge of calamity.

You can read all about the coming apocalypse here.


Fellas. The economy is strong. We're okay. Tomorrow will be better than today, which was better than yesterday. All is well.

So come out from under those covers ...

He Brought This On Himself

I read a story in this morning's New York Times about how hard John Edwards is working to win the Iowa caucus vote (whenever that takes place ...), and about how much more harsh his tone has become in recent weeks, and all I could think about was this:

That's a $400 haircut?

Photo courtesy of Keith Bedford & the NY Times

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?

Those famous words of former Vice Presidential candidate James Stockdale came to mind when I read that the Democrats in Congress are beginning to have serious concerns about legislation they recently passed:

Concerns Raised on Wider Spying Under New Law
By James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times

Washington, Aug. 18 — Broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush administration to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include — without court approval — certain types of physical searches on American soil and the collection of Americans’ business records, Democratic Congressional officials and other experts said.

The dispute illustrates how lawmakers, in a frenetic, end-of-session scramble, passed legislation they may not have fully understood and may have given the administration more surveillance powers than it sought. (link)

Lawmakers ... passed legislation they may not have fully understood.

And they will be spending $3,000,000,000,000 of our money next year.

Any wonder why bridges are collapsing right out from under them?