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

Saturday, October 06, 2007

It's Not Like You Weren't Warned

I was educated the other day on the point that 22nd Senate District candidate Ralph Smith (R-Roanoke) was trying to make when he compared himself to our very liberal former Governor Mark Warner (go to the comments section of the blog post). He was - as it turns out - trying to let his constituents know that he believes in government efficiencies and such. Admirable, to be sure.

But Ralph Smith is a Republican. That in itself in some circles means he rapes, pillages, and is an all-round nasty guy.

To the rabidly liberal press, there is no such thing as a moderate Republican. So why try?

This, Ralph, is what it gets you in the end. From this morning's Roanoke Times:

Editorial: You, sirs, are no Mark Warner

Those are some coattails Mark Warner is sporting. Not only does the Democratic candidate in the 22nd Senate District think Warner can carry him to victory, so too does the Republican, one of the most right-wing candidates our area has ever spawned.

[blah blah blah] ...

... it was rather surreal for Ralph Smith to portray himself to the gathering as being Warneresque.

Remember the primary? Smith was the Republican Party's answer to complaints that incumbent Brandon Bell wasn't rabid-right enough.

We know Smith for what he is. He is no Warner: Mark, John or otherwise. (link)

Poor Ralph. He has now been criticised from the left - above - and from the right - by me - for having tried to make himself out to be something he isn't - and should never try to be.

Today has turned out to be a day in which I illustrate effective strategies for those looking to win elections (scroll down).

To Ralph Smith I offer this. Adopt this tactic and you can't lose. Get a hold of the Roanoke Times and deliver this message:
Kiss my ass.

Then be who you are. A conservative Republican.

Or adopt the tactics made famous and used previously to such great effect as outlined in The Jerry Kilgore Playbook of Mealymouthed Middle-of-the-Road Mushiness and lose.

We Make Progress. We Don't.

Some will call this an advancement in health care delivery. We've gone from this ...

... to this:

And who could argue?

Appalachia Clinics Bring Help on Wheels
By Samira Jafari, The Associated Press

Hurley, Va. -- When Diane Dotson is sick, she waits for the wagon.

If she's lucky, it'll only be a few days. But it could be a several weeks before St. Mary's Health Wagon, a free mobile clinic that makes rounds in central Appalachia, arrives in this remote community in southwest Virginia to help the sick.

The clinic squeezes in next to a car wash, parked in Sister Pauline Champagne's front yard, where she chats with patients sitting on lawn chairs in the makeshift outdoor "waiting room." As Sister Champagne calls off ...

Mobile clinics are the main source of health care for thousands living in the mountains, where doctors and health insurance are lacking. Some mobile clinics show up weekly or monthly, others only once a year. (link)

This is progress.

This IS progress.

This is progress?

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.
Click on image to enlarge.

I Know Where You Can Stick It

Some hippie up in the D.C. area intends to build something called a "peace tower." If it's coming out of his pocket, and he's putting it on his land, consider me a big supporter. It'll give me something else to ridicule for decades to come:

Peace tower set for D.C. area
By Jen Haberkorn, The Washington Times

A local developer announced plans yesterday for a 12-story monument to peace that he hopes to build in the Washington area.

Jeffrey S. Abramson, a partner with the Tower Companies, a North Bethesda development group, is asking area residents to suggest potential sites for his "Tower of Invincibility."

The tower will be a monument to peace, he said, and is derived from the principles of the International Center for Invincible Defense, a New York organization. It calls for groups of people to practice advanced meditation techniques and says that transcendental meditation can calm hostilities in the world and prevent violence and war. (link)
Invincible defense. Through meditation.

People like this crack me up. Of all the places where this silly tower could be constructed. Ramallah. Islamabad. Tehran. Pyongyang. The Killing Fields of Cambodia. The death camps in Rwanda. The growing wasteland of Darfur.

But no.

You could have bet money that this effort to bring peace to a tortured world would be built right there in liberal la la land. And from there these jokers will "project" their interest in peace to those violence-scarred, war-torn, soulless, godless parts of the planet from safer, cushier, less burdensome environs.

Don't want to ge too far removed from Starbucks, after all.

I've got a message for those who are afflicted with this kind of idiocy: Meditating peace is one thing. Actually bringing it about - as does the 101st Airborne Division so effectively - is another.

Wanta Know Why College Tuition Keeps Going Up?

I looked up in my trusty dictionary the word "college" to see if its definition still included the word "education." It does. Surprisingly.

Someone should remind those at UVa of this fact, as they try to spend the university into oblivion on faculty who don't educate.

UVa.'s scientist-luring plan a 'disaster'
The Associated Press

Charlottesville (AP) — A $126 million effort to attract world-class scientists to the University of Virginia hasn't panned out, and school officials are considering expanding resources as a better way to enhance the university's reputation.

[President John T. Casteen III] said the policy of recruiting star scientists and then custom building lab space for them has proved a "disaster" and said the school is at risk of falling behind without scientific expansion.

In one instance, the university built an animal-testing lab in a $35 million underground facility and a tailor-made research lab in a $43 million building to lure molecular neurobiologist Joseph Takahashi from Northwestern University.

The scientist later declined the job offer. (

$35, $43, $78 million. To hire a researcher. One.

Meanwhile, as annual college tuition rates continue to defy the laws of capitalism common sense, and students attend UVa in the forlorn hope that they'll actually have an honest-to-God professor teaching them instead of some graduate assistant ...

A Winning Strategy

The experts tell us that there isn't a chance in hell that the GOP is going to regain control of Congress next year, what with its image as a fiscally responsible party out to protect the taxpayer in the toilet.

That being the case, the opportunity arises for an enterprising candidate to use those who brought about the party's defeat last year to advantage in the upcoming presidential contest.

A winning strategy:

Giuliani faults GOP for excessive spending
By Joseph Curl, The Washington Times

Presidential aspirant Rudolph W. Giuliani yesterday blamed Republican lawmakers for losing control of Congress in last year's election, saying their excessive spending of taxpayer dollars was shameful.

"We lost Congress because, ultimately, our party in Congress became just like the Democrats as far as spending money is concerned. Shame on us! Shame on us!" the former New York City mayor said. "What we should stand for is fiscal discipline." (link)
There is some precedent for this. You may remember a similar strategy that worked so well for Bill Clinton. His then-political advisor, Dick Morris, called it triangulation. George W. Bush did the same in 2000. Remember "compassionate conservatism?"

It worked to great effect in 1996 and 2000. It will work in 2008.

Take it to 'em, Rudy.

Another Winning Strategy

We may disagree on the proper uses of the state's "rainy-day fund,"* but future gubernatorial contender - and current attorney general - Bob McDonnell and I certainly agree on this:
McDonell assails Kaine's rainy-day fund bid
By Seth McLaughlin, The Washington Times

Virginia's attorney general yesterday criticized Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's plan to dip into the state's rainy-day fund to cover a projected $641 million shortfall, saying the gap will only be filled when the state cuts spending and stops pushing new taxpayer-funded programs.

"Liberals in Virginia are saying we need to raid the rainy-day fund so we can start some more programs for pre-K education when we have a $600 million budget deficit," said Bob McDonnell, a Republican, at the Defending the American Dream summit in Washington yesterday. (link)
Amen to that, brutha.

We've had an explosive growth in state spending over the last ten years (with the Republicans running things on the legislative side for much of that time, ahem). And Governor Kaine now finds himself to be short on cash. No duh.

And he wants to compound the problem by creating a whole new - and monumentally wasteful - government spending program. At a point in our history when the abolition of public schools in our state could only improve the test scores of our increasingly ignorant offspring, Governor Kaine wants to throw 4-year olds into the mix and blow their chances for success along with all others.

But to the point, General Bob is right on this. Our fiscal house is in serious disorder. Fix it.

And leave our 4-year olds alone.

* In fact, he may disagree with me altogether on the subject. I'd like to see it eliminated.

NY Post: Boot The Demagogue

Regarding the upcoming Republican debate that is being televised on MSNBC, the New York Post references the Democrats' refusal to appear on Fox News and then makes this point (in "An Immoderate Moderator"):
So, should viewers of Tuesday's Republican presidential debate expect an exchange of views between the candidates - or between the candidates and one of the event's moderators?

It's a fair question, given the jaw-dropping comments Thursday evening from MSNBC blowhard - and scheduled debate moderator - Chris Matthews.

Matthews was celebrating the 10th anniversary of his "Hardball" program at a Washington event, when he let loose a broadside at the White House.

Bush & Co., he declared, had "finally been caught in their criminality."

He compared this White House's behavior with another one, saying, "Spiro Agnew was not an American hero."

Of the vice president, Matthews said, "God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We'd all be under a parking lot."

Now, "Hardball" is an opinion show, and Matthews is certainly entitled to his opinions - however offensively he chooses to express them.

But why should any Republican candidate expect fairness from Matthews now?
A fair question. A question we all know the answer to.

Since Chris Matthews's views - as expressed above - are considered mainstream by the people he works with in the press, he'll not be in any real jeopardy of being dumped from this gig. Nor, in my opinion, should he be.

It's instructive to have Chris Matthews out in front of as many cameras as possible. 24/7. The posterboy for the blatantly biased media.

Lights ... Camera ...

And I've Got a Bridge In The Sahara ...

Clinton Says She Would Shield Science From Politics

A Thought On MBA Programs

Though he had a different context in mind, it fits.

From Robert A. Heinlein:

"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."

Want to learn how to manage? Throw away the books and roll up your sleeves.

As Clint Eastwood Once Growled ...

... Make My Day

'Dreams Really Do Come True'

If this doesn't bring tears to your eyes, you've no reason to be on this earth.

Double-click on the triangle to activate.

Thinking of You. Wish You Were Here.

I received a legislative update in the mail from Senator Jim Webb yesterday. Tri-fold. Multi-color. The standard photos of Jim hugging people, Jim talking to a decorated soldier, Jim in a hard hat talking to workers in hard hats. Jim dressed up like a fireman (or something). A return postcard attached asking to hear from me (with an exclamation mark ! It may be a demand; I hear he carries a gun). I'll bet he's waiting by the mail box for my response.

One thing about this update struck me as noteworthy.

On the page entitled Constituent Services for Southwest Virginians, guess what is listed at the top.

Passport Processing.

Think he's trying to tell us something?