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

Monday, October 15, 2007

Is Yours a Newspaper Or a PR Department?

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph came out on Friday (see "For the children... Congress must override S-CHIP veto") in favor of the federal program that was originally designed to help obtain health coverage for poor kids but is being modified to such an extent that upper-middle class children will now be covered as well, at the expense of poor people who smoke.

You already know the reason why. The word "children" is involved.

Can't argue against that ...

But while the DT is entitled to express its opinion on its opinion page, it is not entitled to misrepresent the facts. To wit:

According to [Senator Jay] Rockefeller, about 90 percent of the kids currently enrolled in the S-CHIP program are in families making $41,300 or less a year. Rockefeller said these same families cannot afford private health insurance.

He said the president has been making incorrect claims about the S-CHIP program. For example, Rockefeller said Bush has alleged that the bill spends too much money, and that it will take kids out of private insurance and enroll them in a government-run health care program. Those allegations are “simply untrue,” according to Rockefeller. The S-CHIP program is one of the most cost-effective public-private health insurance programs ever created, he argues.

Rockefeller is correct.

No, Rockefeller isn't.

That part about it taking "kids out of private insurance and enroll them in a government-run health care program" didn't originally come from President Bush. It came from an analysis done by Mr. Rockefeller's own Congressional Budget Office. USA TODAY reported it here. The Associated Press here. The Boston Globe here.

And if you folks at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph don't trust newspaper reporting, you can read the CBO report for yourselves. Focus on the column that reads: "Reduction in private coverage." Go to the line that reads: "Total proposed changes." See the 2.0 (as in millions).

If you want to see a snapshot version, look below (click on image to enlarge it).

The families of 2.0 million (middle class) children will drop their private insurance and go on the public dole.

So if you people at the DT want to just fax us a habitual liar's press releases, tag them as such. If, by the same token, you want to get the facts and make reasoned judgements from them, start opening your eyes. And your minds.

Report courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office.

Communication. The Skill. The Gift.

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, an editorial:
Ours is an age of depressing literalism -- increasingly incapable of recognizing irony or even sarcasm, let alone metaphor or metonymy. Perhaps it is not surprising that school administrators lack the capacity to distinguish between the drawing of a gun and an actual gun, between a cartoon flintlock and a loaded Smith & Wesson. But it is rather sad nonetheless.
"Bearing Arms," October 15, 2007

And The Functionally Illiterate

From the editorial staff at the Charleston (WV) Gazette:
Gore's Validation

The world's highest honor, the Nobel Peace Prize, adds still more stature to former Vice President Al Gore’s determined struggle to save humanity from looming tragedies threatened by global warming. (
I doubt that these geniuses meant to convey the notion that the possibility of tragedies occurring (looming) is being threatened by global warming.

But then again ...

Uh, Yes They Are

Noun: aberration àbbə ráysh'n
1. A state or condition markedly different from the norm

I knew, when I read the headline, who had penned the following missive. It had to be that fella at the Richmond Times-Dispatch who can't see past his African-American nose:
Incidents break the silence about legacy of lynchings
By Michael Paul Williams, Times-Dispatch Columnist

Those three nooses hanging from a tree in the schoolyard in Jena, La., were not an aberration. (link)
If those nooses weren't an aberration, they were necessarily (using the antonym - normality or regularity) the norm.

I know the expression of such thoughts gives this dude a good gig at the paper and offers him a comfortable income, but is Michael Paul going to try and suggest that the hanging of nooses on trees is somehow a regular occurrence in these United States?

Need I even ask:
The noose -- painful symbol of racial terrorism -- has made its unsightly appearance recently in a Long Island police station locker room, a Maryland college campus and on the office door of a black professor at Columbia University in New York.
Three incidents. In all of modern history. No aberration that.

Swift and resounding condemnation of our way of life is in order.

Food For Thought

From Mark Steyn:
[O]n CNN the other night Anderson Cooper was worrying about the homicide rate in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love is the murder capital of the nation, and CNN had dispatched a reporter to interview the grieving mother of a young black boy killed while riding his bicycle in the street. Apparently, a couple of cars had got backed up behind him, and an impatient passenger in one of them pulled out a gun and shot the kid. Anderson Cooper then went to commercials and, when he returned, introduced a report on how easy it is to buy guns in Philadelphia and how local politicians are reluctant to do anything about it. This is ... an argument only the expert class could make. In the 1990s, the number of guns in America went up by 40 million, but the murder rate fell dramatically. If firearms availability were the determining factor, Vermont and Switzerland would have high murder rates. Yet in Montpelier or Geneva the solution to a boy carelessly bicycling in front of you down a city street when you're in a hurry is not to grab your gun and blow him away. It's the culture, not the technology.
"Time for the U.S. to get comfortable with ideology," The Orange County Register, October 12, 2007

Quote Of The Day

On Al Gore's "Peace Prize":
So it is that Al Gore wins the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, along with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. At least he didn't get the award for physics or chemistry.
"The Goracle," The Washington Times, October 15, 2007

Oh, Well That's Okay Then

We can breathe a sigh of relief. Some moron over in Wythe County wasn't trying to blow up Fort Chiswell when he tossed blasting caps into a dumpster there. He probably didn't know what he was doing.

I feel safer ...
Explosive device found at Wythe County business

A business near Fort Chiswell High School had to shut down unexpectedly Saturday afternoon, when a worker found something suspicious in the dumpster outside.

According to state police, an attendant at the recycling center saw what he thought was an explosive device. That attendant immediately called in authorities.

Police say all three of these are explosives known as blasting caps. One of them was live, the other two were inactive.

Investigators believe the person who dumped them just didn't know about proper recycling and not because they were trying to be malicious. (link)
I'll bet that would make the grieving family of that dead garbage collector feel better, knowing that the charge would be reduced from second degree murder to involuntary manslaughter.


A Dale Carnegie Dropout

I don't think The Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel, senior pastor at the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ in Frederick, Maryland, ever read How To Win Friends and Influence People. If she did, she missed a key point. That being: Don't insult the person you're trying to influence.

Regarding SCHIP, the Democrats' latest attempt to bring HillaryCare to the masses and our health care system to its knees, a Republican congressman in western Maryland is opposed. The Reverend hopes to change his mind (see "In Maryland, a Microcosm of Debate on Health Bill"):
The Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel, senior pastor at the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ here, is among those trying to persuade Mr. Bartlett to change his vote.

“We are making more and more decisions based on fear and not on logic,” Ms. Kershner Daniel said. “We make decisions about immigration and the war based on fear. People voted against the children’s health bill because they were fearful of what the implications might be, instead of looking at the benefits to families and the whole nation. I refuse to live in fear.”
How fear plays a part in this is beyond the normal human being's ability to comprehend. Beyond that, does this gal actually think she is going to pursuade the good congressman to change his position by insulting his motivations?


Any bets on The Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel's (senior pastor at the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ) political persuasions?

This Guy Cracks Me Up

New York Times columnist (and really odd guy) Paul Krugman has me pegged. He knows why Al Gore drives me insane (Paula has been wondering, so thanks to Krugman for this). According to his column in today's paper ("Gore Derangement Syndrome"), it's a matter of ...

Partly it’s a reaction to what happened in 2000, when the American people chose Mr. Gore but his opponent somehow ended up in the White House. Both the personality cult the right tried to build around President Bush and the often hysterical denigration of Mr. Gore were, I believe, largely motivated by the desire to expunge the stain of illegitimacy from the Bush administration.
Yeah. That's the ticket. I find Crazy Al to be stark raving mad because I have a subconscious need to expunge that stain. Right.

And that ain't all:

The worst thing about Mr. Gore, from the conservative point of view, is that he keeps being right.
Right again. How does this guy know "the conservative point of view" so intimately? We hate the fact that Crazy Al continues to be right. So much so that we are hoping and praying that he runs for President in '08. So that maybe he'll finally be wrong ... or something.

Here's my favorite:

But Gore hatred is more than personal. When National Review decided to name its anti-environmental blog Planet Gore, it was trying to discredit the message as well as the messenger. For the truth Mr. Gore has been telling about how human activities are changing the climate isn’t just inconvenient. For conservatives, it’s deeply threatening.
Truths to us conservatives are deeply threatening (that must be what that female reverend above had in mind). We're exposed. And duly humiliated.

Oh, and then there's The Biggest Reason:

Which brings us to the biggest reason the right hates Mr. Gore: in his case the smear campaign has failed. He’s taken everything they could throw at him, and emerged more respected, and more credible, than ever. And it drives them crazy.
I'M the crazy one. It all becomes clear.

But How Can This Be??

Come on. I thought we all agreed that global warming was caused by human activity.

I guess someone should have told the climate experts:
Gore gets a cold shoulder
By Steve Lytte, The Sydney Morning Herald

One of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works."

Dr William Gray, a pioneer in the science of seasonal hurricane forecasts, told a packed lecture hall at the University of North Carolina that humans were not responsible for the warming of the earth.

"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous." (link)
Whom To believe? A maniacal "Peace Prize" winner or a renowned climate scientist. Hmmm.

And Speaking Of Fringe Churches ...

I'll freely admit: I don't understand why people attend churches where God is an afterthought and social interaction is the draw. Isn't that what nursing homes are for?

But churches where God is considered an obstacle? What kind of pitiable wretch finds that appealing?

Well, apparently the UU's do. An ad currently running in Time magazine:

My first and only thought when I saw this was: What in the good name of Christ are these idiots thinking?

You can find a link to the ad here. Try to figure it out yourself. It's beyond me.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Ad courtesy of the Unitarian Universalist Association.