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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Country Music? Mountain Music? A Museum Where?

We are suddenly awash here in Southwest Virginia with music museums. Or at least proposals for the creation of music museums.

Just last Saturday I read (in the Bristol Herald-Courier) this:
Appalachian Cultural Music Association officials announced Friday the organization will begin work immediately to renovate a building in downtown Marion for a Song of the Mountains Museum.

The plan is to refurbish a downtown Marion building that's fallen into disrepair for the museum.
The intended Marion museum is an expansion of sorts of the Mountain Music Museum that currently resides in Bristol.

Today, in the samer paper, I read this:
Birthplace of Country Music Alliance hires a North Carolina firm to help raise $12 million for a cultural heritage center
By David McGee, Bristol Herald-Courier Staff Writer

Bristol, Va. – The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance has hired a North Carolina firm to oversee next year’s $12 million fundraising campaign.

The Bristol-based nonprofit is trying to establish a world-class cultural heritage center in a vacant Cumberland Street building. (link)
That proposed location for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum would be on Cumberland Street, Bristol. The same Bristol where the Song of the Mountains Museum resides. The Mountain Music Museum that is annexing a location just up the road in Marion.

I know it's sacrilege to think of the two genres as having some linkage but would it be wrong of me to suggest that officials with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance get with the folks at the Appalachian Cultural Music Association on all this and try their mightiest to not confuse the living beejeebers out of us?

Virginia GOP, Playing Offense

What was that about a Republican defeat in the recent election? The conservative movement is in a shambles? The GOP in the commonwealth is reeling from a landslide setback? The right-wing is on the run? Demoralization is pervasive throughout? "Moderation" is the watchword of the day?

Strange. Someone forgot to tell those conservatives:
Conservatives in Va. Senate target Stosch
By Jeff E. Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Conservative Republicans in the Virginia Senate are plotting a leadership coup, blaming moderate bosses -- among them, a veteran Henrico County lawmaker -- for the Democratic takeover.

"The party needs new leadership -- from the very top to the very bottom," said Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax.

"There will be a leadership challenge in the Senate, [and] the details of that need to be worked out. If you're in the current leadership, what's the rationale for staying there?

The top target of conservatives is Senate Republican Leader Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, who this week apparently started soliciting support for another term as head of the GOP caucus. (link)
Republican Republicans (that's not a typo) came close several months ago to bouncing Stosch, a liberal whose vote the Democrats in the Senate have increasingly come to count on, from his party leadership position.

This time around, chances of success are much greater. Lost in all the mainstream press hoopla over the GOP loss of the Senate is this little tidbit, from Mr. Schapiro:
Conservative Republicans increased their numbers within the Senate caucus, picking up a seat in the Roanoke area and another in the Winchester area. But it's not clear if they can muster the 10 votes necessary to tip the leadership elections.
The GOP lost. Republicans won. Life in Richmond is about to change for the better.

Works For Me

Will wonders never cease. The Roanoke Times comes out this morning in favor of a government spending cut. Alas, the boys have an ulterior motive for their support of smaller government. They simply refuse to ever accept a "conservative" spending initiative, therefore they oppose - in this instance - expenditures on abstinence-only sex education in schools. A good reason beyond "the Bush administration" would have done wonders ...

Still, on this we agree:
Editorial: Sex and the single lesson

Score one for information over ideology with the revelation this week that Gov. Tim Kaine eliminated the state matching funds for a federal abstinence-only sex education program from Virginia's budget.

The $275,000 involved is a small fraction of the projected $641 million budget shortfall the administration needs to close. But the cut makes a big statement about Kaine's insistence on sensible, evidenced-based policymaking.

It's possible for abstinence-only advocates to present accurate information to children in sex-education classes, though such programs are heavy on scare tactics and many are not above using falsehoods to discourage sex.

It's impossible, though, for abstinence-only programs to present adequate information -- because the simple reality is that they do not delay participants' first sexual encounters or reduce their number of sexual partners. Multiple studies have shown that these numbers don't change when compared to those of students who have not had abstinence-only classes. (link)
This we'll call the Kids Are No More Intelligent Than Rodents argument. "They're going to do it anyway, so 'we' need to equip them with the necessary hardware to keep them safe."

This contention goes hand-in-hand with their occasionally voiced Poor People Are Too Stupid To Rise Up Out Of Poverty So They Need Permanent Government Assistance And Lots Of It proposition. Which goes along with the tired Black Americans Have No Chance For Success In This Country So Why Try construct.


Government doesn't need to be in the sex education business. Reading, writing, and arithmetic would be a welcome change though.

As for sex ed? Rely on the parents. Properly "schooled" children will then make the right decisions and do just fine.

From The Avian Flu Pandemic To ...

... eye twitching ...

... and back again:

Virulent bird-flu confirmed in Britain

London (AP) — An outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm in eastern England was confirmed yesterday as H5N1 — the same virulent strain that has killed scores of people around the world.

Thousands of free-range turkeys, ducks and geese were being slaughtered at a farm in ... (link)

It's perhaps time to keep the kids at home from school. Precautionary measures.

Oh, wait. You've already got them locked up in the basement so as to avoid that muscle-twitching plague that is sweeping through your high school and has infected two students.

Well, dig a hole; push the young ones in; take your shovel ...

The Rich Get Richer ...

... at your expense.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) on that farm bill that is working its way through Congress:
Over the next five years, under pending legislation, EWG estimates that (1) taxpayers will pay more than $10 billion to corn farmers, nearly $6 billion to wheat farmers, about $3 billion to both cotton and soybean farmers and more than $2 billion to rice farmers — regardless of their income or the price of their crop; (2) these five crops alone will command 93 percent of the $26.2 billion in direct payments; (3) the top 10 percent of direct-payment recipients will pocket 60 percent of the subsidies, and "the top 1 percent of beneficiaries (15,200 of them) will collect over $3.3 billion, or a five-year total of $220,500 apiece"; (5) "taxpayers will be sending millions of dollars to some of the largest, wealthiest farming operations in America," EWG reports, including more than 250 farm businesses that would each collect at least $1 million over the next five years — even if the price of their crop, such as corn, remained at record levels; (6) seven states will collect half the money, and the 19 states represented on the Senate Agriculture Committee will grab more than 60 percent of the taxpayer subsidies.
"An Unworthy Farm Bill," The Washington Times, November 14, 2007

* Few Americans support this legislation.
** Your Congressman will vote for it.

I'll Be The First In Line ...

... to buy his book, if Ted Kennedy devotes a chapter to Mary Jo:
Kennedy To Cash In
By Keith J. Kelly, The New York Post

November 14, 2007 -- A bidding war has erupted for the rights to Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-Mass.) autobiography, which could end up well into the mid-seven figure range.

The floor price to get in the running is believed to be around $2 million. (link)
I'm reminded of a bumper sticker I saw yesterday as I was heading down the highway:

That one brought back memories of another I'd seen in the past:

Don't get your hopes up though. I think Ted's book will probably be a tell-all about his lifelong problem with obesity and related eating disorders.

Expect the perfunctory Oprah interview. And tears to be shed by all ...

Bumper stickers courtesy of Bumper Art.

I Hope It Finds Itself Soon

Martin Kady II on the Republican Party's attempt at locating its lost "soul":

"Republicans may trail in the polls on virtually every issue, but conservative influence is surging in both chambers of Congress as the GOP tries to find its soul again."

"GOP tacks right after Democratic gains," Politico.com, November 12, 2007

What Are The Chances?

Photographer unknown.

Hillary Defined

As much as I hate these endless presidential primary contests, one fascinating thing does rise from them. Over time, the candidates gain definition (which is the purpose, duh). With Howard Dean, we came to find out that the moniker Screamin' Howie was well-deserved.

Now there's Hillary. She too is building her reputation, one nebulous policy position at a time:
Queen Hillary's disruptive court
By Camille Paglia, Salon.com

The mainstream media have been in a breathless tizzy about how Hillary Clinton waffled, tripped, stumbled or generally screwed up at the Democratic debate in Philadelphia two weeks ago.

But Hillary's performance at prior debates was never as deft or "flawless" as the media claimed in the first place. Conventional wisdom has now flipped, and the air-headed lemmings of our free press have turned on a dime and are stampeding in the opposite direction.

Hillary's stonewalling evasions and mercurial, soulless self-positionings have been going on since her first run for the U.S. Senate from New York, a state she had never lived in and knew virtually nothing about. The liberal Northeastern media were criminally complicit in enabling her queenlike, content-free "listening tour," where she took no hard questions and where her staff and security people (including her government-supplied Secret Service detail) staged events stocked with vetted sympathizers, and where they ensured that no protesters would ever come within camera range. (
I always thought Hillary was simply a calculating sleeze. Now we know there is so much more to the woman.