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

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Simple Solution

Zachary D. Moore, an aide to state Sen. Brandon Bell (R-Roanoke), writing in today's Roanoke Times, thinks he knows why the Republican Party lost its Senate majority (and his boss lost his job) in the recent election. Infighting.
Republicans have themselves to blame

As both an aide to a member of the Virginia Senate and a Republican campaign consultant, I am writing to offer my insight as to why the Democrats were able to capture the majority in the Virginia Senate and the impact this will have on the Republican Party.

The Democrats would not have been able to achieve this great success were it not for significant help from the Republicans. More than any other issue, Republican infighting allowed the Democrats to take control. The Republican Party played offense within our own party and played defense against the Democrats. That is clearly not a strategy to maintain a majority. (link)
To some extent, he's right. The upheavel that took place going into the primary - and after - led to the defeat of several "moderate" GOP'ers (who voted conspicuously like Democrats) and ultimately to the loss of a few seats in the general election.

The solution? Take the party back to its roots. Its successful roots. The one that mainstream Virginians can relate to. A conservative Republican Party. Respectfully request that those few remaining moderates in the Senate (did Emmett Hanger pull through?) get the hell out.

Problem solved. GOP once again united.

My guess is, this isn't what Mr. Moore has in mind. He wants the GOP to be more like the Democratic Party. But we already have one. Why do we need two?

4th Season And Counting

For those of you who are keeping track of the number of years, we're up to 3.

That's three years since I vowed to never shop at a Target store until the company lifts its ban on the Salvation Army's bellringers doing their thing at Christmastime in front of Target stores across the country.

To their credit, Target executives did make a gesture (see "Target Giving $1M to Salvation Army, but Bell Ringers Still Banned"), but the Salvation Army needs more. 70% of the charitable organization's revenue comes during the Christmas holiday season and from those kettles that we all throw our pocket change into. Hopefully, over and over again.

There's no indication (that I can find on the internet anyway) that Target execs have relinquished. So we go into the fourth year of my boycott. My money goes where it feels wanted.

Really? Who Knew?

I toured the Detroit Diesel plant in ... Detroit ... back in 1996, where I learned that technology was being developed (relating to their ass-kickin' Series 60 truck engine) that allowed for a trucking company dispatcher, sitting in some office somewhere far away, to determine at any given time of day where a particular truck was, how much fuel it was consuming, its rate of speed, time on the road, its functionality, etc. Through his computer and a handy little gadget called GPS.

Lo these eleven years later, that technology comes to the big city - and is news to the Associated Press:

GPS Helps Cities Catch Goof-Offs
By Frank Eltman, The Associated Press

Islip, N.Y. -- GPS tracking devices installed on government-issue vehicles are helping communities around the country reduce waste and abuse, in part by catching employees shopping, working out at the gym or otherwise loafing while on the clock.

The use of GPS has led to firings, stoking complaints from employees and unions that the devices are intrusive, Big Brother technology. But city officials say that monitoring employees' movements has deterred abuses, saving the taxpayers money in gasoline and lost productivity. (link)
All this is viewed as a potential negative by the AP but try to imagine the productivity gains that are made with this technology. Vehicles can be rerouted; employees can be redirected; customers can be better served; slackers can be given ... a boost.

It's actually wonderful stuff. One of the many reasons why the USA is the productivity envy of the world.

I'm Stunned

I had no idea:

Home Run King Barry Bonds Indicted

Did you know we still have major league baseball in this country? Startling news.

Hillary Adopts a New Strategy

Well, this one's unique. I'll call it the "Quit Picking On Me Or I'll Lose" Tactic:
Clinton’s in Thick of Barbed Democratic Debate
By Patrick Healy and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton shifted to a much more assertive tone in a debate Thursday night by going directly after her opponents, issuing a stern warning that Democrats should stop “throwing mud” and adopting tactics “right out of the Republican playbook.” (
The frontrunner asking everyone else to play nice ... and let her win gracefully.

Bold? Or naive. You decide.

Keeping You Informed

On that bill - the latest - that was intended by Pelosi and Murtha to force precipitate withdrawal from Iraq and loss of the war, heaping shame and derision on our troops at the same time (details here) ...

... Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) sided with those who want us to retreat. His disgraceful vote can be viewed here.

I'll bet he'll tell you he supports the troops too.

I May Be Outgunned

When my daughter told the young man she's dating that I had an extensive gun collection, he asked, "Does he have any weaponry that is chain fed?"

He's a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps.

Uh ... that would be a no.

The Latest On Government Run Amok

Drew Carey on the latest eminent domain outrage:

Eminent domain is the constitutionally sanctioned practice of taking land for legitimate public uses. Traditionally, that's meant things like roads and schools. Over the past several decades, however, governments have gone hog wild with eminent domain, routinely condemning property and turning it over to well-connected private developers as a way of subsidizing economic development and increasing tax revenues (never mind that it doesn't always work out that way).

Officials in National City, a predominantly Hispanic community near San Diego, have pushed to bulldoze a popular athletic center for struggling kids to pave the way for private developers to build new luxury condos.
The related video:

Why do we as a free people allow this?

Click on the little triangle to activate the video.

'We Support The Troops,' Example LXVIII

They are shameful in their brazen efforts to lose this war:

Cambridge boots Boy Scouts, calls support for soldiers 'pro-war'
By Matt Dunning, Cambridge Chronicle Staff

Cambridge - Was it just too pro-war for Cambridge?

A troop of Boy Scouts is wondering why their donation boxes meant for troops in Iraq were thrown out of polling stations last week.

Election officials ordered the removal of donation boxes set up by a troop of Cambridge Boy Scouts of America during last Tuesday’s municipal election.

The boxes were set up inside the 33 polling stations around the city to collect donations for soldiers serving overseas in the war in Iraq.

Marsha Weinerman, executive director of the city’s Election Commission, said the boxes were removed after a resident complained to commission workers about their implied “pro-war” message. (link)
Donations for soldiers serving overseas.

An implied pro-war message.

Donations halted.

They hate this country that much.

May these people rot in hell.

What Else Could He Say?

Despite the obvious progress - wondrous progress - that President Bush is making in Iraq, those who declared defeat long ago refuse to accept it. They cannot do otherwise. Thus you get these bizarre pronouncements from anti-war whiner Harry Reid (in "US Democrats slam Iraqi government," Breitbart.com):
"Every place you go you hear about no progress being made in Iraq.

"The government is stalemated today, as it was six months ago, as it was two years ago.

"It is not getting better, it is getting worse."
Such a pitiful creature. I almost feel sorry for him.

Looks Like It's No Accident

On Wednesday I wrote the following ("Country Music? Mountain Music? A Museum Where?"):
[The] 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?
Thanks to an astute reader, we have the rest of the story. As it turns out, these guys may not be trying to confuse us, but it appears that the two museums - or proposed museums - won't be merging anytime soon. There's a serious feud involved. From the same Bristol Herald-Courier from which the above information originated:
Musical discord
Country music groups split into two organizations in 2006

By David McGee, Staff Writer Feb 27, 2007

Bristol, Va. – Like believers who break away to form new congregations, the deacons of the Twin City’s country music heritage split up in 2006.

In this case, however, the more established group moved out of the sanctuary.

Last year, the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance moved out of the music museum in the Bristol Mall and into a downtown building. Their offices are now next to the site of a planned $9 million cultural arts center that was at the center of a dispute among some of the group’s founding members.

The renamed Mountain Music Museum remains open, but is now run by the Appalachian Cultural Music Association – a new nonprofit group started last September by defectors from the original organization. (link)
Don't read the whole thing. It'll just ... confuse the beejebbers out of you.

A lesson to be learned: Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our way of thinking - our cause - our mission - that we lose sight of the bigger picture. Do you fellas actually think you are going to make TWO (or three) museums viable in this small part of the world? Even Rick Boucher isn't going to be able to keep both of you afloat.

You need to think this through.