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

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Controversy Rages At Virginia Tech

Breaking news: The heavy hand of "the man" has come down on a poor English major in Blacksburg who just wanted a rippling six-pack and gunboat biceps. What's up with this?

Towel troubles
A letter to the editor of Collegiate Times

As a senior here at Virginia Tech, I have worked out at McComas Hall for several years.

Earlier this semester I was asked to leave because the staff member at hand deemed my gym towel, which is understandably required, not large enough.

Up until this point I had used that very same towel, which measures 11" x 15," every time I had worked out since becoming a student. I thought this was ridiculous, especially when you take into account that a friend I was working out with also had a towel that was large enough for the both of us. We left enraged by the fact that two decent sized gym towels were somehow not enough.

The next time we worked out, we brought two towels of the same size, 21" x 37," and continued to work out with these towels until this Monday when we were again asked to leave because they were too small. Until then I was actually wondering if my towel was too big. (link)
The poor kid keeps getting kicked out of the gym. Because his towel is - according to the gestapo anyway - too small. I'd be a little ticked too.

A couple of suggestions:

1) Put all those workouts to good use and kick that staff member's butt.

or ...

2) Keep things in perspective. This problem of yours is a far cry from those Virginia Tech was dealing with back in April. Do yourself a huge favor and get a bigger towel. Live long and prosper.

The Cause Loses Steam. Fast.

Now that it has been determined that human embryos need not be slaughtered in order for scientists to obtain human embryonic stem cells (see that news here), you can expect the campaign by Democrats around the country (a good example) to fund embryonic stem cell research at taxpayer expense to quickly die away. Why? It no longer relates to the abortion issue. Thus there is no longer that ulterior motive.

From Joseph Bottum, writing in the Wall Street Journal ("Trading Places," November 28):
Shake loose from the narrative of anti-science fundamentalists and pro-science liberals ... and a different story starts to be visible. Abortion skewed the political discussion of all this [the embryonic stem cell debate], pinning the left to a defense of science it doesn't actually hold. The more natural line is agitation against Frankenfoods and all genetic modification, particularly given the environmentalism to which the campaign against global warming is tying the left.

Narratives about positions on public policy are like enormous steamships: It takes a long time to turn them around. But if the news of stem-cell breakthroughs prove accurate, we may well see over the next few years a gradual reversal in news stories and editorials. Watch for it, now that abortion is out of the equation: much less hype about all the miracle cures that stem cells will bring us, more suspicion about the cancers and genetic pollution that may result, and just about the same amount of bashing of religious believers--this time for their ignorant support of science.
A quote from one John Edwards, uttered during his first failed attempt at being important, seems appropriate:
"If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again."
Christopher Reeve is dead. As are the aspirations of all those abortion fanatics around the country who desperately wanted to cling to this stem cell lifeboat.

Good riddance.

You Knew It Was Coming

Just yesterday, when I read that the Republican Party of Virginia was going to require a loyalty oath in order for voters to participate in future GOP primaries, the term "loyalty oath" coming with a good bit of baggage from the anti-communist days of the McCarthy era, I wrote that leftists here in the commonwealth would have a field day with the decision ("much is going to be made of that").

A mere 24 hours later, that field day dawns, and much is being made of that:

The GOP accepts no presidential dissent
Primary voters must sign loyalty oaths. Where's a third party when you need it? *
Roanoke Times editorial

The Republican Party of Virginia has no interest in thoughtful voters. It only wants mindless party loyalists who will vote Republican no matter what.

That's the sad message of a new GOP policy for next year's presidential primary approved by the State Board of Elections this week. People who want to vote in it must sign a loyalty oath swearing their intent to vote in November for the party's nominee, whomever that winds up being. (link)
"Mindless party loyalists."

The editorial continues with some goofy explanations and scalp-scratching illogic but the point is made.

I'm not sure what the GOP honchos might have done differently to ensure that Republican primary voters were actually Republicans, but to call this requirement a loyalty oath just invited rabid anti-Republicans like the kids at the Times to launch.

And launch they did.

* "Where's a third party when you need it?" That's hilarious. If these guys had their way, there'd be but one party - theirs - here in Virginia.

** My apologies to the RPVa if the term "loyalty oath" did not originate with them.

Can Bland County Be Far Behind?

As more and more counties give up on those hated decals that must be displayed in the windshield of every vehicle one owns - the ugly little stickums that serve absolutely no purpose other than to bring tax dollars into county coffers - the question becomes: When is Bland County going to follow suit?

The latest to (potentially) fall in line:

Botetourt Co. considers peeling away from decals
By Jay Conley, The Roanoke Times

Daleville -- Botetourt County could decide next month to join Roanoke and Roanoke County in no longer requiring residents to display a county decal on their vehicles starting next year.

The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Dec. 18 to vote on the matter.

Botetourt collects $720,000 annually from the $20 it charges residents for the decals. Botetourt County Treasurer Benton Bolton suggested Tuesday to supervisors that the county could save $25,000 in costs for the decals by no longer requiring them.

But he said the county could still collect the $20 per vehicle by renaming it a registration fee or including it in personal property tax assessments. (link)

In my case (I thought I paid $30 for the decal), believe it or not, I'm willing to pay the tax. I just wish the county would roll it into my (ever-skyrocketing) personal property tax. The decal requirement is annoying. It necessitates a special trip to the treasurer's office. It's a sticky decal. It gums up my windshield. It's a driving hazard, obstructing my view (ok, I got carried away on that one).

Anyway, here's hoping that clear heads prevail in Botetourt County and that godawful decal is relegated to the trash heap of history.

- - -

The city of Radford is grappling with the issue as well.

It's Not About The Money

It's about a powerful and influential man from a powerful and influential family walking away from a charge of involuntary manslaughter (and worse) and, to this day, not having to confess to his actions:

Will Ted Tell Mary Jo Truth?
The New York Post

November 28, 2007 -- The publisher of Sen. Ted Kennedy's autobiography won't likely recoup his $8.5 million advance unless the 75-year-old Democrat finally tells what really happened in 1969 at Chappaquiddick, where Kennedy's car went off a bridge, drowning campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne.

But Jonathan Karp, head of the Twelve imprint at Hachette Book Group USA, isn't worried. Karp told Page Six yesterday, "When we met with Sen. Kennedy, he assured us he would be candid."

Kennedy, who didn't report the Martha's Vineyard crash to police for many hours, eventually pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and was given a two-month suspended jail sentence. (link)

For the complete story - the one that will never appear in that fat bastard's book no matter how much he's paid - go here. A quote from the site:
George Killen, former State Police Detective-Lieutenant, and chief of a never-revealed investigation, lamented that the failure to bring the case to a satisfactory conclusion was "the biggest mistake" of a long and distinguished police career. Senator Kennedy, he said, "killed that girl the same as if he put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger."
The darling of the Democratic Party never served a day in jail.

Why I Participate

... and why I'm a member of the NRA, even though I rarely pick up a firearm:
The United States has been blessed with more than 200 years of a strong democracy, so it's easy to yield to a comforting -- and lazy -- conviction that it's magically self-sustaining and doesn't need to be defended, an idea that would have horrified the Founders, who knew that our democracy would be a fragile thing.

Few young Americans understand that the Second Amendment keeps their homes safe from the kind of government intrusion that other citizens suffer around the world; few realize that "due process" means that they can't be locked up in a dungeon by the state and left to languish indefinitely.
Naomi Wolf, "Hey, Young Americans, Here's a Text for You," The Washington Post, November 25, 2007

A Multiple Choice Test

Hmmm ...
Art work courtesy of Bill Quick.