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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Not Necessarily

The Richmond Times-Dispatch asks. I answer:
Packing Heat

The wires report that in 2007, New York City likely will record the fewest murders in more than 40 years. Gotham boasts some of the toughest gun restrictions in the country.

Supporters of gun rights often cite high murder rates in, for instance, Washington, D.C., as proof gun laws don't work.

Does New York's dramatic drop in murders suggest the effectiveness of gun control? (link)
The answer is no. Since there have been no substantive changes in New York City's gun laws (either more or less restrictive) in recent years that might have led to this decline, one would more likely conclude that gun laws have no effect on crime whatsoever. And that there are other factors contributing instead, perhaps to be found here: "The Rise and Decline of Hard Drugs, Drug Markets, and Violence in Inner-City New York."

As we've been arguing all along.

But you're welcome to "suggest."

As The General Almost Said

William Tecumseh Sherman on military fame:

"To be killed on the field of battle and have our names spelled wrong in the newspapers."

In this morning's Roanoke Times, an obituary:
Historian Bland was Marshall authority
Larry Bland devoted 30 years to the career and life of statesman Gen. George T. Marshall.
As the tribute goes on to make right, General Marshall's middle initial was C.

It should be noted that he wasn't killed on the field of battle ... at least.

They'll Never Stop

Yesterday I made mention of the obesity nazis and the smoke nazis. Today, we must deal with ... salt nazis:
FDA Is Urged To Toughen Rules on Salt Intake Causing Deaths, Consumer Group Says
By Sally Squires, Washington Post Staff Writer

A consumer group prodded the Food and Drug Administration yesterday to regulate salt as a food additive, arguing that excessive salt consumption by Americans may be responsible for more than 100,000 deaths a year.

The government has long placed salt in a "generally recognized as safe" or GRAS category, which grandfathers in a huge list of familiar food ingredients. But in an FDA hearing yesterday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urged the agency to enforce tougher regulations for sodium. (
Be it understood who these jokers are at the "Center for Science in the Public Interest." At various points in time, these "scientists" have "attacked" alfalfa sprouts, apple pies, baby food, bacon, baked potatoes with sour cream, baklava, beef, beef burritos, beer, belgian waffles, berries, BLT sandwiches, brie, buffalo wings, butter, caffe latte, caffe mocha, caffeine, candy, canned fish, cantaloupe, cappuccino, cereals, cheese, cheese fries, cheese manicotti, cheese nachos, cheese ravioli, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, chef's salad, chicken enchiladas, chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, chicken pot pies, chile rellenos, chimichangas, Chinese restaurants, chocolate cake, chocolate chips, chocolate mousse, clams, condiments, cookie dough, cookies, corned beef, crackers, cream cheese, cream of broccoli soup, creamed spinach, croissants, danish, desserts, dips, donuts, eggplant parmigiana, eggs, enchiladas, family restaurants, fat-free cakes, fat-free cookies, fat-free ice cream, feta cheese, food coloring, french fries, french toast, fried calamari, fried clams, fried fish, fried mozzarella sticks, fried rice, fried shrimp, frozen dinners, frozen turkey, fruit cocktails, fruit drinks, fruit juice, fudge brownie sundaes, garlic bread, General Tso's chicken, granola bars, Greek salads, grilled cheese, gyros, ham sandwiches, hamburgers, home-canned vegetables, homemade eggnog, homemade frosting, hot fudge sundaes, Italian restaurants, Kung pao chicken, lasagna, lettuce, lo mein, luncheon meats, macaroni and cheese, margarine, mayonnaise, meatloaf, meat-stuffed grape leaves, melons, Mexican restaurants, milk, milk shakes, movie popcorn, mushrooms, mussels, Olestra, omelets, onion rings, orange beef, oysters, pancakes, pastries, pizza, pork chops, potato chips, prime rib, pudding, quick service restaurants, rotisserie turkey, saccharin, salad dressings, salads, salt, sandwich shops, sandwiches, sausage, scones, seafood, seafood restaurants, shellfish, soft drinks, soups, spaghetti and meatballs, steakhouses, stuffed potato skins, sweet and sour pork, taco salads, veal parmigiana, waffles, and wine. (source)

Oh, and for what it's worth, add salt to the list.

A Counterargument

From Frederic V. Malek, co-chairman of the McCain campaign for president and finance chairman for the Republican Party of Virginia, in "McCain and Virginia":
Why Mr. McCain, and why can he win, especially in Virginia? There are four core reasons: Principles, consistency, character and national security.
Why not Mr. McCain, and why shouldn't he win in Virginia? There are four core reasons: Amnesty, McCain-Feingold, ANWR, gun bans.

Let's see who's core reasons gain traction here in Virginia.

A Rarity In Washington

A man of conviction ...
Republican 'giant' Hyde dies at 83
By Donald Lambro, The Washington Times

Former Illinois Rep. Henry Hyde, who led the House's impeachment of President Clinton for lying under oath in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and was a hero to the anti-abortion movement, died yesterday. He was 83.

The white-maned, six-foot-three Republican, a man known for his wit as well as his dramatic rhetorical skills, died at Rush University Medical Center from renal failure associated with heart trouble. He had undergone triple-bypass heart surgery in July and had been in failing health ever since. (link)
I hope Henry Hyde is not remembered in the history books for that unfortunate impeachment affair (which should never have been launched in the first place; it allowed Clinton to become some kind of martyr, for God's sake). Hyde was a stalwart advocate for the unborn, fighting the good fight to end the scourge of the 20th century - abortion.

Henry Hyde was a good man. That rare politician who was also ... a good man.

How Embarrassing

Well, they don't call it the Clinton News Network for nothing:
The YouTube Debacle
New York Post editorial

November 30, 2007 -- Wednesday night's CNN/YouTube debate was barely over before the net work was forced to make an embarrassing admission: One of its supposedly disinterested questioners, retired gay Army officer Keith Kerr, has an official position with the Hillary Clinton campaign.


There's more.

Within hours, resourceful bloggers had uncovered the even more embarrassing fact that at least three others who'd been selected to grill the Republican presidential hopefuls had all declared, in various online forums, that they're backing Democratic candidates.

For its part, CNN said it had only checked to see whether any of its so-called citizen questioners had donated to a candidate. Obviously, a little more scrutiny was called for ... (link)

And The Executive Will Rebuff Right Back

It's called "checks and balances."

Senate Panel Rebuffs White House Privilege Claim

And so it will go.

Who'da Thought?

Remember me telling you that I don't get overly concerned about English being declared our "official" language? Or about areas of the country that find themselves with inhabitants who use Spanish as the first language with which to communicate?

You may also remember me writing about my father who grew up in northern Wisconsin and who spoke only German (living in a village in which German was the primary language spoken), until he went off to public school and had to learn English.

Some things haven't changed:

From this morning's New York Times:
Latino Immigrants’ Children Found Grasping English
By Julia Preston, The New York Times

Most children of Hispanic immigrants in the United States learn to speak English well by the time they are adults, even though three-quarters of their parents speak mainly Spanish and do not have a command of English, according to a report released yesterday by the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington.

Only 23 percent of first-generation immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries said they spoke English very well, the report found. But 88 percent of the members of the second generation in Latino immigrant families described themselves as strong English speakers, a figure that increased to 94 percent for the grandchildren’s generation.

“The ability to speak English and the likelihood of using it in everyday life rise sharply from Hispanic immigrants to their U.S.-born adult children,” the survey reported. (link)
It's worth remembering too, because of the advent of the internet, that the entire planet is moving toward a day when we all will be speaking the same language. And that language will be ENGLISH. If modified - enhanced - somewhat by others.

Fret not. On this front, all will be well. If these immigrants are going to succeed in this country, they will learn our language.

Chart courtesy of the New York Times

'The Worst Of All Worlds'

No, not the USA, as the archbishop of Canterbury would have you believe, but the Muslim world. Truly the worst of all:

British Teacher Found Guilty in Sudan
By Jeffrey Gettleman, The New York Times

Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 29 — The British teacher in Sudan who let her 7-year-old pupils name a class teddy bear Muhammad was found guilty on Thursday of insulting Islam and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation.

Under Sudanese law, the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, could have spent six months in jail and been lashed 40 times. (link)

Ms. Gibbons is lucky. At least she wasn't sentenced to be stoned to death.

Welcome to 9th century Islam.

Is An Apology Coming Next?

What was it John McCain said the other day? If the Democrats had their way six months ago, Osama bin Ladin would be declaring victory in Iraq by now?

The most vocal of those snakes - the congressman who demanded immediate retreat - the scumbag who called our troops in Iraq cold-blooded murderers - at the time was this guy:
Murtha finds military progress in trip to Iraq
By Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Washington - U.S. Rep. John Murtha today said he saw signs of military progress during a brief trip to Iraq last week, but he warned that Iraqis need to play a larger role in providing their own security and the Bush administration still must develop an exit strategy.

"I think the 'surge' is working," the Democrat said in a videoconference from his Johnstown office, describing the president's decision to commit more than 20,000 additional combat troops this year. But the Iraqis "have got to take care of themselves." (link)
Is this an admission that he was wrong? Murtha owes every American serviceman and woman a sincere apology.