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

Monday, December 10, 2007

Now, Go Sit In The Corner

This news in the Martinsville Bulletin brings a smile:

Hat's off to ...

• State Sen. Roscoe Reynolds, D-Ridgeway, who was named deputy floor leader of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus last week. The deputy floor leader helps make sure Senate business moves efficiently. Sen. Reynolds’ appointment shows the confidence his fellow legislators have in him.
Deputy Floor Leader. Of the party caucus. Such the show of confidence. What, was Attendance Taker already taken?

A Pox On Both Their Houses

You expect this sort of waste coming from Democrats. But we will not tolerate such profligacy from the GOP. The latest outrage:
Obscene
The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Why is Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf paying people to look at porn?

OK, it's not that bad: It's not like Wolf is paying people to do so out of his own pocket or anything. It's actually worse than that: He's paying people to do so out of your pocket.

Wolf sponsors a congressional earmark that funds a Justice Department grant of $150,000 a year. The money underwrites a project that collects and reviews complaints about obscenity on the Internet. What's next -- paying people to take down complaints that the Pacific Ocean has too much water? (link)
An earmark. One of thousands to be approved by Congress this year. At a total cost to taxpayers that will run into the billions.

Why don't these guys ever invest their own money if these projects are so darn important?

You Can't Have It Both Ways

With regard to the subprime lending crisis and the government's need to meddle, here's Mark Steyn:
Democrats bemoan the lack of "affordable housing" while simultaneously demanding government rescue home "owners" with unsustainable mortgages. But saving the latter obstructs the former: the principal benefit of a property-bubble correction is, after all, much more "affordable housing."
"Let's have a free market for housing and religion," The OC Register, Decemner 8, 2007

Is This a Good Thing Or a Bad Thing?

Mortars Hit Iraq Prison; 7 Inmates Dead

There Was Some Doubt?

Gore, UN Panel to Accept Nobel Prize

I Try To Grasp The Big Picture

While 10,000 really smart people gather on the resort isle of Bali to party like there's no tomorrow come up with a plan to redirect Earth's resources toward saving the planet from the devastations brought about by global warming, another 10,000 people at NASA are trying mightily to launch a shuttle mission into space and expend those same limited resources.

On some level, this makes perfect sense. To really smart people, that is.

To the average schmuck like me, however, it simply seems like they've lost their freaking minds.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

We Can Adopt The Defense(less) Methods of the EU ...

... or we can protect ourselves against the depredations of insane mass murderers.

I made mention Saturday of the warped thinking in Europe as it pertains to the right of self-defense (Europeans have none). Today we have the opposing view. How (most) Americans prefer to deal with the Cho Sieung-huis of the world.

Out of the tragic shooting that occurred at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs yesterday comes this news from The Coloradoan:

A gunman in a black trench coat and a high-powered rifle entered the church's main foray about 1 p.m. and began shooting, according to a source who was locked down inside the New Life campus Sunday afternoon. The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because police asked that they release all information.

The church's 11 a.m. service had recently ended and hundreds of people were milling about when the gunman opened fire. Nearby were parents picking up their children from nursery.

The gunman was shot and killed by a female member of the church's armed security staff, the source said. (link) [my emphasis]


One can argue that this church, in a perfect world, should not have needed armed security.
One could argue that in a perfect world there not be mass murderers on the loose too.
You can make arguments until you turn blue.

Until we find that perfect world, back here in the real world we choose to not be victims.

- - -

From this morning's New York Times: "At a news conference last night, Chief Myers praised the security guard, whom he did not name, and said his actions had undoubtedly saved lives."

One wonders what might have been the outcome if a law-abiding citizen on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007 had been allowed by the university to carry a weapon. We'll never know. It was a "gun-free" zone. Making it a free-fire zone.

Another Downer Of a Movie Relating To The War ...

... flops:

News of this past weekend's box office tallies includes this, from
Fantasy Moguls:

[A]nother Iraq War-themed movie has crashed and burned. Grace is Gone (MGM/Weinstein) starring John Cusack, with an original score by Clint Eastwood, mustered only a $1,089 PTA on Friday at four locations with a projected weekend PTA of $3,594. It will be very difficult for the Weinsteins to pick this film up from the mat, and that will make an Eastwood Oscar nomination for Best Original Score an uphill climb.
The movie, which gets a thrashing of a review
here, opened in just four theaters and grossed $14,000. Unless Clint Eastwood and John Cusack did the flick for free, my guess is that investors are going to lose big-time on this puppy. Again.

Here's One We Have To See

It's not about HitlerBush Amerikkka!

If Rex Reed says it's worth seeing, I'm buying a ticket:
Atonement Is My Favorite of the Year!
The genuinely talented Joe Wright has made a film to make us believe in movies again.
by Rex Reed, The New York Observer


Despite all expectations, 2007 is turning out to be a sorry year for movies. That’s why Atonement has rejuvenated my flagging energy at the very last minute. Elegantly directed by Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice), meticulously acted by a perfect cast, immaculately adapted by the great British screenwriter Christopher Hampton and lavishly filmed with a respect for both intimate detail and sweeping narrative, Atonement is everything a true lover of literature and movies could possibly hope for. It is unquestionably, without any reservations, my favorite film of the year.

Based on the critically praised best seller by Ian McEwan, it’s a story of a youthful jealousy that leads to a monstrous falsehood that in turn ruins the lives of a disparate group of people, and ultimate retribution that comes decades too late. (link)
Don't read the article. Reed gives away too much of the storyline. But, as you can tell, he loves the movie. And if Reed, second-most trusted movie critic in the business (behind only Michael Medved), loves a movie, then I'm there.

See you at the cinema.

* I have a subscription to the New York Observer principly to read Rex Reed. Why can't he write for the Bland Messenger?

When You're Emperor Of Planet Earth ...

... you can get away with this:
Al Gore is criticised for lining his own pockets after £3,300-per-minute green speech
By Nathan Kay, London Daily Mail

Al Gore has come under fire for making personal gain from his mission to save the planet – after charging £3,300 a minute to deliver a poorly received speech.

The former American Vice-President was also accused of being "precious" at the London event, demanding his own VIP room and ejecting journalists, despite hopes the star-studded gathering would generate publicity for the fight against global warming.

But a source told The Mail on Sunday: "Al uses his position for great personal gain. He goes from event to event delivering a similar speech, earning a large fee, and a lot of the time he doesn't actually inform the audience.

"He refused to speak to journalists and security would usher away VIP guests and the Press." (link)
I considered this guy to be an insufferable swellhead back when he ran for president in '88. I can only imagine how annoying he's gotten since.

Not a bad gig, though. The 19th century had its traveling snake oil salesmen who profited off of the fears of villagers. We do too.