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

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Meaning Of It All

"History is the present. That's why every generation writes it anew. But what most people think of as history is its end product, myth." E.L. Doctorow
Click image to enlarge.

Fact Checker! Fact Checker!

According to our governor, a Democrat, the commonwealth of Virginia has one million residents who can't afford health insurance. He makes that assumption based on the fact that they don't have health insurance.

A common Democrat fallacy. Or falehood. You decide.

Here are the details (in "
Kaine seeks low-income insurance," The Richmond Times-Dispatch):
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine wants the state to help pay for health insurance for some workers who can't afford it.

The proposal, which the Democrat announced yesterday, is included in a $25.4 million health-care package that aims to help low-income Virginians.

Kaine said the package would allow Virginia to address a "paradigm or quandary we have to wrestle with" -- that one of the nation's most prosperous states has about 1 million residents without medical insurance, largely because they can't afford it.
Largely? Hardly. How about smally?

Estimates vary greatly but here are some numbers for the governor to ponder:

According to the most recent data from the Current Population Survey, 46.9 million people in this country are uninsured. That is the one number we can agree on.

But of that claim that residents are "without medical insurance largely because they can't afford it" ...

20 to 25% of those who are uninsured are currently eligible to receive Medicaid or SCHIP but have simply never enrolled. Michael F. Cannon, Cato Institute, calls these people "effectively insured." It's available but goes unused.

● Another 10% are - perhaps (again the estimates vary) - illegal aliens.

● Then there is an astounding portion of the uninsured (between a quarter and three quarters of the total) who simply elect to not take out coverage (mostly young, healthy adults).

That still leaves "a lot" (Cannon's phrase) who are "chronically uninsured" and who cannot afford insurance. That, again, is where SCHIP, Medicaid, and Medicare come in.

This country - and the state of Virginia - have a problem. But it's not the problem as outlined by Tim Kaine. Nor is it of the magnitude.

I encourage Governor Kaine to study the matter further before he starts throwing other peoples' money at a problem about which he's not fully informed.

He might start with this podcast. It's not only very informative but it also provides viable answers that don't include that tried-and-true Democratic faux-solution to all problems - raising taxes.

Sounds Like The Last Blogger Convention I Attended

Isn't this the template you expect to read when a story is written about the GOP here in Virginia?
Democrats show why party lacks any unity
Shanna Flowers, The Roanoke Times

Is it any wonder the Roanoke Democratic Party is in turmoil?

Tuesday night was a defining moment for the party, and these folks seemed to be making up a way to count votes for a critical leadership decision as they went along. The disappointing part is that this week's meeting at William Fleming High School was tame, so I'm told, compared with previous years.

Sure, everyone was on best behavior at the committee reorganizational meeting. The atmosphere was cordial. No one pitched a fit. No one cursed anybody out (at least not publicly).

But let's face it: The selection of the party's next committee leader was short on, well, organization.

"It was too many chiefs, too many people trying to be in charge," committee member Kia Wade of the Washington Heights district said ... (link)
That's called democracy, babe. The linguistic root of the word ... Democrat. We're all chiefs in this-here process.

A Question For The Ages

Why is there no Salvation Army bellringer at the entrance(s) to the Wal-Mart in Wytheville?

I had to donate in Dublin yesterday.

And Bluefield last week.


A Hero Walked Among Us

A man who deserves our undying gratitude receives a small bit of recognition:

Tech professor who gave life is honored as 'inspiring'
Liviu Librescu, who protected his students from Seung-Hui Cho, is recognized by a Web site's readers.
Greg Esposito, The Roanoke Times

Liviu Librescu, the Virginia Tech professor who died while barricading his classroom door on April 16, has been named Most Inspiring Person of 2007 by Beliefnet.com, a nondenominational spiritual Web site.

Librescu, a 76-year-old Holocaust survivor and professor of engineering science and mechanics, was shot and killed by student gunman Seung-Hui Cho while blocking the door to his Norris Hall class so his students could escape out the windows.

Engineering science and mechanics department head Ishwar Puri said Librescu's actions helped transform the story of April 16 from one of tragedy to one of hope.

"He doesn't get to enjoy it," Puri said of his former colleague. "But it's wonderful for us. ... It's something inspiring that we can seek to be, or live, how Liviu lived in his last moments." (link)

Virginia Tech is soon to announce what the university intends to do with Norris Hall, the classroom building in which most of the murders occurred, the building in which Librescu gave his life to save the lives of his students, one floor of which is still sealed off. Renaming it Librescu Hall would be a good, fitting start.

A tribute to a hero who walked in our midst and brought a ray of hope to a dark, dark tragedy.

'Obama Was a Druggie!' ... They'll Say

This seems just a bit ... transparent. One of Hillary's campaign managers up in New Hampshire goes after Barack Obama by telling us how the Republicans are going to go after Barack Obama. Say what?

Clinton Camp Targets Obama's Drug Use
By Philip Elliott, myway.com

Concord, N.H. (AP) - A top adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said Wednesday that Democrats should give more thought to Sen. Barack Obama's admissions of illegal drug use before they pick a presidential candidate.

Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman of Clinton's front-runner campaign, raised the issue during an interview with The Washington Post, posted on washingtonpost.com.

"It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?'" said Shaheen, whose wife Jeanne is the state's former governor and is running for the U.S. Senate next year.

"There are so many openings for Republican dirty tricks. It's hard to overcome," Shaheen said. (link)

Republican dirty tricks. Right.

- - -

And more: Clinton has fallen behind. Her campaign goes into slash & burn mode.

Shall We Try For Three?

I fear they're going to hurt themselves, beating their heads against that wall like they are:
President Again Vetoes Children's Insurance Bill
The Washington Post

For the second time in three months, President Bush yesterday vetoed legislation that would have expanded the State Children's Health Insurance program by $35 billion over five years and would have boosted its enrollment to about 10 million children. Bush cited the same reasons that led him to veto a version of the bill on Oct. 3 -- that it raised cigarette taxes and provided coverage for children of middle-class families instead of focusing on the working poor.

Democrats and some Republicans had argued that the second version addressed Bush's major concern by capping eligibility at 300 percent of the federal poverty line -- slightly more than $60,000 for a family of four. (link)
Earth to Democrats: Americans have come to accept the need for poverty programs (good thing; we have hundreds of them now). We have not come to accept 300% of poverty programs. Most of us are in that category, after all. We're going to provide welfare to ourselves?

Not in this lifetime. Not if we don't lose our freaking minds. You go, George. Keep that veto pen inked up.

The Cold Reality

Whether globe-trotting crusaders like Al Gore and John Edwards like it or not, coal is the primary source of heat for the masses. And will remain so.

From Roy Innis:

We often hear that clean, free, inexhaustible renewable energy can replace the "dirty" fossil fuels that sustain our economy. A healthy dose of Energy Reality is needed.

More than half of our electricity comes from coal. Gas and nuclear generate 36 percent of our electricity. Barely 1 percent comes from wind and solar. Coal-generated power typically costs less per kilowatt-hour than alternatives — leaving families with more money for food, housing, transportation and health care.

On a scale sufficient to meet the electricity needs of a modern society, wind power is just not sustainable.

We cannot replace 52 percent of our electricity (the coal-based portion) with technologies that now provide only 1 percent of that power (mainly wind). Wind is an energy supplement, not an alternative.

For three decades, U.S. demand for natural gas has outpaced production. In fact, gas prices have tripled since 1998 ...

We need every energy resource: oil, gas, coal, hydroelectric, nuclear — and wind, solar and geothermal.

"Coal power potential," The Washington Times, December 13, 2007

- - -

The alternative is to do what the Roanoke Times does this morning - bitch about the construction of a new coal-fired power plant, call for the state to provide "a more forward-looking energy plan," and offer nothing in the way of a viable option. It's coal, fellas. Or turn out the lights.

So I'm Supposed To Be Careful?

I took this warning to heart. What does that make me?
Warning Labels For Morons

Detroit - A warning on a small tractor that reads "Danger: Avoid Death" has been chosen as the nation's wackiest warning label by an anti-lawsuit group.

The Wacky Warning Label Contest, now in its 11th year, is conducted by Novi-based Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch as part of an effort to show the effects of lawsuits on warning labels.

[S]econd place was given ... for a label ... found on an iron-on T-shirt transfer that warns: "Do not iron while wearing shirt."

[The] third-place prize [went] for a label on a baby stroller featuring a small storage pouch that warns: "Do not put child in bag." (link)
You might scratch your head in amazement over this but I guarantee you there were lawyers involved in the composition of every one of these. Litigation. Litigation. Litigation.