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

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tough Love

Be accepting of the way we go about it or not, the cold, hard truth is that immigrants - legal and otherwise - need to know and understand the English language if they and their children are going to prosper in this country. Here in Virginia, that way must include this:
State May Make "English Only" a Law

The state of Virginia could soon be "English only."

Services provided in foreign languages to non-English-speaking Virginia residents could be made illegal under legislation proposed in the Virginia General Assembly.

House Bill 55 would reiterate that English is the official language of Virginia and that no state agency or local government shall provide documents, information, literature or other written material in any language other than English. (link)
English being the primary language of business across the globe, and the principle language of the internet as well, it makes perfect sense that it would also be the language used at the DMV.

Some, though, don't see it that way:
Arlington County's official government Web site includes both English and Spanish.

"We are absolutely proud of the information we provide to our immigrant residents, and our Web site in Spanish is one of them," [incoming Arlington County Board Chairman Walter] Tejada said.
That's sweet, Walter. But what about the 8.9% of Arlington residents who are of Asian ancestry? And the 0.4% who are American Indians and Alaska natives? The 0.1% who are Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander? For that matter, the 8.8% of your residents who are of African descent? (source) Why do you discriminate against them on your website?

Are you willing to cater to the mother tongues of every foreign-born resident of the county whose primary language is not English?

Somehow I'll bet not.

Smart, compassionate people look to having everyone speak one language here in the USA. You're accepting of just two. When you think about it, we're not that far apart.

The Drought's Impact Is Being Felt

Yeah, we got a lot of rain yesterday. And if this were the growing season, it would do the hay fields and pastures well. But it's not, so it won't. Southwest Virginia farmers, particularly those in Washington and Lee counties, are in a world of hurt going into winter.

First a map showing the severity of the ongoing drought:
And related news that I find rather surprising:
Farmers hurting for hay
By Caitlin Sullivan, Washington County News Staff

Nobody knew how bad the drought was for farmers until last week. A survey of producers, conducted by county extension agents, found that the 13 counties in Southwest Virginia need some 13,000 tons of hay.

Washington County needed the most. County Extension Agent Phil Blevins said 160 producers who returned surveys in Washington County showed that Washington County farmers are about 3,300 tons short this year.

[Tony Overbay, a local banker] “It’s been an extremely slow process to pull everyone together and pull money together to help as many as possible,” he said. “No one had any idea that there was that much of a shortage.” (link)
The fact that "no one had any idea" that the drought is as severe as it is will come as a surprise to the many area farmers who started selling off their livestock months ago, knowing that they wouldn't have enough hay to get them through the winter and early spring. A number of farmers sent their entire herds to market in late summer, when the prices for beef were reasonably high.

In any case, the problem exists. Smart farmers will make the best of this bad situation, as they always do, and the others will find employment at Wal-Mart.

Such is the life ...

Map courtesy of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and the Drought Monitor.

Please, I'm Going To Puke

With peace center, Va. Tech honors victims, helps world

* For a slightly different take, go here.

Quote Of The Day

On Hillary's Christmas video, Mark Steyn has the same reaction I did when I watched it:
In Sen. Clinton's Christmas message, Hillary is bundling up presents for all of us. They're beautifully wrapped, but oddly, instead of putting the name of the intended recipient on the gift tag, she's written out what's in them: "Universal Health Care," "Alternative Energy," "Middle-Class Tax Cuts." Strange. "Where did I put 'Universal Pre-K'?" she says. "Ah, there it is." If you thought Christmas at the mall was too materialistic, this is bonanza time. Message: It Takes A Santa's Village Staffed By Unionized Government Elves To Raise A Child, and I'm Santa and you're gonna need a much bigger chimney for all the federal entitlements I'll be tossing down there. Your stocking's gonna be packed tighter than Monica in fishnets.
"Candidates lose fear of wishing 'Merry Christmas'," The OC Register, December 21, 2007

Our Boycott Is working

As you know, about three years ago Target Corporation banned those Salvation Army bellringers from soliciting Christmas donations for the poor at the entrances to its 1,591 stores nationwide. *

As you may also know, I vowed to never shop at Target again because of that decision, as long as that ban remained in place. I've kept to that vow. And I've survived quite nicely.

As it turns out, though I'm getting by just fine, Target ain't doing so well this Christmas shopping season. Why? It seems The New York Times wants to blame it on the "cooling economy."

Right ...

How the Cooling Economy Is Stealing Target’s Christmas
By Michael Barbaro, The New York Times

It was supposed to be a Target Christmas.

Buffeted by high energy costs and a slowing housing market, consumers were expected to trade down from midpriced department stores, like Macy’s and Nordstrom, to discount retailers with designer cachet — Target’s undisputed terrain.

But instead of dominating this holiday season, Target is muddling through it, perplexing rival merchants and Wall Street analysts, who consider the chain a bellwether and are scrutinizing its performance for clues on the health of the economy.

In two of the last three months — September and November — Target’s sales growth has slipped below 1.5 percent, well under its historical average and lower than its biggest rival, Wal-Mart Stores.

Behind the slowdown, analysts suspect, is a pullback on routine purchases of housewares and clothing, Target’s traditional strengths — and, in general, the most profitable merchandise in its stores. (link)

I ask you, does that make any sense? These analysts want you to believe that in tough times, people forgo the staples of life like housewares and clothing? What, in favor of luxury items? This would be the first occasion in history when people feeling an economic squeeze gave up basic staples first in favor of other commodities.

I say stop it. We all know why Target is feeling the pinch.

Which reminds me, I think I'll run over to the nearby Wal-Mart and donate one last time before Christmas to those friendly Salvation Army bellringers.

To you really smart guys at Target, ignore the will of the American people at your peril, fellas.

* Don't email me. I know the corporation made a lump-sum donation to the Salvation Army. It doesn't matter.

Well, We Need To Send Our Waste Somewhere

U.S. Officials See Waste in Billions Sent to Pakistan

A Few Yucks

Catch the latest installment of ... NEWSBUSTED.

There are a few good chuckles to be had.

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