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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Coming To You From Planet Washington

I'm always amazed at how detached people become when they get elected to Congress, move to the big city, and quickly forget who they were, where they came from, and why they were sent to the Magic Kingdom in the first place.

Take my Congressman for instance. They don't get more detached from reality. Our reality.

What's the biggest - and fastest growing - concern that people here in Southwest Virginia have these days? The mortgage crisis? Not really. It has its devastating effects, but only on a small minority of citizens. The recession? Uhn uh. There isn't one. How you're going to unload that 5.7-liter V8 Toyota Tundra now that resale values on big vehicles have plummeted? You're getting close.

Gas prices.

$4.00 a gallon.

Projected to go to $5.00.

And this is rural Virginia where many of us have to drive 20 miles to buy a lightbulb.

So what is our Congressman's response to this very serious concern? You might guess:

Residents should take advantage of area’s beauty
By Rick Boucher, writing in The Dickenson Star

Every year, the first Saturday in June is designated as National Trails Day, an ideal time to take advantage of the outdoors and enjoy the scenery of Southwest Virginia.

Our region possesses the Commonwealth of Virginia's best outdoor experience, with the highest mountains, most interesting rivers and superb hunting, fishing, camping, biking, backpacking and hiking opportunities. With these rare treasures of Virginia's natural heritage, National Trails Day represents a special opportunity for Southwest Virginia residents to take advantage of the beauty of our region.

The goals of National Trails Day are to promote public awareness and appreciation for America's trails and to build partnerships among trail users, businesses and public land managers. Southwest Virginia's Trails are an excellent of example of what can be accomplished when local residents, businesses and officials at the federal, state and local levels work together in aid of a common purpose. (link requires paid subscription)
I'll not copy the whole text. It essentially goes on with a withering amount of blah blah blah. But the detachment, the insularity, that is on display here is breathtaking. The man doesn't get it.

People are worried. Parents here in Southwest Virginia are concerned that, for the first time in American history, unless things change, they'll not be able to deliver The Dream to their children, and Boucher (or one of his paid underlings) sends off a letter to The Dickenson Star encouraging everyone to take time out and hug a tree. On "National Trails Day."

I'll bet this sort of horse shit plays well over at the club. Boucher's club. Up in Washington D.C. Far, far away.

- - -

A commenter the other day informed us of news I'd not read - that the Republicans will not offer a challenger to Boucher's reelection effort in November. I don't know who's more pathetic.

- - -

"British pensioners who cannot afford to heat their homes. European hauliers and fishermen whose livelihoods are under threat. Palestinians forced to fill up their cars with olive oil. Americans asked to go down to a four-day week.

All around the world, in a multitude of ways, the soaring price of oil is hurting rich and poor alike. For the lucky ones, it is simply a matter of changing their lifestyle. But those most vulnerable to the price of oil have been driven on to the streets in angry protests, which raise a fundamental question: what can we do to survive in a world where a barrel of oil costs $127 (£64)?" (source)

- - -

AAA: Va. families will pay $246 more for gas this summer

- - -

Appalachian Power wants 23% increase

- - -

Protests Over Skyrocketing Fuel Prices Spread to More Countries in Europe

- - -

To show that Boucher's not alone in his land of delusion: "Federal grant to help build wetlands trail in Roanoke Co." That grant comes to us via Bob Goodlatte, Congressional representative for one of the poorest metropolitan statistical areas in the country in terms of Gross Domestic Product output.

Christ almighty.

Tyranny Of The Minority

If you're upset that a small handful of old people (four California Supreme Court judges) can defy the will of the people and enact laws that make gay marriage legal, you'll really be annoyed by this, brought to us by Dale Carpenter:
Gay marriage by executive decision in New York:

New York is next. State agency heads in New York have been instructed by Gov. David Paterson's legal counsel to begin recognizing same-sex marriages validly performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, Canada, and beginning June 17, California.

The memo (available here) relies on the decision of an intermediate appellate court and several lower courts in the state that have held that same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions are entitled to recognition in the state. The memo also notes that, in 2007, a state agency extended spousal benefits to married gay couples under the state's health insurance program.

Some activists opposed to gay marriage plan to ask courts to overturn the governor's action, but such challenges are given little chance of succeeding.
If you cherish our republican form of government, you should be frightened to death by these arbitrary and disreputable actions that a few liberal elitists in this country have taken. It's time to roll up the sleeves and fight them. At the ballot box. America will not be ruled by a despotic handful of tyrants. Now or ever.

Facts Get In The Way ...

... of a really good mainstream media smear campaign:

W Vs. Terror: Something's Working
By John Hinderaker, writing in the New York Post


May 30, 2008 -- It's an article of faith on the left that the Bush administration has done nothing that has enhanced our security - rather, its alleged blunders have only contributed to the number of jihadists who want to attack us.

Empirically, however, something clearly has made us safer since 2001. Successful attacks on the United States and its interests overseas have not increased, as had been widely predicted, but instead dwindled to virtually nothing.

A steady stream of terrorist attacks on America and US interests abroad were launched from the 1980s forward. A partial history:

1988: Marine Lt.-Col. William Higgins, chief of the UN Truce Force in Lebanon, murdered by Hezbollah. Pan Am flight 103 blown up, killing 270, including a number of US military personnel.

1991: American University in Beirut bombed.

1993: Pakistani terrorist kills two agents and wounds three outside CIA headquarters. World Trade Center bombed, killing six and injuring more than 1,000.

1995: Operation Bojinka, al Qaeda's plan to blow up 12 airliners over the Pacific, discovered. Five Americans killed in attack on US Army office in Saudi Arabia.

1996: Truck bomb at Khobar Towers kills 19 American servicemen and injures 240.

1997: Terrorists murder four American oil-company employees in Pakistan.

1998: US Embassy in Peru bombed. Simultaneous attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania kill more than 300 people and injure more than 5,000.

1999: Pilot of Egypt Air flight 990 crashes airplane into ocean, killing 100 Americans, while yelling "Allahu akbar!"

2000: Suicide boat explodes next to the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors and injuring 39.

2001: Terrorists with four hijacked airplanes kill around 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The "shoe bomber" tries to blow up a transatlantic flight.

After 9/11, nearly everyone expected more such attacks to follow. Instead, the pace of successful attacks against the United States slowed - and decelerated further after the onset of the Iraq war. Here's the record:

2002: Diplomat Laurence Foley murdered in Jordan, in an operation directed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from Iraq.

2003: Suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia kill 36 Americans.

2004: No successful attacks by terrorist groups inside the United States or against American interests abroad.

2005, 2006, 2007: No successful terror attacks inside the US or against US interests abroad.

2008: So far, no successful attacks inside the US or against US interests abroad.

... [B]ased on the historical record, the Bush administration obviously has done something since 2001 to dramatically improve our security against terrorism. To fail to recognize this is to sow the seeds of greatly increased susceptibility to terrorist attacks in the next administration. (link)

Hinderaker might have mentioned that which is even more astounding - the fact that Global Terrorism is in Sharp Decline.

Though he'll not get credit for any of this, it is not arguable that President Bush is in fact doing something right. Thank you, again, Mr. President.

The Only Words I Have ...

... for the Scott McClellan affair will actually come from Mark Twain via Glenn Reynolds:

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Episcopalians, Take Note

Wouldn't hurt for you Presbyterians to give this some thought as well:
Bishop says collapse of Christianity is wrecking British society - and Islam is filling the void
By Sean Poulter and Niall Firth, London Daily Mail


The collapse of Christianity has wrecked British society, a leading Church of England bishop declared yesterday.

It has destroyed family life and left the country defenceless against the rise of radical Islam in a moral and spiritual vacuum.

In a lacerating attack on liberal values, the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, said the country was mired in a doctrine of 'endless self-indulgence' that had brought an explosion in public violence and binge-drinking. (link)
There are a number of left-wing churches in this country that fill that bill as well. Churches that exist, seemingly, for no other purpose than to provide a vehicle for people to "find themselves." I'm reminded of the acquaintance up in Arlington who is now a lay official in her local Episcopal church. She's an avowed atheist. And just loves her church. There's a story being told there.

Anyway, coming to a pulpit near you: The void.

May God help us all.

A Shot Across The Bow

Charles Krauthammer warns us that we are headed toward dark days if we allow the planet's environmentalists and socialists to have their way:
Only Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.

There's no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.

For a century, an ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous knowledge class -- social planners, scientists, intellectuals, experts and their left-wing political allies -- arrogated to themselves the right to rule either in the name of the oppressed working class (communism) or, in its more benign form, by virtue of their superior expertise in achieving the highest social progress by means of state planning (socialism).

Two decades ago, however, socialism and communism died rudely, then were buried forever by the empirical demonstration of the superiority of market capitalism everywhere from Thatcher's England to Deng's China, where just the partial abolition of socialism lifted more people out of poverty more rapidly than ever in human history.

Just as the ash heap of history beckoned, the intellectual left was handed the ultimate salvation: environmentalism. Now the experts will regulate your life not in the name of the proletariat or Fabian socialism but -- even better -- in the name of Earth itself.
"Carbon Chastity," The Washington Post, May 30, 2008

This Should Never Have Been Allowed To Happen

Look, I've known some weird people in my life. But I've never considered having the government come in and, at the point of a gun, take their kids away from them. For being weird.

This heavy-handed government intrusion where it didn't belong was wrong from the git-go. But it is now, after great harm has been inflicted on hundreds of little children, being made right:
Court Rules Polygamist Sect Children Should Be Returned to Parents
The Associated Press


Austin — In a crushing blow to the state's massive seizure of children from a polygamist sect's ranch, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that child welfare officials overstepped their authority and the children should go back to their parents.

The high court affirmed a decision by an appellate court last week, saying Child Protective Services failed to show an immediate danger to the more than 400 children swept up from the Yearning For Zion Ranch nearly two months ago.

"On the record before us, removal of the children was not warranted," the justices said in their ruling issued in Austin. (link)
There is but a hair's breadth separating the families damaged in this story and ... your family. We can't let government do this.

Having It Both Ways

Uhhhh:

AAA Projects a Slight Increase in Memorial Day Travel

AAA: Memorial Day travel to decline

Needless to say, AAA was right.

If Only They Would Read This Blog

A really prescient and insightful news analyst said the following about Senator James Webb's coal sequestration initiative (involving pumping into the ground carbon dioxide emissions that would otherwise be blown into the atmosphere by coal-fired power plants) nearly a year ago:

That's nothing more than Senator James Webb's goofy and deceitful contrivance to appease environmentalists (which doesn't have a prayer of appeasing them) that calls for the piping of power plant emissions into the ground, costing billions of dollars, so as to not send carbon dioxide (those nasty emissions) into the atmosphere where, heaven forbid, it might make our crops and forests healthier.
Lo and behold:

Mounting Costs Slow the Push for Clean Coal
By Matthew L. Wald, The New York Times


Washington — For years, scientists have had a straightforward idea for taming global warming. They want to take the carbon dioxide that spews from coal-burning power plants and pump it back into the ground.

But it has become clear in recent months that the nation’s effort to develop the technique is lagging badly.

In January, the government canceled its support for what was supposed to be a showcase project, a plant at a carefully chosen site in Illinois where there was coal, access to the power grid, and soil underfoot that backers said could hold the carbon dioxide for eons.

About $50 million has been spent on FutureGen, about $40 million in federal money and $10 million in private money, to draw up preliminary designs, find a site that had coal, electric transmission and suitable geology, and complete an Environmental Impact Statement, among other steps.

But in January, the government pulled out after projected costs nearly doubled, to $1.8 billion. The government feared the costs would go even higher.

The government had to change its approach, said Clarence Albright Jr., the undersecretary of the Energy Department, to “limit taxpayer exposure to the escalating cost.” (link)
This was nothing more than pie-in-the-sky foolishness from the start. And was going nowhere.

Now, with James Webb cheerleading for it despite its obvious drawbacks, tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent - wasted - on this doomed project and the American people will have nothing to show for it.

What kind of punishment is in order? How do we hold Webb accountable for wasting our hard-earned income? Some, shockingly, want him promoted.

It figures.

- - -

I'm not a whole lot happier about this news in today's Bluefield Daily Telegraph:
Federal legislation that will mandate U.S. production of 6 billion gallons of liquid fuel from coal by the year 2022 will be introduced in Congress next week by U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

The Clean Coal-Derived Fuels for Energy Security Act is modeled after ethanol targets enacted in recent years and will require steady increases in the amount of aviation fuel, motor vehicle fuel, heating oil and boiler fuel sold in the U.S.

Coal-to-liquid plants are expensive — in the billion-dollar plus category. But once the infrastructure for such technology is put in place the rewards will be tremendous. Coal can be made into fuel for about $35 to $45 a barrel. This week crude oil prices hovered around the $130 mark.
$35 to $45 a barrel as opposed to $130. America's energy company gurus will look to this technology for that reason. They shouldn't have a gun pointed at them by the government and be forced to get involved until they're able. And until the technology proves itself worthy.

Clueless. And In Charge.

It speaks volumes. Nancy Pelosi is steadfastly opposed to the Iraq war. She is also totally oblivious as to how that war is being fought. This Pelosi quote, reported in the Wall Street Journal, is almost pathetic:
The purpose of the surge was to provide a secure space, a time for the political change to occur to accomplish the reconciliation. That didn't happen. Whatever the military success, and progress that may have been made, the surge didn't accomplish its goal. And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians--they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities--the Iranians.
Pelosi is flat wrong. The Iranians attempted to meddle in the confrontation that took place in Basra two months ago, only to protect its interests there, but their efforts failed.

But more importantly, what does it say about this woman's understanding of the war she opposes? Does she have a clue? Can her judgement be trusted?

Weren't We Here Before?

Didn't we hear from a host of Hollywood leftists back in 2004, each vowing to move from the USA if George W. Bush were reelected? How they disappointed me when they failed to follow through on their promises.

Well, it's beginning again. Let's see if this cow is true to her word:

From "On a roller-coaster with Susan Sarandon," in The Telegraph of London:
Always busy, Sarandon is about to start work on the romantic period drama The Colossus, but with the presidential election campaign being heatedly contested, she also has bigger things to consider.

"If McCain gets in, it's going to be very, very dangerous," she says.

"It's a critical time, but I have faith in the American people. If they prove me wrong, I'll be checking out a move to Italy. Maybe Canada, I don't know. We're at an abyss."
Canada will be fine. Or France. Or ...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Good Point

This seems to be par for the course with that Obama character (and the entire Democrat establishement for that matter):

McCain to Obama: You’ll meet with Iran but not Petraeus?

Truth be known, Obama would feel much more comfortable in the presence of a cutthroat Muslim fanatic than he would with an American military hero. Such are the times.

What? There Are Other Channels?

I happened to be reading TV Guide the other night and came upon an article that listed what a particular magazine columnist thought should be the top five list of 2008 TV dramas and the top five comedies for the year. It struck me that I'd never watched any of the ten shows (Okay, I watched part of one Ugly Betty episode and part of one 30 Rock show). I had never even heard of half of them. Such are the changing times.

Part of that change:
May Ratings: FNC Stays On Top
Mediabistro

For the 77th consecutive month, FNC [Fox News Network] finished first in total day and prime time ratings during May. FNC was the sixth highest rated cable network on all of basic cable during prime time for the month (CNN and MSNBC finished 19th and 26th) and the seventh rated network in total day (CNN and MSNBC were 19th and 27th).

FNC also had 11 out of the top 13 programs in cable during the month in Total Viewers. The O'Reilly Factor was the #1 program in cable news for the 90th consecutive month, and saw gains in Total Viewers year-to-year (26%).

Amercia's Newsroom (9-11amET) was up 30% year-to-year, with the program averaging more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined during the time period.

Meanwhile, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren has been #1 for 73 consecutive months in Total Viewers while Hannity & Colmes has been #1 in its timeslot for 54 consecutive months. (link)
I have Fox News on right now in the background - a rerun of Brit Hume's show from last night.

Network evening broadcasts? The ones my family always gathered in front of the TV to watch together many years ago? A faded memory.

It didn't have tyo be this way.

A Sentiment Shared By Many

Apparently the owner of this restaurant in North Versailles, PA has gained a reputation for his ... creative pylon sign that stands out in front of his establishment. A reputation he seems to be cultivating:

Direct and to the point, I'd say.

It May Not Be The Ideal Circumstance

Yes, there is the issue (actually, all kinds of issues) of a white parent adopting a black baby.

And yes, this kid will have a slut for a mother.

But can anyone argue that the little guy won't be a whole lot better off being raised here in the good old USA as opposed to his native Malawi?

Malawi court approves Madonna adoption bid

Let's hope she doesn't shed little David in a few years like she's shed lovers over the last many ...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Guaranteed Deterrence

It's guaranteed that this scumbag won't murder innocent people again:

Va. executes man who killed convenience store owner

Good riddance.

These People Are In Charge

A California congresswoman shows us just how stupid - and yet at the same time how frighteningly dangerous - she is, in an exchange with the chairman of Shell Oil at a committee meeting on Monday. The video:


To quote the idiot (for those of you on dial-up), Maxine Waters had the following to say about reducing gasoline prices by government seizure of the oil fields:
.
"... Guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal will be all about socializing ... uh ... uh ... um ... would be about ... [long pause] ... basically taking over and the government running all of your companies."
.
With this genius being chief administrator, no doubt.
.
- - -
.
* She was searching the cavernous expanse where her brain should have been for the word nationalizing. What she fails to understand - am I being too kind? - is that the largest oil companies on the planet have already been nationalized (90% of production is now managed by these state-run oil conglomerates) and they are reaping the same rewards as are BP, Exxon Mobil, and Shell. Government ownership is doing nothing to reduce prices at the pump. Nothing.

It Doesn't Matter

When I look back and reflect on the fact that it was a bullshit story about a supposed ethnic slur - one understood only if you were a nomad living in remote stretches of the North African desert, literally - flung at an innocent face in the crowd by then-Senator George Allen that doomed his candidacy, I read articles like the following and simply shake my head in wonder:

Warner tied to late tax payments
By Gary Emerling, The Washington Times


U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner belonged to partnerships that were delinquent in paying property taxes at least 17 times during the 1990s, amassing more than $3,000 in late fees.

Alexandria tax records show late payments on three properties partially owned by Mr. Warner - a Democrat and self-made multimillionaire vying to replace retiring Republican Sen. John W. Warner, who is not related to him - were made repeatedly between 1992 and 1998. (link)


So, in addition to this man having lied to the people of Virginia about never raising our taxes when he was running for governor, he himself, it turns out, is a tax fraud.

Ho hum. At least he never uttered a word that no human being this side of Timbuktu had ever heard before. No. No outrage here.

Why Are We Spending Billions On This Again?

Oh, yeah:

New Challenge for Space Station Crew: A Broken Toilet

NASA these days has no loftier goals. Thus ...

Such The Shock

This I guarantee is how John Warner's ruinous cap-and-trade scheme will play out:
Billions wasted on UN climate programme
John Vidal, environment editor, The Guardian

Billions of pounds are being wasted in paying industries in developing countries to reduce climate change emissions, according to two analyses of the UN's carbon offsetting programme.

Leading academics and watchdog groups allege that the UN's main offset fund is being routinely abused by chemical, wind, gas and hydro companies who are claiming emission reduction credits for projects that should not qualify. The result is that no genuine pollution cuts are being made, undermining assurances by the UK government and others that carbon markets are dramatically reducing greenhouse gases, the researchers say.

A working paper from two senior Stanford University academics examined more than 3,000 projects applying for or already granted up to $10bn of credits from the UN's CDM funds over the next four years, and concluded that the majority should not be considered for assistance. "They would be built anyway," says David Victor, law professor at the Californian university. "It looks like between one and two thirds of all
the total CDM offsets do not represent actual emission cuts." (
link) (my emphasis)
The U.N. is paying to have built what had already been paid for and built. This in the name of saving the planet.

The world has gone mad.

Let It Be Duly Noted ...

... who America's modern-day racists are.

Democrats.

And they're not all that ashamed of it.

Obama Gaffe Of The Day

Yes, it's come to this. Gaffe Of The Day. Every day.

Obama admits reference to Auschwitz was wrong
Reuters

Washington (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama admitted on Tuesday he was wrong to say his uncle helped liberate the Nazis' Auschwitz concentration camp after Republicans said Soviet troops freed the camp.

Obama's campaign said the candidate meant to say that his great-uncle, Charlie Payne, had helped liberate a part of the Buchenwald camp, not Auschwitz.

"Yesterday he mistakenly referred to Auschwitz instead of Buchenwald in telling of his personal experience of a soldier in his family who served heroically," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton. (link)
It was a great story even if there is no substance to it. The man, the metaphor.

- - -

Is this meant to be criticism? It comes from one of his own spokesmen:

“Senator Obama thinks Memorial Day is a day to honor our nation’s veterans, not a day for political posturing.”

Regardless what Obama "thinks," the rest of us know the dfifference between VETERANS DAY and Memorial Day.

Lord have mercy.

You Know What Comes Next

Where's Al Gore?

US on track to break record for tornadoes

It can't just be ... the weather.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There'll Not Be Another Chance Like This

If local Republicans ever had the opportunity handed to them to unseat longtime sitting Congressman Rick Boucher, that opportunity is soon to present itself. And it'll have little to do with the man's uneventful two decades in Washington, or even to the qualifications of his opponent.

It's going to be all about coattails, baby.

As the Associated Press makes clear:

GOP stakes claim to Appalachia in November election
In the heart of Appalachia, some Republicans are rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation of Barack Obama winning the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.
By The Associated Press


In the heart of Appalachia, some Republicans are rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation of Barack Obama winning the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Trounced by rival Hillary Rodham Clinton in primaries this month in West Virginia and Kentucky, Obama also faces trouble in the Appalachian counties of key Electoral College states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, these Republicans say.

The Appalachian region extends from New York state to Mississippi, including largely rural and white parts of 13 states. After Clinton defeated Obama by huge margins in West Virginia and Kentucky, some political analysts began questioning whether the Illinois senator has an "Appalachian problem." (link)


No question about it. Obama is going to lose Appalachia by major double digits, as he did in the Democratic primaries in Kentucky and West Virginia recently. Whether it be because of gun control, inexperience, racism! - pick your topic - the landslide is in the works.

And those Democrats here in Southwest Virginia who have the misfortune in November of being down-ticket should be shaking in their boots.

That assumes, of course, that there'll be REPUBLICANS running against them. No small matter in itself. See my next post (below).

Amen, Brutha

A Republican speaking painful truths to his wayward - and oblivious - brethren:

Unfortunately, too many in our party are not yet ready to return to the path of limited government. Instead, we are being told our message must be deficient because, after all, we should be winning in certain areas just by being Republicans. Yet being a Republican isn't good enough anymore. Voters are tired of buying a GOP package and finding a big-government liberal agenda inside. What we need is not new advertising, but truth in advertising.

Becoming Republicans again will require us to come to grips with what has ailed our party – namely, the triumph of big-government Republicanism and failed experiments like the K Street Project and "compassionate conservatism." If the goal of the K Street Project was to earmark and fund raise our way to a filibuster-proof "governing" majority, the goal of "compassionate conservatism" was to spend our way to a governing majority.

The fruit of these efforts is not the hoped-for Republican governing majority, but the real prospect of a filibuster-proof Democrat majority in 2009.


Senator Tom Coburn, "Republicans Are In Denial," The Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2008

Talk, Talk, Talk

Despite the fact that the Europeans, The Americans, the U.N., and the IAEA have all been "talking" to the heads of state in Iran about that country's efforts to develop nuclear weapons - for years now - Barack Obama wants to talk to them some more. That's his groundbreaking approach to solving the Iran problem.

Talk is exactly what the Iranians wish to do as well. At the same time, it affords them the opportunity to do this:
Iran nuclear arms research "serious concern": IAEA
By Karin Strohecker, Reuters

Vienna (Reuters) - Iran's alleged research into nuclear warheads remains a matter of serious concern and Tehran should provide more information on its missile-related activities, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also said, in its latest report on Iran, that Tehran was holding back information on high-explosives testing relating to its nuclear program.

It said Tehran had 3,500 uranium enrichment centrifuges working at its Natanz nuclear facility, slightly more than earlier this year, and a few more advanced centrifuges were also being tested.

The IAEA has been pressing Tehran for answers to Western intelligence allegations that Iran has covertly studied how to design atomic bombs. Iran has dismissed the intelligence as baseless, forged or irrelevant. (link)
Nothing short of a surgical strike will stop these madmen from developing the weapons that they fully intend to use on the Israelis - and us.

And Obama wants to talk. The Ayatollahs must be smiling.

The Heavy Hand Of Washington

Bend over. Congress, led by our own senior senator, is about to let you have it.

Trouble is, according to the Wall Street Journal, the august members thereof are prepared to act to save us from "global warming" without knowing what the hell they're doing. Shocking:
Climate Reality Bites

The global warming debate arrives in the Senate next week, and it's about time. Finally, the Members will have to vote on something real, as opposed to their buck-passing to courts and regulators, and their easy trashing of President Bush.

The vehicle is a bill that principal sponsors Joe Lieberman and John Warner are calling "landmark legislation." They're too modest. Warner-Lieberman would impose the most extensive government reorganization of the American economy since the 1930s.

The upshot is that trillions in assets and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and the bureaucracy, all for greenhouse gas reductions that would have a meaningless impact on global carbon emissions if China and India don't participate. And only somewhat less meaningless if they do.

Thankfully, the American system makes it hard for colossal tax and regulatory burdens to foxtrot into law without scrutiny. So we hope our politicians will take responsibility for the global-warming policies they say they favor. Or even begin to understand what they say they favor. For a bill as grandly ambitious as Warner-Lieberman, very few staff, much less Senators, even know what's in it. (link)
These old men are about to alter our lives in a very profound way and they haven't the first clue as to what they're doing.

For the love of God.

A Crying Shame

Efforts are being made by the governor of the state of Pennsylvania to pass new gun laws in order to - as he sees it - control the rampant and growing crime problem there - particularly in the state's largest city. Philadelphia's mayor, one Michael Nutter, just to one-up the governor, actually took the radical step of signing five new gun ordinances despite the fact that he was advised that each was in violation of state law. In signing them, he said, "We are going to make ourselves independent of the violence that's been taking place in this city for far too long."

The local criminals must have gotten a chuckle out of that one.

These three criminals in particular. All cop-killers:

A Tale of Three Criminal Records
By Sebastian, Snowflakes In Hell

The clarion call has been sounded, both by the politicians in Philadelphia, and by the Philadelphia media, that the only way we’re going to prevent cop killings on our streets is to pass more gun laws. The Philadelphia media has spent precious few resources concentrating on the three pieces of human debris that were responsible for the shooting death of Sergeant Liczbinski. I have managed to obtain complete criminal records for all three of the murderers.

Howard Cain was the trigger man in the Liczbinski murder. You can see his fifteen page criminal record here.

On weapons charges alone, he could have done 12 years in prison, in which case he would not have been on the streets to kill a police officer.

You can find Levon Warner’s criminal record here. His is only six pages. Previously, the Philadelphia DA’s office thrice declined to prosecute Warner for gun law violations. The Philadelphia judicial system chose not to try him for six other violations of Pennsylvania’s gun laws.

And last, but certainly not least, Eric Floyd. Again, hopefully this time, he’ll actually face weapons charges, in addition to the murder charges. But again, in 1994, he was arrested for robbery, and the prosecutors declined to prosecute him for carrying firearms illegally in two counts. Also in 1994, the courts declined to try him for two counts of carrying firearms illegally.

The rap sheets of these scumbags total twenty six pages, and contains all manner of things that should have kept them off the streets for good. I think it’s time we had a serious discussion here in Pennsylvania about how absolutely and utterly broken the City of Philadelphia’s criminal justice system is, and talk frankly about things we can do to fix it. Gun control obviously is not a solution, since the system is currently not using the laws already in the books in prosecutions. (link)

Passing new laws is easy. Effectively enforcing them isn't. Pennsylvania's politicians take the easy route. And innocent people - including a police officer - die.

Shame on all of them.

No. Choose Another Day.

This appeared yesterday - Memorial Day - in the rabidly liberal - and ever-clueless (is that a redundancy?) - Charleston Gazette:
Remember: Memorial Day thoughts

Today is the special time when Americans honor departed relatives and service members killed in wars. Along with the tributes, there's a quiet awareness that all lives are temporary.

Therefore, Memorial Day is a good occasion for everyone to vow to live fully, while there's still time. (link)
The true significance of the occasion escapes them. Par for the course.

Quote of the Day

From John Hinderaker:
Barack Obama must be the most gaffe-prone politician in memory. Today, he delivered a Memorial Day speech in New Mexico. After greeting the local Democratic Party dignitaries, he began:

"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

Memorial Day honors those who have died in our nation's military service. Is it possible that Obama does not know this? Sometimes the things that come out of his mouth defy understanding.
"Memorial Day: A Contrast," Powerline, May 26, 2008

Catholics Lay Down The Law

I get so perturbed by America's mainstream churches these days. It's as if their only purpose is to provide a setting for social gatherings and group hugs, with little or no thought given to doctrine or to rules to which the flock should adhere.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, seems to be finding its way again, after being lost in the wilderness - so to speak - for lo these four decades.

As wayward members are finding out:
A Vice President for Abortion
By Robert D. Novak, writing in Townhall.com


Washington, D.C. -- Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, whose Roman Catholic archdiocese covers northeast Kansas, on May 9 called on Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to stop taking Communion until she disowns her support for the "serious moral evil" of abortion. That put the church in conflict with a rising star of the Democratic Party, often described as a "moderate" and perhaps the leading prospect to become Barack Obama's vice presidential running mate.

Naumann also took Sebelius to task for her veto April 21 of a bill, passed two to one by both houses of the Kansas Legislature, which would strengthen the state's ban on late-term abortions by authorizing private lawsuits against providers. That followed by a year her veto of a bill requiring explicit medical reasons for a late abortion, which was preceded by vetoing other abortion legislation in 2006, 2005 and 2003. (link)
Sebelius came back with the standard Democrat response: "I am personally opposed to abortion, but ..."

The archbishop replied, "Won't work this time, sis. Mend your wicked ways or stay out of our church." Or words to that effect.

I'm beginning to like these guys.

Another State Pleading Poverty

This one run by a "Republican."
State's payroll soars under Schwarzenegger
By Erin McCormick, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer

The state of California's payroll is skyrocketing, even as its budget deficit has grown to billions of dollars in recent months.

In Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's first four years, the total bill for state workers' salaries jumped by 37 percent, compared with a 5 percent increase in the preceding four years under then-Gov. Gray Davis, a Chronicle analysis of state payroll records shows.

One month before Schwarzenegger took office in November 2003, just eight state employees earned more than $200,000 a year working in the core state government, which excludes universities and the Legislature. In April of this year, there were nearly a thousand, according to records.

And the number of state employees making six-figure salaries has more than doubled since 2003, to nearly 15,000. Meanwhile, the number of state workers has grown by 26,000 under Schwarzenegger after being cut by Davis, who was recalled from office in the midst of a severe budget crisis. (link)
If that isn't bad enough, there are a number of calls for tax increases - in a heavily overtaxed state - to pay for this waste.

If I were a Californian, I'd be packing my bags.

Monday, May 26, 2008

To Those Who Gave Their Lives To Keep Us Free

A message. From a former president. On this Memorial Day:
It is for us the living ... to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
The last full measure of devotion.

Here's to you, American heroes. From one of those who owe YOU our full measure of devotion.

America Triumphant

Let a handful of addlebrained old anti-American prunes demonstrate in front of a Marine Corps recruiting center one afternoon and every media outlet on the planet sends a reporter to cover the exciting event.

Three hundred and fifty thousand - 350,000 - flag-waving, America-loving patriots rallying in Washington D.C.? Oh, yeah. There was that too.

But this they just can't ignore:

An Iron Procession of Honor
By Paul Duggan, Washington Post Staff Writer

Here came the noise, the gut-shaking roar of Rolling Thunder, motorcycles by the hundreds upon hundreds throttling along Constitution Avenue NW past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial yesterday as thousands more bikers lining the street cheered and revved their engines on a cloudless, summery afternoon.

Like the Fourth of July fireworks on the Mall, like the lightings of the National Christmas Tree and Menorah, the deafening growl of Harley-Davidsons on Memorial Day weekend has become a holiday tradition in Washington -- a gathering to honor the nation's veterans and, at the same time, celebrate an attitude of nonconformity.

This year's 21st annual Rolling Thunder rally, like all the others, was a festival of leather, denim and the Stars and Stripes.

There were a few Hondas, a few Suzukis, but most of those at the rally rode polished Harleys: Sportsters and Softails, Fat Bobs (sic) and Low Riders, Electra Glides and Road Kings. (link)

I've never heard of a "Fat Bob,"* but let's not be nitpicky.

The Post article doesn't mention any attendance figures, but the Times does. 350,000. Sweet.

You Americans rock. Happy Memorial Day.

* I think the reporter had this in mind.
** Photo courtesy of about.com

Okay, I'll Pick This Nit

This from the Roanoke Times is accurate - sorta:

Remembering those who sacrificed
editorial

Memorial Day originated after the Civil War. An organization of Union veterans established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to adorn the graves of the war's dead. Many Southern states refused to participate for decades. They prefered (sic) their own Confederate observances, many of which are still marked today.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held across the nation on May 30. The holiday's scope grew after World War I, when it became a day to commerate those who died in all American wars. (
link)
Memorial Day did indeed originate (shortly) after the Civil War had come to an end. And yes, an organization of Union veterans - led by retired Major General John Logan - did establish Decoration Day. But as to that "Many Southern states refused to participate for decades," that may be due to the fact that the Southern states had actually established the tradition of setting aside one particular day to honor their war dead before those Union veterans picked up on the idea.

It was in fact a Southern holiday first.

See "Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping," a song written before the Union holiday was dreamt up, one written by a Southern woman that was dedicated to "The Ladies of The South Who Are Decorating The Graves of the Confederate Dead." Written in 1867.

See also "Memorial Flowers: To The Memory of Our Dead Heroes." Also written in 1867.

The first Decoration Day ceremony was held on May 30, 1868.

For the record.

'When You Lie Down With Dogs'

Look, I don't have anything against Oprah. I don't find her afternoon TV gab fest all that entertaining (in fact, I probably haven't ever been able to sit through an entire show), but I'm not in her target demographic anyway. I know that. She's looking for the liberal, middle-aged, affluent, white chicks out there. And that's fine. And it works for her.

Or at least it used to until recently:

A Few Tremors in Oprahland
By Edward Wyatt, The New York Times


Los Angeles — Oprah Winfrey is still the queen of all media, but her crown is beginning to look a bit tarnished.

The average audience for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has fallen nearly 7 percent this year, according to Nielsen Media Research — its third straight year of decline.

And while Ms. Winfrey still displays a Midas touch when it comes to the endorsement of books and products, some of her latest picks have attracted criticism from longtime fans as she has strayed into new-age spiritualism and, perhaps more dangerously, politics. Her endorsement of the presidential bid of Senator Barack Obama appears to have alienated some of the middle-aged white women who make up the bulk of her television audience, many of whom support Senator Hillary Clinton. (link)


New-age spiritualism and preachy, left-leaning outspokenness. Hardly the ingredients for a winning strategy to hold a broad national audience.

Warner Comes Down With Webb Disease

The man-who-would-be-senator is making no sense now too:
Warner spends day in area
By Bill Wyatt, Martinsville Daily

Mark Warner was in the area yesterday [May 21].

Around 7pm he appeared as the key-note speaker for the 49th annual awards dinner of the local Chamber of Commerce at Chatmoss Country Club. Warner told the audience of about 250 people that this was a special place for him and that memories of the decline in textile industry are seared in his brain. [jf: Seared in your memory? Sure they were, Mark. And you weren't going to raise our taxes too.]

Taking the second-half of his speech to stump a little bit in his bid for State Senator, Warner offerred himself as a democrat (sic) who is willing to take his party hat off and create a new group of what he called "radical centrists." He said he believes American citizens are ready for results and not what acheives (sic) partisan goals. Warner is running for the seat being vacated by the retiring John Warner (no relation). (link)
Radical centrist? Is that some term passed along by James Webb, a man who moves about in a separate universe, regularly uttering unintelligible drivel that has heads scratching as to their meaning?

Earth to Mark Warner: One can't be a Radical and a Centrist under any circumstances ever. No matter how good it sounds. The two words contradict one another. So get Jimmy to dream up a new term for your campaign. How about "Lying Through My Teeth, Round 2"?

Quote of the Day

From a letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times written by a retired United Methodist minister and published this morning:

"President Bush declares: 'Everybody wants freedom.' Were that true, there would be no marketing of tobacco, alcoholic beverages or drugs."

In order for us to be free, tobacco, etc. should be banned?

Any bets on which political party this person belongs to?

The President's Plan Is Succeeding

Steadfast in his commitment. Unwavering in his resolve. Unshakable in his determination to end the scourge of global Islamist terror. President Bush went eyeball-to-eyeball with Osama bin Ladin and ...
The Unraveling
By Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, The New Republic

After September 11, there was considerable fear in the West that we were headed for a clash of civilizations with the Muslim world led by bin Laden, who would entice masses of young Muslims into his jihadist movement. But the religious leaders and former militants who are now critiquing Al Qaeda's terrorist campaign--both in the Middle East and in Muslim enclaves in the West-- make that less likely. The potential repercussions for Al Qaeda cannot be underestimated because, unlike most mainstream Muslim leaders, Al Qaeda's new critics have the jihadist credentials to make their criticisms bite.

Why have clerics and militants once considered allies by Al Qaeda's leaders turned against them? To a large extent, it is because Al Qaeda and its affiliates have increasingly adopted the doctrine of takfir, by which they claim the right to decide who is a "true" Muslim.

[E]ncoded in the DNA of apocalyptic jihadist groups like Al Qaeda are the seeds of their own long-term destruction: Their victims are often Muslim civilians; they don't offer a positive vision of the future (but rather the prospect of Taliban-style regimes from Morocco to Indonesia); they keep expanding their list of enemies, including any Muslim who doesn't precisely share their world view; and they seem incapable of becoming politically successful movements because their ideology prevents them from making the real-world compromises that would allow them to engage in genuine politics.

Which means that the repudiation of Al Qaeda's leaders by its former religious, military, and political guides will help hasten the implosion of the jihadist terrorist movement. As Churchill remarked after the battle of El Alamein in 1942, which he saw as turning the tide in World War II, "[T]his is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." (link)
It's important to remember what it was that prompted bin Ladin to turn his jihad on fellow Muslims. Attacking his target-of-choice - Americans - became a costly endeavor. It was easier to assault a market in Riyadh and bomb a school in Kandahar. Schoolkids and little old ladies don't shoot back.

That coupled with the fact that Americans - without any real support from our "allies" - were relentlessly tracking down and slaughtering his henchmen wherever on the planet they were hiding, doomed his campaign for a holy war.

President Bush will not get credit for this turn of events. In fact, knowing how the Democrats and their pawns in the press operate, President Obama probably will. And Bill Clinton. There's no stopping that.

But we are witnessing "the end of the beginning." The history books will bear witness to the truth.

And The Beat Goes On

Think we have enough hiking trails in Southwest Virginia? Not by a long shot:

City of Norton to support multi-use trail plan
The Coalfield Progress

Norton — Although they didn’t take any action Tuesday night, city council members effectively threw their support behind a plan that will create a network of multi-use trails in the region.

During its regular meeting, council agreed in principal to provide an as-yet-undetermined cash contribution for a feasibility study and a letter of support for the project. (link requires paid subscription)
I thought we already had a network of trails.

Guess we need a second one. Times are that good.

More Bewildering Statements From Mr. Sunshine

It's a good thing that Barack Obama has two sides to his oral cavity. He's getting maximum usage out of both.

Jake Tapper (in "What the FARC Was Obama Talking About? ") with the latest head-scratcher to come out of the mouth of the Democrats' candidate for president:

... Obama as he traveled through Florida seemed to give some contradictory statements about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the Colombian terrorist group FARC.

On Thursday Obama
told the Orlando Sentinel that he would meet with Chavez and "one of the obvious high priorities in my talks with President Hugo Chavez would be the fermentation of anti-American sentiment in Latin America, his support of FARC in Colombia and other issues he would want to talk about."

OK, so a strong declaration that Chavez is supporting FARC, which Obama intends to push him on.

But then on Friday he said any government supporting FARC should be isolated.

"We will shine a light on any support for the FARC that comes from neighboring governments," he said in a speech in Miami. This behavior must be exposed to international condemnation, regional isolation, and - if need be - strong sanctions. It must not stand."

So he will meet with the leader of a country he simultaneously says should be isolated? Huh?"

This fits right in with previous statements in which he vows to never negotiate with the terrorists but, at the same time, tells us that he fully intends to sit down with them and start a dialogue. Huh indeed.

It's not too late for you Democrats to reconsider.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Make Of This What You Will

The Roanoke Times features a handy search engine in its on-line edition today that ranks all the MSA's (Metropolitian Statistical Areas; to be thought of, somewhat, as being a city and its suburbs & exurbs) around the USA by Gross Domestic Product output. Second-to-last (ranked 362nd, beating only Lafayette, LA) is the Harrisonburg, Virginia MSA, with negative growth between 2001 and 2005 of 5.35%.

What's up with that?

- - -

Looking at Virginia MSA's and how they compare to each other, we find the following:

In terms of those with the poorest performance, behind Harrisonburg we have three Southwest Virginia cities - Bristol (ranking 331st overall), Roanoke (295th) and Blacksburg (288th).

- - -

And Governor Kaine wants to make things even worse by dumping a massive tax increase on us?

- - -

As you might imagine, the best performing MSA's in Virginia are up north. They are:

• The Washington D.C. suburbs

• Winchester

• Charlottesville

• Hampton Roads

- - -

A chart showing the Virginia results of the study performed by the U.S. Department of Commerce:

(You'll want to click on the image to enlarge it)

Interesting stuff.

Chart and statistics courtesy of the Roanoke Times

Candidates Pledge To Do Nothing

Libertarians set to nominate party's presidential candidate

A Man ...

... and an era we'd just as soon forget. To think, there are thousands of Americans who look up to degenerates like this:
The rumours about my love child may be true, says Gore Vidal
By Joy Lo Dico and Andrew Johnson, The Independent

The author and screenwriter Gore Vidal, one of the last giants of an American literary scene that included Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Joseph Heller, has admitted that he may once have fathered a love child, but refused to be part of her upbringing because he had paid for the mother to have an abortion.

Vidal, renowned for his waspish put-downs and his unabashed elitism, is more famous for his homosexual liaisons. He had a brief relationship with Jack Kerouac and lived with a male partner for 53 years. (link)
This stain on American literary history will soon be rotting in hell. Though not soon enough.

While Our Planet Cools ...

... Jupiter is warming?

Ed Morrissey on NASA's stunning announcement that human activity is causing global warming on distant planets as well as Earth - or not:
"For about 300 years Jupiter’s banded atmosphere has shown a remarkable feature to telescopic viewers, a large swirling storm system known as The Great Red Spot. In 2006, another red storm system appeared, actually seen to form as smaller whitish oval-shaped storms merged and then developed the curious reddish hue. Now, Jupiter has a third red spot ... Jupiter’s recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator."

Well, gee …. what could be causing that global warming? Has Exxon-Mobil used its 8.3% profit margin to start refining oil on the solar system’s largest planet? Perhaps Jupiterians have bought too many SUVs over the last few years. Jupiter may also have an epidemic of bovine flatulence causing these storms.

Or, just maybe, the sun has affected Jupiter in a similar fashion as it has Mars and Pluto, and that the negligible warming Earth has experienced comes from the same
source.
Naaaahhhh. Couldn't be. We all know it's those God-forsaken incandescent lightbulbs.

Throwing Obama Under The Bus

Barack Obama has declared the war to be a dismal failure and, according to his website, he "will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq."

We learn this morning that another Democrat - in that rare moment of candor - says his side doesn't really mean it. They are just using such rhetoric - End the War! - to get elected:

Kanjorski says Dems were insincere about ending war
By Aaron Blake, The Hill


Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) is seen in a video that has surfaced on the Web saying that Democrats “sort of stretched the facts” in the 2006 elections about their ability to end the Iraq war.

In a video , posted to YouTube on Thursday, Kanjorski reflects on the Democrats’ approach to the war in 2006 and said they pushed the rhetoric “as far as we can to the end of the fleet — didn’t say it, but we implied it — that if we won the congressional elections, we could stop the war.

“Now, anybody who’s a good student of government would know it wasn't true,” he said. “But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress — we sort of stretched the facts.” (link)
And the telling of that untruth worked in 2006. The Democrats took control of Congress.

It may work again in 2008. Obama may win the White House. A win based on a lie. How proud he will be.

This bunch is gaining a reputation, no?