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

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Mindset Escapes Me

The Roanoke Times editorial staff believes in allowing bar and restaurant owners the right to make their own decisions when it comes to smoking cigarettes in their establishments.

From a list of News Year's Resolutions to be found on its page this morning:
● Bars and restaurants owners: Nothing says you can't ban smoking on your own, as many of you have already done.
The Roanoke Times editorial staff also believes in preventing bar and restaurant owners from having the right to make their own decisions when it comes to smoking cigarettes in their establishments:
● The General Assembly: Sure, this perennial resolution is a cliché, but quit smoking -- or at least let localities across the state decide to snuff out the deadly habit in restaurants and bars.
In some parallel universe in the far stretches of the cosmos, this makes sense.

This Is How It's Supposed To Work

Rich folks supporting the arts; not the taxpayer:
Couple give $15 million to museum
By Kevin Kittredge, The Roanoke Times

Former Advance Auto Chairman Nicholas Taubman and his wife, Jenny, have pledged $15 million to the new Art Museum of Western Virginia, museum officials confirmed Monday, making them the largest single donors to the $66 million project.

The Taubmans are considering additional funding for the museum as well, museum Executive Director Georganne Bingham said. Asked if their gift is the largest made to the museum project to date, Bingham said, "Oh, yes. By far."

Jenny Taubman is co-chairwoman of the museum's capital gifts committee ... (link)
I'll probably one day pay admission to the museum to view the artwork on display, assuming the museum will be charging admission, and the art is art.

This is as it should be. Donations and admission fees should keep an enterprise like this afloat. Not a politician's wrongheaded magnanimity with other peoples' money.

Here's to the Taubmans. May their gift afford them a place in heaven.

Ah, The Glory Days

When we only lost boxes of voting ballots and misread and miscounted the others. Boy, those were the days.

How we long to return to those days when electronic voting wasn't questioned by sore losers ...

Electronic Voting Is Questioned
By George Merritt, The Associated Press

Denver -- With the presidential race in full swing, Colorado and other states have found critical flaws in the accuracy and security of their electronic voting machines, forcing officials to scramble to return to the paper ballots they abandoned after the Florida debacle of 2000.

In December alone, top election officials in Ohio and Colorado declared that widely used voting equipment is unfit for elections.

"Every system that is out there, one state or another has found that they are no good," said John Gideon of the advocacy group Voters Unite. "Everybody is starting to look at this now and starting to realize that there is something wrong." (link)

Despite the hue and cry, the problems with electronic machines are negligible. The real problem is they keep coughing out numbers that allow Republicans to occasionally win elections. And that won't do.

So these guys want to revert to the good old days.

At least until we quit electing Republican presidents.

'Smokers, Democrats Are Doing You a Favor'

I've referred to them as America's modern-day lepers. That's because our society goes out of its way to ridicule them. To browbeat them. To ostracize them. To punish them. Just as society in a less enlightened time treated those who suffered from leprocy, our society in this more enlightened time treats cigarette smokers.

And, in doing so, they tell the lepers amongst us that the ridicule, and the bullying, and the ostracism, and the cruelty are for their own good.

Today's slap in the face:

Higher taxes usher in new year
By Brian Witte, The Washington Times

Annapolis — One of a variety of tax increases set to take effect in Maryland today could help some smokers keep their resolutions to kick the habit this year: a doubling of the cigarette tax from $1 to $2 a pack. (
They'll say this was meant to be sorta tongue-in-cheek.

I'm sure cigarette smokers find it to be sorta clever.

- - -

By the way, Chicago is supposed to have a high of 17° tomorrow with a wind chill of - 16°. For those of you who will be forced by law to stand outside and smoke, enjoy the kick-start.

Where's McCain? Where's Feingold?

Money is finding its way back into politics. Who would have thought?
After Ruling, Groups Spend Heavily to Sway Races
By Leslie Wayne, The New York Times

Des Moines — Spurred by a recent Supreme Court decision, independent political groups are using their financial muscle and organizational clout as never before to influence the presidential race, pumping money and troops into early nominating states on behalf of their favored candidates.

The groups are prohibited from coordinating their efforts with the campaigns. But the candidates, while often distancing themselves from these efforts, certainly benefit from their activities.

Independent groups also act as a vehicle for negative advertising that campaigns are reluctant to engage in. (link)
So you know, in 2002 Congress killed off the scourge of "independent political groups" having undue influence in Washington.

That's what we were told at the time anyway. When McCain-Feingold was passed.

From John McCain*:

"The American people are unanimous that they want their government back. We can do that by ridding politics of large, unregulated contributions that give special interests a seat at the table while average Americans are stuck in the back of the room.”

Ridding politics of contributions. People that knew better said he was wrong in thinking that money could be separated from politics. Those people were right.

Time for more regulations, Johnny Boy.

* Source: Press Release, “Campaign Finance” Jan 22, 2001

Diversity For Thee, Not For Me

The New York Times has hired a conservative to join the ranks of its op/ed columnists. The "tolerant" and "inclusive" crowd is apoplectic over it.

Give editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal some credit. He characterizes the reaction to his attempt at balance spot-on:

Times defends hiring conservative Kristol
By Michael Calderone, The Politico

The New York Times’ hiring of Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol to write for its op-ed page caused a frenzy in the liberal blogosphere Friday night, with threats of canceling subscriptions and claims that the Gray Lady had been hijacked by neo-cons.

But Times editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal sees things differently. Rosenthal told Politico shortly after the official announcement Saturday that he fails to understand “this weird fear of opposing views.”

“The idea that The New York Times is giving voice to a guy who is a serious, respected conservative intellectual — and somehow that’s a bad thing,” Rosenthal added. “How intolerant is that?” (link)

Weird. Intolerant. Today's enlightened left.

Woman Of The Year

With her at the reins, all things became possible for the GOP:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

Photo courtesy of AP.

It Figures

The rabidly liberal Dallas Morning News has come out with its Texan of the Year award for 2007:

2007 DMN Texan of the Year: The Illegal Immigrant

For the love of God.

Hat tip to Drudge.

It Figures Part II

Not to be outdone, the rabidly liberal Philadelphia Inquirer spews this:

Impeach Cheney now

We need to declare a new holiday. January 1 of each year: January Fools Day.