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

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Alton Comes To The Aid Of The Little Guy

A movement is afoot here in the commonwealth to save poor people from themselves. Again.

Curious as it may seem, the attempt is coming from our liberal friends. The ones who profess a close kinship - a deep affinity - a life bond - with those less fortunate. The great unwashed among us they see on TV every now and then. Those impoverished Virginians who they feel a pressing need to help, as long as the grass is cut and the occasional bath is taken afterward.

That movement? To prevent lenders from lending money to lendees at rates agreed to by both parties.

Alton has his take on the matter. And on the do-gooder politician behind the movement.

Here: Payday Lenders Under Fire By Roscoe Reynolds

Right on, Alton. Thanks. I wish I could say it half as well.

I Never Would Have Guessed

First, it would do you well to read this post from earlier this morning (to be found below) regarding the do-gooders who run Great Britain today, those who will be punishing fat people and smokers by not providing timely health care to them, because they eat and smoke in a manner that is now unacceptable to the nanny state.

Now ...

When I read the following on the front page (on-line version) of today's Washington Post, I knew exactly which of our 95 counties here in Virginia had to be involved. The most insanely liberal county of them all (where James Webb beat George Allen 73% to 26% and the gay marriage ban amendment was opposed 74% to 26% and where anti-Semite and all-around lunatic James Moran won with 68% of the vote):
Va. County Targets Smoking, Trans Fat and Cars

Sure enough:
Targeting Smoking, Trans Fat and Cars
Arlington Board Chairman Puts Lifestyle Issues on County's Agenda

By Kirstin Downey, Washington Post Staff Writer

Newly installed Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada, the highest-ranking Latino official in Northern Virginia, yesterday unveiled an activist, and potentially controversial, agenda for 2008 at the county's annual organizing session.

Tejada (D) said he would encourage restaurants to ban the use of trans fat in foods, seek to eliminate smoking in public places and require property owners to pay relocation assistance to low-income tenants who are displaced. The county also will urge residents to give up their cars to save money and reduce greenhouse gases. (link)
To his credit, Mr. Tejada, according to the news item, does not recommend that fat people be taken out back and shot. Yet ...

Don't get me wrong. If the people of Arlington County want this kind of Stalinist running things up there, I support them. In fact, I am taking more than my share of delight in knowing that they are going to be tortured by this meddlesome bureaucrat for the length of his - hopefully lengthy - tenure in office.

You got what you voted for. Good luck.

Besides, Arlington County's population is too great these days anyway. If Mr. Tejada's heavy-handed initiatives to remake the county in his own image drives a third of the populace - along with accompanying small businesses - into other counties*, all the better. Right, Walt?

As long as Mr. Busy Body doesn't get in my way, I wish him all the success - at transforming Arlington County into a peoples' paradise - in the world.

* We appreciate fat people - and their investment capital - down here in Bland County. Y'all come on down.

Maybe If Bloomberg Didn't Waste His Time ...

... fighting "illegal guns" out in Iowa, and he spent more time fighting crime in his own city, we wouldn't read stories like this:

Girl, 11, In Shoot Horror
By Douglas Montero, Jamie Schram and Todd Venezia, The New York Post

January 2, 2008 -- An 11-year-old Bronx girl was shot yesterday after her family's van broke down and they walked right into a New Year's gun battle.

Destiny Rosario and six relatives were trying to walk 20 blocks home when they stumbled on the shootout, which had spilled out of a nightclub on Third Avenue in Claremont at around 4 a.m., police said.

A stray bullet grazed her in the back of the head, leaving her stunned but not badly hurt. (link)
Mayor Bloomberg's New York, so you know, is a guns-free zone.

- - -

Mayor Bloomberg could probably take a lesson from Richmond, Virginia's last several mayors regarding crime prevention. From today's Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Richmond killings at 26-year low." The reason for the decline, though not cited in the article, is the hugely successful Virginia Exile program, an offshoot of Project Exile.

But What About That Elephant In The Room?

Congressman Virgil Goode (R-Rocky Mount) gets rare praise from the Roanoke Times this morning. For saving the taxpayers of this country a lot of money (in "A Franking Shame"):
Members of Congress spent $20.3 million in 2006 sending junk mail and thinly disguised campaign literature to their constituents. They need only sign their names and the American people pay the postage.

Taxpayer-funded direct marketing is little more than a subsidy for their re-election campaigns. It keeps their names in voters' minds. Is it any wonder incumbents are so difficult to unseat? Representative sent nearly 116 million pieces of mail in 2006.

There were a few bright spots. Fifty-nine members of the 435-member House spent nothing on mass mailings. Among the representatives saving tax dollars and trees is Virginia's Virgil Goode.

His office sends mail only in response to inquiries; it does not send out mass campaign-like pieces. He still manages to keep in touch, though, using modern technology such as a newsletter on his Web site that is also available by e-mail.
The average House member in 2006 spent $46,666 on mass mailings. Virgil Goode spent $0.00.

$46,666 saved. Swell.

But what about the $20,101,200 of federal waste contained in the 2008 omnibus appropriations bill just signed into law that he sponsored?

A Follow-Up To Yesterday's Story

I'm reminded, when I read stories like this, of another era, not that long ago, when Americans discriminated against Americans - for no good reason:

In Illinois, a Ban Sends Smokers Into the Cold
By Monica Davey, The New York Times

Chicago — A strict ban on smoking went into effect in Illinois on Tuesday, sending clusters of bundled smokers here out into frigid temperatures and the thick pile of snow that also arrived with the new year.

The restrictions, which ban smoking inside bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, pool halls, casinos and in nearly every other public place and workplace, called on business owners to remove all ashtrays, post “no smoking” signs and enforce the new rules. (
Included in the article is a quote from a spokesman for a health organization about the dangers of smoking, appearing in the paper on a day when temperatures in Illinois will reach single digits, the same day advocates like him cheer the new law because it forces smokers to go outside to smoke.

So much for all that talk about dangers to health.

So how do smokers get the American people to realize that they are being unfairly punished for simply being who they are?

Placards work:

Photo courtesy of Ernest C. Withers.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Keeping It In Perspective

Here we get upset that our way of electing people to public office allows for push-polling and "special interest money" and attack ads. Brother, it could be a whole lot worse:

Pressure Mounts With 275 Killed in Kenya
By The Associated Press

Nairobi, Kenya (AP) -- International pressure mounted Wednesday on Kenya's leaders to bring an end to postelection violence that has shaken the country and killed more than 275 people, including dozens burned alive as they sought refuge in a church.

The U.N. cited Kenyan police as saying 70,000 people had been displaced in five days of violence. Around 5,400 people also have fled to neighboring Uganda, said Musa Ecweru, that country's disaster preparedness minister. Several hundred people also have fled to Tanzania, officials there said.

President Mwai Kibaki was inaugurated for a second term Sunday, but his rival Raila Odinga says the poll was rigged. (link)

275 killed. Thousands fleeing the country. I try to remember stories like this when I begin to want to kick someone's ass over the way the mainstream press treated Senator George Allen over that "macaca" idiocy.

Except for the "nut roots" of the Democratic Party in this country, who routinely call for the sacking and burning of Washington D.C. if Iraq War surrender votes don't go their way, we maintain an admirable amount of decorum when it comes to our political process. For that, you are all to be congratulated.

Of course, if Hillary is elected, all bets are off ...

When Bureaucrats Control Your Health Care ...

... you'll be at the mercy of their whims and prejudices.

This is (a) appalling, and (b) a window onto the country Hillary intends to make of this our beloved USA:
'Patients to lose weight before NHS treatment'
By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent, London Telegraph

Patients could be required to stop smoking, take exercise or lose weight before they can be treated on the National Health Service, [Prime Minister] Gordon Brown has suggested.

The new conditions could be set out in a formal NHS "constitution", Mr Brown says. In his open letter to doctors, nurses and other health workers, the Prime Minister promises to press on with Tony Blair's reforms of the NHS, pledging more personalised care for all patients.

He adds: "We will also examine how all these changes can be enshrined in a new constitution of the NHS, setting out for the first time the rights and responsibilities associated with an entitlement to NHS care."

Despite the NHS commitment to provide free universal care, it is already common for doctors to set conditions on patients seeking treatment.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence already considers so-called self-induced illnesses in setting the criteria that determine which patients should qualify for new or expensive health treatments.

And this year Leicester City Primary Care Trust was given Government approval to ask smokers to quit before they are given places on waiting lists for operations such as hip replacements and heart surgery. (link)
This is shameful beyond words.

And frightening.

Frightening in part because so many Americans are willing to sign on to such a system just because they are told "health care costs are too high."

The message here: The alternative to our high-cost health care system is the British rationed - and politically driven - system.

Another message: We must all fight the urge to sign over the responsibility of maintaining our children's health to the government. Their health and well-being are precious. And priceless.

The Bob Dole Wing Of The GOP To Win Out?

It appears that John McCain, the presidential candidate favored by the party establishment (not a small deal), is on his way to a sizeable victory in New Hampshire.

From Hugh Hewitt:
My recent posts notwithstanding, McCain looks to me like the prohibitive favorite in the Granite State. I was in New Hampshire for Bush. The night before, the race leaned slightly to McCain. In their weak moments, the volunteers on the guessed we’d fall short by 3 or 4 points. We lost by 18. There was a hidden vote for McCain on primary day that counted for as much as 15 points.

McCain will not get 49 percent — the also-rans are stronger this time — but 40 or 45 percent is not out of the question.
It's that "electable" thing raising its ugly head again. Bob Dole electability.

In 1996 I had the choice between Bill Clinton and that other "moderate" Republican war hero.


2008 may be shaping up to offer the same scenario. And I'm prepared to go into the voting booth with the same intention.

Being a solid conservative, it's worth noting again, I'll never vote for McCain. Ever.

Meanwhile, Rudy Scares The Base

There is much to like about Rudy Giuliani. His handling of the 9/11 crisis in New York being high on the list. And his having cleaned up that cesspool of a city ranks as one of the greatest achievements of post-World War II America.

(note: Can you imagine his job experience being held up against Hillary's? U.S. Attorney, Associate Deputy Attorney General, Mayor of New York City, successful businessman vs. overseer of the national health care debacle, and one-term senator)

Still, Rudy's troubling past positions on gun control and his current position on abortion (not to mention his big-government attitude toward solving our problems) are sending his chances of being nominated by the GOP into the toilet - it appears.

Mark Steyn's take on his plight:
The [New York Post headline, "Rudy's Got No Heartland,"] is talking about Iowa, where Giuliani's numbers are becoming all but undetectable. But it gets to the heart of the Rudy problem. In recent conversations with New Hampshire Republicans, I'm struck by how fierce hostility to the Mayor is. The media put this down to problems with "social conservatives", but that underestimates the scale of the problem. Granite State libertarians and small-government types find his gun record unacceptable. Base-wise, that doesn't leave a lot.
As much as I want to support Rudy's candidacy, he appeared a little too gleeful about having done his best to disarm the law-abiding citizenry of New York in those YouTube videos we all watched a few months ago. And though the fact that he will not back down on his pro-abortion stance is admirable, his pro-abortion stance is yet another nail in his coffin.

Too bad. Rudy Giuliani - the almost acceptable candidate.