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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, January 05, 2008

We Lose Our Best & Brightest

Sobering news out of Iraq. Soldier and blogger, Andy Olmsted, who had gained a sizeable following writing for the Rocky Mountain News from the war front, has been killed in combat:

THE DEATH OF ANDREW OLMSTED
The Rocky Mountain News

Major Andrew Olmsted, who posted a blog since May 2007, was killed in Iraq on Thursday, Jan. 3. Major Olmsted, who had been based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, began blogging after his unit was sent to Iraq with the mission of helping to train the Iraqi Army. No official details have been released on his death, but reports say that he and a second member of his unit were killed during an enemy ambush in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. Olmsted was determined to make a difference in Iraq. "The sooner the Iraqi government doesn't need U.S. support to provide security for its people, the sooner we will probably be asked to leave." (link)
Major Olmsted's last weblog post can be found here.

The last sentence he ever wrote was so typically American:

Thanks to everyone back in the U.S. for your kind donations. Until you see how little a lot of these people have, you don't really understand poverty; your donations go a long ways.
An American soldier supplying gifts to the children of a former enemy. There must have been a place reserved in heaven for Andrew Olmsted. There must.

As it turns out, Andy had previously written his goodbyes to all in the case of his death. It can be found here.

An epitaph comes to mind that seems appropriate to the age. I had to modify it to fit the circumstance:

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever America

Santy Claus Comes To Galax

You were shocked to find out that our congressman, Rick Boucher, would take $500,000 in tax money that might have otherwise gone toward feeding and clothing the poor among us and waste it instead on that worthless cranesnest trail over in Dickenson County?

Well, you ain't seen nothing yet:

Congressman looks back, plans for future
By Ben Bomberger, The Galax Gazette


[Rick] Boucher ... said that as of this year, a total of $13 million in federal funds have been allocated to construct a visitors center, new roadways, parking lots and an amphitheater at the Blue Ridge Music Center near Galax, which preserves the area’s bluegrass and old-time music traditions.

“Now thousands of people go every weekend during the summer to listen to concerts at the music center.”

Boucher also helped obtain $25,000 for construction of new hiking trails at the music center, which stretch from the visitors center up to the Fishers Peak. (link)
$13,000,000.

How did folks at the Floyd Country Store ever do it without ol' Rick's help?

A Case To Be Made For Autocracy

First Iowa. Now this prospect developing in New Hampshire.

Mark Steyn (in "It's the secular Left vs. the Christian Left"):
In response to the evangelical tide from the west, New Hampshire primary voters have figured, "Any old crusty, cranky, craggy coot in a storm," and re-embraced John McCain. After all, Granite State conservatism is not known for its religious fervor: it prefers small government, low taxes, minimal regulation, the freedom to be left alone by the state. So they're voting for a guy who opposed the Bush tax cuts, and imposed on the nation the most explicit restriction in political speech in years. Better yet, after a freezing first week of January and the snowiest December in a century, New Hampshire conservatives are goo-goo for a fellow who also believes the scariest of global-warming scenarios and all the big-government solutions necessary to avert them.
That whole "Of the people, By the people, For the people" thing can at times be a frightening prospect.

A Frightening Thought

Well, frightening to the modern-day slave traders in our midst anyway:

"Barack Obama is black, and it doesn't matter."

James Taranto, "The Content Of His Character," Best of the Web Today, January 4, 2008

Seems a Little Harsh

I don't know if anyone needs to get this worked up over Mike Huckabee's GOP win in Iowa. To my knowledge, the planet didn't spin off its axis or anything.

But one might wonder when reading this, from Stephen Green at Vodkapundit:
An Open Letter

Dear Iowa Republicans,

I’ll put this in language even your tiny little Iowa brains can understand: What the f*** is wrong with you people?

The news coming out of Des Moines (literally, French for “tell me about the rabbits, George”) tonight is distressing in the extreme. 32 years ago, your Democratic brethren took one look at Jimmy Carter -- the worst 20th Century President bar Nixon, and the worst ex-President ever -- and declared, “That’s our man!”

Three decades later, and along comes Mike Huckabee. Same moral pretentiousness, same gullibility on foreign affairs, only-slightly-less toothy idiot’s grin. Then you so-called Republicans took a look at Carter’s clone and said, “That’s our man, too!”
Calm down, there, Steve, and take a pill.

Huckabee is the kind of friendly, loveable, harmless, doltish, clueless Republican that every liberal can appreciate. Especially since he's big on taxes and even bigger on the size of government.

In fact, in many ways, he reminds me of Obama. (I wonder if they're related.) (Even to the point where both can be seen on frequent occasions imploring that Higher Power, with arms outstretched, gazing to the heavens, for God to be their Co-Pilot - or Backup Guitarist in Huckabee's case.) (Note: Hillary does the same but she implores Bill - same deal.)

But Mike Huckabee only won Iowa. The world has not come to an end. We will survive.

Yes, Iowa Republicans proved themselves to be boneheads. But have you ever been to Iowa?

'nuff said.

Let Me Be The First

It's Global Warming!!!!!

Storm buffets California, millions lose power

Odd. there was a time not long ago that we called this the weather.

Bridges Burn

Well, you can kiss all that speculation about Osama Obama being Hillary's running mate in '08 goodbye. As things deteriorate, we might even see a good old-fashioned mud wrestling contest come out of this roiling feud:
Hillary Booed at NH Democratic Party Dinner
Posted by Jay Newton, Time's The Swampland


If the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s 100 Club dinner is any bell weather – Barack Obama will handily win here. When Obama, the dinner’s last speaker, took the stage the crowd surged forward chanting “O-bam-a” and “Fired Up, Ready to Go!” So many people pressed toward the stage that an announcer asked people to “please take their seats for safety concerns.”

By comparison Hillary was twice booed. The first time was when she said she has always and will continue to work for "change for you. The audience, particularly from Obama supporters (they were waving Obama signs) let out a noise that sounded like a thousand people collectively groaning. The second time came a few minutes later when Clinton said: "The there are two big questions for voters in New Hampshire. One is: who will be ready to lead from day one? The second," and here Clinton was forced to pause as boos from the crowd mixed with cheers from her own supporters. "Is who can we nominate who will go the distance against the Republicans?” (link)
Strap yourselves in. This is going to be a wild ride.