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

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Living In La La Land

Let's not beat around the bush. The people who intend to participate in the anti-gun "Lie-In" in Richmond tomorrow are as boneheaded as the cause they pursue.

First, the news:

Lie-in planned at Capitol on Monday, despite vote
By Greg Esposito, The Roanoke Times

Friday's vote by a House of Delegates committee to kill a bill to close the "gun show loophole" won't deter protesters who have planned a lie-in on the Capitol lawn Monday.

Monday's planned activities include a legislative briefing, meetings with legislators and a vigil at 1 p.m. at the Capitol's bell tower. That will be followed by the lie-in, organized by Spangler's group, ProtestEasyGuns.com. The group has inspired dozens of lie-ins across the country, which consist of 32 people in black lying down to symbolize the number of people at Virginia Tech killed by shooter Seung-Hui Cho before he killed himself on April 16. (link)
What's boneheaded about this effort? The expressed reason for it:

Despite Friday's vote, [protest organizer Abigail] Spangler said the top priority of the protest remains changing state law that allows unlicensed vendors to sell firearms without conducting computerized criminal records checks on buyers -- the so-called loophole. A 1991 state law requiring instant background checks applies only to licensed dealers.

Cho was able to purchase firearms from licensed dealers because authorities had not entered information about his mental illness into the federal database used for instant records checks. Two weeks after the shootings, Gov. Tim Kaine issued an executive order requiring the names of all people involuntarily committed to receive mental health treatment to be entered into the database. The General Assembly likely will pass legislation making Kaine's order permanent.

But a panel that investigated the Tech shootings noted that Cho could have avoided a background check by purchasing weapons from an unlicensed seller at a gun show. It recommended changing the law to prevent that scenario.

One scenario. Of many. MANY. Many scenarios that these jokers would, if they could, prevent.

And with regard to that scenario ...

Cho could have avoided a background check by borrowing a weapon from a friend.

Cho could have avoided a background check by purchasing a weapon from a neighbor.

Cho could have avoided a background check by purchasing a weapon through newspaper Want Ads.

Cho could have avoided a background check by picking up a weapon at a garage sale.

Cho could have avoided a background check by fashioning his own weapon.

Cho could have avoided a background check by purchasing a weapon on an on-line auction site.

Cho could have avoided a background check by having done what a lot of murderers do - he could have stolen the firearms from others.

Cho, in fact, could have used Richard Speck's preferred weapon.

Or that of Julio González.

Timothy McVeigh.

Beverley Allitt.

John Wayne Gacey.

Jeffrey Dahmer.

Juan Corona.

I don't want to give these knuckleheads any ideas, but WHY GUN SHOWS? They played no part in the Cho saga and, besides, Cho passed that precious background check! Twice!!

It May Not Be What It Appears

According to this morning's Roanoke Times, 5th District Congressman Virgil Goode is in for the fight of his life in 2008. How do we know? Because his Democratic opponent's campaign appears to have struck a nerve among the voting public:
Democrat says time is right
By Ruth L. Tisdale

Riding the wave of success that Democrats have enjoyed at the state and national levels, political newcomer and 5th Congressional District Democratic candidate Tom Perriello says he can unseat six-term Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Rocky Mount.

"Americans are ready for a change," Perriello said. "They don't want people who will vote right or left; they want people who will vote right or wrong."

After breaking fundraising records by bringing in more than $263,000 since Labor Day, Perriello, 33, has opened the eyes of both Democrats and Republicans as a strong contender for the seat. (
$263,000. Gosh. That's big money.

But how many of Perriello's potential constituents does that represent? How many people from the 5th District have written checks to his campaign?

Well, I did some checking ...

If Perriello's post-Labor Day contributions were anything like his pre-Labor Day donations, the answer would be ... 2.

Two, if you exclude relatives. Two individuals from Southside offering up a total of $1,500.


Perriello actually had more contributions from donors in ... liberal New York. More from the liberal confines of Maryland. More from the rabidly liberal Washington D.C.

Tom Perriello may indeed be "opening eyes." But, if this FEC filing is any indication, those eyes are to be found nowhere around here.

* Disclosure: The FEC report I cite above is admittedly rather dated and is not intended to represent in any way the current status of the candidate's contributions. All declared candidates are required to file again at the end of this month. We'll hopefully have more then.

More On That NY Times Veteran Murderer 'Report'

Much has been written of late about that New York Times story that purported to show, with the deployment of very dubious statistics, that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans returning to this country were crazed killers to be feared by us all. I remember, as I read the article, being attracted to one particular sentence used:

"The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war."

The word "killing" was applied, rather than that which one might find more appropriate considering the thrust of the article. That word being "murder."

As I suspected, there may have been a good reason for the usage of the more shadowy "killing." It allowed for number inflation.

Mark Steyn, writing on the subject (see "Some Fictional Horrors of War") says it includes traffic accidents of all things:
"Individually, these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak."

"Patchwork picture," "quiet phenomenon."… Yes, yes, but exactly how quiet is the phenomenon? How patchy is the picture? The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan either "committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one." The "committed a killing" formulation includes car accidents. (my emphasis)
So how many of those "killings" were actually murders (or manslaughters)? Six? Three?

We don't know. And we won't know. The Times doesn't want us to know. The narrative doesn't work if that statistic were revealed. We get subterfuge instead.

The New York Times: "All the ... newsy sort of stuff ... that's fit to print."

How utterly reprehensible.

On McCain & His Party Affiliation

George Will:
In the New Hampshire debate, [John] McCain asserted that corruption is the reason drugs cannot be reimported from Canada. The reason is "the power of the pharmaceutical companies." When Mitt Romney interjected, "Don't turn the pharmaceutical companies into the big bad guys," McCain replied, "Well, they are."

There is a place in American politics for moralizers who think in such Manichaean simplicities. That place is in the Democratic Party, where people who talk like McCain are considered not mavericks but mainstream.

Republicans are supposed to eschew demagogic aspersions concerning complicated economic matters. But applause greets faux "straight talk" that brands as "bad" the industry responsible for the facts that polio is no longer a scourge, that childhood leukemia is no longer a death sentence, that depression and other mental illnesses are treatable diseases, that the rate of heart attacks and heart failures has been cut by more than half in 50 years.
"Waiting For Straight Talk," The Washington Post, January 20, 2008

Something Else We May Need To Worry About

Now that so much of the Pacific northwest has been made unwelcome to loggers (thanks to Bill Clinton), and the price of lumber has skyrocketed, we may now need to confront a new menace:

Timber thieves.

And I know where the pickings are ripe ...

A Reporter That Hillary Could Love

This video clip of a reporter (for AP) who starts arguing with presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign stop illustrates well the reason for Americans' sharp and growing disdain for the mainstream press.

Glen Johnson had been on the Hillary campaign payroll, he couldn't have come across as being more biased or contentious.

The video:

Disgusting behavior for a "reporter." But the type of behavior we've come to expect.

Don't Take The Bait

I think, should Barack Obama take the bait and seize upon Tim Russert's path-to-victory strategy, it'll be all but over for him.

Mickey Kaus provides us with his understanding of that strategy:
Acid tip? Tim Russert just suggested that Obama might appeal to blacks by attacking the Clintons over Bill's Sister Souljah putdown in 1992. Obama can't possibly be stupid enough to take Russert's tip. ... Souljah said, "If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people." Obama has plenty of other ways of appealing to blacks. ...
It has to be tempting to those running the Obama campaign to foster this kind of dissension within his party. But, in arousing the black constituency, he also risks arousing a hefty portion of the party's white vote. A much larger constituency.

He'd be wise to stay on message and avoid the Al Sharpton-path-to-victory strategy.

It Just Wasn't Meant To Be

It appears that Duncan Hunter has dropped out of the Republican race. Somewhat sad. Not unexpected.

He was, without doubt, the most consistently conservative candidate in the field.

Spark It Up! has the details.

With Fred Thompson's disappointing showing in the South Carolina primary, we seem to find ourselves facing once again that annoying Republican habit of focusing on the "most electable candidate" nonsense.

So: Who's going to be the Bob Dole of 2008? The world waits with bated breath ...

From An Era Long Past

Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee, 1942: