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

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Want To Think That Through?

I became curious when I read in the newspaper this morning that a group of activists showed up at an Abingdon shopping center to protest "payday lending." I, like most of you, wonder how it could be important enough an issue to anyone that it would prompt a person to take time out from his (meaningful?) life and picket in front of a store.

The story:

Group in Abingdon, Va., protests payday lending and supports limiting legislation
By Debra McCown, Bristol Herald Courier

Abingdon, Va. – About 15 people gathered Friday afternoon in front of Abingdon Shopping Center to protest payday lending practices in Virginia.

None of the demonstrators said they had been personally victimized by a payday lender, but they said the interest rates that are charged by the industry take advantage of the poor.

Brian Johns, of the Virginia Organizing Project, said similar demonstrations are being staged around the states to encourage legislators to regulate the payday lending industry. (link)
Hmm. The Virginia Organizing Project? What's that? Let's go to their website.

Here's "Who We Are":

... Virginia’s diversity has long been used to advantage some and disadvantage others. Poor Virginians have always lived in the shadow of great wealth, their needs overshadowed by the desires of the powerful elite. Virginia is also known as the cradle of American democracy; here, it was first argued that all citizens should participate in the decisions that affect their lives. It is this latter heritage that the Virginia Organizing Project is determined to reclaim. (my emphasis)
Uh, give me that again? "All citizens should participate in the decisions that affect their lives"?

Isn't that exactly what you're trying to prevent?

If one understands that "payday lending" involves a monetary transaction that is entered into - freely and openly - between an institution in the business of lending money and a person in need of money, and these protesters want to interfere in such "participatory" transactions, isn't this group doing just the opposite of that which it supposedly advocates?

These do-gooder types (this bunch headquartered in Charlottesville, naturally) truly make my head hurt.

- - -

By the way, nowhere on the website do I see where the Virginia Organizing Project offers poor people interest-free loans, proving that the members aren't completely stupid.

Oh Yeah, I Forgot

It's Black History Month.

So we are subjected to vacuous crap like this.

Thank God February is a short month.

These Guys Are Good at Calling For Bans

The right of business owners to set their own rules? Ban it.

The right of lenders and lendees to freely enter into a contractual agreement? Ban it.

The right of a law-abiding citizen to sell his wares without an investigation being launched by the United States government? Ban it.

The latest from the Roanoke Times: The right to market to consumers. Ban it.

Do these people really want to go down this road? If so, I have a list of people and ideologies that need to be looked into as well. You can guess who and what are high on that list to be Banned.

Can ATV's be far behind? Incandescent light bulbs? Oh, never mind that one.

Bill Clinton Comes To Virginia Tech

Voices support for gun control legislation.

Leaves.

Quote of the Day

From George Will:
In his State of the Union address, President Bush vowed to veto any appropriation bill "that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half." [Oklahoma Senator Tom] Coburn tartly notes that although Congress hardly needs 5,500 earmarks -- half of last year's total -- the president's goal would be met if Republicans themselves quit earmarking. That fact goes far to explain the Republicans' current and future minority status.
"The Road To a GOP Minority," The Washington Post, February 10, 2008

A Message To Those Who Said Iraq Was Lost

A prominent leader of "al-Qaeda in Iraq" is saying something entirely different:
Diary of an Insurgent In Retreat
By Sudarsan Raghavan, Washington Post Foreign Service

Baghdad, Feb. 9 -- On Nov. 3, U.S. soldiers raided a safe house of the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq near the northern city of Balad. Not a single combatant was captured, but inside the house they found something valuable: a diary and will written in neat Arabic script.

"I am Abu Tariq, Emir of al-Layin and al-Mashadah Sector," it began.

Over 16 pages, the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader detailed the organization's demise in his sector. He once had 600 men, but now his force was down to 20 or fewer, he wrote. They had lost weapons and allies. (link)
I know this comes as a big disappoinment to those of you who were hoping and praying that the U.S. would lose this war. Maybe with a little more effort on your part ...

Consider The Source

A New York Times op/ed:

The Republican Reformation

It's a celebration of the fact that, with John McCain's victory over Rush Limbaugh, the Republican Party has abandoned its core principles and is now indistinguishable from the Democratic Party.

I can't find reason to disagree with the premise.

And To Reinforce The Point ...

... a Washington Post editorial:

The Coming Change

The Democratic presidential race remains a tossup, but the contours of the general election debate, and to some extent the next administration, have become remarkably clear in the past few days.

In contrast to the current White House occupant, the next president will prohibit the use of waterboarding and other forms of torture that have stained America's reputation abroad. In contrast to President Bush, the next president will not start as a skeptic about the danger posed by global warming, and he or she will favor, not resist, legislation to impose mandatory caps on greenhouse gases, even without an international agreement binding other nations. The next president will support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and vigorous regulation of the campaign finance system. The next president, however chastened by the angry debate over illegal immigration, will believe in the need for comprehensive immigration reform and support the idea of giving those in this country illegally a path to earn legal status. (link)
Opposition to "torture." Global warming. Embryonic stem cells. 1st Amendment restrictions. Amnesty.

Essentially the contest is ended. The remaining candidates' names (ClintonObamaMcCain) and issues (above) are interchangeable. Their positions on the matters cited above are identical. Which politician gains the most votes from here on out is but a civic exercise.

That's just swell.

Perhaps This Explains It

Mark Steyn on John McCain's Republican primary victory:
For a certain percentage of voters, McCain is tonally a conservative, and that trumps the fact that a lot of his policies are profoundly unconservative. He won New Hampshire because if you stuck him in plaid he'd be a passable Beltway impersonation of the crusty, cranky, ornery Granite Stater. The facts are secondary that, on campaign finance, illegal immigration, Big Pharma and global warming, the notorious "maverick's" mavericity (maverickiness? maverectomy?) always boils down to something indistinguishable from the Democrat position.
"McCain can sure sound like a conservative," The Orange County Register, February 9, 2008

The Big Loser In McCain's Win?

Virginia.

David Shuster SHOULD Be Fired

This bootlicking apology that the NBC News reporter offered up yesterday for having made a comment about Chelsea that the Clintons didn't appreciate is absolutely pathetic:


Included is this gem: "'All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton."

Ann Althouse: "'All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton'? Why? Because, sublimely privileged, she went to work for a hedge fund? And, generally, why should anyone be 'proud of' someone else's children? Plus, Chelsea isn't a kid anymore! I think saying 'All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton' is offensive. Please fire David Shuster."

Double-click on the triangle to activate.

Yes, The Mayor Of Toledo Is a Democrat

Mayor to Marines: Leave downtown