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

Monday, March 17, 2008

At a Loss For Words

I generally have an opinion on every subject, as you all know. But this story, originally reported in the Bristol Herald Courier, has me stumped. I don't know what to think:

Expelled UVa-Wise student to continue legal battle
By Mike Allen, The Roanoke Times

Although the University of Virginia's College at Wise is standing by his expulsion, Steven Daniel Barber vows his legal battle with the school isn't finished.

Three weeks ago, the 23-year-old Gate City resident turned in a creative writing assignment that alarmed his professor and classmates, in which a narrator contemplates killing his teacher before apparently choosing suicide. Campus police confronted Barber the next day, searched his car and found three guns, a violation of school policy.

The matter has continued to seethe since the school ruled to expel him March 6.

Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney Ron Elkins said Barber won't be charged with making a threat, but given the tone of Barber's paper, "If I were his professor, I would interpret that as a potential threat."

The story's first-person narrator contemplates killing his professor ... (
link)
A creative writing assignment. This student wrote ... creatively ... about an individual contemplating the murder of his professor. He's expelled. Arrested. Committed. God knows what else.

Freedom of speech. Academic freedom. Freedom of expression.

Virginia Tech.

I'm inclined to believe that Steven Barber did something un-smart and that the college overreacted. I'm sure the ACLU is going to agree. But in this day and age, who knows?

The whole thing seems weird.

This From The Biggest Gun Ban Enthusiasts On Earth

The Charleston (WV) Gazette:

"The problem with gun control laws is that they don't control guns."

The skies open. Rays of light shine down ...

But then, this. The solution to the crime problem, according to the geniuses there? You won't believe it. We need to start scanning all Americans as they walk down the street, searching out those evil concealed weapons. There are no words ...

Then there's this classic quote:
Licensed pistols in the hands of sober, intelligent, responsible adults aren't the worst problem. Neither are rifles and shotguns used by hunters. Instead, the real menace is millions of illicit pistols, and some assault weapons, currently possessed by unlicensed Americans. They're the chief cause of America's horrifying gun murder rate - a toll hundreds of times higher than in nations with genuine gun control.
Tellingly, the word murderer is nowhere to be found in this ditty. It's that godawful hunk of metal that goes bang that these people fear.

Like a broken record.

On WaPo's Lame Gun Ban Argument

Just think what the crime rate in the murder capital of America would have been had there not been a complete ban on handguns there (and a virtual ban on all other weapons). That's the argument - limp as it is - irrefutable as it is - put forth by the Washington Post editorial page this morning. Why does the term "grasping at straws" come to mind?

The D.C. Gun Case

We have long believed that a robust system of firearms laws is essential to the safety and well-being of the millions of people who live, work in and visit the District. Some argue that the District's gun laws -- some of the most restrictive in the nation -- have done little to reduce its crime rate. Not reflected in that argument is what the rate for violent crimes would have been had guns been even more plentiful on the streets of the nation's capital. (
link)
Let me translate: Statistics fully support the argument that the D.C. gun ban that has been in place for three decades has had no measurable effect on the rate of crime in the city. Though that may be incontrovertible, we feel the situation might - just might - have been a lot worse.

That's not an argument. That's a plea.

- - -

On a separate note, I would respectfully urge those at the Washington Post to tell the truth when you build your case. This, fellas, is a lie a gross distortion:

Law enforcement officers across the country who grapple with the realities of crime are some of the fiercest advocates for meaningful gun regulation, including background checks and bans on private ownership of certain types of weapons, such as machine guns, that serve no legitimate purpose outside a military context.
The facts:

From a recent poll of police chiefs and sheriffs :

With regard to private citizens owning firearms for sport or self-defense, 92 percent of the respondents supported civilian gun ownership rights.

Ninety-five percent of the police chiefs and sheriffs believe criminals obtain firearms from illegal sources and 93 percent revealed they hadn't arrested anyone for violation of the so-called "waiting period" laws.

When asked if they opposed citizens obtaining concealed weapons permits, only 40 percent said yes.
And what do rank-and-file police officers think about gun control?

From Police magazine, one year ago:

88.2% of law enforcement officers participating in the survey think that tighter restictions on the ownership of handguns would have little or no effect on crime. 88.2%.

So stop. What you've written is not even close to the truth.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of Police magazine.



Living In La La Land

This quote from a New York Times columnist, published just this morning, is rather startling in the level of detachment from reality it reveals:
More needs to be written because if Obama gets the Democratic nomination, you know the Republican attack machine, through innuendo and otherwise, will go after his identity, just as it went after Senator John Kerry’s in 2004.
1) That "otherwise" through which the attack machine will go after Obama's identity is called YouTube.

2) The Democrats seem to need no assistance from the GOP in this endeavor. Obama's identity will be exposed for all the world to see long before the Republicans get a hold of him.

To the point: Where's this guy been?

What? Say It Ain't So!

This headline could have been written at any time in the last century. And not just about Michigan:

Michigan Athletes Steered to Easy Classes, Report Says

Such the shock.

In Hindsight

Though Barack Obama can claim that he wasn't paying attention (over a period of twenty years sitting in the church pew), to his hate-filled pastor and mentor, Obama's wife, Michelle, certainly was. From the recent past:

“Hope is making a comeback and, let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."

Prior to that? I think we all know the answer ...

To Sum Up ...

... the current state of affairs, here's Glenn Reynolds:

WHILE HILLARY AND OBAMA SPAR OVER PARTY RULES, John McCain is in Iraq.

There are those who seem to have forgotten the reason they are where they are.

It's the presidency, stupid.

The Last Refuge Of Scoundrels

They bring Martin Luther King, Jr. into the discussion. And blame ... us:
Church accuses media of 'crucifixion'
By Lisa Lerer and Mike Allen, The Politico


Chicago – The church attended by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) fought back Sunday against mounting criticism of its pastor, accusing the media of character assassination and “crucifixion.”

The church also released a statement that began: “Nearly three weeks before the 40th commemorative anniversary of the murder of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s character is being assassinated in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe.” (link)
Wright's character is being "assassinated" because he "preached a social gospel." Is that what you call it? Demanding that God damn America is some kind of social gospel? Where I come from it's still considered the worst kind of hatred. Nothing more.

Beyond that, it's the media's fault that Wright made the tapes that have so outraged America?

These people do themselves no favors trying to make excuses for this clown. And to claim that Reverend Wright is being crucified - at this particular time of year - is offensive.

They'd do themselves well to stop now.