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

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Guess It's a Matter of Perspective

Barack Obama could end his relationship with his church, Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side (by anyone's standard, a breeding ground of hatred).

Instead he's taking a more perilous course. He's "talking frankly."

According to the Roanoke Times, that's more "perilous":

Obama's race and racism

Conventional political wisdom demands that Barack Obama quit his church to distance himself from the angry, offensive racial rhetoric of its pastor, and his friend, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Obama has taken the more perilous course: to talk frankly about race in America from both the black and the white perspective and to do so before all of America, thus breaking an unspoken taboo. (link)
A perilous course? Really?

This - Barack Obama's advice to MSNBC not long ago - seems to offer a more bold - if not more perilous - course:

"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."
Don Imus, who doesn't have a racist bone in his body, made a crack about "nappy-headed hos," as you may recall. For that momentary lapse in judgement, the tough-talking Obama would have fired him.

He said nothing about "The US-of-KKK-Amercia."

Don Imus didn't say "God damn America."

He didn't talk about the "Great White West."

Imus didn't utter these words: "Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger."

Obama called for Don Imus to be canned. As for his church, and his mentor, Jeremiah Wright? Apparently Obama prefers to raise the dialogue to a loftier plain all of a sudden. To talk about racism in general in this country.

A perilous course? Please.

Talk is cheap. Actions would have been a whole lot more convincing.

Where Does It End?

The Washington Post this morning (in "Judging Guns"):

"The Supreme Court should not deprive governments of their ability to protect public safety."

An excellent argument for voiding the 4th Amendment.

And the 5th Amendment ...

The 3rd Amendment ...

The 6th Amendment ...

7th ...

8th ...

Quote of the Day

From a Washington Post editorial ("Fantasies On Iraq") on Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's plans for Iraq, if/when elected:
...[I]f Mr. Obama or Ms. Clinton become president, he or she will be the commander in chief of at least 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Yet their speeches suggest an understanding of the conflict and the stakes for the United States that is as detached from reality as they accuse Mr. Bush of being when he decided on the invasion.

In all, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama speak as if they have no understanding of Iraqi leaders, whom they propose to treat as willing puppets.
Hey, Democrats: This the best you guys got?

It's Easier Than Raising Education Standards

Too many American public schools, as measured by the No Child Left Behind law, suck. What do we do about it?

Change the law.

U.S. Eases ‘No Child’ Law as Applied to Some States

To reach the American Homeschool Association, send an email to: aha@americanhomeschoolassociation.org.

And South Carolina. And Hawaii. And ...

From Clinton, New Pressure for a Revote in Michigan

While we're at it, how about we revote 2004?

May God have mercy.

Gag Me With A Spoon

How would you like to be the poor schmuck at the New York Times who is ordered to sift through this crap?

11,000 Long-Awaited Pages of Clinton’s Schedules as First Lady Are Released

Schedules and appointments. 11,000 pages. The excitement must be immeasurable.

Why Doesn't It Test The Muslims?

Outrage at Cartoons Still Tests the Danes

I guess because the Muslims frighten us too much. What's a Dane going to do to us, after all?

Can The 2nd Go The Route Of The 1st?

Congress, the Executive, and the Supreme Court have collectively made a mockery of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution with McCain-Feingold being made (constitutionally valid) law. We are allowed freedom of speech, it has been decreed, as long as that speech doesn't include words written in reference to politicians at election time - the one aspect of "speech" that those who wrote the document wanted to protect at all costs (thus the Bill of Rights).

Will the Supreme Court now render the 2nd Amendment meaningless as well? We're about to find out.

I'm not alone in wondering. From Tony Mauro:
Second Amendment: An Individual Right, But a Right To Do What?

Based on extended oral arguments this morning in the case D.C. v. Heller, a majority of the Supreme Court appears poised to declare that the Second Amendment protects some kind of individual right to bear arms. But how tethered that right is to the functioning of state militias, and how that right can be regulated, is less clear at the end of vigorous debate and active questioning from all the justices ...
It's clear from past rulings that four justices consider the Constitution to be nothing more than a manifesto. Those four will probably conclude - because they want to - that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" doesn't mean "the people" but some "militia," despite the fact that the Bill of Rights was written with the intention - clearly - to enumerate powers - not just rights - that were to remain vested - fixed and absolute - with the people (and with the states).

Where Anthony Kennedy ends up on the case before him is anyone's guess. On any given day even he doesn't know how he'll rule.

So we wait. And wonder ...

Facts & Data Keep Coming In

Unfortunately, they're not supporting Crazy Al's theories or the "climate scientists'" computer models when it comes to global warming:

The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat *
by Richard Harris, NPR

Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren't quite understanding what their robots are telling them. (link)
Get rid of the robots. Statistics? We don' need no steenking statistics. We know the planet is doomed. Al Gore said so.

Are you going to believe someone who is revered by all of Hollywood or are you going to believe some silly facts?

- - -

* "Global Warming's Missing Heat." A line that will go into the history books.

Say It Ain't So

Hillary's a phony?

Well, when it comes to her opposition to NAFTA - like John Kerry before her on a different subject - she was for it before she was against it.

From Jake Tapper, ABC News:
"For people who worked hard to pass NAFTA and who support the importance of markets opening for the economy in the long term, they're very upset. A number of the women who were there are very upset. You need to have some integrity in your position. The Clintons when Bill Clinton was president took a moderate position on trade for Democrats. For her to repudiate that now seems pretty phony." (link)
Here's the deal: Like her husband, Hillary believes in nothing. Thus, on any given day, she can believe in anything. And then not.

Is this the kind of character we want to be our president?

We're Doomed

This is so depressing. As time goes on, it appears more and more likely that we are going to make race the number one issue in the 2008 election. And, amazingly, some are gleeful for it.

From New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (in "Obama And Race") this morning:

The outrage over sermons by Mr. Wright demonstrates how desperately we as a nation need the dialogue about race that Mr. Obama tried to start with his speech on Tuesday.

Many well-meaning Americans perceive Mr. Wright as fundamentally a hate-monger who preaches antagonism toward whites. But ... [my emphasis]

Dialogue to your heart's content, pal. Wake us when you're done. In the meantime, the rest of us are working diligently to make this a color-blind society, despite your efforts, and will have no part of it.

OK. This is Sick.

But then animal lovers are a different breed:

Hair of the dog:
The animal lovers who turned their dead pets' coats into woolly jumpers

London Daily Mail

Their beloved dogs may have gone to the great kennel in the sky, but for Beth and Brian Willis they will always be close.

Because the couple have had his and hers jumpers knitted out of the hair moulted by the pedigree pets and spun into yarn.

And they insist the bizarre garments keep them warm and dry no matter how bad the winter weather gets. (link)

I'm going to give these two the benefit of the doubt and assume they did this out of necessity. They needed the sweaters to keep warm.

The alternative is for me to think of them as being stark raving mad.

Then again ...

Food For Thought

From Southwest Virginia's master storyteller.

Our very own Barnie Day:

Electricity addiction: the demand is us

When rural electrification first came to the hills and hollows of the Blue Ridge, some of the first recipients of this wonder jammed corncobs into their new outlets to keep the “juice” from running out onto the floor.

My wife and I live in a big, rambling farmhouse built in 1904, before electricity was available in Meadows of Dan. No matter. The craving we have for it is never beyond arm’s reach now. We are junkies. We are addicted to electricity. We mainline electrons. And we let plenty of them run out onto the floor.

I’ve never counted up the light bulbs we use—I’m thinking now—four in each of four ceiling fans—eight in one bathroom—all kinds of them—big, little, clear, opaque, some are tubes, others little more than apparitions, fragile and tear-shaped—but we have them everywhere—the basement, the attic, the patio, the porches, the garage, the barn, the deck, and, of course, throughout the house—and burn enough of them to trump the Milky Way.

Gadgets feed our addictions to the “juice”—televisions and radios and sound systems, stoves, refrigerators and freezers, and coffee makers and microwaves, bread-making machines, knife sharpeners and can openers, handy-dandies that grind and chop and shred and blend and puree—scary, bladed things that emit high-pitched whines and look like they’d be good for cutting fingers off.

The pumps (five) in our house and ceiling fans (four) have become invisible. My tools compress air and cut and drill and sand and saw and plane and edge and spray; others steam wrinkles from cotton shirts and make my trouser creases sharp, and process words (these words) and print them, and sharpen pencils.

These implements of our addictions are talented and beguiling. They vacuum floors and heat and cool and circulate air, and will do the same with water, if that’s the switch I hit. Our tub has jets that soothe our bones. Our shower has jets, too—six of them. A favorite chair will stand me up or lay me down electrically—with a button press—to sleep, perhaps, my soul to keep.

A big, red, round barrel-looking thing smokes good trout for us if I add the basis of the smoke (hickory chips are wonderful, but apple wood is best), and clunky, fold-up contraptions turn out waffles, and pattern burn marks onto steaks and chops, and grill delicious, lovely sandwiches.

A quick story here: a thriving church on Deep Water Creek in the Indian Valley section of Carroll County broke up and disbanded when the first light bill hit. The roof of that church has fallen in now. Trees grow up through it. That bill for a dollar and twenty cents ($1.20) set the devil loose in that church. Until a month ago, our electrical addictions cost us, on average, about $150 each month—not too bad, as addictions go. Or is it?

The real cost is not what we’ve been paying. Sure, there is correlation between wattage consumed and how much we pay each month, but the real cost is more complicated than that—if you factor mountaintop removal and carbon dioxide emissions into the equation.

The real cost is the behavior our consumption forces on the part of our electricity provider. The real cost is the demand we make. There is a direct correlation between our electricity addiction and every ounce of mountaintop removal, a direct correlation between our consumption and every particulate of carbon dioxide emission.

A month ago, my wife and I decided to consciously change our consumption behavior. It was nothing drastic. We stopped using our clothes dryer and I put up an outside clothesline. We agreed to run the dishwasher only when it was full. And we agreed to turn off the lights when we were not using them.

I don’t know the size of our carbon footprint. It is probably huge, all things considered. I do know this. It is smaller than it used to be. We got our electric bill yesterday—eighty-seven bucks ($87).

And there are a couple of other things I know: power companies don’t build power plants for lack of something better to do. They build power plants to meet demand, and that demand is us—all of us.

Perspectives that make you go hmmm. Thanks, Barnie.

I Just Love These Headlines

This one from Reuters:

Icy start, but 2008 may be in top 10 warmest years

Is it also possible that 2008 may be in "top 10 coolest years?" Of course it is.

To think: A tree had to die so that this idiocy could go to print.