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

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This Is So Aggravating

Why does it take newspaper readers to provide us with the news?

This comes from the "Letters To The Editor" section of the Bristol Herald Courier, dated Wednesday, March 26:

Boucher Playing Both Sides

Rep. Rick Boucher, D-9th, is playing a shell game on the people of this district. He is a co-sponsor of HR 4088, a bill to provide immigration reform by securing America’s borders, clarifying and enforcing existing laws and enabling a practical employer verification program, but he has not signed the discharge petition. (* see below)

This allows him to play to both sides of the immigration issue. The people need to be aware that many elected officials are playing the same game with their constituents. (link)
The letter is signed by a (vigilent) Pound, Virginia resident.

Sure enough, you go to the site referenced above and you'll find that the discharge petition relating to HR 4088 has been signed by:

• Thelma D. Drake Virginia 02
• Tom Davis Virginia 11
• Eric Cantor Virginia 07

• Frank R. Wolf Virginia 10
• J. Randy Forbes Virginia 04

• Virgil H. Goode, Jr. Virginia 05
• Bob Goodlatte Virginia 06
• Robert J. Wittman Virginia 01

Now you might say: Well, there's a glaring lack of Democrats signing the petition; that should tell you something. But what? Boucher co-sponsored the darn thing. Now he's trying to keep it bottled up?

What's up with that?

But back to my original point: Does the Bristol Herald Courier (and the Roanoke Times for that matter) pay reporters to find the news? Or do they wait and have the readers provide it? This should not be a "Letters To the Editor" story.

* See http://clerk.house.gov/110/lrc/pd/petitions/Dis5.htm

They Ask; I Answer

The editorialists at the Charleston (WV) Gazette are perplexed:
Charleston's Bible Center is booming so rapidly that it just opened a $20 million unit of its planned $60 million worship complex on Corridor G. Meanwhile, four once-thriving West Side United Methodist congregations have shrunk so badly that they voted to merge into a single church - just as four shrinking Charleston Episcopalian congregations did three months ago. Why are evangelical megachurches soaring while traditional "mainline" Protestant groups fade?
Why?

Could it have anything to do with the fact that mainstream ministers care more about our carbon footprint than about serving the poor among us?

Or the fact that Episcopal leaders are more concerned with driving out conservative members than with bringing the flock to Jesus?

Or with the Methodist leaders who care more about Palestine than Heaven?

Or the doofus who heads the Anglican Church?

Not to mention the ranting racists who scream their bile from United Church Of Christ pulpits every Sunday.

Why are mainline churches fading? I wonder.

The pastor whose favorite line is "Let us pray" instead of "Bush lied; children died" is going to fill the pews each week.

It's that simple.

Help Me Understand This

Yesterday the Roanoke Times demanded a universal health care program.

Today the Roanoke Times denounces the idea of a universal flood program.

I don't know what to think - one day to the next.

On Obama's Call For 'Dialogue'

Jonah Goldberg:

Thank God for Barack Obama. Until his "More Perfect Union" speech last Tuesday, it seems it never occurred to anyone that America needed to talk about race.

"Universities were moving to incorporate the issues Mr. Obama raised into classroom discussions and course work," The New York Times reported within 48 hours of the speech.

Oh, thank goodness Obama fired the starter's pistol in the race to discuss race. Here I'd been under the impression that every major university in the country already had boatloads of courses dedicated to race in America. I also had some vague memory that these universities recruited black students and other racial minorities, on the grounds that interracial conversations on campus are as important as talking about math, science and literature.

Were all the corporate diversity consultants and racial sensitivity seminars mere apparitions in a dream? Also disappearing down the memory hole, apparently, were the debates that followed Hurricane Katrina, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas and O.J. Simpson's murder trial.

Not to mention the ongoing national chatter about affirmative action, racial disparities in prison sentences and racial profiling by law enforcement. And the thousands of hours of newscasts, TV dramas and movies - such as 2004's Oscar-winning "Crash" - dedicated to racial issues.

I feel like one of the last humans in an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" movie in which all of the pod people are compelled by some alien DNA to pine continually for yet another "conversation" about a topic we've never stopped talking about.

"The Race Talk Never Ends," the New York Post, March 26, 2008

- - -

I'm reminded of this line heading a Roanoke Times editorial on the same subject:

"America's first black presidential contender isn't shying away from the nation's racial divisions, but he's shattering a polite and unhealthy silence."

A deafening silence. A forty year non-stop cacophony of silence.

Same ground. Same accusations. Same apologies. Same calls for dialogue Same cries for healing. Same ground. Same accusations. Same apologies. Same ...

Today's Rumination

Offered up by Christopher Hitchens:
Looking for a moral equivalent to a professional demagogue who thinks that AIDS and drugs are the result of a conspiracy by the white man, Obama settled on an 85-year-old lady named Madelyn Dunham, who spent a good deal of her youth helping to raise him and who now lives alone and unwell in a condo in Honolulu. It would be interesting to know whether her charismatic grandson made her aware that he was about to touch her with his grace and make her famous in this way. By sheer good fortune, she, too, could be a part of it all and serve her turn in the great enhancement.
"Blind Faith: The statements of clergymen like Jeremiah Wright aren't controversial and incendiary; they're wicked and stupid." Slate.com, March 24, 2008

It's A Strange World We Live In ...

... where cigarette studies put out by anti-smoking nazis are received with great fanfare and unqualified acceptance by the press (in this case, the New York Times) and cigarette studies funded indirectly and in small part by pro-smoking groups are trashed by the press (in this case, the New York Times), not for their findings or methodology, but for their source of funding.

Yes, it's a strange world ...

News Babe To Speak At Virginia Tech

Unfortunately, she's with NBC News, but maybe she'll come to her senses before she shows up in Blacksburg:

NBC's Kotb to speak at Tech in May
By Greg Esposito, The Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech announced Monday that NBC news anchor and university alumna Hoda Kotb will deliver the school's 2008 commencement address.

Kotb, a 1986 graduate of Tech's communication program, has been a correspondent for "Dateline NBC" since 1998 and was named co-anchor of the fourth hour of "Today" last year. She's covered domestic and international stories for NBC, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 2004 tsunami that devastated southeast Asia. (link)
Believe me, Virginia Tech could have done worse.
.
Image courtesy of NBC News

Oh, Darn

There are those who want these guys to be in charge of your health care:

Nuclear fuses sent by mistake

Oops.

A Stirring Talk

From David Bellavia, "Vets For Freedom":

"Don't wish me Happy Memorial Day. Memorial Day is every single day of the year that we wake up, that we look outside, we see birds, that we see our kids laugh and cry. That is Memorial Day. We realize that, you know what, our brothers didn't come home. Our brothers and sisters gave everything."


He makes these people look really small.

Thank God we have many like him.

Click twice on triangle to activate.

If The 1st Amendment Were Treated Like the 2nd

From an editorial in the Washington D.C. Examiner:

If the U.S. Supreme Court seemed on the verge of finding the D.C. government guilty of violating its citizens’ First Amendment rights, would the D.C. police be going door to door looking for printing presses to confiscate? Of course not. It would be unthinkable. Civil libertarians would be — to use an apt phrase (figuratively speaking) — up in arms. But when the civil liberty at issue is the right to bear those arms, as protected by the Second Amendment rather than the First, District officials seem determined to leave no gun unturned in.

What is clearly at work here is the District’s determination to enforce its broad gun ban while it still has nominal power to do so. Never mind that a federal appeals court has ruled the ban unconstitutional, or that most observers of last week’s Supreme Court oral arguments on the issue reported that a majority of justices seem inclined to throw the law out. Never mind that the fundamental constitutional right of gun ownership is at issue. District officials appear to believe their own antipathy to guns outweighs all those pesky concerns about whether the Constitution empowers their confiscations. (link)


But there's a difference, you say. The government is not confiscating printing presses; they're only seizing weapons.

It's but one step removed in countries that have no Bill of Rights. Scotland? What freedom of speech? China? What freedom of speech? The Middle East? What freedom of speech? Asia? What freedom of speech? The Muslim World? What freedom of speech?

No, we're not like them. We're not confiscating printing presses. We're not prohibiting speech.

Well, maybe we aren't that far removed after all.

- - -

Advice being handed out by D.C. School Board member William Lockridge: "I think the people should not open your doors under any circumstances, don't even crack your door, unless someone has a warrant for your arrest."

Opposition Mounts

American citizens do their best to oppose the power of the state to enter their homes and seize their private property:
Police limit searches for guns
Opposition from residents is strong; Invited into homes without warrants

By Maria Cramer, Boston Globe Staff

Boston police officials, surprised by intense opposition from residents, have significantly scaled back and delayed the start of a program that would allow officers to go into people's homes and search for guns without a warrant.

The program, dubbed Safe Homes, was supposed to start in December, but has been delayed at least three times because of misgivings in the community. March 1 was the latest missed start date.

Officers may begin knocking on doors this week ... (link)
This in Massachusetts of all places, where occurred the shot hear round the world ...

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood;
And fired the shot heard round the world.
.
The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.
.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We place with joy a votive stone,
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
.
O Thou who made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free, --
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raised to them and Thee.

Ah, White Boys ...

... who try their best to be somebody they ain't.

Meet "Abdullah" DeLancey. Badass.

For the love of God.

Really?

Talk is cheap. Actions speak a thousand words:

Clinton: Wright 'would not have been my pastor'

Then why is Bill your husband?

Turning The Tables

Tom Maguire makes a good point:
I deplore the sexist double standard being applied to Hillary on her Bosnia fantasy. John Kerry just made stuff up about his wartime heroics to promote himself, as for example with his Christmas mission to Cambodia or his first Purple Heart, and did loyal Dems denounce him bitterly? Did the media pry under every rock in a relentless quest for the truth, or even new evidence?

Of course not! Instead of looking for the truth, Dems and their media enablers looked for new words, coining "swiftboating".

So why are they "swiftboating" Hillary?
Yes. Leave the defenseless girl alone, you sexist brutes.