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

Monday, March 31, 2008

Crime Brings A Slice of Prosperity To SW Virginia

What's one of the biggest growth industries in Southwest Virginia?


And, as we build, at a feverish pace, more and more prisons, what do we do when our warehouses for bad men and women have more beds than we have criminals?

Find more criminals.

Ah, American ingenuity:

Virginia to house Wyoming inmates
The Associated Press

Richmond (AP) — Wyoming inmates are due to be transferred within weeks to two Virginia prisons in the southwest corner of the state.

The transfer, part of a contract that could pay Virginia $18.5 million, could bring up to 300 Wyoming prisoners to the state over the next two years.

The Wyoming inmates will be held at the high-security Wallens Ridge State Prison in Wise County and the state's new medium-security Pocahontas State Correctional Center in Tazewell County. (link)

Ah, yes. The more lawless America becomes, the more prosperity Southwest Virginia realizes.

There's something sinful about our attitudes toward crime down here.

The Subprime Crisis Starts Hitting Home

If you read in recent months that the commonwealth of Virginia seemed to be innoculated somehow from the mortgage foreclosure problem, forget it. We're in it with the rest of America.

See "The recession: hitting here, missing there," by Peter Coy, in Business Week.

A telling graphic:
Bar graph courtesy of Business Week magazine.

Uh, Can We Talk About This?

Nothing like scaring the beejeebers out of us this morning. In the New York Times:
None of ... the grimness on the front page today will matter a bit ... if two men pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii turn out to be right. They think a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole or something else that will spell the end of the Earth — and maybe the universe.

Scientists say that is very unlikely — though they have done some checking just to make sure.
Hello? Scientists think it to be "very unlikely" that the Earth is coming to an end? As in only somewhat likely? Impending doom?

Should we think about this?

MIA No Longer

The body of the only soldier officially listed as "missing in action" in Iraq has been recovered:
Remains of Soldier Missing Since ’04 Are Found in Iraq
By The Associated Press

Batavia, Ohio (AP) — The father of a soldier listed as missing-captured in Iraq since 2004 said Sunday that the military had informed him that his son’s remains were found in Iraq.

The man, Keith Maupin, said at a news conference in suburban Cincinnati that an Army general told him DNA testing had identified the remains of his son, Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin, or Matt, as he was known.

Sergeant Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured on April 9, 2004, after his fuel convoy, part of the 724th Transportation Company, was ambushed west of Baghdad. (link)
A sad - but not unexpected - ending to the story. At least there's an end, some closure, as opposed to ... forever MIA.

Gore Launches Umpteenth Climate Campaign

Gore Launches Ambitious Advocacy Campaign on Climate

What else does he have to do?

Building a Post-Racialist America

Miscegenation. Reproduction by parents of different races. A fast-growing trend in these United States.

It can't happen fast enough, in my opinion. This is the one trend that will, in itself, end all the nonsense we have to endure each day with regard to the issue of "race."

An update in today's New York Times:
Who Are We? New Dialogue on Mixed Race
By Mireya Navarro

“There’s this notion that there’s an authentic race and you must fit it,” said Ms. Bratter, an assistant professor of sociology at Rice University in Houston who researches interracial families. “We’re confronted with the lack of fit.”

The old categories are weakening, however, as immigration and the advancing age of marriage in the United States fuel a steady rise in the number of interracial marriages. The 2000 Census counted 3.1 million interracial couples, or about 6 percent of married couples. For the first time, the Census that year allowed respondents to identify themselves as being two or more races, a category that now includes 7.3 million Americans, or about 3 percent of the population. (link)
It annoys me every time I hear Barack Obama refer to himself as being black. He's not. His mother is white. He is therefore of mixed race. He has had the opportunity like at no other time in American history to plunge a dagger into the heart of racial animus (coming from both sides of the debate). A wonderful opportunity.

He - through his racist pastor - instead fans the flames of bigotry.

Still, the trend toward a one-race America continues apace.

The bottom line: "Little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character"* because there will be no alternative.

And a glorious day it will be.

* From Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech.

Will This Be McCain's Running Mate?

He could do worse.

From an interview on ABC's "This Week":
Well, I say that the Democratic Party changed. The Democratic Party today was not the party it was in 2000. It's not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, pro-reform in our domestic government. It's been effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party that is protectionist, isolationist and basically will --and very, very hyperpartisan. So it pains me. I'm a Democrat who came to the party in the era of President John F. Kennedy.
It's a strange turn of the road when I find among the candidates running this year that the one, in my opinion, closest to the Kennedy legacy, the John F. Kennedy legacy, is John S. McCain.
The person making that bold statement? Democrat Joe Lieberman.

On Obama & Wright & Malcolm X

A devastating attack on Barack Obama and the now-infamous declaration -

"Don't tell me words don't matter."

From lapel pins to the Pledge of Allegiance to "For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud to be an American ..."

Just devastating.

This Means War

Will we allow this?

French Company Is Said to Buy Maker of Absolut Vodka

What next? If this goes unchallenged, where will they stop? Is world domination then a certainty?

I have news for the French: They'll have to pry my Maker's Mark from my cold, dead fingers. That's all I'm sayin'.

'The Audacity of Bull....'

Seems Barack Obama's autobiography isn't holding up under scrutiny:
Obama Overstates Kennedys' Role in Helping His Father
By Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post

Addressing civil rights activists in Selma, Ala., a year ago, Sen. Barack Obama traced his "very existence" to the generosity of the Kennedy family, which he said paid for his Kenyan father to travel to America on a student scholarship and thus meet his Kansan mother.

It is a touching story -- but the key details are either untrue or grossly oversimplified.

Contrary to Obama's claims in speeches in January at American University and in Selma last year, the Kennedy family did not provide the funding for a September 1959 airlift of 81 Kenyan students to the United States that included Obama's father. (link)
This little exposé couples well with the recent news that former law professor Barack Obama was never a law "professor" (he was merely a lecturer).

Will the account of his daring flight into the war zone of Tuzla, Bosnia under blistering enemy sniper fire be far behind?

Audacity seems to be a fitting descriptive noun about now.

We've Come a Long Way

In 1990 former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger declared the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution to be effectively rendered obsolete. In a Parade magazine article he wrote of the changing times in this country - from the days when kings ruled North America to the present:
These people, and their fathers and grandfathers before them, remembered how monarchs had used standing armies to oppress their ancestors in Europe. Americans wanted no part of this.

Against this background, it was not surprising that the provision concerning firearms emerged in very simple terms with the significant predicate -- basing the right on the necessity for a "well regulated militia," a state army.

In the two centuries since then -- with two world wars and some lesser ones -- it has become clear, sadly, that we have no choice but to maintain a standing national army while still maintaining a "militia" by way of the National Guard, which can be swiftly integrated into the national defense forces.
That became known as the "collective right" argument. According to those who dreamt up this creative notion, and to those who desperately cling to it, we are allowed a modicum of freedom when it comes to gun ownership because of that need for "a well-regulated militia." "The right of the people," to him and many like him, meant "the right of the militia."

Now, less than two decades later, that argument seems dead and buried.

Today the most prominent political figures in the political party once closely associated with the drive to disarm the American people are singing a different song:

"Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms."

Hillary: "I believe in the Second Amendment. People have a right to bear arms."

Of course both individuals are prepared to regulate the living hell out of the keeping and bearing of firearms, but ... this is still progress.

Our vigilance and hard work are paying off.

Babble Babble Babble

Hillary Clinton has been brutal with mortgage lenders and with Wall Street funding groups when it comes to the subprime loan crisis. Perhaps she needs to turn her wrath in a different direction.

Toward those in her inner circle:
Clinton Pushes Housing Market Fixes As Campaign Manager Sits on Board of Bankrupt Lender
by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, Fox News

Washington – Hillary Clinton spends considerable time on the campaign trail bemoaning unscrupulous lenders who have left millions of Americans scrambling to keep their homes but all the while her campaign manager, Margaret “Maggie” Williams, has sat on the board of one of the nation’s once-largest and now-bankrupt sub-prime mortgage lenders.

Delta Financing — and subsidiary Delta Funding — made much of its money by turning around and selling its loans at a profit — either through securitization or straight sale. Financial statements and federal filings indicate that Delta made huge profits between 2004 and 2007 mostly by refinancing loans to homeowners with moderate and middle incomes in urban neighborhoods.

Williams joined Delta’s board less less than a month after one federal official said Delta’s practices were “turning the American dream of homeownership into a nightmare.”

Delta ... declared bankruptcy in December 2007 ... (link)
These people know no shame.