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

Monday, May 26, 2008

To Those Who Gave Their Lives To Keep Us Free

A message. From a former president. On this Memorial Day:
It is for us the living ... to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
The last full measure of devotion.

Here's to you, American heroes. From one of those who owe YOU our full measure of devotion.

America Triumphant

Let a handful of addlebrained old anti-American prunes demonstrate in front of a Marine Corps recruiting center one afternoon and every media outlet on the planet sends a reporter to cover the exciting event.

Three hundred and fifty thousand - 350,000 - flag-waving, America-loving patriots rallying in Washington D.C.? Oh, yeah. There was that too.

But this they just can't ignore:

An Iron Procession of Honor
By Paul Duggan, Washington Post Staff Writer

Here came the noise, the gut-shaking roar of Rolling Thunder, motorcycles by the hundreds upon hundreds throttling along Constitution Avenue NW past the Vietnam Veterans Memorial yesterday as thousands more bikers lining the street cheered and revved their engines on a cloudless, summery afternoon.

Like the Fourth of July fireworks on the Mall, like the lightings of the National Christmas Tree and Menorah, the deafening growl of Harley-Davidsons on Memorial Day weekend has become a holiday tradition in Washington -- a gathering to honor the nation's veterans and, at the same time, celebrate an attitude of nonconformity.

This year's 21st annual Rolling Thunder rally, like all the others, was a festival of leather, denim and the Stars and Stripes.

There were a few Hondas, a few Suzukis, but most of those at the rally rode polished Harleys: Sportsters and Softails, Fat Bobs (sic) and Low Riders, Electra Glides and Road Kings. (link)

I've never heard of a "Fat Bob,"* but let's not be nitpicky.

The Post article doesn't mention any attendance figures, but the Times does. 350,000. Sweet.

You Americans rock. Happy Memorial Day.

* I think the reporter had this in mind.
** Photo courtesy of about.com

Okay, I'll Pick This Nit

This from the Roanoke Times is accurate - sorta:

Remembering those who sacrificed

Memorial Day originated after the Civil War. An organization of Union veterans established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to adorn the graves of the war's dead. Many Southern states refused to participate for decades. They prefered (sic) their own Confederate observances, many of which are still marked today.

By the end of the 19th century, Memorial Day ceremonies were being held across the nation on May 30. The holiday's scope grew after World War I, when it became a day to commerate those who died in all American wars. (
Memorial Day did indeed originate (shortly) after the Civil War had come to an end. And yes, an organization of Union veterans - led by retired Major General John Logan - did establish Decoration Day. But as to that "Many Southern states refused to participate for decades," that may be due to the fact that the Southern states had actually established the tradition of setting aside one particular day to honor their war dead before those Union veterans picked up on the idea.

It was in fact a Southern holiday first.

See "Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping," a song written before the Union holiday was dreamt up, one written by a Southern woman that was dedicated to "The Ladies of The South Who Are Decorating The Graves of the Confederate Dead." Written in 1867.

See also "Memorial Flowers: To The Memory of Our Dead Heroes." Also written in 1867.

The first Decoration Day ceremony was held on May 30, 1868.

For the record.

'When You Lie Down With Dogs'

Look, I don't have anything against Oprah. I don't find her afternoon TV gab fest all that entertaining (in fact, I probably haven't ever been able to sit through an entire show), but I'm not in her target demographic anyway. I know that. She's looking for the liberal, middle-aged, affluent, white chicks out there. And that's fine. And it works for her.

Or at least it used to until recently:

A Few Tremors in Oprahland
By Edward Wyatt, The New York Times

Los Angeles — Oprah Winfrey is still the queen of all media, but her crown is beginning to look a bit tarnished.

The average audience for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has fallen nearly 7 percent this year, according to Nielsen Media Research — its third straight year of decline.

And while Ms. Winfrey still displays a Midas touch when it comes to the endorsement of books and products, some of her latest picks have attracted criticism from longtime fans as she has strayed into new-age spiritualism and, perhaps more dangerously, politics. Her endorsement of the presidential bid of Senator Barack Obama appears to have alienated some of the middle-aged white women who make up the bulk of her television audience, many of whom support Senator Hillary Clinton. (link)

New-age spiritualism and preachy, left-leaning outspokenness. Hardly the ingredients for a winning strategy to hold a broad national audience.

Warner Comes Down With Webb Disease

The man-who-would-be-senator is making no sense now too:
Warner spends day in area
By Bill Wyatt, Martinsville Daily

Mark Warner was in the area yesterday [May 21].

Around 7pm he appeared as the key-note speaker for the 49th annual awards dinner of the local Chamber of Commerce at Chatmoss Country Club. Warner told the audience of about 250 people that this was a special place for him and that memories of the decline in textile industry are seared in his brain. [jf: Seared in your memory? Sure they were, Mark. And you weren't going to raise our taxes too.]

Taking the second-half of his speech to stump a little bit in his bid for State Senator, Warner offerred himself as a democrat (sic) who is willing to take his party hat off and create a new group of what he called "radical centrists." He said he believes American citizens are ready for results and not what acheives (sic) partisan goals. Warner is running for the seat being vacated by the retiring John Warner (no relation). (link)
Radical centrist? Is that some term passed along by James Webb, a man who moves about in a separate universe, regularly uttering unintelligible drivel that has heads scratching as to their meaning?

Earth to Mark Warner: One can't be a Radical and a Centrist under any circumstances ever. No matter how good it sounds. The two words contradict one another. So get Jimmy to dream up a new term for your campaign. How about "Lying Through My Teeth, Round 2"?

Quote of the Day

From a letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times written by a retired United Methodist minister and published this morning:

"President Bush declares: 'Everybody wants freedom.' Were that true, there would be no marketing of tobacco, alcoholic beverages or drugs."

In order for us to be free, tobacco, etc. should be banned?

Any bets on which political party this person belongs to?

The President's Plan Is Succeeding

Steadfast in his commitment. Unwavering in his resolve. Unshakable in his determination to end the scourge of global Islamist terror. President Bush went eyeball-to-eyeball with Osama bin Ladin and ...
The Unraveling
By Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, The New Republic

After September 11, there was considerable fear in the West that we were headed for a clash of civilizations with the Muslim world led by bin Laden, who would entice masses of young Muslims into his jihadist movement. But the religious leaders and former militants who are now critiquing Al Qaeda's terrorist campaign--both in the Middle East and in Muslim enclaves in the West-- make that less likely. The potential repercussions for Al Qaeda cannot be underestimated because, unlike most mainstream Muslim leaders, Al Qaeda's new critics have the jihadist credentials to make their criticisms bite.

Why have clerics and militants once considered allies by Al Qaeda's leaders turned against them? To a large extent, it is because Al Qaeda and its affiliates have increasingly adopted the doctrine of takfir, by which they claim the right to decide who is a "true" Muslim.

[E]ncoded in the DNA of apocalyptic jihadist groups like Al Qaeda are the seeds of their own long-term destruction: Their victims are often Muslim civilians; they don't offer a positive vision of the future (but rather the prospect of Taliban-style regimes from Morocco to Indonesia); they keep expanding their list of enemies, including any Muslim who doesn't precisely share their world view; and they seem incapable of becoming politically successful movements because their ideology prevents them from making the real-world compromises that would allow them to engage in genuine politics.

Which means that the repudiation of Al Qaeda's leaders by its former religious, military, and political guides will help hasten the implosion of the jihadist terrorist movement. As Churchill remarked after the battle of El Alamein in 1942, which he saw as turning the tide in World War II, "[T]his is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." (link)
It's important to remember what it was that prompted bin Ladin to turn his jihad on fellow Muslims. Attacking his target-of-choice - Americans - became a costly endeavor. It was easier to assault a market in Riyadh and bomb a school in Kandahar. Schoolkids and little old ladies don't shoot back.

That coupled with the fact that Americans - without any real support from our "allies" - were relentlessly tracking down and slaughtering his henchmen wherever on the planet they were hiding, doomed his campaign for a holy war.

President Bush will not get credit for this turn of events. In fact, knowing how the Democrats and their pawns in the press operate, President Obama probably will. And Bill Clinton. There's no stopping that.

But we are witnessing "the end of the beginning." The history books will bear witness to the truth.

And The Beat Goes On

Think we have enough hiking trails in Southwest Virginia? Not by a long shot:

City of Norton to support multi-use trail plan
The Coalfield Progress

Norton — Although they didn’t take any action Tuesday night, city council members effectively threw their support behind a plan that will create a network of multi-use trails in the region.

During its regular meeting, council agreed in principal to provide an as-yet-undetermined cash contribution for a feasibility study and a letter of support for the project. (link requires paid subscription)
I thought we already had a network of trails.

Guess we need a second one. Times are that good.

More Bewildering Statements From Mr. Sunshine

It's a good thing that Barack Obama has two sides to his oral cavity. He's getting maximum usage out of both.

Jake Tapper (in "What the FARC Was Obama Talking About? ") with the latest head-scratcher to come out of the mouth of the Democrats' candidate for president:

... Obama as he traveled through Florida seemed to give some contradictory statements about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the Colombian terrorist group FARC.

On Thursday Obama
told the Orlando Sentinel that he would meet with Chavez and "one of the obvious high priorities in my talks with President Hugo Chavez would be the fermentation of anti-American sentiment in Latin America, his support of FARC in Colombia and other issues he would want to talk about."

OK, so a strong declaration that Chavez is supporting FARC, which Obama intends to push him on.

But then on Friday he said any government supporting FARC should be isolated.

"We will shine a light on any support for the FARC that comes from neighboring governments," he said in a speech in Miami. This behavior must be exposed to international condemnation, regional isolation, and - if need be - strong sanctions. It must not stand."

So he will meet with the leader of a country he simultaneously says should be isolated? Huh?"

This fits right in with previous statements in which he vows to never negotiate with the terrorists but, at the same time, tells us that he fully intends to sit down with them and start a dialogue. Huh indeed.

It's not too late for you Democrats to reconsider.