Quote

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

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Transportation Crisis?

You bet we have a transportation crisis.

This Cadillac CTS (fully loaded, MSRP $35,000) was seen the other day tooling down the street in Christiansburg. An ever watchful taxpayer (and regular reader) snapped this photo and sent it to me along with a bit of narrative.

It seems the gorgeous luxury vehicle you see before you was being driven by an equally gorgeous young blond. Which is intriguing. And it had those "OFFICIAL STATE USE ONLY" license tags on the rear, as you can plainly see (I've removed the license number to protect the innocent - me).

Which is far more intriguing.

Someone tell me the hardpressed people of Virginia are not outfitting our government officials in luxury vehicles. Please.

There is an explanation for this, and I'd like to know it. What is the standard practice here in the commonwealth with regard to providing transportation for our employees? If this is some politician's personal vehicle, can he or she go out and lease a luxury Cadillac and have all or a portion of the monthly bill reimbursed by the state? Do the "official use only" plates" allow that politician to avoid paying the confiscatory license tag fee?

Tell me we don't have a fleet of Cadillacs (and Lexuses and Infinitis and ...) cruising around out there, paid for by people who are struggling mightily to make ends meet.

Please.

We deserve answers. Yours would be appreciated.

Don't Let The Door Hit You In The ...

We get a rather revealing insight into the sour grapes that is coming from the left wing of the Virginia Republican Party this morning, to be found (naturally) in the Roanoke Times. It comes from former state Senator Brandon Bell, who was upset in his 2007 reelection bid to a moderately conservative foe - Ralph Smith.

The Times:

The No. 1 GOP issue: abortion

Former state senator and now blogger, Brandon Bell, writes on his Roanoke Red Zone a convention scene report that includes this observation:

"Never would I have believed that a flier would be put in my chair claiming that Gilmore was a RINO due to his abortion position. I was shocked. Several of us that attended the 1993 convention when Gilmore attacked his chief rival Steve Agee claiming him to be pro choice. Ironic that 15 years later the attack was put back to Gilmore."

This confirms Tom Davis's observation to Media General in a story last week as to why he dropped out of the Senate nomination race and why he wouldn't be attending the convention:

"A convention restricts you to talk to 5,000 party activists where they ask you, 'OK, now if you're raped by an in-law and the mother's life was in danger, you would allow an abortion? Oh, well, you're not good enough for me.' That's what it comes down to. It's ridiculous." (link)
First, three quick points about former Congressman Davis. (1) He's a liberal. (2) He's upset that his party isn't. (3) Conservatives are happy he isn't. A congressman, that is.

But to Bell's and the Times's (a match made in Heaven) contention that the Virginia Republican Party is consumed by the abortion issue, darned if newly elected Republican Party Chairman Jeff Frederick didn't release just yesterday his "100 day plan" that he'll be adopting to revitalize his party's chances for victory in November.

It speaks volumes about the contention made by Brandon Bell and the whining coming from Tom Davis. How many times did the word abortion - "the No. 1 GOP issue" - come up in Frederick's 2,170 word memorandum?

Zero.

0.

Nada.

Is abortion an issue? Without doubt. Is it all-consuming? Hardly.

You lost, Brandon. Get over it. Or go over to the other side where you'll be more comfortable. The Republican Party of Virginia is a conservative party and will remain so.

- - -

It should be noted too that:

(a) abortion did indeed become an issue in the recent Republican primary contest, because challenger Bob Marshall made it the centerpiece of his campaign.

(b) Bob Marshall lost.

Nothing Changes

I'm reminded, in a way, of the Salem witch trials of the 1600's. A brief history from Douglas Linder, University of Missouri, Kansas City:

From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials. Then, almost as soon as it had begun, the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts ended.
And an admonition:

The witches disappeared, but witchhunting in America did not. Each generation must learn the lessons of history or risk repeating its mistakes. Salem should warn us to think hard about how to best safeguard and improve our system of justice.
Today's news:
Sect’s Children Returned to Parents, but Inquiry Continues
By Kirk Johnson and Gretel C. Kovach, The New York Times


San Angelo, Tex. — More than 460 children seized by state authorities in April in an investigation of possible sexual abuse at an isolated West Texas polygamist community began going home on Monday.

The case, one of the largest custody disputes in United States history, tied the Texas child welfare system in knots and became the focus of a national debate over the limits of police power.

Confusion has been a constant in the case, ever since state officials took action on April 3 — prompted, they said, by a call to an abuse hotline from a girl who said that she was 16 and that her 49-year-old husband was abusing her. The girl was never found or identified. (link)

Outlandish, unsupported accusations of abuse. And worse. Rumor trumpeted by a gullible and bloodthirsty press. Citizens too willing to give in to their baser natures. 460 children forcibly removed from their homes by armed government officials and sent off to live with strangers. Arrests still pending.

We think we have progressed from those days when citizens turned upon their neighbors and, in wild, hysterical, inexplicable moments of frenzy, vengefully lashed out at them. We think wrong. We are no better. We are the villagers of Salem, 1692.

Photo courtesy of Eric Gay, The Associated Press

Quote of the Day

Paul Mirengoff on Barack Obama having renounced the church he said, just days ago, that he could never renounce:
Obama left Trinity Church for the same reason he joined it -- political opportunism. The theology was always something he could take or leave. Both phenomena, the opportunism and the fact that he could take Rev. Wright's brand of black liberation theology, reflect very poorly on Obama.
"Bye-Bye, Trinity," Powerline, May 31, 2008

As We've Always Said ...

... it's not the gun that's the problem:
Guns campaigner stabbed to death
The BBC

The grandson of prominent anti-gun campaigner Pat Regan has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing her to death.

Mrs Regan, 53, was discovered at the property on Marlborough Grange in the Hyde Park area of Leeds on Sunday.

The mother-of-six started campaigning against gun crime when her son Danny was shot dead in 2002.

The 20-year-old man was being held on suspicion of murder, police said. It is thought he had been arrested earlier in the day over another stabbing. (link)
And when people like Mrs. Regan get knives banned, the lawless will use their bare hands ...