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

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Moment The Western World Began Its Decline

I'm reminded of a fable from my youth, a portion of which went like this:

Everyone said, loud enough for the others to hear: "Look at the Emperor's new clothes. They're beautiful!"

"What a marvellous train!"

"And the colors! The colors of that beautiful fabric! I have never seen anything like it in my life!" They all tried to conceal their disappointment at not being able to see the clothes, and since nobody was willing to admit his own stupidity and incompetence, they all behaved as the two scoundrels had predicted.

A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the carriage.

"The Emperor is naked," he said.

This from the Bristol Herald Courier makes me wish we had a few more children - and a lot more Bristolians - in this world:

Former Bristolian’s Statue Made International History in 1955
By Daniel Gilbert, reporter, Bristol Herald Courier

The sculpture issued from the hands of a leading Italian artist, was praised by Italy’s president and labeled a “divine piece” in art circles. But when it arrived in 1955 to be installed at Virginia High School, Bristolians panned it, dubbed it “Groping Boy” and it sent back to the dealer.

The city’s rejection of the sculpture – a bronze, two-meter-tall affair that depicts an anatomically nondescript nude boy reaching out toward a fawn – stirred an international fracas, angering sculptor Pericle Fazzini, who reportedly snapped, “Where is Bristol?”

For a month in 1955, the Bristol newspaper and Fazzini traded editorial broadsides across the Atlantic, reported by wire correspondents in Bristol and Rome. The national media dug in to the clash of high and hillbilly artistic taste, and the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Culture took a swipe at both parties as an example of another “bourgeois falling-out.”

In the end, Bristol dealt out $2,600 for the artist’s fees to be rid of “Groping Boy,” whose original price was $8,500. A prominent Bristol businessman-cum-philanthropist purchased the spurned sculpture and planted it in his garden, where it slipped out of the spotlight – until now. (link)

If by "planted it in his garden," the author means the prominent Bristol businessman buried the damn thing (see photo above) and put it out of its misery, then I understand fully.

Well, Okay

The Roanoke Times analyzes the living hell out of the Heller 2nd Amendment decision:
"On page 8 of Justice Stevens' dissent (page 75 of this pdf), Stevens attempts to counter the majority's notion that only some "logical connection" between the prefatory clause of the amendment - “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state" - and the rest of the amendment is necessary to justify its preferred reading of the entire amendment. Stevens quotes a legal treatise that asserts, “the settled principle of law is that the preamble cannot control the enacting part of the statute in cases where the enacting part is expressed in clear, unambiguous terms.” (Stevens' emphasis) Stevens then claimed that the enacting clause of the Second Amendment is not clear and ambiguous.

"If it is settled law in the United States that a prefatory clause is not controlling unless there is something unclear or ambiguous in the enacting clause, then I cannot argue with the decision reached by the majority in this case." (link)
Uh, if any of that means the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, we're with you, brutha.

What Was Kaine Thinking?

So the governor calls the legislature into special session. But why? Did he actually think something was going to actually come of it? Have the two sides in the transportation debate changed? Has either the Democrat argument in favor of a broad array of tax increases or the Republican plan for reallocation of existing funds softened? Did he think that by rolling out the identical proposal he had made last time 'round that conditions had changed? Was he stuck on stupid - expecting different results by employing the same failed tactics of 2007? Is he on drugs? What was he thinking?

Republicans - as well as a sizeable number of Virginia voters - are scratching their heads this morning after Tim Kaine's transportation proposal found itself truly dead on arrival (it never even made it out of committee). From "Heat rises in transportation debate":
Republican lawmakers have questioned why Kaine would call a special session when he had only shaky support for his plan. They also have criticized Kaine for saying little about the maintenance funding problem until a February Virginia Supreme Court ruling invalidated regional taxing authorities created for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

"This has just been a political exercise for the governor," said House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, R-Salem.
A political exercise. Where governance was called for. Typical. So typical.

Telling It Like It Is

The Motor City Madman on the 5-4 Heller decision:

DC Gun Ban Blown Away
By Ted Nugent, Human Events

As I swab down one of my hundreds of privately owned, individually possessed firearms again this fine morning, I snicker and shake my head in disbelief that there are four "justices" on the "supreme" court that do not believe Americans have individual rights. Sure, I am somewhat pleased that we now have a SCOTUS confirmation of the self-evident truth and God given individual right to keep and bear arms, but the 5-4 ruling is another painful example, like Guantanamo and the decree against the death penalty for child rapist decisions that indicate a divisive culture war raging on, and four supreme justices frighteningly disconnected from the heart and soul of America.

Certain that God gave each of us the individual gift of life, and so very relieved that our founding fathers were prudent enough to write these self-evident truths down on paper for future reference, everybody I know needs no confirmation whatsoever that self defense, individual self defense is not only a God given right, but a moral imperative in the hearts and souls of good people everywhere.

Just as we wouldn't need confirmation that our choice of religion is indeed an individual right, or that we could possibly need a government permit to express our individual thoughts in speech, good Americans will continue to fight for the return of our sacred 2nd Amendment rights where someday soon we will not need a government issued license to keep and bear arms.

After all, from the supreme court of common sense on the not so mean streets of America, everybody I know understands clearly that "keep" means one thing and one thing only: "It's mine and you can't have it". We know without question that "bear" can only mean, "Yes, I have it right here in my hands or within instant grasp", nothing more and nothing less. And dare I explain “shall not be infringed?" I hope not.

That these self-evident truths have been bastardized to the point of "gun free zones" is nothing less than heart breaking in America today. (link)

Read the whole thing. The Nuge still rocks!

Headline Of The Day

Well, yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal:

News Flash: The Constitution Means What It Says

The Bloom Comes Off

And Barack Obama proves to be - can it be? - just another two-bit, lying, scheming, pandering politician. Margaret Talev on Mr. Hope & Audacity:
Is Obama turning out to be just another politician?

Washington — From the beginning, Barack Obama's special appeal was his vow to remain an idealistic outsider, courageous and optimistic, and never to shift his positions for political expediency, or become captive of the Inside-the-Beltway intelligentsia, or kiss up to special interests and big money donors.

In recent weeks, though, Obama has done all those things.

He abandoned public campaign financing after years of championing it. Backed a compromise on wiretap legislation that gives telecom companies retroactive immunity for helping the government conduct spying without warrants. Dumped his controversial pastor of two decades — then his church — after saying he could no more abandon the pastor than abandon his own grandmother.

He said he wouldn't wear the U.S. flag pin because it had become a substitute for true patriotism, then started wearing it. Ramped up his courtship of unions. Shifted from a pledge to protect working-class families from tax increases to a far more expensive promise not to raise taxes on families that earn up to $250,000 a year. Turned to longtime D.C. Democratic wise men to run his vice-presidential search and staff his foreign-policy brain trust.

Presidential candidates often tack toward the center after securing their party's nominations. But all this tactical repositioning by Obama suggests that he's a more complex, pragmatic and arguably more opportunistic politician than the fresh face of "change we can believe in" that he presented during the primary season. (link)
"None of that matters," Obama's sycophants would say. "Read his book. Read the press clippings. Barack is a different kind of candidate. He is a uniter. He's a ..."

Ever wonder how 900 otherwise normal people could have drank the Kool Aid at Jim Jones's insistence and killed themselves en masse? Watch Obama's followers and learn.

The Counteroffensive Claims Its First Victory

The Supreme Court gives the 2nd Amendment its well-deserved exclamation point (!) - after all these years - and would-be fascists slink back into the hellhole from which they came:
Wilmette Suspends Local Handgun Ban

Wilmette, Ill. -- Wilmette has suspended enforcement of its 19-year-old ordinance banning handgun possession in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that appears to invalidate such bans.

In a 5-4 decision, the court struck down Washington, D.C.'s ban on handguns, a prohibition similar to those used in several major cities, including Chicago, and a handful of suburbs including Wilmette, Evanston, Winnetka and Oak Park.

"The Law Department and the Police Department have suspended enforcement of the ordinance pending further review by the Village Board," Wilmette village attorney Tim Frenzer said Thursday. "Based on the decision today, at a minimum it calls into serious question the continued viability of the ordinance."

Frenzer said questions remain about how directly the court's decision will impact ... (link)
I'm lovin' this.

Looking At The Big Picture

It was always about more than just Iraq. A point the other side chooses to forget. Regardless, putting it all together, President Bush's long-term strategy continues to make this world of ours a safer place:

Cheer up. We're winning this War on Terror
By Gerard Baker, Times of London

"My centre is giving way. My right is in retreat. Situation excellent. I shall attack!”

If only our political leaders and opinion-formers displayed even a hint of the defiant resilience that carried Marshal Foch to victory at the Battle of the Marne. But these days timorous defeatism is on the march. In Britain setbacks in the Afghan war are greeted as harbingers of inevitable defeat. In America, large swaths of the political class continues to insist Iraq is a lost cause. The consensus in much of the West is that the War on Terror is unwinnable.

And yet the evidence is now overwhelming that on all fronts, despite inevitable losses from time to time, it is we who are advancing and the enemy who is in retreat. The current mood on both sides of the Atlantic, in fact, represents a kind of curious inversion of the great French soldier's dictum: “Success against the Taleban. Enemy giving way in Iraq. Al-Qaeda on the run. Situation dire. Let's retreat!” (link)

It is inarguable that George W. Bush leaves office with the world a much safer place than he entered it. A legacy to be proud of.

Will his successor be as unrelenting and forceful? Obama. Obama.

This Ain't Good

Both the London Telegraph and the Wall Street Journal blister the Federal Reserve yesterday for the U.S. Central Bank's inability to (disinterest in?) controlling inflation.

The Journal:

"Earlier this month the emperor of interest rates announced to much fanfare that the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee would "strongly resist" inflation expectations and supported a "stable" dollar. In the days since, the Fed has shown it is unwilling to back up that talk with any monetary tightening. The stock market has headed down, and commodity prices have gone up. Index losses yesterday across the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 were all nearly 3%. Crude oil was up $5. Gold rose an amazing $35."

The Telegraph:

"Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall "below zero."

This is not going to be pretty.