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

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Eeeeeek!

I had to do some repair work to my driveway the other day, after torrential rainfall had brought about sizeable creases in the gravel base that made for less than pleasurable ascent to my hilltop abode. In other words, it had washed out.

The routine involves my hooking up the snow blade to the tractor, pushing the dirt and gravel back up the slope and harrowing the driveway back into its pristine condition.

Well, I knew that when I went to take the tarp off the blade (I cover it for the summer, just as I cover my mower deck in the winter), there'd be a big black rat snake living under it. So I was very careful ...

It turned out that, when I removed the tarp and dragged it away, there was no snake underneath. Even though I thought I had heard one rustling through the tarp just as I began to lift it. Hmm.

Oh, well. Perhaps he was out looking for baby birds or mice (they have a ravenous appetite in the few months they are out and about in late spring and summer). There had actually been two living underneath the same tarp when I took it off the mower deck the month before, both of which were extremely reluctant to vacate what had become their cozy abode, but not this day.

So I made note of my good fortune, hitched up the blade, did my deal, and completed the task.

Later in the day, as I reversed the process and went to put the tarp back over the blade, I suddenly became aware of a strange sensation at my right ankle. Much to my horror fear cowardly aversion surprise, a six-foot black snake had apparently slithered out from inside the folds of the tarp and had coiled around my lower leg.


AROUND MY LEG.

My reaction was one of cerebral contemplation of the fascinating circumstance unfolding before me abject fright, and I jumped. As I jumped, I kicked out, tossing the snake into the weeds not far away. It coiled again in instinctive reaction, then slowly slithered off into the tall grass.

Then I stood there and tried to get my arms around (though not literally) what had just happened. Was he (she) trying to bring me down with a python death grip? Was it about to sink its little fangs (do they have fangs? do I want to know?) into my ankle? Was the little fella giving me a hug for my having freed it from the confines of the tarp?

I don't know.

I don't much care.

The tarp now covers the snow blade once again. In October it will be removed and the mower deck will take the blade's place in storage. And come May of next year ...

Surprises await in the darkness ...

* If there is a snake psychologist out there, I'd love to know what was taking place at my ankle. Was there some sexual thing going on?

A Chrysler Mainstay For Many Years ...

... gets the axe:
Chrysler to shut minivan plant as sales slump
By Poornima Gupta, Reuters

Detroit (Reuters) - Chrysler LLC will shut its St Louis minivan plant, cutting production of its top-selling vehicle and 2,400 factory jobs in a sign of the automaker's troubles with a market reeling from record gas prices.

Chrysler said it would close the assembly plant -- one of two North American facilities dedicated to the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country -- and eliminate a shift at a nearby assembly plant that makes the Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The third largest U.S automaker, which relied on sales of trucks (which include minivans) and SUVs for almost 70 percent of its sales, said it expected to post a significant decline in sales in June. (link)
How times change. For two decades the words "Chrysler" and "minivan" have gone together, like "government" and "indifference." But no more. It's amazing what $4.00 gas will do to buying habits.

When Gov't Has More Money ...

... than it knows what to do with, it becomes Fairfax County:

Fairfax Will Buy Foreclosed Properties
By Amy Gardner, Washington Post Staff Writer

Fairfax County approved a landmark housing program yesterday to buy foreclosed properties for middle-income families, becoming one of the first communities in the country to tackle the nation's growing mortgage crisis while also addressing the region's increasing demand for affordable housing.

County leaders said the program, through which Fairfax will purchase some properties outright and help families buy others through subsidized loans, takes advantage of a unique moment when thousands of homes are entering foreclosure and available for purchase at below-market prices. The program will expand the county's stock of affordable housing and help stabilize areas where clusters of abandoned, unkempt properties in foreclosure threaten the value and vitality of surrounding neighborhoods, county officials said. (link)
This makes for an excellent argument for those who favor regional taxing authorities as has been proposed - and accepted - to remedy our "transportation crisis." Obviously the people of Fairfax County don't care that they are being overtaxed to this degree. County overseers should - and will - keep raising assessments until the citizenry squeals. If they ever will. There seems to be a bottomless pit. This will at least allow the rest of the state, where people still understand the limits placed on government, to avoid such messes.

Shoot, maybe the people of Fairfax County should pay our tab too ...

Nostalgia ...

... in the Washington Post for a day when Zimbabwe was only an offensively malodorous sewer, unlike today now that it has turned into an unimaginably cruel hellhole.

I guess one has to maintain a sense of perspective.

It's Progress

Though why the residents of D.C. still have to be subservient to the local government is perplexing. And aggravating:
D.C. bill to allow handgun registration
By David C. Lipscomb, The Washington Times

The District's first step toward complying with the Supreme Court ruling allowing handguns in homes, a bill expected to be proposed Tuesday, would allow residents to register handguns for the first time in 32 years and would remove requirements for trigger locks and disassembly.

Council member Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, plans to propose the bill, which in addition to addressing the two main issues in the court's decision also calls for a waiting period for gun registration and a mandatory ballistics record for every gun registered. (link)
They take away restrictions and add encumbrances.

What this genius doesn't realize is that while he recommends setting up a ballistics fingerprinting database - at great cost to the American taxpayer - law enforcement officers around the country are deciding that "the program was simply not effective and is a waste of resources."

Still, those of us who fight to get out from under the heavy yoke of intrusive govenment press on ...

This Is Unity?

Somehow I don't think so:
A New Campaign Charge: You Supported Clinton
By Raymond Hernandez, The New York Times

Brooklyn’s 10th Congressional District, home to more African-Americans than any other in New York, gave Senator Barack Obama his highest margin of victory in the state. But the district’s longtime congressman, Edolphus Towns, did not share his constituency’s preference for Mr. Obama. Now some of those voters are pushing to oust him.

“His decision not to back Obama shows he is out of touch with his constituents,” said N. Chandler, a former city corrections officer who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant and who had supported Mr. Towns in the past. “And I think the people of this district are ready for a change.”

The tensions in the district echo those in a handful of races around the country as Democratic incumbents with large African-American constituencies try to soothe resentments and anger incited by their support for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even after Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton embraced in Unity, N.H., on Friday and sought to put their divisions behind them, some strains are still evident closer to the ground. (link)
My my my. It only gets better and better.

It Dawns On The Mainstream Press

The media have a problem:
Obama’s Iraq Problem
By George Packer, The New Yorker

In February, 2007, when Barack Obama declared that he was running for President, violence in Iraq had reached apocalyptic levels, and he based his candidacy, in part, on a bold promise to begin a rapid withdrawal of American forces upon taking office. At the time, this pledge represented conventional thinking among Democrats and was guaranteed to play well with primary voters. But in the year and a half since then two improbable, though not unforeseeable, events have occurred: Obama has won the Democratic nomination, and Iraq, despite myriad crises, has begun to stabilize. With the general election four months away, Obama’s rhetoric on the topic now seems outdated and out of touch, and the nominee-apparent may have a political problem concerning the very issue that did so much to bring him this far. (link)
Ya think? Everyone outside the nutroots acknowledges great success being achieved in Iraq, and Obama - and the nuts on the far left - still talk about endless failures.

Of course, all he'll need to do is come up with a new plan that embraces the war and reverses everything he has said - and said he believed - in the past and the mainstream press will be right there to support him.

Count on it.

A Look At The Details

Regarding the Heller 2nd Amendment case decided by the Supreme Court last week, there is an aspect of the findings that I haven't seen reported anywhere else. In addition to the Court decreeing that the Amendment in question was not tied to the establishment of a "militia," there is this:

"3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment."

Does that mean that John McCain's pet project - mandatory trigger locks - is dead forever? Perhaps. Depending on how that "as applied to self-defense" is interpreted down the road.

Good riddance.