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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Facts. Fiction.

I provide the facts. The Charleston Gazette - a member in good standing of the imploding mainstream press - provides the fables.

Today's offering:
Disgrace:45 million left out

America's for-profit medical system is the world's most expensive. For people with good insurance, it provides high-quality care. But 45 million "working poor" Americans - and many among the 1.2 million who lost their jobs so far this year - have no coverage. They must seek charity care or do without. That's shameful.

Meanwhile, it's disturbing that many people overseas enjoy better health than Americans do, even though their countries have lower medical expense. In an editorial titled "Tied with Thailand," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said:

"Roughly seven of every 1,000 babies born in the United States die before their first birthday. That puts America on a par with the rates in Serbia and Lithuania. In a ranking of countries' infant mortality rates, with number one being the best, the United States is tied with Thailand in 29th place. (link)
"That's shameful." Or it might be if any of it were true.

First, on that bit about "45 million 'working poor' Americans" having no coverage. No expert has ever averred or alleged that all the uninsured - 40 to 50 million is the number tossed out by ill-informed types like these at the Gazette - are poor. Some are, to be sure. But many aren't. According to the Business & Media Institute:
[A]ccording to [the Census Bureau report “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005], there are 8.3 million uninsured people who make between $50,000 and $74,999 per year and 8.74 million who make more than $75,000 a year. That’s roughly 17 million people who ought to be able to “afford” health insurance because they make substantially more than the median household income of $46,326.
And as for the number of uninsured itself, there's this:
Each of these people and media outlets incorrectly claimed the number of uninsured to be 40 to 50 million Americans. The actual total is open to debate. But there are millions of people who should be excluded from that tally, including: those who aren’t American citizens, people who can afford their own insurance, and people who already qualify for government coverage but haven’t signed up.

Government statistics also show 45 percent of those without insurance will have insurance again within four months after job transitions.

Accounting for all those factors, one prominent study places the total for the long-term uninsured as low as 8.2 million – a very different reality than the media and national health care advocates claim.
And what about that tired old argument about America's horrendous infant mortality rate?

Read and learn:

Infant Mortality and Premature Birth

Myth: The U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than that of other countries

Fact: The U.S.’ infant mortality rate is not higher; the rates of Canada and many European countries are artificially low, due to more restrictive definitions of live birth. There also are variations in the willingness of nations to save very low birth weight and gestation babies.

Understand that. The fact that the U.S., having the best health care delivery system on Earth, has hospital facilities that attempt - and sometimes fail - but sometimes succeed - to bring to the world children that would have absolutely no chance of survival had they been in similar circumstances in other countries.

Read and learn:

Premature Birth Now Leading Cause of Infant Mortality in United States

Approximately 34% of infant deaths within the first year of life are of premature babies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

These figures, presented based on new research, are twice as high as previous estimates.

The number of premature births in the United States has increased over 30% since 1980.

There's the irony. American doctors have the ability to save premature babies like at no time in human history. But they don't always succeed. So those births - and deaths - become part of that infant mortality figure.

The idiots at the Gazette wouldn't have anything to whine about if those thousands of babies were simply stillborn. Or aborted because of the potentiality for birth defects. What morons.

But even morons aren't forgiven for butchering facts. Not now. Not ever.

As If Pulaski Hasn't Had Enough Troubles ...

This just tops things off:
Pulaski's Historic Train Station Destroyed by fire
By Jena Hardy, Staff Writer, Southwest Times

The Town of Pulaski lost a piece of its history early Monday morning when the historic Pulaski Train Station succumbed to a fire.

As of this morning, Pulaski Fire Chief Bill Webb said the station is a "total loss."

The Pulaski Fire Department received word of the fire just after midnight Monday morning and arrived at the station, located at the corner of South Washington Avenue and Dora Highway in Pulaski, according to Webb.

The Pulaski Train Station, which first opened in 1888, was home to the Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Museum and was listed on the National Historic Register. (link)
This has to be heartbreaking.

The train station/museum before yesterday

A grievous loss. Another blow to Pulaski's recovery effort.

Image courtesy of The Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Museum

Am I dreaming?

Or did Roanoke Times political cartoonist Chris OBrion alter this cartoon in recent days?

If I'm not mistaken the "Carry me back to old Virginia" caption read - just days ago - "Carry me back to old Virginny." Did someone complain? Did management come down on him for exhibiting that which could be construed as being potentially racist? Is it me? Are my drugs kicking in?

Breaking News!

New Valley Metro bus stop expected at Valley View Mall

I never thought I'd be so enraptured by this kind of stuff. But since Obama was elected and the orgy of press love has gone on non-stop ...

Bush Does It His Way

Over the last several years, the Democrats wanted a "date-certain" timetable for withdrawal from the battlefields of Iraq. Now that the war is won and an agreement is signed with the Iraqi government to affect that very process, I expect the Democrats to thank and praise him.

Am I being overly optimistic?

A Sound Strategy

The anti-abortion movement is - according to the Washington Post - moving in the direction I've advocated for years.

Quit battling before a munch of old prunes at the Supreme Court and concentrate on winning the hearts of America's young women:
Some Abortion Foes Shifting Focus From Ban to Reduction
By Jacqueline L. Salmon, Washington Post Staff Writer

Frustrated by the failure to overturn Roe v. Wade, a growing number of antiabortion pastors, conservative academics and activists are setting aside efforts to outlaw abortion and instead are focusing on building social programs and developing other assistance for pregnant women to reduce the number of abortions.

Some of the activists are actually working with abortion rights advocates to push for legislation in Congress that would provide pregnant women with health care, child care and money for education -- services that could encourage them to continue their pregnancies.

Their efforts, they said, reflect the political reality that legal challenges to abortion rights will not be successful, especially after Barack Obama's victory this month in the presidential election and the defeat of several ballot measures that would have restricted access to abortions. (link)
First, Barack Obama has proven himself to be nothing more than a docile, pliable, timid sheep. When he was representing a very liberal part of Chicago, he was a pro-abortion extremist. But if America's women turn against the practice of butchering children in the womb - out of love for children - Obama will become pro-life overnight. About that I have no doubt.

And the courts will follow along with public opinion as well, as they did when they miraculously found a right to abortion in the Constitution back in 1973. Those who believe it to be a "living document" will soon wish it weren't.

But it all hinges on public opinion. Win the hearts of America's mothers - and potential mothers - and all else will fall in line.

Good move. Winning strategy.

This Should Be Interesting

The Supreme Court of California is being asked to rule on the constitutionality of its Constitution.


And since the court - and those who seek a decision - are all flaming liberals, don't be surprised if the august jurists there determine the document upon which all state laws are grounded to be null and void. Such is the mindset. And the determination to have their way at all costs.

The details:
California Asks Court to Weigh Ban on Gay Marriage
By Jesse Mckinley, The New York Times

San Francisco — The California attorney general asked the State Supreme Court on Monday to review the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the voter initiative passed two weeks ago that bans same-sex marriage.

The attorney general, Jerry Brown, said in a brief that such a review was necessary to provide closure and clarity on the ballot measure, which has prompted protests across the country and several challenges filed with the court.

The central argument in the recently filed lawsuits is that Proposition 8 is a significant enough revision to the State Constitution to require approval by the Legislature. (link) (my emphasis)
Let it be understood that Prop 8 wasn't simply a referendum passed by the people of California. Nor was it just an "initiative" as the reporter for the New York Times would have you believe. Prop 8 amended the state Constitution.

And where in that Constitution is there an allowance for the state legislature to decide if the people have the right to amend the peoples' Constitution? Don't bother to look. It ain't there. But the liberals are going to try to use that non-existent privilege to block the amendment just the same.

Don't be surprised if they win. Believe it or not, it wouldn't be the first time these jokers tried to pull this. Such are the times ...

The NY Times Asks. I Answer.

With the Democrats now being in charge, and with no cause too unworthy for Congress to get involved and to toss out tons of money as if it were candy, the following becomes a rather serious question:

What Should Congress Do With G.M.?

My serious response:

If you figure that GM's market capitalization hovers right now around $1.9 billion, and the federal government currently spends about $411 billion on various and sundry welfare programs (out of a total budget of $2.7 trillion), well, shoot, why not just buy G.M. and put all its workers on government relief? Permanent government relief.

Let them continue to make cars that nobody wants at the prices G.M. charges and we can give them to the homeless. Or use them as boat anchors. Potted plant containers. Stick 'em in the ground and call 'em art. The opportunities are endless.

$1.9 billion? Democrats can spend that in their sleep.

$1.9 billion? Your government spent nearly that much on berry research.

$1.9 billion? If we can spend $4,900,000 on a Nutrient Management Laboratory in Wisconsin, and $3,638,000 on an Appalachian Fruit Laboratory over in West Virginia, and $2,300,000 on animal waste management in Bowling Green, Kentucky, what's another $1.9 billion?

$1.9 billion? Heck, more than ten times that amount simply disappears and can never be accounted for in the average year.

So, you want to solve G.M.'s problems cost effectively? Just buy the thing and be done with it.

Either that, or continue to provide very expensive bailouts now till the end of time.

- - -

The Death Certificate is written by the Washington Post in this headline:

"Too Big to Fail? They've Failed Already."

* 11/17/08, 0814 hours: Corrction made

With Republicans Like These ...

Barack Obama must be very pleased these days. For more reasons than one. He gets elected and the GOP continues its march off the cliff. Guess what the latest is. The Scary Looking Weapons Ban has been reintroduced.* Only this time, it's being brought forward by ... a Republican.

Some wiener from Illinois, one Mark Kirk, is calling his bill - get this - the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act.

A ban.

With Republicans like Kirk, who needs Republicans?

Oh, wait. I guess that was the message sent two weeks ago by the American people, wasn't it?

- - -

* It appears that the ban legislation was introduced in June, before the GOP took its drubbing. Go figure.

Inexperience Seems To Be The Order Of The Day

As does a woeful lack of qualifications:

Hillary Clinton to accept Obama's offer of secretary of state job

At least she brings hope and change to the jo ... oh, wait, that was the bullshit the last unqualified candidate for high office flung. Hillary brings ...

Hillary brings ...

- - -

James Taranto adds this:

"A New York Times story ... says that if Obama picked Mrs. Clinton, it could 'send a substantive political signal to women.' Right, because only two out of the last three secretaries of state have been female."

Shout It, Brutha

On the crumbling mainstream press industry and who's to blame for its demise:
Murdoch to media: You dug yourself a huge hole
By Charles Cooper, CNET News

With newspapers cutting back and predictions of even worse times ahead, Rupert Murdoch said the profession may still have a bright future if it can shake free of reporters and editors who he said have forfeited the trust and loyalty of their readers.

"My summary of the way some of the established media has responded to the internet is this: it's not newspapers that might become obsolete. It's some of the editors, reporters, and proprietors who are forgetting a newspaper's most precious asset: the bond with its readers," said Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp. He made his remarks as part of a lecture series sponsored by the Australian Broadcast Corporation.

"The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception." (link)
When I read that, I thought of the Roanoke Times editorial page, which offends most area readers and observers on a regular basis, but is - I'd have to believe - supported by its publisher without hesitation. The problem is, and it would do the geniuses who watch the bottom line there well to grasp this, we have to put up with the daily aggravations brought on by - say - the likes of the DMV. But we don't have to put up with the Times. We can simply take our money - and our modem - elsewhere.

Thus newspapers continue to champion their leftist causes, and continue to lose readership like there's no tomorrow.

Not a business model I'd be signing on to.