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

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Be The First On Your Block ...

... to own your very own Barack Obama Commemorative Inaugural 2009 Spread The Wealth pencil sharpener.

Hurry! a limited number of these precious collectibles is available, only as long as Americans still have disposable income.

Get your Spread The Wealth pencil sharpener today!

Not Sure What To Make Of This

Paula and I received the latest installment from Netflix the other day and sat down in front of the DVD player in the evening to watch, with eager anticipation, Anthony Hopkins' latest flick.

We were sadly disappointed though, when I opened the sleeve, pulled out the DVD, and found it broken in half. Thank you, U.S. Postal Service.

Interestingly, the name of the movie?


Hmmm. Maybe it's some kind of promotional gimmick.

It Ain't a Virus, Shanna

I know that Roanoke Times columnist Shanna Flowers has little control over the header that some faceless editor at the paper attaches to her work. All the more reason for her to find this to be rather embarrassing:

Pregnancies ensnare teens

Beware the big, bad pregnancy, lurking behind that tree in the woods, waiting to pounce on that innocent little teen who's innocently walking down the path on her way to Grandma's house.

A good one, fellas.

Shanna actually makes a valid point (though she kills far too many bytes in making it; I was bored beyond tears) about teenagers controlling their sexual urges lest bad things happen. But that headline ...

Good. Grief.


The editorialists at the Washington Post (in "Detroit at the Brink") outline the issue perfectly:
[The auto] industry remains burdened by work rules -- including a "jobs bank" that pays laid-off employees not to work -- and by health and pension benefits that exceed those of its competitors. Private investors evidently have no desire to buy car company stocks or bonds to underwrite better-than-usual health benefits for hundreds of thousands of UAW members, active and retired; the general public should not have to do so, either.
That having been stated, the Post then trots off into never-never land:
Chapter 11 bankruptcy would force the companies to tackle these issues, but at the cost of much collateral damage to the rest of the economy. That should be avoided if reasonably possible. Congress should step into the breach, however, only in return for ironclad commitments that Detroit will revamp its business -- from the executive suite to the overgrown dealership network to the labor agreement.
Are these guys serious? The UAW should make a promise to Congress that its members - including retirees - will take a massive pay and benefit cut? In this life? In this universe?

Whatever it is that you dudes are inhaling, please pass it along so that the rest of us can enter your world of illusion as well.

Ironclad commitment. That's funny.

We Elected a Cigarette Smoker!

Leftists can be so funny at times. Take Michael Kinsley for example (please ...):

Let the Guy Smoke

Oddly, Kinsley encourages our new president to continue the destructive habit that will surely end his life prematurely:
Another question is what effect a president desperate for a cigarette and trying to quit might have on your life expectancy and mine. Obama's steely calm is now one of our country's major assets. If he needs an occasional cigarette to preserve it, let's hand him an ashtray, offer him a light and look the other way.
Michael Kinsley would be one of those compassionate liberals who demands that smoking in public places be banned. Is there a more "public" place than the White House? Uh, well, there needs to be exceptions to the rule, you see.

These guys crack me up.

This Ain't Your Mom & Pop

To those of you who have your noses regularly out of joint when it comes to Wal-Mart (I'm thinking of a certain Roanoke Times columnist who freely declares that he will never shop America's favorite store, preferring to pay higher prices for the same items down the street), I want you to ask yourself if those mom n' pop hardware stores that Wal-Mart displaces could have ever done this:
Wal-Mart Gives Fresh Food to Help Combat Hunger
By Stephanie Strom, The New York Times

Responding to the economic downturn, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to give more than 90 million pounds of fresh food annually to the nation’s largest nonprofit organization addressing hunger, Feeding America.

The company will not seek a tax deduction for its gift, she said, and thus could not estimate its dollar value. (link)
90 million pounds of food.

So here we have a retailer that provides great prices on an enormous selection of merchandise, decent paying jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans, with above average benefits offered to most, providing millions in tax revenue to local communities, AND they are giving away 90 million pounds of food to the poor. Annually.

And there will still be nitwits who argue that Wal-Mart is bad for the community.

For the love of God.

- - -

* Wal-Mart allows the Salvation Army bell-ringers to seek donations for the poor in front of their stores at Christmastime as well. Unlike the snobs who run Target.

My Obligatory Electoral College Blog Post

Every four years I'll take time out from my busy routine to burn a few bytes and express my opinion that the electoral college ought to be killed off. And, having wasted my effort, I'll go back to my normal life.

Still, it ought to die. Now. And be replaced with good, old-fashioned "he-or-she-with-the-most-votes-wins." On this, the New York Times and I have always been in agreement (though my reasons are virtuous and theirs are calculating). And we always take time out every four years to ...
Flunking the Electoral College

On Dec. 15, the United States will endure a quadrennial ritual born in the economics and politics of slavery and the quill-pen era. Members of the Electoral College are scheduled to meet in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to formally choose the next president.

There is no real doubt about how the electors will vote, but it is disturbing that they have any role at all in making this vital choice in the 21st century. The Electoral College is more than just an antiquated institution: it actively disenfranchises voters and occasionally (think 2000) makes the candidate with fewer popular votes president. American democracy would be far stronger without it. (link)
That bit about the electoral college making the presidency less strong is nothing more than gross hyperbole. But this is the New York Times we're reading.

In any case, the electoral college serves no good purpose. Its use should cease.

Now that I've gotten that bit of futility out of the way ...

The Reactions Pour In

Looks like I'm not alone in finding the Washington Post's "conservative" columnist Kathleen Parkers' piece yesterday to be just a tad more than I can stand. Especially from someone who claims to be a conservative.

Jonah Goldberg, writing in "The Corner" on National Review, has had all he can stand as well:
To my friend Kathleen Parker — This act is getting really old.

I don't know what's more grating, the quasi-bigotry that has you calling religious Christians low brows, gorillas and oogedy-boogedy types or the bravery-on-the-cheap as you salute — in that winsome way — your own courage for saying what (according to you) needs to be said. Please stop bragging about how courageous you are for weathering a storm of nasty email you invite on yourself by dancing to a liberal tune. You aren't special for getting nasty email, from the right or the left. You aren't a martyr smoking your last cigarette. You're just another columnist, talented and charming to be sure, but just another columnist. You are not Joan of the Op-Ed Page. Perhaps the typical Washington Post reader (or editor) doesn't understand that. But you should, and most conservatives familiar with these issues can see through what you're doing. (link)
"Dancing to a liberal tune." Couldn't o' put it better myself.

White House Scandals In The Making?

I think most of us have forgotten how scandal-plagued the Clinton years were, with corruption and cronyism the rule rather than the exception. With familiar faces from that notorious era resurfacing on a daily basis, the potential for a return to those days of lawlessness and greed do as well. The latest:
Obama’s Pick of Daschle May Test Conflict-of-Interest Pledge
By David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times

Washington — President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of former Senator Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services posed new questions on Wednesday about how broadly the new administration would apply Mr. Obama’s campaign promises to limit potential conflicts of interest among his appointees.

At issue is Mr. Daschle’s work since leaving the Senate four years ago as a board member of the Mayo Clinic and a highly paid adviser to health care clients at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird.

In a detailed list of campaign promises, Mr. Obama pledged that “no political appointees in an Obama administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.” (link) (my emphasis)
Well, kiss that promise goodbye.

To show that the Obama team is still in campaign mode, and will say anything, whether implausible or otherwise, there is this response to what is going to become a black eye for Mr. Hope & Change from one of his excuse-mongers:
Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for the Obama presidential transition office, said the nascent administration was still working out a way to structure its ethics rules, adding, “They will meet every commitment made during the campaign.”
They will? Read the news above. They won't.

On a related note, Daschle's wife, by the way, is a major Washington lobbyist, and has been for years. But that's not an issue either. Her intentions are as good and pure as are Obama's, therefore there's no potential for conflict.

My. My. I'll bet Bill Clinton can't wait to get a piece of this action.