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

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Three Cheers For Democracy

Or representative government, as the case may be.

This, from the Martinsville Bulletin, seems right to me:
Democracy prevailed

The 2008 election finally is over, and democracy has won.

On Wednesday, Albemarle Democrat Tom Perriello’s victory in the 5th Congressional District race was confirmed after a recount showed he topped incumbent Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Rocky Mount, by 727 votes.

Rep. Goode had asked for the recount when the Nov. 4 election results showed only a 745-vote difference between the two. The slim margin meant the recount was done at taxpayer expense.

Now, it is time to move past the election and to welcome Congressman-elect Perriello to the rigors of elected office. [link]
The outcome was unexpected. But not incomprehensible. As is the case in (nearly) every election involving an incumbent who was unseated, most votes were cast against one instead of in favor of the other. This election was no different.

Virgil Goode managed to cultivate and motivate a whole lot of constituents in recent years who were prepared - even eager - to vote against him in Southside. From his completely unnecessary outspokenness on the non-issue of an American Muslim congressman using the Q'uran for his swearing in ceremony to Goode's out-of-the-mainstream - and rather obvious - opposition to immigration (rather than to illegal immigration, which many of us oppose), raising the legitimate accusation of his being a xenophobe(!), he pretty much sealed his fate.

Too bad, really. Now folks in the 5th Congressional District are left with a Democrat who, from all indications, will fit right in with the increasingly liberal wing of his party. And that won't play well with the people of Southside for long.

But play Tom Perriello will. The people have spoken. And they get the last word. Always.*

- - -

* Okay, the people get the last word, except in California, where the ruling elite can void the will of the people with impunity.

But Will She Put Everyone To Sleep ...

The New York Times this morning plays up the efforts of poet (and Yale teacher) Elizabeth Alexander, as she prepares to speak at Barack Obama's inauguration:
Poet Chosen for Inauguration Is Aiming for a Work That Transcends the Moment
By Katharine Q. Seelye

Elizabeth Alexander, who teaches at Yale, was plucked last week from the relatively obscure recesses of contemporary poetry for a moment on the world stage. President-elect Barack Obama has commissioned her to compose and read a poem for his inauguration, making her only the fourth poet in American history to read at one and elevating the art to unaccustomed prominence in the national psyche, at least for a day.

To prepare, she has delved into W. H. Auden, particularly his “Musée des Beaux Arts” (“About suffering they were never wrong/The Old Masters”), and the work of Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize, for poetry. Auden, she said, “asked very large questions about how we stand in history.” And Brooks has had a major influence on her work. [link]
Pardon me for pissing in your corn flakes, but transcendent this woman ain't. Typical of her work, "Blues":
I avoided sleep for years,
up at night replaying
evening news stories about
nearby jailbreaks, fat people
who ate fried chicken and woke up
dead. In sleep I am looking
for poems in the shape of open
V's of birds flying in formation,
or open arms saying, I forgive you, all.
Transcendent? Please.

How about mindless. Unremarkable. Empty. Worthless.

And Alexander thinks she can rise to W.H. Auden's level of brilliance? Good luck.

He too wrote of "blues." This from Auden's "Funeral Blues":
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Makes the words of Elizabeth Alexander seem like those of a fourth grader by comparison, doesn't it? A bored - and boring - fourth grader at that.

But at Obama's inauguration she'll be.
She'll go there with metrical literature that'll transcend the ages in hand.
The masses she'll regale with splendid verse a'soarin'.
At least that's what the email instructed.
Gosh, what would Oprah do?
Give a car to everyone.
O the cheers.
Birds sing.
A poem.

No Response Necessary

I'll leave the words of the nitwits at the Charleston Gazette to stand on their own:
Of course, Time magazine had no choice in choosing its 2008 Person of the Year. Barack Obama is a towering figure, a history-maker who changed the face of America forever. He symbolizes a deep shift that is occurring in U.S. culture, a transition to more enlightened, diverse, cosmopolitan and progressive values.

In addition to Obama's own attributes, he also symbolizes another change: an end to the ugly, harmful, selfish, belligerent behavior of the disastrous Bush administration.


Roanoke Times, Meet 'Disaster'

This sentence in a Roanoke Times editorial this morning made me shake my head. Poor dumb bastards:

"Extracting coal from the ground, especially using the increasingly popular mountaintop removal method, is an environmental disaster."

That term, "mountaintop removal," is radical environmentalist-speak for surface mining.

A disaster? Let's take a look:

Before (yick)
After (sweet!)
Before (eeeeww)

After (yeah, baby!)

A disaster? Only to the deplorably uninformed. You city boys have heard the term "urban renewal"? Think of this as rural renewal. We do.

Or, do what you do every other day. Don't think at all.

Photos courtesy of the Mine Information Institute

Charity Begins at Home

Unless you're a liberal. Then it begins at the United States Department of Health and Human Services:
Bleeding Heart Tightwads
By Nicholas D. Kristof, the New York Times

This holiday season is a time to examine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, but I’m unhappy with my findings. The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals. [link]
This really shouldn't surprise anyone. It's not, after all, new news. It's been known for the longest time that liberals don't give to charitable organizations (in any appreciable way). They tell themselves - and each other - that they want the poor to be taken care of, and that they prefer their government write the checks for them.

What their real motivation is, however, is greed. They want government programs instituted that will help them - along with those in need - gain that which their toils and strifes won't provide on their own.

Such the shock. Liberals don't give two squirts about the poor.

Who knew?

A Tragedy Unfolds

This is too painful to watch:
Kennedy Offers Hints of a Platform, and a Few Surprises
By Nicholas Confessore, The New York Times

Albany — In just a few days, Caroline Kennedy’s bid to replace Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has acquired nearly all the trappings of a traditional New York statewide campaign: a bevy of consultants, a tour of upstate cities and television cameras tracking her every move.

Now Ms. Kennedy has added something else to the list: a platform — of sorts.

Ms. Kennedy has not yet given a substantial interview to any publication and at recent appearances has declined to answer more than a few questions from reporters. But on Saturday, Ms. Kennedy’s spokesman provided written answers to 15 questions posed by The New York Times. [link]
She wants to be (appointed) United States Senator but refuses to speak in public and has handlers preparing and submitting answers to written questions.

It's beyond pathetic.

I know it should make no difference in this instance, but we will always look upon the Kennedy years - and the relationship that dad John had with daughter Caroline - with fondness. And, at the same time, a profound sense of sadness. And, whether she accepts it or not, she is for all of us locked in that time. We want nothing but the best for her. Always.

That's why it's so discomforting to watch her involve herself in something that drags her reputation into the slop pot.

Stop it. Now. You're hurting us. We choose to remember you in a very different way ...

... like it or not.

Photo courtesy of the Kennedy Library.

The Nation Mourns

Despite entreaties from far and wide, our congressman doesn't want an Obama cabinet post:

U.S Congressman Rick Boucher Focused On 9th District, Not Obama’s Cabinet

Just as well. The position of wiener, it is rumored, has been filled.