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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, January 13, 2009

Can This Be True?

It comes from the less-than-bright editorialists over at the Charleston Gazette, so God knows:
Research by a reform group, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, found that only 56 percent of Mountain State residents between age 16 and 65 participate in the labor force by holding jobs or looking for them - the lowest rate in America. Therefore, it's silly for the state government to list West Virginia's unemployment rate at 6 percent, when it's actually more than 40 percent.
40% unemployment? Wow.

A Credit Worthy Columnist

Tom Angleberger is the best columnist the Roanoke Times has. That's been the case at least since 2006 when the paper suffered a grievous blow to its Thursday lineup with the resignation of a certain hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners writer from the Big Walker Mountain area of Southwest Virginia.*

Today Tom follows up with a great column that deals with proper usage of the English language. A snippet from "We feels badly about bad grammer":

Last week's column about grammar nitpicks generated two types of responses.

First, were those who wanted to tell me their own favorite nits to pick.

Secondly, those who wanted to nitpick me personally.

From the first batch came a great idea from Joyce Hodges of Salem.

"Let your readers vote on the worst," she suggested. She then kicked things off by voting for the mix-up of "your" and "you're."

So ... what's you're vote for the most maddening common grammar mistake? Sentence fragments? When a group of singular nouns are paired with a plural verb? Bad use of apostrophe's? Too many, commas? People who feel badly? [link] [my emphasis]

Great stuff. Thanks, Tom.

- - -

* I miss this kind of stuff. From someone who calls himself Bubby:
I read that guest editorial, [, sic] and wondered many of the same things[,] Doug. The fellow is called [sic] Jerry Fuhrman, calls himself "sage". Apparently he harangued the Roanoke Times enough to gain a Thursday slot [I did? Odd, I remember it as them contacting me]. So we'll be reading much more from the guy (or not). His blog is From on High. Today ol' Jerry is tilting at the right wing [sic] windmill against global climate change [sic] [ nasty mixed metaphor, there, Bubby].

Jerry seems to be one of those guys that [sic] doesn't have enough gumption to haul his ass out to the wilds of Idaho and really get down to the stern, hard life of the wingtopian [?] angryman. So he sits on a hilltop in Bland, looking down. I think I could write his pending screed on the Blacksburg phenomena.

As if southwest didn't grow enough Angrymen, now it's attracting them from out of state [?]- like moths to the flame. Hey Jerry: Try to make yourself useful, eh? "
Eh?

Protest Group In Richmond To Act Weird ...

... and protest an occurrence that didn't occur on the Virginia Tech campus in April, 2007:
Gun-control group plans Richmond 'lie-in'
By Greg Esposito, The Roanoke Times

A group formed shortly after the April 16, 2007, shootings at Virginia Tech that advocates for stricter gun laws plans to hold a demonstration today on the lawn of the state capitol in Richmond.

Protesteasyguns.com was formed by Abigail Spangler, a mother of two from Alexandria, less than a week after shootings that resulted in the deaths of 33 people on Tech's campus. The group has organized "lie-in" protests across the country to symbolize people who have died as a result of gun violence.

Several family members of those killed in the Tech shootings have joined the group, which has held lie-ins on the capitol lawn and Tech campus. The focus of the effort in Virginia has been to close the state's so-called "gun-show loophole." [link]
What does the (mythical) "gun show loophole" have to do with the Virginia Tech massacre, you're asking? About as much as a bunch of misguided nitwits, with too much time on their hands, sprawled across the lawn on a frigid day in Richmond, dressed up like it's Halloween, chanting silly shit like "More Guns, More Death!" has to do with the world the rest of us humans live in.

Key word being NITWITS.

Quote of the Day

James Taranto:
This New York Times editorial, from a week ago Sunday, may be an all-time classic. The subject is the need for higher taxes:

"We also acknowledge that a tax increase on the rich, though feasible, could backfire in these tense times. Because it is hard to explain and easy to demagogue, it could foster a confusing debate that might impair confidence just when confidence needs to be revived."

The Times editorialists find their own position "hard to explain"? Couldn't it be that it's just wrong, or that the editorialists aren't very good at their jobs?

"Dizzy In The Head and I'm Feeling Blue, "Best of the Web Today," January 12, 2009

Here's Something I Didn't Know

From Nationmaster.com's encyclopedia:

"Arlington County [Virginia] was once part of the District of Columbia, i.e.: Washington, D.C.. By an act of Congress July 9, 1846, the area south of the Potomac river was returned to Virginia effective in 1847."

Why is that important? Because if that part of the District of Columbia south of the Potomac could, by act of Congress, be turned over to the state of Virginia, that part of the District of Columbia north of the Potomac - or a portion thereof - could be turned over to the state of Maryland.

Thus ending the annoying debate about D.C. statehood.
D.C. representation
Washington Times editorial

Last Tuesday, the first day of the 111th Congress, the normally level-headed Senators Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, and Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, joined D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, in introducing a legally repugnant D.C. House Voting Rights Act.

If the District is to have representation, whether in the House or Senate, or both, the route is amendment to the Constitution. That is just what happened in 1961 with ratification of the 23rd Amendment permitting D.C. electors for President and Vice President. It's just what ultimately didn't happen when the D.C. Voting Rights Amendment that Congress passed in 1978 expired in 1985 for lack of ratification by the states.

There are two other options for District residents who complain, as their smarmy "Taxation Without Representation" license plate does (not entirely correctly, given the taxation by the City Council), that they are deprived. The first option is to simply move a few miles to Maryland or Virginia. The second is to seek agreement by the Maryland legislature to accept retrocession, just as occurred in 1846 when the citizens of the Virginia side of the district voted to return their area to Virginia, so that the current District of Columbia occupies only the land that Maryland ceded when the District was formed. In the latter case, a small governmental area around the Mall, White House and Capitol would remain the District of Columbia. [link] [my emphasis]

So this has precedent. And the effort doesn't require a Constitutional amendment. All that's needed is an act of Congress.

Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution:

The Congress shall have power ... To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And ...

So the Constitution would require an amendment if Congress tried to enlarge D.C.'s boundaries (beyond "ten miles square"), but wouldn't require one if the District's area was to be reduced.

Good. Now, can we get on with it and end this constant whine about "taxation without representation"?

What Two Trillion Dollar Deficit?

Spending money that doesn't belong to them comes easy for these people. I guess the only saving grace is that soon none of us will have the kind of money that these thieves and scoundrels are needing in order to sate their insatiable appetite for helping those who once were expected to help themselves.

When we all need government assistance, will the Democrats be there for us?
Congress Set to Renew Health Care for Children
By Robert Pear, The New York Times

Congress is poised to give President-elect Barack Obama a quick victory by passing a bill to provide health insurance to millions of low-income children.

The House Democratic leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, said the bill, scheduled for a vote in the House this week, was “very much like” legislation twice vetoed by President Bush in 2007. Legal authority for the program expires on March 31. [link]
This being the New York Times, what you're not being told is the fact that "low-income children" already have government-paid health coverage. SCHIP, as this is known, extends coverage to middle class kids. Kids of parents who ought to be able to take care of their own but were too stupid or lazy to plan ahead.

Oh, and where we once made demands that legal immigrants to this country be able to prove that they can afford to take care of their families before they were allowed to emigrate, now the Democrats will be providing them with government assistance again too:
Congressional Democrats said they had decided to add a major provision allowing states to restore health insurance benefits to legal immigrants under 21, a goal of Hispanic groups since those benefits were terminated in 1996.
A looming two trillion dollar deficit and these imbeciles don't care.

Californians are fleeing their state to avoid out-of-control government (see below). To what locale do the rest of us flee?

Obama Acts. Knocks Down Hornet's Nest.

Obama preparing order to close Gitmo

That's the easy part. What then?

California Is a Mess

The latest stats coming out of the Golden State are eye-opening. In a land where liberals decided long ago that the residents there could "have it all," the taxpaying portion of those residents are saying: "We now have nothing more to give those who want it all." And they're saying it with their feet. And U-haul trailers:
Go East, young man? Californians look for the exit
By Michael R. Blood, Associated Press Writer

Since the days of the Gold Rush, California has represented the Promised Land, an image celebrated in the songs of the Beach Boys and embodied by Silicon Valley's instant millionaires and the young men and women who achieve stardom in Hollywood.

But for many California families last year, tomorrow started somewhere else.

The number of people leaving California for another state outstripped the number moving in from another state during the year ending on July 1, 2008. California lost a net total of 144,000 people during that period — more than any other state, according to census estimates. That is about equal to the population of Syracuse, N.Y.

Why are so many looking for an exit?

Among other things: California's unemployment rate hit 8.4 percent in November, the third-highest in the nation, and it is expected to get worse. A record 236,000 foreclosures are projected for 2008, more than the prior nine years combined, according to research firm MDA DataQuick. Personal income was about flat last year.

With state government facing a $41.6 billion budget hole over 18 months, residents are bracing for higher taxes, cuts in education and postponed tax rebates. A multibillion-dollar plan to remake downtown Los Angeles has stalled, and office vacancy rates there and in San Diego and San Jose surpass the 10.2 percent national average.

Median housing prices have nose-dived one-third from a 2006 peak, but many homes are still out of reach for middle-class families. Some small towns are on the brink of bankruptcy. Normally recession-proof Hollywood has been hit by layoffs. [link]
What the migration numbers don't tell you is the demographic makeup of those entering and leaving California. Leaving? Taxpayers. Entrepreneurs. The middle class. Entering? Foreigners. Illegals. Poor people looking for the (lucrative) government handout.

Couple that with the fact that California's native-born population is rapidly aging, and you get ... California.

So the cream of California's population is leaving in droves. Who can blame them?