Friday, January 23, 2009
"It is no secret that President Barack Obama is a gifted speaker, but at his inauguration Tuesday he truly gave the speech of a lifetime."
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer:
"Fascinating speech. It was so rhetorically flat, so lacking in rhythm and cadence, one almost has to believe he did it on purpose.
"Which seems to me the only way to understand the mediocrity of his inaugural address. The language lacked lyricism. The content had neither arc nor theme: no narrative trajectory like Lincoln's second inaugural; no central idea, as was (to take a lesser example) universal freedom in Bush's second inaugural."
For the love of God:
New Elevator Marks A Major Step Toward MoveI shudder to think what those other renovations will include. An Olympic size swimming pool?
By David McGee, Staff Writer, Bristol Herald Courier
Bristol, Va. – Thursday’s elevator installation signaled one of the final major steps before the city’s Parks and Recreation Department can move into its new offices.
A crew from Vertical Solutions in Limestone, Tenn., installed the free-standing elevator at the rear of the department’s new home – a former farmhouse adjacent to Sugar Hollow Park.
The unit, which cost about $24,000, will make the second floor accessible to those with disabilities and comply with federal laws, department Director Kevin Dye said.
“It is going real well,” Dye said of the project. “We still have some renovation to do inside the house, but we hope to be moving in by the middle of February.” [link]
Couldn't the deep-thinkers at the parks and recreation department, knowing that they had to comply with federal law, have found a one-story abandoned farmhouse in which to place its offices?
And what was wrong with the old offices, besides there being no elevator and Olympic size swimming pool? Was the paint peeling?
And why does Bristol need a parks and recreation department building at all? Or a parks and recreation department? Or a parks and recreation department director? After all, Southwest Virginia is one big park? Does he hold a sign on the interstate each weekend that points to the Virginia Creeper Trail?
$24000 for an elevator in an old farmhouse. May God have mercy.
Tourism growth — Expansion of wilderness areas welcomed$42,124,170 my ass.
Bluefield Daily Telegraph editorial
While a $3 billion budget shortfall is threatening to stall future growth in Virginia, a flourishing tourism industry remains a bright spot in an otherwise bleak budget picture for the Commonwealth.
Southwest Virginia in particular is reaping benefits from tourism. According to the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Tazewell County alone netted $42,124,170 in visitor spending, or an increase of 8.3 percent in tourism dollars, during the year 2007. While statistics for 2008 will most likely be stifled by the record high gas prices experienced by the region during much of 2008, officials are still optimistic of continued tourism growth in 2009 and beyond.
That’s why legislation recently approved by the United States Senate that will specifically help expand tourism growth in Southwest Virginia is welcomed. [link]
How about A-S-I-A.
Should we ban Asian immigrants?
How unthinkable. How loutish. How neanderthal.
We should ban those little metal thingies that hold bullets and go bang. Now that's the progressive, enlightened course of action to take.
Castro says he probably won't be around in 4 years
54 years too late. 100,000 "enemies of the Cuban people" too late.
I hope there is a hell.
The Washington Post is upset about it.
This idea that we should have a two-party system just has to go. How dare they inconvenience our new emperor for a few hours while they attempt to sort out the many scandals that swirl around this less than stellar nominee.
This is "change" all right. But change we can believe in?
Some don't think so:
"A new era of American leadership is at hand," the president said.
But families of the 9/11 fallen slammed Obama for going soft on terrorists.
"The terrorists are going to be cheering," said FDNY Fire Lt. Jim McAffrey, whose brother-in-law, FDNY Battalion Chief Orio Palmer, was killed at Ground Zero.
"It's the wrong move. It sends a chilling message to people who are trying to fight the war on terror. These people are trying to kill us. Down the road, [Obama] may regret doing this."
Marine Maj. Jeff Groharing, a prosecutor in the lead trial of Sept. 11 plotters, said he wanted trials of terror suspects to resume at Guantanamo.
"There are victims out there that still need justice to be done. I don't think it would be fair to them to not see the cases through," he said.
Justice for the victims? It's too late for that, man. Now we're going to shift our focus to providing justice to the terrorists. Americans who suffered grievous loss on 9/11 can pound salt.
America voted in favor of it on November 4.
Nashville Won’t Make English Official Language
In truth, though, it really doesn't matter. Because of the internet, because of the ability to communicate globally, easily, English is rapidly becoming the universal language of Planet Earth anyway. Regardless what "official" positions are adopted.
Have no fear.
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To illustrate the point: The day I got the greatest number of hits on this weblog occurred a few years ago when I had a post (the subject of which is long forgotten) that was linked to - and commented on - by an English language newspaper ...
... in Mumbai.
English is the world's official language. Whether it's "official" or not.
A New York Democrat with an "A" rating from the only real civil rights organization left in America?
She's still a damn Democrat. But a gun-supportin' one.
Today, local Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand announced that she received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association. Gillibrand has a 100% voting record with the NRA, and an “A” lifetime rating by the organization. Gillibrand is one of only two New York Democrats on the federal level endorsed by the NRA.
“As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, it is a privilege to have the endorsement of the NRA and the support of Upstate New York’s gun owners and hunters,” said Gillibrand. “I come from a family of hunters, and preserving this strong Upstate tradition is a priority of mine in Congress. I will continue to oppose legislation that will restrict the rights of responsible gun owners and I will continue to advocate for policies that will keep our rivers, land and air clean, so that future generations can enjoy hunting and wildlife in our region.”
The NRA has more than four million members nationwide. Gillibrand’s district has the most NRA members out of New York’s 29 Congressional Districts. (source)
She has, therefore, my provisional endorsement.
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* Special note: She looks to be a babe too. President Gillibrand? Can you imagine a 2012 race between Gillibrand and Sarah Palin? I'll be pulling the "ALL OF THE ABOVE" lever.
Over my dead body.
Problem is, you can't do anything else with them either.
Two articles on the subject. The first an editorial appearing in yesterday's Wall Street Journal:
Obama and GuantanamoEspecially the streets of Bland County, Virginia, where they'll be shot on sight.
Campaign promises are so much easier to adhere to when they're strictly hypothetical, as Barack Obama is discovering. The then-President-elect said 10 days ago on ABC that while he still plans to close Guantanamo, "it is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize" and that "many" of the enemy combatants are "very dangerous."
Isn't responsibility fun?
The first practical question is where to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the 245 or so other remaining Gitmo prisoners. Dangerous enemy combatants can't simply be released into the streets. [link]
Today the front page of the New York Times offers our young president a reality check:
Freed by U.S., Saudi Becomes a Qaeda ChiefI think the only good answer is to warehouse these terrorists in some offshore prison where they can do no harm. I'm thinking of a place like Cuba.
By Robert F. Worth
Beirut, Lebanon — The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.
The militant, Said Ali al-Shihri, is suspected of involvement in a deadly bombing of the United States Embassy in Yemen’s capital, Sana, in September. He was released to Saudi Arabia in 2007 and passed through a Saudi rehabilitation program for former jihadists before resurfacing with Al Qaeda in Yemen.
“The lesson here is, whoever receives former Guantánamo detainees needs to keep a close eye on them,” the American official said. [link]
It sure ain't going to be here in Southwest Virginia. Barry.
Welcome to the real world, Junior.
"I want him to fail."
That's Rush Limbaugh responding to a question posed by Sean Hannity (you can view it here) in a recent sit-down interview.
Hannity: "... The question becomes, Do you want him to succeed?"
Rush's answer should have been an unequivocal "YES. If Obama succeeds, however he goes about it, America succeeds. And that, my friends, is all that matters.
"But it is my learned opinion, based on years of research and bearing witness to countless forays into socialism on the part of misguided political leaders and evil despots - hello, Soviet Union - that he will FAIL, and take the USA, the country I love with all my heart, down with him.
"The only way to pull America - indeed the world economy - out of its nosedive is through the raw exercise of capitalism and the unleashing of the democratic spirit that yearns to be unfettered in all of us."
It's one thing to believe in a doctrine, Rush. But not above all else. We have a new president. You and I share the fear that this rookie will ruin that country that we both love. But he's the pilot of our ship of state. If he puts our boat on the rocks, America suffers for generations to come.
I want the man to succeed. For my grandchildren's sake. For their grandchildren's sake.
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* Yes, it pains me. Rush is never wrong. I blame too much sun down there in Palm Beach.
It has taken an economic calamity - the likes of which 95% of America has never experienced - to push the idiotic/sinister (depending on who's pushing the agenda) subject of global warming off the table. May God strike me down for thinking it. But I was thinking it:
From "Economy, Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities In 2009" by the Pew Research Center:
As Barack Obama takes office, the public’s focus is overwhelmingly on domestic policy concerns – particularly the economy.As the accompanying Pew chart shows (see below), now at the bottom of that list of issues is the subject of global warming.
Of the 20 issues people were asked to rate in both January 2008 and January 2009, five have slipped significantly in importance as attention to the economy has surged. Protecting the environment fell the most precipitously – just 41% rate this as a top priority today, down from 56% a year ago.
I have often made the point that people are (were) able to worry about such detachments as global warming because the many other troubles that have bothered human beings since the beginning of our existence - the need for food, sanitation, medicines, security, health - have been ameliorated. We have the luxury of fretting over the imponderables of life.
Well, make that past tense.
Now the economy sucks. And our priorities realign.
Welcome back to the real world, humans.
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* Notice the top four issues on the list. The economy. Jobs. Terrorism. Which aren't surprising. Social Security? Has the lightbulb come on?
Obama flashes irritation in press roomFaced with a substantive question. His first. They weren't supposed to be reporters in his presence. He gets aggitated.
By Jonathan Martin & Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico
President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.
Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.
"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here." [link]
These Politico journalists need to learn to play by the new rules. There are to be no substantive questions.
"How's that jump shot, Mr. President?"