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

Monday, February 02, 2009

Don't Be Silly

I'm always amazed at the small-mindedness of liberals.

And speaking of the Roanoke Times editorial team, here's today's offering of ill-conceived folderol:
Equal pay for equal work

If gratitude padded a bank account, Lilly Ledbetter would be one rich woman. Thanks to her, Americans now have a new law affirming that they are entitled to equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender, race, religion or disability.

But Ledbetter isn't a rich woman and her bank account remains diminished from the nearly two decades her employer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., paid her less than what men in her position earned. And through her retirement, Ledbetter's pension and Social Security will reflect the reduced rate of pay.

Thanks to a ludicrous decision by a split U.S. Supreme Court, Ledbetter will always be less well off financially than her former male co-workers.

The justices ruled in 2007 that Ledbetter couldn't sue her employer for discrimination because she didn't catch the discrepancy within 180 days of her first paycheck.

There is nothing frivolous about wage discrimination, and businesses that treat workers fairly have little cause for concern.

Those businesses that do discriminate are now put on notice: Just because you get away with it for 180 days or 20 years doesn't put you in the clear. Each paycheck gives rise to a fresh claim. [link]
A few points:

1) Let's deal with that which is really annoying:

"The justices ruled in 2007 that Ledbetter couldn't sue her employer for discrimination because she didn't catch the discrepancy within 180 days of her first paycheck."

The Supreme Court did no such thing. The justices simply ruled that the law passed by Congress (see U.S. Code TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 21 > SUBCHAPTER VI > § 2000e–5 > Enforcement Provisions) applied. This was a statutory issue (see and understand the term "statute of limitations"), not a constitutional issue.

Want to blame someone? Blame your butt-buddies in Congress who wrote the provision.

2) Even more annoying: "Those businesses that do discriminate are now put on notice." Who are they? Name names. It's illustrative that these guys have to back to 1979 to find an instance where this kind of discrimination (originally) occurred.

If this is a problem - if employers are discriminating against women because of their sex - name them. We'll then have a discussion.

Problem is, these jokers can't name one. Not one. Because companies today comply with the law. And have no reason not to.

3) "Thanks to a ludicrous decision by a split U.S. Supreme Court, Ledbetter will always be less well off financially than her former male co-workers." See above. Except for Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, who wanted to simply rewrite the law (which she's known for), the Court did nothing more than recognize the Constitutional authority granted the legislative branch of government to enact laws. Including enforcement provisions.

4) This new law - passed by Congress with great fanfare, and signed by our new president with over-the-top ceremony - amounts to nothing. No companies will be sued because of it. No companies will have to change the way they conduct themselves with their female employees.

It's a non-issue. One these liberal types seem to get their jollies from.

So we have us a new "Fair Pay Act." Big freaking deal.

On Tourism

I wonder how the propagandists at the Virginia Tourism Corporation* will twist this:
Shenandoah park attendance decline continues
The Associated Press

Luray, Va. (AP) -- Attendance at Shenandoah National Park fell by 2.8 percent in 2008, continuing a decade-long slide.

Park spokeswoman Karen Beck-Herzog says the park saw about 1.09 million visitors last year. She says weather was the primary reason for the decline.

Beck-Herzog says no visitor studies have been conducted to determine whether the economy also was factor.

According to records, park attendance between 1996 and 2007 fell by 27 percent. [link]

The park spokeswoman says weather was the cause of the decline. A weather problem that has persisted for eleven years? Resulting in an overall drop of 27%?

Who's kiddin' who here?

You gettin' this, Boucher?
- - -

* This is my favorite VTC press release headline of all time: "Virginia Tourism Corporation Produces Record Number of New Travel Guides."

A Primer on 'States' Rights'

First off, I should mention that I'm not one of those who clings to the notion that the Civil War was fought over the issue of states' rights and not over the institution of slavery. Any serious student of American history understands that John C. Calhoun's theories relating to "nullification" revolved around the "peculiar institution" of government sanctioned human bondage that he and his fellow political leaders in the South tried desperately to preserve. "States' rights" was just the mechanism that they attempted to use to make it happen.

I bring this up for a reason. One that relates to something in today's news.

It perplexes people today - those who think on such matters anyway - that then-Colonel Robert E. Lee in 1861 would turn down an offer to lead the United States military into war and, instead, elect to fight for his native state of Virginia against these United States. Those most shallow simply consider him to be a racist, like all those who fought against the Union. But they are mistaken.

His decision was out of a sense of loyalty.

Robert E. Lee felt a greater loyalty to his home state than to the more nebulous and still evolving "united states." A strange attitude to us; one quite common in the Old South.

With that understood, you might find an interesting correlation in this:
Wildcat oil strikes: Europeans are finally waking up to the demise of democracy
By Janet Daley, London Telegraph

The peoples of Europe have finally discovered what they signed up to. I do mean "peoples" (plural) because however much political elites may deceive themselves, the populations of the member states of the EU are culturally, historically and economically separate and distinct. And a significant proportion of them are getting very, very angry.

What the strikers at the Lindsey oil refinery (and their brother supporters in Nottinghamshire and Kent) have discovered is the real meaning of the fine print in those treaties, and the significance of those European court judgments whose interpretation they left to EU obsessives: it is now illegal – illegal – for the government of an EU country to put the needs and concerns of its own population first.

Meanwhile, demonstrators in Paris and the recalcitrant electorate in Germany are waking up to the consequences of what two generations of European ideologues have thrust upon them: the burden not just of their own economic problems but also the obligation to accept the consequences of their neighbours' debts and failures. [link]
Now you can better understand how it was possible that hundreds of thousands of men and boys in the South would take up arms against their national government (the EU of its day).

Read this sentence in a different context:"[I]t is now illegal – illegal – for the government of an EU country Virginia to put the needs and concerns of its own population first."

Thus came about the Civil War.

Now you understand why Robert E. Lee chose to side with his government over that in Washington.

A quote from Civil War historian Shelby Foote:
Before the war, it was said "the United States are." Grammatically, it was spoken that way and thought of as a collection of independent states. And after the war, it was always "the United States is," as we say to day without being self-conscious at all. And that's sums up what the war accomplished. It made us an "is."
The Europeans are going through the same growing pains (minus the stain of slavery). The same evolutionary process. The European Union is moving away from being a union of European nations and is becoming a "united Europe." This despite the fact that the British people still consider themselves to be British, and the French French. They will eventually get beyond it.

Hopefully a civil war won't have to be fought in order to bring it to a reality.

On The Steelers' Super Bowl Win

I mentioned yesterday that I'd be happy no matter which team won the Super Bowl. Oddly, though, that didn't prove to be true. When the game began, and as it progressed, I found myself pulling strongly for the Cardinals. Partly because of the fact that the Cardinals haven't won it all since before I was born (in fact, they've been awful most decades) and partly because of the personal story of Kurt Warner.

In any case, it was a great game that, unfortunately, only one team was allowed to win. The pizza was good and the spectacle was entertaining.

Here's to the NFL, the Steelers, Kurt Warner, and those many companies that put together some fabulous commercials for the breaks.

Next year, expect the Packers to ...

You Knew This Was Coming

Despite all the whimpering we heard over the last several years (the lefties in Hollywood even made a movie about it - that nobody outside of Hollywood went to see) about Bush's secret prison camps in foreign lands and his practice of turning terrorists over to foreign governments for torture, you just knew what the eventual headline was going to be once the whimpering left took control of Washington.

Hello, continuity:
Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool
By Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times

The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool.

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program [blah blah blah] [link]
Obama is going to continue the capture and torture tactics of the Bush administration. Who'da guessed.

So, are those lefties who were most vocal about the practice, feeling betrayed, now howling with indignation?

Well, if the position taken by Human Rights Watch - one of those whining the most during the Bush presidency - is any indication, they're suddenly, and oddly okay with it.

This from a weblog entitled "Dissenting Justice":
Human Rights Watch's position when the evil Bush was in charge:

The US government should:

Repudiate the use of rendition to torture as a counterterrorism tactic and permanently discontinue the CIA's rendition program;

Provide appropriate compensation to all persons arbitrarily detained by the CIA or rendered to foreign custody .

Refuse to cooperate in secret detention and rendition efforts, and disclose all information about past cooperation in such efforts.
The human rights Democratic Party organization's position now that their guy is in the White House:
"Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place" for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "What I heard loud and clear from the president's order was that they want to design a system that doesn't result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured -- but that designing that system is going to take some time."

Malinowski said he had urged the Obama administration to stipulate that prisoners could be transferred only to countries where they would be guaranteed a public hearing in an official court. "Producing a prisoner before a real court is a key safeguard against torture, abuse and disappearance," Malinowski said (emphasis added).
Worms. They're nothing but worms.

Expect Matt Damon and Robert Redford to star in a new movie in which they lead an American strike force that travels around the globe and captures, tortures, and ships off to Lithuania Arab Nazi terrorists (can't be offending them Muslims) - with flags flying and the national anthem playing in the background.

It's a whole new world now. Feel the change?