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

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This Is Getting a Little Weird

Can anyone argue that the commonwealth of Virginia isn't one big storybook when it comes to Civil War history? Daughter Jodi lived in a home in Wytheville with a (patched) bullet hole in her front door. Damage that is still there for all to see. I live on Raleigh Grayson Turnpike in Bland County where, in 1864, Union cavalry passed my property on its way to capture and destroy the lead mines down near Austinville. My next-door neighbor's property has a small cemetery that includes the grave of a Confederate infantry captain. A Presbyterian cemetery over in Glade Spring holds the mortal remains of a general killed at the battle of Piedmont. A cemetery in Abingdon has the grave of former U.S. Secretary of War and later Confederate Major General John B. Floyd. Land in Giles County was once used as a Confederate recruiting and mustering field. Battle(s) of Saltville. Battle of Marion ... Cloyd's Mountain ...

And this is all in remote Southwest Virginia, an area that was far removed from the primary theater of Civil War action. Imagine the history that can be written - and has been written - about the eastern two-thirds of the state.

I bring this up for a reason. Let's not get carried away with this. Virginia is not a museum to be preserved for all posterity to see in its 1862 glory.

This is getting carried away:
Controlled fire at Appomattox is used to restore historic field
Associated Press

Appomattox -- Firefighters are bringing a field at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park back to its historic state.

A controlled fire Monday burned away non-native grass and brush on 25-acre Ferguson Field, which sits at the edge of the 1,750-acre national park. The fire was an attempt to restore the historic field to its 1860s state.

If left alone, officials said, the grass would give way to shrubs, then to pines and cedars, and eventually to hardwoods that would create a canopy that chokes out the other plants.

Ferguson Field's exact use in 1865 isn't known, but it was open land where troops had camped waiting for the surrender at Appomattox Court House. [link]
A field outside the national park. Not particularly important to the Appomattox story. Its history in fact not known. Troops may have camped there one night and then moved on And officials are restoring it to its 1865 condition.

What next? Are we going to hire actors to portray ol' Black Joe to work da plantation?

Getting carried away, fellas?

We Have a Long Fight Ahead

Does the Bill of Rights not apply when state laws conflict with the amendments therein? Was Alabama Governor George Wallace right all along when he stood in the doorway of that University of Alabama schoolhouse in June of 1963 and declared:

"I stand here today, as Governor of this sovereign State, and refuse to willingly submit to illegal usurpation of power by the Central Government. I claim today for all the people of the State of Alabama those rights reserved to them under the Constitution of the United States. Among those powers so reserved and claimed is the right of state authority in the operation of the public schools, colleges and Universities."

Seems to be the case, if one accepts the precepts put forth by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in a January ruling.

CrimProf Blog provides us with the startling news:
Second Circuit Holds Second Amendment Not Applicable to States

The Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms does not apply to override state firearms bans, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit declared Jan. 28. Under the incorporation doctrine, only certain provisions of the Bill of Rights apply to the states, and the Second Amendment is one of those that does not, the Second Circuit held (Maloney v. Cuomo, 2d Cir., No. 07-0581-cv, 1/28/09).

The statute at the center of this case, N.Y. Penal Law §265.01(1), provides criminal penalties for possession of a broad range of items, including weapons used in martial arts. The plaintiff was charged under the statute after police found fighting sticks, or nunchaku, in his home. He ended up pleading guilty to a different charge and then filed a lawsuit against the county prosecutor and others seeking a declaration that the law offends his Second Amendment right to bear arms.

One needn't hurt one's head by trying to draw from this decision a standard that the 2nd Circuit is putting forth. I doubt that the Bill of Rights is in jeopardy of being voided.

This is just another example of liberal, politically-minded judges picking and choosing which parts of the Constitution please them - and work for them - and which don't. Would these same people toss out every civil rights law enacted by Congress in the last 40 years because they may conflict with Lester Maddox's ideas of "separate but equal?"

Somehow I don't think so.

Guns. It's about little metal objects that go bang. Nothing more.

The Bill of Rights is sacrosanct except ...

And we're at the mercy of these geniuses.

Everyone Has Their Likes & Dislikes

I notice that Glenn Reynolds has gone ga-ga over the new Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

I can see why:

My tastes, however, run in a different direction. Here's this month's cover of Glamour magazine, featuring the most beautiful woman on the planet*:

That's actress Jennifer Connelly, who has an open invitation to play in my sandbox any time.


* Actually second most beautiful, next to Paula.

Here's a First

Unfortunately, it won't be the last time you'll read this headline as demographics change and America's wealth gets redistributed:

Stimulus Plan Caters to the Privileged Public Sector

"The privileged public sector."

The story:
Indeed, a close look at the current stimulus plan shows that as little as 5% of the money is going toward making the country more productive in the longer run – toward such things as new roads, bridges, improved rail and significant new electrical generation. These are things, like the New Deal's many construction projects, that could provide a needed boost to our sagging national morale.

Instead, we are focusing once again on those who have been getting the best deal for doing the least. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports state and local government workers get paid 33% more than their private sector counterparts. If you add in the pensions and other benefits, the difference is over 40%. In New York alone, public-sector wages and benefits since 2000 have grown twice as fast as those of the average private-sector worker.
This fits the news coming out of Richmond in recent days that has to do with Governor Kaine being heartsick over the potential loss of education jobs here in the state. Not about the potential loss of construction jobs, which have ceased to exist by the thousands, nor manufacturing jobs, nor retail, nor trucking. Public sector jobs. Somehow they're different. They're the jobs over which tears are being shed.

We seem to have reached a milestone here in the USA. The lines between the haves and have-nots are being drawn along public sector/private sector parameters. At least between federal public sector jobs and private sector, if not beyond.

How did we let it come to this?