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

Friday, April 03, 2009

On The Abingdon Tea Party

We learn from the Abingdon Tea Party facebook site that the protest scheduled there for April 15 has indeed run into a stumbling block, according to the event organizer. That stumbling block being the Abingdon town council that appears to not wish to allow the people to peaceably assemble (where was it I read of that right? I'm trying to recall ...).

What caught my attention were some of the comments left on the site related to the town's arbitrary and unconstitutional actions - if the allegation is accurate.

From Robert K. Dean:
Your first mistake was asking permission. It certainly is proper to invite elected officials to attend, seeking permission isn't. Pick your public owned site, don't restrict anyone's movement in the area, be polite but well spoken, invite the press, especially local TV stations. Have someone film the event and upload it to YouTube for the record. You aren't using public park facilities, so no permit is required; you and several of your friends are simply gathering to redress government's behavior. Robert Dean - Communications Director - Tidewater Libertarian Party.
David M. Lindsey:
Under the provision of Art. 1 Sec. 12 of the CVA and the Dillon Rule how does Abingdon deny any form of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

If we will not be stepping on anyone's toes we would like to address this question with Abingdon's Leadership.

The Constitution of Virginia [1971]

Article 1 Bill of Rights.

Section 12. Freedom of speech and of the press; right peaceably to assemble, and to petition. — That the freedoms of speech and of the press are among the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained except by despotic governments; that any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

Va. Constitution V
Ruth Hersey:
Here's your permit ~

The First Amendment of the US Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
I'm proud of you guys. Patriots all.

Now, about that denial of the right to assemble, I think it might be time to lawyer up.

- - -

Tertium Quids is on the case. Thanks, fellas.

To get the point across, it's cross-posted at Red State.

A Freudian Slip?

This leaped out at me this morning:
Americorps expands
Roanoke Times editorial

Congress passed a major expansion of the Americorps program that will help thousands more Americans earn money for school in exchange for service to their country's needs.

As unemployment has risen, Americorps has been deluded with applications by people who wish to put their skills to use. We'll write on this for Sunday. [link] [my emphasis]
I don't see how the federal make-work program that pays volunteers (I'll pause for a moment to let that oxymoron sink in) to do shit that doesn't really need to be done but makes them and liberals feel good about the non-effort could be considered "deluded." As I understand the word anyway.

Those who dreamt up the goofy program were certainly deluded, but the program? That'll require explanation that only the boys at the Times can provide.

* Note: You might want to take a quick look. My guess is, ol' Dan is going to be editing the post early today.

Woe Be Unto Pulaski

Another hammer blow:
Volvo partmaker Findlay to close plant in Pulaski Co.
By Jeff Sturgeon, Roanoke Times

Findlay Industries Inc., a Pulaski County maker of truck cab interior components for Volvo Trucks North America, will close by May 1, putting more than 100 people out of work.

Shawn Utt, the county's director of community development, said the Findlay plant employs "a little over 100" people and leases a building in the county-owned Pulaski County Corporate Center.

TMD Friction Group, a maker of brake pads and linings in the same park, said previously it will close by May 31, putting 140 people out of work. [link]
Thank God for that stimulus money that'll be flowing down this way any day now ...

Woe Be Unto Martinsville

Can it get any worse than this?
VEC: Unemployment claims jump in region
By Duncan Adams, Roanoke Times

When compared with February one year ago, jobless rates in February 2009 jumped dramatically in the Roanoke and New River valleys and in long-suffering Martinsville, according to data reported Wednesday by the Virginia Employment Commission.

The higher numbers can be attributed in large part to job losses among employees of regional manufacturers -- especially businesses tied to the automotive industry -- and among construction workers, according to the commission.

Jobless rates in February for the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area nearly doubled when compared with the unemployment rate recorded in February 2008 -- increasing from 3.7 percent last February to 7 percent this year.

The Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSA's jobless rate also nearly doubled. It was 8 percent this February, up from 4.1 percent during the same month last year.

Each MSA's jobless rate for the month topped Virginia's rate of 7 percent.

The city of Martinsville's rate of 20.2 percent was the highest in the state in February. [link] [my emphasis]
20.2% unemployment. Shocking.

This Seems To Make Sense

Warning: The following involves legislation introduced by a Democratic senator, so be suspicious.

Like most people, I've been concerned about the future of America's print news industry. And I've been looking for a solution to the problem that all are facing.

Here's one proposal to save our newspapers that, by and large, makes sense. At least to a degree:
A Plan to Save Our Free Press
By Benjamin L. Cardin, writing in the Washington Post

The newspaper industry is turning upside down. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Rocky Mountain News, the Baltimore Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle are among the papers that have ceased daily publication or announced in recent months that they may have to stop publishing. Not long ago, Tribune Co., owner of the Baltimore Sun, filed for bankruptcy.

This is why I introduced the Newspaper Revitalization Act to help our disappearing community and metropolitan papers by allowing them to become nonprofit organizations. My goal is to save local coverage by reporters who know their communities, work their beats and dig up the stories that are important to our daily lives. Today, newspapers do that job; all other outlets -- TV, radio, blogs -- feed off that base. My bill would allow newspapers -- if they choose -- to operate under 501(c)(3) status for educational purposes, similar to public broadcasters.

Under this arrangement, newspapers would not be allowed to make political endorsements but would be permitted to freely report on all issues, including political campaigns.

I want to make clear that this proposal would involve no infusion of federal taxpayer money. [link]
I haven't a clue as to why Mr. Cardin would want to ban editorial endorsements in his legislation. Maybe the Baltimore Sun pissed him off last time he ran for the Senate.

But beyond that, this seems to make sense. Startlingly so.

More to follow.

For What It's Worth

I send this out to those of you who think the Republican Party is the party of "no":
A Budget Plan Good Enough To Read
Investor's Business Daily editorial

The congressional Republicans' recovery plan makes 100 times more sense than the tax-and-spend excess the White House and Congress will steamroll into law.

Spearheaded by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and with more than 60 pages of detail, the GOP budget slows the yearly growth of the federal mandatory spending programs — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — from its current 5.3% to 3.9%. That's far more sensible than boosting entitlement spending by $1.4 trillion over the next decade, as the president and Congress plan to do.

Ryan's plan "gradually converts the current Medicare program into one in which Medicare beneficiaries choose the most affordable coverage that best suits their individual needs."

On Medicaid, Republicans favor "converting the Federal share of the Medicaid payment for acute-care services into an allotment tailored for each State's low-income population, indexed for inflation and population growth." Medicaid patients would have increased choice over doctors and health care options.

On retirement, Republicans would require the Social Security Administration to react to any impending shortfall in its so-called trust fund by changing "the way benefit payments are calculated for higher-income workers." Obama budget director Peter Orszag promoted this approach some years ago. [link] [my emphasis]

Despite Orszag's once-support, the GOP proposal will be ignored. "Some years ago" being the operative phrase. He has to toe the party line now.

Too bad. This all makes sense. Entitlements are about to be made more extravagant at a time when they are about to explode. That's what we generally call suicide. The Republicans are at least trying to limit the damage.

Not so Obama. He has money to spend and, by God, he's going to spend it till there ain't no mo'.

I fear for my country.

Lost In The Wilderness

Is it any wonder that the Episcopal Church is imploding?
Episcopal minister defrocked after becoming a Muslim
By Patrick Oppmann, CNN

Seattle, Washington (CNN) -- Ann Holmes Redding has what could be called a crisis of faiths.

For nearly 30 years, Redding has been an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church. Her priesthood ended Wednesday when she was defrocked.

The reason? For the past three years Redding has been both a practicing Christian and a Muslim.

"Had anyone told me in February 2006 that I would be a Muslim before April rolled around, I would have shaken my head in concern for the person's mental health," Redding recently told a crowd at a signing for a book she co-authored on religion.

Redding said her conversion to Islam was sparked by an interfaith gathering she attended three years ago. During the meeting, an imam demonstrated Muslim chants and meditation to the group. Redding said the beauty of the moment and the imam's humbleness before God stuck with her.

... Redding said she felt her new Muslim faith did not pose a contradiction to her staying a Christian and minister. [link]
It's become apparent in recent years that Episcopalians are prepared to believe in - and support - just about anything. Which means, they generally, at any given time, believe in nothing. This nitwit provides just another of many examples.

"Her new Muslim faith did not pose a contradiction to her staying a Christian."

For the love of God.

Clinton Foreign Policy Redux

So how do we deal with the pressing issues of the day?

Party, baby!

Ignore the problems and make nice with those who continue to willfully violate international law.

A question: How is Slick Willy these days?

Two headlines in today's news. From AFP:

Russia's Medvedev hails 'comrade' Obama

From the New York Times:

Russia Keeps Some Troops in Georgia, Defying Deal

"Party on, Garth."

"Party on, Wayne."

Never underestimate the utility of useful idiots.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo News.

It Won't Happen

You need to understand how this works. Heads of state all get together, shake hands, and send out a press release that makes fantastic claims of unity and cooperation, with pledges of cash. Lots of cash. And then they all go their separate ways and ignore every pledge made.

Remember Kyoto?

The latest:

World Leaders Pledge $1.1 Trillion to Tackle Crisis

And I pledge to quit wiping my nose with my shirt sleeve.

With the possible exception of Obama, who is still too young and inexperienced to know how all this works, there'll be no money forthcoming from anyone. It's all just hot air.

But fun was had by all in London - even if the adventure cost the American taxpayers millions to produce. So it wasn't a complete waste.

It was just a mostly complete waste.

As Obama Works To Sign Over America's Wealth ...

.. to the planet's "one world" eco-socialists in his - and their - unwavering effort to halt global warming, it might be instructive to hear from a renowned MIT professor of atmospheric sciences on the subject:
A note from Richard Lindzen on statistically significant warming
Watts Up With That?

Yesterday, in response to the thread on “3 of 4 global metrics show nearly flat temperature anomaly in the last decade” I got a short note from MIT’s Richard Lindzen along with a graph. I asked if I could post it, and he graciously agreed:

"Look at the attached. There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995. Why bother with the arguments about an El Nino anomaly in 1998? (Incidentally, the red fuzz represents the error ‘bars’.)"

Best wishes,

Dick

================================================
Richard S. Lindzen
Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
MIT Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
There has been no statistically significant warming in 14 years. Since before this apocalyptic global warming fad began.

Yet our president is preparing to drive our economy off the cliff to mitigate that which needs no mitigation.

For the love of God.

Ah, This Enlightened Era

We've advanced over the centuries, right?

We're smarter than the ancients who gathered 'round the bonfire and chanted to ward off evil spirits?

We're sophisticated. We discipline our thinking such that it's governed by reason and science.

Or not.

In fact, we're no better than those who burned witches at the stake hundreds of years ago. We fear the unknown and act irrationally.

Step back in time with me to an age when demons and monsters roamed the Earth:
Public Concern, Not Science, Prompts Plastics Ban
By Jon Hamilton, NPR

A new federal ban on chemical compounds used in rubber duckies and other toys isn't necessary, say the government scientists who studied the problem.

The ban, which took effect in February, prohibits making or selling duckies and other children's products that contain chemicals called phthalates, which are used to make plastic soft. Congress passed the ban in 2008 after concluding that the chemicals posed a risk to children who chew on their toys.

The action came despite advice not to enact the ban from scientists at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates toys.

The commission opposed the ban because "there was not a risk of injury to children," says Dr. Marilyn Wind, deputy associate executive director for health sciences at CPSC.

It reached that conclusion after studying phthalates in toys for more than 25 years and acting several times to make sure children were not exposed to even a slight risk from products that contain the chemicals. [link]
I remember reading the story a month ago about manufacturers and retailers having to trash millions of dollars worth of inventory because of this ban and my only thought was "I hope the science is legitimate; such a waste."

I should have known better.

The decision by Congress, as it turns out, wasn't based in science. It was based on voodoo.

What does this say about our society and the "reasonable" citizens in it?

What a Mess

I think this falls under the heading of Stinging Rebuke:
Cardinal George: Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama embarrasses Catholic Church
By Kara Spak, Chicago Sun-Times

Cardinal Francis George called the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Obama to speak at its commencement an “extreme embarrassment” to Catholics.

“It is clear that Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation,” George said Sunday while speaking at a conference hosted by the archdiocese’s Respect Life office in Rosemont.

In a video of George’s speech posted Wednesday on lifesitenews.com, George calls Notre Dame “the flagship Catholic university” and said that it has “brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic.” [link]
I'm sure Notre Dame's president wasn't thinking along these lines when he invited Obama to speak at its commencement ceremonies. He was only following tradition. From the article:
The university’s invitation to Obama follows a long-standing university tradition of inviting the sitting president to speak at graduation. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush all spoke at Notre Dame commencement ceremonies.
But "wasn't thinking" are the operative words. Obama is - without doubt - the most pro-abortion president we've ever had. And abortion - unlike other more debatable fare like war and wealth redistribution - goes to the heart of Catholic doctrine. The abortion of little children is an abomination in the eyes of God. Unequivocally.

Now the university is stuck between that proverbial rock and a hard place. The university is being condemned from all corners of the Catholic world and yet the deep thinkers who precipitated this crisis can't very well revoke an invitation extended to the president of the United States. An invitation that has been accepted, no less.

So we get the kind of denunciations as seen above. Day after day after ... Well deserved, I might add.

'I Bow Before No One!'

Well, except for the head of the most rigidly Muslim country on Earth.

The queen of England gets a polite handshake but Abdullah gets the subservient bow? Obama's interaction with heads of state is getting a lot of buzz in the blogosphere. This from Mark Steyn:

The American Super-Bower

This picture is worth a thousand words.

So let me see if I understand American protocol in the age of Obama: The First Lady hugs Queen Elizabeth as if she's some granny at a seniors' center photo-op, but the President of this republic prostrates himself before King Abdullah as if he's a subject of the Saudi pseudo-Crown.

This is a very weird presidency. But something tells me Abdullah won't be getting the discount DVD pack of Psycho and Lawrence Of Arabia. [link]

For the video, go here.

George Bush took a lot of flack for holding hands with this fella. But I don't remember him ever groveling. How embarrassing.

Headline Of The Day

Video: Michelle Obama sails to Britain on a sea of media slobber