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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, August 31, 2010

Quote of the Day

From Matthew Sheffield:
In short: liberals don’t hate America, they simply hate Americans, especially when they won’t go along with such obviously good things such as President Obama’s healthcare law, “economic stimulus” spending, nationalizing student loans, unilaterally disarming American nuclear weapons, or raising taxes in an anemic economy. Having fully embraced the notion that Judeo-Greco-Roman society has engaged in systematic “cultural imperialism,” the modern Left has embraced what might be termed “cultural inferiorism” as a means to atone.
"Hating your countrymen is the new patriotism," Washington Examiner, August 29, 2010

It Was All a Lie

Finally, scientists - legitimate scientists - are looking into the claim that humans are causing the planet to warm (rather than joining a rally and shouting that we're all going to die, as so many of the warming scientists enthusiasts prefer to do).

And their findings?
Climate Change Lies Are Exposed
By Donna Bowater, Daily Express

A high-level inquiry into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found there was “little evidence” for its claims about global warming.

It also said the panel had emphasised the negative impacts of climate change and made “substantive findings” based on little proof.

The review by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) was launched after the IPCC’s hugely embarrassing 2007 benchmark climate change report, which contained exaggerated and false claims that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

The panel was forced to admit its key claim in support of global warming was lifted from a 1999 magazine article. The report was based on an interview with a little-known Indian scientist who has since said his views were “speculation” and not backed by research.

Independent climate scientist Peter Taylor said last night: “The IPCC’s credibility has been deeply dented and something has to be done. It can’t just be a matter of adjusting the practices. They have got to look at what are the consequences of having got it wrong in terms of what the public think is going on. Admitting that it needs to reform means something has gone wrong and they really do need to look at the science.”

Climate change sceptic David Holland, who challenged leading climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia to disclose their research, said: “The panel is definitely not fit for purpose. What the IAC has said is substantial changes need to be made.” [link]
Imprison them.  Imprison them all.  Make them suffer.

Say What You Will About Glenn Beck ...

Even Barack Obama couldn't have pulled off the event that took place on Saturday.  He couldn't have drawn half the crowd that Beck did.

Why?

Three reasons: The flag.  Apple pie.  The American dream.

All Obama has is ... Bush.

It's a Long Way To The Election But ...

... if this holds up, there are going to be some major changes forthcoming:
Tidal wave? 10-point poll edge for GOP
By Jonathan Allen & Richard E. Cohen, Politico

Democrats thought things couldn't get much worse on the electoral front — and then they went home to campaign.

A new Gallup poll released Monday shows Republicans with a record 10-point edge over Democrats on the "generic ballot" test — the question of whether voters prefer a Democratic or Republican congressional candidate. It’s the largest GOP polling edge at this stage in the 68 years of the generic ballot poll.

While party optimists say Democrats may cling to a small majority after the November election, an increasing number of Democratic strategists now say privately that they fear the House is already lost.

The Gallup poll, coming at the end of a brutal August for Democrats and President Barack Obama, reinforces the rapidly forming prevailing view that the horizon is as bleak for Democrats as it ever has been. [link]
Making the economy worse and, at the same time, socializing health care and the banking industry will have that effect.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ah, The Memories

I was talking to a friend not long ago about McDowell County, West Virginia, a part of the United States of America, not far up the road from me, that time forgot a long time ago.  You think Detroit is a wasteland?  you ain't been to McDowell County.  It says to the uninitiated all they need to know when I tell them that prosperity in McDowell County, brought on by World War I and the need for massive amounts of labor-intensively mined coal, peaked and began to decline when the war ended.  In 1917.  Nearly a century ago.

So I was telling my friend (who grew up in Mt. Hope, WV) over dinner one night (I think we were in Atlanta but it might have been Philadelphia) about my travels through the land that God forgot and he asked me:

"Hey, have you stopped by the whore houses in Cinder Bottom?"

I responded, after a pause:

"Say what?"

"The whore houses in Cinder Bottom, are they still there?"

Not being one to know of such vices, much less indulge in them, I replied:

"I have no idea."

But now I was intrigued (not that I would ever set foot in one of those dens of iniquity).  I asked:

"Where's Cinder Bottom?"

"Just past Keystone.  On 52.  Between there and Kimball."

I replied, with a high degree of confidence:

"No.  They must be gone.  There's nothing on 52 anymore except some abandoned buildings (until you get to the metropolis of Kimball where there's a by-God Wal-Mart).  That includes most of what was once the bustling town of Keystone.  It's nearly all gone."

He then proceeded to reminisce:

"What a place.  When I was young and attending seminary over in Welch [I am not making this up] we would drive over to Cinder Bottom on the weekend and get our horns tooted for seven bucks."

My mind reeled.  My thoughts turned to toothless, ill-kempt, smelly crones lolling on porch steps waiting for young seminarians who were looking for communicable diseases to drive over from Welch for .. spiritual guidance

His story rang true, at least in part - a priest he ain't.

As you might imagine, and as any red-blooded American might do, next time I was driving west on U.S. 52 past Algoma, past Northfork, past Keystone, I'm craning my neck looking for ... red lights flashing or something.

But all I saw was rugged mountain wilderness.  Interspersed with the occasional abandoned structure.

I must say, a certain amount of disappointment settled in.

And I had to put my seven bucks back in my wallet.

- - -

From Coalfield Jews: An Appalachian History:


Ah, the good old days.

* Click on the image to enlarge it.
** Just kidding about the seven bucks.  Honey.

Your Gov't Looking Out For Your Money

You know that federal building up in Roanoke that will soon be mostly vacant when the Veterans Administration moves out?  The one that the federal government is pouring 51 million renovation taxpayer dollars into anyway?  The one that has Congressman Bob Goodlatte worked up into a lather (not something you'll see often)?

Well, it appears that the federal waste doesn't stop there.  Now some bureaucrat has decided that a determination needs to be made as to what must be done with the artwork at the site once renovation takes place.  Can't have too much pre-planning, you see.

And for that, we need experts.

To decide what to do with a monstrosity of a sculpture contraption out in front of the building.

And, as you might expect, experts don't come cheap.

Thus:
Art study upgrades cost of Roanoke's Poff Federal Building project
By Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times

The two pieces of curved steel standing in front of the Poff Federal Building were designed, in the words of the artist who crafted them in 1976, "so that the viewer could relate the sculpture to the building."

That may be more true now than ever.

At a cost of more than $7,200, the federal government is having an arts conservation firm determine how the sculpture will be affected by planned renovations to the Poff Building, estimated to cost $51 million.

U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who has called the building renovations a waste of taxpayer money, laughed -- but was not very amused -- when told last week of the cost to inspect the sculpture. [link]
Remember, the VA is soon to vacate the building.

$7,200?!

For an evaluation?!

You want an evaluation?  I've got your evaluation.  And it's free:

Melt that piece of shit down and make boat anchors out of it (now there's an art form).  Sell the finished product for twenty bucks a pop.  Put the proceeds in the treasury.  Balance the freaking budget.

$7,200 to evaluate the future of this:


My suggestion?  A bunch of these:

With the first one coming out of the mold being tied around the neck of the artist huckster who sold the "sculpture" to us in the first place, accompanied by a taxi ride to the Roanoke River.

- - -

* Adding insult to injury:

"Not included in the sculpture study's price tag is the cost of dismantling, moving, storing and reassembling the work."

I say we burn the place down.  Scrape the rubble.  Plant some grass.  Now there would be a work of art.

The Most Pressing Issue Of The Day

Unemployment?  The quagmire that is Afghanistan?  The deficit?

To those at the Washington Post, ever vigilant, always on the cutting edge ...


Coming tomorrow: The latest on the macaca scandal.

Good grief.

The Photo That Speaks A Thousand Words

Yahoo News provides this precious - breathtaking, really - snapshot taken at the Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" rally on Saturday:


So many messages.  So much to be proud of.

- - -

By contrast, here's John Avlon of The Daily Beast writing about the event before it even took place:

"Tomorrow on the site and anniversary of MLK's greatest speech, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and 100,000 friends will rally against everything the civil-rights leader stood for."

Look up the word bigot. Then read that sentence again. Then concentrate your attention on the photo of little Pashai Oway.

Nothing more need be said.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

Amazing

Is it even possible that Glenn Beck could assemble an army of 300,000 supporters in Washington D.C. last weekend and the media couldn't find one nut in the bunch?

Seems so.  See "Leftists Search Desperately for 'Racists' at Restoring Honor Rally."

The one criticism that all the morons on the left seem to have seized upon is that those in attendance at Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally were mostly all white, making it divisive, or something. Which then makes major league baseball, the American environmentalist movement, and the United States Senate cesspools of bigotry and hatred, using the same logic, one must suppose.

Anyway, 300,000 patriots get together and Katie Couric couldn't find one racist, homophobe, or gun nut.

America, you guys rock.

Obama Takes Up Hammer & Nails ...

... to seal the coffin closed:
The really bad news, however, is that things are going to get worse before they get better unless President Obama and the Democratic Congress reverse course and abandon their plan to impose a huge tax increase on Jan. 1, 2011. That's the day the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire. Tax rates on all five income brackets, not just those paid by "the rich," will increase by 2 to 4 percentage points, thereby blowing a $921 billion hole in the nation's ailing economy. Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have sent federal spending skyrocketing, from 20 percent of the gross domestic product to 25 percent. The coming tax increase will drive the cost of government even further into the stratosphere, which will deprive the private sector of nearly a trillion dollars that could have gone to job creation.

"Think the economy is bad? Worse is coming," Washington Examiner, August 27, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Like Don Quixote ...

I'm somewhat bemused, and at the same time overly amused, by all the alarms going off in the leftist world as a result of religious freedom being under attack. For examples see "What would Jefferson say of Cordoba House?," "Religious liberty for all -- or none," and "America's battle is not with Islam" in the Roanoke Times alone.

Liberals worrying over religion.  Now that's rich.

They are all fretting, of course, over the calls for banning that mosque in New York City.  A city that has one hundred mosques existing without incident today (it would be that 101st that would bring the tipping point, and the Apocalypse, apparently).  An issue that, to my knowledge, doesn't involve a ban at all, but a call for respect and compassion on the part of the Muslims who want to build their mosque so close to Ground Zero.

RespectCompassionMuslims.  Maybe these same bleeding hearts will put those three words in a meaningful sentence for us sometime (as opposed to the usual beheadings, intolerance, and Muslims as is usually the case) and quit soiling themselves over windmills that don't need to be subjugated.

We Make Progress

The rabidly liberal Roanoke Times editorial staff has come out in opposition to radical Islam.

Can a denunciation of the 9/11 hijackers be far behind?

A Perennial Thorn In Our Side

From the Roanoke Times this morning:
The case linking [Congressman Rick] Boucher and national Democrats isn't quite a slam-dunk.

Boucher has already received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.
One of the most liberal members of the United States Congress is endorsed by the NRA.

I love my NRA.  I'm willing to take up arms to defend it.

But please, for the love of God, butt out.

* I'll reserve the comments section for the NRA-ILA to provide a list of pro-gun legislative initiatives that Boucher has authored in the last quarter century.  The most progressive lobbying group in Washington is willing, in the case of Rick Boucher, to accept the status quo?

Consider: "Boucher said this week he opposes a federal bill to require background checks for buyers of firearms at gun shows."  Where's his legislation that prohibits such attempts to abridge the 2nd Amendment?  Where's the beef?  Since when is "being opposed to" anti-gun legislation good enough?

West Virginia Could Do Worse

He's pro-life.  Pro-gun.  Pro-coal.  Pro-business.  And pro-marriage-as-nature-understands-it.  If only he were more averse to taxation, he'd be more conservative than two-thirds of the Republicans in Washington.

Which should scare the crap out of the GOP:

W.Va. Gov. Wins Democratic Primary for US Senate
Associated Press

Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- Popular Gov. Joe Manchin won the Democratic nomination Saturday and will face GOP primary winner and wealthy businessman John Raese in the race to fill the Senate seat vacated by the late Robert C. Byrd.

Raese defeated a crowded field of Republicans and becomes part of the GOP quest to dismantle the Democratic Senate majority as high unemployment and the slow economic recovery take a toll on their political prospects this fall.

Manchin's support from coal and utility industries -- which have provided more than a quarter of the $1.2 million he has raised since declaring his candidacy last month -- may help him overcome national GOP attempts to paint him as a liberal who will side with President Barack Obama's administration.

Obama lost West Virginia in 2008, and his energy and environmental policies are deemed anti-coal in the nation's second-largest coal producing state. Democrats desperately need to hold the Senate seat in West Virginia, a state that Republican nominee John McCain won handily with 56 percent of the vote. [link]
Of course our own James Webb, rabid lefty, was once a devout conservative.  Something in the air he breathed up in D.C. must have changed him.  Perhaps Manchin will sink into the depths of depravity too when he starts snorting the same noxious fumes.  But for now he's a by-God conservative. (Running in the general election against a conservative; sweet.)

Robert Byrd's finally dead and buried.  To some degree - the jury will remain out - things are looking up.

Us vs. Them

Why does Obama hate us so?

"The entire submission should be withdrawn, and the Obama administration should apologize to the people of Arizona for the insult."

We're counting the days ...

Choosing Sides

College campuses in America are the most isolated environment in existence.  Think "cloistered monastery" and you get a good understanding of the insulation that exists today in that surreal world.

I'm not sure the following will open any doors - or minds - but it is a justifiable response to the phenomenon.  Bruce Kesler just disinherited his alma mater:
“Anyone who has taught at a university during the past quarter-century and more knows that the slogan of ‘diversity’ generally alludes to its opposite (i.e., imposed uniformity of thought camouflaged by diversity of physical appearance) and also foretells mischief.”

I will always appreciate the excellent liberal arts education I received at Brooklyn College, and the critical thinking that has caused me to disinherit it.
Anti-Americanism is rampant within faculty ranks on America's college campuses. Americans respond.

This Will Drive Them Nuts

Half a million in attendance?  My, oh my.

And if that's not excruciating enough for the leftists among us, who can't deal with the fact that their worldview might be opposed by honorable, civic-minded Americans, there's the message ...


Let the denunciations begin.

- - -

Ouch: "In other words, Glenn Beck’s rally drew more people than Keith Olbermann has viewers."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

To Encapsulate Our Attitude Toward TV News

Ed Driscoll:

"As I joked to my wife yesterday, do I want to watch MSNBC tonight and be called a racist, or CNN and be dubbed an Islamophobe….?"

NBC ... we're idiots.

CBS ... we're homophobes.

ABC ... we're nativist neanderthals.

Since we ultimately pay their paychecks, they should thank their lucky stars that they are all non-profit enterprises.  Er ... they are, aren't they?

Too Much On Its Plate

Obama's Justice Department couldn't realistically prosecute those responsible for the 2000 Islamist terror attack on the U.S.S. Cole and persecute Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph Arpaio for enforcing immigration laws within his jurisdiction at the same time.  Just not enough resources.

So it has decided to drop the case against the terrorists and concentrate on imprisoning the sheriff.

And they wonder why Obama is fast becoming the most disliked man in America.

Obama Dodges ... a Bullet

I wondered bloggilly the other day why, with everything else going to hell around him, Obama would pick a fight with gun owners - the most powerful and most committed block of voters in the country - over lead ammunition.  What, he wants his approval rating to go into negative numbers?

Well, it looks like someone shook the Dr. Kevorkian candidate back into reality:

EPA Surrenders to NRA on Gun Control Issue
By Paul Bedard, US News

In a swift and unexpected decision, the Environmental Protection Agency today rejected a petition from environmental groups to ban the use of lead in bullets and shotgun shells, claiming it doesn't have jurisdiction to weigh on the controversial Second Amendment issue. The decision came just hours after the Drudge Report posted stories from Washington Whispers and the Weekly Standard about how gun groups were fighting the lead bullet ban.
Click here to find out more!

The EPA had planned to solicit public responses to the petition for two months, but this afternoon issued a statement rejecting a 100-page request from the Center for Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conservancy, and three other groups for a ban on lead bullets, shot, and fishing sinkers. The agency is still considering what to do about sinkers.

The decision was a huge victory for the National Rifle Association which just seven days ago asked that the EPA reject the petition, suggesting that it was a back door attempt to limit hunting and impose gun control. It also was a politically savvy move to take gun control off the table as the Democrats ready for a very difficult midterm election. [link]
My guess is, the EPA decided it would destroy our way of life by declaring CO2 to be a pollutant, followed by a punitive effort to restrict the emissions thereof to the point of strangling all commerce in this country first.

And then it will ban lead bullets.

It's a strategic move.

What are Obama's approval polls at right now?

We Demand An Apology

After hundreds of billions of our precious tax dollars were spent, because our new president said it was the right thing to do if we were going to put people back to work, this is the outcome from his plan:

The 1.6% Recovery
The results of the Obama economic experiment are coming in.
Wall Street Journal editorial

To no one's surprise except perhaps Vice President Joe Biden's, second quarter economic growth was revised down yesterday to 1.6% from the prior estimate of 2.4%, which was down from first quarter growth of 3.7%, which was down from the 2009 fourth quarter's 5%. Economic recoveries are supposed to go in the other direction.

The downward revision was anticipated given the poor early economic reports for the third quarter, including a plunge in new home sales, mediocre manufacturing data, volatile jobless claims and even (after a healthy period) weaker corporate profits. Many economists fear that third quarter growth could be negative. Even if the economy avoids a double-dip recession, the current pace of growth is too sluggish to create many new jobs or improve middle-class living standards.

As recently as August 3, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took to our competitor's pages to declare that this couldn't happen. "Welcome to the Recovery," he wrote, describing how the $862 billion government stimulus was still rolling out, business investment was booming, and the economy was poised for sustainable growth.

We all make mistakes, but the problem for the American people is that Mr. Geithner's blunder is conceptual. He and President Obama and their economic coterie really believe that government spending can stimulate growth by triggering private "demand," that tax rates are irrelevant to investment decisions, that waves of new regulation can be absorbed by business with little impact on costs or hiring, and that politicians can assail capitalists without having any effect on the movement of capital.

This has been the great Washington policy experiment of the last three years, and it isn't turning out too well. [link] [emphasis mine]

These people know nothing about the real world.  They grew up in an insular environment in which they listened to each other's rhetoric, offered up words of support, and sat back cocksure that their theories were solid ... because they all agreed that they were.

But out here on Planet Earth they've learned the hard way that their ideas, when implemented, would crumble to dust.

And we have paid for their dalliances.

We want an apology.  From every one of these sunsabitchas.  And an immediate change of course before more lives are ruined.

Picky Picky Picky

I know it means nothing.  And that, with all the problems this guy has brought on himself, this criticism is ever so minor.  But does Obama have to appear in public wearing that girlyman bike helmet?

Well, wait.  It's not that the helmet is effeminate, I guess.  George Bush wore it well when he was out busting some exercise:


I guess it's more a matter of what's under the helmet that makes the difference.  Obama on vacation yesterday:


Can he look any more like a weiner?

Please, Barry.  You're commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces.  Don't ever do this again.  Ever.

On The Muslim Chapter of American History

I don't know who the author of this piece is (it came to me in a forwarded email) but it makes a point worth considering:
Barack Obama, during his Cairo speech, said:

"I know too, that Islam has always been a part of America 's story."

AN AMERICAN CITIZEN'S RESPONSE:

Dear Mr. Obama:

Were those Muslims that were in America when the Pilgrims first landed? Funny, I thought they were Native American Indians.

Were those Muslims that celebrated the first Thanksgiving day? Sorry again, those were Pilgrims and Native American Indians.

Can you show me one Muslim signature on the United States Constitution?

Declaration of Independence ?

Bill of Rights?

Didn't think so.

Did Muslims fight for this country's freedom from England ? No.

Did Muslims fight during the Civil War to free the slaves in America ? No, they did not. In fact, Muslims to this day are still the largest traffickers in human slavery. Your own half brother, a devout Muslim, still advocates slavery himself, even though Muslims of Arabic descent refer to black Muslims as "pug nosed slaves." Says a lot of what the Muslim world really thinks of your family's "rich Islamic heritage," doesn't it Mr. Obama?

Where were Muslims during the Civil Rights era of this country? Not present.

There are no pictures or media accounts of Muslims walking side by side with Martin Luther King, Jr. or helping to advance the cause of Civil Rights.

Where were Muslims during this country's Woman's Suffrage era? Again, not present. In fact, devout Muslims demand that women are subservient to men in the Islamic culture. So much so, that often they are beaten for not wearing the 'hajib' or for talking to a man who is not a direct family member or their husband. Yep, the Muslims are all for women's rights, aren't they?

Where were Muslims during World War II? They were aligned with Adolf Hitler. The Muslim grand mufti himself met with Adolf Hitler, reviewed the troops and accepted support from the Nazi's in killing Jews.

Finally, Mr. Obama, where were Muslims on Sept. 11th, 2001? If they weren't flying planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon or a field in Pennsylvania killing nearly 3,000 people on our own soil, they were rejoicing in the Middle East. No one can dispute the pictures shown from all parts of the Muslim world celebrating on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and other cable news networks that day. Strangely, the very "moderate" Muslims who's asses you bent over backwards to kiss in Cairo, Egypt on June 4th were stone cold silent post 9-11. To many Americans, their silence has meant approval for the acts of that day.

And THAT, Mr. Obama, is the "rich heritage" Muslims have here in America.

And now we can add November 5, 2009 - the slaughter of American soldiers at Fort Hood by a Muslim major who is a doctor and a psychiatrist who was supposed to be counseling soldiers returning from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan .

That, Mr. Obama is the "Muslim heritage" in America.
If you think about it, the only chapter in the U.S. history books that can be written - legitimately - about the Muslim experience in America would have to include in its title the word "Terror."

We await their writing a second.

Those Crazy Germans

Remember reading about how aghast humanity was when it learned that the Germans had been making lampshades out of the skin of executed Jews in concentration camps during World War II?  (If not, go here.)

Well, as they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree ...

Berlin 'cannibal' restaurant calls for diners to donate body parts for menu

For the love of God.

Tom Perriello Brought This On Himself

You live with the Obama loyalty, you die with the Obama loyalty.

On 5th District Congressman Tom Perriello's fateful future:




It's too late now. The clock will not be turned back.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Boucher Brings Campaign To The Mountains ...

... of Colorado?

This came in yesterday. Not sure what to make of it:


A query sent to the Rick Boucher for Congress campaign has yet to be answered.

If it was him, is he that disinterested in the race that he'd be partying with the "beautiful people" in ski country while we're here struggling to survive a depression?

I think we deserve an answer.

- - -

If true, that would explain this:

Campaign notebook: Griffith lashes at Boucher over canceled forum

Virginia Del. Morgan Griffith criticized incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher on Thursday for declining to participate in a forum on agricultural issues that has now been canceled.

The forum, scheduled for Monday and sponsored by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, was canceled after organizers failed to secure a commitment from Boucher to appear.

"If I had his voting record, I wouldn't want to go out in public and defend it either," Griffith said. "The bottom line is I'm disappointed. It's clearly not a Republican plant group. It's a Washington County and Farm Bureau group." [link]
Tick tock tick tock tick ...

* Click on the image to enlarge it.

Biting The Hand That Feeds Them

There are liberals and then there is that vast wasteland we call America.  Trouble is, those same liberals don't make a connection between the wasteland and their paychecks:

"Also - ABC, does it ever occur to you that you were going after your own potential viewers here? Please, never wonder why your evening news ratings are dying when you pull stunts like this on the public."

Ron Futrell, "ABC, You Got Some ‘Splainin’ To Do — Now," Big Journalism, August 26, 2010

Spelling Isn't His Strong Suit

A Match Made In Heaven

The Obama administration and the U.N.  Bosom buddies:

Human Rights Kowtow
Wall Street Journal editorial

President Obama and his State Department have been widely criticized for downplaying human rights in their efforts to engage abusive regimes in Iran, China, Russia, Burma and even Sudan. But there's at least one country whose human rights record merits the Administration's minute scrutiny: the United States.

In a 29-page report submitted last Friday to the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Administration offered a summary of the status of human rights in the U.S.

After some prefatory nods to the uniqueness of the American system, the report devolves into a celebration of liberal governance and Mr. Obama's policies in repairing the basic injustice of American life. Thus the 1993 "Motor Voter" law "[helped] increase historically low registration rates of minorities and persons with disabilities," says the report (neglecting to mention the law's contribution to voter fraud).

The world is told that the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—"makes great strides toward the goal that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care." This summer's financial legislation gets a round of applause for addressing "the issue of predatory lending, and particularly discriminatory lending." Even Mr. Obama's intentions—to close Gitmo, or end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"—come in for high praise.

Naturally, the report would not be complete without the usual beating of the guilty liberal breast. "We are not satisfied with a situation where the unemployment rate for African Americans is 15.8%, for Hispanics 12.4%, and for whites 8.8%," it says. Well, neither is anyone, but why are these statistics in a human rights report other than to suggest that the disparities are due to flaws in the American system itself? [link]
It is reported that the Iranians and the North Koreans were troubled by our lack of progress on the human rights front. 

I'm sure Obama will try harder to please them.

A Step In The Right Direction

The publication that took the word "news" out of "newspaper" is struggling to survive.  And it's doing a makeover.  Let's see if it makes for more informative reading:
USA Today shaking up staff in 'radical' overhaul
Associated Press

San Francisco (AP) -- USA Today, the nation's second largest newspaper, is making the most dramatic overhaul of its staff in its 28-year history as it de-emphasizes its print edition and ramps up its effort to reach more readers and advertisers on mobile devices.

The makeover outlined Thursday will result in about 130 layoffs this fall, USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke told The Associated Press. That translates into a 9 percent reduction in USA Today's work force of 1,500 employees. Hunke didn't specify which departments would be hardest hit.

The management shake-up affects both the newspaper's business operations and newsroom. [link]
I've mentioned several times over the years that I don't read USA Today when the rag is free and hanging on my hotel room door for my convenience.  It's that awful.

Maybe this change will bring some substance to it.

I have my doubts ...

Quote of the Day

From Peggy Noonan:
Liberals and the left are indignant about this, and angry. For a week all you heard from cable anchors was "PEOPLE think OBAMA is a MUSLIM. It's in the POLLS. How do you EXPLAIN it?" Every time I heard it, I'd think: Maybe it's because you keep screaming it.
"We Just Don't Understand," Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2010

Booze Will Do That To You

If you've ever been around drunks, like I have ... a few times ... you know they are pretty much capable of saying and doing anything.  While, at the same time, capable of doing nothing.  I've seen guys pee all over themselves because they had forgotten how the zipper works.  Forgotten where they lived.  Couldn't remember where they'd left their car (though I'm still not admitting to it).

And then there are the badasses.  I had a friend who stood about 6'1" and weighed no more than 120.  Skinniest guy you'd ever meet.  Yet when he got into a bar, which was often, and had slammed down a few drinks, he'd want to fight.  He didn't particularly care who he fought with, including tavern staff, he just wanted to beat on someone. (and, more often than not, got the crap kicked out of himself.)

My point?  Alcohol does bad things to people's thought processes.  That's why, kids, you should never drink.

That having been said, I look on this story with a certain amount of amusement.  Not because slicing up a cab driver is something to find funny, but because the media (and New York City police) are trying to make so much more of the incident than is there:
ABC Confounded Stabber Not Right-Winger, Still Exploits 'Knife Attack That's Cut Deep Into National Debate Over Faith and Fear'
By Brent Baker, NewsBusters

ABC News sure wanted to paint Michael Enright, the 21-year-old charged with stabbing Muslim cab driver Ahmed Sharif in Manhattan, as a bigoted hate crime perpetrator who is the inevitable result of Islamophobic opposition to the mosque near Ground Zero. And the network didn't let the facts get in the way of their agenda – though they were confounded by how he “has a baffling profile” since “he volunteers with a church group that promotes peace and understanding” which “actually support[s] putting that Islamic center down here near Ground Zero.” Sighed Diane Sawyer: “Really confounding, the story of that suspect.”

Sawyer, who made the incident her top story (CBS ran a short item, Katrina-obsessed NBC skipped it and most other news), led the Thursday World News by imparting great meaning: “This might have been a small story in another time, but it's touched on a deeper wave of concern because of all the tension over that mosque and cultural center planned near Ground Zero. At the center of the story, a Muslim cab driver, stabbed two days ago.” [link]

Baffling?  Yes.  But one needs to look no further than the word "scotch" to place the story in some perspective.  This kid was blasted out of his mind.  He couldn't control his right-wing anger toward minorities?  Hell, he probably couldn't control his bowels.

Much more will be made of this very troubling incident.  And the charge of "hate crime" leveled by the NYPD is surely to make for some interesting evening news.  Guaranteed to provide entertainment for months to come.

Me?  I say lock Michael Enright up for being stupid.  But don't try to find some cosmic meaning in his drunken rampage.  Drunks do stupid stuff.

Baffling?  This sums it up:  "Lefty beats up cabbie; left blames the right."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Still No Transparency

The Roanoke Times editorial page this morning comes out in defense of Virginia's abortion clinics.  See "Kicking up an abortion storm."

Not mentioned, to its shame, is the fact that the same Roanoke Times's publisher, Debbie Meade, is - or was - up to her eyeballs in the decision-making at Roanoke's most infamous abortion mill - Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge.

Is there something unethical about the paper pushing an outside enterprise that directly benefits the outside efforts of its top boss?

Amazingly, the Times's editorial team says no.  From its October 31, 2006 publication:
Publishers are people with opinions, just like everyone else. Ms. Meade’s opinion on abortion would be the same regardless of her involvement with Planned Parenthood. And her opinion matches the longstanding editorial position of the newspaper, so there is no conflict of interest, and there is no need for her to recuse herself from editorial board discussions on the topic. The two publishers preceding Ms. Meade have been supporters of Planned Parenthood, but not board members. Their involvement did not have a negative impact on The Roanoke Times’ ability or willingness to cover all sides of the abortion question.

Traditionally, the publisher’s opinion carries the most weight of any other person involved in determining the editorial position of the newspaper. Publishers are not expected maintain a strict appearance of objectivity. But fairness – actual fairness, not merely the appearance – is of utmost importance. Which is why publishers generally leave the day-to-day operation of the news sections to the newspaper’s editor.

It may “defy common sense,” but the publisher’s political opinions will have no effect on our news coverage.

The Roanoke Times maintains a strict wall of separation between the news and opinion functions, and we understand how absolutely vital that is to our credibility. And the credibility of this newspaper is its most valued and valuable asset.
All that's well and good but it avoids the big question.  Meade's "opinion" is one thing.  Her work outside the Roanoke Times offices is another.  What if she were on the board of General Electric and the editorialists at the Times started hawking its new F136 fighter jet engine?  Wouldn't the fact that the person writing their paychecks is also responsible for making that engine a success be something worth disclosing?

Bottom line: Debbie Meade is an active abortion industry player.  Her company, the Roanoke Times, writes powerful editorials supporting the abortion industry. Yet nowhere in those editorials do we learn of her involvement.  Nor of any pressure being applied to have those editorials printed?

"[T]he credibility of this newspaper is its most valued and valuable asset."

A devalued asset - every time full disclosure is intentionally shunned - if there ever was one.

Nice

Every now and then a photo makes you stop and smile.  This one, shot by Justin Cook for the Roanoke Times is one of those:

Sweet.

* For the related story, go here.

We Deserve The Gov't We Elect

It can be summed up in one short paragraph.  This one constructed by George Will:
Syria's Bashar al-Assad, a dictator buttressed by torture, recently called Israel a state "based on crime, slaughter." Imagine what Israelis thought when, at about the time Assad was saying this, a State Department ninny visiting Syria was tweeting to the world, "I'm not kidding when I say I just had the greatest frappacino [sic] ever." 
Funny?  Pathetic?  Annoying?  Frightening?

Whatever it is, remember this: That screwball - whoever he was - was elected by you.  Maybe not directly.  But certainly by someone appointed by someone you "pulled the lever" for.

Disgraceful?  The mirror will have a tendency to bring that thought out of one.

- - -

A side note:  I get really annoyed at people who claim the USA is now in the throes of dictatorship.  Last time I checked, elections are still scheduled every November (at least).  You don't like the "dictators" running things?  Vote the assholes out.  Elect non-dictators who won't ruin the country.  It's when elections are canceled that you need to start ranting.

* For details on the government employee involved, go here.

A Question

How far is Washington D.C. from the United States of America?

Some days it seems like miles and miles and miles.

And on this, one of those days, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, sees disaster approaching in November for ...

... the Republican Party?

From "Tuesday's tutorial: a GOP too far right":
Republicans are in the midst of an insurrection. Democrats are not. This vast gulf between the situations of the two parties -- not some grand revolt against "the establishment" or "incumbents" -- explains the year's primary results, including Tuesday's jarring outcomes in Florida and Alaska. 

The paradox is that a Republican Party in the grips of ideology needs to shift the campaign in a less ideological direction, hoping that voters simply cast protest ballots against hard economic times. Democrats, who are more doctrinally diverse, have every interest in turning the election into a philosophical contest, arguing that even unhappy voters cannot trust their fate to a party in the grips of a right-wing revolt. Once again on Tuesday, Republican primary participants seemed determined to give Democrats that opportunity. 
Right.  The Republican Party is in big trouble.  If only its members would be more like Democrats.  More like they were in all those decades when they and the Democrats led this country down the path to ruination together.

More like Obama.

Right.  If only.

Keep dreamin', dude.  And keep injecting whatever it is that's circulating through those veins.  Delirium can be such a palliative in these uncertain times.

Running Scared

Whatever it takes to win ...


How soon can we expect embattled 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher to come out in opposition to Roe v. Wade?

Just a matter of time, it would appear.

This is such a principled lot, you see ...

Going Out On a Limb

I don't know why this New York Times headline strikes me as being peculiar.  But it does:


In the race?

Five Democrats.

All from Vermont.

Lo and behold: A Vermont Democrat won.

A Vast Wasteland

"Does anyone in Washington have a lick of common sense?"

We all feel Chris Christie's pain.



That government furthest removed from the people works least for the people.

The Feds Go To War With The American People

What, Obama and his henchpersons aren't reviled enough out here in America?  Do they really want to take us on in this fight too?


It's not going to end until these hostiles are driven back into the hellholes from which they came.

The Last Pillar Is Soon To Crumble

The one area of the economy that has stood tall - and really has propped up U.S. GDP since the Clinton days, as so many other manufacturing sectors imploded - is the tech industry.  As furniture, textiles, tobacco, heavy machinery, steel, etc. moved to foreign lands, the U.S. continued to thrive because of the presence - and robust health of - Microsoft and Intel and HP and Apple and Cisco and Oracle and Google.

When that sector goes, abandon all hope.

The day of reckoning approaches:
Intel CEO: U.S. faces looming tech decline
by Declan McCullagh, CNET

Aspen, Colo.--Intel Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini offered a depressing set of observations about the economy and the Obama administration Monday evening, coupled with a dark commentary on the future of the technology industry if nothing changes.

Otellini's remarks during dinner at the Technology Policy Institute's Aspen Forum here amounted to a warning to the administration officials and assorted Capitol Hill aides in the audience: unless government policies are altered, he predicted, "the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here."

Not long ago, Otellini said, "our research centers were without peer. No country was more attractive for start-up capital...We seemed a generation ahead of the rest of the world in information technology. That simply is no longer the case."

Otellini singled out the political state of affairs in Democrat-dominated Washington, saying: "I think this group does not understand what it takes to create jobs. And I think they're flummoxed by their experiment in Keynesian economics not working." [link]
 If you think this is just idle Republican chatter, chew on this:
"I can tell you definitively that it costs $1 billion more per factory for me to build, equip, and operate a semiconductor manufacturing facility in the United States," Otellini said.

The rub: Ninety percent of that additional cost of a $4 billion factory is not labor but the cost to comply with taxes and regulations that other nations don't impose. (Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers elaborated on this in an interview with CNET, saying the problem is not higher U.S. wages but antibusiness laws: "The killer factor in California for a manufacturer to create, say, a thousand blue-collar jobs is a hostile government that doesn't want you there and demonstrates it in thousands of ways.") 
Taxes and regulation.  Something you and I can fix.  By fixing Washington.  Before it's too late.

November 2.  It may be our last, best hope.

- - -

A sign that the end is near?  Or "just" the double-dip?
Durable goods orders rise 0.3 percent in July
By Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer

Washington (AP) -- Companies cut back on their investments in equipment and machines last month as the economic recovery lost momentum.

Overall orders for big-ticket manufactured goods increased 0.3 percent in July, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. But that was only because of a 76 percent jump in demand for commercial aircraft.

Taking out the volatile transportation category, orders fell 3.8 percent -- the steepest decline since January. And business orders for capital goods fell 8.0 percent. That was the biggest decrease since January of 2009, when the economy was in the deepest recession since the Great Depression.

Machinery and computers were especially hard-hit. Orders for machinery dropped 15 percent, the biggest decline on record for that category. [link] [emphasis mine]
Not good.  Not good.

* Durable goods - unlike, say, milk and eggs - are defined as being those that yields services or utility over time rather than being completely used up when used once. Computers, hardware ...

'Nuff Said

Michael Gerson decides this morning, with all the problems America faces, to go after the Tea Party (with three questions that really amount to nothing more than irrelevant, mindless drivel).

Michael Gerson is best known for having worked for one of those "little Democrats" who plague the Republican Party - George W. Bush.  Those who destroyed the brand and sent the Party into exile in 2006 with their profligate ways and big-government attitudes.

Having learned nothing from that experience, Gerson goes after the Tea Party.

Nothing more need be said.

Some Local History

July, 1921:

The five Moore brothers, all Confederate veterans, sons of a man who boasted twenty-three sisters and brothers, attended a late Confederate reunion in Christiansburg, Va.  They are: Adolf Moore, 83, of Spanishburg, W. Va.; Mansfield M. Moore, 80, of Cambria, Va.; C.M. Moore, 78, of Elliston, Va.; E.T. Moore, 75, of Bradshaw, Va.; and Benjamin Moore, 73, of Shawsville, Va.  They are known as the "Moore boys."

With one exception, the Moore brothers were members of one company of cavalry and were among the first to offer their services to the cause of the Confederacy.  None of them was wounded and only one captured.  The Moore brothers' father, Joseph Moore, a well-educated man, was a native of Lunenburg County, as was his wife, who was a Miss Thomason.  After their marriage they migrated to Bradshaw, in Roanoke County, where they lived in a cave until they could build a house.  The two eldest of the Moore brothers have about seventy descendants; the third is childless.  All are farmers, believe in the simple life, and only one of them uses tobacco.  The eldest traveled 100 miles in an automobile to attend the reunion.

From "Five Living Confederate Brothers," Confederate Veteran magazine, July, 1921.

The Best Drummer In History

A commenter yesterday brought tears to my eyes when he or she wrote that they had never heard of Buddy Rich.

Well, sit back, and gaze upon a master at work:




That isn't learned. It's in his genes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Put Up Or Shut Up

"The King of the World" - and self-appointed global warming expert - James Cameron knows when to do the latter:

James Cameron backs out of debate with climate-change skeptics

He didn't just back out. He fled at the last minute with his tail between his legs.

Speaks volumes about all the hot air coming from the left these days.

By the way, here's a photo of Cameron's home out in Malibu.


Yes, he probably thinks of himself as a conservationist.

Like he thought of himself as a debater.

This Can't Be Good

Things worsen:
How Bad Was July's Plummet in Home Sales?
By Daniel Indiviglio, The Atlantic

The housing bears were right: existing home sales fell off a cliff in July. As my colleague Megan McArdle just noted, they sold at an annualized pace of 3.83 million, down by 27% versus June and 26% below July 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. This is the lowest rate since NAR began keeping track of monthly sales in 1999. It's also far worse than the rate of 4.7 million sales that the market expected. To understand just how bad July was for home sales, let's look at some charts.

First, here's existing sales since the financial crisis:


At no point, even when the recession and crisis were at full strength, were existing sales nearly so low -- they never even dipped below 4.5 million.[link]
Is the economy heading south again?  Seems so.

Strap yourselves in.  We're in for a terrifying ride.

* Click on the image to enlarge it.

Someone Tell Hillary

The smartest woman in America is operating under the illusion that global warming is causing natural disasters.

For illusion it is:
Study Finds No Link Tying Disaster Losses to Human-Driven Warming
By Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times

The pull of the “ front-page thought” and the eagerness of climate campaigners to jog the public have sometimes created a tendency to tie mounting losses from weather-related disasters to human-driven global warming.

But finding a statistically robust link between such disasters and the building human climate influence remains a daunting task. A new analysis of nearly two dozen papers assessing trends in disaster losses in light of climate change finds no convincing link. The author concludes that, so far, the rise in disaster losses is mainly a function of more investments getting in harm’s way as communities in places vulnerable to natural hazards grow.

The paper — “Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?” — is in press in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. It was written by Laurens M. Bouwer, a researcher at Vrije University in Amsterdam focused on climate and water resources (and a lead author of a chapter in the 2001 assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). [link]
The weather isn't getting worse.  It's still the same old unpredictable, at-times violent, weather.  Regardless what Democrats and environmentalists want to believe.

Who knew?

It's The Format, Stupid

What does it say about network news these days when a radio show - structured not a whole lot differently from the program that Edward R. Murrow made famous seventy years ago, in a medium that should have been put on the shelf thirty years ago with the advent of the television and now the internet - has a much larger audience.

While Rush Limbaugh - through the ancient medium of radio! - continues to soar, CBS Evening News, with all its resources and technological wonders, and even a perky host, is fading like a pair of madras slacks:
'CBS Evening News' Ties All-Time Low
By Kevin Allocca, Media Bistro

The network newscast ratings for last week are in and "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" tied its all-time low in total viewers with an average of 4.89 million tuning in during the five days.

The low was set last June, when ABC also hit its own low. (Ratings records date back to the 1991-'92 season.) Last week, NBC averaged 7.42 million total viewers and ABC averaged 6.51 million. [link]
 CBS flies Couric half way around the world to produce record-setting crappy ratings.  While Rush sits behind his microphone and belts out news, commentary, and entertainment three hours a day, every day.

Key word being entertainment.

Watching Couric (and Brian Williams and ... who's on ABC these days?) read the "news" each evening is like watching trees grow.  Can't they make it any more boring?

"But ... but ... but ... we're not entertainers.  We're journalists."

Put that on the tombstone as a fitting epitaph.

A Star Is Born

Move over, Buddy Rich.  Hang up those sticks, Gene Krupa.  Make room for the new kid on the block, Vinnie Colaiuta.  Chase rocks the house:



The birth of the beat.


Next stop Yankee Stadium.

Uh Oh

I'm not sure this was very ... shall I say it? ... politic:


Dissension in the ranks?

Without doubt.

But dissension at the head of the ranks?

Not good.

Not surprising considering the commander-in-chief's indifference to the plight of his charges, but not good.

And not acceptable.

Expect there to be blood.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Reason Why GM Went Bankrupt

I think there are a whole lot of Americans who would be willing to buy a Chevy or a Dodge or a Ford simply because they were Made In America.

If only we knew which ones - or which parts of which ones - were actually produced in the good old USA.

These days, there's no telling.

Toyotas are made here.  Fords are made there.  Volkswagens are made here.  Chevies are made there.  Nissans are made here ...

It is what it is.  If only it weren't.

The Gulf Between Our President & Us

Quote of the day from Elizabeth Scalia:
One of my husband’s friends – hated Bush, loved Obama and defended him vociferously for the first year, less passionately the second – told him over lunch this week that he’s done with Obama and “I never thought I’d say this but I miss Bush. We knew that he said what he meant, even if we didn’t want to hear it. We knew who he was, even if we didn’t like him. And we never had to wonder whether he liked us. He always did.”

And that is it, in a nutshell. Bush is missable, because we miss having a president whose affection for his country and its people–even the ones who hated him–was never in doubt.

We miss Bush because he never lectured us or harangued us, and when people disagreed with him, they were not immediately called names in an attempt to simply shut up debate.

I am absolutely certain ... that in the face of angry, hurt opposition President Bush would not have permitted or encouraged his party to charge 60% of the nation with bigotry and xenophobia, because Bush never hated his opponents, and he never believed the worst of his countrymen; he believed the best.

Believing the worst of his countrymen sometimes seems to be President Obama’s default mode.

We miss Bush because he believed that Americans are inherently decent and heroic people who would–even in strained situations–bring thoroughly decent and heroic responses to bear.
We can all say some bad things about W. (as I just did, sorta, in the post below this one). But Ms. Scalia is right. Bush was the real deal. A man who loved his country and who, on too many occasions, shed tears over the plight of too many innocents among us who were lost, whether in the Twin Towers or in a humvee in Fallujah. His was a genuine sorrow.  And a love for his country.

Can you imagine Obama grieving over the loss of an American soldier or a grandmother working at Cantor Fitzgerald? I can't. That's the difference.

Why The Tea Party Arose From The Ashes II

There are a whole lot of concerned Americans out here looking for a political party that holds to the same values we do.  We keep looking ...
'We're not the other guys' isn't good enough, GOP
Washington Examiner Editorial

Those Bush years too often displayed little difference between Republicans and Democrats in Washington. Much of the vast expansion of the federal government by Democrats was previewed by the Bush-led Republicans. Obamacare's overreach? Don't forget the Republicans' entitlement-expanding and budget-busting Medicare Part D. In fact, Republicans were off the reservation long before Bush ever entered office. The 1994 Republican revolution marked the first time in more than 40 years that Republicans held a congressional majority. They won while pledging specific policy goals in their Contract with America, including term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and welfare reform. Some significant progress was made but in a few years the revolution was all but abandoned. The Cato Institute's Ed Crane recently noted that the "combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate ... increased by 13 percent."

Today, most Americans are ready as never before to shrink government and stop the spending madness. This presents the GOP with an opportunity it didn't have in 1994: an electorate exhausted by Washington politicians and their doubletalk. [link]
You've read here before of my referring to Washington Republicans as being little Democrats.  They're willing to go along with government growth and fiscal suicide, just not as much, nor as gleefully, as the real thing.

You've also read this before: If I want a Democrat, I'll vote for a Democrat.  'We're not the other guys' isn't good enough" indeed.

The Truth About The Bush Tax Cuts

Bottom line:  If Obama and the Democrats allow them to expire, we'll all feel the pinch.

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, writing in yesterday's Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Ending Obamanomics: Don't Raise Taxes

Most Democrats in Washington, including President Obama, want to let these tax cuts expire. They argue that they represent "tax cuts for the rich," and they feel that these tax dollars are needed to help reduce the federal budget deficit, which will exceed $1.47 trillion this year.

While reducing the federal budget deficit is important, it should be done by reining in Washington's out-of-control spending, not by raising taxes on families and businesses.

The federal tax cuts benefit a wide range of citizens, including married couples with children, investors, and small businesses.

These tax cuts include reductions in individual income tax rates, tax relief for married couples, an increase in the child tax credit, a reduction in capital gains taxes, and important depreciation write-offs for certain business investments.

If we allow these tax cuts to expire, the result will be a federal tax increase of $135 billion on consumers and small businesses. This would be a devastating blow to an economy that is struggling to recover.

According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, if Congress fails to extend these tax cuts American families will see their total federal tax burden increase by $1,541 next year. Many families who are struggling to make ends meet cannot afford to pay higher taxes.

Apart from the impact tax increases would have on families and businesses, their impact on the economy as a whole cannot be overstated. [link]
Who can afford a jump like that in their tax bill the way things are right now?

It seems those working in the federal government are doing just fine.  It's the American people who are hurting.  Why add to the pain and suffering?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thoughts That Miss Their Mark

James Taranto spanked the New York Times yesterday for having offered up a really stupid argument:
An Atrocious Sentence, but No Crime

This almost seems unsporting, but we can't resist. From a New York Times editorial on the Justice Department's decision to drop its investigation of Tom DeLay:

"Mr. DeLay, the Texas Republican who had been the House majority leader, crowed that he had been 'found innocent.' But many of Mr. DeLay's actions remain legal only because lawmakers have chosen not to criminalize them."

By the same logic, the New York Times editorialists are not in the dock only because "criminal stupidity" is a figure of speech and not an actual law.
It's only legal because it's not illegal.  I'll bet those guys at the Times get paid handsomely for wisdom such as that.

Thanks, James.  You made my day.

Yeah, That'll Bring In Millions

When politicians have no answers to our pressing problems, they always fall back on that tried and true crutch:
Radford welcomes new tourism initiative
Blue Ridge Business Journal

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, the Radford City Tourism Advisory Commission and the Radford Heritage Foundation announced a tourism initiative that will bring together the stories of early settlers, the river and our rail heritage. The presentation took place at noon on the grounds of Glencoe Museum, located at 600 Unruh Drive just off West Main Street (Rt. 11).

Congressman Rick Boucher and officials from Norfolk Southern Corporation, the City of Radford and the Radford Heritage Foundation gave details of a new cultural heritage site that pays homage to Mary Draper Ingles, frontier heroine, as well as to the role of the railroad and the river in this region’s economic development and quality of life. [link]
How many dozens of dollars might this initiative bring into the Radford economy from outside the area each year?  God only knows (and my guess is He'll be keeping it a secret).  But I'll venture a wild guess and say there were more people in attendance at this gala launch than will be driving to Radford from Manhattan to learn all about its rich railroad heritage. In the next ten years.  All added together.

This is what we call an empty gesture.  A cynical empty gesture.  To fool and placate the surly masses.  Headliner of the event - Rick Boucher.  Naturally.

A question for our congressman: Why wasn't your skinny ass down in Bristol the other day where 112,000 tourists, 112,000, most from elsewhere, assembled in one venue?  It was an event that brought in millions to the local economy.  And you're screwing around with a Mary Draper Ingles slide show?  Where are your priorities?

What? We're Giving Money To The Rich?

Sure enough.  There it is.  New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says it's so:
But these same politicians are eager to cut checks averaging $3 million each to the richest 120,000 people in the country.

What — you haven’t heard about this proposal? Actually, you have: I’m talking about demands that we make all of the Bush tax cuts, not just those for the middle class, permanent. 
Uh.  But that's not "cutting checks" to the rich at all, is it? 

If Republicans (and other fiscally smart individuals) have their way, we'll be "allowing" the wealthier among us keep the money they earnedTo invest.  And create jobs. Rather than have it confiscated by the government and invested in research into the learning patterns of honey bees.  And making Nancy Pelosi rich beyond her wildest dreams.

Krugman has an odd understanding of wealth creation.  But then he's a Nobel Prize winner in economics.  And he writes for the New York Times.  Which explains it.

They See What They Want To See

And speaking of global warming enthusiasts ...


Gosh.  That's bad.  Right?

Wait.  What's this?


Ignore that. It doesn't fit the narrative. The world is coming to an end. That's our mantra and we're sticking to it.

The Question That Transcends Time

Why don't men have a problem with the toilet seat?

See "Women despair over men's toilet habits."

Take a photo. That'll be the only time you'll ever see the words "despair" and "toilet" used in the same headline.  Unless the word "constipation" is included.

But to the point, have any of you men out there ever sat down on a pot, only to find that the lid had not been lowered?

Who doesn't look first?

Oh.
Question answered.
See above.

Where Immigration Policy Works

Most of us don't want to spend time, money, and energy on efforts to keep the lawless out of our country.  But we will.  Because we can then devote our attention - and offer our heartfelt thanks - to those immigrants who did it the right, legal, and honorable way.  And who make us proud.  And safe.

Bienvenido a casa, amigos!
29 Va.-based sailors to become US citizens
Associated Press

Norfolk, Va. (AP) -- Twenty-nine sailors will receive their U.S. citizenship aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier in Norfolk.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says the ceremony is scheduled for Thursday on the Nimitz-class carrier, which is homeported at the Navy base. The sailors serve aboard the Eisenhower, the guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher, and amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge and USS Iwo Jima.

The 29 sailors were born in 13 nations: Anguilla, Belize, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia. They hail from hometowns across the United States. [link]
Excellent.

Their kind we'll welcome with open arms every day of the week.

A Skewed Sense Of What's Important

Well, let's see what's in the news that needs to be commented on.  A partial list:

Here at home there's this: 3 dead, 4 wounded in shootout in central Virginia





Good grief.

But wait.

With all the tragedy in the news, what do you suppose Roanoke Times editorial page editor Dan Radmacher considers to be so important that he had to write up an opinion piece on the subject for yesterday's paper?

The Franklin News-Press wouldn't print some gay guy's name in its obituary of another gay guy because the first gay guy - his "partner" - isn't considered next of kin.  See "Virginia's bigotry strikes the mourning" and you'll get a glimpse into Radmacher's mindset. Trees had to die for that.  Had to.

- - -

A special note: Despite the fact that the decision to not print the first gay dude's name as next-of-kin was solely that of the editor and publisher of the Franklin News-Press, Radmacher chooses to blame us for the circumstance. For our effort in 2006 to keep - through constitutional amendment means - the institution of marriage from becoming a complete joke. Like the press is confined by the state in how it patterns its obituaries.

A giant stretch, man.

- - -

Meanwhile ...




Priorities. Priorities.

Why The Tea Party Arose From The Ashes

Because neither Bush nor Obama would do anything to keep the Democratic Party from creating this monster:
$4.4 Trillion
Wall Street Journal

Speaking last Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio, President Obama asked, "How do we, over the long term, get control of our deficit?" Good question.

Here's the answer suggested by last Thursday's semi-annual budget summary from the Congressional Budget Office: Stop spending so much.

CBO's mid-year review largely reinforces the bad news we already knew—to wit, that spending has exploded since Democrats took over Congress in 2007, first with the acquiescence of George W. Bush and then into hyperdrive after Mr. Obama entered the White House.

To appreciate the magnitude of this spending blowout, compare CBO's budget "baseline" estimate in January 2008 with the baseline it released Thursday. The baseline predicts future spending based on the law at the time. As the nearby chart shows, in a mere 31 months Congress has added more than $4.4 trillion to the 10-year spending baseline. The 2008 and 2009 numbers are actual spending, the others are estimates. As recently as 2005, total federal spending was only $2.47 trillion.

Keep that $4.4 trillion in mind the next time you hear Mr. Obama or Speaker Nancy Pelosi say they "inherited" this budget mess. Let's assume the recession that Mr. Obama inherited—Mrs. Pelosi was already in power—was responsible for causing $1 trillion or so in deficit spending. That still doesn't explain why the annual deficit of roughly $1.4 trillion will be nearly as high in fiscal 2010, after a year of economic growth, as it was in 2009. Or why CBO says the deficit will still be nearly $1.1 trillion in 2011 even if all of the Bush-era tax cuts are repealed.

The deficit is barely declining because of the lackluster economic recovery, which continues to yield too little revenue, and especially because of the record levels of spending passed by the Democratic Congress and eagerly signed by Mr. Obama. [link]
Our government is out of control.  And we intend to do something about it.

November 2.

November 2.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Laugher of the Day

Weird Roanoke Times columnist Christian Trejbal this morning:

"Obama has racked up many accomplishments. He appointed two Supreme Court justices. Health care reform and economic stimulus passed. And Iraq is winding down. Not bad for less than two years."

Say what?

Let's talk about those "accomplishments":

1) Obama appointed two Supreme Court justices.  Like he had a choice?  Like he might not have when two openings occurred on the bench?

2) Health care reform is an accomplishment?  Tell it to the American people.  Rasmussen on Monday:

"Support for repeal of the health care reform bill is at its highest level in over a month, while the number of voters who believe repeal will be good for the economy has reached a new high."

Not repeal of its most egregious facets and most punitive mandates.  Repeal of the whole damn thing.

An accomplishment?  When the Republicans take control of Congress in January, you'll think accomplishment.

3) "[The] economic stimulus passed."  An exercise to prove a point: Google this - "economic stimulus failed" - and you get 70,900 hits.  Google "economic stimulus succeeded" and you get ... 2.

An accomplishment?  Maybe it's time to define the term:
Accomplishment
Noun: accomplishmentəˈkämpliSHmənt
1. Something that has been achieved successfully.
2. The successful achievement of a task.
Notice the root word "success"?  Unless you buy into that goofy "jobs saved or created" bullshit, how can Obama's stimulus be considered an accomplishment?  Take a look at "accomplishment's" antonym:
Failure
Noun: failure feyl-yer
1. Obama's pledge to not let the unemployment rate ever go above 8%.

4) "Iraq is winding down."  And it has been since George W. Bush launched the surge in 2007.  Your point?

5) "Not bad for less than two years."  Such a ringing endorsement.  Just remember this, kid: Much of that two years encompassed the traditional "honeymoon" with the American people after the election.  Those were - ask any former president - to be his best years.  It's all downhill from here.

Two more years of such "accomplishments," the experts now agree, and America is doomed.

- - -

On one point I and a growing number of Americans will agree with Mr. Trejbal.  Obama should consider not running for reelection. We'd all be grateful - and much better off - if he did indeed "pull a Polk."

They Have a Lot To Own Up To

Regarding that 9/11 Victory Mosque, the reason it isn't being digested well here in the USA is because those connected by religion to the terrorists who perpetrated the crime of the century have never - in a serious way - denounced the movement within their faith that brought it about.

Where are all the Muslims who are willing to renounce radical Islamism and its closely connected violence?

They all sit by, silent as ghosts.

Maybe when they decide to join the human race, they'll be perceived differently.  Until then ...

Tom Friedman, writing this morning in the New York Times:
Indeed, the big problem is not those Muslims building mosques in America, it is those Muslims blowing up mosques in the Middle East. And the answer to them is not an interfaith dialogue in America. It is an intrafaith dialogue — so sorely missing — in the Muslim world. Our surge in Iraq will never bear fruit without a political surge by Arabs and Muslims to heal intracommunal divides. It would be great if President Obama surprised everyone and gave another speech in Cairo — or Baghdad — saying that. [link
America to Muslim world: Get your house in order.  Then come talk to us about a mosque near Ground Zero.