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

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.


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:


* 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.