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

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On 'Separation of Church & State'

As is its wont with such bugaboos, the Roanoke Times editorialists this morning are frightened by the prospect of the papists (!) seizing control of the United States government.  Or some such idiocy:
State government treads on dangerous ground when it promotes religious symbols. In order to ensure that such a display isn't an unconstitutional endorsement of one religion over another, the state would have to open the door to symbols from other faiths and messages from those who don't believe in any religion.
Dangerous ...

The state would have to ... gulp ... accommodate all of America's religions.  And non-religions.

A terrifying prospect if there ever was one.

I'm looking for the day when broad-minded and even-handed liberals are able to explain to me why the government can't be asked to promote all religions as opposed to what it is required to do today - only support "those who don't believe in any religion."

Somehow, to them, that's ...proper.

To me, it's just another example of the inevitable bias that flows from government distribution and application of its power and authority.

Catholic?  No room at the inn, sorry.

Church of the Non-Believer?  Come on in.  Make yourself at home.

That's not wrong.  It's perverted.

But He's BLACK!

This is funny.  The Democrats in the House of Representatives have a problem.  Having lost their majority on November 2, they are now finding themselves with more leaders than leadership positions.  So what do you do with the odd man out?

Oh, by the way, that "odd man" is black.

Why, you create a meaningless position for him!
House Democrats Avoid Fight on No. 2 Position
By Carl Hulse, New York Times

Top House Democrats said late Friday night that they had settled on an arrangement that avoided a divisive fight for the No. 2 position in the party when it reverts to the minority in January.

In a statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would nominate Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina to be the No. 3 Democrat when the party holds an internal party election on Wednesday.

Since Ms. Pelosi decided to run for Democratic leader despite the loss of more than 60 seats in the midterm elections, Mr. Clyburn was competing with Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat and majority leader, for the slot beneath Ms. Pelosi. As the new minority party, Democrats would typically lose one top spot since they will relinquish the speakership.

Ms. Pelosi’s statement did not define the new job but made it clear it would rate above the caucus chairmanship, which typically would be the No. 3 position for the party in the minority. [link]
I love this part: "Ms. Pelosi’s statement did not define the new job but made it clear ..."

Since we all know what's going on here, how about we cut through the niceties and simply confer on Mr. Clyburn the soon-to-be coveted title of Top Black Dude? Or, if we wanted to be true to the reality of this embarrassing story, Token House Negro?

Shocked by the term? It would do you well to get your arms around the fact that an undefined - but really, really important - position is being created for this Democrat for one reason and one reason alone. And it has nothing to do with his effectiveness as a legislator or his ability to lead others.

James Clyburn will have an undefined job. But a vital one, he's being told.

Please.

These people crack me up.

Quote of the Day

From George Will:

"The [Chevy] Volt was conceived to appease the automotive engineers in Congress, which knows that people will have to be bribed, with other people's money, to buy this $41,000 car that seats only four people ..."

"What's driving Obama's subsidies of Chevy's Volt?," Washington Post, November 13, 2010

We Have a Great Deal Of Work Yet To Be Done II

You're going to love this.

As it turns out, it was a Republican who banned our light bulbs!
Conservatives burn over Fred Upton's light bulb law
By Robin Bravender, Politico

Rep. Fred Upton’s support for eco-friendly light bulbs could leave him in the dark in his bid to chair the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Conservatives on and off Capitol Hill are waging a campaign to show that the Michigan Republican isn’t conservative enough to chair the powerful committee that will be in the center over fight on health care and energy policy next year.

For proof, they’re pointing to Upton’s support for phasing out some incandescent light bulbs in favor of greener alternatives.

Upton (R-Mich.) teamed up with California Democratic Rep. Jane Harman on 2007 legislation aimed at phasing out the use of incandescent light bulbs in favor of more energy efficient bulbs. That language eventually became law as part of a larger energy bill. The pair co-sponsored another bill this May to establish another round of efficient light bulb standards. [link]
To show that there are even Republicans out there who don't know where their right to meddle in our lives begins and ends, here's Upton's defense of his ban on the only light bulb that isn't outrageously expensive, isn't inefficient, and won't make you go blind because of its weak output of light:
Our work on light bulbs wasn’t an arbitrary mandate. We didn’t just pick a standard out of the air, or look for a catchy sounding standard like 25 by 2025 not based in science or feasibility. Instead, we worked with both industry and environmental groups to come up with a standard that made sense and was doable.
W-R-O-N-G.

Oh, it was "doable." Get enough environmentalist nitwits to join you and any boneheaded notion that smacks of being "green" is "doable."

But it doesn't, under the wildest stretch of one's imagination, make sense. The alternatives to the tried-and-true incandescent bulb have proven to be awful. And the effort to ban our favorite light bulbs (at the point of a gun) was capricious, misguided, and downright wrong.

Republicans don't do this, sir.

Republicans don't do this.

Where's That 'Cowboy' When We Need Him?

This is absolutely brutal:
Embarrassment in Seoul
Wall Street Journal

Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week's G-20 meeting in Seoul? We can't think of one. President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth.

The root of this embarrassment is political and intellectual: Rather than leading the world from a position of strength, Mr. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner came to Seoul blaming the rest of the world for U.S. economic weakness. America's problem, in their view, is the export and exchange rate policies of the Germans, Chinese or Brazilians. And the U.S. solution is to have the Fed print enough money to devalue the dollar so America can grow by stealing demand from the rest of the world.

But why should anyone heed this U.S. refrain? The Germans are growing rapidly after having rejected Mr. Geithner's advice in 2009 to join the U.S. stimulus spending blowout. China is also growing smartly having rejected counsel from three U.S. Administrations to abandon its currency discipline. The U.K. and even France are pursuing more fiscal restraint. Only the Obama Administration is determined to keep both the fiscal and monetary spigots wide open, while blaming everyone else for the poor domestic results. [link]
Good God.

One needs to ask, at this point in America's history, can we have a do-over of the 2008 election?  This is disgraceful.

Our Business Model Has To Change

With the advent of the internet, and with it email, this has become a major problem for our country:
Red ink for post office: $8.5B lost last year
By Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press

Washington (AP) — The Postal Service said Friday it lost $8.5 billion last year despite deep cuts of more than 100,000 jobs and other reductions in recent years. The post office had estimated it would lose $6 billion to $7 billion, but a sharp decline in mail took a toll. Increased use of the Internet and the recession, which cut advertising and other business mail, meant less money for the agency.

For the year ending Sept. 30, the post office had income of $67.1 billion, down $1 billion from the previous fiscal year. Expenses totaled $70 billion, a decline of about $400 million. The post office also was required to make a $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits.

"Over the last two years, the Postal Service realized more than $9 billion in cost savings, primarily by eliminating about 105,000 full-time equivalent positions — more than any other organization, anywhere," chief financial officer Joe Corbett said in a statement. "We will continue our relentless efforts to innovate and improve efficiency. However, the need for changes to legislation, regulations and labor contracts has never been more obvious." [link]
There has been a proposal put forth that calls for the Post Office to run mail only five days a week.  I think, under the circumstances, it's a worthy plan.  And it wouldn't be an admission of guilt or failure; it would be a recognition of the way things are today.  FedEx, UPS, and email are now the primary conveyors of person-to-person communication and information in the USA.  That reality isn't going away.

So the Postal Service had better do something.  And quick.  And drastic.  We The People don't need to be dealing with any more red ink than we have to.