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

Monday, February 28, 2011

We Lose One Of The Good Guys

If you grew up loving baseball, you can reel off the most wondrous moments in the game's storied history.  Jackie Robinson stealing home; Bobby Thompson's series-winning home run; Willie Mays's over-the-shoulder catch in deep center field; Don Larsen's perfect game; Hank Aaron's 714'th; Lou Gehrig saying goodbye.  Memories.  Such memories.

A few of which are brought back to us occasionally.  An example: If you haven't seen HBO's "Brooklyn Dodgers: Ghosts of Flatbush," and if you love/loved the game of baseball, you need to rent it.  It will bring tears of joy - and of sorrow - to your eyes.  It is about - to me, anyway - the Golden Moment In Major League Baseball.  The year "Dem Bums" won the pennant.

Central to that story?  An unsung, unassuming, underappreciated hero named Duke Snyder.  "The Duke of Flatbush."

He died yesterday.  Age 84.

A pause to remember what was.

And will never be again.

Baseball, as far as I'm concerned, died years ago.  From four self-inflicted gunshot wounds.  Free agencyThe decision in 1969 to move away from an actual "pennant race" and into the unexciting playoff mish-mosh that is major league baseball today.  The designated hitter.  And moving the Dodgers out of Brooklyn and into Los Angeles.

Said Duke Snyder of the move: "When they tore down Ebbets Field, they tore down a little piece of me."

A little piece of a lot of us, pal.

Rest in peace, Duke.  You made for many a young boy a fond memory that will last forever.

I Think He's Serious

I'm guessing this isn't meant to be tongue-in-cheek.  The author, one Mike Tidwell, executive director of something called the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, is preparing for climate Armageddon.

But he wants you to know he's not an "end times" nut or anything.  He's just keepin' it real.

From his article appearing this morning in the New York Times:
Ten years ago, I put solar panels on my roof and began eating locally grown food. I bought an energy-efficient refrigerator that uses the power equivalent of a single light bulb. I started heating my home with a stove that burns organically fertilized corn kernels. I even restored a gas-free lawn mower for manual yard work.

As a longtime environmental activist, I was deeply alarmed by new studies on global warming, so I went all out. I did my part.

Now I'm changing my life again. Today, underneath the solar panels, there's a new set of deadbolt locks on all my doors. There's a new Honda GX390 portable power generator in my garage, ready to provide backup electricity. And last week I bought a starter kit to raise tomatoes and lettuce behind barred basement windows.

I'm not a survivalist or an "end times" enthusiast. When it comes to climate change, I'm just a realist.
A ... realist.

A realist who is preparing for the end of the world as we know it because the planet's atmospheric temperature has increased 0.2° F. in the last quarter-century. To a temperature that has now held steady for the last thirteen years.

Please.  You're killing me.

To the realist I have a suggestion: Get real.

* I'm guessing Mr. Environmentalist Activist keeps a Schwinn 10-speed in that GARAGE, by the way.  Ahem.

Unions & the Socialist Ideal

Robert Tracinski on the saga that is playing out in Wisconsin:

"The Democrats are fleeing from a lot more than their jobs as state legislators. They are fleeing from the cold, hard reality of the financial and moral unsustainability of their ideal."

The Europeans were a bit ahead of us in coming to the realization that socialism is bad for the human race.  Wisconsin teachers are grappling with that lesson only now.

It may take time, but sooner or later ...

Quote of the Day

From Newsweek's  Eleanor Clift:

"Since when does [duly elected Wisconsin Governor] Scott Walker represent 'the people'?"

It's not that she's a liberal that makes her come across as being a dumbass. 

Well, come to think of it, maybe it is.

Why Have a Constitution?

Madison and the boys got together and put in writing the outline of a plan that instructs us on how often we are to vote?  Is that it?  Does it mean nothing else?

Apparently so.

We've reached a point in our nation's existence when it becomes clear: Though it was originally written to grant a federal authority certain well-defined, limited, responsibilities, today the Constitution serves as little more than an excuse for the government to control every aspect of our lives.

Including, now, our thoughts.

Yes, if a ruling made by a federal district judge in Washington D.C. stands, the United States government is now recognized as having the "right" to control our "mental activity."

My God.
Regulating 'Mental Activity'
The Commerce Clause as thought monitor.
Wall Street Journal

The crux of these cases is whether the government's power to regulate "Commerce . . . among the several States" is so broad that it can mandate that everyone buy health insurance. Judge Gladys Kessler of the D.C. district court says in her 64-page opinion that this power includes regulating even "mental activity, i.e., decision-making."

The distinction between activity and inactivity is "of little significance," Judge Kessler writes. "It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not 'acting' . . . Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin."

Whoa. In other words, there is no constitutional principle that limits federal coercion. Any decision that doesn't conform to what the government thinks you should do is an economic decision and therefore everything is subject to regulation. Though she may not have intended it, Judge Kessler has shown that the real debate is between a government of limited and enumerated powers as understood by the Founders, and a government whose reach includes "mental activity." [link]
There are those who argue that this Kessler person is simply saying it's not the decision-making that she is granting the government the power to control but the actions that derive from decisions made.  Much as she would give the government the power to control - and punish - an act of murder that occurred as the result of poor decision-making.  To control that decision-making is to prevent the murder.

But that argument goes out the window in the case of Obamacare.  Here we're talking about a person's decision to do nothing.  To opt out of Obama's health plan.  To say no and walk away.  Kessler's rationale therefore goes out the window.  And it becomes the "mental activity" alone that she would grant a power to regulate.

Me?  I choose to maintain my freedom of thought.

At least for as long as they let me.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
-- George Orwell --

* Photo from the movie "1984."