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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

For Those Seeking a Vacation Destination

Well, for those who like to think of themselves as historical tourists anyway, here's something you might enjoy: You can roam Noah Webster's home where he wrote his American Dictionary of the English Language - in New Haven, Connecticut - in Dearborn, Michigan.

Say what?

That's right.  Noah Webster helped design and had this mansion built in 1823 in New Haven:

Nice, huh?

I was reminded of this when I read Barton Swaim's "A Definitive American Life," a critique of Joshua Kendall's "The Forgotten Founding Father."  The first is definitely worth reading, and the second finds itself on my must-read list.

So what's that about New Haven and Dearborn?

You see, it's like this: There was this guy back in the early part of the last century who had all the money in the world.  He was also one who had a deep, abiding love of his country.  So what did he do with a pile of that cash that he had sitting around?  He bought stuff.  American stuff.  American historical stuff.  Including homes (along with Wright Brothers Bicycle Shops and Thomas Edison laboratories), had them disassembled, crated, and shipped to a site near his home in Dearborn.  A site that he named the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

That's right.  Henry Ford amassed a breathtaking collection of American memorabilia and housed it in his personal museum and adjacent "village." (When I say "personal," it is said that Ford took an active role in the construction of the museum building and placement of his collectibles.)

Included in his collection is the Webster home.

And it's available for your exploration and learning pleasure daily (starting on the 15th; it's closed in the winter) from 9:30 to 5.

Here's what the village that you can wander to your heart's content looks like:

Yes, click on the image and you'll see that that's Henry Ford's original "factory" on display.

Anyway, before you go, pick up a copy of Webster's biography ...

... and hop in your car.

And commune with American history.

- - -

If you're inclined toward the morbid, the museum has on display - blood stains and all - the chair that Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when John Wilkes Booth put a bullet in his brain, ending his life, in 1865.  Henry Ford bought the chair at auction - for $2,400 - in 1929, the year of "The Crash."

How cool is that?

Can't Put a Good Man Down

Greg Habeeb is on a mission.  One yet to be completed.  Thus:
Habeeb Announces Reelection Bid

Salem – In an e-mail to supporters Wednesday, Republican Greg Habeeb announced he will seek reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates this November.

“All elected officials should ask themselves everyday whether they are the right person for the job. Over the last few weeks I've been asking myself, and many of you, that very question.

“After much prayer and consultation with my family and constituents, I am excited to announce that I am running for re-election this coming November.”

Habeeb was elected to the General Assembly in a Special Election in January. Habeeb succeeded House of Delegates Majority Leader Morgan Griffith who was elected to Congress.

Habeeb said he is proud of the work done in the General Assembly this year, but believes there is more that needs to be done.

“Our fight in Richmond is not an easy one but we have proven that when we work together and stick to our principles, we can accomplish great things,” Habeeb wrote.

Currently, the Eighth District includes the City of Salem and part of Roanoke County. Under the House of Delegates’ proposed redistricting plan, the Eighth District would grow to include Craig County, part of Montgomery County and part of the Town of Christiansburg.
Now, if he'll just do something about the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia monopolizes the booze business, as if it's still 1923 and our lives are governed by the Soviet Narodnykh Kommissarov.

I mean, please ...

From a press release.

So What Did Kobie Bryant Say?

Why do I find it amusing that sports news outlets are all atwitter over the fact that Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobie Bryant has been fined $100,000?  Not because of anything Bryant said or did.  But because they are all too frightened  - in this land of free speech - in this land of a hard-hitting, unrelenting, unrestricted press, ever diligent and unforgiving in its pursuit of the news - to tell us what the heck he said.

Associated Press sports writer Greg Beacham gives us the complete story.  Except for the core nugget.  For what was Bryant fined?  It must be too important to report.

ABC News is all over it.  See "Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant Fined $100,000 for Anti-Gay Slur." Except it never tells us the key part of that news. The legendary sports network that Roone Arledge and Jim McKay built even has video. With Bryant's mouth blocked out at that point when he utters ... something.

His words are censored.


ESPN covers the story and has similar video.  Also with Bryant's face covered so that we can't see what words he mouths.

It must be really, really bad.

We're not allowed to know.  It's that bad.

Do we laugh or cry?

The "Lakers Blog" at the Los Angeles Times interviewed Kobie at length after the incident and provides the details, except for the most important one.  What did Bryant say that got him in hot water?

Instead of informing the public as to the news we are entertained with the following topics discussed:

"On what led Bryant to yell a homophobic slur to referee Bennie Adams after picking up his 15th technical foul ..."

"On using the slur ..."

"What he would say to Bennie Adams [the sluree] ..."

"On what he'd say to GLAAD and HRC [presumably these are gay groups whose missions are to seek out occasions when they can be offended] ..."

My favorite: "On what he thought when he said the gay slur ..."

To me, this story isn't about slurs (how could it be; we're never provided with one). It's about being politically correct. In extremis.

So what did Kobie Bryant say that got him fined 100,000 smackers? You can bet he didn't call that referee a  BACKWOODS APPALACHIAN REDNECK HILLJACK.

In lalaland that's perfectly acceptable.

But use the term "f---ing fag" and the world comes crashing down.  And the censors spring into action.

Amusing. In a disgraceful sort of way ...

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

James Taranto offers up an interesting similitude this morning - in passing - for our consideration in "Blast From The Past, one that I hadn't thought of, but one that works:
Meanwhile, some are complaining about this comment yesterday on the Senate floor from [Nancy] Pelosi's counterpart, Harry Reid: "I'm always moved to hear the Pledge of Allegiance that marks the beginning of a new legislative day in the United States Senate. On the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, the words 'one nation, indivisible' mean more today than most other days."

Writes Sherman Frederick of the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "Did he mean to suggest that he doesn't like to use the phrase 'under God' in the pledge. Or, did he just space it like he has so many things of late. Either way, not good."

We're going to side with the sad clown of a Senate majority leader on this one.[emphasis mine]
Harry Reid, the Sad Clown of the Senate?

The shoe fits.

Thanks, Mr. Taranto.

We Want Kaine On The Record

Does he support tax increases like his boss does?

The people of Virginia deserve to know.

And expect the Republican Party of Virginia to hound him until we get an answer.  From RPV Chairman Pat Mullins:
"President Obama's speech today leaves no doubt about how he plans to deal with our country's massive fiscal problems - higher taxes that will cripple job growth, penalize hard working Americans and make our economic recovery more difficult.

The President's speech raises some important questions about his cheerleader-in-chief, former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine. Does Chairman Kaine still stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his good friend Barack Obama on taxes? It's a question that voters deserve to have answered.

During the 2005 gubernatorial campaign, Tim Kaine's rhetoric was clear - he would not raise taxes. Then-Lt. Gov. Kaine bristled when then-Attorney General Jerry Kilgore suggested Kaine was a closet tax-hiker.

"He's going to raise your taxes if he's elected governor," Kilgore told the TV audience.

"There you go again, Jerry," Kaine responded, "making stuff up. You're not fit to be governor if you make stuff up on this stage." (Virginian Pilot, Oct. 10, 2005)

Tim Kaine's record in Virginia is clear and well documented. There are few taxes left in the Commonwealth that Kaine didn't try to raise. At various times he tried to raise the income tax, the car tax and the motor vehicle sales tax. He closed 18 rest areas in an effort to force the House of Delegates to raise the gas tax.

When he left office to head to Washington to become President Obama's Cheerleader-in-chief he left a budget disaster for someone else to clean up. While he headed north on I-95 (by-passing the rest stops he closed) he left a $6 billion budget deficit and plans to implement the largest tax increase in Virginia history to balance the budget.

Now, President Obama finds himself in a situation that Tim Kaine is very familiar with and just like his Cheerleader-in-chief, his proposal is to raise taxes.

Since President Obama took a page out of Tim Kaine's playbook and is proposing to address our national deficit by raising taxes, does Tim Kaine's stand behind his own record? Will he support President Obama's efforts to raise taxes? [link] [emphasis in the original]
Here's a fact you'll want to take to heart as we await an answer from Mr. Kaine: The state of Virginia weathered the recent economic recession better than most states in part because the legislature fought then-Governor Tim Kaine's tax increase proposals (thank you, House of Delegates) and won.  Lower taxes kept jobs here.  Which kept the economy from tanking.

Now Kaine's bosom buddy in the White House is calling for more tax increases.  Will our hapless ex-governor go down that road again?

- - -

Kaine's opponent in the upcoming race for the U.S. Senate, George Allen, makes no bones about where he positions himself on the subject of taxes.  From a press release:
“President Obama made clear today that he and his liberal allies in Washington will try to solve our spending issues by ‘raising revenues.’ In Washington, 'raising revenues' means only one thing – they are going to raise taxes which would be harmful to any hope of a recovering economy. It was Ronald Reagan who said ‘The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.’ He was right then and he is right today. The best way to raise revenue is with a vibrant economy that has its people working and businesses prospering rather than imposing higher taxes. Our country needs more competitive tax, regulatory and energy policies to reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit of America.

“Our country’s deficit is set to hit a record setting $1.5 trillion this year – and that’s after two straight years of trillion dollar deficits. This has to end – small businesses and Virginia families can’t afford to continue footing the bill for unsustainable government growth. Unlike my opponent, I will not blindly support the President, especially when he calls for tax increases that will fuel Washington sending as it cripples the still struggling economy. Checks and balances are desperately needed in Washington to ensure we all have a voice – and that it is finally heard. Only then can we be sure that Washington starts listening and stops defending and advocating for the status quo that has our country on the verge of bankruptcy.”
A fact that you need to keep in the memory banks: Every time the Democrats in Washington have been able to push through tax increases that they claimed would be used to reduce the deficit, their spending skyrocketed and our deficits grew. Now Obama comes to us and tells us that a tax increase is needed to reduce our massive federal deficit.

Been there. Done that. Sorry. We're not going down that road again.

Paul Ryan Excoriates The President

He's totally steamed that Obama has gone into reelection mode while he and the Republicans in Washington are working diligently to solve the country's fiscal crisis.  I don't blame him one bit.

Here's Congressman Ryan's response to our president's campaign speech yesterday:

“When the President reached out to ask us to attend his speech, we were expecting an olive branch. Instead, his speech was excessively partisan, dramatically inaccurate, and hopelessly inadequate to address our fiscal crisis. What we heard today was not fiscal leadership from our commander-in-chief; we heard a political broadside from our campaigner-in-chief.

“Last year, in the absence of a serious budget, the President created a Fiscal Commission. He then ignored its recommendations and omitted any of its major proposals from his budget, and now he wants to delegate leadership to yet another commission to solve a problem he refuses to confront.

“We need leadership, not a doubling down on the politics of the past. By failing to seriously confront the most predictable economic crisis in our history, this President’s policies are committing our children to a diminished future. We are looking for bipartisan solutions, not partisan rhetoric. When the President is ready to get serious about confronting this challenge, we'll be here.”
Rome burns. Obama fiddles.

Hope and change? If only ...

- - -

The Wall Street Journal:

"Did someone move the 2012 election to June 1? We ask because President Obama's extraordinary response to Paul Ryan's budget yesterday—with its blistering partisanship and multiple distortions—was the kind Presidents usually outsource to some junior lieutenant."

When you have no answers, you attack those who do.

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

Try to get your arms around this thought, expressed by former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, a media leftist in good standing:

"This year, as the 2012 presidential campaign gets under way, two powerful forces will intersect: the commemorations of the Civil War and the opposition to President Obama’s policies." [source: NewsBusters]

This probably makes sense in Manhattan.  But only in Manhattan.

What does the commemoration of the Civil War have to do with Obama's policies?!

Oh.  Yeah.  He's half black.  And slaves were black.  And ... what?

You know where he's going with this.  He's been able to read our innermost thoughts and discovered that we defy Obama on taxes and regulation and climate because of his skin color.  Despite our every effort to debate the issues on the merits of the contentions put forth.

We're all racists.  

And you can bet that this Meacham character believes it.

It speaks volumes, I think, that this knucklehead is now unemployed.

May he stay so.