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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Photo of the Day

For no particular reason, here's a photo that someone took a while back. The setting is the continental breakfast nook at the Hampton Inn in Martinsville. The time? A few years ago.

Yours truly is in the center talking to Kat Wilton of Cathouse Chat fame.  A babe.  Seated with us is respected Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro.

The guy on the left with the big grin?  Democratic Party suck-up and Russell County Commonwealth's Attorney Brian Patton.  Note the fact that he sits alone.  Speaks volumes.

A day in the life ...

* No, your computer isn't acting up.  The photo is a bit out of focus.  Sorry.
** Click on the image to enlarge it.
*** I have no idea who the other two are.

On Caylee's Law & Virginia

I've watched with interest the reaction around the country to Casey Anthony's acquittal for having murdered her little daughter.  Out of that reaction has emerged a movement to pass and implement something called "Caylee's Law," which, in most cases, would make it a felony for a parent or guardian to not notify law enforcement of a child going missing within 24 hours.

Seems like a reasonable thing to do.  Considering the circumstances.

For those of you living here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you might want to know what current law is in this regard.  For that information we can thank my former House Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark.  She passes this along:
There are a number of provisions in the Code of Virginia that would address a similar situation in Virginia.

There are already provisions in the Code of Virginia that require a person to report the death of another (§32.1-283, subsection A) and prohibit the concealment of a dead body (§ 18.2-323.02).

§ 32.1-283. (Effective until July 1, 2012) Investigation of deaths; obtaining consent to removal of organs, etc.; fees.

A. Upon the death of any person from trauma, injury, violence, poisoning, accident, suicide or homicide, or suddenly when in apparent good health, or when unattended by a physician, or in jail, prison, other correctional institution or in police custody, or who is a patient or resident of a state mental health or mental retardation facility, or suddenly as an apparent result of fire, or in any suspicious, unusual or unnatural manner, or the sudden death of any infant less than eighteen months of age whose death is suspected to be attributable to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the medical examiner of the county or city in which death occurs shall be notified by the physician in attendance, hospital, law-enforcement officer, funeral director or any other person having knowledge of such death. Good faith efforts shall be made by such person or institution having custody of the dead body to identify and to notify the next of kin of the decedent. Notification shall include informing the person presumed to be the next of kin that he has a right to have identification of the decedent confirmed without due delay and without being held financially responsible for any procedures performed for the purpose of the identification. Identity of the next of kin, if determined, shall be provided to the Chief Medical Examiner upon transfer of the dead body.

§ 18.2-323.02. Prohibition against concealment of dead body; penalty.

Any person who transports, secretes, conceals or alters a dead body, as defined in § 32.1-249, with malicious intent and to prevent detection of an unlawful act or to prevent the detection of the death or the manner or cause of death is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Arguably, if a mother ignores the fact that her child has been missing for a day or two or three and makes no effort to remedy that by, for instance, reporting the fact to law-enforcement, she could be in violation of subsection A or B1 of §18.2-371.1. Additionally, §18.2-461 punishes giving a false report to a law-enforcement official.

§18.2-371.1. Abuse and neglect of children; penalty; abandoned infant.

A. Any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 who by willful act or omission or refusal to provide any necessary care for the child's health causes or permits serious injury to the life or health of such child shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. For purposes of this subsection, "serious injury" shall include but not be limited to (i) disfigurement, (ii) a fracture, (iii) a severe burn or laceration, (iv) mutilation, (v) maiming, (vi) forced ingestion of dangerous substances, or (vii) life-threatening internal injuries.

B. 1. Any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 whose willful act or omission in the care of such child was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

B. 2. If a prosecution under this subsection is based solely on the accused parent having left the child at a hospital or rescue squad, it shall be an affirmative defense to prosecution of a parent under this subsection that such parent safely delivered the child to a hospital that provides 24-hour emergency services or to an attended rescue squad that employs emergency medical technicians, within the first 14 days of the child's life. In order for the affirmative defense to apply, the child shall be delivered in a manner reasonably calculated to ensure the child's safety.

C. Any parent, guardian or other person having care, custody, or control of a minor child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination shall not, for that reason alone, be considered in violation of this section.
(1981, c. 568; 1988, c. 228; 1990, c. 638; 1993, c. 628; 2003, cc. 816, 822; 2006, c. 935.)

§18.2-461. Falsely summoning or giving false reports to law-enforcement officials.

It shall be unlawful for any person (i) to knowingly give a false report as to the commission of any crime to any law-enforcement official with intent to mislead, or (ii) without just cause and with intent to interfere with the operations of any law-enforcement official, to call or summon any law-enforcement official by telephone or other means, including engagement or activation of an automatic emergency alarm. Violation of the provisions of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(Code 1950, §18.1-401; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1996, cc. 753, 815
Now you know.

Thanks, Annie B. (We're going to miss you here in Bland County, babe.)

A Trip Down Memory Lane

As a public service I'm offering up this commercial from 2007 in which three then-governors advocated action on "climate change."  One of them was The Terminator.  Another was a Democrat.

The last?

He's running for president in 2012:

It's good to know where politicians stand - before they start their campaigns and start lying to you.

What Tea Partiers Want

Two things:

1) They want America to not crumble.

2) They know the only way to save it is by doing this (from "A Tea Party Budget"):
[Presidential candidate Michelle] Bachmann hasn’t laid out her priorities because neither Republicans nor Democrats are now receptive. But here’s what it would take to balance the books.

First, scrap government departments that overlap with functions traditionally and primarily met at the state level, and that often do more harm than good. The country’s educational performance declined after the federal government imposed its educational priorities on the states, which have the prime responsibility for education. Scrap the Department of Education, a failed Carter-era experiment that had its roots in president Dwight Eisenhower’s desire to imbue the education system with Cold War thinking, and out goes a US$77-billion annual expense. Likewise, scrap all or parts of the Department of Energy, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Transit Authority, Federal Highway Administration, Housing and Urban Development and other federal areas that intrude on state and local responsibilities. Apart from the dollar savings from eliminating duplication and cancelling perverse projects, the quality of public services is likely to rise when the former federal functions move closer to home in state or local government, or become privatized and are delivered in the private sector.

This slimming-down exercise would not only slash the US$1.1-trillion deficit expected in 2012 by one-third to one-half, it would eliminate bureaucracy that burdens business, lowering costs to the overall economy and spurring its revival, in the process taking people off the welfare rolls and making them taxpayers that further shrink the deficit. And because the deficit would have declined dramatically, the growth in the federal debt would have slowed to a crawl.

Bachmann would then be able to wipe out the balance of the deficit through asset sales. The U.S. federal government holds assets that it values at some US$3.5-trillion, and assets worth trillions more to which it has never assigned a value. Many of those assets would have more value in private hands able to recognize the assets’ potential. A federal government sale of its mineral rights and associated lands alone could fetch enough to balance the budget. And/or it could sell businesses that in the United States are generally in private hands, such as power marketing authorities, as Bill Clinton proposed in 1996, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, America’s largest public power company. And/or Amtrak. And/or the postal service, which in other Western countries has been privatized.

And/or any number of the other businesses that the federal government has decided in recent decades to move into that neither add value nor are justifiable in an era that calls for far-reaching reforms to avert unthinkable financial consequences. Every sale would generate immediate cash plus ongoing personal and corporate tax revenue from the new and improved businesses to emerge.
I'll remind you once again - at the risk of having some liberal whine about ... the children ... that the federal Department of Education budget for 2012 is $48,800,000,000 (in 2012 alone) and it has never in its history educated anyone.  Nor is it responsible for educating anyone.  It simply transfers mountains of tax dollars from your wallet to the states (which are tasked with educating the our youth), makes cumbersome demands with regard to curriculum and work rules, and compiles warehouses full of progress reports that matter little when it comes to the improvement of educational standards in this country (see test scores over the decades).

If you're wondering - if the states are taxing those same individuals who are "donating" education dollars to the federal government - why the states can't cut out the middle man and simply draw the necessary funds for schools on their own ...

BINGO.  You're now a Tea Party member.

There are many needed cuts that can be made that will bring the federal government back from the brink.  None of which are being proposed in Washington.  Either by Democrats or Republicans.  They, instead, nibble around the edges in hopes of a robust economy returning - somehow - and leveling the revenue/outlay equation.  (Think "tech bubble.")  At best, unless some miracle happens (actually, it is happening, but in China), politicians are - in truth - hoping to slow the growth of government, not reverse it.

And we saw from the last election how that "hope" thing works out.
Here's the encouraging aspect to all this: Change is going to come. Either out of necessity or out of the ruins. Either way, this is going to be fixed someday.

In the meantime, Obama will do his level best to keep any kind of change from happening.

Fortunately for our country, he'll be a community organizer again soon and we'll be rid of him.

Make no mistake, change is a'comin'.

One way or another.

* We need to start talking about the Department of Defense too. It must be thinking in terms of national defense starting now if we're to ever extricate ourselves from the once-sweet notion that we are/were the world's superpower. We're broke. A shell of our former self. We simply can't be there to fight everyone else's war(s) any longer. Bosnia? Korea?  Germany?  You're on your own.