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

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Memo To Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorialists

Sometimes quotation marks - and the lack thereof - can get you into trouble.

When referring to slavery as "the peculiar institution" without the aforementioned punctuation marks, you run the risk of your readers inferring from the error that slavery was simply the peculiar institution that Senator John C. Calhoun (a slave owner himself) considered it to be - see his "Speech on the Reception of Abolition Petitions" (1837) - meaning a way of life that was simply unique or distinctive.  As opposed to it being an institution that went beyond the bounds of acceptable human standards and practices.

Your error cheapens the value of the phrase.

And diminishes the impact that the establishment of slavery had on American history.

Two little punctuation marks.

From your editorial, "Slavery Museum: Dismay":

"Former Gov. Douglas Wilder had an excellent idea when he proposed a museum to tell a story that many Americans did not want told. Although slavery played as important a role in the American experiment as the Founding itself, until recently the peculiar institution and its aftermath have not received sufficient attention."

Ho hum.  Slavery was peculiar.

Or not ho hum.

Slavery was, in fact, "peculiar" in that it existed in direct contravention of a quaint term you may have heard of in your history lessons.  One taken from the bedrock principle upon which the United States of America was founded:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Well, slaves were not equal.  They - and the institution that kept them in bondage - were "peculiar" to our established form of governance.

It took 750,000 American deaths to end this "peculiarity."

Words, as they say, have meaning.  So do punctuation marks.  Ignore punctuation; ignore history.

At The Heart Of Gingrich's Virginia Ballot Problems

In a word: HENRY.

As in Henry County:
Bogus signatures in Henry County cost Gingrich place on ballot
Martinsville Daily

WTVR-6 in Richmond is reporting a staffer for Gingrich collected over a thousand bogus signatures here in Henry County. The person, who was not identified, was paid per signature and when the Republican Party of Virginia found out they were not from registered voters they were thrown out. The one individual who Gingrich says committed fraud, cost him a place on the ballot for the Republican Primary in Virginia this March. A person is required to collect 10,000 signatures to be on the ballot. Gingrich submitted 11,100. The person in Henry County turned in 1,500 invalid signatures and once they were thrown out Gingrich was under the 10,000 required. Commonwealth’s Attorney Bob Bushnell says no criminal complaint has been filed in this case, but given the magnitude of the allegations if a voter fraud charge does come to light, it will be taken very seriously. [link]
Gingrich paid some dude by the signature.  And got lots of signatures.  All (or part) of which were forgeries.

One person in Henry County may have kept Newt Gingrich off the Virginia ballot in March.  And may have cost him the nomination.

Tar.  Feathers.  Exit door.

Liberals' Solution To End The Bad Times?

Doing more of the same:

"The way to revive sustainable growth is with more government aid to help create jobs, support demand and prevent foreclosures."

More government spending.

Like our government hasn't already been spending enough:

What was it that General Honoré said about people like those who suck up oxygen at the New York Times?

For the love of God.

* Chart courtesy of Business Insider.

Newt Doesn't Acquit Himself Well

This is the sort of thing Rick Perry got in trouble for.  Saying stupid shit.

In response to an Iowa voter's question about Newt Gingrich's forthcoming book that will include a chapter about climate change written by a global warmist professor out of Texas Tech, he responded with this tortured answer (in part):

"We didn't know that they were doing that, and we told them to kill it.”

We killed that which we knew nothing about?

One can only hope ol' Newt meant something other than that which came pouring out of his mouth.

For This We Could Have Voted Democrat

It wasn't that long ago ...

Voters rebuke Obama. Republicans win big. What's next?

What was next?

Sadly, more of what we had before Obama was rebuked and the Republicans won big:
The Spenders Won 2011
Wall Street Journal

Amid this month's payroll tax fracas, few noticed that Congress passed a 1,200-page, $1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2012. Maybe no one in Washington boasted because it's a victory for spending as usual. Republicans—in the House and Senate—need a better strategy.

The news is that after accounting for last-minute unemployment insurance extensions, "emergency" spending and higher Medicare physician payments, total federal outlays are estimated to be $3.65 trillion in fiscal 2012, up slightly from $3.6 trillion in 2011. The last year has seen no major reforms in any of the big entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Spending on food stamps alone is scheduled to reach $80 billion in 2012, more than double the amount as recently as 2007.

Republicans had promised to roll back discretionary spending to 2008 levels, to save $100 billion. But the August debt deal lowered the savings to $7 billion—or a 2012 target for appropriations of $1.043 trillion. Even that target was missed because appropriators tacked on roughly $10 billion in disaster relief—hurricanes this summer—and so the new total is $1.054 trillion. That's $4 billion more than the 2011 baseline of $1.050 trillion, although savings from troop withdrawals in Iraq may reduce that.

What about killing programs? Well, only 28 programs out of the thousands of line-items contained in the omnibus budget were terminated. [link]
It's fair to say that the United States of America was heading into 2011 with the very real prospect of bad times worsening if fundamental change didn't occur in the way Washington does business.  Nothing changed.  Those bad times worsened.  And will worsen even more in 2012.

Will Republicans win big again this year?

Will it matter?