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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another Reason Never To Donate To United Way

This story came and went a few weeks ago.  Little notice.  No fanfare.  No big whoop. On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, more than 400 people attended United Way of Roanoke Valley’s annual campaign awards celebration at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.

No big deal. Big charity honoring its big donors.

And it came with the usual lofty pronouncements: "This year marks the beginning of United Way of Roanoke Valley’s new strategic direction to advance the common good in the community by focusing on Education, Income and Health, which are the building blocks of a good life for all."

Whatever.

But wait.  Let's talk about that "good life for all."

Does that include a good life for all those children who were close - ever so close - to entering this world but were aborted beforehand?

No.

Why do I say that?

Guess who chaired the 2011 United Way of of Roanoke Valley fund drive.

Debbie Meade, President and Publisher of the Roanoke Times.

And guess what Debbie Meade does - or did - in her spare time.

She chaired the board of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, what later became part of an affiliate of the planet's Number One abortion mill, an affiliate that now goes by the name Planned Parenthood Health System.

So she chaired the United Way's fund drive and she chaired Planned Parenthood.

Oh, and there's this: Guess what organization donates big bucks to the United Way of Roanoke Valley?

Planned Parenthood.  60,500 smackers.

Planned Parenthood, once run by Debbie Meade, donates to the United Way fund drive, run by Debbie Meade.

A question: Is there a story there?

Apparently not.

I did a search of the Roanoke Times and found - oddly - not a word.

Oh.  Wait.  Who runs the Roanoke Times?

Debbie Meade.

Maybe the reticence on the part of Times ... journalists ... to cover this story isn't so odd.  Job security trumps all else, right?

Or maybe it's too much to expect the newspaper run by Debbie Meade to report on the abortion clinic once  run by Debbie Meade donating huge sums of money to a fund drive headed up by Debbie Meade.

Oh, but don't think for a minute that the Roanoke Times shies away from the overriding issue here.  That being abortion.  It's just avoided on the news pages.  But on the editorial page?

In today's paper:

A worrisome assault on reproductive rights

You see, the boys and girls on the editorial board know how to keep their jobs too.

A few questions arise:  Did Debbie Meade write the opinion piece for the soldiers in the ranks?  Did Planned Parenthood write it for her for them?  Did United Way write it for them for her for them?

You decide.

Connect the dots and ... decide.

Bottom line: Know where your donations to United Way are going.  Possibly to an editorial page near you.

At minimum this is all unseemly.

At most?  Shame on all of you.

* Let it be noted that I made the decision to stop donating to United Way in the late nineties when various affiliates decided to quit donating to the Boy Scouts of America.  They made their choice; I made mine.

** So you know, Planned Parenthood Health System is a partner to the United Way of the Roanoke Valley.  Donate accordingly.

Teachers To Be Treated Like The Rest Of Us?

How awful.

Here's a guest contributor, Wythe County's Tyler Blount, in response to an op/ed that recently appeared in the Wytheville Enterprise:
“Public education is under attack” writes Wythe County Education Association Co-President Denise Davis in the last edition of the Enterprise leading the Virginia Education Association to deem Friday, Feb. 17th as “Black Friday” or “VEA day of mourning” and teachers to “wear black for a statewide day of mourning” at the “the loss of respect accorded teachers by our elected officials.” Ms. Davis states “our legislators have shown open disrespect and disdain” for teachers who are under “assault” and “continued attack”.

How so, you might ask? By proposing changes to teacher contracts allowing annual performance evaluations like most private sector employers, requiring teachers to pay the five percent employee contribution to the Virginia Retirement System and proposing state tax credits for private corporations that donate scholarships so low income students may attend private schools.

Despite all the smoke screen offered by Ms. Davis concerning teacher tenure being the equivalent of due process it is virtually impossible to fire a public school teacher for poor performance. House bill 576 limiting continuing contracts for teachers passed the house by a vote of 55 to 43 and is now before the Senate Committee on Education and Health.

The “educational improvement scholarships bill” Ms. Davis opposes is patterned after a ten year old highly successful Florida law making private school education possible for over forty thousand deserving Florida students. It also introduced competition to the public school monopoly explaining the VEA’s all too predictable opposition. This bill has already passed the VA House of Delegates by a wide margin of 64 to 35.

Having home schooled five children over a twenty-three year period here in Wythe County and having a son in law with teaching experience in a private Christian school I know an excellent education can be achieved at one fifth to one half the per pupil expense of public schools. Hundreds of thousands of students educated “outside the box” of public schools have excellent academic records at the nation’s best colleges and universities.

I appreciate the difficult task public school teachers face with an increasing number of students from unhealthy and challenging family backgrounds but frankly tire of the VEA/NEA’s entrenched resistance to change.  Efforts to reform public schools and increase accountability inevitably meet with institutionalized recalcitrance and the same tired old mantra of "throw us more money" amid patently ridiculous cries of "attack". Are we to believe that our duly elected representatives whose very own children, grandchildren, relatives, friend and neighbors are among the “94.8 percent of Virginia’s children” who attend public schools are truly out to destroy our schools?

Ms. Davis asks “when will our elected officials realize that teachers are our job creators? We lay the foundation for every occupation.” In response, I would suggest that our Creator endows us with gifts and callings and our families incubate these God-given talents. Individual creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and personal initiative lead to job creation. Inculcating a love of learning and designing a flexible and personally tailored education for individuals is not a hallmark of public schools.

Private sector employers continually complain of an unprepared work force and look outside the US for skilled workers in science and technology. The National Assessment of Educational Progress revealed that one-third or less of eighth-graders were proficient in math, science, or reading. ACT, the college-admissions test organization, recently found that 76% of high-school graduates “were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses.”

Ms. Davis complains that public school teachers “now…are to teach with the knowledge that our jobs may not be secure and our retirement benefits may not be as sure as they once were and funding may continue to decrease.” Welcome to the everyday reality for those of us in the private sector.

The VEA/NEA are unabashed champions and tireless advocates of one political party who sow millions of dollars in campaign cash and grass roots support with near exclusivity to Democrats. This Democrat-only partisan political action has consequences and pointedly so when the other party occupies all three executive offices and controls the Virginia House and Senate. If the VEA/NEA would truly concentrate on their motto “we teach the children” and not embrace policies and politicians hell-bent on destroying the family and the free enterprise system they might enjoy greater academic success and broad-based support. Resorting to political stunts like “Black Friday” and the spectacle of unruly mobs in the streets (Indiana and Wisconsin) played out before the watching eyes of the children does not help their cause. Increasing support for public education in a sputtering economy with trillions of dollars in national debt and continuing out-of-control spending will require greater cooperation from teacher unions and a willingness to embrace change. A tree is known by its fruit and “wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Sincerely,

Tyler Blount
Wytheville
Thanks for contributing to the dialogue, Tyler.

For details on HB 576 go here.

Let Me Be The First

They ask.  I answer.

Why are sea otters facing a growing threat from shark attack?

I hold no PhD in physics.  Or in climatology.  I haven't studied at any of the world's most prestigious colleges or universities.  I have yet to have the UNIPCC accept one of my dissertations on the subject.  But I'll speak (well, type) for those who have all those crown jewels in their résumés, and who have studied the subject - exhaustively - for decades.

It's global warming.

The learned pedagogues of higher academe have taught me well.

It's global warming.  Whenever we don't know, it's global warming.

Right, fellas?

Why Don't Jews Vote Republican?

It's a good question, seeing as how they should.  Overwhelmingly.  Out of self-interest.

But why don't they?

Simple answer:   Jews don't know Republicans.

Except for the ones who are defined and portrayed by the liberal press on television and in the country's major newspapers.

Need I go any further?

Yes.  To elaborate:
Why Most Jews Don't Vote GOP
By Aaron Goldstein, American Spectator

So why don't Jews vote Republican in large numbers? The most fundamental reason is that many Jews believe (fairly or not) that Republicans are hostile towards racial minorities, women, immigrants (be they legal or illegal) and the LGBTG community. Many Jews intrinsically identify with groups who are seen as being on the short end of the stick and see themselves (and in some cases members of their family) in their position and thus feel compelled to speak out and act on their behalf. As Rabbi Hillel asked, "If I am only for myself, than what am I?" In the grand scheme of things, it is only natural to wonder, "Well, if Republicans don't like gays and lesbians then what do they think of me?" Now I happen to think some of that thinking is unfair especially where it concerns racial minorities although I do think there's credence to it when it comes to the LGBTG community. [link]
"The most fundamental reason is that many Jews believe (fairly or not) that Republicans are hostile towards racial minorities, women, immigrants (be they legal or illegal) and the LGBTG community."

For the love of God.

Yet ...

It can't be stated any more clearly than that.

"Well, if Republicans don't like gays and lesbians then what do they think of me?"

It starts with that false premise - that Republicans "don't like" (or worse, that they are "hostile" toward) gays and lesbians - and goes from there.

Stop it.

Unlike America's Jews, I know a lot of Republicans in this country.  I'm even related to some.  Not one of them has ever expressed a dislike for gays or lesbians.  At least not in the last fifty years or so.

So how does that distasteful image still exist?

See above.  The words liberal and press.  And understand the motivation for the members thereof to perpetuate that myth.  To cultivate the deceitful fiction is to further their interests in keeping America's Jews on the plantation in the ghetto.

In truth?  To answer Rabbi Hillel's question - "If I am only for myself, than what am I?" - you're an American, and we'll be proud to have you stand with us, brother.

Shed the stereotypes conjured and perpetuated by a nefarious mainstream press.  Join us.  We need your help in fixing this broken country of ours.

Judge a Man By The Enemies He Keeps

And by how frenzied they get when the man's name comes up in conversation.

Andrew Breitbart?  Just the mere mention of his name ...

Alec Baldwin Calls Andrew Breitbart 'A Festering Boil on the Anus of Public Discourse'

So frenzied, in fact, they make no sense.  Public discourse ... has an ...?

Discourse ("an exchange of views on some topic") is so much more agreeable and acceptable if everyone who is doing the discoursing agrees with Alec Balwin.

Eh, Alec?

The moral of this story: You don't have to be coherent ("capable of thinking and expressing yourself in a clear and consistent manner") to be liberal, but you do have to be loud and obnoxious.

Quote of the Day

Instapundit:

"As usual, the 'have you no decency?' crowd has none."

How true.

Mayor Bloomberg's Priorities

They come down to two (three if you count controlling everyone's dietary intake).

1) Disarming the public.

2) Expanding the police state.

Everyone is familiar with his efforts to accomplish number 1.

As to number 2, where does the mayor of New York City get off doing this?
NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast
By Chris Hawley, Associated Press

New York (AP) — The New York Police Department monitored Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, The Associated Press has learned.

Police talked with local authorities about professors 300 miles away in Buffalo and even sent an undercover agent on a whitewater rafting trip, where he recorded students' names and noted in police intelligence files how many times they prayed.

In recent months, the AP has revealed secret programs the NYPD, built with help from the CIA, to monitor Muslims at the places where they eat, shop and worship. The AP also published details about how police placed undercover officers at Muslim student associations in colleges within the city limits; this revelation has outraged faculty and student groups. [link]
Let's be clear. Non-invasive monitoring of the activities of Muslims within a targeted demographic in this country, based on past occurrences and trends, is wise. Doing so outside law enforcement's prescribed jurisdiction ("the territory within which power can be exercised") is not.

New York City police haven't the authority to monitor (as opposed to follow an open investigation) American citizens outside New York City. Ever. For any reason.

Someone needs to tell Bloomberg - again - where to get off.  He ain't dictator.

Yet.

You Democrats Can Smile Now ...

... what with the contenders for the Republican nomination for president going at each other like sweat hogs in a mud wrestling pit ... I'll pause for that imagery to work its way through ...

...

Eeeewwww, right?

But here's the reality that you need to wrap your brains around:

If Obama can't win in one of the most liberal states in the land, what chance does he have in the sane parts of the country?

Survey USA poll in Washington demonstrates Obama weakness in general election

That's Washington the state, not Washington D.C..

Smile while you can.  You folks are in big trouble.

Obama's Number 1 Priority

What's it been, a week, since he told us (for the eighty-fifth time) that his Number One priority is/was JOBS?

Why does he keep telling us that but doing this?

A universal birth-control mandate is a curious priority for a dying republic.

It's as if his Number One priority isn't JOBS.