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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Problem(s) With The Virginia Tech Verdict

You know the story.

You probably know of the legal settlement.

Now comes the trial.  And the verdict.

My take?

1) The Roanoke Times says the civil suit wasn't about money; it was about "principle."  Yet the lawyers for the plaintiffs sued for the former and not the latter.  And the plaintiffs received (perhaps) four million of the former - each - and zero of the latter (regardless what the Times claims was achieved).

2) A jury of our peers found Virginia Tech to have been negligent because of its lack of a timely response to the massacre that took place on April 16, 2007.  All agree, however, that the "negligence" involved minutes, not hours or days or weeks.  Minutes.  In a murky situation that makes for great reproval and censure - in hindsight.  In truth, those minutes made no difference to the outcome.  None.  In truth, those students and faculty members' fates were sealed that day.  And nothing - considering the circumstances - was going to change that.  Nothing.

3) The trial judge allowed testimony from grieving relatives to be admitted into evidence.  A kind gesture.  But a totally unwarranted one.  How do you factor a parent's grief into a charge of negligence?  With sympathy, that's how.  And a lot of taxpayer money.

4) The Times thinks Virginia Tech should not appeal the verdict, that the community must now try to heal.  But it isn't Virginia Tech that has kept that open wound from cauterizing after all this time.  It was the plaintiffs.  And you can bet - now that they've successfully won their case on principle - that they'll fight tooth and nail in an appeals court for everything but principle.

I believe in the jury system.  I'm accepting of the verdict.

But I'll not go along with all those who believe it had anything to do with "principle."

What, You Never Heard Of Was-Cott Ginger Ale?

Now you have.

Fascinating site for local historians.

* Hat tip to Kevin Kittredge.

A Call To All Journalists

It's fair to assume that Patrick B. Pexton, Washington Post ombudsman, will never invite Rush Limbaugh over for beers and wienies.  Which won't break Rush's heart, we can also assume.

But on what Rush's place in society is, Pexton is not only fair but unusually broad-minded (for a hack in good standing who grew up in the business of journalism).  He writes this morning (see "Journalists must be the un-Limbaugh") about what the greatest entertainer on radio is and isn't:
Rush Limbaugh is many things — comic and entertainer, talk-show host and rabble-rouser, and a quasi-politician who never seeks office. But he is not a journalist.

He doesn’t cover city councils or planning boards, courthouses, cops or crime scenes. He doesn’t cover banks or businesses, nor a governor, a legislature, Congress or the White House. He doesn’t brave bullets or battlefields as a foreign correspondent. He doesn’t sift through reams of documents and testimony, or call dozens of sources, to try to find the truth. He has no written code of ethics.

Let us never be in a hurry to be like Rush.
That's the problem, isn't it?

Rush is an entertainer. And an opinionator.

Journalists aren't either.

Or shouldn't be.

Yet too often are.

Pexton is absolutely right.

Not that any of America's journalists will heed his words of advice.

* I don't have a clue what a "quasi-politician who never seeks office" is.  But never mind that.

While Obama Apologizes To The Muslim World ...

... again ...

American teacher shot dead in Yemen language school

His "crime"?

He wasn't of the faith.

Expect our president to apologize for that too.

I'll Miss Them. And Then I Won't.

Experts tell us that most print newspapers will be gone in five years.

That is not a good thing.

Inevitable, but not good.

Then I read about the blatant double-standard maintained at the New York Times and wonder if five years is too long to wait.

I shall be saddened when it announces its demise.  Thinking about what it once was.  About what it could have been.

For what it became.

Quote of the Day

Mark Steyn:
So let’s see. The president sneers at the ignorance of 15th-century Spaniards, when in fact he is the one entirely ignorant of them. A man who has enjoyed a million dollars of elite education yet has never created a dime of wealth in his life sneers at a crippled farm boy with an eighth-grade schooling who establishes a successful business and introduces electrical distribution across Michigan all the way up to Sault Ste. Marie. A man who sneers at one of the pioneering women in broadcasting, a lady who brought the voices of T. S. Eliot, G. K. Chesterton, and others into the farthest-flung classrooms and would surely have rejected Obama’s own dismal speech as being too obviously reliant on “Half-a-Dozen Surefire Cheap Cracks for Lazy Public Speakers.” A man whose own budget officials predict the collapse of the entire U.S. economy by 2027 sneers at a solvent predecessor for being insufficiently “forward-looking.”

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus, they all laughed at Edison . . . How does that song continue? “They laughed at me . . . ”

At Prince George’s Community College they didn’t. But history will, and they will laugh at us for ever taking him seriously.
"Obama's History Lesson," National Review, March 17, 2012

We Will Be Heard

I listen to all the East Coast talking heads on TV tell each other how damaging the Rush Limbaugh incident is to any Republican's effort to get elected in November, and shake my head.  They're absolutely sure, because they've told each other that it's a fact.  So it must be a fact (think of the famous response from a liberal of many years ago who was shocked that Richard Nixon won reelection in a landslide, shocked because none of her friends had voted for him).  It's what Charles Krauthammer calls "the liberal echo chamber elite cocooning."

For decades theirs were the only opinions we read or heard.

But not no mo':

"Conservatives were boxed in, and blogging opened the box."

Where once they were seen as being "elite," now they're exposed - by us - every day - as being, simply, clueless meatheads.

As for the Fluke affair, those East Coast talking heads are certain that it has done irreparable damage to the Republicans' cause.  They've taken a vote amongst themselves and validated it so.

One can only smile ...

The War On Women Continues

And, as always, chubby, heavily-armed, mouthy lesbians are the first casualties.

All Is Revealed

Afghan Policy In Shambles

Ten days after reading this bit of blarney in the Los Angeles Times - "For Obama, foreign policy appears to be a strength" - we are confronted with this very stark reality: The man who owes the United States of America his very life - Afghan President Hamid Karzai - considers us to now be a "demon" on par with the Taliban.

See "Gulf Widens Between U.S. and a More Volatile Karzai."

And wonder what in God's name Hillary and the president are doing to our country's image abroad.

If that's Obama's "strength," one wonders what the L.A. Times could possibly see as a weakness.