Saturday, March 10, 2007

We Rock!

The economy is truckin' along:
Jobless Rate Drop Improves Outlook
Labor Numbers Assuage Investors
By Howard Schneider and Nell Henderson, Washington Post Staff Writers

U.S. unemployment dropped slightly last month and hourly wages rose, evidence of a still-healthy labor market that eased many investors' concerns about a possible economic slowdown.

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent, from 4.6 percent the month before, as businesses and government created 97,000 new jobs.

Average hourly wages paid to non-supervisory and production workers rose 6 cents, to $17.16, a 4 percent increase from a year earlier.

Though the pace of job creation was slow compared with recent months, the overall report was stronger than expected on Wall Street ... (link)
Don't expect it last though. Pelosi's in charge now. The only way is down from here.

Speaking Truth To Power

On our unrelenting march toward one-world government, a faint and powerless voice cries out;
Czech hits global warming movement
By David R. Sands, The Washington Times

Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus yesterday issued a stinging attack on "ideological environmentalism" and the campaign against global warming on a day when European Union leaders struck an ambitious deal to cut carbon emissions and energy use across the 27-nation bloc.

Wrapping up a five-day Washington visit that included meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Mr. Klaus said the global warming movement was based on shaky science, a distrust of free markets and a preference for central bureaucratic control over individual freedom.

"Environmentalism only pretends to deal with environmental protection," Mr. Klaus said in an address to the libertarian Cato Institute. "Behind the terminology is really an ambitious attempt to radically reorganize the world." (link)
"... an ambitious attempt to radically reorganize the world." Disguised as a movement to save the planet. A planet in need of saving, to be sure.

Saved from the likes of those global "environmentalists" who are out to destroy our way of life

It Takes One To Know One

A liberal Democrat went ballistic yesterday, attacking fellow liberal Democrats because they were trying to lose the Iraq War in the wrong way.

I know. It gets so hard to follow ...
Congressman's video blunder shows Democrats split on war
By Christina Bellantoni, The Washington Times

A video of Rep. David R. Obey criticizing anti-war Democrats as "idiot liberals" circulated on Capitol Hill yesterday, with Republicans using it as an example of Democrats' split over the Iraq war.

The 20-term Wisconsin Democrat, who voted against authorizing force in Iraq in 2002, was caught in an unflattering light on tape by the Occupation Project, an anti-war group making the rounds on the Hill.

"We're trying to use the supplemental to end the war ... it's time these idiot liberals understand that," he said. "There's a big difference between funding the troops and ending the war."

Yesterday, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee apologized for yelling at the group and said his outburst was "another example of a country needlessly and painfully divided on a war that I have opposed from the beginning." (link)
Ya gotta love that apology. "I'm sorry for being a brute and a boor. The war made me do it."

Another day. Another ditzy Democrat.

Now This Is a Tourist Attraction

I'm not sure how we'd swing it, but if we could get us a few Civil War relics like this to build a museum around, we might actually have the makings of an honest-to-God tourism industry here in Southwest Virginia:
USS Monitor Center opens in Newport News
Museum tells story of first battle between ironclads in Civil War
By Sonja Barisic, The Associated Press

Newport News -- A $30 million center dedicated to the USS Monitor opened yesterday. It opened its doors 145 years after the Union ship fought the Confederate ship CSS Virginia to a tactical draw in the first clash of ironclads.

The Mariners' Museum's USS Monitor Center houses more than 1,200 artifacts from the wreckage of the Civil War ship and includes an interactive exhibition on both armored vessels, plus a high-definition theater with seats that let viewers turn 360 degrees to experience the battle through digital paintings, lights and sounds. (link)
Unlike the cultural museums blotting the countryside here in Southwest Virginia, the contents of which include replicas of 19th century aprons worn by wax dummies depicting 19th century homewomen, and rusty True Value Hardware shovels that represent those used by area miners back in the day, and the obligatory arrowheads, fake pottery, and rubber snakes, a museum housing a real Civil War ship could bring in some real live tourists. Finally.

And nobody has dibs yet on the Alabama.

Where's Boucher ...

Earth To Bland County

I hate buying those annoying county stickers for all my vehicles. As does everyone else in the commonwealth of Virginia.

One difference though. Thier voices are being heard:
Goochland considers doing away with decals
By Calvin R. Trice, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Goochland County is the latest locality considering whether to eliminate vehicle decal stickers.

... supervisors will decide in the coming months whether 2007 will be the last year in which motorists resume their annual struggle to remove old stickers and replace them with new ones. (link)
Bland County, on the other hand, still requires that I shell out over a hundred bucks a year for stickers that serve no purpose other than to provide additional revenue to the county, and to uglify the windshields of my vehicles.

Come on, guys.

Where God Once Dwelt Now 'Body Intelligence' Resides

I once held the belief that all the '60's hippies moved on, after the effects of the LSD wore off, from their world of flower power/peace-and-love to the Unitarian Universalist church. But I may have to reconsider that theory.

I've begun to wonder of late just what people do when they assemble in an Episcopal church. Now I know. Where once they prayed to God for guidance and for forgiveness of their sins, they now ... well ... don't.

Instead they jam:
Feeling the beat: The spiritual side of drum circles
When drummers gather at an Episcopal church, experience is optional
By Zachary Reid, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Offer an odd assortment of drums to 21 enthusiastic novices, and meditative tranquillity would seem an unlikely possibility.

The quiet path to inner peace looks more like a parade route.

With the skill of a seasoned grand marshal, Cory Blake takes the discordant pieces and leads the group into an amazingly alluring beat.

Listen for a few minutes and you understand why shamans use drums to lure themselves into trances.

"It's a contemplative tradition," Blake says of the drum circle he's leading. "It speaks directly to the intelligence of the body."

It also speaks to the simplicity of a good beat -- and the way something as simple as a hand brushed against the skin of a conga drum can transcend denominational and cultural boundaries.

This group enjoying the nuances of ancient African music amid just a touch of New Age quirkiness is pure middle class. The sounds resonate in the comfy confines of the parish hall at the Church of the Holy Comforter, home to an Episcopal congregation in Richmond's West End.

"A drum circle really is what it says it is," says Regena Stith. "It's a gathering of people in a circle with drums." (
Meditative tranquillity. The quiet path to inner peace. The intelligence of the body. Shamans.


For the love of God.


Add this to the ever-growing list of awards and recognitions honoring UVa's prestigious institutions of higher learning:
U.Va.'s business program ranked second nationally
By Gary Robertson, Richmond Times-Dispatch

The University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce ranks second nationally among undergraduate business programs, according to 2007 rankings released yesterday by BusinessWeek.

Among MBA programs, the Darden School of Business at U.Va. ranks 15th nationally among the top 30 MBA programs, according to BusinessWeek. (link)
For those of you struggling to decide whether to save the planet from the earth-rending exigencies brought about by global warming, or to actually do something constructive with your life, look no further.

You'll not do better for yourself and for your progeny than to focus on a career in business, and to obtain a degree from UVa's McIntire School of Commerce. So says BusinessWeek.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

The Roanoke Times this morning offers up a wonderful suggestion.

Let's cut state spending and reduce the ever-swelling budget surplus.

At least that's what I took from this:

The talk doesn't walk
Roanoke Times editorial

If Republican lawmakers think the general fund is so bloated, why haven't they cut spending?

"I see no desire of any legislator to cut the general fund," Gov. Tim Kaine said during a visit with The Roanoke Times editorial board.

Kaine sent lawmakers a budget that included $7.5 million spending on nonstate programs, like grants to museums and cultural programs. This nonessential spending is exactly where Republican lawmakers could shave a few dollars.

Instead, they saw Kaine's spending and raised it another $20 million. (link)

In all fairness, the Times is a little too hard on the Republicans. After all, they had plenty of help from our friendly neighborhood Democrats in increasing the number and size of those outlays.

Still, the Times is absolutely right in denouncing our state government's runaway spending, and in calling for fiscal restraint.

Thanks, fellas. I didn't know you had it in you.

On Presidents & Their Private Lives

After we endured eight years of the child president and his extramarital affairs (not to mention allegations of rape and sexual molestation), and of watching as the mainstream press either ignored the stories (has the New York Times ever investigated Juanita Broaddrick's charges yet?) or, with no attempt to maintain balance and impartiality, came to his defense, will we now see that same professional class of news hounds and righters of wrongs become, once again, culture warriors who battle mightily against marital turpitude?

If I were a betting man ...
Giuliani's Private Life May Hurt His Run
By Marc Humbert, Associated Press Writer

Albany, N.Y. (AP) -- Ronald Reagan was divorced, had chilly relations with some of his children, and still easily won two terms as president. Rudy Giuliani has been thrice married and twice divorced, has chilly relations with his children, and wants to be elected president.

Twenty-seven years after Reagan became the only divorced candidate to win the presidency, the former New York City mayor is hoping that when it comes to family values, voters will be as accommodating.

They may not be. (link)
Expect to soon learn, ad nauseum, all about the sins of infidelity and the tragedy of broken homes on the front pages of every news outlet in the country. Story after after story after ...

You "reporters" crack me up.

Real Smart

Making enemies of the press isn't in any political playbook I've ever heard of. And those deciding to do so are either suicidal or they can't be all that bright.

But the Democrats (in Nevada at least) apparently think it's the right thing to do when the news organization is FoxNews:

Stung by Remarks, Nevada Democrats Cancel Debate on Fox
By Kate Phillips, The New York Times

Washington, March 9 — Citing comments made by the chairman of Fox News about Senator Barack Obama, and under pressure from liberal groups and blogs, Nevada Democrats announced on Friday night that they had decided to cancel a debate in August on Fox News.

Criticism had been mounting ever since the Aug. 14 debate for Democratic presidential candidates was announced last month. Liberal blogs and groups as well as some Nevada Democrats had demanded that Fox be removed as a sponsor, arguing that its coverage was slanted toward Republicans.

Nevada’s Democratic leaders had stood firm against pressure over what had become an unpopular decision, until the Fox chairman, Roger Ailes, made a remark about Mr. Obama on Thursday night at an awards banquet here. In a series of jokes about various public officials as part of a speech, Mr. Ailes said, “It is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don’t know if it’s true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, ‘Why can’t we catch this guy?’ ”

In response to the Democrats’ decision, David Rhodes, vice president for Fox News, said in a statement: “News organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus, which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, has said they ‘own’ the Democratic Party. While most Democrats don’t agree with that, it’s clearly the case in Nevada.” (link)

At no time in history has a political party made the decision to boycott a news organization. The leadership thereof was never that stupid.

But this ain't your grandma's Democratic Party. And boycott they have.

Real bright, fellas.

We Continue To Win Big

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sent a message even the Roanoke Times and Washington Post should be able to understand:

Court Rejects Strict Gun Law as Unconstitutional
By Adam Liptak, The New York Times

Interpreting the Second Amendment broadly [ed: I might have used the word literally, but no matter] , a federal appeals court in Washington yesterday struck down a gun control law in the District of Columbia that bars residents from keeping handguns in their homes.

The decision was the first from a federal appeals court to hold a gun control law unconstitutional on the ground that the Second Amendment protects the rights of individuals, as opposed to the collective rights of state militias. Nine other federal appeals courts around the nation have rejected that interpretation.

The case decided yesterday was brought by Dick Heller, a guard at the Federal Judicial Center who was permitted to carry a gun on duty and wanted to keep one at home. His application was denied by officials in the District of Columbia.

Mr. Heller challenged provisions of the District’s law, one of the most restrictive in the nation, that almost always banned the registration of handguns, that prohibited carrying handguns without a license even from one room of a home to another and that required lawfully owned firearms to be kept unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger

In a 2-to-1 decision, a panel of the District of Columbia Circuit court ruled those provisions unconstitutional. (link)
This is good news. But not startling news. Many of us knew the original intent of the framers, when they used the term "the right of the people" throughout the Bill of Rights, referred to the people and not to some organized militia.

So this is a sweeping victory.

Now, on to the Supreme Court*, where we'll finally be done with this madness.


And how the Post doth howl. (hint: The NRA got to 'em)

* This will insure further action: "Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington said Friday that city officials 'intend to do everything in our power to get this decision overturned.'” Excellent.