Saturday, April 30, 2005

And you thought I was kidding about the pottery shops

Article today in the Richmond Times Dispatch(requires registration):

"Southwest Virginia sets sights on arts:
Towns hope to draw artists to the area and in turn boost tourism."

"Known for its musical traditions -- its Friday-night bluegrass jamborees at the Floyd Country Store and the annual Floydfest concerts are nationally known -- Floyd has also become a creative center, with potters and craftspeople working and showcasing their products at the 16 Hands studio and the Jacksonsville Center for the Arts."

Bring back the good old WPA! Posted by Hello

Not extinct! (And I don't mean the ivory-billed woodpecker)

Joy spread this morning among moderate and conservative Southwest Virginians at the comfirmed sighting of a thoughtful, moderate political cartoon on the Roanoke Times' editorial page! Long thought extinct, the appearance of the cartoon by Jim McClosky of the Staunton News Leader bouyed hope that constructive political discourse in the region might be revived, and possibly even flourish. (Not available online, the cartoon asks, nicely, whether Tim Kaine will follow his conscience or his campaign promises with regard to the death penalty. A previous McCloskey cartoon "dissed" Jerry Kilgore.).

"Glorious, just glorious," said Bubba Quissenberry, born and raised in Southwest Virginia after Rick Boucher won William Wampler's seat in 1983 as 9th District Representative. "Granddaddy used to say moderate cartoons were once plentiful from Roanoke down to Bristol. He said he remembered how their calls weren't as harsh and nasty as the left-wing cartoons inhabiting the Times' pages these days."

Virginia Republican Party Chairman Kate Obenshain Griffin said, "This is a positive sign. We're hopeful that the appearance of this cartoon signals there may be others just like it. Many of us have told the Roanoke Times' editors that this was possible if they would just look. I urge Governor Warner and state Democrats to join with us in placing moderate-cartoon habitat high on the state's protected habitat list."

Reached by telephone at home, former state Delegate Barnie Day said, "Protect the habitat? That's nuts. Anybody that shoots one of those things should be given an award. They're dangerous if you ask me."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Taking a break -- Putting in taters

Salt Lick International HQ -- The Salt Dome  Posted by Hello

My roto-tiller is fixed and the weather is just right, so Salt Lick will be putting in taters over the next few days. I may check in to see if anyone needs help with their stock or planting, but otherwise I'll be busy.

In the meantime, have a look at some of the new Virginia blogs on my blogroll, a cyberspace equivalent of yesteryear's small town barbershop and "loafer's bench." Lots of interesting folks in Virginia with interesting things to say.

They're all just flies

While some of us are having our fun with Virginia politics, my guess is most of the electorate feels like Snoopy at River City Rapids.

Reminds me of when young Jauncy Jeffries tried to get old Miss Edwards excited about a new set of county supervisors. Miss Edwards just looked at that boy and said, "Jauncy, the way I see it, it's just the same old sh*t with a different swarm of flies."

The Gray Lady revises history

I'll bet a bag of taters that this lie is picked up and run by the Roanoke Times.

Roanoke Times deceiving the elderly?

This George Will column indirectly raises another issue I've pondered. Many newspapers, the Roanoke Times included, run different stories in their online and hardprint newspapers. As Will's column shows, the elderly are far more likely to receive the hardline copy. The more politically diverse and balanced world of news via internet is sometimes not accessible to them.

I once had neighbors in their 80's who relied entirely on the Roanoke Times and the evening news for information on the world outside our "hollow." They didn't have a computer. They didn't take news magazines. The only books in their home were a Bible, a few medical books, and an entire wall-shelf of Reader's Digests dated to the 1960's. They were frail and almost helpless as the elderly often are, determined to remain in their own home as long as possible. My wife and I helped when we could, but we both work and our old friends eventually moved out and died in a "retirement home."

When the Roanoke Times runs a headline like "Bush's Plan Will End Social Security," over a story, as it did recently, I think about my old friends. I remember how certain news upset or even scared them, and how they often didn't get the whole story. And I wonder if Mike Riley and his reporters take that into consideration when they select news stories and craft headlines? Surely they see old folks as something more than pawns in a war against Republicans?

Or do they?

Kaine's supporters abandoning "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" campaign?

"One Man's Trash" carries information that Kaine's supporters may discontinue their ill-conceived attacks on Jerry Kilgore's voice and accent (no doubt terrified by the work of our investigative reporter, Salt Pork).

Assuming the Kaine people follow up, Salt Pork will stand down and return to neutering piglets at Salt Lick International.

Good. Can we get on with a more serious governor's campaign?

Raising Kaine -- missing scenes from a political life

Democratic candidate for governor Tim Kaine’s official biography mentions a compelling moment in his childhood:

When he was 10, he recalled watching television with his elderly babysitter, a woman he called his "surrogate grandmother," when word came that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot.
"She said, 'Serves [him] right,' " Kaine recalled. "I got this chill. Wait a minute. I thought you were one of the good people. I thought you were perfect because you loved us and all of that."
Kaine said he thinks of that moment as the death of his childhood innocence.

Salt Lick remembers, too. On the day Martin Luther King died, the young Salt Lick entered his family’s home to find their black maid, Willie, clearly devastated and sitting in a rocking chair, staring at the television, holding her purse and ready to go home. He asked, “What’s wrong, Willie?” “They killed him,” she said. “They finally killed him.” “Who?” “Dr. King.” Salt Lick fled back outside from the awful adult pain and awaited his parent’s return home. He will never forget Willie’s face.

Nevertheless, with regard to Tim Kaine, our reporter Salt Pork has uncovered a little-known side-effect of "the day," one that apparently reverberates in this year's governor's race. Below is Salt Pork's interview with a Kaine childhood friend who asked to be identified only as “Unidentified Friend Of.”

UFO: “I hate to say it, but Tim’s babysitter was actually an old guy named Tinsley Pink, not some surrogate-grandmother. I think Tim has suppressed that. Mr. Pink had this real high, effeminate voice, so maybe that’s what Tim’s focusing on. He'd moved to Kansas from somewhere in the South, so he had a languid drawl, too. Sounded kind of like Truman Capote, if you ask me. Tim stuck up for Mr. Pink even though the kids made fun of him -– at least until he said Dr. King deserved to be shot. After that day, something changed in Tim Kaine.”

SP: “What? What changed?”

UFO “Well, the very next day a couple of us were watching “Hollywood Squares,” and the moment Paul Lynde started talking Tim just walked out of the room. It was odd because he’d always liked the show, but he never watched it again.”

SP: “Never?”

UFO: “Never."

SP: "What else?"

UFO: "He started arguing with the teachers about really odd stuff. I remember one day we were studying Thomas Jefferson and Tim just stood up and said, “Jefferson was weak, ineffective.” Everybody just stared at him, and Tim said, “He had a high-pitched, reedy voice. That was his problem.”

SP: “Are you sure? Thomas Jefferson is revered in Virginia.”

UFO: “He’s pretty well thought of in Kansas, too, but it didn’t matter to Tim. It was the voice thing.”

SP: “What else?’

UFO: “Well, Tim was a good athlete, a team Captain, and generally a nice fella, but after ‘the day’ he’d never choose any kid for his team that had a high voice, which almost got him beat up because our class had this kid named Bubba Callaway who later became an all-state defensive end, but he walked around the halls singing falsetto, so Tim would never pick him.”

SP: “Sounds like he was very focused.”

UFO: “You know what was really peculiar? He developed this thing about his own voice, too, wanted it deeper. I remember in high school he was the only kid in our class who was actually HAPPY when his voice started breaking at puberty. The rest of us were embarrassed and awkward about it, but Tim, why he said he couldn’t wait for his voice to get deeper. Helped it along, too.”

SP: “What do you mean he helped it along?”

UFO: “Well, it was kinda funny, but Tim got the idea that tight underwear made you talk higher.”

SP: “Wait, are you saying...”

UFO: “That’s right. He was the first kid in Kansas to switch from briefs to boxers. He took a lot of ribbing about it – this was back in the 70's, you know, when almost everyone wore white briefs. Of course, no Fruit of the Loom for Tim. He said the name was weak.”

SL:“But Mr. Kaine was a good student?’

UFO: "Oh yeah, he was good at everything – scholastics, PE, debate. He was even good at choir until the teacher put him in the tenor section.”

SP: "What happened there?”

UFO: “Well, Tim said tenors were weak, ineffective people, which again almost got his ass kicked by Bubba Callaway. Tim ignored the teacher and walked right over to stand in the bass section. He got away with it the first year, but everybody said he sounded like a redbird peeping in a bucket of bullfrogs. When Miss Glymspickle took over choir, she wouldn’t put up with that. So he quit.”

SP: “And after law school in Missouri, you lost track of him, right?”

UFO: “Right, but when he became mayor of Richmond, I had business over here and gave him a call, asked if he could get together for old times sake. He said he had to attend some kind of official “hillbilly redneck” function at the Museum of the Confederacy, but he could meet me for a few minutes during a break. To tell you the truth, I hardly recognized him.”

SP: “Why?”

UFO: “He had this new swagger. And he kept cracking his knuckles and he was smoking a cigar. I thought maybe he was trying to show support for Virginia’s tobacco industry, but now I think he hoped it made him look like a strong and effective leader. When he spoke he held his chin down and after a while I realized he was holding it that way to make his voice deeper. The thing was, it made the cigar tilt up and burn his nose.”

SP: “That must have hurt.”

UFO: “Yeah, I thought I saw him wince a few times, but he’s tough.”

SP: “So what did you talk about?”

UFO: “He was agitated. He said, ‘You know, one of those old Virginia biddies in there thinks she’s Scarlet O’Hara, lays that dumb Southern accent on thick. She went on and on about how Longstreet lost Gettysburg. Look, I’ve studied these hayseed’s history and even I know it was a Virginia General named Dick Ewell who lost Gettysburg – didn’t take Seminary Ridge on the first day.’

Being from Kansas, I didn’t know much about such things. I just looked at him kind of blank and he said, ‘Ewell had a high voice, you know. He was weak, ineffective. People said he sounded like a peeping bird. Can you imagine how that would sound with a Southern accent? Probably more like a duck.’

I said, “Oh yeah, now I remember, but wasn't he really brave, had a leg wounded and amputated and ...”

‘And he had a lisp,’ Tim added.

Before I could answer, this distinguished-looking black man came out the door and smiled at Tim like the Fox might have at seeing Little Red Riding Hood. I found out later the man was your ex-
Governor, Doug Wilder. Apparently, he and Tim weren’t getting along at the time. Wilder walks over to us, smiles this sh*t-eating grin, and says in a real deep voice, ‘Timmy, did you get my present -- The Three Tenors CD?”

Tim just glared at him. His chin went down and the cigar went up. I couldn’t stand it. The tension. The smell of burning flesh.

I just left.”

(To be continued ...)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Virginia State University "purging black Republicans?"

It's been a while since I checked in at John Rosenberg's Discriminations, but this confirms what I've been hearing for years about Virginia State University.

John also offers comment on a "racial controversy" over the firing of Charlottesville's schools superintendent.

Won't it be great to live in America when the words "black" or "African-American" carry no more baggage than the word "Irish?"

Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets to Honor Hokies killed in Iraq

Details here.

This ceremony honors Hokies killed in addition to recent graduates Lt. Jeffrey Kaylor, of Clifton, Va., and Army 1st Lt. Timothy Price, of Midlothian, Va., both of whom were killed in action in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 respectively. I wish more people attended these ceremonies. They probably would if the university administration made a better effort to get behind the events (note it's the Corps of Cadets who are doing this). When I was at Texas A&M University THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS turned out to honor our dead, even if it was just an Aggie killed driving home for Christmas. That type of thing says a lot about a university.

Virginia Tech's Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The Collegiate Times carries the story of a scholarship I never knew existed. Cool.

It finally happens -- Dean explodes

Some suspect paid "hit" by Hillary Clinton.  Posted by Hello

Washington Post carries the story, sort of.

(hat tip to Sic Semper Tyrannis)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Do Kaine's minions "wink-wink, nudge-nudge?"

Just before last year's elections Gerry Davies, editorialist for the New River Valley Current pullout of the Roanoke Times, wrote a column entitled "The politics of wink-wink, nudge-nudge" (Sunday, October, 31, 2004). Salt Lick thinks some passages of that piece are particularly relevant to recent efforts by Tim Kaine and his supporters to paint Jerry Kilgore as "ineffective and weak," or "weak" and "effeminate." For example, Davies wrote:

"So, Rick Boucher is 'just not straight with us.' He's 'leading a double life.' The Republican Party mailing list last week did everything but nudge us in the ribs and chuckle knowingly, 'Know what I mean?'

Yeah, we know what they meant: The 9th District's congressman for all these years bats from the wrong side of the plate -- if you know what I mean.

Not that the leaflet actually said that. No, it just tossed out a little loaded language, planting a suspicion about sexual orientation that could be politically helpful in this church-going, moderately conservative district."

Davies goes on to say he didn't get peeved about this until he read a Wall Street Journal article on voter-suppression.

"Maybe someone in [Republican candidate Kevin] Triplett's campaign thought a wink-wink, nudge-nudge insinuation about Boucher's sexuality would be enough to keep folks home here... That would explain why the leaflet's only lasting impression is made by the words 'double life' and 'isn't being straight.'"

Someone let us know if we've missed Gerry's condemnation of Kaine and his supporters' similar tactics. We'd certainly like to see Gerry condemn this kind of low road as have John at Commonwealth Conservative or Norman at "One Man's Trash. At the very least, can't we get a condemnation of mocking people's accents?

If we don't read something like this soon, we will be forced to "deep blog" on a vice of Gerry's that select New River Valley inhabitants already know about -- playing bagpipes.

Talk about high-pitched squealing.

"Lee Highway" -- U.S. Highway 11

Old U.S. Highway 11, running from Rouse's Point, NY to New Orleans, LA, holds special charm for me and readers will just have to indulge my blogging on it. For one thing, Highway 11's nickname is "Lee Highway," and that has a special appeal for a Southern boy. In addition, I often travel Highway 11's route on my way to visit family in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. For a little ways, I'm traveling the same route as my ancestors, who migrated down the Great Valley from Philadelphia with many other Scots-Irish in the 1700's.

Of course, these days I drive the fast new modern interstates South, but the journey brings back many, many memories of family vacations and trips made along old Highway 11. That was in the days of the postcard below -- see any interstates?

U.S. Highway 11 --"Lee Highway" -- down the Great Valley of Virginia. Posted by Hello

No. No interstates. But I'd have loved to have been around even earlier to travel with W.O.L Westgard (front seat, left) and Dr. S.M. Johnson (rear seat, in light suit), seen in the photo below in 1913 on a stretch of Lee Highway. Westgard was referred to as "the Great Pathfinder of the early 20th century, who represented the AAA in logging the Southern National Highway." Yeah, I still hear some NOVA's refer to SW Virginia as the great unknown.

But since they didn't have cell phones, what did they do if they broke down?  Posted by Hello

Today, you can't pick up a blog without reading about traffic congestion in Northern Virginia. It wasn't always that way.

Between Fairfax and Falls Church Posted by Hello

You gotta wonder what neighborhoods or stores now occupy the stretch of Lee Highway above. And you gotta wonder what Front Royal is going to look like in 2105.

Some good "trashing" of the Roanoke Times

Norm over at One Man's Trash offers great commentary on a Roanoke Times' editorial on taxes. Thanks for the help, Norm.

Now, can anyone tell me how to thread the pull rope back into a roto-tiller housing?

I can't argue with Tommy about this

Roanoke Times Editorial Page editor Tommy Denton's regular column last Sunday mentioned no politics, only details of being a Boy Scout leader. As a pack Cubmaster (only because no one else would take the position), this is a subject close to my heart.

I had not associated with Scouts for over 30 years until my wife and I began taking in foster kids. I've been amazed at how far scouting exceeds my expectations of benefitting these children (Cubs, as opposed to Scouts, are only 7-12 years old). Whether participating in flag etiquette (raising, folding, acting as a color guard), fulfilling achievements promoting religious observance, persistence, or patriotism, the Cubs learn character lessons that schools have long abandoned as "too harsh" or "religious." Given some of Scouting's recent problems, I sometimes wonder if 100 years from now Scouts will be like the Jedi Knights -- scarce flamekeepers of values and ideas considered "superstitious" and impractial.

Sadly, fewer dads participate in Scouting these days. The adult leadership of today's Scouting seems to be about 50% female, or more, from what I've observed. Not that the women don't bring their own valuable perspectives to Scouting, but boys need men as models and as a source of affection, also. It never ceases to amaze me when a small Cub, whose dad I've never seen, approaches me at a meeting and awkwadly hugs me, just dying for male affection.

Too many men aren't there for boys these days. To his credit, Tommy Denton clearly is.

NASCAR, white socks, and Republicans to the ears

I'd recommend Southwest Virginian Brian Patton's observations on the apparent connection between NASCAR fans and Republicans. I'd also love to hear what Karl Rove and James Carville really think about this. In the alternative, you can click the link to Brian's post on the subject (and resulting comments) at Daily Kos. I haven't been over there since the site owner said about the Americans murdered and hung from the Fallujah bridge "F*ck them, I don't care about mercenaries." Predictably, a sizeable number of the comments addressing Brian's post are moonbat-generated. There is food for thought among them, nonetheless -- posts from NASCAR Democrats, for instance.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Jerry might be getting a letter...

I mentioned in a previous post how I once got a friendly, issue-oriented letter from Rick Boucher's office after I wrote a letter to the editor disagreeing with one of his votes. If Boucher reads blogs, Jerry at From on High should be getting e-mail soon.

Commencement wisdom in SW Virginia?

I wish Yogi Berra was speaking a commencement near the Salt Lick. In 1996 he told graduates of Montclair State University to, "First, never give up, because it's never over till it's over. Second, during the years ahead, when you come to a fork in the road, take it. Third, don't always follow the crowd, because nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded. Fourth, stay alert. You can observe a lot by watching. Fifth, and last, remember that whatever you do in life, 90 percent of it is half mental."

I doubt we'll hear that kind of wisdom from speakers at one of the many commencements in Southwest Virginia this Spring (see below). Probably the only speaker at a nearby college I'd like to hear is novelist Tom Wolfe at his alma mater, Washington and Lee, on June 2. I heard him speak at Virginia Tech some years ago and he held that room in the palm of his hand.

On May 7, Senator John Warner is speaking at Ferrum College and Representative Rick Boucher is speaking at Radford U., on the same day and time. Interesting -- a Senator out in the sticks at a college and a Representative in town at a university. Maybe Ferrum told Warner they'd conduct the annual coon dog swim across the campus pond early this year. Heck, THAT is something to see!

Warner and Boucher might offer golden thoughts, but I doubt it. I've heard both speak and it's dry stuff, in spite of the fact that they've lived through historic events and stood at the center of power for decades. Neither is much of an emoter or inspirer, though Warner sometimes veers perilously close to a Foghorn Leghorn impersonation. Boucher, on the other hand, reminds me of Mr. Beaver in Winnie the Pooh. (I wrote a letter to the editor once protesting one of Boucher's votes and within a week got a letter from his office reiterating, very nicely, his position on the issues and saying he hoped we could work together for SW Virginia's future. Now THAT is organization and constituent "service." I'm a nobody, but Boucher's office still went to the trouble of finding my address.) You can be pretty sure both will address living in a new world created by terrorism and WMDs. And they'll probably throw in thoughts on "change" and "technology," and tell the graduates the world's future is now their burden.

It might be worth a drive down to Emory and Henry's commencement on May 14. For one thing, it'd be good to get a look at a student body screwy enough to demonstrate against the school mascot -- The Wasp -- because it "represented White Anglo Saxony hegemony." But also, the commencement speaker is alum J. Michael Austin, "international opera singer and member of the Stuttgart, Germany, Opera Company." I bet he'll be entertaining; after all, that's his job. He better be if they flew him all the way from Deutschland.

Until the Roanoke Times printed the list, I hadn't realized we have so many colleges down here (though it looks like they forgot the most euphonic -- Sweet Briar College, and included UVA, which is clearly not in SW Virginia. Here's the list).
Appalachian School of Law, Grundy
Bluefield College, Bluefield
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, clifton Forge
ECPI Technical College, Roanoke
Emory and Henry College, Emory
Ferrum College, Ferrum
Hollins University, Roanoke County
Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Roanoke
Liberty University, Lynchburg
Lynchburg College, Lynchburg
National College of Business and Technology, Salem
New River Community College, Dublin
Patrick Henry Community College, Martinsville
Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg
Roanoke College, Salem
Southern Virginia University, Buena Vista
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
University of Virginia's College at Wise, Wise
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Tech
Virginia Western Community College, Roanoke
Washington and Lee University, Lexington
Wytheville Community College, Wytheville

Reservists from Southwest Virginia Iraq-bound

Members of the 80th Institutional Training Division from Salem leave for deployment next month. They join other units that include soldiers from Southwest Virginia.

It is sobering to look at these men and women who are civilians, highly-trained of course, leaving their families and jobs for dangerous duty. They are more like us -- plumbers, cable technicians, etc -- than the regular career military types.

I attempted to rejoin the Guard after 911. It wasn't something I wanted to do, but I felt a duty since I've got friends and family in the regular Army and Guard who are in Iraq and Afghanistan. I admit to a slight sense of relief when I was told I was just over the age limit. Just going through the motions as if enlisting, however, highlighted what I might be giving up.

So, look around today and ask how you'd like to leave your life -- family, friends, job, projects -- for a year to go somewhere people want to kill you. And then, thank the folks who are in the danger zone in your stead. Assuming you aren't already a member of a military Family Support Group or other such organization, figure out a way to support your neighbors who are walking the beat against the bad guys. Contacting their headquarters is a good place to start, or one of the many organizations dedicated to supporting the troops.

Show 'em the Marines aren't the only ones who are "Semper Fi."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Angry truck mauls Earth-Day participants at Virginia Tech

A truck, angry at suggestions that it be fed vegetable oil instead of gasoline, ran over two Virginia Tech students preparing for Earth Day. Fortunately, neither was badly injured.

Is this what's called missing the trees for the forest?

RaisingKaine falls off the wagon -- has not given up "Southern Comfort"

My apologies for any confusion or negative fallout from the post below this one ("Tim Kaine trying to delete ties to Dean?"). Check the comments to that post and you will see members of the "RaisingKaine" weblog team offering a link to
the post which eluded Salt Lick.
On top of that, the reliable Will Vehrs vouches for their integrity, so that is good enough for Salt Lick.

For Salt Lick, this is a lesson in reading archives and weblogs. Just because you can't find the information doesn't mean it's not there. Blogs are organized differently. The organization of one may not match the organization of the next.

And in retrospect, it would have been a good idea for me to contact the "RaisingKaine" contributors and ask them directly about the location of the "missing" post. I will in the future, now that I hear they're such good folks.

Mea Culpa.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Tim Kaine trying to delete ties to Dean?

Funny the things you find -- or don't find -- cruisin' around the net.

For example, I thought the story about Tim Kaine refusing to occupy the same stage as Howard Dean might be tongue-in-cheek. Then I found a post at Democratic Party support website "Value Judgement" quoting a Tim Kaine worker back on February 13, 2005, as saying that they liked Howard Dean so much they called him "Southern Comfort." But when I followed the link back to "Raising Kaine," I found no posts prior to February 14 in the archives. What?

I've copied the post here, just in case it "disappears" at Value Judgement, also.

One of the guys doing some the grassroots legwork for VA Governor candidate Tim Kaine writes about Dean as "southern comfort."

"For starters, Southern Democrats now have an ally in Washington: someone who understands the critical importance of the South, and someone who believes in the same things that they do – fiscal responsibility, faith and family. They’ve also got someone willing to fight hard for the South, who has pledged to rebuild the Democratic Party in the most conservative parts of America, and who emphasized all this by stating, 'I'll pretty much be living in red states in the South and West for quite a while.' Finally, the Tim Kaines and Mark Warners of the world now have someone in Washington DC who believes, as they do, in being a real 'uniter not a divider' -- as opposed to certain other politicians in Washington who, it turns out, are 'all hat and no cattle' on this issue.

We here at would like to congratulate Dr. Dean on his election as DNC Chairman, wish him well, and invite him down here to Virginia both early and often. Because, in Howard Dean, what we’ve got is some serious 'Southern Comfort' by way of Vermont. Welcome to the South, Governor Dean!"

So is Howard Dean Southern Comfort? Or just Night Train? Inquiring minds want to know.

Dean answers critics; berates Tim Kaine as traitor

Infuriated by statements from Tim Kaine's campaign that he will not stand on the same stage as Howard Dean, the Democratic Party leader responded angrily, calling Kaine "a little hobbit who better get in line before Our Dark Lord visits Virginia."

"And I won't put a rubber glove on it either, man!" Posted by Hello

Power Line offers comment and audio on Doctor Howard Dean's latest gaff.

(hat tips to Commonwealth Conservative and Sic Semper Tyrannis)

Editorial page professionalism

As I searched for the Mike Ramirez political cartoons (below), and found them on the LA Times website, I remembered noticing an interesting phenomenon. Many newspapers deliberately run political cartoons the political sympathies of which are opposite to those prevailing with the editorial staff. This is admirable and in keeping with high standards of journalism and ethics.

And it is entirely absent from newspapers infected with Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Pictures are worth a thousand words

We continue our tracking of a week's worth of Roanoke Times' editorial cartoons. Remember, somebody has to sit down and choose which ones to run. Who do you suppose that is at the RT? Since we know how insular the Roanoke Times editorial staff is, we've added a few non-Republican bashing cartoons at the end. Really, Tommy, they are out there. Really.

April 14

telnaes Posted by Hello

Ann Telnaes

April 15

sheneman Posted by Hello

Drew Sheneman

April 16

ohman Posted by Hello

Jack Ohman

April 17

horsey Posted by Hello

David Horsey

>April 18
[Dick Locher cartoon about fuel prices -- non-political]

April 19

handel Posted by Hello

Walt Handelsman

April 20

wright Posted by Hello

Don Wright

Mike Ramirez offers different thoughts on Tom Delay and John Bolton, two men roundly hated by the Roanoke Times. (The policeman catching the "U.N." dog peeing on the U.S. statue is "Bolton.")

ramirez417 Posted by Hello

ramirez412 Posted by Hello

Roanoke Times editorial roundup -- nobody called a pig or turkey

Below are abstracts of a week's worth of Roanoke Times editorials. While the newspaper's positions are all predictably liberal, there is a restraint in name-calling unusual for the Roanoke Times. Are they finally "getting it?"

Wednesday, April 20. "The worst of all possible energy bills... the House of Representatives has been advancing an energy bill likely to make the energy industry drunk with joy -- and leave the rest of the United States with a nasty hangover... The Republican leadership is determined to have its binge..."

Tuesday, April 19. "High and rising price of drugs." The RT blames no one part from "the pharmaceutical industry's financial and political clout." (This failure to mention names means some Democrats are on the take.)

Monday, April 18. "Optimism and reality clash in Iraq...not only did the Bush administration overestimate the gratitude of the Iraqi people and their tolerance for occupation...Paul Bremer issued edicts crippl[ing] the ability of domestic industries to recover from 12 years of sanctions punctuated by the vast destruction of the U.S.-led invasion." Continuing "turds in the punchbowl" syndrome.

Sunday, April 17. "Gather the goods on problem doctors. President Bush has been pushing a measure to limit medical malpractice awards to $250,000 for noneconomic damages, such as pain and sufering...But this 'solution'...ignores the actual crisis: an epidemic of malpractice in this nation that costs tens of thousands of lives efery year." New editor Dan Radmacher opposed tort reform when he was in W.Virginia.

Saturday, April 16. "City and region: anemic and untreated. Editorial notes Roanoke and the New River Valley's population grew only 1.2 percent. Editors suggest more regional collaboration.

Friday, April 15. "The Oligarchy Restoration Act of 2005. A U.S. House vote to repeal the estate tax is bad for the federal budget, democracy and even many of the expected rich beneficiaries." Editorial is noteworthy for attack on Rep. Rick Boucher, Democrat.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Something fishy taking place in Virginia politics

Bring back the WPA!

Sources inside the Roanoke Times tell us that a recent story about moonshine operations in Franklin County inspired new anti-big coal editor and green activist Dan Radmacher with visions of kinder and gentler industry to solve SW Virginia's jobs problem.

"It's so, so... organic!" Radmacher is reported to have exclaimed of his new brainchild. Look for his next column to encourage development of a pottery industry which would not only cut health-care premiums with beneficial healing therapy ("Feel the wet, slithery mud. Watch the spinning, the spinning. Don't you feel better already?"), but supply containers for Franklin County's famous home-grown refreshment. SW Virginians will create these works of art in government- established pottery barns lining the interstate highways.

"We'll sell fried possum and call the stores 'Jugs'" a beaming Radmacher said. "Kind of an Appalachian 'Hooters.' Won't that be great?"

Bring back the good old WPA! Posted by Hello

U.N. Scandal -- Roanoke Times the dog that wouldn't bark?

One of the biggest conceits of Roanoke Times publisher Wendy Zomparelli is that while her editorial page staff is composed entirely of "left-wing moonbats" (actually she doesn't use that term), this bias NEVER leaks over into the paper's "news" side. The paper's contents undercut that conceit virtually every day, and one of the premier pieces of evidence is it's lack of coverage of the U.N. food-for-oil scandal, the largest monetary scandal in world history.

Yesterday, two senior investigators with the committee probing corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program resigned in protest, saying they believe a report that cleared Kofi Annan of meddling in the $64 billion operation was too soft on the secretary-general . This scandal at the world's diplomatic headquarters involves bribery from Saddamn Hussein and the misdirection of money meant to help feed Iraq's starving children. And where is this story in the Roanoke Times? Nowhere in today's print issue, though the editors clearly know about the story -- it's AP lead is buried in the Roanoke Times' online product.

Writer Roger Simon has done a superb job reporting on this for months, carefully following the investigative reporting of Claudia Rosette, whom many feel should have received a Pulitizer for her work. Visit his site and type in "oil for food" in his site search box.

Why would The Roanoke Times offer scant coverage of the U.N. Food-for-Oil scandal? Because the story undercuts the newspaper's repeated charges that the Bush administration should have worked more with the U.N. before invading Iraq. The scandal story reinforces charges that the U.N. was actually protecting the tyrant, allowing the starvation and butchery of the Iraqi people in return for payoffs. The scandal shows the Roanoke Times' editors to be hateful fools.

Of all the objections to the American invasion of Iraq, the silliest was the notion that the United Nations represented an objective, disinterested and honorable counterbalance to the arrogant unilateralism of the Bush Administration -- a theme often trumpeted in the Roanoke Times. Even beyond the food-for-oil scanndal, the fact is that most of the U.N.'s membership are totalitarian or authoritarian thugocracies. They overlook each other's real atrocities while bashing the United States and Israel (oh, did we speak of the U.N.'s anti-semitism?) for a variety of phony ones. At the time America invaded Iraq, Syria was scheduled to chair the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Iraq chaired its committee on disarmament.

But don't bark, Roanoke Times, that might give your thieving friends away and burnish the image of the man you hate more than Saddam Hussein -- Bush McHitlerburton.

Who'd have thought down here in hound dog country we had a poodle for a newspaper?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Spectre over Virginia's shad planking?

John over at Commonwealth Conservative offers disturbing news about the politicing at Virginia's annual shad planking:, the far left George Soros outfit, has brought in a large number of non-Virginians to assist Kaine.

Country Store offers further information on this shadowy organization.

Roanoke, railroads and coal -- oh my?

One of Salt Lick's readers pondered how the anti-big coal philosophy of new Roanoke Times editor Dan Radmacher might affect SW Virginia's railroads. After all, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, a big employer in Roanoke...

"...operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario. The most common commodity hauled on the railroad is coal from mines in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky." (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Salt Lick doesn't know, since the interplay of media and mega-industries is way beyond his kin. He does see, however, what the reader is driving at. Nevertheless, at least one article says Norfolk Southern has been a declining influence in SW Virginia for almost 20 years now.

The railroad has reduced its presence in Roanoke from 5,000 employees in 1987 to about 1,800. The major share of NS north-south shipping now follows its Piedmont corridor from Atlanta through Greensboro, N.C., and Lynchburg to Harrisburg.

NS says the Piedmont corridor is its fastest north-south route. Its track in the I-81 corridor is slow, has too many curves and too few sidings where oncoming trains can pass each other.

Still, 1,800 jobs is plenty in a region hurting for industry, and that coal has to get through the Appalachian mountains before it gets to the nice, flat Piedmont. Maybe Dan will also come out against the horrible scarring of the land inflicted by railroads. When you think about the implications, there is a kind of logic to it. Once we run out of fossil fuel the old tracks would make great bicycle hiways.

Can you say "rails to trails?"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Field of Dreams

I was a damn good short-stop when I was young. Playing the position was one of the few things I've done in life where I said, "This is me. This is who I am." But I'd put away the hardball for 30 years until last weekend at my foster son's baseball association day.

For the batting contest, the dads take the field while the boys hit. Like a guest making sure he gets the last piece of pie, I guiltily make sure I get to short-stop position before the other dads.

The boys hit. We catch. Nothing comes to me. Still, it's fun. Then a lad smashes me a grounder. Of its own volition, my body charges forward. For that 1 second, once again, as in olden days, I am the ball. I'm so happy I actually laugh aloud as I run. The ball makes a nice bounce into my glove and again, without thinking, I jump into the thrower's stance -- feet wide, elbow toward my target, and ball held back and high with a 4-seam grip. I actually have to restrain myself from firing the ball back to the pitcher.

My body relaxes in the lazy after-pitch of a baseball player. I feel like I'm back to when I didn't have to shave. I'm a chrysalis a short time away from breaking through the cocoon to become whatever I'll be.


Sheer. Joy.

April 19, 1775 -- And so it began

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled
Here once the embattled farmers stood
and fired the shot heard round the world.

More at Minuteman National Historic Park

Monday, April 18, 2005

Old Media gone with the wind?

Though Professor Jay Rosen at PressThink uses lots of big words, Salt Lick reads him to get an idea of where this blogging revolution might be going. Looks like it's all coming down to "Why walk outside and pick my newspaper off the driveway when I can just walk to my study and go online?"

Or as one of Professor Rosen's correspondents wrote-

"...what happens when advertisers stop believing that advertising works? When they realize that everyone else dumps the inserts and the bagpacks and the fliers in the trash first, just like they do? And when enough old hardbitten used car and appliance traders finally go to the internet and classifieds go entirely digital, won't the Emperor catch a breeze in his hinder parts?"

It's definitely breezy...

"Brother Jeff Jarvis says we're at a tipping point with citizen's media:
"I know of the heads of at least three national TV news operations who are eager to incorporate citizens' media; I know of more newspaper editors who are finally sidling up to the concept. I hear less and less of the dismissive jabs from big-time editors about small-time citizen journalists. Blogs are now a regular feature on MSNBC and CNN. Bloggers are getting quoted in newspapers and credited with big stories (Trent, Dan, et al). Newspapers are getting published with citizens' news.

It's spreading. It's tipping."

Steve Outing makes similar points at Editor and Publisher. "Can newspapers tranform classifieds from a dull database to a thriving community? They're going to have to."

And remember how the Roanoke Times was advertising for an online production editor just last month?

Well doggies, we're in the middle of something historic, Jethro.

Dean suffers frontlobe malfunction; Tim Kaine's hairline recedes another half-inch.

"You want pro-life?! How's this for pro-life?! Yeeeeaaaarrrrgh!" Posted by Hello

Letting Teddy Drive

Power Line covers Howard Dean's vow to use Terry Schiavo's death as a political tool against Republicans.

Wonder how the MSM will spin this? A party leader's vow, as opposed to a memo written by a minor Republican staffer.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

More Lee Highway

Looks like pretty smooth sailing between Bristol and Kingsport...

 Posted by Hello

...if your knuckles aren't still white after Radford.

Old bridge at Radford, VA. Posted by Hello

And yes, Steve, looks like Big Coal is bad

Abstract of an article which can be accessed via the Blue Ridge Press.

Dan Radmacher examines the poverty found in coal counties in West Virginia and nationwide.

Radmacher offers strong statistical and human evidence debunking coal company claims that they bring jobs and prosperity to local communities. Instead, he says, they bring economic hardship and environmental degradation. He offers business diversification to these communities as a solution.

Plenty more in the archives of the Charleston Gazette.

Yes, it's that Dan Radmacher.

Our research last week about Dan Radmacher's hiring is confirmed. Mr. Radmacher may be a heck of a guy, but his hiring is sad for what it says about the Roanoke Times editorial staff. I've known people who were uncomfortable being around folks with a different skin color; frankly, I'm not sure they pose as big a threat to democracy as those averse to associating with their political opposites.

In his column today about joining the Roanoke Times, Dan Radmacher says, "Even though I've known editorial page editor Tommy Denton for more than a decade...I didn't realize until I applied for this position just how similar our philosophy, attitudes and approach to the job actually are."

That's nice. Maybe they can buy matching "Religious Left" coffee cups.

FWIW, here are a few items Mr. Radmacher was too modest to mention in his intro today. Item: Right-wing columnist Anne Coulter once cited a study Radmacher conducted as an example of "The sheer joy liberals take in telling lies. They take insolent pleasure in saying absurd things."

Left-wing commentar Al Franken then interviewed Mr. Radmacher for his book "Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them," and got this:

"Al: Do you take sheer joy in telling lies?
Dan: Yes. Yes I do.
Al: Shoot. That proves her point then. Also she mentions insolent pleasure. Do you get insolent pleasure from lying?
Dan: Yeah, I guess so. But it's more the sheer joy."

Likewise, prominent Bush-Derangement-Syndrome victim Bill Moyers has referenced Mr. Radmacher for programs on the coal industry.

Al Franken. Bill Moyers. OK.

We leave you with these Radmacher quotes.

"I'm getting fed up with the relentless and growing demonization of people in this country based on their political beliefs -- beliefs I happen to share.
Yes, I am a liberal."
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Jan. 4, 2004
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has put the final nail in Vice President Al Gore's coffin, some people are insisting it's time to put all the divisiveness of the past month or so behind us and rally around the new president.
Well, I say to hell with that."
Amarillo Globe News, Web posted Thursday, December 21, 2000
"There is a growing realization that George W. Bush's War on Terror' is at best a faulty metaphor and at worst an enormous strategic blunder."
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, May 2, 2004.
"During the 2000 presidential campaign, many wondered whether George W. Bush had the gravitas to be president. But lack of gravitas has turned out to be less a problem than an overabundance of another ancient quality: hubris.
Hubris is what the Greeks called an unwarranted pride and arrogance that usually leads the mighty to a fall."
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, April 18, 2004.
"My marriage doesn't need defending from Rosie O'Donnell, thank you very much.
If yours does, you probably have bigger problems than can be solved by a constitutional amendment."
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, March 7, 2004
"It could not have been easy for Christie Todd Whitman in the Bush administration."
Charleston Gazette

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Pork kills altruism

I can't figure out how to link to this post at Instapundit, but its thesis struck me as sound, so here it is in it's entirety.

DRIVING HOME YESTERDAY, I had some thoughts about the Graetz & Shapiro book on the politics of the Estate Tax that I mentioned yesterday.

Graetz & Shapiro want to understand how the political culture shifted from one in which people thought that wealthy people ought to support the society that made their wealth possible, to one in which people hope to get rich enough to worry about inheritance taxes, and thus take a preemptive dislike to them.

I think that one difference may be that society does less to "make it possible" for people to get wealthy now. A hundred years ago, or even fifty, the politics of inheritance taxes were different. But then the government mostly defended the country and engaged in various public-good activities, like building roads or supporting research. There was pork, and income transfer, of course, but it was a much smaller part of the picture. So the notion that one was "giving back" to a system that made wealth possible made some sense.

Now much of the government's taxing-and-spending is about transferring money from one group to another. The "give back" point is much weaker, because the system isn't about public goods, but about payouts that are (usually) driven by interest-group politics rather than the common good. So the moral claim for inheritance taxes would seem to be a lot weaker, and maybe it's no surprise that many people see it that way.

On the other hand, as the book also looks at political tactics, let me suggest that "fuck the small businessman" is a poor slogan for those favoring inheritance taxes.

posted at 07:08 AM, April 15, 2005, by Glenn Reynolds

"God's Democrat"

An interesting article on Jim Wallis, the official Roanoke Times minister, in the Weekly Standard.

Meanwhile, Tommy Denton ponders religious choice. Cup or Mug?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Virginia's Amelia Earheart -- Bring her home

Will Vehrs at "Virginia Pundit Watch" wryly suggests a cause to unite Virginians. Bring back to Virginia the remains of Pocahontas! The first time I read this, I chuckled. Returning to Will's column for a review, however, I found the idea really appealed to me. What an amazing woman Pocahontas must have been. What a life she led.

In her book "Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma," Camilla Townsend put it succinctly:

"A woman as brave as Pocahontas -- who endured a kidnapping, explored an alien faith, dared to marry a foreigner and faced the voyage across the sea for the sake of her people -- deserves better."


If you're going to San Francisco...

Looking at the steady leftward drift of the Roanoke Times, it occurred to Salt Lick that a good place for them to seek future reporters might be just south of Roanoke, in Floyd County, home of several communes surviving from the 70's. Salt Lick has found the old and new hippies to be real nice people, just a little flaky. Which means they should fit right in.

How about hiring "Dancing Cloud Moon Feather" to cover tax reform?

Remember the Bedford, Virginia, boys at Omaha Beach?

Roanoke Times says Boucher betraying SW Virginians' interests

Today's Roanoke Times editorial ("The Oligarchy Restoration Act of 2005")says that "In the end, only one argument for repeal of the federal estate tax remains standing once the facts are known... It's just not fair. After a long, often misleading repeal campaign, polls indicate most Americans accept that simple appeal to fairness. [Wednesday's vote to kill the tax] included regrettable support from Democrats such as 9th District Rep. Rick Boucher. Boucher and others may have thought they were protecting their constituents' best interests. They were not."

Uh oh. A harbinger of future editorials about Boucher and coal country? Watch out for the moonbats turning on you, Rick.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Howard Dean offers his eye teeth to elect Tim Kaine

Dean shows he's serious. Posted by Hello

Sic Semper Tyrannis has the story.

Imagine Bristol to Winchester on Lee Highway -- ca 1920

I wonder if there was as much debate and concern about Virginia roads and transportation 100 years ago? Probably.

Highway 11, Lee Highway, near Pulaski, VA Posted by Hello

Photo taken from the Federal Highway Administration Department of Transportation website.

Virginia Tech Spring speakers

Last night Elie Wiesel spoke at Virginia Tech.

Tech has offered a diverse pallete of speakers this Spring. Mary Matlin and James Carville appeared last month. They followed hard on the heels of Jesse Ventura, coiffed somewhat like Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Carribean," and Reverend Al Sharpton, coiffed somewhat like a duck. (Political junkies will understand that James Carville was not coiffed at all.)

There was a time I routinely attended these type of appearances, but the last one I enjoyed or learned anything from was by writer Tom Wolfe, years ago. I do wish I had heard and seen Wiesel, as his life ties in with the book I am presently reading on John Paul II. Terrible, terrible times.

New Roanoke Times editor anti-Big Coal? Not liberal?

I'm not sure I understand Steve's post at Southwest Virginia Law Blog.

I don't think he's questioning whether the Roanoke Times new editor, Dan Radmacher, is a "liberal." Assuming I've got the right Dan Radmacher, and he wrote this...

"I'm getting fed up with the relentless and growing demonization of people in this country based on their political beliefs -- beliefs I happen to share.
Yes, I am a liberal." (Dan Radmacher, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Jan. 4, 2004)

...the question of "liberal" is no question at all.

On the other hand, my wife (who is far smarter than Salt Lick), interpreted Steve's selected Radmacher quote...

"When a coal company throws a miner out of work for purely economic considerations, everyone accepts it. But when a federal judge decides that societal good is served by delaying a mine permit for several months to sort out whether the permits are legal, he is demonized by the coal industry and the miners union."

... as evidence Radmacher is on no one's "side" in coal country, but simply supports the court system. (He does like that word "demonization," doesn't he?)

Salt Lick doesn't know. I guess time will answer. For my part, I assume that SW Virginia Law blog, headquartered down in coal country, is privy to information and attitudes peculiar to coal issues and communities. I think he's raising something that is not readily apparent to the rest of us. Whatever, you can be sure coal is a big issue north and west of Abingdon.

FWIW, I've spent considerable time in the Powell River Project. I do wonder if coal companies would have landscaped and seeded the mountains they ravaged through mining if not required to do so by law. So I'm sympathetic to Mr. Radmacher's concerns expressed in other articles on coal mining and the environment.

Wouldn't want to demonize him. Hell no.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

BTW -- He doesn't seem to like the internet either

Charleston Gazette
May 9, 2003
Byline: DAN RADMACHER. Mark Twain said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."

Roanoke Times replaces Geoff Seamans -- with another liberal

"I'm getting fed up with the relentless and growing demonization of people in this country based on their political beliefs -- beliefs I happen to share.
Yes, I am a liberal." Dan Radmacher, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Jan. 4, 2004

When I saw yesterday that Dan Radmacher had been added to the Roanoke Times' editorial staff, I thought it was this guy. I thought, "Well, it's a little odd, but at least it broadens their intellectual diversity."

But alas, when I checked the Roanoke Times' website I discovered Mr. Radmacher is really this guy.

Ruh oh...

Perhaps Mr. Radmacher introduced himself to readers via a column, but the Salt Lick never saw it. Just in case he doesn't get around to it, we provide the following, all available on the internet, to our readers.

The basics: Dan Radmacher worked at the Charleston Gazette (West Virginia) from 1993 to 2003. While there, his forte seemed to be writing on environmental issues, especially mountaintop removal by coal companies. In the summer of 2003, he moved to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida). Either he missed the mountains or didn't like Hurricane Charley, because he has returned to Appalachia after less than two years. Perhaps Geoff Seaman's departure provided a way to "come back home."

Like any journalist, Mr. Radmacher deserves to be judged on the entirety of his work. Nevertheless, the abstracts from his past columns confirm that the Roanoke Times did not use Geoff Seaman's departure as an opportunity to increase the intellectual diversity of its staff. This is truly sad. Few people, certainly not Salt Lick, like to have their worst fears about people confirmed. Is it any wonder there is so little trust in the objectivity of the nation's mainstream media?

Why would a newspaper whose editorial staff consists entirely of left-wing journalists hire someone who thinks like themselves? What kind of intellectual growth does that promote? What kind of journalism does it produce? Is it possible the RT's Radmacher is the same as the author who wrote “Corporate imperialism: The real reason for Iraq invasion,” Dan Radmacher, New York Review of Books 9 Oct. 2003? Sample quote: “American corporations will colonize Iraq, and they'll make billions of dollars in the process.” Don't know, but the following evidence is ominous.

Below follow abstracts of just a few of Mr. Radmacher's columns. You can buy the complete columns at the indicated newspaper websites; Salt Lick is glad he can't afford to. Read them and weep.
Amarillo Globe News
Web posted Thursday, December 21, 2000
Guest Column: President-elect Bush isn't worth rallying around
By Dan Radmacher

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has put the final nail in Vice President Al Gore's coffin, some people are insisting it's time to put all the divisiveness of the past month or so behind us and rally around the new president.
Well, I say to hell with that."
May 2, 2004.
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Traditional war won't work.
by Dan Radmacher

"There is a growing realization that George W. Bush's War on Terror' is at best a faulty metaphor and at worst an enormous strategic blunder."
April 18, 2004
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
The price of hubris
by Dan Radmacher

"During the 2000 presidential campaign, many wondered whether George W. Bush had the gravitas to be president. But lack of gravitas has turned out to be less a problem than an overabundance of another ancient quality: hubris.
Hubris is what the Greeks called an unwarranted pride and arrogance that usually leads the mighty to a fall."
March 7, 2004
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Let's go forward on marriage
by Dan Radmacher

"My marriage doesn't need defending from Rosie O'Donnell, thank you very much.
If yours does, you probably have bigger problems than can be solved by a constitutional amendment."
May 5, 2003
Charleston Gazette
by Dan Radmacher

"IT COULD not have been easy for Christie Todd Whitman in the Bush administration."

NEWSPAPER MOGULS! There's a thirsty market down here in SW Virginia for a newspaper that plays it straight! Honest.

Actually, Jim, "R" can also stand for "raving."

Today's Roanoke Times editorial cites Senator Jim Jeffords as support for the propositon that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is failing to do it's job to protect power plants from terrorists. "As Sen. James M. Jeffords, I-Vt., told the Washington Post, 'I would respectfully remind the NRC that the 'R' stands for 'regulatory.'"

It's like you said the other day, Jim, the Bushies are looking for an excuse to start another war and elect Jeb Bush in 2008.

At least the troops will need milk, eh Jim?

Virginia before interstates

va Posted by Hello

Ah, the blooming flowers and lengthening days put me in mind of ....WHAT ELSE -- VACATION!

Note the postcard -- VA BI -- Virginia Before Interstates. According to Scott Kozel's "Roads to the Future" weblog:
"The 325-mile-long I-81 was essentially complete in Virginia by 1968. There were two incomplete sections totaling 19 miles that were served by rural four-lane highways. A 14.4-mile section near Christiansburg was completed in 1971..."

I guess they wanted to preserve the "all dirt roads lead to Virginia Tech" motto as long as possible.

This card must be close to 40 years old, but the highlighted tourist sites are still my favorites. I've visited them all except the Bugg Island Dam. Maybe I'll take care of that this summer.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Southwest Virginian killed in Afghanistan

Twenty-three year old Chrystal Stout was the first female soldier from SW Virginia killed in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Advice to Senator Warner on "Nuclear option" for federal judges?

Sometimes when I read all the talented and knowledgeable folks blogging, I feel like John Warner on his honeymoon night with Elizabeth Taylor -- I'm pretty sure I know what to do, but I'm not real sure how to make it interesting.

Anyway, Hugh Hewitt offers some thoughts to Virginia's Senator John Warner on the "nuclear option."

"65 Percent Solution" for Virginia's schools?

With all the talk about funding for education, I wonder if something like this would work. If schools improved, I might even send Jethro back to finish seventh grade.

Blogging day of atonement

Atonement as in making amends, saying "mea culpa."

I apologize for failures to link and attribute the wide range of Virginia blogs I regularly read and which often alert me to interesting stories and information. Though unintentional (unless the blog is the type that uses pictures of bleeding and traumatized children to make cheap political points), the practice nevertheless exhibits poor blogger etiquette. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

For example,Will Vehrs at Virginia Pundit Watch has mentioned "The Salt Lick" at his site twice, yet we have no link to him under "Virginia blogs." Mea culpa, mea culpa.

And yesterday, I failed to note that John Behan at Commonwealth Conservative alerted me to La Shawn Barber's pet peeves about bloggers. (I am guilty of many of her peeves.) Mea culpa, mea culpa.

Something must be done.

Jimminee Cricket, Jethro, can't you spruce up The Salt Lick's blog rolls? And how about gitting us one them there "aggregators" to start saving time?

I'm on it like possum on asphalt, Uncle Jed.

Monday, April 11, 2005

April is the cruelest month?

Maybe for you, T.S. Elliot, but I'm busy. Work, Little League, Cub Scouts, installing a Spring garden, mowing, keeping the outhouse at Salt Lick International HQ maintained...

Blogging at the Salt Lick could be lighter than usual until I'm caught up. We'll see.

Blogging Peeves

La Shawn Barber lists her top ten blogging peeves. I try my "trackback" skills here just to see if I'm doing it right.

Bias? Don't believe your lying eyes.

Let me get this straight.

The Roanoke Times is owned by Landmark Communications, a company based in Norfolk, Virginia.

Landmark's Chief Operating Officer, Decker Anstrom, worked in the Carter White House (scroll down for Anstrom).

Landmark's executives include two Frank Battens -- Senior and Junior. One of them, apparently Frank Batten Senior, Landmark's Chairman of the Board's Executive Committee, donated $50,000 dollars to the "Leadership for Virginia" PAC which played a key role in electing Democrat Paula Miller last year. And similarly, before Virginia's gubernatorial campaign officially kicked off, Mr. Batten donated $25,000 to Tim Kaine to run for Governor.

Moving down from top management into the editorial staff, we find that Roanoke Times' senior editor Tommy Denton, served as an aide to Democratic Senator Lloyd Bensten and routinely writes anti-Bush columns.

During the last presidential election cycle, every member of the Roanoke Times editorial staff wrote commentary that included ad hominem attacks on George Bush. One editorial referred to him as a "turkey" when he visited troops in Iraq at Thanksgiving 2003. As Salt Lick has documented, the attacks on Bush consistently go beyond mere criticism of policy ("reasonable men can differ")to true hatred. And to a disturbing degree, Roanoke Times editorials cite as support for their assertions opinions of liberal publications and institutions.

On top of this, nearly all of the political cartoons run in the Roanoke Times are anti-Republican (here's a week's sample and for the masochist, another).

Likewise, the paper's "news side" reflects liberal bias in its selection of wire stories and headlines crafted for those stories. Look at this and this and the lack of coverage of the largest scandal in history.

It's possible that these things -- service in Democratic administrations, donations to Democratic Party candidates, editorial endorsements of Democratic candidates and liberal policies, political cartoons weighted heavily against Republicans, slanted news headlines prepared for carefully selected wire stories -- do not combine to create "bias."

Then again, when Salt Lick is told "bias is in the eye of the beholder," he feels like the man who caught Groucho Marx kissing his wife. Groucho exclaimed, "I wasn't kissing her, I was just whispering in her mouth!"

Uh huh.

Roanoke Times political cartoons -- pictures worth a thousand words

Yet another week of Roanoke Times' political cartoons -- carefully selected, fair and balanced. Visit any of the links to these cartoons and you will find a wide variety of viewpoints to choose from. Why would the Roanoke Times choose the ones below, or the ones we've previously listed?

As we said before, these are some angry newspaper people. But at least they're focused.

Friday, April 1

Delay Posted by Hello
Jack Ohman

Saturday, April 2

Morin Posted by Hello
Jim Morin

Sunday, April 3

wright Posted by Hello
Dick Wright

Monday, April 4

horsey Posted by Hello
David Horsey

Tuesday, April 5

[Cartoon spoofing the rising price of gasoline]

Wednesday, April 6

[Cartoon saying polls show 39% of Americans would favor drilling "through a box of kittens" for $2 gasoline.]

Thursday, April 7

The Ann Telnaes cartoon mocking Tom Delay and George Bush used on this day by the RT is unavailable on-line. The Telnaes cartoon below gives the reader some idea of her subtlety.

telnaes Posted by Hello
Ann Telnaes

Friday, April 8

benson Posted by Hello