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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, December 12, 2004

The Governor Has Powerful Friends

The ultra-liberal Washington Post weighs in today on the subject of the state of Virginia refusing to give me my ill-gotten surplus tax dollars back. They think Governor Mark Warner's idea of spending it on, well, it doesn't really matter what as long as he spends it, is a really great idea.

To Get Virginia Moving

Sunday, December 12, 2004

OF ALL THE ideas that Virginia's lawmakers are hurling about for spending the state's suddenly handsome increase in revenues, Gov. Mark R. Warner's plan to do something about transportation is the best. It is the right way to go -- though it falls far short of what the state needs just to regain some of the ground lost through years of shortsighted transportation policies and misguided budget decisions. As announced Thursday, Mr. Warner (D) would direct $824 million to pay off long-standing debts on road projects, assist projects involving private firms and local governments, and buy desperately needed Metrorail and commuter rail cars.

There are three things you need to take away from this.
  1. Mark Warner is a Democrat. He raised our taxes. The two go hand-in-hand.
  2. " ... the state's suddenly handsome increase in revenues ... " should anger every Virginian who listened to Warner and his buddies whine a few months ago about a major budget shortfall. Were they wrong, deceitful, or just stupid?
  3. " ... it falls far short of what the state needs ... " should scare all of us. Will it be as early as next year these thieves will come back with more calamitous warnings relating to more budget shortfalls?
The Washington Post and their hero, Mark Warner, want to spend every dime we have to "pay off long-standing debts on road projects, assist projects involving private firms and local governments, and buy desperately needed Metrorail and commuter rail cars." Today it's transportation needs; tomorrow it's education needs, healthcare needs, medical facility needs, power grid needs, environmental needs, state parks needs, homeless shelter needs, drug rehabilitation needs, and on and on. Warner feigns concern about our roads but sees fit to waste $26 million on bike paths down here in southern Virginia. (!)

It will never end as long as these people are in charge.

If you think it's a swell idea that politicians in Richmond take your hard-earned income, skim much of it off for themselves, and then return the remainder to you for bike paths and hiking trails - except for that chunk they'll keep for whatever the crisis du jour is - then don't complain about there being no growth and no future here in Southwest Virginia. If however you believe you can invest YOUR money more wisely than these dolts in Richmond can, then put a stop to it.

A Pithy Message From Maureen Down

I am hereby nominating Maureen Dowd's column in the New York Times this morning for the Worst Opinion Column Ever Written award. Here is a (mercifully brief) excerpt:

The 12 Days of Rummying

By MAUREEN DOWD Published: December 12, 2004

On the first day of Christmas, my Rummy sent to me a Saddam pigeon in a palm tree. Not knowing Osama's address, Rummy hastened to 'Potamia - and a mess, exhorting his pal Cheney, "Let's bomb Baghdad again, golly gee!"

On the second day of Christmas, my Rummy sent to me two dead-ender turtle doves (Colin and Kofi), flowers and chocolates from the ninny Chalabi, and a billion Arabs mad at me.

When I realized I was going to have to endure "twelve days" of this, my heart sank.

Disclaimer: I can't honestly say her article doesn't improve as you go through it. As I was reading it, I got nauseous and dizzy and had to turn away. So I never finished it. But that's usually the case when I take up one of her "musings."

Memo to Bill Keller: You have an obligation to the shareholders to maintain the newspaper's credibility. Keeping this mediocrity on the payroll is not serving the owners well. Cut her loose.

Food In Abundance

Paul Ehrlich must be wondering these days where he went wrong. In 1968 this hero of the liberal left wrote the following (in The Population Bomb):

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970's the world will undergo famines--hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now [my emphasis]. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate, although many lives could be saved through dramatic programs to "stretch" the carrying capacity of the earth by increasing food production.

But these programs will only provide a stay of execution unless they are accompanied by determined and successful efforts at population control [my emphasis]. Population control is the conscious regulation of the numbers of human beings to meet the needs, not just of individual families, but of society as a whole.

Nothing could be more misleading to our children than our present affluent society. They will inherit a totally different world, a world in which the standards, politics, and economics of the 1960's are dead. As the most powerful nation in the world today, and its largest consumer, the United States cannot stand isolated. We are today involved in the events leading to famine; tomorrow we may be destroyed by its consequences [the left blamed the USA for all the world's ills even back then].

Our position requires that we take immediate action at home and promote effective action worldwide. We must have population control at home, hopefully through a system of incentives and penalties, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail [my emphasis]. We must use our political power to push other countries into programs which combine agricultural development and population control.

And while this is being done we must take action to reverse the deterioration of our environment before population pressure permanently ruins our planet [the first Earth Day was just around the corner]. The birth rate must be brought into balance with the death rate or mankind will breed itself into oblivion. We can no longer afford merely to treat the symptoms of the cancer of population growth; the cancer itself must be cut out. Population control is the only answer. (link)

Ehrlich will still pop up on television occasionally spouting some new wacky tale of apocalypse. But he doesn't say much these days about the world suffering from famine. Perhaps it's because of this:
South America Seeks to Fill the World's Table

By LARRY ROHTER Published: December 12, 2004

LUCAS DO RIO VERDE, Brazil - Almost overnight, South America has driven a historic global shift in food production that is turning the largely untapped frontier heartland of the continent into the world's new breadbasket.

One of the last places on earth where large tracts are still available for agriculture, the region, led by Brazil, has had an explosion of farm exports over the past decade. The growth has been fueled by a combination of market-friendly economic policies and advances in agronomy that have brought formerly unusable tropical lands into production and increased productivity levels beyond those in the United States and Europe, challenging their traditional dominance of the global farm trade. (
link)
Ehrlich predicted the end of civilization. Civilization decided otherwise.

I was a freshman in college when The Population Bomb came out. It was all the rage in Sociology classes back then. And it scared the beejeebers out of me. It took a few years but I was ultimately able to work through the several issues addressed by Ehrlich and to come to the conclusion that (he was a loon and that) it wasn't any population policy that was to be feared, it was the Marxist environmental left that was eager to destroy our way of life in favor of some utopian world where reproduction would be controlled "by compulsion" that we needed to be worried about.

At the moment I came to this discovery, a free-market conservative was born.