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

Friday, February 04, 2005

Good Writing

Quip - n. (kwip) - a witty remark.
James Taranto - a witty quipster.
From his Best of the Web Today:

In the Beginning
"How did life, in its infinite complexity, come to be?" asks Newsweek in a subheadline. "A controversial new theory called 'intelligent design' asserts a supernatural agent was at work."

Apparently the Old Testament isn't on Lexis-Nexis, or Newsweek's fact-checkers would have realized this isn't actually a new theory. (link requires subscription)

He makes me laugh.

I Like This Guy

A rural western Maryland politician has decided to work with his eastern suburban counterparts on the bear proliferation problem in his district. The city folks can't stand the thought of the bear population being controlled; rural residents are tired of the scavenging, destructive creatures rummaging through their trash containers and garages. House Minority Leader George C. Edwards of Garrett County has proposed a solution to the problem that should satisfy everyone.

Irate lawmaker would share bears

ANNAPOLIS -- A bill introduced yesterday would save the black bears of Western Maryland -- by spreading them into every county of the state.

House Minority Leader George C. Edwards of Garrett County offered the modest proposal in part to highlight differences between rural and suburban parts of the state.

For years, Mr. Edwards and his Western Maryland colleagues have watched as lawmakers from suburban jurisdictions -- such as Prince George's and Montgomery counties -- have tried to enact laws banning bear hunts.

"If these people want to tell us we have to live with the bears, they should be willing to accept the bears," the Republican lawmaker said. "They can bring their charcoal grills and their bird feeders in every night. Fair is fair."

His bill would require that black bears be trapped and released in other parts of the state, balancing Western Marylanders need to get rid of the bears with suburban Marylanders desire to protect the creatures.

If animal-loving lawmakers treasure the bears so much, Mr. Edwards reasons, let them have their own.

"Maybe, it'll make a point," he said, which is: "If you don't want the state to use a limited hunt as a management tool, you should be willing to accept bears. And here's your opportunity to do it."

Until last year, Maryland upheld a longtime moratorium on black bear hunting.

Last fall, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials allowed the first black bear hunt in 51 years, in an effort to thin the populations in the mountains of Garrett and Allegany counties and to reduce human-bear conflicts. They set a kill limit of 30 bears and halted the hunt after 20 were killed in a single day.

A prolonged effort, led by Democrats from suburban Washington, failed to prevent the hunt.

Delegate Barbara Frush, Prince George's County Democrat, last week introduced her second attempt to ban black bear hunting in Maryland. So far, her bill has 24 co-sponsors. (
So how have the suburban Democrats reacted to Mr. Edwards' proposal? "Not in my backyard, pal."

Mr. Edwards' push to disseminate the animals across Maryland is ridiculous," [Delegate Barbara Frush from densely populated Prince George's County] said. "I think it makes a mockery of what the real intent of my bill is," Mrs. Frush said. "He's trying to make fun of something that I, and others, feel is very important."
Gotta love those city folks. I can tell George Edwards does.

Eco-Boobs At It Again

There is a desolate area of southern New Mexico, known as Otero Mesa, that is arid enough to be considered a desert but receives enough moisture to support the growth of grass. It consists of more than a million acres of this grassland which sustains a population of pronghorn antelope - and cattle. Otero Mesa, to most normal people, would be considered an uninhabitable, barren wilderness.

Most normal people, when told that there are oil and gas reserves under this desert wasteland, would be enthusiastic about bringing it to market. Normal people know that the world's economies are dependent on oil and gas and that it is better, ecologically speaking, to drill exploratory wells there than, say, in downtown Los Angeles.

But environmentalists - and their allies at the New York Times - are not normal. They are the kind of people who fret over holes being drilled deep into the earth's crust out in a desert wasteland out of fear that they might ... well, they don't really say why. Something about the "delicacy" of the area.
The delicacy of the region is not immediately apparent to the eye. But under the desert grasses - which sustain a genetically important population of pronghorns - there is a layer of soil just thin enough to keep invasive shrubs at bay. Below that layer lies an underground reservoir of water, which also needs protection. The Bush administration is determined to force its way onto the Otero Mesa. Gov. Bill Richardson, backed by a coalition of ranchers and environmentalists, is determined to stop it. (link)
The delicacy thing is as close as the editors get in this lengthy article to actually delineating a specific problem with drilling holes in the ground out in the middle of the desert. The antelope might react negatively, I suppose.

We have our abnormal environmentalists here in the mountains of Virginia as well. They are prepared to give their lives in order to save our rock formations and scrub oak. Or so you would think if you read some of the literature they put out.

They'll come down here from their universities up north and marvel at the beauty of our trees and hills. Oh, you can spot them. They dress alike in this funny outdoorsy garb (and they all wear these odd looking Birkenstocks) and bring their own Aquafina (they have heard that too many of the wells in the area we drink from are unfit for human consumption). They angrily decry the rape of our mountaintops by the few area residents with gainful employment in the mining business ... and then they hop back in their Lincoln Navigators and go back home - in time to catch Jon Stewart on Comedy Central.

Pardon me if I don't get worked up over holes being drilled in the desert of New Mexico. If oil and gas are found there, that would be a good thing. I get to continue driving my car for another few years before I have to revert to a bicycle.

And I've learned that these environmentalists aren't serious anyway, when you get down to it. To leave their condos in the big city and to trudge down to the desert of New Mexico - or to the mountains of Appalachia - is somehow therapeutic. It makes them "whole" - or some such crap. Knowing this, I've learned to tolerate them. And to pick up their Snickers wrappers and empty Aquafina bottles after they've left.