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

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Environmentalists Should Pay

Been down to Home Depot lately to buy some 3/4 inch plywood? You'd better take out a loan. The skyrocketing price for that and most any lumber sold at retail today can be traced directly to a decision made by Wee Willy Clinton and his band of fun-loving environmentalists back in the 90's. Clinton decided to protect (virtually) 24 million acres of timber in the Northwest from logging interests - in order to "save" the spotted owl.

So what is the result of their efforts lo these ten years later? Higher prices for lumber. A devastated logging industry in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. And a declining spotted owl population.

I know. I know. He meant well. His intentions were noble. The results, therefore, are unimportant.
Forests Grow, Owls Decline Under Plan
By JEFF BARNARD, Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. - A decade after the Clinton administration reduced logging in national forests in the Northwest, scientists have concluded the forests are growing, but the population of the threatened northern spotted owl has declined.

Scientists reported Tuesday that the Northwest Forest Plan, adopted by the Clinton administration in 1994, resulted in an 80 percent reduction in logging on 24 million acres of land in western Washington, Oregon and Northern California.

The plan also aimed to protect the threatened northern spotted owl, of which there are about 8,000 pairs in the region.

Officials expected an average annual decline in owl numbers of 3.1 percent until enough habitat grew to stabilize populations. But the actual decline has been steeper in some areas.

Scientists are not sure what is causing the declines, but possible factors include invasion of the spotted owl's habitat by the barred owl, an aggressive cousin from Canada that often drives them off, Lint said. Habitat lost to past logging, as well as wildfires, climate changes and insect infestations are also factors, he said.

The plan also failed to provide the expected timber supply and replace lost timber jobs with jobs in small towns near federal forest lands as promised, said Thomas Quigley, director of the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station. (link)

I say we do ourselves - and our descendents - a big favor. Let's not let this bunch of doorknobs and reprobates ever run things again.

Veteran Spits In Jane Fonda's Face

There was no need for this:

Mo. Man Spits Tobacco Juice on Jane Fonda
TIM CURRAN, Associated Press Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man spit tobacco juice into the face of Jane Fonda after waiting in line to have her sign her new memoir. Capt. Rich Lockhart of the Kansas City Police Department said Michael A. Smith, 54, was arrested Tuesday night on a municipal charge of disorderly conduct.

He was released on bond and is due to appear in court on May 27.

Fonda covers a wide range of topics in "My Life So Far," including her 1972 visit to Hanoi to protest the Vietnam War, during which she was photographed on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. She has apologized for the photo, but not for opposing the war.

Smith, a Vietnam veteran, told The Kansas City Star Wednesday that Fonda was a "traitor" and that her protests against the Vietnam War were unforgivable. He said he doesn't chew tobacco but did so Tuesday solely to spit juice on the actress.

"I consider it a debt of honor," he told The Star for a story on its Web site. "She spit in our faces for 37 years. It was absolutely worth it. There are a lot of veterans who would love to do what I did." (

I suppose there is a natural inclination for some people to retaliate in kind for wrongs perpetrated in the past- whether real or perceived. But we don't do this. They do this. Veteran or no.

I May Not Buy That Renault After All

Renault is in trouble. But won't admit it. This is going to be fun.
Where the Customer Is Always Wrong
By MARK HUNTER, The Wall Street Journal

PARIS -- Renault, the French car maker, is currently offering a lesson in how to make a crisis worse. It began last October, when a young man claimed that his vehicle's cruise control got stuck on the highway, and the car ran away with him at 200 km an hour. Renault's initial response was to impound the car. (How's that for a product warranty: "If something's wrong with your car, we'll seize it.") After announcing that it had detected no problems, Renault threatened legal action against the man, who reportedly already had a police record for credit card fraud.

Unfortunately for Renault, a lengthening line of customers has appeared to say that their cruise controls went awry, too. Last fall, Renault acknowledged "between eight and 10" such complaints reported by its dealers. In March, Renault's president, Louis Schweitzer (who is due to step down at the end of this month), said there were "about 30." Last week, a driver who claimed to have been gravely injured in a crash became the second to initiate judicial proceedings aimed at Renault. In another case under investigation, a faulty cruise control may have caused a death. Mr. Schweitzer has steadfastly maintained that the sole possible cause of these incidents is driver error.

That defense is falling apart, and Renault isn't doing much to stop it. (
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A lesson to corporate heads: Try to manage the news and the news will hand you your head. Watch and take notes as this story plays out.

The Left Reacts to The World Having a New Pope

I was interested in knowing how the godless left was reacting to the elevation of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the position of Pope. So I went to The Nation, the most radically leftist - and proud of it - publication in America for their take.

It seems they are not pleased ... that we still have a Catholic church or that it has to have a Pope, or, especially, that the church leadership had to select Cardinal Ratzinger.

Here is John Nichols' take on Ratzinger's promotion.
Cardinal Ratzinger, who will now be identified as Pope Benedict XVI, has for a quarter century been the church's heavy.

As the prefect since 1981 of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the guardian of Catholic orthodoxy that was formerly known as the Holy Inquisition, he has been more responsible than anyone except John Paul II for the church's rejecting of reform and its persecution of progressive thinkers. The group Catholics for Free Choice [a fair and impartial source for unbiased analysis. jf] notes that, "The cardinal's historic role as a disciplinarian means the tradition of the punitive father is maintained within the Roman Catholic church."

As The National Catholic Reporter reported several years ago, many serious observers of contemporary Catholicism believe that, "Ratzinger will be remembered as the architect of John Paul's internal Kulturkampf, intimidating and punishing thinkers in order to restore a model of church -- clerical, dogmatic and rule-bound -- many hoped had been swept away by the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 assembly of bishops that sought to renew Catholicism and open it to the world. Ratzinger's campaign bears comparison to the anti-modernist drive in the early part of the century or Pius XII's crackdown in the 1950s, critics say, but is even more disheartening because it followed a moment of such optimism and new life."

It was Ratzinger who laid the groundwork in the early 1980s for the crackdown of the Liberation Theology movement, which sought to identify the church more closely with the struggles of the poor [and who stood shoulder to shoulder with terrorists and communist movements across South America. jf]. And it was Ratzinger who, in 1985, silenced Franciscan Father Leonardo Boff, arguably the most prominent proponent of efforts to put the church on the side of the Latin American workers and farmers who were seeking a fairer distribution of the region's resources [through revolutionary - and violent if necessary - means. jf], a fuller democracy and a brighter future for their children.

It was his awareness of Ratzinger's record that led Father Andrew Greeley, one of the American church's most prominent thinkers [ he writes tedious novels and is the most liberal Catholic in America today. jf], to observe before the Cardinals began Monday voting that, "I'd be dismayed if Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the church's official heresy hunter for a long time, is the next pope."

Father Greeley says, "Maybe a Papa Ratzinger can change, too." For the sake of the church, and the world that is so frequently influenced by it, let us pray that Greeley's words prove to be more than wishful thinking. (link)
I wouldn't count on it.

Kill The Scientists

I'm getting really confused. We learned just a few days ago that toothpaste can kill you. Prior to that, scientists had determined that drinking a lot of water could as well.

Now researchers are telling us that it is okay to be overweight. In fact, it turns out that you will live longer if you're plump.

Some Extra Heft May Be Helpful, New Study Says
By GINA KOLATA, New York Times

People who are overweight but not obese have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight, federal researchers are reporting today.

The researchers - statisticians and epidemiologists from the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - also found that increased risk of death from obesity was seen for the most part in the extremely obese, a group constituting only 8 percent of Americans.

And being very thin, even though the thinness was longstanding and unlikely to stem from disease, caused a slight increase in the risk of death, the researchers said. (link)

The scientists may be right about this. But will the chicks still find me to be a hunka hunka burnin' love if I look like a round mound of pound?

Pass the Big Mac, honey.