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

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

More Global Warming Idiocy

It has been raining more than normal in Japan.

Its cause: Global Warming.

How do we know?

Global warming blamed for increasing heavy rain in Japan
MSN News

The frequency of downpours of over 50 millimeters of rain per hour and heavy rain of more than 200 millimeters per day has surged in recent years, Meteorological Agency data has shown.

Weather officials say the effects of global warming are a likely cause of the heavy rainfalls shown in data held in the agency's Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition System (AMEDAS).

"There is a possibility that cases in which heavy rain falls repeatedly in the same areas like Niigata Prefecture and Fukui Prefecture last year will increase," agency officials said. (
Unless the Japanese "globe" is warming while Bland County, Virginia's isn't, how do "scientists explain the fact that we are suffering through a rather substantial drought here this summer?

Sometimes I wonder about the competency of some of these weather prognosticators.

Keeping Score At Virginia Tech

A headline in Collegiate Times, written by Susie Huisman, blares this alarming news:
Tech struggles to attain diversity
June 30th, 2005

Enrollment numbers for the class of 2009 are in, leaving some students disappointed in the lack of diversity.
So what exactly constitutes a "lack of diversity" on the Virginia Tech campus?
73 percent of students that have accepted admission into the university this fall consider themselves white, leaving the other 27 percent identifying themselves as either Asian, black, Hispanic, Native American or none of the above.
Well, guess what. According to the most recent census (2000), white people make up 75.1% of America's population. Leaving the other 24.9% identifying themselves as either Asian, black, Hispanic, Native American or none of the above. Which means, if only 73% of Virginia Tech's freshman class is white, caucasians are under-represented and the Virginia Tech campus is, therefore, overly diverse compared to the general population. This - apparently - will be "news" to Susie and the folks at Collegiate Times.

They are of course not referring to a lack of "diversity." They see a lack of African-American students. She and they are disturbed by the small number of black applicants to the school. And perhaps they should be.
The percentage of black students that have accepted offers of admission has dropped from 3.8 percent to 3.4 percent ...
That is extremely low considering the fact that fully 12.3% of the USA is of African descent. The statistics cited give us a hint - however ill-defined - that Asians are over-represented on campus. And, who knows, Apaches may be as well, although we are not yet at a point when we have that kind of detail provided to us (stick around; that'll come soon enough).

We should establish a quota anyway.

Oh, wait. We have. It's called affirmative action, and it's alive and well on the Virginia Tech campus, regardless what made the headlines a few years ago.

Look. I've written in the past that, as far as I'm concerned, if the entire Virginia Tech student population was Chinese, the school, and all of America, would be the better for it. I know it's a stale old concept, but if we reward achievement, and we quit trying to push students - because of the deepened coloration of their skin - into academic settings for which they are ill-prepared or unqualified, we will end up with a highly educated group of "the leaders of tomorrow," instead of graduating a bunch of dimwits, the result of a higher education group-think that keeps dumbing down college curricula in order to be more inclusive and diverse, whatever that means.

Decry the "lack of diversity" if you will. I'll celebrate the academic achievements of Virginia Tech's graduating classes. They have a great deal to be proud of.

The Damage Done

For a wonderful - and tragic - account of that which results from a municipality's misuse of "eminent domain," read John Tierney's column in the New York Times this morning (Your Land is My Land).

After citing the many efforts of city planners in his hometown of Pittsburgh to revitalize the downtown area, all of which failed, Tierney quotes the city's mayor, Tom Murphy.

Yet the mayor still yearns for more acquisitions. He welcomed the Supreme Court decision, telling The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that eminent domain "is a great equalizer when you're having a conversation with people." Well, that's one way to describe the power to take people's property.
This is dangerous stuff, folks. And "the planners" have been unleashed by the Supreme Court's recent Kelo ruling, allowing the seizure of private property and its transfer to a favored corporate donor for the purpose of its development.

Lock your doors. Close the blinds. You are not safe.

You Never Know What You're Going To Get

This is why I'm not getting my undies in a bunch over who'se going to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.
Presidents, Picking Justices, Can Have Backfires
TODD S. PURDUM, New York Times

As President Bush prepares to fill a vacancy that conservatives hope (and liberals fear) could shape the Supreme Court for a generation, he faces a daunting historical reality: presidents don't always get what they bargain for when they grant even seemingly close allies lifetime tenure on a fiercely independent institution, where the hot-button issues of the future are hard to predict. (link)
The article goes on to cite a number of examples of Supreme Court nominations gone awry, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Earl Warren, Tom Clark, Anthony Kennedy, and - my personal favorite for "the worst pick of all time" - David Souter.

My point is this: No matter who President Bush nominates, the Democrats will begin the process of painting him or her as Satan's spawn while the Republicans will claim the nominee was involved in the Immaculate Conception.

I'm going to kick back and wait. And hope we end up with someone with greater intellect and a more abiding faith in and understanding of the Constitution than the current crop of Supreme Court justices.

Divulging Our Secret Strategy

The New York Times, once again, gives a heads-up this morning to our enemies abroad.

Pentagon Weighs Strategy Change to Deter Terror

WASHINGTON, July 4 - The Pentagon's most senior planners are challenging the longstanding strategy that requires the armed forces to be prepared to fight two major wars at a time. Instead, they are weighing whether to shape the military to mount one conventional campaign while devoting more resources to defending American territory and antiterrorism efforts.

The concern that the concentration of troops and weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan was limiting the Pentagon's ability to deal with other potential armed conflicts was underscored by Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a classified risk assessment to Congress this spring. (link)
For all anyone knows, the authors of this article might be making all this up. They cite no sources whatsoever, except for the usual "civilian officials and military officers from across the armed services."

In any case, this kind of information would be useful to the Chinese, who covet Taiwan, and to the North Koreans, who intend to conquer the entire planet.

Someone should take the New York Times to task for this. It's dangerous - and shoddy - journalism.