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

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Time To Change Course?

I've written too many times (here here here and here to showcase a few) about the bleak economic outlook officials here in Southwest Virginia - and most particularly in the city of Roanoke, our only metropolitan area - have created for us. Anti-growth. Anti-business. Anti-family. Anti ... anti ... anti.

Oh, but we're pro-environment and pro-tourism, neither of which is going to prevent jobs from fleeing the area and accelerating our economic ruin.

Here's another in a long line of stories about jobs destroyed and opportunity wasted:
Spectacle Lens employees face uncertain future
By Duncan Adams, The Roanoke Times

The company that bought Spectacle Lens Group says it will not continue to make the Definity lens at the Roanoke facility.

A bright star in the Roanoke Valley's technology community dimmed Tuesday, leaving about 180 employees of the Spectacle Lens Group either facing the specter of unemployment or with decidedly uncertain futures. (link)
Having read the details of this disturbing news in the Times, I quickly turned to its editorial page, knowing that I would read a scathing denunciation of the fiscal and economic circumstances that have been brought about by our incompetent and misguided political leadership; a perverse set of hacks and party hangers-on who have caused gloom to descend upon Roanoke, as well as the entire region. I knew the editorial staff was good at denunciation, and this was yet another in a growing pile of examples where our elected functionaries have, through diligent efforts at discouraging business growth, wrecked another company and its workforce.

I knew the Roanoke Times would cry out for change. Proclaim the need for a new approach to growing the local economy. Demand the opportunity for our citizens to thrive. And now. While we still have a chance at turning Roanoke and Southwest Virginia around.

I was mistaken.

Here's the pressing issue of the day on the editorial page:
Briefly put ...
The Roanoke Times

Calling it "the right thing to do," the UPN TV network ordered an exploitative Arab-American character off its World Wrestling Entertainment "Smackdown!" program.

WWE, which produces the show, defends "Muhammad Hassan" as a voice against anti-Arab prejudice. But when his terrorist-like henchmen bludgeoned a rival on a program broadcast just after the bombings in London, sparking a public outcry, even UPN wouldn't buy that argument anymore. A fake sport's real profits were at stake. (link)
We're doomed.

Somebody Remind Me Why We're Doing This

The space shuttle went up yesterday. We're all hoping it comes down.

As reported in the New York Times:
The Shuttle Returns to Duty

It was a relief to see the shuttle Discovery rise with a roar from its launching pad at Kennedy Space Center yesterday and glide smoothly into space ... Yesterday's ascent was only the first hurdle in a flight whose main goal is to get seven astronauts up into orbit and back again safely. Only then can this pivotal mission be deemed a success. (link)
Its main goal is to go up and to come back down.

Tell me again why it is we are pouring tax dollars into manned flights into space?

What a Nice Day

The need to put food in my refrigerator brings me to Philadelphia this week. Actually I've never been enthralled by the city but I'm sure that's only because I've not found its beautiful stretches yet.

Yesterday the temperature here hit 128 - or so it felt. And with the humidity coming from the ocean, it felt like it had to be at least 129.

What a wonderful summer day. In Philadelphia.