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

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Teaching The Educators a Lesson

You'd think school officials had heard of the concept generally referred to as The Law of Supply and Demand. It is, for those of you not familiar with the term - like the smart people who run the Henrico County schools - defined thusly:
The basic insight underlying the law of supply and demand is that at any given moment a price that is "too high" will leave disappointed would-be sellers with unsold goods, while a price that is "too low" will leave disappointed would-be buyers without the goods they wish to buy. There exists a "right" price, at which all those who wish to buy can find sellers willing to sell and all those who wish to sell can find buyers willing to buy. This "right" price is therefore often called the "market-clearing price."
The following does not speak well to the intelligence and competency of the educators over in Henrico:

17 Hurt as Computer Sale Turns Into Stampede 'Pandemonium' As 5,000 Show Up At Richmond Event
By Stephanie McCrummen and Aymar Jean, Washington Post Staff Writers

Four years ago, Henrico County purchased 18,000 of the computers for about $1,100 each for its public school students and teachers. The county decided to sponsor yesterday's event to sell 1,000 surplus iBooks to residents.

Presented with a rare chance to get a used laptop computer for $50, a crowd of more than 5,000 showed up hours early yesterday at the Richmond International Raceway and -- when the gates finally were flung open at 7 a.m. -- turned into an unruly stampede, as people pushed, shoved and beat each other to get to the Apple iBooks. Elderly men and women were trampled and a girl's stroller was crushed.

The melee lasted about five minutes, and about 70 police officers eventually were called in to control the crowd, Stanley said. About 17 people were injured, including four who were taken to a hospital and treated for scrapes, bruises, heat-related problems and possible broken bones, authorities said. (

50 bucks for a like-new iBook?! Heck, I would have broken bones and trampled elderly men and women too, although I might have spared the stroller.

So what lesson did we learn from this, children? At what price should the iBooks have been set in order to meet the Law of Supply and Demand? We'll never know now but we can ascertain from the sale over in Henrico County, Virginia and the crushed and bleeding bodies littering the Richmond International Raceway that it sure as hell wasn't $50.

It's Worse Than We Thought

Why are we just now finding out what it was the 9/11 Commission was supposed to find out a few years ago?

And if they found it out, why did they not let the rest of us in on it?

Here's the latest bombshell regarding the dire warnings that were issued to the Clinton administration and it's absolute refusal to deal with terrorism in the years leading up to 9/11 (as reported in The New York Post):

PRESIDENT Bill Clinton's team ignored dire warnings that its approach to terrorism was "very dangerous" and could have "deadly results," according to a blistering memo just obtained by The Post.

Then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White wrote the memo as she pleaded in vain with Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick to tear down the wall between intelligence and prosecutors, a wall that went beyond legal requirements.

"This is not an area where it is safe or prudent to build unnecessary walls or to compartmentalize our knowledge of any possible players, plans or activities," wrote White, herself a Clinton appointee. (link)
The following sentences in the memo should have been the title of the report the 9/11 Commission drew up:
"The single biggest mistake we can make in attempting to combat terrorism is to insulate the criminal side of the house from the intelligence side of the house, unless such insulation is absolutely necessary. Excessive conservatism . . . can have deadly results.

We must face the reality that the way we are proceeding now is inherently and in actuality very dangerous [my emphasis]."
There are two troubling aspects to this. The first we all know and became accustomed to: Bill Clinton preferred to apologize for actions not taken rather than risk failure. But secondly, why did the 9/11 Commission fail to - or refuse to - make this the centerpiece of its report?

So Much For The Environment

I paid $2.59 for a gallon of gasoline in Statesville, NC yesterday.


I'm hereby renouncing my membership in the "Save The Cantaloupe in ANWR" crusade.

Or is it caribou? Catalufa?

Whatever it was that I was passionately working to rescue from having to step around a puddle of oil at a drilling rig in the frozen tundra of a 650 million acre stretch of land in a part of the world that is unfit for man nor beast, I have changed my mind.

I paid $2.59 for a gallon of gas yesterday.

So, bring on the nuclear. Let's go back and revisit the shale oil extraction issue. Let's get more refineries up and running. Let's mine that coal.

When the air conditioning is running and we have a refrigerator full of food and we can jump in the car and run over to Nag's Head for the weekend and our biggest concern in life is who's getting hosed on Survivor: Vanuatu, we can feign sorrow over the well-being or lack thereof of some creature on the northern slopes in Alaska.

But that era is coming to an end.

It's time to get serious again.


Steve Minor was kind enough last night to decipher an earlier post of his that had been truly written in Greek (see "A Man and His Passion"). Or it may have been Klingon. In either case, we should all thank him for the excellent clarification. But, in the course of explaining the intracies involved in suing state and local governments over Medicaid and housing subsidy issues and the like, he made a distressing admission:
... it's what I like.
You're scaring me, man.