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

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bring Out Some More Lions!

I think of the Emperor Nero amusing the people of Rome with human sacrifices in the Coliseum when I read crap like this:
Local artisans trail may become reality
By Justin Harmon, Bland Messenger

It’s time to count the crafters.

Wytheville officials, teaming up with Virginia Tech and a regional artisan’s group, are hoping to make the idea of a local artisan’s trail a reality, and the next step, according to the town’s museums director Frances Emerson, is to make a registry of all crafters in the Wythe and Bland area.

In addition to a tally of all local artisans, research is well under way into the feasibility of a trail and what the economic impact of one might be. The town, Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia Artisan Network and Virginia Tech are currently studying possible benefits of a trail, whether there is enough interest to sustain it and whether the area has enough crafters to support one. Those doing the research say it will continue for another year. (link)
300 people are being thrown out of work at Webb Furniture? Thank goodness Galax has a trail for tourists.

25% of Tazewell County is on government relief? Boy, aren't you lucky you have people there who can make pots and candles and ... stuff for the tourists who will someday be heading down there on your trail(s).

9,000 households in Southwest Virginia are without indoor plumbing? Well, we are going to ask Governor Kaine and Congressman Boucher to build you another trail. Send your thanks along with a check made payable to your friendly Democratic Party to us in Richmond.

Pulaski County has been chasing tourist dollars for years now and hasn't seen one blessed tourist blunder into town yet?

Well, you need a new trail too.

What? You already have a trail?

Well, we'll go ahead and connect your trail to a trail over in Montgomery County. And we'll come up with a name for your trail! How about the Rick Boucher Trail to Economic Prosperity and Homemade Pots?

What? The people of Pulaski have named theirs the Trail of Tears?

Look. Don't be cute. We're the government and we're only trying to help.

The Emperor would be pleased.

Now That's The Christmas Spirit III

The town council in Wellington, Florida has decided to not include a Nativity creche alongside a Menorah that has already been put in place in its public non-Christmas display:
Wellington won't have nativity scene in its annual holiday display
By Angel Streeter, Palm Beach Sun-Sentinel Staff Writer

An effort to include a nativity scene in Wellington's annual holiday display alongside a menorah and Christmas tree has died quickly after garnering little support from village and business officials.

The Village Council was supposed to discuss the nativity scene at today's meeting after Councilman Carmine Priore asked that it be put on the agenda. But he withdrew the request, saying the village needed time to research the legality of having a nativity scene on public property. (link)
For the love of God.

Please Go Away

Remember after 9/11 how former President Clinton tried to capture a few headlines - and rewrite history - by telling us how al Qaeda terrorism was his number one priority when he was in office? We all got a laugh out of that one. Well, he's at it again. He's criticizing the Bush administration for not being more proactive with regard to the Kyoto global warming treaty - the same treaty Clinton refused to send to Congress for ratification when he had the chance. He hasn't changed a bit:

Clinton says Bush 'flat wrong' on Kyoto
By Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press

MONTREAL -- Former President Bill Clinton told a global audience of diplomats, environmentalists and others yesterday that the Bush administration is "flat wrong" in claiming that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to fight global warming would damage the U.S. economy.

With a "serious disciplined effort" to develop energy saving technology, he said, "we could meet and surpass the Kyoto targets in a way that would strengthen and not weaken our economies." (link)

Coulda shoulda woulda.

Here's the line that made me toss my breakfast:
Mr. Clinton, a champion of the Kyoto Protocol [my emphasis], the existing emissions-controls agreement opposed by the Bush administration, spoke in the final hours of a two-week U.N. climate conference at which Washington has come under heavy criticism for its stand.
Yep. He was a champion all right. Of so many things. Most conspicuously the sexual abuse of women. But the Kyoto Protocol wasn't one of them.

Look. This guy was the leader of the free world. Had he tried, he could have submitted the treaty to his Democratically controlled Senate and gotten it passed but he didn't. The treaty died without ever having been ratified.

At least George Bush had the testicular fortitude to tell the world what Clinton was too cowardly to say: Neither the United States nor any other major country is going to adhere to the treaty's principles or submit to its mandates. And they haven't.

So, please go away. You had your day and that day is done. And we are none the better for it.

Do The Kyoto Shuffle

While former President Clinton finds it safe to finally come out with a strong stand on the Kyoto Protocol climate change treaty that he ran away from at a time when he could have led the charge, the rest of the world is taking a sober look at that which they agreed to - and have decided to run too. From The Wall Street Journal:
Kyoto's Dead Hand

Global gabfests can be fun, which may explain the paradox of the 12-day U.N. conference on climate change that ended yesterday in Montreal. On the one hand, the conferees spelled out the fine print that will make the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which has been ratified by 156 countries, "fully operational," according to conference chairman Stephane Dion.

On the other hand, even those who support radical cuts in carbon-dioxide emissions are realizing that the Kyoto Protocol is a failed instrument for achieving their goals. "The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge," says British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (link requires subscription)
A failed instrument. Who'da guessed it? Here are the sad details:
India and China, which are exempt from Kyoto's emissions cuts, have no plans to submit to those mandates any time soon, though China is the world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Kyoto requires developed nations to bring their total greenhouse-gas emissions to 5% below their 1990 levels by 2012. Yet in 2003, emissions were above the 1990 baseline by more than 10% in Italy and Japan, more than 20% in Ireland and Canada, and more than 40% in Spain.
And before anyone cites Germany as the model for environmental nirvana, take note:
Germany and Britain have met their Kyoto targets, but this is the result of one-time events: The collapse of British coal and the shuttering of much of the former East Germany's industrial base. Given Germany's anemic economy and Britain's reduced growth forecasts, the appetite in either country for costly environmental virtue is not likely to increase.
We learn the secret to success. Targets can be met if we collapse our economy. Great idea.

Then there's the theory behind the global warming dogma itself. It seems to be collapsing as well:
... even as the Montreal crowd treats man-made global warming as established fact, the science behind the long-term forecasts remains ambiguous and sketchy, while the benefits of "doing something about it" are by no means clear.

Consider a few recent developments. In 2003, Canadian researchers Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick demonstrated that the "hockey-stick" analysis -- a key element of global-warming dogma that purports to demonstrate that global temperatures held steady for centuries until rising sharply in the last 100 years -- was riddled with "collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data," and so on. The Canadians found that the Medieval warm period had indeed occurred, suggesting that periods of warming and cooling were natural trends unrelated to the number of SUVs on the road.

In 2004, a conference of leading economists met in Copenhagen to prioritize the world's environmental needs, and they put global warming at the bottom of the list. "The benefits [of dealing with climate change] are far into the future and the substantial costs are up front and immediate," wrote Nobelist Douglass North. "Given the uncertainties associated with both the projections and the consequences, climate change cannot compete with other urgent issues we confront."

More recently, scientists have been grappling with data distortions caused by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. That eruption initially caused ocean temperatures to cool; now temperatures are rising as the "Pinatubo Effect" unwinds and distorts the long-term trend data. Scientists have also noted weakenings in Atlantic currents that move cold waters south and warm waters north, leading to predictions that Britain may experience Siberia-like temperatures in the coming decades. Whatever else that is, it isn't "warming."
So Kyoto is ignored and the theory behind it is riddled with miscalculations. Stick a fork in it, fellas. It's done.

Though I'd expect the people who enjoy fad-dancing will continue to try to prop up this mambo jambo.

Takin' It To 'Em

The Republicans have been handed a gift by Howard Dean and the Democratic Party and Ken Mehlman intends to make good use of it:

GOP ad blasts Democrats' 'retreat and defeat'
By Bill Sammon, The Washington Times

The Republican National Committee yesterday released a hard-hitting Web ad that shows the white flag of surrender waving in front of Democrats as they complain about the Iraq war.

"Democrats have a plan for Iraq," a line of text reads at the beginning of the 60-second spot. "Retreat and defeat."

The ad then shows a white flag waving in front of Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean as he tells a San Antonio radio station: "The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that, unfortunately, it's just plain wrong." [my emphasis] (link)

I'd have to go back into my Civil War archives to find the last occasion when a prominent politician declared defeat while we were in the midst of war. Howard Dean may even be the first.

The Democrats have dug this grave; now they need to try to dig themselves out of it. Although my guess is they are perfectly happy wallowing in the dirt.

News Flash

North Dakota News Bulletin

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the western part of North Dakota after the storm.

Amusing, if it were not so true...


Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from a Historic event — may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" — with a historic blizzard of up to 24" inches of snow and winds to 50 MPH that broke trees in half, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed all roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.

George Bush did not come....
FEMA staged nothing....
No one howled for the government...
No one even uttered an expletive on TV...
Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.....
No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House....
No one looted....
Phil Cantori of the Weather Channel did not come....
And Geraldo Rivera did not move in.

Nope, we just melted snow for water, sent out caravans to pluck people out of snow-engulfed cars, fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Aladdin lamps, and put on an extra layer of clothes because up here it is 'work or die'.

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early...we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves."

In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the worlds social problems evaporate."