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

Saturday, February 11, 2006

This'll Have 'Em Smokin'

Bland County is about to be at the center of a firestorm. The United States government is proposing to sell off some of the land it maintains, including acreage here in Bland - and the environmentalists are up in arms about it:
U.S. may sell some Virginia forest
By Rex Springston, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

The Bush administration is proposing to sell about 5,700 acres of the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests in western Virginia.

The proposal is part of an overall plan to sell approximately 200,000 acres of national forest for about $800 million.

JoBeth Brown, a forest spokeswoman, said the land that may be sold amounts to "difficult to manage" parcels such as those in the middle of private land.

"It's not like wilderness areas or recreation areas," she said.

The land amounts to 0.3 percent of the national forestland in Virginia, she said.

Land that may be sold includes 1,630 acres in three parcels in Bland County north of Wytheville; 1,341 acres in eight parcels in Smyth County outside of Marion; and 735 acres in five parcels in Scott County in far southwest Virginia. (link)
I live on the edge of the Jefferson National Forest but I doubt that the land involved is near mine (I'll be checking into it). But I have no problem with the government unloading land that is of no use to the public - even if it involved land adjacent to mine.

Environmental groups, as you might expect, have their collective undies in a bunch over the proposal already:
Environmentalists reacted angrily.

"That land has been hard to come by," said David Carr, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville. "It's crazy to be selling it off to meet short-term budget needs."

Carr said isolated patches of national forest should be linked to bigger tracts by buying the land in between. "We need to be adding to the national forests, not decreasing them."
Spoken like the looney socialists these people are. If it were left up to them, there'd be no such thing as private ownership of property; all lands would be owned by the government. Fortunately for us, these nuts are pretty much relegated to college campus confines these days.

Anyway, let's see how this whole affair plays out. I'm hoping to see some Earth-Firsters gather around my property to protest. Being the avid and enthusiastic capitalist that I am, I'll be there selling them beans and wienies - and "Save The Planet" T-shirts - at dramatically inflated prices, and I'll be blaring songs from the 60's. They'll have to provide their own dope.

Now where are my slouch hat, guitar, and Arlo Guthrie tapes? This is going to be a hoot.

I Agree With An Imam

I'm worried. I have a concern this morning that I've gone over to the dark side (I blame the Chinese stir-fry I had last night). Whatever the case, I find myself in general agreement this morning with some guy named Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi. Here's what he has to say (in the Detroit News) with regard to "the cartoon wars" raging around the globe:

Stop making fun of sacred symbols

In our global village, the crisis over a caricature of Prophet Muhammad first printed in a Danish paper has reached every corner of the planet. Publishing these blasphemous cartoons was absolutely irresponsible, unethical and unacceptable.

Muslims, who believe in the virgin birth of Jesus and the revelation to Moses, never ridicule other people's faith symbols and would appreciate the same respect in return. We wouldn't mind if the terrorists were ridiculed: Those who hijack the name of Islam and kidnap the innocents like Jill Carroll and sometimes behead them and even bomb peaceful religious observances -- but to dishonor a prophet is inexcusable. (link)

There are far too many Americans, including one of my favorite radio talk show hosts, who are arguing these days that the "offensive" cartoons that lampoon Islam and poke fun at the prophet Mohammed are innocent expressions of one man's attitudes toward the Muslim world, are somehow protected by our uniquely American freedom of the press, and should be reproduced in newspapers around the world because those who believe in Allah take this stuff far too seriously and need to get over it.

With all of them I disagree.

Just as I found this to be grossly offensive to Christians and the "artist" who "created" this to be a lowlife scumbag who deserved to be harshly denounced for his intentionally blasphemous and hurtful misuse of the Virgin Mary's image, I don't appreciate people going out of their way to denegrate Islam by depicting Mohammed in a cartoon with a bomb perched on his head. They need to stop it and we need to discourage it.

We are better than this.

A Fair And Reasonable Plan

House Republicans introduced an alternative plan yesterday to Governor Kaine's outrageous call for an array of higher taxes:
House Plan Opens Fray In Va. Over Road Funds
Divisions Crystalize On Spending, Taxes
By Chris L. Jenkins and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post Staff Writers

RICHMOND, Feb. 10 -- Republican leaders in the House agreed Friday that Virginia needs to spend more money on easing traffic congestion but said the figure should be far less than what the governor and some Senate leaders believe is necessary.

The unveiling of the House plan, which, unlike the others, would not raise taxes, confirms that all parts of the Virginia government favor more spending on transportation.

The House proposal relies on the state's billion-dollar surplus, higher fees on bad drivers and the use of state-financed debt to funnel money to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, which have the state's most-congested roads. (link)
Ol' Tim is quickly finding himself boxed in by realities beyond his control. He is sitting on $1 billion (and growing) in unspent cash, statistics show state government spending to be skyrocketing and needing to be controlled, census reports are showing taxes here in the commonwealth to have climbed more rapidly in recent years than in most other states around the country, and now the reinvigorated Republican Party has rolled out a well-reasoned and attractive plan to fix the transportation problems up north without raising taxes.

Let's see how Tim gets out of this one ...