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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

We Demand Funding For Mass Transit

I made mention the other day, in a piece denouncing the fact that poor people in economically depressed Southwest Virginia are forced to pay for Metro, the publically funded commuter system up in fabulously wealthy Northern Virginia, that the only mass transit system in all of Southwest Virginia involves U-Haul rentals to take displaced workers north to find a new job.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that not only are thousands of people calling on U-Haul to help them escape to more opportune environs - like Northern Virginia - they have to pay dearly for it.

Since more and more area residents will be taking advantage of the system as time goes by, and since the state is in the business of promoting mass transit to alleviate traffic congestion (the plan is working marvelously in Smyth County, by the way - ain't no traffic congestion there anymore), I call on Senator Phil Puckett to introduce legislation that will provide funding for Southwest Virginia's mass transit system. We want our U-Haul rentals subsidized.

There was something else that prompted my idea. I read this in the Wall Street Journal:
Meathead Economics

It takes hard work to drive anyone away from California's sunshine and scenic vistas, but politicians in Sacramento have been up to the task.

The latest Census Bureau data indicate that, in 2005, 239,416 more native-born Americans left the state than moved in. California is also on pace to lose domestic population (not counting immigrants) this year. The outmigration is such that the cost to rent a U-Haul trailer to move from Los Angeles to Boise, Idaho, is $2,090 -- or some eight times more than the cost of moving in the opposite direction.

What's gone wrong? A big part of the story is a tax and regulatory culture that treats the most productive businesses and workers as if they were ATM machines. The cost to businesses of complying with California's rules, regulations and paperwork is more than twice as high as in other Western states.

But the worst growth killer may well be California's tax system. The business tax rate of 8.8% is the highest in the West, and its steeply "progressive" personal income tax has an effective top marginal rate of 10.3%, or second highest in the nation. (
link requires subscription)
Sound familiar? High taxes are driving away employers.

But to keep to the point, our mass transit system here in Southwest Virginia deserves the same level of funding as does that of the well-to-do taxpayers up north.

Let's start the chant:

No U-Haul, no peace!
No U-Haul, no peace!
No U-Haul, ...

The System Is Broken

There are those in this country (including the Roanoke Times editorial page) who argue that a requirement that voters identify themselves with a valid picture ID when they show up at the polls is somehow racist and discriminatory, harkening back to the days of the infamous poll tax that was used to keep poor black folks from voting.

The real problem is with the alternative. Take Michigan for example:
Feds demand Mich. voter roll cleanup
Secretary of State Land is criticized for having more people registered than are eligible to vote.
Lisa M. Collins, The Detroit News

The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Monday it is monitoring Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land's office after determining that Michigan has more people registered to vote statewide than people of voting age. (link)
Michigan has more people registered to vote statewide than people of voting age. That certainly gives me confidence in the system. You?

In the 2000 presidential election, the Democrats were apoplectic over what they perceived to be rampant voter fraud in Florida. In 2004, they went nuts over perceived voting irregularities in Ohio. You'd think the Democrats would be the first to demand accountability and a fraud-proof system - starting with a requirement that people who show up to vote be able to prove they are who they say they are. Instead they argue in favor of just the opposite.

Now they have to explain Michigan.

What a mess.


Do you suppose the editors of the New York Times sometimes sit and giggle uncontrollably when they insert crap like this in the paper? I get the distinct feeling that someone there has a howling sense of humor.
Americans Are Cautiously Open to Gas Tax Rise, Poll Shows
By Louis Uchitelle and Megan Thee

Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to a higher federal gasoline tax, but a significant number would go along with an increase if it reduced global warming or made the United States less dependent on foreign oil, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. (link)
Americans would be willing to pay 2 cents a gallon to save the planet. I'm shocked.

My guess is, if the genius who devised this poll asked the same people if they would be willing to pay a few bucks more in gas tax if it cured cancer, they'd reply in the affirmative as well. Or if it got rid of herpes. Or ended poverty. Or brought the dead back to life. Or made Michael Moore go away forever.

And I wouldn't be surprised if some politician - Hillary! - tried to use the threat of global warming as an excuse for raising taxes. They've used about every other scare tactic (come on over to Virginia where our highways are crumbling, commuters in the DC area are dying from the long traffic backups, where the state treasury is depleted of funds, and where we have a crisis on a scale that Moses would run in fear from).

Would you be willing to pay 2 cents to save the planet from certain destruction? Good grief.

Don't Trust The Global Warming Fanatics

Michael Fumento thrashes the global warming crowd - again. This time in this morning's New York Post:

Last September, after Hurricane Katrina, activists in lab coats saw a grand opportunity to tie the exceptionally violent hurricane season to global warming. A study in Science declared, "A large increase was seen in the number and proportion of hurricanes reaching categories 4 and 5."

But the researchers simply cut off their data at 1970, though public statistics go back to 1850. Using the full data set would have reversed the conclusion. Why did the editors and peer-reviewers at both JAMA [Journal of the American Medical Association] and Science not insist on use of the full data set? Because slicing off inconvenient data is a time-honored tool of advocacy science.

Editors can even ignore papers in their own publication if it serves their purpose. A report in a recent (Feb. 17) issue of Science uses a computer model to show that glaciers along the coast of Greenland are rapidly melting and leading to rapid sea level rise; the study (naturally) blames global warming. Yet, just three months earlier, Science published a study based on actual data that showed increasing snowfall in Greenland was leading to greater ice accumulations than previously measured, slowing Greenland's contribution to sea-level rise.

When there's a political cause, such oversights come easy. (link)

So what is to be made of all this global warming talk? We'll never know. The "scientists" we've relied on for the research and analysis have proven themselves to be more untrustworthy than the politicians with whom they conspire.