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

Friday, April 14, 2006

Don't Even Think About It

Windmills. The alternative source of energy (see more related information on that subject below) that environmentalists adore - as long as they are built on the moon and therefore are not disturbing the pristine landscape off the coast of Nantucket or that of an isolated mountain ridge up in Highland County - are in the news again:

Wind may be asset in Patrick County
A company is looking at possible sites to erect wind turbines to generate electricity.
Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times

Less than a year after Highland County supervisors approved a controversial proposal to build 400-foot wind turbines on ridges, a company has approached Patrick County with a similar project in mind.

The company, which county officials declined to name, has been looking at sites in Western Virginia for construction of about 20 turbines to generate electricity, said Michael Burnette, assistant county administrator.

The company contacted county officials about a year ago "just to let us know they are talking with private landowners about the possibility of leasing land and erecting some of these windmills," Burnette said. "We're one of a number of localities that they're looking at."

The company is looking at ridges around the county, but it has focused largely on Belcher Mountain, near Meadows of Dan, and Bull Mountain, near Patrick Springs. (link)

The company officials wish to remain anonymous. That tells you the state of the alternative fuel industry in this country.

So why do environmentalists not want those stately non-fossil fuel consuming wind turbines producing non-polluting energy in the mountains of Southwest Virginia? Well, there are just all kinds of reasons:

Opponents of the turbines said the project would pollute the area and damage local tourism, the county's rural character and values of nearby property.
Windmills pollute.

For the love of God.

There's only one way to win with these people. All environmentalists must die.

I'm an Arapaho! I'm an Eskimo!

I have a friend who got his son into Dartmouth - and was lavished with scholarships and all kinds of financial assistance - by declaring the youth to be Hispanic. My friend is about as Hispanic as my grandfather Heinrich Fuhrmann was. But my buddy's son does have some Hispanic blood flowing through his veins (actually it's South American blood but neither Dartmouth nor our government draws a distinction), and that was good enough for Dad to get a free ride for son - and for Dartmouth to score a point with the federal government when it comes to keeping affirmative action scoring.

You think this odd? Welcome to the USA 2006:
We Are All Rainbows Now
The Wall Street Journal

What criteria should we use to determine a person's race? Some Americans are trying to use DNA testing to win success or riches in the diversity sweepstakes. A New York Times article Wednesday opened with the story of adopted twins, born of white parents. Since DNA tests purport to show that the boys have a bit of Native American and African blood, their father hopes the newfound ethnicity will help them qualify for college financial aid. Is this the new "one-drop rule"?

Then there is the 98% "European" woman who applied to college as an Asian after a DNA test found a 2% "Asian" strain. And with all that casino money out there, it's no wonder that some Indian tribes face people demanding a share of it based on only DNA "evidence." (link may require subscription)

I guarantee you, if I were facing the horrendous costs of putting my son and daughter through college, I'd play the government's game too. I'd have a DNA test done and would hope and pray that some distant ancestor had involved himself or herself with someone of another race. I could profit from it.

Bizarre to be sure. But welcome to our race-obsessed United States of America.

This Week's Idiocy

Each week, it seems, we are treated to some kind of fresh collective lunacy from the left. Here's the latest: Donald Rumsfeld must resign for the good of ... fill in the blank. And the reasoning behind this refrain? Well, here's one attempt at explanation:
Replace Rumsfeld
By David Ignatius, The Washington Post

With luck, Iraq will make a fresh start soon with the formation of a new government. The Bush administration should do the same thing by replacing Donald Rumsfeld as defense secretary.

Rumsfeld should resign because the Bush administration is losing the war on the home front. (link)
Somehow Rumsfeld is failing as the White House press spokesman.

I reread the article. I don't think this was a belated April Fool's thing going on. Ignatius is serious. Of course he's also seriously half-witted. But we've learned that - each week - with every new round of goofy attacks on the President that these guys are becoming ever more unhinged.

I can't wait til next week.

But This Can't Be!

There has been a lot of talk of late about $3 a gallon gasoline and what the impact of higher oil prices will be on our civilization. Will it be the death of the SUV? Will it hurt the tourism industry? Will we turn - finally - to alternative fuels? Will we start driving more fuel-efficient cars? Will the lights go out forever? Is this the end of life as we know it?

Well, when it comes to alternative modes of transportation, the preliminary numbers are coming in. And they seem to be flying in the face of all the talk about impending social change:
Are hybrid sales running out of gas?
Smallest models are still hot, but some larger ones languish on the lot.
Brett Clanton, The Detroit News

NEW YORK -- Hot or not? When it comes to fuel-saving hybrid vehicles, you can argue either side.

But a top Honda official on Thursday gave naysayers a little more reason to doubt that hybrids are part of the long-term solution to kicking America's gas habit.

Honda may cut production of its Accord Hybrid after seeing weaker-than-expected sales in its first four months on the market, said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of Honda Motor Co.'s U.S. sales arm. (link)
To my thinking, weak hybrid sales have less to do with the public's lack of interest in saving the planet and saving on gas costs at the same time than on the fact that hybrid technology has been oversold as an alternative to straight gasoline-powered vehicles and to the fact that most people have come to realize that the marginal savings at the pump obtained by driving a hybrid car are made up for by the higher purchase cost.

The problem with alternative forms of transportation continues to be economic. When the industry makes an electric car (or a hydrogen-powered car, etc.) that is cheaper and more reliable to operate than gasoline-powered cars, the market will shift overnight. But that technology continues to elude the scientists and designers.

So it's back to the drawing board.

Where Unions Made a Difference

The debate rages throughout the land about what to do with the eleven million illegal aliens in this country and the thousands more who continue to sneak across the border each week. One seemingly unrelated factor that has allowed this problem to grow to colossal proportions is this:
UAW loses 11% of its members
Union drops below post-World War II low as automakers, major manufacturers continue to bleed blue-collar jobs
David Shepardson, Detroit News Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The United Auto Workers saw its membership decline 10.5 percent in 2005 to a post-World War II low of 557,099 members as Detroit automakers and major manufacturers continue to bleed blue-collar jobs.

By comparison, the UAW had about 1.5 million members at its peak in 1978. (link)
Outside of government employee unions, this continuing decline is typical for the organized labor movement in general in this country. And as union power has declined, the flood of workers to fill low wage jobs - including some that at one time were higher wage jobs (like those in construction) - has accelerated. And we now have eleven million illegal aliens in this country. With more arriving every day.

And the problem worsens.