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

Saturday, May 06, 2006

On Bland County's Wireless Program

You read yesterday about Bland County's groundbreaking initiative involving free wireless access for all its citizens. Well, I'm here to provide a report. The plan, according to county administrator Jonathan Sweet is to have the town of Bland "wired" first and then he intends to expand it into the far reaches of the mountainous county (good luck ...).

I live about three miles south of - and above - "downtown Bland." And I'm picking up Jonathan's wireless signal via my laptop wireless card. The signal strength is intermittent at this distance but it's rather remarkable that I can actually receive the signal from so far away, considering the fact that I was in a hotel room last week (I don't remember where I was staying; how pathetic is that?) where I was unable to pick up the hotel's wireless signal, it was so weak.

I'll probably not switch over from my kick-ass Sprint hi-speed DSL (1.5 megabits per second and it doesn't disrupt incoming or outbound faxes on the same line) when the free wireless service is made available outside the immediate downtown area but this is still kinda cool.

They Have No Room To Talk

The people of Martinsville and Henry County are struggling mightily to survive the plant closings and layoffs that have decimated the local economy. With each closing comes this bitter reality: their political leadership has been powerless to prevent it or to mitigate the resulting devastation. It now becomes clear why.

They are more concerned with such pressing matters as innocuous jokes displayed in a caption contest.

For the love of God.

Blogger's comments blasted
By Debbie Hall, Martinsville Bulletin Staff Writer

Many state and local officials don't see the humor in a state employee's comments in an online caption contest, and one legislator has called for the blogger's resignation.

"Shame on him," said State Senator Roscoe Reynolds, D-Ridgeway, of caption entries posted on a blog by Will Vehrs, a state Department of Business Assistance employee.

Del. Ward Armstrong, D-Collinsville, urges Gov. Tim Kaine "to call for Mr. Vehrs' resignation, effective immediately" in a letter dated May 4.

The site "pretty much speaks for itself," said Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. "The people who read that and believe it are not the ones we're going to get anyway."

Del. Danny Marshall, R-Danville, also did not see the humor in Vehrs' comments. "It's just absurd. If he's in economic development, he's in the wrong job," Marshall said. "The other thing that bothers me is, was this on our (taxpayers') time?"

If I may coin a phrase: What a joke.

And the joke's on you - the good citizens of Martinsville and Henry County. You're paying these politicians and bureaucrats (directly or indirectly) to waste time on a silly caption contest. I'd ask if they have nothing better to do but, based on results obtained, I already know the answer.

They have nothing better to do.

I encourage everyone to visit Will Vehrs' weblog and read the jokes he wrote. Then I'd like for you to review the results obtained by your elected officials here, here, here, and here.

Who has done your communities more harm?

There are people who should consider resigning in disgrace but it's not Will Vehrs. It's Reynolds and Armstrong and Heath and Marshall.

These lowlifes want to divert your attention away from their miserable job performance and toward Will Vehrs' jokes. How pathetic. How devious. How utterly wrong.

This Can't Be!

I thought Mark Warner prevented this kind of thing with HIS massive tax increase:
Radford to bump up tuition, fees
In-state undergraduates who live on campus will pay 12 percent -- or $800 -- more in the 2006-07 school year. Out-of-state students and all graduate students will pay 9.1 percent more.
By Amy L. Kovac, The Roanoke Times

RADFORD -- The Radford University Board of Visitors voted unanimously Friday to increase tuition, fees and room-and-board costs for in-state undergraduate students by 7.1 percent. (link)
How can this be? We need to drag Warner back here to answer a few questions.

Not More Alternative Energy!

Environmentalists up in Roanoke County (Virginia) are going to be boiling mad when they find out about this:
Wind farm company eyes Roanoke Valley
A Chicago company is looking into building a wind farm on Bent and Poor mountains.
John Cramer, The Roanoke Times

An energy company is looking into building wind turbines atop Bent and Poor mountains in Roanoke County.

Invenergy Wind LLC, based in Chicago, is conducting preliminary studies into whether a wind farm could generate up to 81 megawatts of electricity along the mountains' blustery ridges. (
Well, we'll just not stand for this. We have our "scenic vistas" to protect. We demand an alternative alternative energy source.

He Gets No Respect

Virginians in overwhelming numbers patiently listened to Governor Tim Kaine's explanation for his calling for a massive tax increase and said ... no.


The Governor and his entourage then hopped a plane to Detroit and met with Ford Motor Company executives. He pled for them to reconsider their decision to close the Norfolk assembly plant. They listened intently and said ... no.

From The Washington Times:

Ford set on closure of plant, Kaine says

RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine held out little hope following a meeting with Ford executives yesterday that the nation's No. 2 automaker would retain its Norfolk plant or put off its closing.

"They made it plain that they are not in the position to reconsider their decision," Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, said upon his return to Virginia from Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. (

Our Governor is getting no respect.

Go back to calling for another smoking ban, Tim. That always works.

What's Not Being Said?

There's a story here. And it's not yet come out:
Goss quits as CIA chief
By Joseph Curl and Bill Gertz, The Washington Times

CIA Director Porter J. Goss resigned abruptly yesterday, leaving a post he held for less than two years and becoming the latest high-level administration official to be ensnared in a White House shake-up.

Mr. Goss, widely unpopular among senior officials in the intelligence community and blamed for repeated leaks in recent months, called President Bush yesterday morning to offer his resignation. "I've accepted it," the president said. (link)
And if you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you ...

Like Father Like Son

Another Kennedy. Another car accident. Another police coverup.

At least no one was killed. This time. Not yet anyway.

From the New York Post:

By Geoff Earle and Ian Bishop, Post Correspondents

May 5, 2006 -- WASHINGTON - Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) slammed his Ford Mustang into a barricade just blocks from the Capitol early yesterday morning - and, despite a police official saying he staggered from his car and appeared drunk, wasn't given a sobriety test.

Kennedy, the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, later blamed the accident on an anti-nausea drug and a sleep medication. (link)

I'm going to try that line next time I get pulled over by the cops. It seems to have worked. Kennedy was not even given a breathalizer test. A supervisor ordered the officer on the scene to simply drive him home.

There's probably an explanation for that; one that I've not heard. The police supervisor (who's now been suspended) remembered what happened when:

· Ted Kennedy caused a young woman passenger in his car to drown when he drove off a bridge (and didn't tell anyone until the next day). He was never charged with manslaughter.

· William Kennedy Smith raped a young woman. After a lengthy trial, he walked away a free man.

The police supervisor probably heard that the Kennedy name was involved, assessed the situation, and said: WHY TRY?