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

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Planet Is Getting Warmer ... Or Not

If you ignore the data and the methodology, then, a study reveals, it can be averred with reasonable certainty that the globe has been warming for 2000 years.

Good grief:
Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate
By Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 22 — A controversial paper asserting that recent warming in the Northern Hemisphere was probably unrivaled for 1,000 years was endorsed today, with a few reservations, by a panel convened by the nation's pre-eminent scientific body.

The panel said that a statistical method used in the 1999 study was not the best and that some uncertainties in the work "have been underestimated," and it particularly challenged the authors' conclusion that the decade of the 1990's was probably the warmest in a millennium.

But in a 155-page report, the 12-member panel convened by the National Academies said "an array of evidence" supported the main thrust of the paper. Disputes over details, it said, reflected the normal intellectual clash that takes place as science tests new approaches to old questions. (

I especially like that part about "disputes over details" between the "scientists" who conducted the survey and those scientists who believe the "details" matter.

This isn't a scientific study. It's a guess.

Another Day, Another Trail

You know, if we could create jobs in Southwest Virginia like we create useless hiking trails, we'd be realizing economic prosperity around here the likes of which these parts have never known. But no.

Now the folks over in Wise County are clamoring for Congressman Boucher's snake oil medicine:
Boucher negotiates with NS on local trail
Ida Holyfield, Editor, The Coalfield Progress

APPALACHIA — While a host of topics were discussed during Saturday’s two-hour “Town Meeting” with Ninth District Rep. Rick Boucher, the announcement that he plans to meet with Norfolk Southern railroad this week about a local trails project was the highlight for tourism advocates at the event.

For several years, Jack McClanahan, of Big Stone Gap, has been lobbying for a “Rails to Trails” project on the track bed that goes from Big Stone Gap to Appalachia through Bee Rock Tunnel.

“I think the NS line from Norton to Big Stone Gap would be a great “Rails to Trails” beginning,” Boucher said. “From that, we could look at a possible link to the Guest River Trail. It will be a challenge, but where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he noted. (

In addition to the Wise County trail linking eventually to the Guest River Trail, Boucher made note of the fact that "efforts are under way to link the Virginia Creeper Trail to the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail, then over to the New River and down into North Carolina at Todd and West Jefferson, and over to Boone. Then, the effort will start building to the west ..."

The article doesn't give a reason for all this. Collective hysteria is suspected.

And While We're On The Subject

At the same time we savage our pristine forestland here in Southwest Virginia, constructing willy nilly all those hiking trails and bike paths, the intention of which is to lure tourists to the area - some day, the National Forest Service is closing facilities for lack of interest.

The Wytheville Enterprise reported yesterday (no online version as yet) the following:
Dark Horse Hollow Closed
By Justin Harmon, Wytheville Enterprise Staff

A lack of use forced the National Forest Service to axe some of the developed areas in Jefferson National Forest, including Dark Horse Hollow in Wythe County, according to a spokeswoman for the agency.
JoBeth Brown, public affairs officer for George Washington and Jefferson National Forests said Dark Horse Hollow failed for several reasons, one of which was its meager user count.

So. While every politician and much of the populace in Southwest Virginia has bought into the idea that trails and bike paths will bring about our economic salvation, the rest of the planet has not. In other words, the tourists are not flocking to the area, as certain 9th district congressmen would have you believe.

Creating conditions such that our employers can prosper and hire more workers is the key to our success. Not all the many forest paths we're building that are leading us ... into oblivion.

A Minimum Wage Reality

I had forgotten until I read several of Virginia's whining-left blogs that the minimum wage is still an issue - in their circles. To the rest of America, it became a non-issue long ago, for this reason:

Labor Lost
The Wall Street Journal

Only a tiny fraction of Americans -- perhaps 3%-5% -- get paid the current minimum of $5.15 an hour.

... the vast majority of minimum-wage earners are not, in fact, poor. Of an estimated 87% who are not, many live in households where two or more people work and where combined incomes may be two or three times the poverty level. Then there are young people and teenagers, who are more likely to earn the minimum wage than any other group. A significant number of them have high-income parents. [my emphasis] (
It always feels good when one can take a brief moment to decry the plight of the poor. Assuages the feelings of guilt, I hear. Daryl Hannah sitting in a tree kinda thing.

In reality minimum wage laws serve no other purpose.

Not that seeing Hannah's skinny ass being dragged down from that tree wasn't a worthwhile moment.

Stop! There'll Be No Honesty Here!

A Maryland official said what most of us know to be true (and is statistically irrefutable) and got the boot for it:
Ehrlich slammed for firing official
By Jon Ward and Tarron Lively, The Washington Times

Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is receiving criticism nationally and locally for his decision last week to fire a Metro Board member who said in a public forum that he thinks homosexuals are "persons of sexual deviancy."

"Mr. Ehrlich is using his power as governor to declare that a tenet of the Catholic faith is a form of bigotry. (
A lot of people don't want to deal with it but there is no denying the fact that homosexual behavior is deviant from the norm. The norm being the behavior of the other 98% of the planet.

Can't be saying such things though. Not in this USA.

All Hope Is Lost

I remember entering a cave once in my spelunking youth that was chock full of swarming mosquitoes. As much as I wanted to plow deeper into the cave, I realized my best bet was to turn and run.

I'm beginning to get the same feeling when I read this kind of thing:
Free ride for illegals on way to Manassas
By Nathan Bomey, The Washington Times

Local authorities say they can't stop a van full of illegal aliens that's on its way from Ohio to Manassas, Va., because they don't have the authority to detain them.

"We run into that situation daily," Manassas police Sgt. Tim Neumann said. "There's so many of them out there."

A sheriff's deputy in Belmont County, Ohio, detained the aliens for about two hours early Tuesday after stopping the van on Interstate 470 for a traffic violation.

A passenger in the van told deputies that they were illegal aliens and heading to Manassas to find work.

The deputies released the group after federal immigration authorities said via telephone they could not interview the aliens. (
There are too many. Run for your lives.

Senate Rejects Dems' Surrender Plea

John Kerry wants to do for the USA what he did to his Swiftboat crew in Vietnam - cut and run. The United States Senate, however, wants no part of it:
Senate Rejects Calls to Begin Iraq Pullback
By Kate Zernike, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 22 — The Senate on Thursday roundly rejected two Democratic proposals to begin pulling troops out of Iraq, as Republicans and Democrats staked out starkly different positions heading into Congressional elections this fall.

The more far-reaching measure, calling for all United States combat troops to be withdrawn within a year, failed 86 to 13, with no Republican supporters.

The Democrats' first amendment, sponsored by Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, would have required all combat troops be pulled out by July 2007. The senators argued that only a firm timetable would prod the Iraqis to take control of their own country.

"All of us support the troops," said Mr. Kerry ..." (
Leaving the war half finished, as he did when he "redeployed" from Vietnam after just four months, is not supporting the troops. It's surrender.