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

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Another Southside Company Closing Its Doors

200 more people thrown out of work:
O'Sullivan plant to close
Move will cost South Boston about 200 jobs; production ends in Aug.
By Jamie C. Ruff, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

SOUTH BOSTON -- O'Sullivan Industries, a manufacturer of ready-to-assemble furniture, is closing its South Boston plant.

The move will cost this locality 200 jobs, a local economic development official said.

Production is expected to cease at the end of August, and finished goods will be shipped from the plant until the end of September, said Mike Eades, executive director of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority. (link)
We can at least, once again, expect the unemployment rate to improve ...

More Saving-The-Planet Idiocy

I mentioned in passing yesterday that there are people wandering the streets who deem Big Oil to be earth's most sinister evil so they lash out by dumping french fry oil in their gas tanks and declaring themselves to be shackle-free and environment-friendly.

Fine. They're generally harmless so why bother with them.

But they just can't leave it there. They feel the need to take it to the next level and make a point directed at the rest of us:
Grease Guzzlers
These Folks Fuel Their Diesel Cars With Cooking Oil. Slick, Huh?
By Allan Lengel, Washington Post Staff Writer

In these days of eye-popping gas prices, Mike Leahy gets fuel for his Volkswagen Beetle at the Barking Dog, a popular Bethesda pub. Shane Sellers fuels up at a Chinese restaurant in Frederick. And Ben Tonken heads to a Tex-Mex eatery in the District.

"There's a bit of a smell when you get out," said Leahy, a D.C. lawyer. "A slight french fry smell. I kind of like it; it's kind of sweet. It smells better than diesel."

Welcome to the world of greasel -- the shorthand some use for grease and diesel. Leahy and the others are among a tiny but growing band of environmentalists and thrifty consumers who are turning to restaurants for free, used vegetable oil to fuel their diesel-engine cars.

Sure, saving the world would be nice. But these folks don't really expect to. Most seem to be getting their hands greasy more to prove a point: There are alternatives to fossil fuels, and vegetable oil, according to studies, burns cleaner than diesel fuel. What's more, it can save money. (

To prove a point ...

Why then aren't we all driving around on canola oil? Because there is supply enough for about 38 people nationwide. It isn't an alternative. It's playing. It takes us nowhere.

And They Complain About Weblogs

I read not long ago about the blog conference held up in Charlottesville at which a guest speaker from the mainstream press proceeded to censure the weblog community for, among other things, its lack of discipline and expertise when it comes to fact-checking and accuracy. I don't remember his name but there is this residual vision of a pot talking to a kettle ...
USA Today Takes Back Some of NSA Phone-Record Report
By Frank Ahrens and Howard Kurtz, Washington Post Staff Writers

USA Today has acknowledged that it cannot prove key elements of a blockbuster May 11 story in which it reported that several telecommunications companies were handing over customer phone records to the National Security Agency.

The May article named AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Corp. and BellSouth Corp. as cooperating with the NSA in compiling an unprecedented database of domestic phone records. Though the NSA was not listening to calls, the spy agency was scouring the records to search for ties to terrorism, the paper said.

Yesterday, in a lengthy article and accompanying "note to our readers," the nation's largest-circulation newspaper said it could not confirm that BellSouth or Verizon contracted with the NSA, which is charged with intercepting and analyzing foreign communications to look for possible threats to U.S. national security. (

Take note. This wasn't just a story that USA Today got wrong. This was a front page, above-the-fold, multi-column article (with accompanying bold, screaming headline) that was a (near) complete fabrication. And it was picked up by every other media outlet on the planet and was regurgitated as fact by all.

All got the story completely wrong.

Weblogs aren't that bad on their worst day.

Where'd All That Love Go?

It all began with a desire to be more inclusive. To open their arms to the downtrodden (i.e. homosexuals) and embrace them. As an act of friendship and openness, to even invite a gay clergyman to join the ranks of the church's leadership. To love and be loved.

And denunciations, venom, nasty name-calling, and far-flung accusations have been flying ever since:
Virginia Episcopal bishop slams Nigerian appointment
By Julia Duin, The Washington Times

The election of a Virginia clergyman to lead Anglican Nigerian immigrants in the U.S. is being criticized by the Episcopal bishop of Virginia and the archbishop of Canterbury as "an affront" and "neither timely nor constructive."

Virginia Bishop Peter J. Lee called the election "an affront" to the autonomy of his diocese over which, according to Episcopal policy, he has complete rule. (
It appears to be acceptable for one to be an Episcopal clergyman and to be gay but try to lead Anglican Nigerian immigrants and be an Episcopal clergyman at the same time and run the risk of having Bishop Lee kick your ass.

Feel the love.

Hippies Found!

Ever wonder where all the hippies went? Yes, a lot of them now show up irregularly at Universalist Unitarian "worship" gatherings. But the rest?

They can be found this weekend defiling the pristine forests of Colorado:
34 Years of Hippie Camps, Now in Tinder-Dry Woods
By Kirk Johnson, The New York Times

HAHNS PEAK, Colo., June 30 — As many as 8,000 hippie-tinged campers arrived here this week in Routt National Forest for the annual Rainbow Family gathering.

The event, which began in 1972, has become a national pilgrimage of the fringe, the flower empowered and the spiritually engaged.

They expect their numbers to double through the holiday weekend. (
I'm not sure what that line about hippies being "spiritually engaged" is all about unless it means they can be found often muttering to the imaginary being sitting next to them. My experience with hippies is that they are generally far from planetarily engaged. Harmless, but totally disengaged from this world we know and love.

And that's probably just as well for the rest of us.

Stop The War! ... Until Warner Gets Caught Up

Senator John Warner can't decide if Congress should involve itself in the war on terrorism. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the power President Bush was wielding with regard to the Islamist terrorists being held at Guantanamo had not been granted by the legislative body of our government and that laws would have to be passed in order for military tribunals to be legal.

How about we put the war on hold until you decide, John?

The news:
Warner Is Uncertain on Legislation for Tribunals
By Kate Zernike, The New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 30 — A leading Senate Republican said Friday that he was not sure that Congress should pass legislation to create new military tribunals for terror suspects, a stance that raised doubts about prospects for a White House plan to establish an alternative to the commissions struck down this week by the Supreme Court.

The senator, John W. Warner of Virginia, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he had not yet decided what course Congress should take. But Mr. Warner, who will preside over hearings on the issue in July, said he was concerned that new tribunals, even if authorized by Congress, might not withstand judicial scrutiny. (link)
On that second point, Senator Warner is right. With Justice Anthony Kennedy on the bench, the court could reverse its own ruling and go off on another bizarre tangent.

But while Warner ponders, a war is being fought. Small matter, I know. But a matter he needs to confront - and quickly - just the same.