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

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Now Are You Satisfied?

For all those people (you know who you are) who consider cell towers to be monstrous eyesores and who fight mightily to block their construction, this should make you feel better:
Missing the Tower for the Trees
Cellular Firms Want Strong Signals but Not
By Arshad Mohammed, Washington Post Staff Writer

It's tough to spot, but there is a pine tree in Great Falls Park that's a little taller and fatter than most of the others in the dense forest.

The tree -- with a steel trunk, rubber bark and plastic needles -- is actually a cellphone tower in disguise, bolted to a concrete base and surrounded by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. (
Check out the accompanying photo of the "tree." It looks kinda goofy but at least it ought to satisfy the whining nimbys* out there.

* Not In My Backyard.

Ah, Kids With Time On Their Hands

You can tell school must be out for the summer. The kids from Virginia Tech are letting air out of tires, dangling from bridges, and making a spectacle of themselves for otherwise bored workers at area power plants.

Oh, and they're saving the planet:

Protesters gather at power plant
Kathy Still, Bristol Herald-Courier Staff Writer

Nearly 50 protesters blocked the only access road to an aging coal-fired power plant in Russell County Monday morning and demanded its shutdown.Young men and women from Earth First! and Rising Tide North America used the demonstration at the Appalachian Power Co. plant to call for a nationwide stop to strip mining and a need for cleaner energy sources. They also demanded an acknowledgement of global warming.

One protester tied a chain to a bridge, then suspended himself over the Clinch River. Two others, including a Dickenson County resident, chained themselves to a coal truck. Others chanted, held signs, sang and formed a human chain.

The plant continued operating during the four-hour, non-violent protest. (

A reliable source reports the singing to have been atrocious by the way.

Expect more of this kind of social activism as the summer progresses. Rumor has it that the students are also upset about deforestation and are going to boycott Scott, Charmin, Kleenex, and other toilet tissue manufacturers ...

UMW Throws Support To Boucher & Webb

The United Mine Workers union is a shell of its former self. Over the last several decades, its membership has dwindled to, by one estimate, 70,000 (from a peak of 400,000 in the 30's). The decline has been precipitate here in Virginia as well. Along with its march toward extinction, there has been an inexplicable tendency for the union leadership to keep their rickety cart hitched to the Democratic party's nag. The latest:
Mine workers' union endorses Webb, Boucher
Kathy Still, Bristol Herald-Courier Staff Writer

United Mine Workers of America’s Virginia political action committee on Monday endorsed the candidacies of U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-9th, and Democratic U.S Senate candidate Jim Webb.

The endorsements came as no surprise because the union traditionally supports Democrats. The elections will be held Nov. 7. (
I didn't just fall off the turnip truck so this isn't startling news. It just seems odd that the UMW would continue on a course that has proven to be disastrous to its own membership. Perhaps a new outlook toward the mining industry - and those who actively support it - is in order.

Hat tip to Brian Patton.

Much Ado About ...

The Plamegate leaker is finally revealed by the man who started it all:

By Robert Novak, The New York Post

I learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in "Who's Who in America." (
After millions spent on investigations ...

There Has To Be a Better Approach

You have to give our esteemed Congressman credit for one thing. He knows how to take care of his constituents when they get thrown out of work. The latest:
Laid-off Bristol Compressors workers eligible for federal aid
Kingsport Times-News Staff report

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher announced Monday that workers laid off from Bristol Compressors in Bristol, Va., will be eligible to receive federal Trade Readjustment Assistance, commonly known as "TRA," from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nearly 300 employees recently lost their jobs at Bristol Compressors. The benefits will assist the workers with job retraining and health care premium payments. (
Congressman Boucher is to be applauded for his efforts in helping these displaced workers. Now if we could get him to do something about our employers going out of business in the first place, we should be prepared to all give him a big kiss.

Don't Give Up On Southwest Virginia

For those of you who attended the “Creating A New Economy in Southwest Virginia” conference in Abingdon recently and were told that we can no longer compete head-to-head in the global manufacturing arena (we therefore have to turn to making pots and weaving baskets), you might want to consider this:
Chinese Company Intends to Build MG’s in Oklahoma
By Nick Bunkley, The New York Times

Nanjing Automobile Group ... plans to resurrect the fabled MG marque in a tricontinental demonstration of how truly global the automotive industry has become.

Nanjing, which purchased the assets of the bankrupt MG Rover Group last year, aims to be the first Chinese carmaker to open a factory in the United States. The company has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday in Oklahoma to announce plans to build a newly designed MG TF Coupe there, starting in 2008. It said the coupe would compete with cars like the Mazda Miata, which sells for $20,000 to $25,000. (

Now what was that argument again about cheap Chinese labor?

Or cheap Japanese labor for that matter.

So Where DO We Hide The Troops?

Congressman John Murtha (D-Tatooine) famously said recently that we should redeploy our troops to the remote island of Okinawa so as to avoid contact with terrorists. It now seems he was on to something. There sure aren't many other places on the planet we can hide them:
Series of Bombs Explode on 7 Trains in India, Killing Scores
By Saritha Rai and Somini Sengupta, The New York Times

MUMBAI, India, July 11 — A string of powerful bombs ripped through a vital spine of Mumbai’s commuter train system during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, killing nearly 200 people, bringing India’s financial capital to a standstill and resurrecting memories of bloodbaths past.

The Indian police placed the death toll at 190, with the number of wounded exceeding 600, according to the Press Trust of India. The casualties are likely to climb, for if nothing else, it was clear even in the chaotic aftermath of the blasts that the attacks were as cold-blooded as they were well-coordinated, intended to inflict maximum carnage. (
Folks, this is a global problem. We can fight these people where they are or we can allow them to organize and inflict casualties here - again. I know what I prefer.