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

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Megahertz Rage

If the uncontrollable anger directed towards others while driving a car down the highway is called road rage, what do you call the situation where lightning has knocked out your hi-speed DSL and you're operating on dial-up?

Whatever it is, I'm experiencing it right now ...

Just Wondering ...

How is it that people who reject out of hand the whole notion of a deity put such blind faith in something called a stem cell?

How About This For A Cogent Argument

When I write about the loss of jobs and Southwest Virginia's sorry forecast for the future, I usually try to include a lecture on the benefits gained from having a vibrant economy and the changes we need to adopt if we are going to save our existing employers and attract new ones.

The folks at the Charleston (WV) Gazette don't bother with any of that. They just plead:

Save jobs

Surely there is something the world wants that could be stamped out at the Union Stamping & Assembly plant in South Charleston. How about Humvee armor or other military gear getting blown up in Iraq? How about rescue chambers for coal mines, or reinforcements for roads and bridges?

That’s the position of Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper. We agree. (
Hard to argue with that kind of reasoning ...

A Wise Investment

I often criticize Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) for wasting his time - and our hard-earned money - on meaningless (but costly) boondoggles, mostly relating to our someday burgeoning tourism industry. But there is one worthwhile endeavor for which he - and all our local officials - are to be commended:
Coalfields Expressway could be built within a decade

ABINGDON – The oft-delayed and much anticipated Coalfields Expressway could be built within a decade, a state transportation official predicted Wednesday.

First approved five years ago, the $2.3 billion four-lane, 51-mile-long highway would link Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties and connect to West Virginia’s own Coalfields Expressway, which then would link the region to Interstate 77. (
This was one of those projects that, according to various newspaper editorial scaremongers, was going to be flushed if the state legislature didn't accede to our Governor's budget demands. Funny how that notion disappeared once the Governor's (and the editorialists') scheme was shot down.

To the point, if I want to drive from Bland, Virginia WNW to Logan, West Virginia as I occasionally have need to do (70 miles as the crow flies), I have to drive north to Charleston and south to Logan. 176 miles. Because of a small geological impediment known as a mountain range.

In addition, the most economical way to transport coal out of Mingo County, WV east is by truck (whether you rail enthusiasts want to accept it or not) so the Coalfields Expressway will be a real boon to the economy of Southwest Virginia.

And if we can get a few of you folks over in Dickenson County to dress up like hillbillies and pluck your banjos along the expressway, Congressman Boucher can declare it to be a tourist attraction as well. A true win-win.

Just had to get that in ....

You Anti-Smoking Nazis Will Be Happy

Good news ... if you take pleasure in controlling the lives of others:
Casino Windsor jobs go up in smoke
Ontario's ban on lighting up in businesses part of reason casino is forced to cut more than 300 staff.
Joel J. Smith, The Detroit News

Casino Windsor will lay off 297 union workers and terminate 32 salaried employees, casino officials said Wednesday, citing declining revenues caused by Ontario's new smoking ban, an unfavorable exchange rate, high gas prices and other factors.

The cost-cutting measures come less than two months after the Ontario provincial government imposed a smoking ban on virtually all businesses, including casinos and bingo parlors. (
Well, they're unemployed but at least they won't come down with emphysema when they get old. They will thank you fifty years from now.

And Most Of Them Are Awful

A stat:
Survey of the Blogosphere Finds 12 Million Voices
By Felicia R. Lee, The New York Times

Bloggers are a mostly young, racially diverse group of people who have never been published anywhere else and who most often use cyberspace to talk about their personal lives, according to a report on blogging released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The report also said that 8 percent of Internet users, or about 12 million American adults, keep a blog, and that 39 percent of Internet users, or about 57 million American adults, read blogs. (
12 million voices. If that conjures up the word "noise," welcome to the blogosphere.

So many people talking; so little said.

Wal-Mart Wins One

You didn't need a law degree to predict this:
Judge Gives Wal-Mart Reprieve on Benefits
By Reed Abelson and Michael Barbaro, The New York Times

In a setback to state efforts to force employers to provide more generous health benefits, a federal judge yesterday struck down a Maryland law that was aimed at the nation’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores.

The judge ruled that the federal law governing employer-provided health benefits takes precedence over the state law, which would have required companies with 10,000 or more workers to spend at least 8 percent of their payrolls on health insurance, or pay the difference into a state Medicaid fund.

Only Wal-Mart, which has been thrust into the center of the national debate over who should pay for health care, would have been affected by the law. (
The soviet planners in the Maryland legislature, otherwise known as the Democratic majority, were told that this law singling out Wal-Mart for punishment wasn't going to pass Constitutional muster. They ignored expert legal advice and instead wasted everyone's time.

The people of Maryland must be very proud ...