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

Friday, August 11, 2006

On Disciplined Economic Planning

Looks like Scott County is going to join the crowded field of contestants chasing those elusive tourism dollars:
Hood: 'County Needs to Hire Tourism Director'
Lisa Watson McCarty, Publisher, Scott County Virginia Star

In ... business [before the Scott County Board of Supervisors], after a presentation by Joe Fuller of the Scott County Tourism Committee, Sixth District Supervisor Chad Hood suggested the board needed to hire a full-time tourism director. (
“As far as economic development in Scott County, if handled correctly tourism would be the fastest growing type of economic development,” said District 3 Supervisor Danny Parks. “Every day you can go by Bush Mill and there [sic] people taking pictures with an out-of-state car parked there.”
Call that the Economic Impact Analysis Using the Simple "Drive By and Look At The License Plates" Multiplier.

Your tax dollars soon to be at work ...

The News: News Expected Someday

What's wrong with this story in this morning's Roanoke Times:

Martinsville waits for its bill
The city is obligated to pay back state money after the closure of defense contractor MZM, but not the full $500,000 amount.
By Laurence Hammack

The city of Martinsville will not know until next year whether it will have to pay back more than $100,000 in economic development incentives that went to a scandal-ridden military intelligence center that closed last month. (
If I were editor, I might make the following request:

Since we already know this, come back with the story when the city of Martinsville is actually told what its obligation is.

The reason this news-of-the-future article made it into the paper is because Congressman Virgil Goode's reputation is tied to it. Makes for goode reading and is goode reason to follow the saga as it plays out but ...


And I'm Eager To Cure Cancer ...

President Remains Eager to Cut Entitlement Spending
By Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post Staff Writer
After five years of exploding budget deficits and out-of-control entitlement spending, I'm not sure the word "eager" is appropriate anymore ...

Pull The Troops Out

Looks like we'd better get our troops out of England. There are terrorists there:



By Lukas I. Alpert, The New York Post

August 11, 2006 -- British authorities yesterday smashed a hideous terror plot that within days would have used carry-on liquid explosives hidden in bottles to simultaneously blow up 10 planes flying to the United States - in an attack that could have been bigger than 9/11.

Police arrested 24 alleged co-conspirators - believed to be the "main players" behind the frightening scheme - following a lengthy investigation, and were still searching for other participants today. (
For those of you who have decided to wish all this away, where are you going to hide? Besides Okinawa ...

Cheney Hurts Their Feelings

The New York Times has its undies abunch, or so the editorial staff would have you believe, over comments made yesterday linking the foiled terror plot in Europe to ... terrorism:
The London Plot

It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain. We never get used to this. It never feels like business as usual.

On Wednesday, when the administration already knew that British agents were rounding up suspects in what they believed was a plot to blow up planes en route to the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney had a telephone interview with reporters to discuss the defeat of Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in a Democratic primary. ... its main point was clear: In rejecting [Senator Joe] Lieberman, who supported the war in Iraq, the Democrats were encouraging “the Al Qaeda types.” Within the Democratic ranks, the vice president added, “there’s a significant body of opinion that wants to go back — I guess the way I would describe it is sort of the pre-9/11 mind-set, in terms of how we deal with the world we live in.” (
My word. How dare the vice president speak the truth in critical times like these.

You Go, Joe

The Democratic party needs a few level heads. Joe Lieberman (is fighting to keep his and ...) is still out trying to talk sense into an otherwise crazed bunch of frightened children:
Lieberman, on the Offensive, Links Terror Threat and Iraq
By Patrick Healy and Jennifer Medina, The New York Times

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut seized on the reports of a terror plot yesterday to attack Ned Lamont, his Democratic opponent for re-election, saying that Mr. Lamont’s goal of withdrawing American troops from Iraq by a fixed date would constitute a “victory” for extremists.

“If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England,” Mr. Lieberman said at a campaign event in Waterbury, Conn. “It will strengthen them, and they will strike again.” (
There are those out there who advocate that we vacate Iraq so that we can fight the war on terror. Lieberman knows full well that the bad guys have been there all along. And the battle for Iraq needs to be won or the War on Terror is most assuredly lost.

The Difference Between Them And Us

Here's a revealing story about our president. As you read it, substitute the image of any leading Democrat for that depicted and decide if it is believable:

This is from a man named Bruce Vincent from Montana who received an award from the President. He writes:

I've written the following narrative to chronicle the day of the award ceremony in DC. I'm still working on a press release but the White House press corps has yet to provide a photo to go with it. When the photo comes I'll ship it out. When you get done reading this you'll understand the dilemma I face in telling this story beyond my circle of close friends.

Stepping into the Oval Office, each of us was introduced to the President and Mrs. Bush. We shook hands and participated in small talk. When the President was told that we were from Libby, Montana, I reminded him that Marc Racicot is our native son and the President offered his warm thoughts about Governor Racicot. I have to tell you, I was blown away by two things upon entering the office.

First, the Oval Office sense of 'place' is unreal. The President later shared a story of Russian President Putin entering the room prepared to tackle the President in a tough negotiation and upon entering the atheist muttered his first words to the President and they were "Oh, my God."

I concurred. I could feel the history in my bones. Second, the man that inhabits the office engaged me with a firm handshake and a look that can only be described as penetrating. Warm, alive, fully engaged, disarmingly penetrating. I was admittedly concerned about meeting the man. I think all of us have an inner hope that the most powerful man in our country is worthy of the responsibility and authority that we bestow upon them through our vote.

I admit that part of me was afraid that I would be let down by the moment - that the person and the place could not meet the lofty expectations of my fantasy world. This says nothing about my esteem for President Bush but just my practical realization that reality may not match my 'dream.'

Once inside the office, President Bush got right down to business and, standing in front of his desk, handed out the awards one at a time while posing for photos with the winners and Mrs. Bush. With the mission accomplished, the President and Mrs. Bush relaxed and initiated a lengthy, informal conversation about a number of things with our entire small group. He and the First Lady talked about such things as the rug in the office. It is traditionally designed by the First Lady to make a statement about the President, and Mrs. Bush chose a brilliant yellow sunburst pattern to reflect 'hope.'

President Bush talked about the absolute need to believe that with hard work and faith in God there is every reason to start each day in the Oval Office with hope. He and the First Lady were asked about the impact of the Presidency on their marriage and, with an arm casually wrapped around Laura, he said that he thought the place may be hard on weak marriages but that it had the ability to make strong marriages even stronger and that he was blessed with a strong one.

After about 30 or 35 minutes, it was time to go. By then we were all relaxed and I felt as if I had just had an excellent visit with a friend. The President and First Lady made one more pass down the line of awardees, shaking hands and offering congratulations. When the President shook my hand I said, "thank you Mr. President and God bless you and your family." He was already in motion to the next person in line, but he stopped abruptly turned fully back to me, gave me a piercing look, renewed the vigor of his handshake and said, "Thank you - and God bless you and yours as well."

On our way out of the office we were to leave by the glass doors on the west side of the office. I was the last person in the exit line. As I shook his hand one final time, President Bush said, "I'll be sure to tell Marc hello and give him your regards."

I then did something that surprised even me. I said to him, "Mr. President, I know you are a busy man and your time is precious. I also know you to be a man of strong faith and have a favor to ask you."

As he shook my hand he looked me in the eye and said, "Just name it." I told him that my step-Mom was at that moment in a hospital in Kalispell, Montana, having a tumor removed from her skull and it would mean a great deal to me if he would consider adding her to his prayers that day. He grabbed me by the arm and took me back toward his desk as he said, "So that's it. I could tell that something is weighing heavy on your heart today. I could see it in your eyes. This explains it."

From the top drawer of his desk he retrieved a pen and a note card with his seal on it and asked, "How do you spell her name?" He then jotted a note to her while discussing the importance of family and the strength of prayer. When he handed me the card, he asked about the surgery and the prognosis. I told him we were hoping that it is not a recurrence of an earlier cancer and that if it is they can get it all with this surgery.

He said, "If it's okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now. Would you pray with me?" I told him yes and he turned to the staff that remained in the office and hand motioned the folks to step back or leave. He said, "Bruce and I would like some private time for a prayer." As they left he turned back to me and took my hands in his. I was prepared to do a traditional prayer stance - standing with each other with heads bowed. Instead, he reached for my head with his right hand and pulling gently forward, he placed my head on his shoulder. With his left arm on my mid back, he pulled me to him in a prayerful embrace.

He started to pray softly. I started to cry. He continued his prayer for Loretta and for God's perfect will to be done. I cried some more. My body shook a bit as I cried and he just held tighter. He closed by asking God's blessing on Loretta and the family during the coming months. I stepped away from our embrace, wiped my eyes, swiped at the tears I'd left on his shoulder, and looked into the eyes of our president. I thanked him as best I could and told him that me and my family would continue praying for he and his.

As I write this account down and reflect upon what it means, I have to tell you that all I really know is that his simple act left me humbled and believing. I so hoped that the man I thought him to be was the man that he is. I know that our nation needs a man such as this in the Oval Office. George W. Bush is the real deal. I've read Internet stories about the President praying with troops in hospitals and other such uplifting accounts. Each time I read them I hope them to be true and not an Internet perpetuated myth. This one, I know to be true. I was there. He is real. He has a pile of incredible stuff on his plate each day - and yet he is tuned in so well to the here and now that he 'sensed' something heavy on my heart. He took time out of his life to care, to share, and to seek God's blessing for my family in a simple man-to-man, father-to-father, son-to-son, husband-to-husband, Christian-to-Christian prayerful embrace. He's not what I had hoped he would be. He is, in fact, so very, very much more.

"He is, in fact, so very, very much more." History foretold.

The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time

If you've never experienced the phenomenon, go here: