Quote

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

Saturday, January 06, 2007

It Still Comes Down To Economics

Unless the Democrats ban gasoline-powered automobiles (don't laugh), hybrids and electric cars are just not going to catch on. At least not until the price is driven down. And drive it down we must.

Despite all the waving of flags and tooting of horns about Toyota cleaning American car companies' clocks with its environmentally friendly auto technology, and in spite of all the predictions, consumers are thus far less than whelmed:
Gauging The Demand
Before committing to alternative-fuel vehicles, automakers are . . .
By Sholnn Freeman, Washington Post Staff Writer


With great hoopla, automakers will unveil futuristic prototypes next week at the Detroit auto show, including advanced hybrids and a gas-electric sports car, the FT-HS, from Toyota.

The hype is racing ahead of consumer appetite for alternative-fuel vehicles, industry experts say. Only a small fraction of the cars on the roads are hybrids and diesels, which get better fuel mileage than gasoline-only cars and burn cleaner than they used to. While such vehicles have distinct advantages, consumers for the most part seem unwilling to pay their higher prices. As a result, carmakers will push ahead cautiously before deciding to turn out large numbers of the vehicles. (link)
It is as it's always been. Cost vs. benefit. Nobody (except the Democrats who now have all the guns) can defy the laws of economics.

We Demand An Apology

The left in this country (the same left that is enthralled with global warming orthodoxy today) set our energy policy back thirty years by frightening enough spineless politicians in the 70's to force them to abandon a viable - and growingly vital - source of power that is finally making its comeback:
In the Global Energy Rush, Nuclear Gets A Resurgence
By Doug Struck, Washington Post Foreign Service


Sixty miles outside Buenos Aires, construction crews soon will be swarming over a partially built concrete dome abandoned 12 years ago, resuming work on Argentina's long-delayed Atucha II nuclear power plant. They will be in the vanguard of surging interest in nuclear power worldwide.

Faced with evidence that coal- and oil-fired electric plants are overheating the planet, and alarmed by soaring demand for electricity, governments from South America to Asia are turning once again to a power source mostly shunned for two decades as too dangerous and too costly. (link)
It's about time.

Thirty years from now expect governments around the world to be working to correct the mistakes made by today's radical global warming fear mongers (see post on a related New York Times editorial below) just as this correction is being made to those of the China Syndrome fear mongers of three decades ago.

Let history show: These people have proven themselves to be dangerous to our way of life.

Changing Government As We Know It

A sweeping change is taking place in Congress, unlike any this country has witnessed before. A revolutionary reorganization of our government that is breathtaking in scope:
Democrats rename key House panel
By David R. Sands, The Washington Times


Seeking a new name to go with a new attitude, congressional Democrats announced yesterday the House International Relations Committee would be reverting to its old, pre-Republican majority moniker: the "House Committee on Foreign Affairs."

"A new sheriff has come to town, taking the reins with a purpose," incoming committee Chairman Tom Lantos, California Democrat, said. "Americans have demanded change in the way our country conducts itself in the world." (link)
History is being rewritten right before our very eyes. I'm not sure I can deal with all this momentous change. A committee has been renamed. What next? New fixtures in the Mens' Room? Muzak in the elevators? A new floor soap?

The room is spinning ...

We Are Pathetic

What has happened to this once-great nation?
Troops flee from border outpost
By Jerry Seper, The Washington Times


Armed men overran a National Guard observation post along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona this week, forcing the soldiers to retreat and prompting an investigation by the U.S. Border Patrol that has focused on the intruders' identity.

No shots were exchanged and no one was injured in the incident, which occurred shortly after 11 p.m. on Wednesday. The National Guard troops were members of an entry-identification team, assigned to monitor major illegal-alien and drug-smuggling corridors.

After forcing the soldiers to flee, the unidentified men retreated into Mexico. (link)
"... prompting an investigation." Shouldn't it prompt retaliation? An old-fashioned build-up along the border? The launching of a few artillery shells into Mexico? Sending the Mexican diplomatic delegation home? At least a billboard showing our displeasure?

Did we lose a war while I was sleeping? Have we gone completely mad?

You Mean They Weren't Being Truthful?

What's this? ... but the Democrats promised ... a solemn vow ... how could they?
Democrats backpedal on 9/11 commission
By Brian DeBose, The Washington Times


House Democrats campaigned on a promise to implement the recommendations of the September 11 commission, but now say they will not enact all of them.


The recommendation to place all intelligence agencies under the Defense Department "is not on the table," said Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.

Another recommendation unlikely to be fully implemented is tasking one House committee with the responsibility of overseeing both intelligence operations and funding. However ... (link)
Democrats.You wanted 'em. You got 'em.

Separated At Birth?

Enjoy It While It Lasts

I'll start with two facts.
1) The Democrats have taken control of Congress.
2) The economy is kickin':
Job Growth Is Strong, Surprising Economists
By Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times


Job growth was brisk last month as businesses added to their payrolls with surprising confidence, further evidence that the economy is not likely to slip into a recession.

The Labor Department reported that employment outside the farming sector grew by 167,000 jobs in December, seasonally adjusted — more than enough to absorb natural growth in the work force. In another sign of just how strong the job market has been, the figures for October and November were revised to show that businesses hired more employees than the government first thought. (link)
The economy is performing wonderfully. But not for long. I refer back to number (1) above:
The Senate’s Task on Warming
New York Times editorial

Dec. 12 — Exhaustive computer simulations carried out at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., suggest that the Arctic Ocean will be mostly open water in the summer of 2040 — several decades earlier than expected.

California’s Barbara Boxer is the new chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee ... [She] has already scheduled hearings, and there will be no shortage of legislative remedies to consider. All share one objective, which is to attach a cost to carbon dioxide through a cap on emissions.

The underlying logic is that if people and industries are made to pay for the privilege of pumping these gases into the atmosphere, they will inevitably be driven to developer (sic) cleaner fuels, cleaner cars and cleaner factories. (link)
There's a whole lot of underlying logic - or illogic - to all this. Just very little science. Once again, all this is predicated on computer models that have been wildly inaccurate in the past. And on that basis alone, the Democrats want to tax the planet's corporations into oblivion.

Let it be recorded for posterity:

1) The economy is kickin'.
2) The Democrats have now taken charge.

Blackboard Jungle XVIII

My immediate reaction, when I saw the trailer for this was: How many times can they rework this same tired theme into a movie?

To Ms. With Love: A Teacher’s Heart Fords a Social Divide
By Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Freedom Writers,” a true story about a white teacher trying to make a difference in a room crammed with black, Latino and Asian high school freshmen, has the makings of another groaner. One worrisome sign is Hilary Swank, the two-time Academy Award winner with the avid smile who recently vamped across screens as a femme fatale in Brian De Palma’s period thriller “The Black Dahlia.” Ms. Swank is an appealing actress of, at least to date, fairly restricted range. In her finest roles — a transgender man in “Boys Don’t Cry,” a boxer in “Million Dollar Baby” — she plays women whose hard-angled limbs and squared jaws never fully obscure a desperate, at times almost embarrassingly naked neediness.

In “Freedom Writers” Ms. Swank uses that neediness to fine effect in a film with a strong emotional tug and smartly laid foundation. She plays Erin Gruwell, who ... (link)
I had already thought of the comparison to the movie Dargis uses in her headline, "To Sir, With Love," with Sidney Poitier and of another movie she mentions in her column, "Dangerous Minds" with Michelle Pfeiffer. "187" I had forgotten about, mostly because it was oh so forgettable.

Looking back, I think the original good-teacher-comes-in-to-bad-school-and-saves-bad-kids movie was "Blackboard Jungle" in 1955. But there have been others. "Teachers" with Nick Nolte. "Mr. Holland's Opus" with Richard Dreyfuss. "Lean On Me" with Morgan Freeman. "The Principle" with Jim Belushi. It seems like just last year that Meryl Streep read from the same script in "Music Of The Heart." "Stand And Deliver" with Edward James Olmos. And even Danny Devito's "Renaissance Man" played off a similar theme.

Personally, I think the best of the bunch was Jack Black's "School of Rock."

In any case, it's been done, fellas. Over and over and over ...