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

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Boucher's Feeling The Heat

I gave Brian Patton a pass the first time he attacked me on a relatively obscure bulletin board emanating from Dickenson County. He made some rather fabulous charges at the time (About me: "He was very proud of the fact that he posts opinions just to try and upset people. He has no concern for the truth and takes a partisan view of everything.") but I let it pass with but a bit of a slap at his personality type that allows him to go unnoticed in a small crowd. I was kind.

You can read about it here.

And I didn't retaliate when he went after me in a particularly convoluted weblog post about Congressman Boucher's ill-considered energy plan, other than to make the comment that ... well, you'll never know what my comment to
this post was because Brian blocked it (or deleted it; same thing). Too bad too, because I spent a good bit of time ripping his contentions apart. Perhaps that's why ...

But it's a bit odd that Brian seems as fixated these days on me as he always has been on our congressman's well-being. Or perhaps our congressman has heard my footsteps coming up behind him and has instructed Brian to devote attention to me.

In either case, I was made aware yesterday that I'm the subject (well, at least the target of a passing shot) of one of Brian's barbs once again. I was initially inclined to say that this particular shot is a bit difficult to decipher, but I gave Brian a gentlemanly pass once. Not again.

Brian Patton proves himself through these actions to be nothing more than a political shill for a congressman who has been in office for two decades and who has nothing to show for it.

And not a very effective shill at that.

More on Boucher’s Energy Plan:
Other bloggers on the right, not surprisingly from areas outside the Coalfields, have continuously criticized Congressman Boucher’s plans to boost the economy in the Coalfields and help break our addiction to Middle East oil. This issue should not be about Republican vs. Democrat.

Attacking Congressman Boucher on this issue is like saying dependence on foreign oil and poverty in the Coalfields are good things.
For those of you here in Southwest Virginia who aren't familiar with your congressional representative's energy plan, what he has proposed is this: "... if the price of petroleum declines below $40 (per barrel), the government would make a payment to the liquid fuels operator. If the price climbs above about $80, the operator would make a payment to the government, making the risk about equally balanced. ... We think this program would wind up costing the government nothing, but it would provide the financial certainty the market is looking for, for private investor dollars to flow into coal to fuels. ... If the oil price falls, new technology would essentially be stranded." (source)

I've already addressed the goofy notion that the government is somehow at risk in any way by adopting this or any plan. But I'll reiterate: The government is you. If an imbalance occurs, it won't be the government that assumes the "risk." It's you.

But beyond that, Boucher, and now Patton, are pushing a plan that keeps the price of oil - and therefore gasoline - artificially high (in the case of oil, over $40 a barrel), and they want you to believe that such an action would be good for the people of Southwest Virginia.

Are higher gas prices good for you? Ever?

For the elderly who are on a fixed income over there in Dickenson County, is this plan to jack up prices so as to promote research and development good for them?

For the 25% of the citizens of Tazewell County who are on some form of government assistance, is a government plan to inflate gasoline prices good for them?

When you know you have $35 for food and fuel to last you the rest of the month, how much of that do you plan to spend on research and development?

Brian Patton says: "Attacking Congressman Boucher on this issue is like saying dependence on foreign oil and poverty in the Coalfields are good things." That is, of course, foolish on its face.

Brian expects you to believe that those in poverty will benefit from a plan to raise their fuel prices and that my attacking such a plan is "like saying poverty is a good thing." The opposite is true, Brian. But I find it heartwarming that you, for the first time, recognize the fact that there are poor people in our midst. Perhaps you should now send an email to Congressman Boucher.

If anyone mocks the poverty-stricken in Southwest Virginia, it's the two of you who adopt a plan that only someone in Boucher's neighborhood of fabulously wealthy DC suburbanites could love (and many of them do).

Here's something that's lost in the muddled thinking: Liquid coal fuel will be successful. It will prove, in the not too distant future, to be a viable alternative source of energy. And it will receive billions of investment research and development dollars. And Southwest Virginians will benefit. Because its a good idea who's time has come and because investors will therefore flock to it.

We don't need government to make it happen. And we sure as hell don't need to force more Southwest Virginians into poverty or inflame the suffering of those who already have difficulty making ends meet to make it happen.

Leave it alone, Rick. And Brian. Stick to creating - and promoting - those worthless hiking trails. You'll do us less harm.

Like My Ego Needs To Be Stroked

I have to be honest. To be quoted by an L.A. Times columnist (and one of the most widely read bloggers on the planet to boot) is a humbling and exceptionally gratifying experience. But quoted I have been.

Kinda cool.

A Different Take

On this most of us agree: The planet is warming.

What we don't agree on is why. Some blame humans. Others understand, based on data amassed from centuries past, that it is a trend that is part of a cycle that has existed since the dawn of the universe.

Although this too has its doubters, some believe that the polar bear's Alaska habitat is being threatened by the warming of its environment. So President Bush has asked that something be done to protect it and has called for it to be placed on the "threatened" species list.

Seems fair. If polar ice is melting and that ice is an essential part of the bears' environs, it would be only right to protect it in every way we can.

What's not fair is to take that effort and from it draw outlandish conclusions and make totally unreasonable demands. Such as this:
Threatened by Warming
Polar bear as harbinger
Washington Post editorial

The Bush administration has done everything in its power to do as little as possible about climate change. Yet the reality of global warming has a way of intruding even on the most willfully heedless of politicians. Not even an administration dead set against mandatory curbs on carbon emissions can deny that the habitat of the polar bear, as Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne put it the other day, "may literally be melting." In response, the administration is proposing to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Such a listing would have symbolic and practical importance. Polar bears live most of their lives on sea ice, which is diminishing in an Arctic region warming much faster than more temperate regions of the globe. A formal designation, following a lengthy period of comment and analysis, would acknowledge that the law compels action at least to mitigate the effects of global climate change. What's more, it's hard to see how one could act to preserve polar bear habitat without taking steps to reduce fossil fuel consumption and slow the rate of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. (link) [my emphasis]
Hard? Not really. It's this simple: If, as some of us suspect, the globe is warming, and will soon be once again cooling, then it is prudent to protect the polar bear for the duration of that warming trend. And it is just as prudent to fight the urge to destroy our way of life out of fear or misjudgement.

It's that easy.

What Nonsense

The National Rifle Association, of which I have been a proud member for many years, fights (effectively) for the rights of gun owners and hunters. Always has. Always will.

That fight takes place on many fronts - at the local, state, federal, and even the U.N. level; in legislatures, town hall meetings, the halls of Congress, in gun shows, and before the Supreme Court. The issues championed vary in importance depending on the need and on who has our right to keep and bear arms under assault at any given point in time.

Some ebb. Some flow.

But the issues raised always relate to the 2nd Amendment.

With this understood, to read a Washington Post news article that purports to show an abandonment of one issue because another has arisen that needs to be challenged is, to put it mildly, a bit preposterous. And it says a lot about the left's understanding of this powerful and influential organization. Ludicrous or no, that's the thrust of -
NRA Pressured To Resist Bush Energy Policies
Hunters Wary of Limited Land Access
By Blaine Harden, Washington Post Staff Writer

SEATTLE -- After years of close association with the Republican Party and hard-nosed opposition to federal land-use regulation, the National Rifle Association is being pressured by its membership to distance itself from President Bush's energy policies that have opened more public land for oil and gas drilling and limited access to hunters and anglers.

"The Bush administration has placed more emphasis on oil and gas than access rights for hunters," said Ronald L. Schmeits, second vice president of the NRA, a member of its board of directors and a bank president in Raton, N.M.

"We find that our members are having a harder time finding access to public land," said Schmeits, who recently pushed the NRA to lobby for congressional protection of the game-rich Valle Vidal forest on federal land in New Mexico. "Gun rights are still number one, but there will be more time and effort spent on this issue [by NRA leaders] as we move forward." (link)
Understand this: The NRA focuses on one main issue only. That has to do with the rights of gun owners. It has never taken a stand on energy policy. It never will. If President Bush's actions with regard to public land use run up against the interests of the NRA - and its membership - then of course the NRA leadership is going to speak out.

To make it seem that the NRA is abandoning some principle it had previously established because of some grass roots pressure is simply wrong. And probably wishful thinking.

And to suggest that the organization is breaking with the President, well where has this reporter been as the McCain-Feingold saga, of which George Bush is - to one degree or another - a supporter has played out in the courts?

You know, it's not like these reporters can't find and get to know - to understand - NRA's members. We are, after all, 4 million strong and live in every neighborhood in the country. Even down the street in Washington DC.

NRA to Post reporter: I suggest you come out from behind that desk and get to know us. (Bring your own weapon of choice. And ammunition. I'm willing to provide a lesson but I'm not going to be your sugar daddy.)

At Least Someone Does

It's good to know that somebody is out there working to keep the world safe from Islamist annihilation:

Report: Israel has Iran nuke attack plan
United Press International

Israel has plans for a nuclear strike on Iraq's nuclear facilities, the Times of London reported.

The newspaper, citing Israeli military sources, said the attack would be with nuclear "bunker-busters." Conventional bombs would open tunnels in the Iraqi facility at Natanz and laser-guided nuclear small nuclear bombs would be exploded underground, producing minimal radioactive fallout. (link)

President Bush reassured a worried nation a few years ago by telling us that Iran would not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. But that was before he moved on to more important matters, like seeing to it that 0.6% of the American workforce receives a minimum wage increase.

Thank God for the Israelis.

Running On Empty

It's been fascinating to watch all the lefty bloggers struggling to find something to write about since the November election campaign came to an end. For them, there really never was anything except the winning. They never had any issues they felt the need to argue other than that macaca idiocy and the shape of some poor schmuck's nose. And now that their candidates have either won or lost, they flounder, focusing endlessly on name-calling and rumor-mongering.

Oh, and this. They've started on the next election two years from now:

Bloggers unleash a virtual campaign
By Christina Bellantoni, The Washington Times

Former Gen. Wesley K. Clark boasts 35,000 more friends than ex-Sen. John Edwards, and there are more flattering photos of Sen. Barack Obama than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In an attempt to reach the MySpace generation, politicians are turning to the virtual campaign trail. Dedicated political junkies are setting up their own sites devoted to encouraging presidential runs from their favorite candidates -- former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. John McCain and the two Democratic superstars currently topping polls, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. (link)
So what are the issues that are driving these bloggers to one candidate or another?

Issues? We don't need no stinking issues!

Then I'm now a Nancy Pelosi-for-President supporter. She reminds me of a stripper I paid handsomely in Cleveland several years back.

Seems as good a reason as any that these geniuses will ever put forward ...

More On Lenin's 'Useful Idiots'

Cindy Sheehan, poster girl for the Democratic Party, is traveling to Cuba to protest the political prison system there, one of the most harsh and inhumane on the planet, where, over the years, tens of thousands of opponents of Fidel Castro's ruthless Communist regime have perished.

Oops. No. My mistake. She's going to drive right by all that. She's going there to protest the unfair dietary conditions of Gitmo terrorists:
Sheehan in Cuba to Protest Gitmo Prison
By Anita Snow, Associated Press Writer

Havana (AP) -- American "peace mom" Cindy Sheehan called for the closure of the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as she and other activists arrived here Saturday to draw attention to the nearly 400 terror suspects held at the remote site.

Sheehan is among 12 human rights and anti-war activists who will travel across this Caribbean island next week, arriving at the main gate of the Guantanamo base in eastern Cuba on Thursday - five years after the first prisoners were flown in.

"Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not afraid of anything," Sheehan said [as she glanceded over her shoulder at the Cubans who have machine guns trained on the back of her head] when asked about the possibility of U.S. sanctions for traveling to communist-run Cuba, which remains under an American trade embargo.

"What is more important [than the ongoing torture and summary execution of innocent Cubans who made the mistake of speaking out against Castro, systematic cruelty that has been going on on this island for the last 40 years] is the inhumanity that my government is perpetrating at Guantanamo," she told reporters [like all that loud music being forced upon them and the air conditioning being turned up really really high]. (link)
What does Cindy have to say about the brutal treatment still being meted out to dissident Cuban citizens? NOTHING. SHE DOESN'T CARE.

You Democrats should be ashamed. You won't be. But you should be.

Thanks For The Memories

To think, we could be going back to this before long:
Monica Madness
By Maggie Haberman, The New York Post

January 6, 2007 -- Reeling from her husband's infidelity, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to find something to watch on TV and clicked through channel after channel of hurtful news coverage - before she finally settled on ESPN, according to a new book from one of her closest friends.

The anecdote is tucked into a no-holds-barred memoir by Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe, who chaired the Democratic National Committee for four years.

He describes watching television with Hillary and Bill and finding the channels packed with wall-to-wall attacks on the first couple.

"Here we were just trying to heal this family, and even watching TV was an ordeal," he wrote. (link)
Ever wonder why the growing problem with terrorism was never confronted in those years? Our then-Commander-in-Chief and our future Commander-in-Chief were flipping through channels, looking for healing.

May God have mercy on us.