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

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Latest

Here's some more detail on that federal legislation introduced by Congressman Rick Boucher and Senator John Warner (and, it appears, Jim Webb has now globbed on) officially declaring what the natives here already know to be true - Southwest Virginia is fast becoming one big wilderness area.

Well, not exactly:
Lawmakers look to preserve SW.Va.’s scenic wilderness
By Charles Owens, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLAND, Va. — Legislation introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate would protect and expand national scenic and wilderness areas in Southwest Virginia.

The Virginia Ridge and Valley Act of 2007, co-authored by U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., U.S. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., would create new national Wilderness Areas, new National Scenic Areas, and would expand six existing Wilderness Areas in portions of Bland, Giles, Smyth, Craig, Grayson, Lee and Montgomery counties within the Jefferson National Forest.

“Southwest Virginia possesses the state’s best outdoor experience, with the highest mountains, most interesting rivers and superb hunting, camping, fishing, hiking and backpacking opportunities,” Boucher said in a news release. “If enacted, the legislation which Sen. Warner and I are introducing would not only designate nearly 55,000 acres of the Jefferson National Forest as Wilderness or National Scenic Areas, thereby protecting their pristine quality, but also would enhance the tourism economy of the region by enticing travelers to visit and enjoy the protected and untouched landscape which Southwest Virginia has to offer. I greatly appreciate Senator Warner’s continued leadership on this legislation, and I am pleased and welcome Sen. Jim Webb to our effort.” (link)
Look, I'm no conspiracy theorist (except for Elvis's fake demise; more on that another time) but I read crap like this, and I witness factory closing after factory closing, and read the demographic data pouring in that shows rapid depopulation, especially of our best and brightest, seeing nothing being done to reverse the trend, and I have to wonder if there isn't some grand scheme that's been cooked up in some smoke-filled - or smoke-free - room to simply make Southwest Virginia a stopover picnic area for Boucher's (and now Warner's and Webb's) rich and powerful buddies up in D.C. on their semi-annual travels to West Boca. Don't like it? There's a U-haul with your name on it, pal.

How many years have we been hearing this bullshit about "enticing travelers to visit and enjoy the protected and untouched landscape which Southwest Virginia has to offer?" How many more wilderness areas are we willing to accommodate before we ask for a reckoning?

At some point we must demand to meet this tourist these guys keep telling us about.

From Webb's office, a press release: “I am pleased to co-sponsor this bill with Sen. Warner and Congressman Boucher. We are fully committed to preserving Virginia’s land and waterways — some of the finest this country has to offer.”

Our political leadership - committed to preserving land and water. The thousand Volvo workers who were just laid off over in Dublin will take solace in that thought.

On Global Warming - Another Voice

From Pete Du Pont, writing in today's Wall Street Journal:
When Eric the Red led the Norwegian Vikings to Greenland in the late 900s, it was an ice-free farm country--grass for sheep and cattle, open water for fishing, a livable climate--so good a colony that by 1100 there were 3,000 people living there. Then came the Ice Age. By 1400, average temperatures had declined by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, the glaciers had crushed southward across the farmlands and harbors, and the Vikings did not survive.

Such global temperature fluctuations are not surprising, for looking back in history we see a regular pattern of warming and cooling.

During the 20th century the earth did indeed warm--by 1 degree Fahrenheit. But a look at the data shows that within the century temperatures varied with time ...

Statistics suggest that while there has indeed been a slight warming in the past century, much of it was neither human-induced nor geographically uniform. Half of the past century's warming occurred before 1940, when the human population and its industrial base were far smaller than now. And while global temperatures are now slightly up, in some areas they are dramatically down. According to "Climate Change and Its Impacts," a study published last spring by the National Center for Policy Analysis, the ice mass in Greenland has grown, and "average summer temperatures at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet have decreased 4 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since the late 1980s." British environmental analyst Lord Christopher Monckton says that from 1993 through 2003 the Greenland ice sheet "grew an average extra thickness of 2 inches a year," and that in the past 30 years the mass of the Antarctic ice sheet has grown as well. (link)
What does all this mean? It means we don't know what we need to know before we dramatically alter the way we live our lives.

At this point, there is no reason to believe, based on statistical evidence obtained thus far (as ooposed to those notoriously fallible computer models), that a serious problem even exists.

So stop with the warnings and scare tactics.

Dissolve The Legislature

They haven't been able to come to agreement on the transportation funding issue. For years.

They've been rangling over just how sorry we're going to pretend to be over the issue of slavery.

Now this:
House move kills bill aimed at increasing minimum wage
By Michael Sluss, The Roanoke Times

RICHMOND -- The House of Delegates used a parliamentary maneuver Tuesday to kill a proposed increase in the minimum wage, ending a debate in which tactics generated more heated arguments than the legislation itself.

Over the objections of Democrats, the Republican-controlled House avoided a vote on Senate Bill 1327 by sending it to the House Appropriations Committee. Because the deadline for committee action has passed, the House action killed the legislation for this year.

[The] bill would have increased the minimum wage in Virginia from $5.15 to $6.50 per hour on July 1. (link)
There are those out there who will argue that an increase in the state's minimum wage is warranted. Here's the next sentence in the article: "The Virginia bill would become obsolete if the federal minimum wage increases to $6.50 per hour or greater. Both houses of Congress have passed bills to gradually increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour, but differences ..."

For the love of God. They're now wasting our time and money on issues that the federal government is resolving.

With antics like these, who needs 'em?

Well, They Can Get Some Things Done ...

... like taking care of one of their own:
Senate debates legal ethics change
State bar proposal would let legislator-lawyers work for firms that lobby the assembly
By Tyler Whitley, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

Sometime this year, lawyer-legislators might be able to work for a law firm that lobbies the General Assembly.

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, ... wanting a more stable income so he might run for statewide office in 2009, gave up his small-town law practice in October and went to work for the Richmond law firm of Hirschler Fleischer, which has a small lobbying presence at the assembly. (link)
Deeds wants to be able to work for a firm that will lobby him in the legislature. Nope, no appearance of impropriety there.

In any case, it appears this bunch can in fact get certain things done. If there's benefit in it for them.

Meanwhile our schools turn out morons, the drinking water in Callahan Creek has turds floating in it, Southwest Virginia is depopulating ...

The Difference Between Them & Us

Abraham Lincoln understood when he referred to the United States of America as "the last best hope of earth."

As did John F. Kennedy: "The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it."

Herbert Hoover: "America - a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose."

Even Bono sees it still: "There's the country of America, which you have to defend, but there's also the idea of America. America is more than just a country, it's an idea."

Then there are the Democrats:

Clinton Vows To End U.S. 'Arrogance' As President
By Ian Bishop, The New York Post

February 21, 2007 -- Miami - Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed yesterday to change the United States so it's no longer an "arrogant power" that alienates the world.

"When I'm president, I'm going to send a message to the world that America is back - we're not the arrogant power that we've been acting like for the last six years," Sen. Clinton said during her first campaign stop in the Sunshine State.

"We want to be an admired country again in the world.

"It's very sad to me," she added. "We have to rebuild it because a lot of the problems we have, we can't solve on our own." (link)

People like Hillary, and more particularly her husband, believe our goal as Americans should be to obtain approbation from the dictators, thugs, and mass-murderers of the world in return for stifling what she and they perceive to be our arrogance and to instead "play along."

What they don't understand, what they'll never understand, is the fact that we are not just the last best hope of Earth, we are the only hope of Earth.

What a pitiable - and contemptible - bunch they all are.

This Wasn't Supposed To Be

The whimpering left isn't going to like the results of a new poll just released. They had taken comfort, as they cowered, terrified and unhinged, in the dark recesses of the solitary nether regions they've created for themselves, in the fact that the American people had turned against the war on terror and, more specifically, the battles raging in Iraq. I can just hear the howls of anguish when this news reaches them:

America Says Let's Win War
By Andy Soltis, The New York Post

February 21, 2007 -- In a dramatic finding, a new poll shows a solid majority of Americans still wants to win the war in Iraq - and keep U.S. troops there until the Baghdad government can take over.

Strong majorities also say victory is vital to the War on Terror and that Americans should support President Bush even if they have concerns about the way the war is being handled, according to the survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies.

The poll found that 57 percent of Americans supported "finishing the job in Iraq" - keeping U.S. troops there until the Iraqis can provide security on their own. Forty-one percent disagreed.

By 53 percent to 43 percent they also believe victory in Iraq over the insurgents is still possible.

Despite last November's electoral victories by anti-war Democrats, the survey found little support among voters for a quick pullout of U.S. forces. (link)

I think these startling (at least to some) figures have been influenced, in part, by the evolving realization on the part of Middle America in recent weeks that the Democrats in this country, led by Jihad Johnny Murtha, are now committed to having our troops defeated on the field of battle.

As I've said all along, we will not let that happen.

We will not let that happen.

They Had To Travel All The Way To Somalia

At first I thought this shot of a family packing up and moving was taken here in Southwest Virginia. It is, after all, a rather common scene playing out over and over again as furniture plants and textile plants close throughout the area.

But no. The caption beneath the New York Times photo reads:

"Somalis are fleeing Mogadishu, heading to villages where there is no government, but at least no warfare."

We can consider ourselves blessed in that regard. I guess.

Photo courtesy of Abukar Albadri/European Pressphoto Agency