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

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

If He Were King

Our new senator thinks someone died and made him king:

When he successfully overthrows the government, an action I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss, comsidering the fact that the guy is a borderline psychopath, he can prohibit the President from exercising his war powers.

Until then, Jim Webb should try real hard to keep separate his fantasies of grandeur that made for such appealing fiction when he was a floundering novelist, from his new role as one of 100 United States senators, a group of legislators who, along with 435 others in the lower house of Congress, make up the legislative branch of government.

Key word being legislate. Not to be confused with decree.

Another Nail In The Coffin

Meaning in every way to be flippant about this bad news (how many times can I retell the same story and not become jaded), I have the following question for all you Democrats here in Southwest Virginia who have bought into the misguided notion that tourism is going to produce economic prosperity ... some day:

How many canoe liveries will it take to make up for this loss?

Bassett closes factory in company town
In 90 days, Bassett will lose 280 jobs and one hometown factory
By Duncan Adams and Christina Rogers, The Roanoke Times

Bassett -- Imports have knee-capped another manufacturer in Henry County and cut down 280 more jobs.

Workers at Bassett Furniture Industries' plant in Bassett learned Monday afternoon that the furniture company plans to begin shuttering its hometown factory within 90 days. The closing will affect about 15 percent of Bassett Furniture's work force.

Like Fieldale, which grew up around the former Fieldcrest factory in Henry County, Bassett will be a company town all but without its company. Corporate offices will remain in Bassett, as will a fiberboard plant, retaining a combined work force of about 270.

Bassett Furniture executives said the company will import from overseas the majority of the products now manufactured in its 323,000-square-foot factory in Bassett. (link)
Another 280 jobs lost. Jobs somebody should have been fighting for.

These won't be the last either ...

Let me answer my own question. How many canoe liveries will it take to make up for this loss? About ten times more than we'll ever have. Ever.

Hat tip to I'm Not Emeril.

Which Is Worse?

Ann Coulter, who I confess to admiring greatly for her take-no-prisoners approach to political discourse, is in big trouble for using the F-word. No, not that F-word. This F-word.

Because we are forbidden, by law, to ever utter that word, and because Ann Coulter is despised by the mainstream press, commentators and politicians are falling all over each other in their scramble to express their outrage in front of the cameras.


At the same time, there seems to be no concern, no interest at all really, in Washington or on the evening news, about this asshole's shameful comments:

Maher Fudges VP Death Wish
By Richard Johnson, Page Six

March 6, 2007 -- Bill Maher, who was fired by ABC for his big mouth, raised hackles at HBO after seeming to express regret that Vice President Dick Cheney wasn't killed in an Iraqi bombing last week.

The host of "Real Time" complained on Friday's show that comments posted last week on the Huffington Post had been removed because "they expressed regret that the attack on Dick Cheney failed."

One of Maher's guests, NPR's John Ridley, called such comments "hate speech." But Maher said, "Seriously, if this isn't China, shouldn't you be able to say that? Why did Arianna Huffington, my girlfriend, I love her, but why did she take that off right away?"

"... I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn't be dying needlessly tomorrow . . . I'm just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact." (link)

Cheney should die so others may live. A morality lesson from the left.

Maher, by the way, is keeping his job at HBO.

The Losers Club

Is this a positive or a negative for the Arizona Senator who thinks he has a shot at being President?
Al D'Amato Backs McCain
By Maggie Haberman, The New York Post

March 6, 2007 -- Former New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato is supporting Sen. John McCain for president over New York favorite son Rudy Giuliani, an adviser to the Arizona Republican said yesterday.

Brendan Quinn, an ex-George Pataki aide now a consultant working for McCain, said yesterday that the senator planned to meet with D'Amato later this week. (link)
Soul mates. D'Amato thinks he's still a king maker in New York and McCain thinks he's of some importance in the Republican Party.

Both are, of course, deluding themselves. And now each other.

It would do D'Amato well to give McCain, when they meet face to face, a talk about retirement benefits.

The Story Not Told

We have an Associated Press item appearing in the Washington Post this morning in which we are told the polar bear is endangered and needs protection:

Government Hears Polar Bear Concerns
By Ann Sannert, The Associated Press

Washington -- Environmental activists, hunters and oil industry representatives spoke at a public hearing Monday night on whether the U.S. government should list polar bears as a threatened species.

Some speakers said scientific evidence supports the listing and urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to adopt protections so polar bears would be present for future generations.

"We need to ultimately recognize the threat that global warming poses not just to polar bears but countless other species, from Caribbean corals to the California butterflies to us as well," said Melissa Waage of the Center for Biological Diversity. (link)

So what is that evidence that these "speakers and scientists" provide that supports the argument that polar bears need federal protection?

Curious thing. We're not told.

The best evidence, of course, would be in the numbers. Is there, in fact, a dwindling polar bear herd globally? (we'll skip the unprovable and, frankly, silly notion that global warming - all of 0.6° celsius thus far - is causing it, if it is occurring at all)

Well, no.

Let's see what the World Wildlife Fund (God, am I enjoying using them as a source for this) has to say on the subject - information the Post left out - accidentally ...

Interestingly, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an international organization that has worked for 50 years to protect endangered species, has also written on the threats posed to polar bears from global warming. However, their own research seems to undermine their fears. According to the WWF, about 20 distinct polar bear populations exist, accounting for approximately 22,000 polar bears worldwide. As the figure shows, population patterns do not show a temperature-linked decline:

● Only two of the distinct population groups, accounting for about 16.4 percent of the total population, are decreasing.

● Ten populations, approximately 45.4 percent of the total number, are stable.

● Another two populations — about 13.6 percent of the total number of polar bears — are increasing.

● The status of the remaining six populations (whether they are stable, increasing or decreasing in size) is unknown. (link)

In Canada, the bear population has actually increased by 25%. (source)

And then there is this from Polar Bears International: "In the 1950s the polar bear population up north was estimated at 5,000. Today it's 20- to 25,000, a number that has either held steady over the last 20 years or has risen slightly." (source)

Now, why do you suppose these facts - or any facts for that matter - were left off the Post piece? The big question ....

Hillary Supports The Troops. Well, The Gay Ones Anyway.

A campaign pledge you may want to file in the memory banks:
Do Tell! Hill Rips Gay GI Rule
By Ian Bishop, The New York Post

March 6, 2007 -- Washington - Hillary Rodham Clinton is breaking with her husband on gays in the military, calling for the "don't ask, don't tell" policy to be replaced by show and tell.

Speaking to the nation's leading gay-rights group in an unannounced speech, the Democratic White House front-runner vowed to throw open the closet door for gays who want to serve in the military. (link)
Of all the issues the military needs to be dealing with right now. Commander Hillary and homosexuals.

For the love of god.

An Apology Worth Making

Unlike the goofy exercise the Virginia legislature recently put us through in which a battle raged for weeks over just how apologetic we were going to pretend to be over the long-dead institution of slavery, there is, on a different subject, an apology that is appropriate and called for:

No Comfort
New York Times editorial

What part of “Japanese Army sex slaves” does Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, have so much trouble understanding and apologizing for?

The underlying facts have long been beyond serious dispute. During World War II, Japan’s Army set up sites where women rounded up from Japanese colonies like Korea were expected to deliver sexual services to Japan’s soldiers.

These were not commercial brothels. Force, explicit and implicit, was used in recruiting these women. What went on in them was serial rape, not prostitution. The Japanese Army’s involvement is documented in the government’s own defense files. A senior Tokyo official more or less apologized for this horrific crime in 1993. The unofficial fund set up to compensate victims is set to close down this month.

And Mr. Abe wants the issue to end there. Last week, he claimed that there was no evidence that the victims had been coerced. (link)

For those who wonder why I would support this call for an apology (and damage claims) and yet heap ridicule on our recent exercise here in the commonwealth in deceitful and hypocritical politicking relating to the slavery apology, the reasons are two:

1) Many of the Korean women who were forced into sex slavery are still alive. Those who were enslaved here died long ago.
2) Many of those who served in the Japanese government and who participated in the creation of the sex slave camps still live (and should be called to account). The slave masters here are gone. Long gone.

Just as I favored the apology - and reparations - that were made to the Asian-Americans who were imprisoned by Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II, I support this action. Because many of them are still with us, I believe an apology to the Koreans is in order.

A clear and important distinction.

He Can Still Whip 'Em On One Leg

Vice President Dick Cheney was back at the doctor's office yesterday:

Cheney Is Treated for a Blood Clot After Trip
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Lawrence K. Altman, The New York Times

Washington, March 5 — Vice President Dick Cheney was treated Monday for a blood clot in his left leg that independent experts said was probably not related to his history of heart disease but rather the result of his recent around-the-world trip, which included 65 hours of plane travel over 9 days.

Mr. Cheney’s office said the vice president experienced “mild calf discomfort” sometime after delivering a late-morning speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and visited his doctor’s office at George Washington University. (link)

Millions of sniveling, cowardly liberals were praying yesterday that the blood clot would reach his heart. Too bad.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery. Dick is the only person standing between us and total ruination. Drink your orange juice, Dick. We need ya back at work.

That Bridge Is Still Going 'Somewhere'

Remember "The Bridge to Nowhere," the federal project that singlehandedly destroyed the Republican Party's chances of retaining its majority in Congress in 2006? (okay, Bob Ney and Jack Abramoff - and that gay rep whose name I've already forgotten - had something to do with it too). Hands down, the bridge was the most wasteful federal earmark ever dreamt up in the hallowed halls of Washington. And that is saying something.

To take a phrase from a famous Frankenstein movie: It's ALIVE!

Alaskan Bridge Projects Resist Earmarks Purge
By William Yardley, The New York Times

Long after Congress removed about $450 million in budget earmarks for two bridges in the Alaskan exurbs, the fight over whether to build them is not dead.

Mocked as “bridges to nowhere” by critics who saw them as the epitome of Congressional excess, preparations for the projects have been slowly moving forward even as big questions remain over whether the bridges will be built.

When Congress removed the earmarks for the bridges in 2005, it still gave the state the money, but it allowed Alaskan officials to decide how to spend it. (link)

The Republican leadership in Congress didn't kill the project. Hastert et alia simply removed the earmark and gave the state of Alaska the money anyway.

What does it take to get through to the numbskulls in the Republican Party?

I Hope They Don't Get Paid To Do This

And I thought our legislators rangling over that silly slavery apology was a waste of time:
Arkansas House Backs Apostrophe Act
By The Associated Press

Little Rock, Ark. (AP) -- The state House approved a resolution declaring ''Arkansas's'' the possessive form of the state's name -- a bill so weird it prompted the sponsor to offer an apology.

''I know a lot of the attention that has been given to this resolution has reflected poorly on us as a Legislature, and for that I apologize,'' Rep. Steve Harrelson told House members before they unanimously passed his proposal Monday by voice vote. The measure now goes to the Senate. (link)
I have to give the Arkansas legislators credit. At least they apologize for wasting their taxpayers' time and money.

Now, about that slavery apology ...

More Wasted Energy

While we're on the subject of legislators wasting time and the taxpayers' money, how about this jewel?
N.J. Firefight

March 6, 2007 -- Trenton, N.J. - Democratic lawmakers and Ceasefire NJ unveiled a plan yesterday to outlaw the sale of .50-caliber guns in the state.

Bill supporters argue the guns can fire armor-piercing rounds that can penetrate and ignite chemical plants, refineries and rail tank cars.

But Scott Bach, president of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, said, "Because of their heavy weight and $3,000 to $10,000 price tag, modern .50-caliber rifles are hardly the choice of criminals." (link)
For those not familiar with the rifle and its intended usage, there has never been a case in the history of the United States of America where one of these .50 caliber behemoths has been used to kill someone. Zero. Or in the commission of any other crime. None.

It's a long-range target rifle. It is used by sporting enthusiasts to shoot at little pieces of paper.

But the frightened, sniveling Democrats in New Jersey want to ban them anyway.

What with the fiscal damage those same legislators have inflicted in recent years, perhaps they should think about banning themselves instead. More damage, to be sure, than any .50 caliber rifle has ever done.

But no. Like fat little Sancho Panzas, they willingly go to battle against those challenging windmills instead. And make a bundle doing it ...