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

Thursday, March 08, 2007

They Want To Share Their Pain

Like they know what real pain is.

Folks up in Northern Virginia have some serious road congestion problems that need fixing.

They also have a living standard that exceeds, on average, twice that of Virginians in Southwest and Southside, with corresponding disposable income.

But no matter. They, and our Governor, are hell bent on us helping to fix their problem. Read Tax Increase:

Kaine assails part of Va. roads plan
He cites regional opposition to shifting burden to localities
The Associated Press

Fairfax -- A component of state transportation legislation that would shift responsibility for planning and building secondary roads to Northern Virginia localities is a nonstarter, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said yesterday.

Kaine's closed-door meeting in Fairfax was the first in a series of visits the Democratic governor is making around the state as he prepares to make sweeping amendments to the transportation package passed by the Republican-dominated General Assembly.

Kaine said officials strenuously objected to the provisions about secondary roads and told him they want some of the burden for raising revenues shifted to the state. (link)
Speaking for "the state," at least that portion of which includes ... or once included Bassett Furniture, and Georgia Pacific, and Bristol Compressor, and Dutailier, and Hooker Furniture, and Webb Furniture, and Pulaski Furniture, and Volvo, and Mack Truck, and Ethan Allen, and Celanese Acetate, and Johnson & Johnson, and Lear Corp., and Dan River, and Tultex, and Spring Ford Industries, and National Textiles, and Buster Brown, and Natalie Knitting Mills, and American of Martinsville, and Virginia Glove, and Virginia House Furniture, and Lea Industries, and ArvinMeritor, and Alcoa Wheels, and Rowe Furniture, and VF Knitwear, and Vaughan Furniture, and Burlington Industries, and Renfro, and Stanley Furniture, and Dana Corporation, and Thomasville Furniture, and Sara Lee Branded Apparel, ...

... we respectfully request that you rich folks in Northern Virginia solve your own problems.

At least until we and our neighbors of the above are able to solve ours.

A Talking Counterpoint

From the Roanoke Times:

Talking point

"When I reflect on the state of American competitiveness today, my immediate feeling is not only one of pride, but also of deep anxiety. Too often we as a society are sacrificing the long-term good of our country in the interest of short-term gain."

-- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, testifying before a Senate committee about the state of American competitiveness. (link)
From From On High:

Talking Counterpoint

Judge rules Microsoft violated antitrust laws

Microsoft settles Iowa antitrust pricing lawsuit

EU Threatens Microsoft With Antitrust Sanctions Yet Again

U.S. fines Bill Gates $800,000


Predatory Pricing - Microsoft's Modus Operandi

Microsoft Ruled a Monopoly

Bill Gates - A man who knows something about short-term gain.

Like Headless Chickens

Here's the latest on those touch-screen voting machines that we just recently bought - at tremendous expense -statewide - and must now - by legislative decree - throw in the garbage dumpster:
Voter groups ask Kaine to delay signing of bill
Say Va. should see how Congress addresses touch-screen machines
By Tyler Whitley, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

The state's two leading voter-registration organizations have called on Gov. Timothy M. Kaine to delay signing a bill that would require the eventual replacement of touch-screen voting machines in Virginia.

The Virginia Electoral Board Association and the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia adopted concurrent resolutions saying the governor should wait to see what Congress does before taking action.

Under pressure from a nationwide grassroots movement, the 2007 General Assembly adopted legislation requiring the touch-screen machines to be replaced as they wear out. Critics say the machines do not leave a verifiable paper trail of how people voted.

The two associations asked Kaine to delay the effective date of the proposed legislation from July 1, 2007, to July 1, 2008. (link)
Memo to the genius who dreamt up this need-for-a-paper trail madness: The replacement voting machines aren't going to get Al Gore elected either.

The Last Word On The Wren Chapel Cross Kerfuffle

From a Washington Times editorial, "A First Step At W&M,":
Why [College of William and Mary President] Nichol believed the simple cross -- displayed in a chapel, no less -- was so offensive that he needed to take what proved to be a truly divisive step by removing it is unclear. The incident incensed many in the college community, and it brought a high level of scrutiny to bear on William & Mary and on Mr. Nichol personally -- leaving Mr. Nichol in the absurdly untenable position of defending his decision to dislodge the cross but permitting a risque "Sex Workers Art
Show," because, in his words, "it's not the practice and province of universities to censor or cancel performances because they are controversial." The Wren Chapel Cross apparently was excluded from this protection. It would seem that Mr. Nichol retained much from his days with the American Civil Liberties Union, and his definition of "controversial" is still drawn from the ACLU lexicon. (
" ... from his days with the American Civil Liberties Union."

I couldn't figure out, for the life of me, why Nichol went out of his way to offend the entire western world by removing the cross from the chapel. It all now becomes clear.

Let's Make It A Cabinet Position

The United States Department of Empty, Purposeless Apologies:
Bills to apologize to Indians, blacks introduced on Hill
By Brian DeBose, The Washington Times

Sen. Sam Brownback wants Congress to apologize to American Indians for the egregious federal actions committed against them, while a freshman House member wants the same courtesy extended to black Americans.

"The arguments against the bill are always that there were atrocities committed on both sides and that apologies lead to financial remedies, but this bill doesn't deal with that ... (link)
Well, I don't know who's making that argument. But I'll make a few of my own, Sam:

It is meaningless. It serves no purpose. No one gains from it. We as a nation obtain zero benefit. It's a waste of your time and our money. It's nothing but glaring, sneering, political cynicism at its worst.

But apologize if it makes you feel better. Once a day. Every day.

If you must, why don't you start here.

Now There's a Plan That Will Achieve Victory

The Democrats have finally come up with that long-awaited plan.

May God have mercy on us:
House Democrats to Unveil Iraq War Plan
By David Espo, AP Special Correspondent

Washington (AP) -- In a direct challenge to President Bush, House Democrats are advancing legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of next year.

Democratic officials who described the measure said the timetable would be accelerated - to the end of 2007 - if the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki does not meet goals for providing Iraq's security. (link)
Let's set aside for the moment the realities on the ground, and the reactions that the terrorists are going to have to this detailed timetable for our retreat, and the practicality of even attempting to withdraw 140,000 troops and materiale in a matter of months, and the political damage that will be done when our partners in the Iraq coalition realize that they have been abandoned, and the blow it deals to all those men and women who sacrificed greatly to actually WIN this war, and the surrealism enshrouded in the formulation of this detached and unrealisitic contrivance, and the snide, contemptible motivations for the Democrats' action, and the fact that these are the same geniuses who want our military might to be relocated to, and reconstituted on the strategically vital, and remote, island of Okinawa, ...

... set aside all that and this is still a travesty of a plan.

Why don't they just call for a Declaration of Defeat and be done with it.

Why Johnny Can't Read

Ever wonder what your kids are being taught in college?

This, coupled with the news that Angelina Jolie has been invited to join the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations (obviously because of experience gained in filming Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow), makes me fear for my country.

Put Her On The Council On Foreign Relations

Think about it. Tell me I'm wrong.

This gal's better qualified (and less insane) to be on the CFR than is the aforementioned scholar with great tits and ass:
NASA Fires Arrested Astronaut
By Carmen Gentile, The New York Times

Miami, March 7 — Capt. Lisa M. Nowak, accused last month of attacking a romantic rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut, was fired from NASA on Wednesday, agency officials said.

According to a NASA statement. Captain Nowak was dismissed because the agency “lacks the administrative means to deal appropriately with the criminal charges” against her.

Were she a civil servant, NASA would have had the choice of placing Captain Nowak on administrative leave without pay or indefinite suspension until the charges are resolved, a NASA spokesman said. But because she was an officer, those options were not available.

Instead, Captain Nowak will return to the Navy. (link)
And the Navy is so glad for that.

BB King Comes To Mind

The thrill is gone ...
It's gone away from me ...
The thrill is gone baby ...

Thus spake ... er, sang the American people:

Producer for Katie Couric Out at CBS News
By Bill Carter, The New York Times

The shake-ups at the evening newscasts continued last night.

In the latest disruption, CBS News replaced Rome Hartman, the executive producer of the “Evening News with Katie Couric,” with the long-time TV news executive and producer Rick Kaplan, said several people who were informed of the move.

The decision follows a run of disappointing ratings for the CBS newscast, which had introduced Ms. Couric as its anchor with great fanfare in September. Though the program initially scored impressive ratings, and had increased ratings among some audience groups like younger women, it had sunk back to its long-established spot of last place among the three network newscasts in terms of total viewers.

In recent weeks, the newscast had fallen short of the audience totals achieved this time last year by Bob Schieffer ... (link)

I never watch network news anymore (well, in truth I caught about 20 seconds of Ms. Couric's show once; she struck me as coming across like a disgruntled zombie; but that was a 20-second evaluation) so I can't speak to the show's viability in its contest against the other evening network news broadcasts - that are also in decline.

But if there's a lesson to be learned here, perhaps it is that "perky" don't get it when it comes to quality hard-hitting journalism.

The thrill is gone, baby.

More Closings

Martinsville is getting slammed again:

Dutailier to close Martinsville plant
Move will eliminate 45 jobs

By Ginny Wray, Martinsville Bulletin Staff Writer

Dutailier Virginia Inc. is closing its Martinsville plant and consolidating production at the company’s home office in Canada.

Plant Manager Roger Jones said Monday that he was notified of the shutdown on Thursday, and it will be completed in late April or early May.

“It’s very sad because of the employees,” he said, adding that one person had been with the plant since it opened in 1991 and several had been with it for five years or more. Employees’ take-home pay averaged $9 to $9.50 an hour, he said.

Dutailier produces glider rocking chairs. The plant opened in Martinsville in 1991 and closed its wood division a few years ago, Jones said. Since then, it has made rockers for children and some for residential use, and also sewed cushions for the chairs.

At its peak around 1999-2000, it employed 135 people locally, he said. (link)
Nine bucks an hour in wages and this plant couldn't make a go of it.

Another day. Another closing ...


IN ADDITION to all the other area plant closings, Georgia Pacific announced that it is letting 60 people go at its Martinsville facility as well.

The Roanoke Times has info on both stories.

Hat tip to Alton.