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

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

George Orwell Had No Idea

I know you all have seen the YouTube video portrayal of Hillary Clinton as Big Brother. But you need to watch it again. It is very cool.

Click the image below to view Hillary '1984'

I guess it's the fact that she frightens the Speedos off of me that makes this clip so believable.

Interesting Economic News

Arnold Schwarzenegger is all the rage in liberal mainstream media circles. Especially since he introduced a universal health care plan in his adopted state of California. Hillary, too, I hear, is now quite the admirer.

But experts, those that don't get caught up in his politics or, like Hillary, in his pecs, see only gloom and doom on the horizon.

In a report that touts Virginia's pro-business climate*, giving the commonwealth a ranking of Numero Uno, guess which state came in dead last out of all 50?

No. Not Mississippi.

Media fantasyland.

* I don't get too worked up over such pronouncements; they apply only to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads

These People Know No Shame

The following reminds me of America's best-known spy - and best-selling author - and sex goddess - double-secret covert agent Valerie Plame complaining that the Bush White House blew her super-secret CIA cover, just weeks before her multi-page full color spread in Vanity Fair appeared, just before her latest novel was released, just before her husband appeared on every mainstream TV talk show to tell us of her plight, just before Valerie was invited to attend Democratic Party planning sessions organized to plot the trashing of those who blew her double-super-secret cover ... had Playboy called by then?

Anyway, check this guy out:
Climate scientist sees cover-up
By Eric Pfeiffer, The Washington Times

A NASA scientist who said the Bush administration muzzled him because of his belief in global warming yesterday acknowledged to Congress that he'd done more than 1,400 on-the-job interviews in recent years.

James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who argues global warming could be catastrophic, said NASA staffers denied his request to do a National Public Radio interview because they didn't want his message to get out.

But Republicans told him the hundreds of other interviews he did belie his broad claim he was being silenced.

"We have over 1,400 opportunities that you've availed yourself to, and yet you call it, you know, being stifled," said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican. (link)
Kinda reminds you of Hollywood's leading anti-American, Sean Penn, doesn't it? When he complained that the anti-war mainstream press refused to get his anti-war message out? (when, in fact, they were - and are - doing nothing but ...)

So this scientist complains that his message is being blocked by the White House. Except for the 1,400 times it wasn't.

For the love of Christ. And these people have taken charge.

The Rest Of The Story

We are subjected this morning to an ass-kissing story in the Roanoke Times about Senator James Webb and his effort to develop something called carbon sequestration:

Webb pushes effort to clean emissions
Carbon sequestration could clear the way for wider use of coal and related technologies.
By Paul Dellinger, The Roanoke Times

A push to curb global warming could benefit Virginia Tech researchers.

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is co-sponsoring a bill to speed up research on ways to neutralize carbon dioxide given off by burning of fossil fuels such as coal.

Michael Karmis, director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech, talked with Webb last week in Washington, D.C., about carbon sequestration, which is the capture of atmospheric carbon believed to be a cause of global warming.

"This legislation is an important step to develop (sic) technologies that allow us to use fossil fuels in a more efficient and environmentally sound manner," Webb said in announcing the bill this month. (link)


There are only a few problems with this doing-battle-with-windmills endeavor of his:

1) This mammoth project - carbon sequestration - involves pumping carbon dioxide emissions from our coal-fired power plants into storage areas deep underground. That pumping process in itself requires that the plants involved expend up to 60% more precious energy to produce energy.

2) All this to eliminate what some scientists consider to be a non-problem. CO2, after all, is our friend. Ask any potted plant.

3) By the time Webb gets his legislation passed, and researchers are able to figure out how to make this process work, and plant designers, engineers, and builders are able to implement his proposal, and man-induced global warming will be exposed for the fraud that it is, and average global temperatures will be on the way back down - as they have always proven to do after they had gone up (the word is cyclical) since the beginning of time - there'll be no need for Webb's silly legislation.

Makes for a good ass-kiss story though.

Another Tax-Happy Republican To Retire

And this one should have known better:
Influential state senator from Southside to retire
By Mason Adams, The Roanoke Times

State Sen. Charles Hawkins, R-Chatham, announced this morning that after 26 years in the General Assembly he’s decided not to seek re-election.

Hawkins joins a growing list of Senate Republicans, including Russ Potts of Winchester and John Chichester of Northumberland County, to retire this year. Another senior Republican on the House of Delegates side, Del. Vince Callahan of Fairfax County, also has announced his retirement.

During the transportation debate of the last two years, Hawkins has advocated raising the gas tax to provide a “long-term sustainable revenue source” for road construction and maintenance projects.

Hawkins' 19th Senate District includes Franklin County, Pittsylvania County, Danville and a portion of Campbell County. (link)
What long-suffering Danville didn't need was a burden added to the cost of doing business there. Which is what a hike in the gas tax is, pure and simple. What Danville didn't need either, as it turned out, was Charles Hawkins.

New blood will bring new ideas to a troubled region.

Let's hope anyway ...

Gotta Love Them Democrats

We drove the Republicans from power in Washington last November because they had fallen prey to the power and influence of "the special interests." That's the storyline anyway.

The Democrats took charge and, with much fanfare, vowed to bring an end to "business as usual."

But those powerful special interests, it appears, like that poltergeist in the same-named movie ... well, they're ba-a-a-c-c-k.

In spades:
Funding more than war
By S.A. Miller, The Washington Times

Nearly half of the $21 billion that House Democrats added to President Bush's request for emergency war funding would go to nonmilitary spending and to pork projects.

The supplemental spending bill includes more than $3.7 billion in farm subsidies, $2.9 billion in additional Gulf Coast hurricane relief and $2.4 billion for social programs such as money for rural Northwest school districts, health insurance for poor children, energy assistance for poor families and others. (link)
From those who think of themselves as being sublime, comes the ridiculous:
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said nonmilitary items in the emergency spending bill address vital needs that the previous Republican-led Congress neglected and that can't go unfunded until the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

"We are responding to needs that last Republican majority ignored, such as funding for children's health care that was requested by Republican and Democratic governors," Hoyer spokeswoman Stacey Bernards said.
It doesn't say whether the pitiable Steny Hoyer was suffering from one of his recurring bouts with insanity at the time he made that ridiculous and laughable statement - through his spokeswoman.

What exactly are those "vital" "needs" that had to be forced into the "emergency" military spending bill?

You ain't gonna believe it:

● vaccines against a bird-flu epidemic

● the State Children's Health Insurance Program

● something called "wildfire suppression" (half a billion dollars)

● the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

● food aid to Africa

● funds to compensate ranchers who lost livestock in disasters

● ... milk subsidies

● ... peanut subsidies

● ... spinach subsidies

and something no federal spending bill can be without these days - more Gulf Coast hurricane relief

When asked to respond to criticism that all this wasteful spending was being tossed into a much-needed military spending bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "I don't know ..." [the rest of her statement is of no importance].

Yup, we are breathing that fresh air blowing in from Washington D.C. The Democrats have brought an end to "business as usual."

Trying Mightily To Keep The Story Alive

This is absolutely pathetic.

The Washington Post, working feverishly to keep attorney-gate on the front page, foists this pitiable excuse for a story upon a reading public that is trying desperately, and now unsuccessfully, to digest its morning Wheaties:

Fitzgerald Ranked During Leak Case
Justice Dept. Fired 2 With Same Rating
By Dan Eggen and John Solomon, Washington Post Staff Writers

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had "not distinguished themselves" on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation that resulted in the perjury conviction of a vice presidential aide, administration officials said yesterday.

The ranking placed Fitzgerald below "strong U.S. Attorneys . . . who exhibited loyalty" to the administration but above "weak U.S. Attorneys who . . . chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.," according to Justice documents. (link)

Got that?

U.S. attorney Fitzgerald was fired for ... well, no he wasn't fired.

U.S. attorney Fitzgerald was abruptly and ingloriously removed from the Scooter Libby investigation becau ... well, no. Actually he was able to successfully complete his task with absolutely no White House interference.

U.S. attorney Fitzgerald was reprimanded for ... well, no he wasn't reprimanded either.

U.S. attorney Fitzgerald was demoted ... uh.

U.S. attorney Fitzgerald was disinvited to the Knicks game?

Lunch at Denny's?

No. U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's name was on a list of names of U.S. attorneys.

Where's Schumer? We need a Congressional hearing.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences

It is no accident that the Chinese stock markets are booming. Since taking a slight pounding a few weeks ago, both the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets have once again begun to soar.

The reasons for this are many, having to do, in large measure, with the phenomenal growth in Chinese commerce. But it also has to do with the fact that the USA is driving investors out of the U.S. marketplace and into the inviting arms of the Chinese.

The cost of litigation in this country is one big reason, with most large corporations finding themselves having to hire an army of attorneys to handle lawsuits, frivolous and otherwise.

But there is another reason. A government-forced (go figure ...) cost of doing business that requires the hiring (in addition to all those attorneys) a staff of accountants to properly implement something called Sarbanes-Oxley (affectionately known as SOX).

To give you an idea just how anti-business this legislation is, the virulently anti-business New York Times this morning argues for its protection:

Statements and Restatements
New York Times editorial

The Bush administration — with the vocal support of business interests — is arguing that the time is right to loosen some of the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform law, passed after the scandals at Enron and WorldCom. But if anyone doubts that these reforms, designed to increase accuracy and accountability, are necessary, consider this: According to the research firm Glass Lewis, nearly 10 percent of companies listed on exchanges in the United States refiled their financial statements last year after finding mistakes.

Internal controls are the methods that companies use to ensure that their financial statements are accurate, like reconciling cash on a company’s books with its actual bank statements or running built-in software checks of accounts. They include such simple steps as having a code of ethics and determining whether the company has sufficient accounting staff.

Sarbanes-Oxley’s Section 404 — much maligned by businesses as too expensive and onerous — requires that these controls be tested by management and checked by outside auditors. Sometimes problems crop up where ... (link)

Ironically, Sarbanes-Oxley was intended to provide investors with accurate, detailed information about the financial condition of the corporations in which they held investments, or were thinking about investing in. The same investors who are fleeing the U.S. markets and are now pouring money into companies listed in China, where the costs of doing business are much more favorable.

Sarbanes-Oxley is contributing to that flight.

Another example of your government hard at work to protect you.

A Force To Be Reckoned With

The average American doesn't care about Iraqis being slaughtered by the hundreds each week. Not really.

But watch him get fired up when he hears (and reads) about things like this:

Tests by Pet Food Maker Killed 7 Animals Before Recall
By Katie Zezima, The New York Times

Of the 10 cats and dogs whose deaths have been linked to pet food that was recalled over the weekend, seven died in a test that the manufacturer began administering last month, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

The company, Menu Foods of Streetsville, Ontario, started testing its product on 40 to 50 animals on Feb. 27, one week after it began hearing from owners who said the food had made their pets ill, said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

The company alerted the F.D.A. to its findings last week, and the agency has since opened a full investigation ... (link)

The phone lines and web servers have been jammed with people trying to find out if little Fluffy is going to die.

There are an estimated 130,000,000 Fluffys in America.

We live in interesting times.