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

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Boucher Votes For Military Retreat

The vote is in. Our congressman is on the record.

Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) sided yesterday with Murtha and Pelosi - and al Qaeda - and voted to abandon our troops in the field. And to cut the Iraqis loose to fend for themselves. And to give up everything we've achieved in the war.

He voted in favor of defeat.

The news:
House, 218 to 212, Votes to Set Date for Iraq Pullout
By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

Washington, March 23 — A deeply divided House of Representatives voted Friday to bring most American combat troops home from Iraq next year, with Democrats employing their new Congressional majority to create the most forceful challenge yet to President Bush’s war policy.

The legislation aimed at accelerating an end to the war passed on a vote of 218 to 212, with all but two Republicans opposing. Even as the debate moves to the Senate, where a less restrictive plan is to be considered next week, Mr. Bush dismissed the action as “political theater” and promised to veto attempts to manage the war from Capitol Hill. (link)
President Bush may dismiss this act of cowardice as political theater, but I take it more seriously.

Osama bin Ladin is in a cave somewhere applauding the actions of Rick Boucher and his Democratic ilk. And he's sharpening his knives. Loading his weapons. Preparing, should Boucher get his way, for the pullout to begin.

Never in the history of the United States of America has there been a more brazen act of cowardice in the face of the enemy.

We Pay Them To Pay Us

Employers are leaving Southwest Virginia in droves. And for one reason: The cost of doing business here is too great. So we lose them to China and Indonesia. And, worse still, we lose the jobs they provided (see resulting damage in "On Our Way To Zero Unemployment" post entry below).

Included in that cost are taxes going to state government. The same state government that takes the tax revenue and funnels (a portion of) it back into Southwest Virginia, ostensibly to create jobs.

We pay them so that they can pay us ...

We've gone stark raving mad.

I regularly provide news and information on the job losses. Let me today outline the job creation efforts.
Governor recommends ARC funding for Southwest Virginia
By NRVNews (link)

Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced today that he has recommended nearly $2.2 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding for 17 projects in Southwest Virginia. The funds will help support cultural programs and tourism, build community infrastructure, and promote entrepreneurship and workforce development.

2007 ARC Area Development Grant Funding:
Applicant - Project - Award

Mountain Empire Community College - Building Economic Development Competitiveness Through Workforce Development in Electromechanical Technology - $99,969

Scott County Economic Development Authority - Daniel Boone Interpretive Center - $400,000
Southwest Virginia Community College - Medical Laboratory Technology Training Program - $100,000

Town of Clintwood - Longs Fork Sewer Project - $500,000

Smyth-Washington Industrial Facility Authority - Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing - $25,000

Virginia's First Regional Industrial Facility Authority - New River Valley Community Broadband Network - $100,000

Alleghany County - East-Alleghany County Wastewater System Improvement Project and Route 727 Bridge Replacement Project - $500,000

Blue Ridge Music Center - Blue Ridge Music Center Program Development - $60,000
‘Round The Mountain - Southwest Virginia Virtual Artisan Project - $45,000

Tazewell County Board of Supervisors - Pocahontas - Northern Tazewell County - $175,479
University of Virginia's College at Wise - Healthy Appalachia - $21,950
Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association - Wilderness Road Blockhouse Interpretive Center - $30,000

Carter Family Memorial Music Center - Museum Director for the Carter Family Memorial Music Center - $30,000

Youth Outreach of Buchanan County - PICK – Playing Instruments Changes Kids - 20,000
Birthplace of Country Music Alliance - Birthplace of Country Music E-Commerce - $5,000
Roanoke Valley/Alleghany Regional Commission - Greater Alleghany Highlands Region Tourism Trail Concept Development - $25,000
Town of Pulaski - Virginia's Nanotechnology Park – Planning - $40,000
Here's a crazy thought. What if this money, intended to boost the local economy for the most part, along with all the tax revenue that was skimmed off the top to keep the thousands of bureaucrats in Richmond gainfully employed, had remained here in Southwest Virginia in the first place. And all those employers who have shut down their operations because their costs became too great, had been able to stay in business. Each of which might have kept their employees - tens of thousands all told - in a paycheck.
We then wouldn't need job creation programs.
A thought someone is someday going to consider.

On The Way To Zero Unemployment

More evidence comes in that the (hiking) path we're on here in Southwest and Southside Virginia is taking us nowhere:
Local population dips by 1,825 since 2000
From Danville Register & Bee staff reports

Danville - Figures released by the Census Bureau show a population decline in Danville and surrounding communities.

In 2000, Danville boasted 48,411 people, but that number has dropped by more than 1,800 over the past six years. The population estimate for Danville in 2006 was 46,586 - down roughly 4 percent.

Other cities and towns in Southside also lost population, according to the report.

Martinsville’s population dropped from 15,368 in 2000 to 14,945 in the current estimate. Henry County dipped from 57,930 to 56,208 people. (link)
There are those who would have you believe that we are doing quite well here. The thousands of area residents who have packed their bags and headed north looking for work say otherwise.

We're All Going To Die! Part XXLMCII

How to explain Al Gore and his global warming hysteria? And this bit of delirium:

Pandemic would create $3 billion loss for state economy
The Associated Press

A severe panedmic flu outbreak could result in the deaths of 17,000 West Virginians, sicken another half a million and cost the state’s economy $3 billion in lost business and productivity.

The nonprofit Trust for America’s Health looked at how the nation’s economy would react if a flu outbreak as severe as the 1918 pandemic were to hit the county. The group also looked at how a pandemic would affect individual state economies.

If a flu outbreak were to occur, the study estimates that 17,000 West Virginians would die and another 537,000 would get sick. Nationally, 90 million people could become sick with 2.2 million dying, the study said. (link)

Sheesh. Someone get these people some Haldol.

This Can't Be

Somebody has some explaining to do:

Killer In Pet Food: Illegal Rat Poison
By Kenneth Lovett and Andy Soltis, The New York Post

March 24, 2007 -- Pet food suspected of killing hundreds of dogs and cats in the United States contained rat poison - but investigators don't know why, state officials said yesterday.

The deadly toxin, Aminopterin, is banned in the United States but turned up in cat-food samples.

"It's a substance that shouldn't be there at all as far as we know - and it is there in substantial amount," said Bruce Akey, executive director of the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center. (link)

A chemical that is banned in Canada finds its way into pet food made in Canada.

The plot thickens ...

How To Grow Jobs ... In China

... like the Chinese need any more help from us.

Rich Lowry on Crazy Al's theory of global warming economics:

Gore's Happy Talk
By Rich Lowry, writing in the New York Post

It is a common argument among advocates of green-house-gas restrictions and clean-technology subsidies that these measures will be an economic boon. When John Edwards unveiled his plan to "halt global warming," he promised to create a million new jobs as part of "a new energy economy." If global warming can be stopped while adding jobs to the economy - what are we waiting for? We can have all the economic growth we want and save the planet too.

As it happens, serious efforts to combat global warming in the United States will create new jobs, but most of them probably will be in China and India. It was just four years ago that Democrats were attacking "out-sourcing." Now they are willing to contemplate measures that would encourage it in the cause of reduced American carbon emissions. (link)
On top of the myriad other costs that are built into our economic way of life here in the USA, from OSHA regulations to gas taxes to equipment and inventory taxes to workers comp, we are going to add the burden of meeting wildly expensive CO2 emissions standards.

And the Chinese will be supportive.
And will smile.
And will ignore the requirements, as they do all the others that we levy on ourselves.
And will go about the business of taking over the world.

I guess we can take comfort in knowing that we are at least saving it for them to take over.

On That 'Lexus In Every Garage' Syndrome

... or what some call universal health care.

Want a good example of why it will fail us? Why it is in the process currently of failing us? Look no further:
Fairness for Mental Health
New York Times editorial

After a decade of small-bore measures and frustrating stalemates, it looks as if Congress may be ready to require that insurance coverage for mental illness and substance abuse be provided on the same terms as coverage for physical ailments. So-called parity legislation would be a boon to the millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness or addiction and find it hard to afford treatment. It should also reduce the high productivity losses from depressed or stressed workers.

The Senate and the House should move aggressively to pass this much-needed legislation and send it to President Bush for his signature. (link)
Read and learn this: There isn't enough money on the planet to finance all that which these people want insurance companies to cover, whether it involves mental illness or exotic drugs or intricate therapies and surgical procedures. Liberals will demand that it all be covered, and that it be "free."

As a direct result, your health care is soon to be rationed. And it will become increasingly expensive (either on the front end or - through taxation - on the back end). And it will be far less convenient than it is now. And the quality of service is going to decline. And there will be fewer caregivers. Fewer hospital beds.

Because these people wanted it all, and didn't want to pay for it.

And the baby boom generation - tens of millions of elderly citizens - is now going into retirement ...

Michelle Malkin Joins The Fray

On the Roanoke Times exposing concealed carry permit holders' names, addresses, etc.

I had written not long ago that a good rule to follow is to never go out of your way to upset 4,000,000 heavily armed redneck NRA members, an organization in which I proudly claim membership. I might also suggest that you don't get on Michelle Malkin's bad side.

The woman will hurt you*.

* ... rhetorically speaking.

I Ain't Alone

It seems I'm not the only person around here who is trying to understand why presidential hopeful John Edwards would drag his terminally ill wife in front of the cameras and announce, in solemn tones, that her illness has returned, then proceed to have her show her support for him:
Public Takes Up Pros and Cons of Edwards Bid
By Kirk Johnson, The New York Times

Denver, March 23 — Important policy debates about the course of the nation in the next presidential election are still out there and will no doubt return. But for one day, many people all over the country seemed able to pause and reflect on something deeper, to questions of mortality and the bonds of marriage, ambition and devotion, hope and denial.

The announcement by former United States Senator John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, that they would continue his bid to be the Democratic Party nominee for president despite the spread of incurable breast cancer into her bones has opened a door, people all over the country said on Friday, to a discussion of character, his and hers.

For many people, the discussion is personal and visceral — the difference between wisdom and intelligence, and how best to spend a finite time with a loved one whose health and life are under siege by disease.

Is Mr. Edwards now the presidential race’s real embodiment of hope in all its audacity, or a symbol of blind ambition? A new profile in courage or a standard-bearer for callous disregard? (link)
In the past, such announcements were handled with a discreet and carefully worded press release. Accompanied, perhaps, by a one-on-one interview with some prominent reporter.

But a press conference? A pre-press conference announcement? Hundreds of reporters and cameras? A campaign announcement?

What kind of person would do that?