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

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Carrico To Run Again

Delegate Bill Carrico (R-Grayson County), the man who should be our 9th district congressman today (had he decided to actually pursue the office), has announced that he will seek reelection:
Carrico to seek fourth term
By Christopher Brooke, Galax Gazette Staff Reporter

Hillsville - Del. Bill Carrico stood on the steps of the historic Carroll County Courthouse on Monday to make it official that he will seek a fourth term in the Virginia House of Delegates.The Republican legislator from Fries told about 15 supporters under the courthouse's arched portico that he feels the best place he can serve the public during the next two years is from the Virginia General Assembly.

“Together we have made great strides to improve the 5th District, but there is still work to be done,” he said. “As you all know, we have battled staggering unemployment rates, but we are moving in the right direction.” (link)
Carrico is a good man. A man destined to take on a leadership role here in the commonwealth. Here's a hearty Go For It, Bill.

What's This 'Maintain' Stuff, Guv?

This news out of West Virginia this morning made me chortle*:
Manchin vetoes ‘pike bill
By Tom Colley, Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Charleston — Despite a strong southern West Virginia effort to move control of the West Virginia Turnpike to the state legislature, Gov. Joe Manchin on Wednesday evening said “no.”

Manchin vetoed a bill Wednesday crafted by a unified regional delegation, which aggressively pushed House and Senate approval.

It would have established legislative oversight on toll rates on the 88-mile Princeton-to-Charleston highway.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Wednesday evening, Manchin said he was aware of the strong feelings about the bill, and defended his veto by saying, “We’re doing everything we can do to protect the maintenance of the highway. Its future must be protected.” (link)
I'm not sure what that "protection of the maintenance" verbiage is all about but it obviously, based upon the non-maintenance of the Turnpike (I-77) between mile markers 40 and 45 in Beckley, a stretch of highway that is on the verge of being impassable, has nothing to do with protection OR maintenance of the road.

Its future must be protected? How about protecting the safety of the driving public, there Joe?

And, though I'll save the thought for another day, why make the poor schlubs in southern West Virginia pay an extra $37.50 a week in taxes (in the form of highway tolls) if they want to work full time in - and commute to - Charleston?

* I must tell you, I chortled when my caffeine-drenched brain coughed up that word.

Quote Of The Day

From James Taranto:
The Palestinian Sewer

"Further deadly sewage floods are feared after a wave of stinking waste and mud from a collapsed septic pool inundated a Gaza village, killing five people, including two babies," the Associated Press reports:

The collapse has been blamed on residents stealing sand from an embankment.

It highlighted the desperate need to upgrade Gaza's overloaded, outdated infrastructure--but aid officials say construction of a modern sewage treatment plant has been held up by constant Israeli-Palestinian fighting.
The report gets a bit more specific as to the meaning of "constant Israeli-Palestinian fighting":

Umm Naser is about 300 metres [300 million microns] from the border with Israel, in an area where Palestinians have frequently launched rockets into Israel and Israeli artillery and aircraft have fired back. The situation worsened after Hamas-linked militants captured an Israeli soldier last June in a cross-border raid, and Israel responded by invading northern Gaza. The Jerusalem Post reported earlier this month that metal provided by Israel had been used in the construction of those terrorist rockets. And why was Israel selling the Palestinians metal? "For the construction of a sewage system in Gaza."

Palestinian babies drown in sewage because of the bloodlust of Palestinian grown-ups. What a fetid political culture.
Best of the Web Today, March 28, 2007

How Do You Spell Peeyeeeuu?

Lid not shut on McDowell County landfill project

An Idea That Will Some Day Be Given Its Due

I'm not sure that the way they're going about it is all that legal, but its time has come:
Md. Senate Advances Bill To Dodge Electoral College
By John Wagner and Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post Staff Writers

Maryland is poised to become the first state to agree to bypass the electoral college and effectively elect U.S. presidents by national popular vote under legislation moving briskly toward the desk of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

But the bill comes with a big caveat: It would not take effect until enough other states agree to do the same.

The bill, which the Senate approved 29 to 17 yesterday, would award the state's 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide -- not statewide. (link)
I believe in majority rule. It should apply to the most important election process we will ever particpate in.

Abolish the electoral college. Power to the people!

George Will Signs On To My Proposal

Let it be noted. I made this suggestion a full two weeks ago:
The Seat Congress Can't Offer
By George F. Will, The Washington Post

Lincoln supposedly said: If I call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Five? No, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg. Which brings us to the proposal to treat the District of Columbia as if it were a state.

Today's Democratic-controlled Congress wants to give the District, by legislation, a full voting member in the House of Representatives.

Many clauses in the Constitution leave room for conflicting interpretations.

Regarding the composition of the House of Representatives, however, the Constitution is unambiguous. Article I, Section 2 says the House shall be composed of members chosen "by the people of the several states."

If majorities in both houses of today's Congress want the fewer than 600,000 District residents to be fully represented, they can accomplish that with legislation shrinking the city to the core containing the major federal buildings and monuments, and giving the rest back to Maryland. (link)
Mr. Will then adds this: "Democrats are uninterested in that because it would not serve their primary objective of increasing their Senate seats." Which is why it won't happen in our lifetime.

But it is gratifying to find the smartest man in journalism glom onto one of my proposals. Although accreditation would seem to have been in order. Ahem.

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Ever seen a surface mine that has been abandoned, made whole, and returned to nature? If you haven't, let me provide a few photos (courtesy of the federal Office of Surface Mining). Looks like a nature park, doesn't it?

And it looks a whole lot more appealing, with all due respect, than do the rugged, twisted, inhospitable mountains that God originally created in Southwest and West Virginia.

This, friends, is beautiful. Transformed. Inviting. Pleasurable.

And Americans earned a living from it. Families were made whole. Children fed and clothed. People prospered. The area we live in was made slightly, ever so slightly, better.

Well, not to those who see human activity inherently ugly:

Mountaintop Rescue
New York Times editorial

Mountaintop mining is a cheap and ruthlessly efficient way to mine coal: soil and rock are scraped away by enormous machines to expose the buried coal seam, then dumped down the mountainside into the valleys and streams below.

Mountaintop mining has also caused appalling environmental damage in violation of the Clean Water Act. According to a federal study, mountaintop removal has buried or choked 1,200 miles of Appalachian streams and damaged hundreds of square miles of forests.

Now a federal judge has inspired hopes that this destructive nonsense can be brought to a halt. In a case argued by two advocacy groups, Earthjustice and the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, Judge Robert Chambers of Federal District Court halted four mountaintop removal projects on the grounds that the Army Corps of Engineers — which issued permits for the projects — had failed to demonstrate that the damage would not be irreversible. He also said the corps had failed to conduct the necessary environmental reviews.

Local residents who have watched the destruction of their landscape hope the ruling will lead to tighter regulation of other mountaintop mining proposals. The greater hope is that the government can be persuaded to stop the practice altogether. (link)

This written by people who have probably never been to the area, who don't give a damn about the well-being of our residents, and who, in all reality, wouldn't be caught dead in the same room with us. We are to them, after all, unhygienic, smelly, toothless, degenerate half-wits, who are required to provide them with a warm, gratifying view of pristine, unretouched mountains as they fly over this land-that-time-forgot, at 27,000 feet, in their Gulf Stream V's, Dom Perignon in hand, on their way to Palm Beach, to do their part to save the environment by ordering their manservants and maidservants to eat on paper rather than plastic, and look down.

Personally, I love the look of the mountaintop redesign work.

It sure as hell beats the rugged, twisted, inhospitable confines of downtown Manhattan.