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

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It Musta Been The New Subway

Congratulations are pouring in to Bland County. We have economic development. So say the experts:
County wins state award
By Wayne Quessenberry, Bland County Messenger Staff

Bland County's economic development efforts are reaping rewards. For the second consecutive year, they have won state awards.

The Virginia Economic Developers Association presented its Community Economic Development Award to the county at the recent spring conference in Williamsburg. It was accepted by County Administrator Jonathan D. Sweet on behalf of the Bland County Board of Supervisors and the Bland County Economic Development Authority.

"The award is presented in population categories," Sweet noted. "For the 5,000 to 15,000 category, we won the CEDA Award out of the entire state in our population category."

"We won for our economic and community development initiatives such as our broadband deployment and existing industry programs," Sweet added. "The association stated we were a 'best practice community' for taking an innovative approach to high-speed Internet services." (link)
Look out, junior, we're on a roll. A new Subway today; corporate headquarters, transportation hub, and communications nerve center for multi-national conglomerates tomorrow.

Clean the cow poop off the welcome mat. Bland County awaits with open arms.

Food For Thought

The Richmond Times-Dispatch on Virginia's self-inflicted transportation woes:
On Thursday a headline in The Washington Post's Fairfax section reported, "Roads Plans Opposed by Counties That Would Benefit." Arlington objects to the widening of I-66, considered the worst chokepoint in Northern Virginia; Prince William objects to toll roads with HOV lanes in part because the county says the highways would attract commuters from more distant locations.

None of this surprises those who have looked at transportation with clarity. The opposition to specific projects by local officials and by private citizens plays a significant role in stalling progress. Traffic problems are not caused only by insufficient taxation or even by Republican governors and conservative legislators.

It cannot be repeated often enough: Support for general transportation programs does not always translate into support for specific highways or routes even in the regions most afflicted by congestion. Transportation requires greater revenue and more enlightened planning. This year's package is welcome but late. Nevertheless, when blamemongers seek targets for their wrath their sights ought to fall on the forces fighting the enhancements experts say the grid needs. (from "All Roads," April 8,
To those who argue that building more roads only breeds a need for more roads, welcome to Commerce 101. And to prosperity.

Until we all sprout wings and take flight ...

Quote Of The Day

From Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.:
Sen. James Inhofe is notorious for saying the theory of manmade global warming is a "hoax." Obviously we need a better theory than Mr. Inhofe's of when head-counting is a useful way of estimating the validity of a factual proposition and when it isn't. Until then, it's perhaps sufficient to say that many people believe in manmade global warming because many people believe in manmade global warming; Al Gore believes in it because many people believe in it; many people believe in it because Al Gore believes in it; and so on ...
"Climate of Opinion (Why we believe in global warming)," The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2007.

Time To Stop And Consider

I got caught in traffic on I-81 just north of Hagerstown, MD on Monday as a result of this accident that proved to be fatal to a 31-year-old New Jersey woman:

Fatal Accident Near Pennsylvania State Line
Reported by: Amie McLain, NBC25 News

NBC25 News - A car accident on Interstate-81 in Antrim Township claimed the life of another woman and closed the road for several hours.

Pennsylvania State Police said 31-year-old Megan Sullivan of New Jersey was killed after the car she was a passenger in smashed into the back of an 18-wheeler.

The driver of the car, 24-year-old Christopher Haines of Greencastle, was taken to Chambersburg hospital, where he was responsive and talking.

The driver of the tractor trailer escaped without injuries. Investigators said Haines failed to stop as he took Exit 5 off of I-81 northbound. (link)

Maryland state police had shut down northbound I-81 to clean up the accident and to allow the coroner to do his thing.

The reason that I bring this up has to do with road rage. Mine. I sat idle on the interstate for two hours, knowing from a radio broadcast what had happened up ahead and knowing that there was a fatality involved, waiting for the highway to reopen, giving me a lot of time to think. And to work myself up into a lather, considering the fact that I had a long way to go, and commitments to keep, before end of day.

But a recurring thought kept coming to me. No matter how inconveniencing this accident was for me, it was proving to be far worse for someone in that car up at exit 5. No matter how this event may have been ruining my day, there was no comparison to the day some family somewhere was about to experience.

So I patiently - well, with controlled impatience really - I waited. I finally did a U-turn and headed south to I-70 and east to Frederick, MD and north on US 15 into Pennsylvania. An arduous journey.

But not nearly as arduous as the journey the family and loved ones of that poor woman up at exit 5 had embarked upon.

The Post Gets It All Wrong

Feel good babble from the Washington Post in an editorial this morning on "climate change" and international "consensus":
A Consensus on Crisis

Getting disparate world governments to agree is like herding cats. Getting disparate world governments to agree on the effects of climate change is like teaching cats to sit, shake hands and roll over. That is why the new report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is noteworthy -- and sobering. After heavy review from government representatives, it is not a radical document. But it represents a fundamental international consensus on climate change that has developed in the past few years. And its conclusions are more than worrying. [my emphasis] (link)
So untrue. Getting governments to agree on something so far removed from their daily activities is what they do best. Agreement doesn't cost them anything. They all agree for example - on a regular basis - on the need for compliance to an array of human rights proscriptions, the same ones they all - on a regular basis - ignore.

Agreeing on a problem isn't difficult. And it requires no commitment. And certainly no action on their part. Even agreeing on a solution to a problem is no problem, as evinced in the widely revered - and utterly ignored - Kyoto Protocol. From Forbes magazine:
Canada, Japan, Europe failing on Kyoto greenhouse gas targets - UN
AFX News Limited

Paris (AFX) - Canada, Japan and the old 15-member European Union are falling short on their commitments to cut greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol, according to a new UN report on global warming.

Canada is among those countries most likely to run into difficulty implementing its commitments, as in 2003 the country had increased its emissions by 24.2 pct from the base 1990 level, far from its 2012 target of a 6 pct reduction.

Japan, meanwhile, recorded a 12.8 pct increase over the 13 years to 2003 and is headed for an increase of 12 pct by 2010 instead of the intended 6 pct reduction.

And although the 15-member European Union, which ratified the treaty en bloc in 1997, achieved a reduction of 1.4 pct in emissions from 1990 to 2003 -- it is still a long way from the 8 pct target in 2012 -- most of the 15 countries have seen emissions increasing. (link)
The EU ratified the treaty en bloc - meaning all together. In glorious union. As one.

And the EU proceeded to ignore - en bloc - that which the member nations had agreed to, with great fanfare.

So this latest release from the U.N. - one in a long line of many - is just political bluster, couched in "scientific" pronouncements and calls to action that will, as well, be completely ignored.

In other words, it's just more hot air.

Has The Luster Finally Worn Off?

Steven Soderbergh was all the buzz when Sex, Lies, and Videotape was released in 1989. He is the greatest producer/director in the history of Hollywood, we were told. The next Ingmar Bergman! The next Hitchcock! The next Kurosawa! The next ...

This despite the fact that the movie was boring to distraction. But no matter (after all, who are we but mere mortals?).

He then went on to release a long string of much-ballyhooed but, in reality, convoluted, directionless, and grossly tedious (did I mention mega-costly?) flicks that proved to be completely lost on the movie-going public (was anyone able to sit through Traffic and/or Solaris without nodding off?).

Soderbergh's glory, thus, has faded into obscurity. Deservedly.

But there's another Hollywood producer/director who has been riding the "Soderbergh Wave" for a number of years now as well. One whose movies make about as much sense and are as edifying.

Reservoir Dogs ring a bell? Kill Bill: Vol 2? Natural Born Killers? And the one that etched Quentin Tarantino's name in my memory banks for all time: From Dusk Till Dawn?

Well, his luster may now be wearing off as well, if the weekend box office receipts for his latest gorefest are any indication:
Rivals Grind Down 'Grindhouse'
By Angela Montefinise, The New York Post

April 8, 2007 -- All the hype in the world couldn't save "Grindhouse," the new double feature from directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. The R-rated slasher flick - expected to make $20 million this weekend - pulled in a measly $5 million in its Friday opening.

The movie is now predicted to rake in only $13.5 million all weekend. It was beaten by three other films Friday, including Will Ferrell's comedy "Blades Of Glory." (link)
Beaten in its first week by what some consider to be the worst movie of 2007. Not an auspicious beginning.

It couldn't have happened to a more deserving Hollywood director.

They's Doom In Those Great Numbers ... Somewhere

A really prescient commenter to this post yesterday predicted the following; "Wanna bet the NY Times and/or our local pro-socialist rag [which that is I'm not sure ...] will poor-mouth [the] good news [about the USA's strong economic numbers]?

How accurate he proves to be. Just one day later ...
Housing Slump Pinches States in Pocketbook
By Abby Goodnough, The New York Times

Miami, April 7 — State tax revenues around the country are growing far more slowly this year and in some cases falling below projections, a result of the housing market slowdown that has curbed voracious spending on real estate, building materials, furniture and other items.

Nowhere is the downturn more apparent than in ... (link)
Notice the article doesn't read: State tax revenues around the country are falling. Because they are, in fact, growing. But more slowly. And below projections. The reporter, it appears, so wanted to include the words, "... and we're all going to die!"

This is either a very slow news day or it's a call for more taxes. Both?

It MUST Be A Slow News Day

A hotel doorman in New York City has decided not to support Hillary. He's shifted his allegiance to Osama Obama. And the "news" makes the front page, I kid you not, of this morning's New York Post:
I Dumped Hill For Obama '08
By James Fanelli, The New York Post

April 8, 2007 -- Bryant Park Hotel doorman Gregory Smith campaigned door to door for Bill Clinton in 1992, he voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in both her Senate elections - but last week he went online and gave $25 to Barack Obama for president.

He says he has dumped the Clintons for the upstart Democratic senator from Illinois, whom he calls "a needed breath of fresh ideas and openness."

The doorman told The Post that Hillary Clinton's flip-flop on the war and her earlier coyness about her presidential ambitions have turned him off her - probably forever. (link)
All those highly remunerated political pundits who will be carpet-bombing the Sunday morning talk shows must be envious. A hotel doorman has more juice than they do.

Either that or there's something missing from this article ...