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

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fact Checker!

I'm quite familiar with bourbon whiskey, having had the opportunity on a ... handful ... of occasions to do taste tests. Some might even consider me to be a connoiseur. An expert. That may be why this caught my attention:
Tailor-made for bourbon trade
By Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

Not even devoted fans of Jack Daniel's would recognize the clear liquid poured into barrels at the popular whiskey's Tennessee distillery.

At that point, the potent brew looks more like "white lightning" than the world's best-selling whiskey. It's during its time maturing for years inside new, charred white oak barrels that the whiskey acquires its amber color, plus most of its taste and aroma.

Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp. pays close attention to producing the barrels. Its barrel plant, among the largest in the country, mixes tradition with a mechanized process to keep pace with demand for Jack Daniel's and its Kentucky bourbon whiskey brands.
Uh, fellas. Jack Daniel's isn't bourbon. It's Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey. They's a difference. Like Coke and Pepsi, to those of us who have acquired the taste.

A careful reading of the verbiage actually indicates that the reporter may know the difference. That sloppy last sentence might have read, "... to keep pace with demand for Jack Daniel's and its Brown-Forman's Kentucky bourbon whiskey brands."

Clarity is a good thing. As is Maker's Mark, by the way. There is none better.

Say What?

Noun: oxymoron oksi'morón
1. Conjoining contradictory terms (as in 'deafening silence')

From an article in this morning's Washington Times:
The Washington area in about five years will cross a key threshold, becoming more than 50 percent minority for the first time, thanks mainly to rapid growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations, according to projections by the Global Insight forecasting firm. (link)
More than 50 percent minority. Hmmmm.

Is Victory Near?

I hate to get my hopes up, only to have Ted Kennedy and John McCain dash them. Again. But ...
Illegals bill hits Senate roadblock
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

The immigration deal foundered yesterday, on the verge of collapse under its own weight just days after it appeared to have a clear path to pass the Senate.

By late in the afternoon, Republicans were accusing Democrats of trying to "stuff" them, and Democrats said Republicans were trying to kill the bill by obstructing the process. Both sides were saying they don't know whether the process can be put back on track.

A showdown is scheduled for tomorrow ... (link)
Here's the bottom line: Ending up with no bill is better than settling on this amnesty bill, in any form it may take. At least our government doesn't come across as a complete joke when it comes to the passage of laws that secure our borders. It then only comes across as a complete joke as it pertains to actual border enforcement.

While Rome Burns ...

Didn't the FBI just stop a terrorist attack on JFK Airport?

No matter. There are more important things that must be dealt with:

Democrats Hope to Expand Rights at Guantánamo

They're now in charge. God help us.

Lots Of Yawping But No Solutions

The Roanoke Times can mount its high horse and pooh pooh coal-to liquid fuel technology. Congressman Nick Rahall can bemoan the use of wind power. And the environmentalists -God love 'em - can, and do, condemn all forms of energy. They still have the luxury. While petroleum is still available in abundance, they can have their fun.

But sometime soon, they need to get serious. A day fast approaching. Soon, though, ain't today:
Energy Answer on Turkey Farms Draws Ire
By Susan Saulny, The New York Times

Benson, Minn. — For anyone curious about what thousands of tons of turkey litter looks like, piled high into an indoor olfactory-assaulting mountain of manure, this old railroad stop on the extreme edge of alternative energy production is the place to be.

Thanks to the abundance of local droppings, Benson is home to a new $200 million power plant that burns turkey litter to produce electricity. For the last few weeks now, since before generating operations began in mid-May, turkey waste has poured in from nearby farms by the truckload, filling a fuel hall several stories high.

[I]t has ... put Benson, a town of 3,376 some three hours west of Minneapolis, on the map in another way: as a target of environmental advocates who question the earth-friendliness of the operation.

There is a Web site devoted to detailing the alleged environmental wrongs at the power plant, which detractors consider just another pollutant-spewing, old-technology incinerator dressed up in green clothing.
When we finally exhaust our supply of fossil fuels, Minnesota - because of its frigid winters - will be the first part of this country to be abandoned. And the environmentalists there will flee southward with the rest of humanity, seeking warmth.

Until then, they will play this game. And enjoy themselves in the process.

But it won't be long ...

A Good Read, I Hope

I have on occasion said that the most momentous political event to have occurred in my lifetime was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the symbol of Soviet domination of eastern Europe and, on a larger scale, the symbol of Communism itself.

Frederick Taylor, historian of considerable renown, has written a new book on the subject, and I'm looking forward to reading it with some considerable interest:
The Partition That Divided a City and a Civilization
By William Grimes, The New York Times

“The Berlin Wall,” [is Taylor's] gripping, impassioned history of the cold war’s most malevolent symbol.

The wall gave the world enduring images of suffering and heroism as desperate East Germans leaped from buildings, jumped across the barbed wire or tunneled their way to freedom. It inspired John F. Kennedy’s ringing declaration “Ich bin ein Berliner” ... and Ronald Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” The wall was always more than concrete.

Mr. Taylor, the author of “Dresden,” does a great service in carefully separating myth from reality, symbol from substance as he traces the history of the wall from its beginnings in August 1961 as a hastily thrown-down barbed-wire barrier to its final form: 30 miles of concrete, with 300 watchtowers manned by soldiers with orders to shoot to kill. (link)
As soon as I finish one of the several books I'm working on right now - fiction and non-fiction - I intend to get my hands on a copy of "The Berlin Wall." It should be a great read.

American Justice

Let's see. A government official of great importance is found to have lied to a grand jury. His punishment? He's recommended for a Nobel Peace Prize; he's feted by Hollywood as being one of the greatest statesmen of our time; he's clamored for in enlightened circles as a public speaker with Machiavellian skills and insights; he's called upon to run the United Nations ... Not to mention all the willing chicks ...

But Bill Clinton was a Democrat. And a media darling.

Scooter Libby gets 30 months in prison:

Libby Given 30 Months for Lying in C.I.A. Leak Case
By Neil A. Lewis, The New York Times

Washington, June 5 — I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney and one of the principal architects of President Bush’s foreign policy, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for lying during a C.I.A. leak investigation that became part of a fierce debate over the war in Iraq.

The sentence ordered by Judge Reggie B. Walton of Federal District Court and his refusal so far to delay its enactment means that Mr. Libby may have to report to prison in about two months. (link)

Though not unexpected, Libby has never run afoul of the law in his entire life, until he made up a screwy story before the grand jury that was investigating a crime that was never committed (the Valerie Plame nonsense), so some leniency might have been appropriate.

I'll guarantee you this: Had Scooter Libby turned on his bosses - especially that despised enemy of the mainstream press, Dick Cheney - and done it in such a way to get the media behind him early on, Libby would have walked away from this conviction.

Clinton. Libby. Both lied. One fried.