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

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why Not Just Hang Yourself?

It would seem that not all of America's spaced-out hippies died of overdoses in the 60's. Some lived. And bred:
Fed up with war, some refuse to pay taxes
The Associated Press

New Haven, Conn. -- When the United States invaded Iraq more than four years ago, war opponent David Gross asked his bosses for a radical pay cut, enough so he wouldn't have to pay taxes to support the war.

"I was having a hard time looking at myself in the mirror," Gross said. "I knew the bombs falling were in part paid with my tax dollars. I had to actually do something concrete to remove my complicity."

The San Francisco technical writer was making about $100,000 a year. He didn't know exactly how big a cut he would need to fall below the federal tax threshold, but he later found out that he would have to make less than minimum wage.

In any event, his employer turned him down and he quit. Gross, 38, now works on a contract basis and manages to live on about $15,000 per year by carefully tracking his spending. Last year, he refused to pay self-employment taxes. (link)
Good God. A posterboy for the looney left if there ever was one.

On That Lovely & Talented Presidential Candidate*

No. There's no way that moniker will ever be hung on the wicked witch of the east. I'm here referring to John Edwards, the filthy rich crusader for the filthy poor. I have to confess: He makes my job so much more fun. Like that Energizer Bunny, he just keeps on going and going and ...

Splitting Hairs, Edwards's Stylist Tells His Side of Story
By John Solomon, Washington Post Staff Writer

For four decades, Joseph Torrenueva has cut the hair of Hollywood celebrities, from Marlon Brando to Bob Barker, so when a friend told him in 2003 that a presidential candidate needed grooming advice, he agreed to help.

At first, the haircuts were free. But because Torrenueva often had to fly somewhere on the campaign trail to meet his client, he began charging $300 to $500 for each cut, plus the cost of airfare and hotels when he had to travel outside California.

Torrenueva said one haircut during the 2004 presidential race cost $1,250 because he traveled to Atlanta and lost two days of work.

"He has nice hair," the stylist said ... (link)

$1,250 for a haircut. "Nice" had better be just the first adjective to describe it.

The only thing that could make this story better is if we find out that Torrenueva is an illegal immigrant.

I'll say this: My $10 haircut (at Lindy's in Bland; I highly recommend him) will get me elected to office as quickly as a $1,250 haircut will get this joker to the White House.

He is kinda pretty though. Maybe Hillary should try going to Edwards' barber. Soon.

* James Taranto's wonderful descriptor

Snake Oil Saleswoman Comes To Town

All Scott County needs in order to be a tourism powerhouse is a tourism director. So says a voodoo princess representative from the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Oh, and restaurants and hotels wouldn't hurt:

Tourism official lauds Scott County character
By Clifford Jeffery, Kingsport Times-News

Gate City - A representative from the Virginia Tourism Corp. told the Scott County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the rural county in Southwest Virginia has a character all its own.

With plenty of opportunities in outdoor recreation and a tradition of music linked to The Crooked Road and Carter Family Fold, Scott County has something to offer that Kingsport and other areas of the Tri-Cities do not, said Kitty Barker from the state tourism corporation.

But there are requirements for a healthy tourism industry that the county is lacking. Restaurants and hotels are both priorities, she told the board.

Barker also said that promoting a region's tourism is something that requires a full-time director.

"I think it is time your county focus on tourism. Let's build it and get things going to bring some revenue in for your coffers," she said.

Now I don't blame this gal for getting it ass-backwards. She is after all paid handsomely to lead cheers make such silly claims and to stroke the egos of the taxpayers' tax spenders.

But ass-backwards she is.

Name one vacation spot on the planet that was built around a restaurant.

Diners, dinettes, and très cher gargotes (miraculously) appear where patrons already are. They don't draw customers to an area. Same with hotels. Tourists decide what they want to tour and then find a place to sleep once their tourin' has been accomplished. They don't flock to an area just to luxuriate in a particular Motel 6 bathtub.

Same with that notion that hiring a full-time tourism director is going to bring tourists to Scott County. It's the other way around. Scott County will need a tourism director once it gets some tourists to wander into the area to view its weeds, bushes, and rock formations. A director can't direct what ain't there.

County Supervisor Danny Parks has it right, even if he swallows the snake oil after uttering what is a portentous statement of fact: "Supervisor Danny Parks said the county is still 'spinning its wheels on tourism.'" His recommendation? Hire a tourism director.

I recommend hiring two. You'll double the revenue!

I should work for the Virginia Tourism Corporation ...

An Interesting Race Shaping Up

Did you know that there are more people living in tiny Fairfax County than live in all 22 counties in Southwest Virginia? Hundreds of thousands more? (1,016,483 in Fairfax to 681,705 in SW VA)

That stat, coupled with the fact that Fairfax generates a huge percentage of the commonwealth's tax revenue, which means it exerts extraordinary political influence, makes a certain campaign there one to watch. Very closely:

Senate Race Defies Labels
Davis Is Facing A Bluer Fairfax
By Amy Gardner, Washington Post Staff Writer

Depending on who's talking, state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis is either running a smart campaign that takes nothing for granted or she's scared to death that her bluer-than-ever Fairfax County district is disinclined to pick a Republican this year.

The truth probably lies in between.

Since the start of spring, she has spent nearly every weekend and many weeknights hitting neighborhood after neighborhood, knocking on doors, smiling, chatting and listening -- and making no mention of the "R" after her name.

It's the changing color of this area from red to blue," said Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax), who shares two precincts with Davis but will retire at the end of the year. "She's done an outstanding job, but the Democrats smell blood, and they're going after her big-time."

As a result, Davis's opponent, Democrat J. Chapman Petersen, is getting extra attention from state party leaders who view Davis's seat as their best chance to make gains against the GOP's 23-17 majority in the Senate. (link)

There's no mistaking the fact that Fairfax has turned pitiably liberal (voters there went big for gay marriage and crushed George Allen in the last statewide election; they even allow an anti-semitic dunce named Jim Moran to routinely embarrass them in Congress because he too is rabidly liberal).

It will be interesting to see how far to the left Ms. Devolites Davis has to tack in order to kowtow to her increasingly leftist constituency, and interesting too to see if her efforts are successful.

As for her ever seeking support in growingly conservative Southwest Virginia ...

Bad News In Bristol

Signs are pointing to Virginia Intermont not being able to turn the corner:
Virginia Intermont misses funding goal
The Associated Press

Bristol -- Virginia Intermont College didn't meet a deadline for a fundraising challenge established by a city businessman, but the deadline will be extended.

Auto dealer Bill Gatton initially gave Virginia Intermont College $250,000 and offered $750,000 more if $5 million could be raised by the end of June. Intermont President Michael Puglisi would not say how much money has been raised, but in May he said about half of the $5 million was in hand.

Officials announced in April that they would need about $4 million to remain open next year. (link)
Virginia Intermont employed 72 full-and part time faculty before its economic woes came crashing down. Let's hope it can find a new funding source. Fast.

Back To The Drawing Board

Not only are my corn flakes going up in price, there are apparently a number of other (less important) reasons to oppose the production of ethanol, the new, hot biofuel of the moment:
Energy mythology
Andrew Morriss, The Washington Times

Political talk about "energy security" is Washington code for consumers paying higher prices for more expensive domestically produced fuels. Why have politicians turned against consumers? Because they hope producers of the more expensive fuels will open their wallets to support the politicians" next campaign. That brings us to one of the biggest consumer ripoffs in the Senate bill: the renewable fuels mandates.

Ethanol is a dubious pick for three reasons.

(1) Ethanol may not even add much net energy, because it takes so much energy to grow, harvest, transport, and process the corn. Cornell scientist David Pimentel has calculated the net energy from plant-based ethanol and concluded there is "no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel."

(2) Producing enough ethanol to replace a significant portion of gasoline would also require a massive expansion of corn and other crop production, causing environmental problems and driving up food prices around the world. Existing ethanol programs have doubled corn prices, making everything from pork in America to tortillas in Mexico more expensive.

(3) We lack the pipelines, gas station tanks, and other infrastructure to deliver ethanol to consumers. Building these would divert billions from making our existing energy infrastructure more secure and reliable. (link)
Coal is looking better all the time.

A Question Someone Needs To Answer

With regard to race and our school kids, George Will asks ("Evil Distinctions," The New York Post"):

How did we get from this: "Distinctions by race are so evil, so arbitrary and invidious that a state bound to defend the equal protection of the laws must not invoke them in any public sphere" (the NAACP's brief, written by Thurgood Marshall, in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case), to this: Local public-education establishments routinely taking cognizance of race in assigning children to schools?
Not just how, but why? And when. When will the state-sponsored racism end?

Bush Is The Nazi?

"It hardly needs to be said that the application of police powers to serve political ends is antithetical to American traditions, values and law." -- a New York Post editorial this morning.

Actually it needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

While Democrats amuse themselves whining about how, any day now, George Bush is going to seize power and turn the USA into a dictatorship (and you know who you are) (he'd better hurry, by the way, he has 18 months left to order his armies of neocons to march), they'll not let out a peep when they read the news that the governor of New York - a Democrat - ordered his state police to secretly investigate his Republican opponent.

This, friends, is something to truly be alarmed about:

Gov's Trooper Snoop Job On Bruno
By Fredric U. Dicker, The New York Post

July 5, 2007 -- Albany - Gov. Spitzer targeted state Senate Ma jority Leader Joseph Bruno for an unprecedented State Police surveillance program that led to allegations Bruno improperly used a state helicopter for political purposes, an investigation by The Post has found.

No other state official, including Spitzer and Lt. Gov. David Paterson, was singled out for the type of detailed record-keeping the State Police maintained on Bruno, the state's most powerful Republican, official records show.

A senior state official familiar with the surveillance program told The Post that he believed the governor and his aides had sought to "set up" Bruno by having the State Police keep track of his travels. (link)

George Bush is still feeling the heat over the efforts of his national security team to review domestic phone bill statements, in an attempt to find those in this country who are communicating with terrorists overseas. A task, by the way, they should be performing.

Here the governor of New York sends the state police - shades of 1984? - to dig up dirt - shades of Richard Nixon? - on his leading opponent. Resignation is too good for him.

Well, At Least He Was Eco-Friendly

I was going to give Al Gore's son a pass, having read the news that he was busted in California for drug possession and speeding down the highway. After all, it's not his fault that he has a lunatic for a father.

But one piece of the news caught my eye. The boy may have been blasted out of his mind and endangering the lives of others, but by God, he was right with Mother Nature:

Gore’s Son Is Facing Charges in California After Freeway Arrest
By Gardiner Harris, The New York Times

The son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested yesterday on speeding and drug charges, and released from a California jail 12 hours later after his sister Sarah posted cash bail of $20,000.

Mr. Gore’s son, Al III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius at a speed of about 100 miles per hour on the San Diego Freeway near the Crown Valley exit in Laguna Hills when he was pulled over by an Orange County sheriff’s deputy about 2:15 a.m., said a Sheriff’s Department spokesman, Jim Amormino.

The deputy smelled marijuana and searched the car, Mr. Amormino said. The deputy found less than an ounce of marijuana and prescription pills that included the narcotic Vicodin, the addictive sleep and anxiety aids Valium, Xanax and Soma, and the amphetamine Adderall. “He doesn’t have a prescription for any of these pills,” Mr. Amormino said, “and that’s what makes it illegal.” (link)
He was driving a hybrid.
Two thoughts:

1) Al 3 should be praised for having been arrested (well, praise may be the wrong root word) driving that gas-conserving Prius ... at 100 miles an hour.

2) He should consider sharing some of that Vicodin, Valium, Xanax and Soma with his perpetually angry old man.

Let 'Em In!

This seems to get lost in translation when talking to those who want amnesty for those 12 million Mexicans who made their first act when entering our country to be a violation of our laws. But I'm going to try again anyway.

It's not about immigration.

It's about illegal immigration.

For the foreigners highlighted in this article, I wish them all the success in the world, and hope they live productive and prosperous lives as American citizens:
Surge Seen in Applications for Citizenship
By Julia Preston, The New York Times

The number of legal immigrants seeking to become United States citizens is surging, officials say, prompted by imminent increases in fees to process naturalization applications, citizenship drives across the country and new feelings of insecurity among immigrants.

The numbers of new naturalized citizens have steadily grown, to 702,589 last year from 463,204 in 2003. A big jump occurred this year, with the number of applications increasing every month, to 115,175 in May compared with 65,782 last December.
I have always believed that we need to double, triple the quota of legal immigrants to this country (to take the place in society of all those Americans who were aborted in decades past and, with emphasis on allowing the smart ones to gain citizenship, to take the place in the business community of our youth who were poorly served by our public schools, those who are doomed to a life of flipping burgers).

Here's to legal immigration!

Of course we'll still be called xenophobes ...