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

Friday, July 13, 2007

They're Supposed To MAKE Us Money, Right?

It's rather telling that the government has to keep funneling funds into area tourist attractions in order to give them a needed boost. Those would be the same tourist attractions, as part of a network of attractions around the region, after all, that politicians keep telling us are going to be generating wealth.

Come to think of it, maybe the plan has simply been to lure commonwealth largesse instead of tourist dollars to Southwest Virginia all along. Shrewd move, fellas.

Anyway, the latest:

Tourist attractions receive grant money
By Wayne Quesenberry, Wytheville Enterprise Staff

Four Wythe County tourist attractions and one in Bland County have received a state grant to promote their businesses. They must use the funds to advertise out-of-state.

“We’re tickled to death,” stated Ron Kime, who owns and operates two of the businesses, BW County Store at Big Walker Lookout and Big Walker Motel. “This is the first time five or six of us have gotten something together.” The other local attractions to benefit from the $5,000 Virginia Travel Corp. grant are Virginia City & Gem Mine and Deer Trail Park & Campground. The Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum in the Bastian area of Bland County is included, too.

“Anything that helps us helps Virginia,” Kime added.

Jeanne Davis agrees with him. She owns and operates Virginia City & Gem Mine. “Tourism is one of the most important businesses in Virginia,” Davis remarked. “Supporting it makes sense. I’m delighted the state awarded us the grant.” (link)

Before anyone gets too excited, last I heard, Ms. Davis is trying to unload her Virginia City & Gem Mine, although her reasons may have nothing to do with attendance figures and profitability.

And as for Mr. Kime's store and lookout, there's a wonderful view of the wilderness to be had there to be sure, but it's spoiled by the view of a massive pile of debris that was once his restaurant and gift shop that were consumed by fire years ago, an eyesore (and hazard to anyone going near it) that lingers to this day.

So you know, these aren't in any way government (or quasi-government) facilities. They are private enterprises run by individuals seeking to turn a profit off our burgeoning tourist industry. Or soon-to-be burgeoning tourist industry.

I honestly wish them all the success in the world.

Until that day comes (... pause ....), the government will continue to funnel money - and lots of it - into Southwest Virginia, in an ongoing attempt at placating those harboring the forlorn hope that tourists will be bringing us our salvation.

Sing it with me:
The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun
Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow'
Til there's none
When I'm stuck with a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And grin,
And say,
The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
I love ya
You're always
A day away
You're always a day away ...

Now This Is More Like It

This is a sure sign of prosperity:
Target set for July 25 opening in Washington County, Va., and other openings of Highlands stores to follow in fall
By David McGee, Bristol Herald-Courier

Bristol, Va. – A Target store is set to open this month, but most shops at the long-awaited The Highlands center won’t open until after Labor Day.

Work continues on the 325,000-square-foot Lee Highway retail center, which is just outside the city limits near Interstate 81’s Exit 7.

When fully developed, the 43-acre site could have as many as a dozen national retailers and several restaurants. (link)
This is great news (tempered only by the fact that my three-years-and-running boycott of Target Stores because it banned the Salvation Army bell ringers from soliciting for the poor in front of its retail outlets at Christmas time continues).

Washington County is in the pink.

Lest We Forget

From James Taranto:

Will Murtha Apologize?

"An investigating officer has recommended dismissing murder charges against a Marine accused in the slayings of three Iraqi men in a squad action that killed 24 civilians in Haditha, according to a report released Tuesday," the Associated Press reports:

"The government's theory that Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt had executed the three men was "incredible" and relied on contradictory statements by Iraqis, Lt. Col. Paul Ware said in the report, released by Sharratt's defense attorneys.

"To believe the government version of facts is to disregard clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, and sets a dangerous precedent that, in my opinion, may encourage others to bear false witness against Marines as a tactic to erode public support of the Marine Corps and mission in Iraq," Ware wrote."

This was the incident in which Rep. John Murtha accused the Marines of killing Iraqis "in cold blood"--a charge, as we noted in May 2006, that was self-contradictory. In November ScrippsNews reported that Cpl. Sharratt's parents were "enraged" with Murtha, who is their congressman. Perhaps it's time for him to apologize.

Murtha apologize to a wrongly-accused Marine? Fat chance.

* Best of the Web Today, July 11 2007

Boucher Votes For Surrender

More shameful antics by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives yesterday:

House approves April troop pullout
By Eric Pfeiffer, The Washington Times

The Democrat-led House yesterday passed a bill to withdraw most U.S. troops from Iraq by April — gaining two new Republican supporters in three months but leaving it well shy of the votes needed to override President Bush's promised veto.

Democrats said the 223-201 vote reflected growing public opposition to the war and an effort to pull troops from the carnage of a "civil war."

"We will repeat that judgment legislatively as often as necessary, hopefully with an increasing level of support from our Republican colleagues," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. (link)

On that last point, Congress has managed, since this bunch of clowns took charge, to do nothing beyond passing a minimum wage bill and renaming a handful of post offices.

And now the House calls for the United States military to retreat from the field of battle. And will be doing it again and again and ...

Included among this crowd of sniveling cowards, way back in the back behind everyone else, was our own Rick Boucher.

It All Becomes Clear

I've avoided commenting on the brouhaha that has swirled around the ongoing attempt by the gun control nazis - led by Mayor Bloomberg - to overturn something called the Tiahrt Amendment. As described previously by the mainstream press, the gun-ban crowd was wanting it voided because it kept law enforcement from being able to access firearms purchase data.

Since I'm big on law enforcement, I wondered if we'd gone too far.

But I never felt comfortable with the way this story was being reported. Something obviously was missing. I knew there had to be more to it.


And finally the New York Times, inadvertently no doubt, spills the beans this morning. It's not about law enforcement at all. It's about lawsuits.

Buried in a report by Diane Cardwell ("House Panel Supports Limiting Access to Data on Guns, Dealing a Blow to Bloomberg") is this factual explanation of the amendment's intent:
Transforming himself into a national spokesman for gun control, Mayor Bloomberg, who recently left the Republican Party, has traveled the country for more than a year, lobbying Congress, rallying hundreds of other mayors and financing a media campaign aimed at the end of what he once called a “godawful piece of legislation.”

That legislation, known as the Tiahrt Amendment, for Representative Todd Tiahrt, the Republican from Kansas who introduced it, is intended to keep trace data, which shows the path from manufacturer to retail purchase of a gun recovered in a crime, from being used in civil suits against gun dealers and manufacturers.
(my emphasis)
Civil suits. Not law enforcement. The Tiahrt Amendment is intended to shield firearms manufacturers from those harrassing claims filed in civil courts around the country that have no other intent beyond driving the industry into bankruptcy.

It's shameful - but par for the course - that it took so long for the media to make this key point clear.

Here's to the Tiahrt Amendment!

In The Name Of Peace?

This batty woman, a Nobel Peace Prize winner for God's sake, reminds me of those who burned buildings and set off bombs - in the name of peace - during the Vietnam War days:
Nobel winner apologizes for Bush comment
Irish peace activist's speech at Dallas event gets standing ovation
By James Hohmann, The Dallas Morning News

Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams apologized Thursday for saying she could kill President Bush, remarks that drew scorn from Bush loyalists and shook up the International Women's Peace Conference in Dallas.

"Right now, I could kill George Bush," she said. "No, I don't mean that. How could you nonviolently kill somebody? I would love to be able to do that."

It wasn't the first time Ms. Williams has spoken critically of Mr. Bush. Last July, she made an almost identical comment about wanting to "kill George Bush" to a group of schoolchildren in Brisbane, Australia. (link)

I know I'm on the right side of history when I read about nitwits like this.

Is This a Plot?

Could this have been a terrorist attack?
126 People Ill After Chicago Food Fest
Associated Press

Chicago (AP) - More than 120 people who ate from the same booth at the Taste of Chicago food festival last week became ill, at least nine of them with salmonella poisoning and 10 who were hospitalized, the health department said Thursday.

The Chicago Department of Health was investigating the cases and confirmed that nine were caused by salmonella bacteria. The number could increase because lab results are pending in some of the cases.

The 126 people all ate at the Pars Cove Persian Cuisine booth, which served cucumber salad over hummus, grilled lamb and beef, pomegranate barbecued chicken and baklava.
Persia. You and I know its more familiar name - IRAN. Not that there's to be any inference drawn by the fact that millions of citizens there want to slaughter us all.

... one cucumber salad over hummus at a time.