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

Saturday, July 21, 2007

What's This World Coming To?

I want to blame this on the feminists:
Woman, 18, charged in carjacking
Wytheville Enterprise Staff


An 18-year-old Meadowview woman accused of taking a neighbor’s car at gunpoint was arrested Thursday evening in Bristol, Va. Bristol Virginia Police officers arrested Ashley Rose Testerman around 7:30 p.m. She was charged with carjacking and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

... Testerman’s neighbor called police around 11:30 a.m. Thursday and said the woman had asked for a ride. The neighbor, according to the press release, complied and drove with Testerman and her 18-month-old baby down state Route 80, stopping at the end of Remine Road. There, the sheriff said, the woman said Testerman got out of the car, pulled a .357 Magnum handgun and ordered her from the 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass. (link)
An 18-year-old girl pulls out what we used to refer to as a hog leg (that .357) and threatens to shoot someone, during a carjacking.

Christ almighty. What happened to the days when they aspired to be great seamstresses?

Quote Of The Day

From an editorial in the Martinsville Bulletin:

"The Henry County-Martinsville-Patrick County area is well on its way to creating a maze of walking and hiking trails that will be a highlight of the quality of life here."

Where once quality of life was highlighted by robust economic growth and parents satisfied in the expectation of a bright future for their children, bustling downtown businesses, and the assurance that life here provides for a wondrous tomorrow, we now showcase ... "a maze."

There's something being highlighted there, but I'm not sure what it is.

Now That's Thinking Ahead

Governor Kaine Announces Campus Security Conference

I'm Rich

Here's some fascinating news:

Researchers to study poplar tree as model biomass crop
By Michael Sutphin, Virginia Tech News


Blacksburg, Va., July 2, 2007 -- Virginia Tech researchers have received $1.2 million to study protein-protein interactions associated with biomass production in poplar wood. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly selected the Virginia Tech project and 10 others for awards totaling $8.3 million for biofuel research that may increase the availability and use of alternative fuels.

“Poplar is a model biomass crop,” said Eric Beers, associate professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the project’s principal investigator. “If we can identify the protein-protein interaction networks associated with its woody tissues, it will give us a more detailed understanding of how plants produce their biomass – their genomics and the molecular biology of biomass production. This will ultimately contribute to strategies for improving biomass crops.” (link)
Uhhhh. Protein-protein interaction networks? Genomics and the molecular biology of biomass production?

If any of that means - in English - that poplar burns good, then I should soon be a wealthy man. Along with a lot of locust (and some walnut, oak, ash, elm, and maple), most of my forest is tulip poplar.

A forest full of high-octane fuel for your SUV, baby.

From this day forward, you can consider me a tree-hugger.

I Feel Their Pain

I watched a Wendy's commercial on TV last night, the one with the young guy wearing the red wig with pigtails that stick out, and turned to Paula and said, "I'm never eating at Wendy's again." I somehow don't think that the executives at the Columbus-based burger giant wanted that to be my reaction.

Similarly, I doubt the anti-smoking nazis expected this:

Study: Anti-smoking ads have opposite effect on teens
By Andrea Jones, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The more exposure middle school students have to anti-smoking ads, the more likely they are to smoke, according to a new University of Georgia study.

Hye-Jin Paek, an assistant professor at UGA, found that many anti-smoking ad campaigns have the opposite effect on teenagers, backfiring because they actually encourage the rebellious nature of youth.


"They don't want to hear what they should do or not do," Paek said. Instead, she said, ads should focus on convincing teens their friends are heeding the anti-smoking warning because peer pressure has the most direct effect. (link)
I might dispute the good professor's conclusions. Teens may start smoking out of some need for rebellion. Or they may do it for the same reason I want to take up the nasty habit whenever one of those godawful anti-smoking ads comes on TV. They're terrible commercials. Terrible. They make me want to smoke out of sheer frustration. And agony.

I call on the geniuses who dreamt this scheme up to stop before they create a generation of addicts.

And as for that goof with the pigtails ...


... I hope he chokes on a single with mayonaisse, lettuce,onion, and tomato.

Photo courtesy of Wendy's via AP.
Click on image to enlarge.

Newspaper Headline Of The Day

Hokies raising spirits at wine festival

Airplane 101

I think we shouldn't be too hard on this guy:
Kingsport pilot forgets to lower plane's landing gear; little damage to his plane as it skids to a stop
The Associated Press

Middlesboro, Ky. - A pilot ran through the usual steps of getting ready to land his small plane, except for one little thing - he forgot to lower his landing gear.

Without wheels, Thomas Lepsch's Beechcraft Bonanza skidded a few hundred feet down the runway at Middlesboro/Bell County Airport before coming to a stop Thursday. (link)
So many things for a pilot to remember. Ailerons. Elevator. Horizontal stabilizer. Rudder. Air speed. Yaw. Roll. Pitch. Fuel consumption. Landing gear.

In modern public schools, the fact that this pilot got 90% of the flight right gives him an A.

Okay, A -. He crashed. But he efforted well.

Let's Do The Math

What America are these guys living in?
Iraq invasion wrong
Charleston (WV) Gazette

America's 16 intelligence agencies prepared a new National Intelligence Estimate concluding, in effect, that President Bush’s invasion of Iraq worsened the menace of Muslim fanatic attacks on America.
(
link)
First, the NIE, which you can read in its entirety here, makes no such statement - "in effect" or otherwise. And it's irresponsible to suggest that it does.

But beyond that, do the goofballs at the Charleston Gazette honestly want to try and support the argument that the threat of terrorist attacks on America has worsened since 2002? Ever heard of 9/11?

Let's do the math:

January 1993: two CIA staff killed outside agency headquarters in Langley, Va.
February 1993: Six people killed at the World Trade Center.
October 1999: 217 passengers killed on an EgyptAir flight near New York City.
September 11, 2001: Two thousand nine hundred forty eight people killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

2,948
... 217
....... 6
....... 2
3,173 killed before the invasion of Iraq.

...... 0
...... 0
...... 0
...... 0
...... 0 killed in attacks on America since the Iraq War began.


How does that saying go? Statistics don't lie but blithering idiots easily misunderstand statistics and don't know how to read a national security estimate?

Somebody Pinch Me

One of the few things in life that I have missed over the years is ridiculing Maureen Dowd and her sophomoric columns that appear twice weekly in the New York Times. I miss it because I can no longer access her without paying dearly. And unless there's sex involved, she doesn't warrant the $49.95 that it costs to read her goofy articles that are shielded behind "TimesSelect," the online subscription section of the newspaper (and at $49.95, I'd hope the sex came with a hefty rebate).

Well, all that may be changing:

Times May Pull Plug On Pay Site
By Keith J. Kelly, The New York Post


July 21, 2007 -- The New York Times' subscription-only online service TimesSelect could be nearing its end.

Long a favorite of Times Co. Chairman Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr. and President Janet Robinson, insiders say a growing chorus of people within the paper are lobbying to shut down the two-year-old service, which charges Web visitors to access columns from David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, Nicholas D. Kristof and Thomas L. Friedman. (link)
They've learned a painful truth. 10,000,000 bloggers cough up their opinions daily for free, and all the world can access their thoughts and sentiments readily. These 7 people - who admittedly tower over us 10,000,000 intellectually - thought their notions were worth something more ($7.14 apiece). They've now found out that that's not the case.

Wonderful news! We want Ditzy Dowd back!

The Diabolical Plot To Seize Control Goes Forward

I think someone got to the doctors and convinced them, through threats and intimidation, to approach the President and convince him that he needed his colon reamed out, just so someone else could assume power of the mightiest war machine in the history of the world. With armies ready to march.

The portentous news from the Associated Press:
Bush to Cede Powers During Colonoscopy
By Deb Reichmann, Associated Press Writer

Washington (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney is assuming the powers of the presidency for the second time in five years while President Bush undergoes a medical procedure.

Bush planned to hand over authority to Cheney on Saturday before the president goes under anesthesia to receive a routine colonoscopy - a test to look for potential cancer. The same routine was followed when Bush underwent a colonoscopy in 2002. (link)
Can martial law be far behind? Concentration camps? The gulag archaguantanamo?

Colonoscopy indeed. What sinister forces are behind this putsch?

The Dark Emperor

And This Gal Thinks She Can Be President

Is that a pout I'm detecting? Did the former First Lady not get her way? Did someone take away her dolly?
Clinton Criticizes Defense Dept. for Reply to Her Iraq Request
By Kate Phillips, The New York Times


Washington, July 20 — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton strongly criticized the Pentagon on Friday, calling it “offensive and totally inappropriate” for a Defense Department official to suggest that information she requested about departmental plans for withdrawing troops in Iraq would help enemy propaganda.

Joined by Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, in a conference call with reporters on Friday, Mrs. Clinton said they would introduce legislation to require the department to prepare reports and brief Congress on proposals for a phased withdrawal of American troops.

In rejecting her request, Mr. Edelman wrote in the letter, dated Monday, “Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia.” (link)
Hillary is accused of aiding and abetting the enemy (is that even breaking news?) and she whimpers and moans like she'd gotten her fat ass spanked.

Our future commander-in-chief ...

The President Is Feeling His Oats

All in all, George W. Bush has had a good week. Analyses with regard to gains being made in the battle raging in Iraq from the military leadership there is guardedly positive. Polls are showing Congress to be held in the American public's lowest favor in recorded history. And the debacle that was the Democratic all-nighter "defeatathon" in the Senate, which made a laughingstock of Harry Reid and his pack of anti-America clowns deflected most of the media heat being applied to the White House.

So George decides to go on the offensive for a change:
A White House Warning on Contempt Charges
By Neil A. Lewis and David Johnston, The New York Times


Washington, July 20 — The Justice Department would be likely to block any efforts by Congressional Democrats to seek contempt charges against present and former White House officials for refusing to give information to Congress, a White House spokesman said Friday.

A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said Congressional threats to have presidential aides charged with criminal contempt would probably end in failure. “It has been the Justice Department’s long-held view that the law does not permit Congress to require a U.S. attorney to convene a grand jury or otherwise pursue a prosecution” when someone refuses on the basis of executive privilege to testify or turn over documents, Mr. Fratto said.

The administration’s warning that contempt citations would fail is the latest salvo in an escalating legal clash between ... (link)
Take it to 'em, Big Guy. Make 'em howl.