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

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thank God Electricity Comes From a Plug ...

... and not from fossil-fuel burning power plants. Otherwise we'd all have to move into a cave.

But shh. Don't tell Larry ...

Wise County supervisors learn that Dominion Virginia Power's proposed coal-fired power plant will be challenged
By Kathy Still, Bristol Herald-Courier Staff Writer

Wise, Va. – A Dominion Virginia Power representative told the Wise County Board of Supervisors on Thursday that an upcoming State Corporation Commission hearing and subsequent environmental matters related to the company’s proposed $1.6 billion coal-fired power plant would be challenging.

The plant would need 800 workers during its construction and 75 permanent plant operators, he said. The annual payroll would be more than $4 million and the facility could generate as much as $6 million in tax revenue for the county.

Since the plant is required by state law to use Virginia coal, 350 new mining jobs would be created ...

Some local environmentalists said jobs would make no difference if Wise County is destroyed in the process.

"A few jobs don’t take the place of lives or forests and the ecosystem," said Larry Bush, an Exeter resident. "Wise County is going to look like a moonscape. There is no such thing as clean coal. You can’t burn coal clean." (link)

And you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Christ Almighty. Wise County is threatened with total destruction? Where do you think your electricity is coming from now, Larry? That little doohickey in the wallboard of your palatial doublewide?

You want to someday live in air conditioned comfort, Larry? Join us. Civilization ain't all bad.

In a Nutshell

James Taranto provides us with a rundown of current presidential hopefuls and the similarities between 2008 and 2004:
Actually, when you think about it, it's amazing how similar the 2008 race is to the 2004 race. We have a formidable establishment candidate who originally backed the war, then changed his mind (John Kerry then, Hillary Clinton now); a challenger who has opposed the war all along, and who is clearly out of his depth (Howard Dean, Barack Obama); and a third guy who stands around looking pretty (John Edwards, John Edwards). The biggest difference is that Mike Gravel doesn't quite have the gravitas of a Carol Moseley Braun.
Who can argue with any of that?

Quote Of The Day

Charles Krauthammer on that soldier who fabricated gruesome war stories for the New Republic (which published them as factual accounts):
[W]hat made the purported story interesting enough to publish? Why did the New Republic run it?

Because it fits perfectly into the most virulent narrative of the antiwar left. The Iraq war -- "George Bush's war," as even Hillary Clinton, along with countless others who had actually endorsed the war, now calls it -- has caused not only the sorrow and destruction that we read about every day. It has, most perniciously, caused invisible damage -- now made visible by the soul-searching of one brave and gifted private: It has perverted and corrupted the young soldiers who went to Iraq, and now return morally ruined. Young soldiers like Scott Thomas Beauchamp.

We already knew from all of America's armed conflicts -- including Iraq -- what war can make men do. The only thing we learn from Scott Thomas Beauchamp is what literary ambition can make men say.
"The Baghdad Fabulist," Washington Post, August 10, 2007

It's Not About Abusive Fees

As Republicans, true to form, run for the hills when the slightest bit of heat is applied, and as newspaper editorialists try to convince a far too gullible public - that would be you - that you all just "hate the exorbitantly high abusive-driver fees," it would be wise to remember this:

• This has nothing to do with traffic fees.

• This has everything to do with politics.

• They want more of your paycheck.

• They want Republicans defeated in November.

Fight them. Or the floodgates to new taxation will finally be opened.

On Subprime Loans, Liquidity, & You

A public service:

Here's a good primer on the current mortgage lending crisis and how you may be affected.

It Must Be Something In The Water

He's a what?
Asian Bigot Busted
By Stefanie Cohen and Larry Celona, The New York Post

August 10, 2007 -- A self-proclaimed Asian supremacist who penned a column headlined "Why I Hate Blacks" pleaded guilty to attempted assault yesterday - only to be rearrested on new charges, authorities said.

Kenneth Eng, 24, pleaded guilty in Queens Supreme Court to charges of harassment and attempted assault for threatening neighbors with a hammer last May.

He was sentenced to 12 months of daily psychotherapy, said his lawyer, Joel Dranove. But Eng arrived at home to find the feds waiting to bust him on a sealed complaint. (link)
An Asian supremacist. Now I've heard of everything.

Why I No Longer Hunt

I looked out the window a moment ago and saw a doe eating in Paula's flower bed out back.

I got up, went outside, walked to the deck rail, looked at her, and told her to quit. She was about 18 feet away.

She raised her head, glared at me (with a flower protruding from the corner of her mouth), pointed her ears in my direction, alert to the danger before her, nostrils working ...

... and went back to eating.

I came in the house.

Government To The Rescue

How do you keep stupid people from doing stupid things that ultimately harm them?

A stupid question.

We got government. It prints the money. We don't need to prevent idiocy. It's our job to fund it. To succor it. In the end, to encourage it:

Getting the Rescue Right
New York Times editorial

Help has been way too slow in coming for the estimated 1.7 million people who will lose their homes to foreclosure this year and next. A modest bill to bolster funds for state, local and nonprofit agencies that help hard-pressed homeowners renegotiate their mortgages and restructure their debts has been slogging through the Senate since April, and it won’t be passed until October at the earliest — if ever.

... [W]hen lawmakers return to Washington in September, they must complete legislation to help states and localities provide the ever-increasing numbers of at-risk borrowers with assistance in modifying their loans. American homeowners need a hand now. (link)
I'd have no problem with lawmakers helping the foolhardy and the mentally challenged if the lawmakers were going to be doing the helping. What our lawmakers do, however, is force me to help.

These borrowers made unwise - in many case, grossly unwise - decisions. It's my job to bail them out?


It's a good thing the United States of America has all the money in the world ...

A Reminder: It's Still Only a Theory

For those who have an unshakeable belief in a supreme being evolution, this should at least give you pause. The altar upon which you worship is about to be completely reworked:
Fossils in Kenya Challenge Linear Evolution
By John Noble Wilford, The New York Times

Two fossils found in Kenya have shaken the human family tree, possibly rearranging major branches thought to be in a straight ancestral line to Homo sapiens.

Scientists who dated and analyzed the specimens — a 1.44-million-year-old Homo habilis and a 1.55-million-year-old Homo erectus found in 2000 — said their findings challenged the conventional view that these species evolved one after the other. Instead, they apparently lived side by side in eastern Africa for almost half a million years.

If this interpretation is correct, the early evolution of the genus Homo is left even more shrouded in mystery than before. It means that both habilis and erectus must have originated from a common ancestor between two million and three million years ago, a time when fossil hunters had drawn a virtual blank. (link)
We knew what we knew. Now what we know isn't what we knew. And what we're soon to know may be completely different from what we now know. But, by God, we're sure we're right.

And we want to teach this in our public schools?

Biting The Hand That Feeds You

I don't think there's ever been a time in American history when people have been given more assistance, more care, more kindness, and complained about it as much as those in New Orleans have. After two years, they're still whining that others aren't doing enough for them. Even the starving and disease-ravaged in impoverished third-world countries appreciate the handfuls of rice they receive more than do the people of New Orleans, who have received billions in aid. Tens of billions.

Now the Red Cross, a charitable non-profit organization, is being savagely criticized for not having met the demands of those with their hands out, despite the fact that it went beyond its traditional role of providing immediate assistance to those who have been involved in a natural disaster to trying to afford long-term care to the people of New Orleans.

The latest in this bewildering tale:
Red Cross Faces Criticism Over Aid Program for Hurricane Victims
By Shaila Dewan and Stephanie Strom, The New York Times

A little-known American Red Cross aid program for victims of Hurricane Katrina has unleashed a wave of criticism from evacuees, who say that the program, which pays up to $20,000 for building materials, used cars, job training and other unmet needs, has been too secretive and strict, and its money too limited.

Red Cross officials say the $39 million program, Means to Recovery, has only enough money to serve about 4,000 families who have undertaken an extensive planning process with caseworkers from the Red Cross and other charities. Families that have not yet started that process or made an appointment to do so can no longer be accommodated, they said last week.

More than 80,000 phone calls have poured in to the Red Cross and protesters have picketed its offices since evacuees began drawing attention to the program three weeks ago. (link)
Two years. And people in New Orleans are still waiting around for someone to do for them that which they need to be doing for themselves. What's the tab up to? $23,000,000,000?

And it's not enough.

Two years.