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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It'll Take More Than This

You can't fault the management of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture for doing that which is necessary to gain favorable press, but this reminds me of Kmart Corporation's president and CEO getting plaudits, accolades, and a "Keep America Beautiful" award for having created within his industry-leading organization a breathtakingly comprehensive environmental/recycling initiative ... just a few years before the company went bankrupt:

Furniture goes green
Galax Gazette

A furniture manufacturer in Galax is setting a good example for its peers in the industry by renewing the resources it uses.

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture has gotten a lot of attention recently for its effort to replace every tree it uses in manufacturing — about 150,000 trees a year.

The company bought that same number of seedlings and donated them to the Virginia Department of Forestry to plant. Vaughan-Bassett’s goal is to replenish the apple, ash, maple, oak, pine and poplar trees that are harvested for the lumber used in its products.

Vaughan-Bassett plans to make a similar contribution every year. (
Or until they close their doors forever. Whichever comes first.

By anyone's standard of measurement, Southwest Virginia's furniture manufacturing sector has been decimated by Chinese competition, resulting in layoffs for thousands of area workers. American of Martinsville, Virginia House Furniture, Rowe Furniture, Webb Furniture, Hooker Furniture, Stanley Furniture, Thomasville Furniture, Pulaski Furniture, and yes, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture have been slammed by competitive pressures that continue to plague the industry.

While it reads well and affords a pleasant moment to see the company planting trees in order to save the environment get a good write-up in the local newspaper, it would read even better if we were to create conditions such that Vaughan-Bassett was once again in hiring/expansion mode.

What Are The Chances?

Tragic news out of Wythe County:
Woman dies after rock falls on her
By Shawna Morrison, The Roanoke Times

A North Carolina woman was killed Saturday when a large slab of rock fell on her as she biked the New River Trail in Wythe County.

Sudie Jenkins Hatcher, 48, of High Point was bicycling on the trail with friends when she was struck by a rock that measured 3 feet by 1 12 feet by 7 inches, according to a news release from the New River Trail State Park.

The accident happened about 4:40 p.m. on the trail near Austinville at milepost 28.5, just to the north of an old railroad tunnel.

Witnesses heard the rock traveling through the woods above the trail before it went airborne, the news release said. (link)
One chance in a million that someone would have been underneath that falling rock ...

Hello? Anyone Editing This Stuff?

I can only imagine how embarrassed the publisher of the Washington Post must be, reading sophomoric drool like this on its venerable editorial page. The first three sentences are all you have to endure:
Romney's Dilemma
By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Let's say it unequivocally: Mitt Romney's Mormon faith should not be an issue in this presidential campaign. Period.

And then let us explore why the Mormon "issue" may be unavoidable -- and what Romney and the rest of us should do about it.

Romney's biggest problem is that he is running in a Republican Party that has been saturated by religion in recent years. (link)
Romney's faith is not an issue. "Unequivocally." "Period."

But "let us explore" it.

For the love of God.

On That SCHIP Reauthorization

I'm late in getting to this news but I thought you might be interested. On that attempt to override the President's veto and allow for SCHIP health care coverage to include the children of upper-middle class Americans at the expense of the poorest among us - smokers - through a punitive increase in the cigarette tax, Congressman Rick Boucher voted AYE.

Congressmen Bob Goodlatte and Virgil Goode compassionately voted NAY.

Woe Be Unto Kurdistan

I can't think of another ethnic group on the planet that so wants to have its own nation state but will never do so.

First a map:
You'll notice that Kurdish ancestral lands (the light-shaded area) are split up between Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. None of which have an interest in an independent Kurdistan. All of which, in fact, are vehemently opposed.

Now today's news:

Aid Pledged for Turkey's Crackdown on Rebels
By Robin Wright and Michael Abramowitz, Washington Post Staff Writers

A top Iraqi official said today the country would "actively help" Turkey halt the activity of Kurdish rebels who have been striking across the border from northern Iraq, a promise delivered amid a flurry of international diplomatic efforts to prevent a widening conflict
between the two countries.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan was in Baghdad today and made a joint appearance with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari. Though Babacan said that military action against Iraq-based Kurdish guerrillas remained "one of the options," Zebari said Iraq was prepared to deal with the problem. (link)

This comes on the heels of another bit of news a few weeks ago that revealed border clashes between Iran and Kurdish-controlled parts of Iraq. They - the Kurds - are getting it from all sides. And have for centuries.

And, alas, will for centuries to come.

Map courtesy of wikipedia

SWAC Girl Is On The Case

SWAC Girl reveals to us the fact that results of a Staunton News Leader poll relating to the candidacy of Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6th District) have been skewed by out-of-staters being egged on by the flamethrowers at Daily Kos. A quote from her blog:
Less than 24 hours later there were over 5,000 votes at a newspaper that is lucky to get 300 votes in a poll.

An investigation began ... and it was discovered a tie with Daily Kos, the nationwide extremely liberal democrat blogging network, to spam or google bomb the News Leader poll by urging thousands of liberal bloggers to vote against Congressman Goodlatte.
She doesn't provide the actual results of the poll, and they really don't matter, considering the fact that they are worthless.

But how about that News Leader poll question?
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th, has again voted against extending the State Children's Health Insurance Program. If a challenge is mounted against Goodlatte in 2008, who will you vote for? Goodlatte or the challenger?
That's about as leading a question as I've ever seen. It would be akin to my doing the following poll:
Hillary Clinton, not wanting it any longer, gave away the family cat, Socks, to the hired help. Will you as an animal lover vote for her in the upcoming 2008 election?
A question with an intended answer hardly constitutes an opinion poll.

The Staunton News Leader could just as well have made the poll look like this:

You Thought Fascism Died With Mussolini?

Today it has taken on new form. We've come to call it Islamofascism.

Christopher Hitchens ("Defending Islamofascism," Slate) separates out the two segments of the word, and links them for us:
Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. ("Death to the intellect! Long live death!" as Gen. Francisco Franco's sidekick Gonzalo Queipo de Llano so pithily phrased it.) Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined "humiliations" and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia). Both are inclined to leader worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book. Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression—especially to the repression of any sexual "deviance"—and to its counterparts the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine. Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence; both burn books and destroy museums and treasures.
Except for the line about "the exclusive stress on the power of one great book" (Hitchens is a radical atheist, you should know), which is hard to argue in the cases of the most notorious fascist movements in history - Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Franco's Spain (they used religion to help meet their desired ends but they never "stressed" Christianity by any means), this seems spot-on.

Read the whole thing.