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

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Boucher Pep Rally to Be Held In Wytheville

I read somewhere a while back that - and this was intended to be a compliment - Congressman Rick Boucher has been working for twenty years now to build us a tourism economy here in Southwest Virginia. Twenty years.

Probably twenty years from now - perhaps long after most of us are dead - we'll still be reading bullshit like this (from the editorial staff at a local newspaper that is devoid of critical thinking):

According to Boucher, the Ninth Congressional District of Virginia has just begun to realize its tremendous potential for tourism.
Soon folks. Soon.

What that means is, if you're trying to measure Congressman Boucher's rate of success, after twenty years of promises, and you come up with squat, well, that's because we've just begun to realize its tremendous potential ...

Twenty Years.

That quote above, so you know, appears in an article in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph announcing a group hug that is scheduled to take place on Monday down in Wytheville, starring that same crusader for that just-begun decades-long tourism strategy implementation - Rick Boucher - and attended no doubt by a host of loyal sycophants:

Promoting Southwest Virginia — Growth in tourism economy critical

Tourism is now the third largest employer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, lagging only behind automotive sales and food, according to U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va.

In hopes of stimulating continued tourism growth in the coal producing counties of Southwest Virginia, Boucher is hosting a tourism conference to be held on Monday, Oct. 29, at the new Wytheville Meeting Center in Wytheville. The conference is open to the public.

At the upcoming tourism conference, called “Tourism: Putting Southwest Virginia’s Unique Heritage and Culture to Work,” officials will explore how communities in Southwest Virginia have created identities based on their unique cultural heritage in order to attract visitors to our region, Boucher said. (link)

To show what kind of meeting this is going to be, the folks at the Daily Telegraph plant their lips squarely on Boucher's butt with this:

We join Boucher in calling for a renewed and aggressive promotion of tourism in Southwest Virginia.

Boucher is correct. The Ninth Congressional District is now just beginning to realize its true tourism potential. In many ways, the vast tourism opportunities of scenic Southwest Virginia remain largely untapped.

We must begin working today to take advantage of this growing tourism market, which promises a tremendous potential for the future of Southwest Virginia.

The tourism conference in Wytheville is certainly a good start in unifying and promoting our regional tourism efforts.
Twenty years.
Millions of tax dollars in expenditures.
"The Ninth Congressional District is now just beginning to ..."
"We must begin working today to ..."
"... promises a tremendous potential for ..."
"The tourism conference in Wytheville is certainly a good start ..."


I'm not going to be able to attend this bacchanal conference. I'm in meetings in Myrtle Beach next week.** But I hope, when Rick or any of the other attendees start spouting fabulous tourism numbers from a recently released Virginia Tourism Corp. report*, numbers that are in fact not tourism numbers at all, someone (I hold out no hope that it will be a reporter; perhaps one of you taxpayers out there who have been paying through the nose for this huckster's snake oil over the years) will raise his or her hand and call the good congressman to account.

Ask this seemingly important question:

In which future decade should we demand results, Rick?

* Here's what makes this report a useful sleight of hand. A quote from the document itself: "The word tourism is avoided in this report because of its vague meaning." Thus it becomes a "travel" report, with related travel data cited and analyzed. It reverts to a tourism report after its release. Slick move.

Worthless. Intentionally deceptive. And slick.

** To illustrate the flawed nature of this report, my visit to Myrtle Beach where I'll be in business meetings for two days, is considered, by the perameters set in this report, to be a "tourist" visit.

Useful Idiots

From the Bluefield Daily Telegraph:
Scenic designation — Bill will protect SW Virginia wilderness
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

The U.S. House Tuesday approved bipartisan legislation to create new federal wilderness areas and new national scenic areas in southwest Virginia, and we can thank U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher for that.

Known as the Virginia Ridge and Valley Act of 2007 and authored by Boucher, the bill would add six existing wilderness areas in portions of Bland, Craig, Grayson, Giles, Lee, Montgomery and Smyth counties within the Jefferson National Forest.

We applaud Rep. Boucher and the House for passing this important bipartisan legislation. The measure will not only help to protect the natural and scenic beauty of Southwest Virginia, but also help with enhancing the region’s tourism economy. (link)
Yeah. We desperately needed more wilderness around here. For that burgeoning tourism economy.

Economic Prosperity Just Around The Corner

New trail opens on Buffalo

Get Out Your Wallets

Governor, Warner coming

They Come. They Go.

A local family-owned pizzeria closed its doors here in Bland a few weeks ago.* As anticipated. Prices were substantial and the pizzas were mediocre. A business model not tailored toward success and longevity. Too bad.

On a brighter note:

Grabbing a slice of the pizza business
By Nate Hubbard, Wytheville Enterprise Staff

A new pizza business is coming to Bland County – plus it even serves breakfast.

Pizza Plus will have a grand opening on Nov. 5 as it opens its doors as the first tenant in the new Bastian shopping center, located just off Exit 58 on Interstate 77.

The pizza joint will include a party room with video games and space to host birthday parties. A spot in the main dining area will also hold a lunchtime buffet that is planned to be available daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Breakfast menu items include a breakfast pizza (eggs, bacon, sausage and mozzarella cheese on a thin pizza crust), biscuits and pancakes. (link)
We wish Pizza Plus all the success in the world.

Let me think about that breakfast pizza though ...

* Yes, by God, Bland had a restaurant. No seating, of course, but it still served as a restaurant. Now we're back to the Citgo station's fine dining.

On Hillary & Her 'Experience'

They want to tout her years of experience as being that which puts her head and shoulders above her competitors? They might want to be careful.

From one who worked with Hillary on the only government project she's ever been responsible for in her entire life:
My two cents' worth--and I think it is the two cents' worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994--is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn't smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly. (link) (my emphasis)
And this is going to be our next commander-in-chief.

I fear for my country.

Hat tip to James Taranto.

Bland & Goochland Have Something In Common

In Goochland, growth is on many minds

Kaine Urges Indifference On Illegality

Kaine urges care on immigration

Uh Oh. This Can't Be Good.

The Roanoke Times is endorsing Dave Nutter in the 7th? Is this some sinister plot to get him defeated? Have the people in the editorial boardroom taken up mind-altering drugs again? A Halloween prank?


Editorial: In House District 7, stick with Nutter

Del. Dave Nutter, R-Christiansburg, is a generally thoughtful and independent-minded conservative who has served the 7th House District well in his three terms in the Generally Assembly. Voters should send him back on Nov. 6.

The 7th District includes the city of Radford and parts of Pulaski and Montgomery counties.

Nutter, economic development coordinator at Virginia Tech, has been a staunch advocate for higher education, recognizing the value of the commonwealth's investment in what he calls "human capital."

Voters should stick with the known quantity here. Nutter has been a responsible, thoughtful, forward-looking and effective legislator. (link)

We agree.

For The Record

Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Slumbering 9th) voted - again - to raise taxes on the poor to pay for health care coverage for his upper-middle class neighbors in Washington D.C.

That's lookin' out for us, Rick.

Rats Are Leaving The Ship ...

... as it sinks beneath the waves:
Obama Aide Jumps Over To Clinton

October 27, 2007 -- Washington - A longtime Democratic fund-raiser has abandoned Barack Obama's campaign to help rival Hillary Rodham Clinton win the party's presidential nomination.

Bob Farmer, a top fund-raiser for several past Democratic presidential candidates, did not respond to a request for comment left at his Bal Harbour, Fla., home.

But Kirk Wagar, Obama's Florida finance chair, said Farmer let him know he was switching sides but didn't say why. (link)
Yes. I wonder why ...

A Message Being Sent

Remind me not to ever go on the Beverly Hills Diet:
Judy Mazel, Creator of Best-Selling ‘Beverly Hills Diet,’ Is Dead at 63
By Dennis Hevesi, The New York Times

Judy Mazel, author of the 1981 best-selling book “The Beverly Hills Diet,” which recommended eating nothing but fruit, and lots it, for the first 10 days of a six-week regimen, and which drew strong criticism from medical authorities, died in Santa Monica, Calif., on Oct. 12. She was 63 and lived in the Pacific Palisades section of Los Angeles.

The cause was complications of a stroke, her sister Carol Friduss said. (link)
What have we learned from this? Eat lots of red meat. Live a long life.

Well, At Least They're Doing SOMETHING

If you can call going in circles "something."
Democrats Plan a Shorter Workweek
By David M. Herszenhorn, The New York Times

Washington, Oct. 26 — Shortly after winning a majority last year, Democrats triumphantly declared that they would put Congress back to work, promising an “end to the two-day workweek.”

But 10 months into the session, with their legislative agenda often in gridlock with the Bush administration and a big election year looming, the Democrats are now planning a lighter schedule when the 110th Congress begins its second year in mid-January. (link)
A lighter schedule. All that legislating an end to the war must have tuckered 'em out.